Note: This represents something new for me and ATW: non-work-related posts. I’ve been postponing such a thing for some time now, and I’m still ambivalent about doing it and incredulous that anyone will have made it to the end of the second sentence. (Of course, I never thought anyone would read my posts which are, in fact, work-related, but unless the metrics are off or my mom is refreshing like a coke fiend –which she is NOT, I assure you — a number of you have far too much time on your hands. I know you have choices when you blow your time on Earth, so thank you for blowing it with me.)
Okay, so you’ve been warned.
Last Friday night I had the too-rare privilege of attending a performance by one of my absolute favorites, the singer-songwriter Randy Newman. I’ve been an unabashed fan of his for a long, long time, since an ex-gf introduced me to his song “Guilty.” (Relevance pointedly skipped here.) The man’s been nominated for thirteen Grammies and nineteen Oscars (including two this year). His website’s here.
Amidst my many reactions during his show was a marvelling at those crafts/art forms — eg, singing, dancing, acting — which produce no tangible product, versus those which do — eg, writing, sculpture, painting, and film. I’m sure some academic/critic somewhere has coined terms to distinguish them, and I’m even more sure that as a former English major I should know them. But I don’t.
The point is, it occurred to me while listening to Randy — yes, Randy, I met him once — that the two seem to produce quite different effects upon me. I can’t find words right now to distinguish between the effects, but the former group tends to invoke a poignancy that the latter does not. The fact that the first group is performed contributes to that poignancy, but at first blush I suspect it’s more due to their evanescence. Every moment of experiencing those forms live, not recorded, contains both the death of the moment prior and the birth of the moment coming, coupled with the awareness that the moments cannot be recovered. Sorrow and joy bound together, moment after moment after moment.
But maybe that’s just me.
I warned you.
One last note: Randy usually sings in troubador style, that is, he sings in the first-person voice of a character.
Okay, off you go to discover: I suggest trying songs from Sail Away, Good Old Boys, or Trouble in Paradise. Or any of the animated movies he’s contributed to. Or any of his albums.
That’s all for now. Whew.
note to self: shorter posts. people only have 75 years to blow.
Posted in Music, Recs