Category Archives: Music today

How Come They Don’t Tash Sultana

How Come They Don’t Tash Sultana

How Come They Don't Tash Sultana

One of the comments I hear most often while volunteering at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts is "How come they don't make music like that anymore?"

"That" being music like the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, or some other dead band or musician of the 1960s.

I have two answers to that question. On a deeper level, we first experience music at a time and place in our lives that connects those musicians to us in a unique way. Since we can never experience that music again in the same way, it holds a landmark place in our personal history and life view.

As I say, that's the deeper level answer.

On a simpler level, the answer is that "They" do still make music like that, if we are willing to set aside those personal landmarks for a moment."

How Come They Don’t Tash Sultana

Tiny Desk Concerts

How Come They Don't Tash Sultana

 

NPR's Tiny Desk series is a gold mine of new music. Host Bob Boilen describes the show as one with "intimate video performances, recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered...."

All Songs Considered is the key phrase. If we are searching for golden music, we must be willing to put in the time to pan through a lot of grit, get uncomfortable, and have patience.

Gold there is, though, in them there sound clouds.

Tiny Desk featured Sultana on April 7, 2017. I was simply surfing the show's many offerings, but I stayed with her a bit to watch her build the song "Jungle."

Here is the link to Sultana's mesmerizing 25 minute 37 second Tiny Desk performance 

It wasn't the first time that I've seen a single  musician use modern electronics to build sounds into a song. For some, such construction is cheating. The sounds are not "real." Songs need several musicians, not one. To me, that thinking is weak since any electric music is manipulated sound. And acoustic musicians use all kinds of techniques to change acoustics.

Five days one million

In 2016, Sultana posted this video of herself performing/creating "Jungle" in her living room. It fools you because it looks like there is far too much music to come from just one person. 

One cute part of the video is when her mom sticks her head around the hallway corner at 2:23. 

In its first five days on YouTube, the video had one million views!

Bandcamp.com

Vein of gold

How Come They Don't Tash Sultana

Tash Sultana associates with the musicians' site Bandcamp.com.  We don't listen to music on the radio anymore. We stream music and Bandcamp is a streaming site. 

Its difference is that it is also a platform for artist promotion,  particularly independent artists.  Artists can post their music for free and we can listen for free. 

The idea is that if you like what you hear you can buy the music.  The idea apparently works since the site recently posted the following: "Fans have paid artists $211 million using Bandcamp, and $5.3 million in the last 30 days alone."

Bandcamp describes Sultana as "...a roots reggae/folk inspired singer/songwriter from Melbourne, Victoria. Since having her hands wrapped around a guitar at the mere age of three, the self taught artist was only destined to expand over the coming years."

For me, it answers the question...

How Come They Don’t?

How Come They Don't Tash Sultana

They do. Patience. Open our ears and hear. Open our eyes and look. Reach out our hands and feel.

Janis and Jimi built on the foundation of others before them and created their own beautiful interpretations .  Tash is doing the same and it is great.

Oh yea. By the way. Tash was born in on June 18, 1995. You do the math.

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Vinyl Renaissance

Vinyl Renaissance

Vinyl Renaissance
Beauty turned on its side

 

The 33 13 rpm LP (for "long-play") format was developed by Columbia Records and marketed in 1948. In response, RCA Victor developed the 45 rpm format and marketed it in 1949. The 45 format allowed for juke boxes to proliferate.
In 1957 the first commercial stereo two-channel records were issued first by Audio Fidelity. However, it was not until the mid-to-late 1960s that the sales of stereophonic LPs overtook those of their monophonic equivalents, and became the dominant record type.
Such stereo technology combined with LSD's psychedelia created an opportune format for many bands to present their music.
Since the 1990s vinyl recordings, despite their sound quality, were largely replaced by the compact disc.  And since 2000, CDs have been partially replaced by digital downloads and simply streaming music without purchasing a copy in any format
However, in 2007, vinyl sales made a sudden small increase, starting its comeback, and by the early 2010s it was growing at a very fast rate. In some territories, vinyl is now more popular than it has been since the late 1980s, though vinyl records still make up only a marginal percentage (<6%) of overall music sales.

Vinyl Renaissance

Sweet vinyl’s sound return.

Here is an article about America's oldest record store and how important the sale of vinyl records still is to the store. click >>> Records
Here is an interesting perspective about our shelves today and vinyl records. The New York Times article begins with, "When I was 13, in the early 1990s, I dug through my parents’ cache of vinyl records from the ’60s and ’70s. We still had a phonograph, so I played some of them, concentrating on the Beatles. Their bigger hits were inescapably familiar, but a number of their songs were new to me." (click  >>> NYT article)
And below is a video from the New York Times about this vinyl renaissance and keeping up with pressing records.