Music

Joey Alexander

This is a spectacular studio performance of “Giant Steps” by Joey Alexander (piano), Larry Grenadier (bass), and Ulysses Owens Jr. (drums). I highly recommend zooming it out, and connecting your computer to a set of speakers that allow you to really hear these guys.

The amazing thing is, Joey Alexander is 12 years old. He plays so incredibly well, gets deeply into the zone, but also is totally with the other two musicians (who are outstanding) it’s mind-boggling.

The NPR piece on Joey is worth listening to, it provides some background on him: A (Very) Young Jazz Pianist Takes Giant Steps Towards Musical Mastery.

Wikipedia has a nice entry on him too: Joey Alexander.

Bathtime in Clerkenwell

This incredible piece was made in 2002 by Russian animator Alex Budovsky with electro swing music by The Real Tuesday Weld.

This animation is based on Stephen Coates composition under the same title. This film is about The Great Revolution of the British Cuckoos, who bravely took over London, forcing all the people to move inside the cuckoo clocks.

I was moving older content over from my old web site and found an earlier post I did on another amazing Bukovsky piece: Last Time in Clerkenwell which is also a masteriece.

Here’s Alex Budovsky’s YouTube Channel. I can’t get enough of Bukovsky’s work, his imagination is out of this world (literally).

OK Go – I Won’t Let You Down

The group OK Go has produced a great music video with the release of their song “I Won’t Let You Down.” There are so many great visual techniques used in it and it’s so beautifully choreographed, whether you like their music or music videos in general it’s well worth watching.

Zoom it out, turn it up if you can handle it.

OK Go on Wikipedia.

[via The Verge]

Elijah Aaron

Watch Elijah Aaron use a loop machine to quickly put together a cover of No Scrubs. He’s such a natural, both as a percussionist and as a musician it’s astonishing to watch.

Here he is doing a cover of Paul Simon’s Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes:

Here he is with fellow musician Noah doing some percussion improv live. Most excellent:

iuka session :: drum brothers from rachel joy baransi on Vimeo.

[via Devour]

Bill Lauf at Milton Hall

Bill Lauf at Milton Hall

Milton, Connecticut. Our good friend and neighbor Bill Lauf has a “day” job that pays the bill and keeps him on the road more than he’d like. He’s also a fine musician/songwriter and every fall for the past 37 years he’s been doing a concert at Milton Hall, a small gathering place in a small town near Litchfield, Connecticut.

My wife Anne was at the very first one in 1976. I didn’t start attending until I met her in 1989 but I’ve been going every year since and Bill has become a good friend of mine.

In the past I’ve been tasked with getting some decent shots of Bill playing for album covers and liner note photographs and I’ve brought bags of DSLR gear to this concert. This year I was free but brought the Ricoh GR (my only camera aside from my iPhone) to see what it might do in the tough lighting conditions of Milton Hall. I had to get close (no zoom, 28mm lens) but was able to get a few decent shots where the audio mic wasn’t covering his face. I love this camera, it’s a masterpiece of simple design and high usability, a nearly perfect balance of form and function.

There are many things that are great about Bill’s concerts: certainly his music is at the top of the list, it’s superb and he’s continued to grow as both a songwriter and musician over the many years I’ve known him. But, the cast of characters in the audience, some of them our neighbors, some of them familiar faces to us only from this yearly event, is fine as well, and as word spreads about Bill’s concerts more people come and he now has to book the hall for both Friday and Saturday nights. The other “character” that’s in the background but an important part of the mix is Milton Hall and the town of Milton. There’s a reason Bill chooses this venue year after year: the hall has a warmth (heated by a big old wood stove that we had fired up last night) both visually and acoustically that adds character to a folk concert like this and last night there was light snow and it was cold so the place to be was inside the hall, listening to Bill.

American Masters: Jimi Hendrix

The PBS show American Masters, ran a fantastic documentary the other day: Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin’. You can watch the entire thing online or on the PBS app on an iPad or any iOS device.

Even if you think you know all there is to know about the short but amazing life of this rock legend, this documentary will fill in many gaps not to mention, give you a taste of the evolution of his music.

I saw The Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Hollywood Bowl in 1968. In those days I saw a lot of bands perform live in both Los Angeles and up in San Francisco but I have to say, Jimi Hendrix was an original and whether you liked or like his music, there’s no denying he was a genius.