Human Requiem

Brahms wrote, Ein Deutsches Requiem (The German Requiem), the most ‘human’ i.e. secular requiem of all requiems. Sacred but non-liturgical set to texts from the Lutheran Bible. Consolation to the living rather than judgement of the dead. About a year ago I went to hear the work at Carnegie Hall. It featured the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, choir, and solists, Diana Damrau (soprano) and Christian Gerhaher (baritone). 7 movements. Brahms mother died in 1865 and The German Requiem was written between 1865 and 1868 so some speculate his great grief inspired the work. Death is a funny thing in that it’s the last thing we all have to do. I recently read an article about the medical community addressing the practical uses of silocybin in hospice care. Expanding ones consciousness via hallucinogens is not a new concept…as a means to alleviate ones anxiety about death seems new. Western thinking seems stuck in an anxiety and fear of death and I can think of no greater consolation than music. The harmonies are exquisite and the choir stands out as much as the soloists, it is a very balanced piece of music. Brahms pays clear reverence to the dead in a loving, gentle, inclusive way. Beauty in the face of death may seem odd but it’s fitting. Paying homage to life requires an acknowledgement of death. We are fragile. Being human we must struggle and fight the dying of the light which the music appropriately conveys. Diana Damrau and Christian Gerhaher were stellar. I love Verdi’s Requiem but this one, not nearly as grand in scope, was a revelation to me in it’s sensitivity. I highly recommend Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem. Thanks for checking in!

P.S. I’m playing tonight at 8PM The Shrine in Harlem 2271 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., NYC Not classical but some original Philip Lynch tunes nonetheless.

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Wilco @ The Kings Theatre

The Kings Theatre, 1027 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, NY, is a spectacular movie-palace type theatre from the days of yore. Opened in 1929 and closed in 1977, abandoned until renovations got underway in 2010. Open to the public January 23, 2015. It is stunning. There are high ceilings, huge chandeliers, colorful and spacious, it reminded me of The Fox Theatre in Atlanta (where I saw Tom Waits) which coincidentally opened in 1929 too….we really needed movies then. The last time I got to see Wilco was in 2002 during their ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ period (prior to the release of the movie about that album). I’ve tried to get tickets during other tours since but they sell out very quickly. I really loved ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ and may have overplayed it as a result….what can happen is, you love a catchy album and end up knowing it so well that the little quirks, ticks, and hooks which made it so listenable wear a little thin…it’s like saying one word over and over again to the point of losing meaning and eventually sense. That said I haven’t listened to it in a longggggg time. I had all of their other albums too. ‘Being There’ and ‘Summerteeth’ are still go-to favorite albums. A co-worker hipped me to the fact that tickets were going on sale and we both hovered over the ‘buy’ button when they went up for sale and lucked out. Saturday night, Flatbush Ave, Kings Theatre, WILCO!!! I really love the new album…with the exception of the cover art, a painting of a white cat smack dab in the center with a couple of pink flowers behind it, and the title, Star Wars. The songs are melodic yet interesting enough to bear repeat listens, rhythmically active, and lyrically inviting without giving away the store. Wilco lost me a little bit on their self-titled album and ‘The Whole Love’….around the time Jeff Tweedy, the lead singer was accused of making ‘dad-rock’, the first time I had heard that term. Star Wars is an excellent return to their art-rock, alternative-rock form (for me). Jeff Tweedy (vocals, guitars), John Stirratt (vocals, bass), Pat Sansone (multi-instrumentalist), Mikael Jorgenson (keyboard), Glenn Kotche (drummer), and Nels Cline (lead guitar) all played with the expert deftness they’ve developed since the current bands line-up in 2004. They changed guitars almost every song without missing a beat (a round of applause for the Wilco crew, guitar techs and sound people). One of the most immediate amazing things I experienced at the show was that I did not need earplugs!! Three electric guitars at once! Rocking! Without the urge to blow us out of the water or top the drummer….maybe it was the room, maybe the sound tech…whatever the case I appreciate this aspect of ‘dad-rock’ if my hearing is preserved. Jeff Tweedy has an infectious energy on stage as though we’re in on the joke, Nels Clines solo on ‘Impossible Germany’ practically stopped the show, and John Stirratt is such a solid bass player you might just miss that he’s also an excellent singer. Everyone was so tight they made it look effortless. I really recommend ‘Star Wars’ and if you get the chance, get thee to Kings Theatre!! You will not be disappointed!!

Dear readers, it’s been a while and I have some catching up to do so I may finish some posts from this last summer…please excuse my infidelity to chronological order and thanks as always for reading. Support live music!! Support your local scene!! Here’s a setlist:
1. More…
2. Random Name Generator
3. The Joke Explained
4. You Satellite
5. Taste the Ceiling
6. Pickled Ginger
7. Where Do I Begin
8. Cold Slope
9. King of You
10. Magnetized

11. Spiders (Kidsmoke)
12. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
13. Art of Almost
14. Hummingbird
15. Box Full of Letters
16. Heavy Metal Drummer
17. I’m the Man Who Loves You
18. Dawned on Me
19. Impossible Germany
20. Red-Eyed and Blue
21. I Got You (At the End of the Century)
22. Outtasite (Outta Mind)
Acoustic Encore (they set up condensor mics…again, excellent live sound)
23. Misunderstood
24. It’s Just That Simple
25. War on War
26. A Shot in the Arm
27. Space Oddity (David Bowie cover)

 

Deerhoof!!!!!

