Tag Archives: song leading

Monday Mixtape: Front Row Seats Everytime

What I love about live recordings is how intimate they are. Here you get the wonderful opportunity to experience a band or artist’s music in a live setting that can be reproduced anytime you want. It’s like being in front row center every evening without the expensive cover fees, and if it’s a live recording of a high-profile act like the Stones or the Boss you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.

The best live albums, like the best live shows, are the ones that extend a band’s talent in the way they experiment with the delivery of their repertoire and in the way they interact with their audience on both a visual and sonic level. There’s a reason lots of spectacularly popular pop artists seldom put out a live album: heavy on the visual spectacle, light on sonic depth.

These, therefore, are decidedly not of that vein of performance. They’re as good on the ears as no doubt they are in person.

1. John Mayer – Gravity
Where The Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles – Columbia, 2008

If this one sounds familiar, then yes, you got me. I used it on a list from last week. Okay, so no points for originality on my part, but this song deserves to be on a list such as this. The proof is most undeniably in those guitar solos in the way they build and swell with each passing moment, made brighter and carried higher by a fantastic arrangement of backing brass and vocals. Please. Put this one on and forget all else for awhile. Your moment of zen awaits.

2. Theresa Andersson – Oh Mary
Live at Le Petit (DVD) – Basin Street Records, 2010

For every rule there’s always an outlier, in this case it’s a clip that makes the case for the “seeing is believing” crowd. Whatever the case, Andersson’s bluesy cover of the traditional folk song is awesome. Multi-instrumentalist, lover of loops, and fancy footwork to boot. Continue reading Monday Mixtape: Front Row Seats Everytime

eyes on the prize. photo c/o M. Vinokur

Throwback Thursday: Keeping Both Eyes Open

I had just started playing guitar earlier that year, and now here I was learning how to take what little I had internalized and share it with the adoring public as a graduate of our camp song leader program. In this case, “what little I had internalized” was only a “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” “Hotel California,” a few assorted Adam Sandler tunes, and a handful of simple Jewish folk tunes, and my “adoring public” was a camp of 300 of my peers.

Nothing major.

In spite of these uncomplimentary elements, I was confident. I wasn’t altogether out of my depth either, having always taken delight in– and never missing an opportunity for– performing in front of people. Only now I was developing skills that those people might willingly like to be subjected to. Not to mention I only had to learn to present one measly song by the end of camp.

It was still a new skill, however, and “raw talent” alone was not going to get the job done. I needed some practice. Lucky for me, camp was full of opportunities for practice time. Continue reading Throwback Thursday: Keeping Both Eyes Open