Dem Convention Music, Day 4: We’ll Do It Live! (Mostly)

Was it a political rally or a rock concert? Last night’s Convention Grande Finale featured about as much live-on-stage performance as the previous 3 nights combined. The always hard-working house band got a few more breaks than usual as several recorded songs were used. While it was a mixed bag again, I believe that the percentage of songs-not-yet-old-enough-to-vote was higher than on any of the previous nights.

Funk/soul/R&B continued its strong presence on the song list, which I think is pretty cool, given that the Democratic party just nominated its first African American presidential candidate. I tuned in just before Howard Dean’s speech, and therefore just in time to hear his outro(s), featuring three grandes dames of their genre(s):

Aretha Franklin: “Think”

Diana Ross: “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”

India.Arie: “There’s Hope”
I would’ve been happy to hear the rest of this song, but there was a schedule to stick to, I guess, and it was cut off prior to the entrance of Georgia Congressman John Lewis.

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Miss Music Nerd’s Myriad Moment

I just noticed that I’ve passed 10,000 hits! That’s a myriad to you classical Greek scholars!

Thank you all for reading, and I hope you’ll keep coming back… and tell a friend! πŸ˜€

Dem Convention Music, Day 3: Hits and Misses

I suppose anything that had to follow the excitement of the first nomination of an African American for president by a major political party (What, you mean you didn’t tune in for the state-by-state roll call voting that transmogrified into a genius bit of political theater, and I mean that in a good way — ?) was bound to be a bit of a letdown, but the song selection last night was pretty haphazard and uninspiring for the most part — though I can’t fault the band’s performances. For the first two nights, I’d been staunchly defending the distinct tilt towards “oldies” to those who complained, but I’m ready for some songs from this century now. I’m not real optimistic that we’ll see much of a change tonight, but I’ll document as much as I can, anyway. What can I say? I’m a glutton for musical punishment. πŸ˜‰

Having said that, I was perfectly happy that the band broke into The O’Jays’ “Love Train” as soon as the nomination was official.

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Dem Convention Music, Day 2: Tuesday Night Grab-Bag

The music for Tuesday night was kind of a grab-bag — a bit of a let down from Monday night’s funk-fest, if you ask me. There were many fills that I didn’t recognize, and most of the ones I did know didn’t really seem thematically related to the speaker they introduced (or to the one who was exiting… unless I’m totally unclear on the concept. Which is quite possible!) Some seemed vaguely familiar, but they didn’t last long enough for me to place. It also seemed to me that in many cases there was a melody or other identifying element left out — I kept thinking things like, “I know that bassline!” or, “that drumbeat sounds so familiar!”

It was basically like playing ‘Name That Tune’ in hell!

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Dem Convention Day 1: The Denver School of Funk!

You never know when an opportunity for music education will present itself. This is both delightful and vexing to yours truly, because it means that 1) there’s never a shortage of grist for the music-nerdy mill, but 2) there’s so much to know, I’m afraid that any day now, the hard drive in my brain will run out of memory!

When I sat down to watch coverage of the Democratic Convention last night, I didn’t anticipate that certain gaps in my musical knowledge would at last be filled. But I recognized a distinct pattern in the musical selections right away, and luckily I had my notebook and my laptop at the ready so I could take full advantage of the situation.

I started watching early, when the lesser-known speakers were up, and it was kind of sad to watch the audience members milling about and talking and not paying attention to the poor souls orating their hearts out on the podium. I thought of switching off the TV and coming back later when it was time for the headliners to appear, but then I noticed that between each speaker there was a musical fill, and that piqued my interest.

By the way, I was watching on C-SPAN, which is the way to go if you’re interested in hearing the musical breaks instead of the bloviations of cable news commentators. The choice is clear, if you ask me!

The first music I heard was very synthesized and cheesy (yeah, I know — hello, pot, this is kettle!), and my first thought was, “who is responsible for that heinous canned tripe?” It was cut short by the introduction of another speaker, and I have no idea what song it was. But I had to keep watching because I wanted to know what further musical travesties were about to be committed by someone behind a curtain armed with “play” and “pause” buttons. My hackles were officially up. πŸ˜›

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Remembrances

Greetings, fellow Music Nerds!

Please forgive me for my prolonged absence. This summer has really flown by, and it was mainly taken up with the huge task of relocating McVirgo Manor. (I think it’s time for McDoc and I both to admit that we need to start attending some meetings. πŸ˜› )

I decided to finally come back out of the woodwork today because it’s a significant day for me — my Mom passed away 8 years ago today, on August 23, 2000. So I would like to re-post two musical tributes that I created for her last year at this time.

I also want to dedicate these two pieces to a sweet young woman who became a member of my family during the past year, when she and McDoc’s son were married. She had faced health issues since infancy, and she passed away a week ago tomorrow.

So here are two songs for VirgoMom and for Margo.

My performance of Wings of Speed, by Paul Weller:

And Seven Years Ago Today for string quartet, from the 30 Days Project:

VirgoMom, age 25:
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Dan & Margo:

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Peace and love to all.
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