Category Archives: Music

Lucid Dream, Incredible Music

I just had the most incredible lucid dream. And this is an extremely rare occurrence for me, as most of my dreams are nightmares, and are almost never, ever lucid.

I was playing guitar in a band who asked me to join them for this battle of the bands on a Thursday night. The drummer called me the evening before and spoke like he knew me, but I had no recollection of the group or the event. Still, it seemed like a fun time so I went with it.

I showed up at the gig with my gear (a really nice Sunburst Les Paul – hey, it’s my dream; may as well go big) and performed seamlessly with this otherworldly, spacey-sounding rock group. Female singer; bassist playing an upright, sometimes with a bow; friendly drummer from the phone call; and another guitarist.

Above: me on a Les Paul, the only time in my life. Dream source material?

What was amazing about the music, and particularly the lucidity part, is that these complete songs formed in my head while I was dreaming, while the imaginary musicians and I were executing them perfectly. It was beautiful and uplifting. And I knew it was lucid, because I remember having the thought in the dream, “it would be neat if the bass did this now,” or, “what if the other guitar player did this now?” And then they did, and it worked every time. Even the riffs and lines I was improvising meshed into place perfectly, in rhythm and melody. I would really like to hear this music again!

The closest thing I can think of right now to that music: Sigur Rós, “Dauðalogn”

The evening ended with me going to bed, ready to drift away under a thick layer of blankets. Except that a yellow jacket and a yellow dragonfly were buzzing above my head as I was trying to get to sleep. The yellow jacket got too close to my face, so I threw the covers off and shot straight up in bed.

Not only did that happen in the dream, but it happened as I did the same move consciously upon awakening at that exact second. Then I descended into awareness through that next 60 seconds or so which follows any realistically intense stupor, where you wonder, “Did that really happen? No? It was a dream? Wow.”

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Photo: The British Library via Flickr.

What do you think? Ever experienced a lucid dream? Do you hear music in your dreams? What do you think it means? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Living Colour – Middle Man

Call me old or whatever, but this video from one of my favorite bands, Living Colour, still rocks. And these guys are touring with Aerosmith right now, so hey.

 

Music of 1984

princeI’ve often thought 1984 was an incredible year for music. So many iconic releases. Such an exciting time for entertainment: movie soundtracks, MTV… break-dancing. So I was very happy to see this list of the 100 best singles of 1984, complete with YouTube links to each track (where available). And the writing accompanying each track is exceptional. My favorite has to be this brilliant characterization of “When Doves Cry” by Prince:

After the shrapnel of Prince’s introductory guitar volley settles, a hypnotic Linn drum pattern syncs with a synth figure courtly enough for a minuet. Vocals of cold menace and desperate abandon vie for preeminence until climatic screeches of pain carry the day.

Check out the entire list at Rolling Stone100 Best Singles of 1984: Pop’s Greatest Year

Jimi Hendrix: Hear His Excellence And Legacy

hendrix

Here’s nearly two hours of Hendrix music and compelling interview clips in support of the release of a previously unearthed batch of recordings. It’s a fascinating listen.

As a guitarist growing up, it didn’t take long for me to fall under the spell of Jimi Hendrix. And to this day, decades later, he’s cemented in my mind as the greatest rock guitarist of all time. Others before and since have certainly been great and influential, but to me, the massive confluence of creativity, talent and ambition in Hendrix can never again be matched.

Jimi Hendrix.promoFB.0307-13That’s why I recently revisited this amazing two-hour broadcast from NPR’s World Cafe, published around the time of a new release of some previously unheard recordings of his studio sketches — which, of course, sound to us like complete compositions, but who knows what Hendrix may have had in mind. Regardless, this is a well-produced and highly enjoyable broadcast.

Besides the music, there are also great clips of interviews with Hendrix’s sister, his contemporaries from his time of performing, and several other fine artists with interesting perspectives on his music and legacy. It’s so enjoyable as a Hendrix fan to get a generous heap of quality music previously unheard, blended with color from other voices also worth hearing. 

What do you think? Are you a Hendrix fan? What artists influenced you and are they still relevant to you today? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Three Great Videos From About 10 Years Ago

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps

Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out

Modest Mouse – Float On

New Music: Dessa. Thanks, Night Vale.

Sweet sounds from a surreal podcast: “Call Off Your Ghost” by Dessa

I’ve long been a fan of the Welcome to Night Vale podcast. Part of the broadcast is a segment called “The Weather” where music is featured. I’m not a huge fan of this part in general, however, a recent episode proved to be a huge exception, thanks to Dessa.

A Minnesota based singer/rapper, Dessa’s live performance of “Call Off Your Ghost” from Welcome to Night Vale’s live show in New York City’s Town Hall had me rewinding it multiple times to hear again, until I finally just bought the whole album.

Here’s video of a similar live performance, which I believe is actually even better than the one on the podcast. “Call Off Your Ghost” kicks in at 3:59:

You can find out more about Dessa at her Bandcamp site.

What do you think? When is the last time you discovered new music in an unlikely place? Have you ever sought out a musical artist based on hearing them for the first time? Let us hear from you in the comments.

After Hours – Crystal Method Featuring Afrobeta w/Lyrics

Lyrics to After Hours (feat. Afrobeta)

Ooh, ah aw. (4x)
It’s too early in L.A.

What you gonna see?
(laughs)
It’s on my ace, gon’ down.
What you gon’ & seen’?
I can’t go down…
Oh, oh,
Down…
Down…
Oh, oh, oh, oh,

Ooh, ah aw.

We can go home tonight.(2x)

It’s got the pants, put me in a trance.

Ooh, ah aw.
We must go home tonight.
Even though it’s wrong.

(laughs)

What you gonna see?

Up in ya, take your time.
We couldn’t make it if you’re blind.

Up in now, take your time. We couldn’t make it, if your mind. (2x)
Up in now. (3x)

Up in now, take your time.

This is my crack at deciphering lyrics on this track. Find out more about it and the rest of the new album here. Find out more about Afrobeta here and The Crystal Method here.

UPDATE: Afrobeta weighs in!

Very cool! Thanks for checking this out, Afrobeta!

The Crystal Method are one of my all-time favorite musical acts. I literally own all their records, and that’s not something I can say about many bands or musicians, except maybe for Led Zeppelin and a few others. I’m so glad they’re still making awesome music and keeping the creativity alive this many years in.

What do you think? Have you ever tried to decipher lyrics from a mysterious song? Are there musical acts you discovered in the ’90s that you’re still enjoying? Let us hear from you in the comments.