Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

following up

Mariah Carey & the apotheosis of melisma: a music critic I respect very much sent me a link to an article he wrote a few years back which posited a much simpler explanation for why my musician friend may find the melisma in contemporary R&B too aggressive: as Emperor Joseph said in that lurid, wonderful Mozart movie, "too many notes." Especially as compared with the soul singers of the '50s and '60s. Mariah does sing more notes than Aretha (I picked up an MTV Unplugged Mariah EP for a buck the other day), but I haven't listened enough to tell whether she sings more than Sister Rosetta Tharpe, whom I revere. So, "too many notes" seems plausible, but so far I'm thinking it's just too many enough for me -- I like it!

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The 3-year-old’s hysterical bedtime fear: turns out he had a fever that night. My beloved spouse figured it out. He's feeling better today, 2 days later.

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Mentioned the other night having gone to hear a folk concert. The first act consisted of a duo that between them played guitar, ukulele, guitarron, harmonica, and trombone; they played '20s-style pop and blues. I liked them a lot, and the 3-year-old and I danced with other kids and parents off to the side on a gym mat. The second act had a guitar-banjo-mandolin line-up, more trad folky, not as musically accomplished but energetic and very funny. They invited the first band to join them for the last song, and Thaddeus played a rambunctious, idiomatic, and wonderful '20s-New-Orleans-style trombone solo on the Woody Guthrie song with the rousing chorus, “you can’t scare me I’m sticking to the union,” showing the unity of folk, bluegrass, and '20s jazz. It rocked!

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