"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture; it's a really stupid thing to want to do."|
-- Elvis Costello, in an interview by Timothy White entitled "A Man
out of Time Beats the Clock." Musician magazine No. 60 (October 1983), p. 52.
That being said, I'm simply going to list the websites of my favorite musical artists and styles, in alphabetical order.
I have a remarkably wide taste in music. I will listen to anything once.
Ace of Base
The Beach Boys
The Robert Cray Band
Creedence Clearwater Revival
The Doobie Brothers
Earth, Wind & Fire
Electric Light Orchestra
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Ben Folds Five
Hall & Oates
Alison Krauss and Union Station
Huey Lewis and the News
Pat Metheny Group
The Moody Blues
The Alan Parsons Project
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Rolling Stones
Seals and Crofts
Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Simon & Garfunkel
Michael W. Smith
Tears for Fears
They Might Be Giants
George Thorogood & The Destroyers
Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble
Weird Al Yankovic
All these artists have something in common: they use instruments. Other groups don't; all they have is the power and potential of their voices. That's a cappella
music, and I first got hooked in 1999 at a college a cappella concert. These are my favorite college groups, in alphabetical order:
The All-Nighters, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland
The Amalgamates, from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts
The Beelzebubs, from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts
The Binghamton Crosbys, from Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York
The Brown Derbies, from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island
The Buffalo Chips, from The University at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York
The Earth Tones, from The University at Albany in Albany, New York
The Georgetown Phantoms, from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
Off The Beat, from The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Six-5000, from The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phalanx, from Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
The Rusty Pipes, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York
The Troubadours, from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
The Vocal Chords, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland
The Xtension Chords, from The University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign, Illinois
Much of the best of college a cappella has been compiled into annual CDs titled "BOCA: Best Of College A-cappella." I own about six or seven of these CDs.
There are, of course, professional a cappella groups that I like as well (also in alphabetical order): The Bobs, Rockapella, Toxic Audio, and Vocal Tonic.
My personal music library, which I used to call The Favorites when it was all on audiotape, has grown considerably through the years.
I'm somewhat of a drummer, albeit one in need of re-training. I do some air-drumming (substitutng two pencils for the sticks I can't seem to find) to songs I know and
love, especially when I need to stay awake or re-energize. I had a stretch of over twelve years between opportunities to sit behind a drum set... from June 1992 to
February 2005. A weekend late in that month saw the annual Regional Gathering for New
Hampshire/Maine MENSA in Manchester, and the weekend event featured a dedicated music room. People were encouraged to bring instruments, and some professional
musicians brought their own instruments and gave all kinds of learning sessions. Karaoke, jam sessions, et cetera. I got a chance to sit behind their drum kit no less
than four times, and within five minutes I was jammin' with the best of 'em. I took part in three jam sessions (my first three!), playing songs from Eric
Clapton, Simon & Garfunkel, The Everly Brothers, and some other songs that I did not even recognize! (In that case, I had to fake it the best way I knew how... and I didn't
do too badly!) What a tremendous amount of fun... and it's always nice to know that I haven't lost too much of my drumming skills! Yeah, it's like riding a bike... except
the pedals are for different purposes.