Tag Archives: music


18 Feb

Come for the tune, stay for the ruin porn.

Learn Guitar with David Brent

30 Aug

The British version of the Office only went on for two seasons, plus a special. The American version just ended after nine seasons, long enough to jump the shark. (Tim and Dawn didn’t get together until the very end of the Christmas special – Jim and Pam got married in season 6. David Brent had left Wernham Hogg by time of the special, but he was a part of the show – Michael Scott disappeared after season 7).

But now that both are done, Ricky Gervais, who played Brent and co-created the series, has revived the Brent character through a series of YouTube videos called “Learn Guitar with David Brent“. You don’t really learn how to play guitar, but Brent’s awkward and clueless arrogance comes out loud and clear. 

Here’s an appropriate one for today – language NSFW. I find ’em. I find ’em. 

Four Chords

5 Jun

Thanks to my former WNYMedia.net colleague Chris Charvella for posting this on Facebook, this Australian trio makes the case that all it takes to make a pop hit is four chords. 

I Hear You're Mad About Brubeck

6 Dec

I first became aware of Dave Brubeck through a lyric in this Donald Fagen song, which was in reasonably heavy MTV rotation in the early 80s. Travel back to a somewhat cooler time. Brubeck died on Wednesday just one day shy of his 92nd birthday. 

I Hear You’re Mad About Brubeck

6 Dec

I first became aware of Dave Brubeck through a lyric in this Donald Fagen song, which was in reasonably heavy MTV rotation in the early 80s. Travel back to a somewhat cooler time. Brubeck died on Wednesday just one day shy of his 92nd birthday. 

Food for Thought

19 Apr

Two additional items I came across this morning: 

1. Rod Watson’s column in the Buffalo News is fantastic. It succinctly breaks down our civic outrage, and how we prioritize nonsense and largely ignore really important stuff. 

2. This story from the BBC details how Jewish composers imprisoned in the Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War II wrote music in cabaret style – music that has been largely forgotten, until now. A show in Tel Aviv features that music, which was recovered almost archeologically through interviews and demonstrations the organizers conducted with about 20 survivors from that camp. The survivors say that the finished product faithfully recreates what the music sounded like at the time. It’s a testament to the human spirit even at its most hopeless. 

Friday Videos

10 Feb

Here are some videos I favorited recently on YouTube.  

Last week, I had this song in my head for no reason whatsoever. I thought this rendition from 1994 – just a year before Jerry Garcia’s death – was particularly good. 


Check out this French guy “EKLIPS” beat boxing:

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a pilot. Watch this incredible compilation video done by a pilot for a Brazilian airline. I love how the newer Airbus aircraft have a joystick controller, and the panoramas of Rio de Janeiro are breathtaking.

This man witnessed the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and went on a game show in 1956 to talk about it. This is the sort of real-life time travel described in this article.

I’m not a huge fan of Bob Dylan as a performer, but he is a great songwriter. Here’s another video from the Dead performing “When I Paint My Masterpiece”. It’s a favorite of mine.


3 Nov

Courtesy my old college friend Rob, “Immigraniada”, which touches on a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. Immigrants come to this country to start a new life out of whole cloth, oftentimes with nothing. Ladies & gentlemen, Gogol Bordello:


Take Five Tuesday

8 Jun

With a tip of the hat to @notrappaport on Twitter.



The Promise

15 Nov

Tomorrow, Bruce Springsteen will publish The Promise (The Lost Session: Darkness on The Edge Of Town).  For those of us who love Springsteen, this is one of the most long awaited days in recent memory.  The album consists of 21 never before released songs from the Darkness sessions, Bruce’s master work.


Joe Posnanski wrote a beautiful article today about the album…and specifically about what I think is Springsteen’s most personal and emotional song, “The Promise”:

Born to Run, the whole album, was about longing, open highway, the amusement park rising bold and stark, the poets who write nothing at all, the ghosts in the eyes of all the boys Mary sent away. Born to Run is about that brilliant age when you know dreams don’t come true, but you still believe they might come true FOR YOU.

And The Promise is about the every day numbing of those dreams. It is a follow-up to Thunder Road, that song about the guy who learned how to make his guitar talk, and the girl who ain’t a beauty (but hey, she’s all right), both of them, pulling out of that town full of losers, pulling out of there to win. Now, that guy’s got a job. It’s a night job. Some nights he don’t go. A friend told me, “You have to listen to this song. I can’t believe you haven’t heard this song.”


I’ll be honest, Bruce has provided the soundtrack of my life.  When I was growing up a young kid without a Dad, my brother (seven years my senior) was a passionate Springsteen fan.  Listening to Bruce was my way to connect, create shared experiences and to build a relationship as a brother and friend.  In fact, one of my most favorite memories as a child was seeing my first Springsteen concert with my big brother at the CNE in July of 1984.  Over the years, that concert has stretched into a four hour marathon of a show in my memory, but the three hours of music changed me (and my relationship with my brother) forever.  I specifically remember my brother leaning down and telling me as this song began that I would never hear anything as beautiful…


Bruce has always been the background music for the major events in my life and has always spoken to me in the right way at the right time.  It’s been a connection between my best friend and I for decades.  We might not always be in touch, but I know somewhere that he is listening to Bruce, just like I am.  The music served as a means for us to deal with grief and pain in his life when Bruce played in Buffalo last year.  After that show, I knew that he was gonna be alright, that the music and the moment helped.

I know I’m not the only one who has an emotional connection with this artist and I certainly know there are many out there who never “got it” with Bruce.  He wrote music about the everyday, the everyman, songs onto which we could project our own selves, our own trials and travails, our own struggles.  The music has always been a reflection of who we are, and for that, I’m thankful.