The Music Of JC Harris

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

Rants By Topic

Shred Defensively

For some reason, it’s always tough to talk about ‘the craft’. I try to get my students to study acting and comedy and they look at me like I’m nuts. But actors, and even more so comedians, are very self-aware. And they talk about what they do in a very detailed way that musicians rarely do outside of with certain ‘mentors’. Actors and comedians are just as insecure as musicians but they seem to make it work for them. Being a musician requires a lot of ego, but usually it doesn’t translate into words all that well. So if you try to talk about how it all works with non-musicians they tend say very little or sound defensive.

When I play a show there’s always the requisite ‘free form solo’. It’s just what one does in the ‘Prog’ business. I don’t want to be cynical about it, but that’s largely the deal. I suppose I enjoy it, but truthfully if it wasn’t an expected part […]

If you looked at the site lately it’s going through another bunch of aches and pains. I’m trying to make a truly mobile version of the site and it’s going less than smoothly. Not as bad as the federal health exchange, but still… My guess is that it’ll be a few more days to sort it all out; just too busy. […]

You’re Takin’ Piano Lessons. Or Else.

I’ve seen this (very nice) looking advert a number of times recently. Great bit of advertising that’s about 30 years too late. It now reminds me of other quaint vo-tech school brochures like for offset printing or plastering; beautiful skills, but not really part of the modern world. I say that not to be a curmudgeon but simply because ‘music education’ has stopped being anything like a going concern.

Remember that, through the 70’s ‘Music’ used to be one of the ‘Eds’ at any decent American school. You know: Phys-Ed. Special-Ed. Arts-Ed. Music-Ed. No such thing anymore.

This poster (and a number of others I’ve seen) do a great job telling people the -intrinsic- benefits of music. How much good you’re doing for kids by teaching. Showing parents the value of Music Teachers. Basically, they’ve turned Music into vegetables. It’s good for kids so have give servings a day! Teach music and make a difference!

But Plato (yeah, really, a Platonic reference) made the -real- value of Music Ed plain 2,500 years […]

If You Like Music So Much, Why So Many Videos?

I hear a lot of wistful sighs these days from music lovers. Typically these are older people or younger hipsters. A lot of these people still have quite the love affair with vinyl.

I have one question for basically everyone who loves music so much, “How come when you share music with me, it’s almost always in the form of a video?” Unless we’re sharing iTunes stuff, most of the ‘music’ people want to share with me are actually videos. Even the music magazines almost always share links to performance videos rather than links to plain ol’ sound. Why has video become the new music? I think there are two reasons: Convenience and Planning.

To start with, a lot of this is the design of the Masters Of The Interwebs. Ever since Google bought Youtube, they have constantly tried to push their videos to the top of search pages. A video with a given set of keywords will almost always rank higher than any other kind of content. Oddly enough, links to […]

October, 2013
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