Let’s see how your mind works

In this interview, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, recounted what attributes are common among musicians. One that resonated was the idea of musicians having especially patterned minds. The term refers to the ability to remember and think in patterns. In music this comes in especially handy in remembering chord progressions, lyrics etc. For an average person, we might be able to recite the words to a song we know only if we begin at a familiar place, like the beginning or at the chorus.…


You’ve got some nerve

Several years ago, I pinched a nerve in my neck. Unbeknown to be, this was cutting off signals that extended down through my left arm. When I finally went to see my doctor, we discovered that I had lost 50% of muscle strength in my left triceps.
 
My muscle had atrophied and there was some question as to whether that strength would ever be recovered.…


Help!

John Lennon once referred to Help! as one of only two true songs he ever wrote with the Beatles (the other being Strawberry Fields). In contrast, so many of his other songs felt “phony” to him.
 
Both the lyrics and the backstory behind this Beatles’ hit contain many truths about the nature of help, and how hard it is to both give it and ask for it.


A Great Vacation Idea

Leading up to the July 4th holiday, several friends told me they were traveling into America’s heartland for the week. There they would undoubtedly encounter people whose political beliefs were the polar opposite of their own. My own family vacation to Lake Erie meant that I would share both their predicament and trepidation. 
 
Yet there is something uniquely apolitical about how Americans celebrate July 4th. …


What About Us?

This is a question voiced by all who feel forgotten, neglected or marginalized.

It is also the title of the powerful song just released by Pink off her forthcoming album, Beautiful Trauma.
 
It is no surprise that the lyrics are already being seen as an anthem for any number of disenfranchised groups.


It is the universality of a plea to those in power that so easily resonates. …


Why Less Time Makes For Better Living

Time is the most commonly used noun in the English language.

In our daily lives we try to manage our time or hope to use our time wisely. We grow frustrated with ourselves when we waste time and try to fill time when we have nothing planned or to do.

When experiencing a wonderful moment, we wish we could make time stand still and for a brief period we can.…


What Is The Soundtrack Of Your Life?

Music is seminal to our lives. From our first lullaby to our wedding dance to whatever dirge they may play at our funeral, songs mark both our most important moments and hum in the background of our daily lives.
 
(As I write this now, music ripples through my ear buds playing Springsteen’s Streets of Philadelphia – which perhaps subconsciously led to the inclusion of the funeral reference above).

I’m Not Throwing Away My Shot

For the last few years, I’ve resisted the hype over the Broadway show, Hamilton.  After all how can one play be that good, that transformational?

While I still haven’t seen it, Santa Claus did place, the cast recording in my daughter’s stocking.  And from the music alone, I can say definitively that I was wrong.

It is a masterpiece on many levels – a historical primer on our nation’s founding and a paragon for using music and art to entertain and educate.