It’s getting to the point…

In which it’s a matter of mind over music—or is it? Yesterday a favorite podcaster of mine who often engages in discussions of mental health issues—and who is herself studying to be a therapist—read out a message from a female listener who described her boyfriend’s unwillingness or inability to help her through an emotionally turbulentContinue reading “It’s getting to the point…”

The Greatest Jazz Album…?

Or, a Christmastime observation I’m relying on holiday tunes more heavily than usual this year to keep the spirit of the season alive in relative isolation. I can’t help listening a little more closely, perhaps only because I can. Among the records on regular rotation is, for self-evident reasons, the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s soundtrack toContinue reading “The Greatest Jazz Album…?”

A Brief History of A Cappella

In which I sing the praises of a much-misconstrued genre The above image, whose painter I could not identify for the life of me (drop a comment if you can), does not depict the a cappella style we know, as there are instruments present. However, it does depict (again) that musical troublemaker St. Cecilia, plusContinue reading “A Brief History of A Cappella”

So Beautiful It Hurts

In which I direct my readers to a departed talent Gwendolyn Brooks, poet and relentless voice, left us twenty years ago today. For those unfamiliar with her name on sight, she was the mastermind behind the oft-misread “We Real Cool,” She was also: The first Black writer (of any discipline) to win a Pulitzer PrizeContinue reading “So Beautiful It Hurts”

Marie Before Marian

In which I spotlight an entertainer who made (largely untold) history My preexisting plan for this week’s post is serendipitously harmonious given the impending arrival of a Black woman in the White House. Because on this date in 1878, the White House welcomed its first Black musical performer, Marie Selika Williams. Williams, née Smith, wasContinue reading “Marie Before Marian”

PSA: USA

In which I say vote, yes For all my talk of immigration and expatriation, I couldn’t have a more opportune moment to speak to an urgent matter in my home country: Please, please, please, please, vote. Tens of millions of Americans have already cast their ballots by mail, at a dropbox, or in person. AtContinue reading “PSA: USA”

Mole Day!

In which I redouble my vain effort to mark time with a chemical interlude “Chemical interlude” sounds like I mean drugs. LOL. Anyway, a happy Mole Day (scientific abbreviation: mol) to all! If you thought you’d never find something non-arts/humanities-based on this blog…well, I’m a multifaceted gal, and this is a legitimate holiday. My observationContinue reading “Mole Day!”

A Far-Too-Close Reading of “Your Song”

In which I, well, never mind This week we arrive at something that has been on my mind all year: the half-century of the release of one of the most special songs in popular music. I’ll execute a smooth transition out of last week by introducing it as the song that prompted Lennon to say,Continue reading “A Far-Too-Close Reading of “Your Song””

80 Years

In which I renew my vows I fell in love with John Lennon a few months after turning thirteen. This might not sound like much to people who grew up in an era when everyone and their cat classified themselves by their favorite Beatle, a question that echoes through subsequent generations. But it was pivotalContinue reading “80 Years”