Sound City and McCartney’s Ease: A quest to be more like Paul this summer

The context:

I recently had a chance to see the movie, Sound City at the IU Cinema. Here’s an NPR story about it (Read it). It’s a fun documentary that chronicles the life of a recording studio by the same name in LA (Sound City Studios). It’s a neat story of a studio that seemed to have played a major role in the careers of some well-known pop/rock acts – the bits about Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash, and Nirvana were particularly fun for me. The movie also covers the stories of the people ‘behind the scenes’ who operated the business and technical elements of the studio – which in lots of ways were more interesting than the musicians’ stories.

The centerpiece of the documentary is a Neve 8028 Console, a vintage piece of analog recording equipment that was integral to the studio’s success. There’s a hilarious scene where the designer of the board, Rupert Neve, is sitting with Dave Grohl explaining the electronics that allows for the console to capture such a great sound. The scene is hilarious because Dave Grohl is grinning like a clown and is in full admission that he has no idea what he’s talking about.

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Beauty, Motion, and Home – Listening to Music

One of the most exhilarating yet, enigmatic things about teaching, learning and researching music is trying to comprehend the sheer variety of ways that musical experiences can be meaningful to people.

Over the past few months I’ve found myself coming back again and again to three “tunes” that have been part of my listening repertoire for years. I love each of these pieces of music and have found all three to be deep reservoirs of personally meaningful experience. Thinking about “how” and/or “why” each of these tunes might be meaningful is icing on the experiential cake.

Here are some of my experiences and ‘blips’ of potential explanations for how they might arise… …read on into the references if you’re curious for more…

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