Posts about Music

“….the therapy is working. We’re still a band.”

On April 17th covering ,

The band Machine Head has gone public with its rather sensibly making use of Oakland therapist Suzanne Slyman to help with the working relationship between frontman Robb Flynn and bassist Adam Duce.

The remarkable thing about this is that it’s not done more often. In any normal business, using a consultant or mediator is an absolutely ordinary thing. If there is a personality conflict that threatens the operations of Apple or Nextel (to pick a couple of serious companies at random) you can bet they will avail themselves of consultation and help — perhaps from this guy. They can’t afford not to — the stakes are so high. Read more »

Milton Babbitt and the Bad Plus

On March 18th

I have no excuse whatever for this, but it makes me happy. Via Alex Ross. UPDATE: The Bad Plus are playing at DC’s 9:30 club next Thursday. See you there.

Update: I love the Babbitt All Set for Jazz Ensemble. I’ve got it on vinyl, but the turntable is in the attic. Here it is:

The creative problem of longevity in popular music

On March 7th 1 Comment covering , , ,

Following up to a comment to this post, There is certainly the sentiment that it’s better to make a statement and quit than fade away. Long-lived bands are always subject to complaints from their fans that it’s not the same, etc. Metallica is a great example of a band whose fans seem to include an army of whiners. Do Metallica fans like anything Metallica has ever put out? (I think the real complaint is “you’re not young any more and neither are we and it’s your fault”).

I prefer to think of this as a creative problem, especially for groups who fill stadiums when they are young. What do they do with themselves as they grow up? There are a lot of ways to play it, and I don’t feel the need to prescribe how they should go. My big point is that when bands implode from their toxic social dynamics, this creative problem and creative choice is taken away from them, and that’s a shame. Maybe they’d do something interesting with it. Read more »

musicians should read these 13 bits of wisdom about startups

On February 26th covering , , , ,

Bands and startups have a lot in common. I have been exploring this idea for a couple of years. I’ve been spending time talking to musicians and tech entrepreneurs.

I’ve been gestating a blog post on this idea — but it’s out of hand and it wants to be a book. I will try to be a good little blogger and offer my thoughts in little bites. This goes against my nature, but it’s a good discipline.

So for now: all you musicians, go read this post by the always-pithy startup guru, Paul Graham. He begins with one of his favorite ideas: Read more »

Happy 100th Elliott Carter

On December 11th covering

I should have taken the day off celebrate Mr. Carter, who turns 100 today and is still composing. Enjoy the big day.