Five Observations on “Take Five”

In which I honor a jazz classic To remember the illustrious musical pioneer Dave Brubeck on what would have been his 99th birthday, I present five thoughts on his quirky hit, both my favorite piece of his and my favorite piece across all schools and eras of jazz: It makes an unconventional time signature soundContinue reading “Five Observations on “Take Five””

The Best Song Choruses

In which I test the ideological power of a pop chorus A song is, ultimately, a machine, a collection of cogs with their own functions. Possibly the most conspicuous cog is the chorus, which, by its nature, is an aural focal point where the artist communes with the listener. People who do not know theContinue reading “The Best Song Choruses”

Write Your Own Eagles Song

In which I record a recipe of sorts You will need: A healthy dose of ennui A thorough knowledge of California Access to incomprehensible amounts of cocaine (think enough to have to scrape out of a mixing board post-session) Instructions: Begin on the topic of a female—specifically a “woman,” never a “girl.” Create as manyContinue reading “Write Your Own Eagles Song”

My Favorite Musical Theatre Opening Numbers

In which I lay out some cherished expository songs and scene-setters The opening number of a musical carries by far the most responsibility. It is the means by which the audience is familiarized with the world onstage (and arguably vice versa, as the performers have to judge the sort of crowd they’ve got). It isContinue reading “My Favorite Musical Theatre Opening Numbers”

An Ode to Shostakovich

In which I ignore the current political climate and argue how great Russians are Today marks the 92nd anniversary of Symphony No. 2, a.k.a. “To October,” by Dmitri Dmitrievich Shostakovich. If that name alone isn’t sufficient to convince you of the inherent nobility of the Russian people, I don’t know what I can do forContinue reading “An Ode to Shostakovich”

#ThrowbackThursday: A Tribute to International Pepper Day

In which I reflect on a gathering in Central Park to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the release of Sgt. Pepper With the “Beatles 50” decade (that is, a series of Beatles-related 50th anniversaries) fast coming to a close, I sit listening to the special remaster of Abbey Road, which is everything I could wantContinue reading “#ThrowbackThursday: A Tribute to International Pepper Day”