The Perfect Intersection of Friendship & Music

I went to Washington D.C. to see a Mavis Staples concert. You may think that a trip like that is a gratuitous, silly thing to do. I mean after all, why would I travel halfway across the country to see an 82 year-old artist perform? An artist who lives the Chicago area, where I live?Continue reading “The Perfect Intersection of Friendship & Music”

Three Missing Ingredients of Digital Music

As a kid in the 1970’s, I could not get my hands on enough music. I enjoyed listening to current hits of the day, and I reveled in discovering great rock and roll music of the 1950’s and 1960’s. I risked life and limb to ride my bike down busy Lake Cook Road to getContinue reading “Three Missing Ingredients of Digital Music”

Two Perfect Songs. Two Imperfect Lives.

There’s an old Yiddish proverb that says “Man plans, and God laughs.” Whatever we think our life will be, whatever preconceived notions we may have, our actual life will probably be something far different than what we have imagined. The history of rock and roll music is riddled with songwriters letting their imagination run wild.Continue reading “Two Perfect Songs. Two Imperfect Lives.”

No Need to Feel Guilty!

By Guest Blogger Michael Shapiro There are certain movies that people consider “Remote Drops,” those timeless and re-watchable movies from throughout our lives that we come across when flipping channels and reflexively make us drop the remote and watch for the umpteenth time. Depending on your taste, your Remote Drop might be a classic likeContinue reading “No Need to Feel Guilty!”

Great Late Musical Careers

About a year and a half ago, I wrote a blog article about the great song “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” where I shared my level of frustration regarding Billy Joel. A prolific musician for much of my youth and young adulthood, Joel has not released a new album since 1993. Although he remains oneContinue reading “Great Late Musical Careers”

Great Moments in Musical Generosity

My wife and I would watch G.E. Smith lead the Saturday Night Live band in the late 1980’s and the early 1990’s. We called him “The Sharing Guy.” He was not on the stage to perform for himself as much as he seemed to be there to share the experience of performing with the otherContinue reading “Great Moments in Musical Generosity”

Making the Music Perfect

My blog is about the music that I love. Though I set out to write about musicianship and songwriting craft, I often find myself talking just as much about my own life. Where I was when I first heard a song, or what was happening in my life at the time. My life informsContinue reading “Making the Music Perfect”

7 Perfect Songs for This Halloween

We all think about it. We all wonder what happens before, during and after. Death brings many questions. The history of rock and roll is peppered with songs about people dying, told from the perspective of someone who has already died, or most sadly, sung by an artist who has unexpectedly died or knows deathContinue reading “7 Perfect Songs for This Halloween”

Straight from the Gutter

My friend Michael had just come home after spending a college semester abroad in London. We met for lunch to catch up after his return home, and he handed me a cassette tape. “I heard these guys performing on the street in London, and they were great. Listen to the tape…You’ll love it.” Michael told meContinue reading “Straight from the Gutter”