Support Local Music, Host a House Concert

This week I was asked to perform at a house concert!  I really think this kind of event is the perfect thing for musicians and music-lovers.

Here’s how it works…

  • A host graciously offers their home up as a concert venue for family and friends (sometimes the general public as well).
  • The host secures a performer for the night (usually payment is offered from collecting a modest admission fee from guests)
  • The host can provide drinks/food or declare a BYOB
  • There’s a concert space prepared, usually a living room or backyard, with seating and a stage/performance area
  • The performer shows up early to mingle and set up
  • The music commences, typically a performer will play about 2 hours of music, mostly originals for the audience.
  • After the performance everyone sticks around for some socializing.

The difference between a house concert and a house party with a band is profound. At a house party the focus is usually on the eating, drinking, dancing and merry-making. The band is there to provide the beat and the energy, but is effectively little more than an expensive jukebox. This is not to say that playing private parties isn’t fun…they are a BLAST! But the focus on good times and  groovy beats isn’t always conducive to a songwriter’s more personal work. Read More — Support Local Music, Host a House Concert

What a Ride…

So here it is…10-something PM on the last day of my twenties.

What did I do today? I got up, fed the dog, changed and fed the kid, kissed everyone goodbye as I went to work. While at work I fixed an electric piano and worked at some social media for my non-profit, fixed some IT problems and worked on laying out a book that my dad co-wrote for his consulting firm. I came home, watched some Sesame Street with my son, Finn, had dinner together, and spent a good 20 minutes rocking him to sleep and telling him about the stars. After that I got to come out and watch a little TV with my wife, Jenn and hold my other baby son, Dylan as I sipped a glass of nice, spiced whiskey.

It’s not exactly the life I thought I’d have 10 years ago, but it’s great. I’ve got nothing against turning 30, no reservations about entering middle age, and few regrets about how life has turned out so far. When I turned 20 I was in a very different place, mentally and geographically. Read More — What a Ride…

Musings on Music and Amusia

So I’m reading this book, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, and the chapter I’m on is about amusia. Amusia means “without music.” It’s like color blindness, but for sound. Now I’m sure your thoughts jumped right to that old lady in church who can’t sing in tune to save her life (yet she sings louder than everyone else and always seems to be seated next to you)…yeah, we all know that lady. But tone deafness doesn’t even begin to cover it. These people actually cannot distinguish melodies, pitches, timbres, tones or rhythms. If you played Ravel’s “Bolero”, Ray Charles’ “Shake Your Tail Feather”, Celine Dion’s “I Will Go On” and Marylin Manson’s “Beautiful People” they would not be able to tell them apart. It’s all just noise. Some with amusia describe music as nothing more than pots and pans clanging together with no discernible cohesion. Read More — Musings on Music and Amusia