Tag Archives: The Raveonettes

November 21 – Thanks (702)

[audio http://personal.stthomas.edu/drgjelten/shows/GRR702.mp3]

Within the circles of our lives
we dance the circles of the years,
the circles of the seasons
within the circles of the years,
the cycles of the moon
within the circles of the seasons,
the circles of our reasons
within the cycles of the moon.  

Again, again we come and go,
changed, changing. Hands
join, unjoin in love and fear,
grief and joy.  The circles turn,
each giving into each, into all.
Only music keeps us here,

 each by all the others held.
In the hold of hands and eyes
we turn in pairs, that joining
joining each to all again.  

And then we turn aside, alone,
out of the sunlight gone

into the darker circles of return.
Wendell Berry
      

Today, Great River Radio will offer a pre-Thanksgiving cornucopia of music, songs that will “keep us here, each by all the others held.”  I know this is a busy day for many, as we prepare for family get-togethers tomorrow, family reunions, repeating traditions that have gone on for years, all the cycles of our lives playing out again. Bobby Womack will kick off the show with today’s river song and then we’ll hear from Bat For Lashes, The Civil Wars, Sweden’s El Perro Del Mar and The Raveonettes.  We’ve got new local music from Haley Bonar and Ben Kyle, as well as from Joshua James and Los Angeles band Lavender Diamond.  We’ll wind up GRR with some music about giving thanks.

Tune in this afternoon, or later on the blog. Maybe as you are doing your cyber shopping this weekend – that might be a good time to listen!

Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Stream it live: http://www.stthomas.edu/ustclubs/kust/live/liveStream.html
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GreatRiverRadio
iChat/AIM: kustradio

Playlist
Deep River-Bobby Womack
Tracks in the Snow-The Civil Wars
Walk On By-El Perro Del Mar
All Your Gold-Bat For Lashes
A Perfect Place-The Raveonettes
Bad Reputation-Haley Bonar
The Turf-Ben Kyle
I’m Not Waiting Anymore-Field Report
Everybody’s Heart’s Breaking Now-Lavender Diamond
Ghost in the Town-Joshua James
Ghost (Live from Laurel Canyon)-Ingrid Michaelson
Help-Cloud Cult
We’re Alright Now-John Hiatt
Turn Me On-Meshell Ndegeocello
Long Way Home-Tom Waits
Thanks for the Joy-Ruthie Foster
Thankful N’ Thoughtful-Bettye LaVette
Thanksgiving-Mary Gauthier
What a Wonderful World-Stacey Kent
Amazing Grace-Shelby Lynne

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April 20 – The Beauty of Imperfection

Why are we drawn to music? It’s a perplexing question, and one we’ve addressed on a personal level on Great River Radio. Is it simply a matter of taste? Or is it a desire to hear or witness perfection? After all, the general public seems to be in awe of the artist who can deliver a “clean” performance. It’s how we judge our athletes, mathaletes, celebrities and even parenting skills. Flawless = success. But there is new evidence that suggests that although we may be impressed with perfection, our emotional connection to a song arrangement may have more to do with the imperfections – or the unexpected – than a perfect rendition of that song. Dr. Daniel J. Levitin has been studying this phenomenon at McGill University in Montreal with the assistance of many of Great River Radio’s favorite recording artists. And the findings are fascinating.

In an interview, the singer Rosanne Cash said the experiments showed that beautiful compositions and technically skilled performers could do only so much. Emotion in music depends on human shading and imperfections, “bending notes in a certain way,” Ms. Cash said, “holding a note a little longer.”

She said she learned from her father, Johnny Cash, “that your style is a function of your limitations, more so than a function of your skills.”

“You’ve heard plenty of great, great singers that leave you cold,” she said. “They can do gymnastics, amazing things. If you have limitations as a singer, maybe you’re forced to find nuance in a way you don’t have to if you have a four-octave range.”

Before you dismiss Levitin as just another academic trying to force all of his “bias and complicated science stuff” on a favorite subject we’d prefer to just experience without thinking about too it too much, you might be interested to know that he once worked as a producer and engineer for rock legends Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Blue Oyster Cult, the Grateful Dead and many others. Not impressed? Well, he’s also played sax with Sting (one of Dan’s favorite artists) and Mel Torme (one of Brian’s), and some guitar with David Byrne. In other words, he comes at this from a performer’s perspective as well as a scientist.

Levitin may just be discovering what many of our most successful artists have always intuitively known: it is the elements of unique character and unexpected notes and rhythms that we often connect with.

Geoff Emerick, a recording engineer for the Beatles, said: “Often when we were recording some of those Beatles rhythm tracks, there might be an error incorporated, and you would say, ‘That error sounds rather good,’ and we would actually elaborate on that.

“When everything is perfectly in time, the ear or mind tends to ignore it, much like a clock ticking in your bedroom — after a while you don’t hear it.”

Perhaps, this is a lesson for all of us? We tend to get caught up in the rhythm of life, humming along in a ceaseless succession of regular tasks, duties and activities. It is only when that beat becomes altered that we pay attention to the music around us.

Take a little time today to embrace the imperfections in our lives – the unexpected moments that give meaning to our day. And tune in to Great River Radio to discover some of those voices who continue to surprise us in unexpected ways.

You can read the full article Levitin’s research in The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/19/science/19brain.html

In a new Great River Radio programming twist, Dan and Brian were engaged in a music-library showdown this week. Brian challenged Dan to come up with favorite five songs from 1966 (the year Brian was born). Dan accepted and volleyed his own challenge, asking Brian to come up with five songs inspired by works of art or artists. You’re going to love the music we’ve come up with for these setlists.

And as always, we have a plethora of great new music. You’ll hear from Haley Bonar’s new LP, “Golder.” We’ll check in again with Lucinda Williams and play new tunes from Marissa Nadler, The Mountain Goats, The Belle Brigade and The Raveonettes.

Join us live this afternoon from 4:15-5:45 (CST) for a great new session of Great River Radio.

Peace,

Brian & Dan

Details:
Great River Radio – Wednesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m.
Catch the live stream
Web/Listen Later
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iChat/AIM: kustradio

Playlist
Black River (Live)-Amos Lee
Where Not To Look For Freedom-The Belle Brigade
Running With The Wolves-Cloud Cult
Kid October-Haley Bonar
I’ll Tag Along-Richard Thompson
War In Heaven-The Raveonettes
Baby, I Will Leave You In The Morning-Marissa Nadler
Fade Into You-Mazzy Star
The Age Of Kings-The Mountain Goats
96 Tears-? and the Mysterians
19th Nervous Breakdown-The Rolling Stones
Eight Miles High-The Byrds
God Only Knows-The Beach Boys
Two Trains Running-Paul Butterfield Blues Band
The Art Teacher-Rufus Wainwright
Painted From Memory-Elvis Costello
In The Gallery-Dire Straits
Art School-The Jam
Painting By Chagall-The Weepies

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