On September 18th, virtuosic bass player Victor Wooten premiered his unprecedented electric bass concerto entitled “The Bass Whisperer: Concerto for Electric Bass and Orchestra” with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. The concert attracted an interesting conglomeration of regular symphony-goers as well as jazz and R&B fans, which for someone like Victor Wooten, who has preached how music is the perfect medium for peace, love, and even diplomacy, must have been the ideal sight to see. However, for us concert attendees watching someone who many believe is the best bassist of our generation, maybe of all time, perform with such soul and passion, that was the ideal sight to see. In the spirit of Wooten’s complete disregard of “genre” for the sake of musical exploration, it is only appropriate to try to learn from him and maybe delve into the orchestral world ourselves for a little bit.
Hey, we’re back. That’s right, the writers here on wrvu.org are ready for another semester to report/analyze/fangirl/discuss musical topics that we find interesting. However, over the summer there was a full three months of activity that we left untouched. For this reason, I have outlined some of the interesting headlines and releases of the summer.
Rites of Spring was in many ways a kick-off for the summer season of music festivals. For many students, the time to go to music festivals in a hot, showerless, frenzy of music, beach balls, and girls on the shoulders of some poor soul won’t begin until a few weeks when we are done with the stresses of finals and school work. To get ready for this wonderful time of year, I have compiled a list of 10 songs that really get us into the mood for these festivals. These songs are not necessarily the most intricate or creative songs that these artists have made, but I think they really capture the carefree, no-consequences kind of attitude most people are looking for during the middle of a summer festival.
On this day in 1979, one of America’s most beloved singer-songwriters was born. Through her down-to-earth voice and introspective lyricism, Norah Jones has been a powerhouse in the music industry since her multi-platinum debut album, Come Away With Me, was released in 2002. Her nine Grammys demonstrate how Norah Jones has been able to create a name for herself. However, this name is not the one she was born with. Her birth name is reflective of a very musical genealogy, but probably not from a source that would be your first guess. Or your second.
Doing a cover of song can be risky business. There is the constant threat for comparison, and if the cover does not live up to a certain standard in comparison to the original, most people do not even give it a second thought. With that being said, here are some covers/remixes/arrangements that I find do a great job of updating an old idea into a new product. These new renditions are not necessarily better than the original, but they do seamlessly incorporate another person’s work into the new artist’s own style to make an interpretation of the song that is worth our attention.
Earlier this week, Nashville was lucky enough to host one of the most innovative and creative bands in the business right now. Combining elements of jazz, electronica, rock, and everything in between, Snarky Puppy attracted probably one of the most demographically diverse crowds I have ever seen at a concert. It was amazing to see this band have such a crowd equally invested into their music, and taking a closer look at their work will show you how this was possible.
What comes to mind when you think of music from Louisiana? For most, probably not a whole lot. You may be aware of New Orleans as the birthplace of jazz, or the Southern Louisiana favorites of zydeco and Cajun music if you are especially shrewd. Although it is true that these genres have a huge impact on the musical culture of Louisiana, there are a surprising number of artists that do not adhere to these more “typical” Louisiana genres and can hold their own against bands and artists across the nation. I find out more and more about the rich and diverse music scene in my own backyard all the time, and just recently I was informed by a Louisiana musician and friend that many of the members of Neutral Milk Hotel, who just recently sold out the Ryman, are in fact from the quaint town of Ruston, LA. Just to give you all a little taste of what I am talking about, I have compiled a list of five artists/bands that I think give insight into a different spice that Louisiana offers.
It was just last week. I was in my room, minding my own business, trying to just become a better person by reading the news and being informed about the world around me. Instead, I had stories of Justin Bieber’s drunken escapades being forced down my throat. I understand some people love him, and some people love to hate him (and many turn around and listen to music that sounds just like his, but that discussion is for another day), but I try to just stay away from any dialogue concerning him.”Then why did you write a post about him?” is what you shrewd readers may ask, and to you all, I say “I can’t hear you, you are talking to a computer.” But seriously, I was able to take something positive from this recent flare of Bieber-mania, and you all may find a similar sort of consolation as well.