Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Weekly Discoveries: Iranian Tunes, Music Powered by Home Depot and a Close-to-Home Fishing Challenge

I find myself returning again,and again to Radio station KEXP's channel to find all sorts of interesting music. Two discoveries last week were performances by Rahim AlHaj and Vieux Farka Touré. Both full concerts offer interesting tunes and a bit of chatter to expand your musical mind. Rahim AlHaj's work is especially moving.

Unstrung13's introducing: the 2x4 lap steel diddley plank! may seem like little more than a walk-through of a homemade musical instrument. But stick with it, at 2 minutes in, you'll get one of the best performances of Bush's Comedown I've ever seen or heard. Especially, when you consider he's basically playing a Home Depot built instrument. Very cool.

On the other end of the spectrum, it's hard to imagine that smooshing 17 musicians, many playing unique instruments into a cubical would make for a pleasant musical experience. But as NPR's Tiny Desk Concert staring Mother Falcon shows, this can totally work. Man there's a lot going on there in a small space.

Georgia by Vance Joy sure packs a lot into one video. But what's it mean? I've got no idea. But I thought this YouTube comment was on to something:

It took me a minute to understand, but I think the video is showing the disconnect between today's young people and previous generations. For most of us in the 'developed' world, war is a distant concept, and something we don't encounter first-hand. The older men on the production team in the video are crying while filming because they had been in war, and war to them is a very real experience. While the young people on the production team are rolling their eyes, or apathetic, and acting like "why are these old guys freaking out? It's just a movie." But for these older men, the scene is more than a movie, it is like reliving a part of their past, and the memories of losing their friends/fellow soldiers. Truly an amazing video to a beautiful song.

I think this similar theme holds for the gay relationship in the video. For the younger generation, it may seem passé, while the older generation may see this sharing love so openly as revolutionary and touching concept.

All I know is, I love Joy's work and find myself cranking his music when I need something familiar and fun.

On the non-musical side, 1Rod1ReelFishing's SURVIVAL FISHING CHALLENGE!!! (NO Lures & NO Bait) is now one of my favorite fishing videos of all time. 1Rod1Reel often pulls amazing fish out of the Tidal Basin, just a few miles from my house and in the middle of DC Monuments. (Side note: when J. was visiting us last week, I took him down to the Tidal Basin to do some fishing. We didn't catch anything, but were easily able to transition to snapping photos of the nearby monuments. Good times!). But this time, he tackled a different challenge: he walked into the woods with nothing more than a rod, reel and a hook and caught himself some fish.

You could quibble if this was a true 'survival' fishing challenge, he did have a rod and reel after all. But that hardly detracts from the video. He shows fishing at it's simplest: find some bait, put it on a hook, and catch fish. He makes it looks so easy and reminds us non-fishermen that this is a skill and knowledge game, not a race to own the most tackle. On top of all that, I've been to the location he was fishing, it's Patapsco State Park and it's located a stone's throw from DC. Next time my Dad's in town and he wants to do some stream fishing, I'll know where to suggest we go.

View all the videos Here:

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