Sunday, January 11, 2004

Listening Ears Heard any interesting music lately? My friend Peter loaned me Beatles Anthology 1, and I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. Hearing the various alternate takes and reading the notes on the band's development is so, so fascinating. Volume 1 takes the listener through to late Fall 1964. What's amazing to me is that these guys were so young -- all early twenties. Also incredible is that they convinced George Martin to record them singing their originals. We forget that no band -- none -- was doing that in pop music in 1963. Looking back it's clear that Martin's choice for release, Mitch Murray's "How Do You Do It" was so clearly inferior to "Please Please Me." At the end of the Christmas season, a few listens of Anonymous 4's cd of music for St Nicholas. (Okay, I'm a month late ...) I also pulled out Sixpence None the Richer's Divine Discontent, a truly sublime cd which my wife said was clearly Beatles influenced. Then as I was channel surfing through one of those interminable commerical breaks during the game today, I caught the last few minutes of a video for John Lennon's "Just Like Starting Over." Next thing you know, I'll be hearing Beatles in all the church music. I suppose I could hear much worse. It brings me to the good feelings I have looking back at helping an Iowa friend with a recording many years ago. I enjoyed greatly working on songs, playing piano on what began as Christian folk songs and taking them places unsuspected. The experience of recording in a studio was one of the coolest things I've ever done, and I don't mean just the hearing of all the parts put together: the rehearsals, the polishing of songs, reworking lyrics, adding new music, hearing the session players play sax, trumpet, or cello. I miss that experience. Anyhow, any good music in your life these days?

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