Music Discovery

I have added a new category to www.emichaelmusic.com. “Music Discovery” will feature music which I know, from a few minutes or a few decades ago, that I find intriguing, inspiring, innovative, beautiful, novel or just cool, and for which I want to advocate.

Christmas Music – Dave Brubeck, John Lennon, Cuba LA, The Monkees, Donny Hathaway & more

Here are twelve (12) of my favorite Christmas recordings, from Band Aid to Poncho Sanchez. (My list ends with the letter, “S?!?” No Tchaikovsky and nut cracking? And none of the letters post-S. That means no Van Halen, Vivaldi, Webern, Xenakis, Neil Young, Frank Zappa or Jan Dismas Zelenka.)

As with most music, what attracts me to many of the recordings below is creative, surprising and atypical uses of chords, melody, rhythm, tone color, lyrics and/or structure. And in the case of Bob Dylan’s “It Must Be Santa” recording and video, great humor.

A slew of bagpipes playing tangos in a forest – My Favorite Tangos (Part 1)

Is tango a dance? Is tango music? Is tango both music and dance? To me tango is music and the accompanying dance. To others I’m sure the idea of an “accompanying” dance, meaning the visual subservient to the aural, is offensive. Music is meant for many as something to accompany dance. For me it’s music – the invisible art form that grabbed and OCCUPIED me as a child – first. Other stuff – film, video, TV, advertising, ballet, dance, opera, musicals, etc. – is often secondary and there to serve music. I’ll more often stick with what I think is this contrarian view – let the invisible (music) rule and let us serve her/him/it/them.

¡Cubanismo! at The Exit/In, Caetano Veloso, Café Tacuba & Music of The Americas

Perhaps it is best that in 2012 the entire hemisphere is called THE AMERICAS, mostly to make things less messy when it comes to division via land mass.

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To the simple point of this post – three (3) great songs from The Americas (the Americas situated south of continental U.S.) that feature * copyrightable introductions. *

B R A Z I L, C U B A, M E X I C O

Music of Africa & Copyrightable Intros – Les Têtes Brulées, Four Brothers & Thomas Mapfumo

I’ve been passionate about world music since I was a little kid and heard some of my parents bossa nova albums, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Perez Prado, and some others. Also in those days there was I Love Lucy with some of Desi Arnaz’ very hot bands on TV. I always loved what I perceived as its sophistication…

The point of this post is world music and copyrightable intros in world music. I want to limit it to just three (3) examples, all of them from two (2) African nations – Zimbabwe and Cameroon.

Three Songs (5/4) & Some Thoughts (7/4) About Dave Brubeck (9/8)

One of the important features of a lot of Dave Brubeck’s music is his use of rhythm and especially uncommon time signatures. Brubeck met with resistance from Columbia Records when he insisted on having songs with unusual meter/time signatures on his brilliant million-selling album, Time Out. Fortunately for music, the public and Columbia Records, they gave in.

I have selected three (3) Dave Brubeck songs, each in a different and unusual meter. 5 beats per measure, 7 beats per measure and 9 beats per measure are far less common than the most common meter in Western music – 4 beats per measure. In keeping with the idea of three – 3 different time signatures/meters – I have also compiled three (3) sets of three (3) songs each. In each of these three 3-song sets, I have chosen a Brubeck composition and followed it with two (2) other compositions that share the same number of beats. In each example, the songs I have selected are not of the same style.

Copyright From A – Z, Crime Before Thanksgiving, my 19th Annual Berklee Lecture, Inna & The Farlanders

At some points today, I’ll select some topics for my two-hour presentation. I’ll choose from these questions and issues and more:

Can One Copy A Bass Line?

Can One Copy A Chord Progression?

Can One Copy A Guitar Solo?

How To Break The Law/How To Get Away With Crime (Crime? “Fair Use” or The Perfect Crime ?)

What Is Fair Use?

Fair Use Done Right/Wrong

What Is Satire?

What Is Parody?

What Is Right of Publicity?

Can One Sample?

What Is A Mashup And When Are Mashups Legal/Illegal?

Baseball and Music – The Right Songs for the Right Season

I thought of calling this post, “15 Songs for the Soul.” But that thought lasted for two seconds. Elvis Costello’s great lyric from “Alison” came to mind, and rescued me: “I’m not going to get too sentimental like those other sticky Valentines.”

I also liked the title, “I see St. Peter wave ,” but decided against that too. If you don’t know, that is a short phrase from a song by They Might Be Giants. “I see St. Peter wave” then led me to the rest of the song which burrowed its way perfectly into this post. And I love the messages the songs below convey. They are perfectly suited for this day, don’t you think?