Stories in Beat that you’ll love, handpicked by our team.
Jay-Z, Meek Mill and Others Seek to Stop Lyrics Usage in Courtrooms
In The Romantic Manifesto, Ayn Rand writes, “Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value-judgments.” This clearly shows creative expression is a selection of elements brought together by the mind.
This is why I retired from classical music.
My first clarinet instructor in high school was of Italian descent, and when he met me, he saw I had an Italian surname. Despite being only 10% Italian, it turns out that I've acquired an Italian last name thanks to my paternal heritage. After I told him that, he waived his hand and said, "Never confess that you are anything other than Italian." He was an intense man who was renowned among my classmates for being intimidating, as evidenced by a remark he made about me to my face during one of my first lessons: "You suck." Despite his well-deserved reputation in the community, his teaching manner did not appeal to me. I'll never forget one thing he said to me over and over again:“If you can imagine yourself doing anything else besides clarinet, do that instead.” He was speaking of how to make a decision about my career path, and I found his perspective deeply disturbing. I had many interests, and although music was chief among them, I couldn’t deny that I could see myself doing other things.
Three Modern Woodwind Classics That’ll Take Your Breath Away
Woodwind instruments have some of the most intense depths of sound and tone of any type of instrument. There is a certain, haunting soul that you can capture on a saxophone or clarinet that is more diﬃcult to get on a piano. Despite this, woodwinds are criminally underused in many types of music, and very often, are confined to ‘traditional’ classical music.
The Edgar Allen Poelay List
This is A Playlist Infiltrated and Inspired By The Spirit of Edgar Allen Poe and a conversation with my good friend Lesley. It is on YouTube here.
Weird Bruce Springsteen Stuff
Springsteen is not an American icon; he’s a global icon who just happens to have been born in the USA. See what I did there?
My First Post-Pandemic Gig Got Cancelled and It Wasn't Even Covid
When I was a child my parents took me to gigs. Maybe not the coolest ones because they had parent taste, but real shows. Asleep at the Wheel, Patty Loveless, the Chieftains. Later on they even drove me and my sister to other states to see certain boy bands that I’m not ready to name. We curled our hair, we waved, we shrieked. It was freaking glorious.
Reinventing David Bowie
Throughout his career David Bowie took on many personas and characters. Some lasted several months other were a one-time appearance in a music video or photo session. Maybe Bowie used these personas/characters to escape his own realities of fear. This may have been a mechanism for coping with the demands of fame and always having that spotlight on him. When he crawled into one of his personas such as Ziggy Stardust or The Soul Man it was okay for him to express his inner anger and fear because after all it wasn't coming from David Jones but rather from a persona of his larger persona - David Bowie.
5 of the Best Songs to End a Film
I remember the first time I heard Darth Vader's theme (The Imperial March) when I first watched Star Wars as a child. Not who I was with neccessarily, or the exact time of night, but I remember the way my heart began to beat a little faster, and the slight feeling of dread that grew in me when Darth Vader's helmet appeared on-screen.
Songs for bike rides to the boardwalk
In the summertime, I always look forward to my weekend bike rides from south Brooklyn to Rockaway beach. I've enjoyed it so much that I've even extended the journey into the autumn and have biked all the way to Rockaway from the Upper East Side in Manhattan. This journey isn't for someone in a rush to arrive at their destination, but if you're like me and enjoy distance biking, maybe you'd like to hear the playlist I made for the ride. I've been missing the warmth of summer and this playlist gives me a taste of that, no matter what time of year it is. I had so much fun curating the songs for this playlist and one song might not necessarily make sense next to the one that follows up, but as a whole, all of these songs share a similar energy and feeling for me.
My Relationship With Music Needed Me To Become Healthy To Evolve
I love music and for me, it is not about the artist or the genre of music, it is about the lyrics and the emotions they evoke inside of me. — Melanie J.
Albums Of The Year 2021
It's that time of year again. Spotify Wrapped has been released, and people are collating their top albums, EPs or singles of the year.
Seventy Years of Soundtrack
As I rock ‘n’ roll toward my seventieth birthday, I can’t help but reflect upon all the music I listened to, that helped get me through these past seven decades on the planet. I have lived through the 1950s where Elvis and Buddy Holly changed the face of popular music forever. I spent the 1960s in grade school and welcomed the sights and sounds of the Beatles and the Stones and the Supremes in the lower grades and felt the (flower) power of the Haight-Ashbury scene and Dylan, Eric Burdon and the Spoonful as I reached my last year in Grade 12. In the first half of the 1970s, I attended university and met new friends who introduced me to new music from the Dead and Zappa. I was around when the icons of rock music died – Hendrix and Morrison and Joplin – and I remember how their music moved me and how it changed the way I looked at the world. In the second half of the 1970s, I became a farmer and Cash and Owens and Haggard and Kristofferson became my minstrels of choice. Eventually, they gave way to the sounds from Elton John and Purple Sagers, Prairie Leaguers, Daredevils and Eagles. In the 1980s, I started my work life as a teacher and, out of necessity, or convenience – I’m not sure which – I began listening to Steve Earle and Hank Williams Jr. The Boss and Billy Joel and Elton John, Van Halen, Police and Duran Duran. By the time the 1990s were well into swing, my music collection had transformed mysteriously into a Country & Western collection with contributions from Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Martina, Reba and so many others. At the turn of the century, I began to cultivate my once-long-ago attraction to Canadian artists. Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Young, The Hip and Blue Rodeo along with Joni Mitchell and Bruce Cockburn became my ‘musique de jour’. In 2011, I remarried and moved to China. While in Asia, my wife's performance background in music, helped me to become reacquainted with all of the music I had listened to for the first 60 years of my life. It was then, I came up with the idea of listing 30 songs and/or albums that were most meaningful to my life to that point. The list I came up with is featured below. The songs are not listed chronologically as far as their release dates are concerned but rather in the order of my life when I used them to help explain and narrate my day-to-day world. Neither are the songs listed in order of importance or personal popularity. No song on the list is any more or less important than any other song – just like no friend or family member is any more or less important than any other – they all contributed to who I have become, and they should all be included in the soundtrack of "ME". I have also included one short personal blurb with each entry on the list, to tell a little about my life and to demystify why the song was important to me.