Here's another tune from a musical genius. Whatcha listenin' to tonight?
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- Aretha Franklin
- Big Brother
- CLLN Music Club
- E Street Band
- Eric Clapton
- Guest blog
- Martin Luther King
- NY Times
- Paul Simon
- Ronald Reagan
- Toots Thielemans
- hall of fame
- music club
- simon and garfunkel
Artist: Stevie Wonder
It's Day Two of the LNMC Positive Vibes Campaign: The Love Line is open!
I'll get it rolling by sending this one out to her parents' Tadpole, who gives me the warm fuzzies every time I think of her. xoxoxo
Shout outs to your baby below!
ps. Don't forget our sister site Newstalgia has its Backstage Weekend Concert up, too: Big Country - Live At Hammersmith Palais - 1983
As John Amato will tell you, when I'm not trying to figure out wingnuts and writing about Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, I'm prowling YouTube for jazz videos to send my soul into the stratosphere. I've been promising John a Music Club post for forever, but I've been procastinating—I had an idea to write some intricate essay laying bare the true spirit of jazz improvisation, etc., etc.; but we writers always think the words can do it better than the music. Stevie Wonder and Toots Theilmans prove us wrong.
The way I personally listen to jazz is, like jazz itself, improvisational. I never buy CDs or downloads from the iTunes store. I just spend hours leading my ears on wonderful YouTube adventures, letting the recommendations lead where they will. It's a great way to discover whole new genres, and it's fun to be evangelical about what you find: when I uncover something exciting and new to me, I tweet it. I hope my jazz leanings don't come as a surprise to the hundreds of folks who follow me on Twitter to learn what I'm thinking about wingnuts and Richard Nixon. (That stuff I update on Facebook: feel free to join my group as a friend—I'd love to have you.)
Happy Birthday from Hotter than July
The song, one of many of Wonder's songs to feature the use of a keyboard synthesizer, features Wonder lamenting the fact that anyone would oppose the idea of a Dr. King holiday, where "peace is celebrated throughout the world" and singing to King in the chorus, "Happy birthday to you". The holiday, he proposes, would facilitate the realization of Dr. King's dreams of integration and "love and unity for all of God's children".
Wonder used the song to popularize the campaign, and continued his fight for the holiday, holding the Rally for Peace Press Conference in 1981. United States President Ronald Reagan approved the creation of the holiday, signing it into existence on November 2, 1983. The first official Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, held the third Monday in January of each year, was held on January 20, 1986, and was commemorated with a large-scale concert, where Stevie Wonder was the headlining performer.
Lookout, NYC midtown traffic:
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, U2, Paul Simon, Metallica, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Friends and Simon and Garfunkel are among the legendary artists confirmed for a landmark two-night concert event celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Sprawling across October 29th and 30th at New York’s Madison Square Garden, the shows will feature Hall of Fame acts sharing the stage with guests and collaborators, honoring their influences and essentially retracing the history of rock in the process. For example, Crosby, Stills and Nash will share the stage with California-based artists while Metallica will lead a hard rock portion of the concerts. Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin will also each front a soul revue with Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra.
They're going to cram all these artists who could sell out Madison Square Garden in their own right into a 2 night event? Looking forward to the live stream. We'll keep you posted as acts get added.
Artist: Stevie Wonder
Got a favorite Stevie Wonder song?
It's Saturday! Of the two songs that reference the sun on Stevie Wonder's 1972 album Talking Book, this one is my favorite. What's your favorite Stevie Wonder Song?
One of my old pals, Dan Levitin, teaches at McGill in Montreal. He recently wrote a bestseller, This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, and yesterday it was released in paperback and re-entered the NY Times best seller list at #15.
Tonight I asked him to guest blog his favorite song here at C&L; he chose "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder.
One element that gives "Superstition" its great groove is Stevie Wonder's drumming. In the opening few seconds of "Superstition," when Stevie's high-hat cymbal is playing alone, you can hear part of the secret to the song's groove. The beat Stevie plays on the high-hat is never exactly the same way twice; he throws in little extra taps, hits, and rests. Moreover, every note that he plays on the cymbal has a slightly different volume-- nuances in his performance that add to the sense of tension. The genius of his playing is that he keeps us on our mental toes by changing aspects of the pattern every time he plays it, holding just enough of it the same to keep us grounded and oriented. Here, he plays the same rhythm at the beginning of each line, but changes the rhythm in the second part of the line, in a "call-and-response" pattern. Our brains are giant prediction machines and music offers them a great playground. We like it when musicians sometimes violate our expectations in interesting ways because the brain then learns that there exists a different way to complete the pattern than it thought. And our brains have evolved to like learning.
(Blogged by Steve Audio)
Today is a sad anniversary for music lovers. 17 short years ago, we lost Stevie Ray Vaughan: In July, 1986, I was working for Stevie Wonder, designing and wiring a custom audio remote truck at his L.A. studio, Wonderland, when word came from the front desk that Stevie Ray Vaughan wanted to come by and see the place. Wonderland is private, but friends and selected others can work there....read on