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Music - the funcrunch files — LiveJournal


May. 4th, 2008 11:57 am Music

While I've been slacking on making music on my own lately, I've been listening to more live and recorded music lately, which is something at least.

On Thursday I saw the Cypress String Quartet as part of the free Chancellor's Concert Series at UCSF. Wow, were they good. They performed a couple of pieces by a composer I'd never heard of before but very much liked, Erwin Schulhoff, and also a quartet by Mendelssohn, who shares my birthday. :-) I was so impressed I bought a CD they were selling right after, but it didn't include either of those works, so after listening to it that night I bought another CD of theirs from iTunes that did have Schulhoff. While I'm not normally that into string quartets - my parents were in one when I was young, and I didn't appreciate that music enough at the time - I found myself really enjoying listening to the differences between the sounds of instruments and the movement of melodies from one to another.

Friday night I went to the Red Devil Lounge to see a couple of bands featuring Blue Bear staff: The New Up and Crowsong. I'd seen both before at the Café du Nord showcase last month, but this time I wasn't taking pictures, so I could enjoy the music more fully. The opening band, Repeater, was pretty good although they did a rather short set. Crowsong was next and made an amazing amount of sound for only three instruments (guitar/bass/drums, though joined on one song by another guitarist). The New Up was energetic and fun to watch, though the strobe lights and fog machine were a bit too much for me and I eventually moved back from my spot right at the edge of the stage. I didn't stay for the last band, five a.m., as it was midnight and I had to get up early the next morning for the Paramount Theatre tour.

Saturday night I stayed home, processed photos, and listened to more music. While it might seem natural that I'd have music playing all the time when I'm at my desk, I cherish silence and often am content to hear nothing but the street noise outside my window for hours. I was in the mood for something else this night though, so I cranked up Classic Yes. Wow, I hadn't listened to that full album in a long time, and was amazed how much I liked it. Tremendous musicianship, and very similar to the kind of long song forms I fell in love with while listening to Genesis. And I am totally in awe of Chris Squire's bass-playing genius. When the album was over I immediately went to Last.FM and played nearly every full track they had available by that band. I can see that I will have to expand my progressive rock collection...

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