Greetings!! I went to hear the band Deerhoof for the first time at The Bell House in Brooklyn a couple of weeks ago. I really love the venue. It’s a large open space with exposed beams which really give it a giant barn feeling. Whomever books the joint is great. The last show I saw there was Dungen, an excellent Swedish psych-rock band. Thursday there were two other bands on the bill, Blasteroid and Really Big Pinecone. Both shared some stylistic elements of Deerhoofs music, sudden stops, tempo shifts and stark melodic lines. Blasteroid were closer to straight ahead rock but Really Big Pinecone were closer to the quirks and tics of Deerhoof. The current band members of Deerhoof are John Dieterich (guitar), Satomi Matsuzaki (vocals, bass guitar), Ed Rodriguez (guitar) and Greg Saunier (drums). Their set-up was very interesting to me…the drums were at the front of the stage. I wondered the reason for this at first but as the set went on it became clear…Satomi executes a series of stylized dance moves which alternately resemble cheer-leading and a series of signals to the powers that be. Her steps take her from the front of the stage to the back (where a drum set would normally be). The whole band really physically worked the depth of the stage. They are a technically interesting band and they rock! Saunier is a very physical player at times loose other times sharp and precise and he listens intently, sometimes tuning his snare according to what he’s hearing through it. Passion seems to be in short supply lately due to a public deluged by waves of irony, over-informed, over-indulged and just basically ‘over it’ audiences. Deerhoof live can cure you of your malaise!! They were formed in 1994, 12 albums in and thankfully they’re still at it. Do yourself a favor, check ’em out and see them live if the opportunity presents itself!

If you’re curious, this is how Dungen sound…

I’m playing a solo set Saturday Sept 5th at Silvana 300 W. 116th Street Harlem, NYC @ 3PM followed by Ben Grayson @ 4PM and Shani Gan @ 5PM

The Philip Lynch Band is playing Sunday Sept. 13th at McGoos Bronx Backyard BBQ 5602 Broadway, Bronx, NYC 21+ only $5 2:30PM Riley Fields and Sarah Jay Halliday, 3PM Lightening Crabs (Are Coming to Get Ya!) 4PM Niall Connolly, 5PM The Philip Lynch Band, 6PM Super Hi-Fi

A Series of Coincidences

So I went to hear this punk band, Dead Moon, from Portland, OR one Saturday at this swank space, Pioneer Works, in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Dead Moon are a great example of a DIY (Do It Yourself) band as they cut their own records on the lathe that cut The Kingsmens version of ‘Louie, Louie’. With this in mind, I brought some copies of my LP, At The Start / At Long Last, with the intention of giving a copy to them. I consider my album to be DIY due to the fact that James Beaudreau and I recorded it in his apartment in Manhattan (it was mastered for digital and vinyl at Strange Weather in Brooklyn by the skillful Alex DeTurk). On my way to the bathroom I saw Sadie Dupuis from the excellent band Speedy Ortiz….I think I blogged about their album Major Arcana a while ago….maybe part of a year end list I made? I mentioned them here https://philiplynchmusic.com/2013/08/30/luna/
Anyways I said, “Hey I love your records!” She said, “Thanks!”. I said, “Maybe you want mine? Oh but how are you going to carry it?” She took it and said, “Thanks, I’m Sadie”. I said, “Hey, I’m Philip. Take it easy!”. Flash forward a week or so I’m playing an open mic when a guy overhears me talking about giving Sadie a copy of my LP. Turns out he’s a friend of hers! They taught guitar/music together at a summer camp and they’re from the same neighborhood. So Speedy Ortiz perform as part of the NYC River Rocks free shows at Pier 84. I go to check them out (I hadn’t seen them since they had a shift in personnel, new lead guitarist). Sounded pretty good (outdoor sound is really difficult). It rained for the last coupla songs so I hightailed it off the pier after their set. Flash forward another week. I play a solo set at An Beal Bocht, a favorite spot in the Bronx, my friend Jackie comes to hear the set. We sit at the bar afterwards catching up. She has a gig working at a summer camp upstate. She asks me if I’ve heard Speedy Ortiz!! Because they performed at the summer camp she was working and she met Sadie (who was really cool). hahahahahahaha small world yo!!
Thanks dear readers! Til next time, keep your ears to the ground, your nose to the wind and eyes to the sky!

Ornette Coleman

When I was in college I decided to try to learn about jazz so I delved into ‘Giant Steps’ by John Coltrane, ‘Straight No Chaser’ by Thelonious Monk and ‘Kind of Blue’ by Miles Davis. These three albums are pillars which, for me, contain strong founding songs for a basis of “understanding” jazz. I think the reason people have to try to understand jazz is because people generally don’t like to challenge themselves, they like to be comfortable, they like to know what may be coming next. The work may be hard at first but, trust me, the rewards are great. I carried my love of the blues from highschool on until today, BB King (the first great loss in the music world this year), John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Albert King, Buddy Guy, Johnny Copeland, Clarence Gatemouth Brown were my early heroes. The blues are part of the language of jazz but not exclusively. What I enjoy about jazz is that at its best it is not an exclusive club but rather an all encompassing, all embracing, all searching sound. There are elements of classical, blues and at its most aggressive, atonal and dissonant, punk rock. My first Ornette Coleman album was ‘The Shape of Jazz to Come’, from track to track, a perfect album. Ornette’s notion of harmolodics (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmolodics) is above my current musical understanding as a player but the result, as listener, is infectious. The improvisatory elements of this music are exciting and surprising I suspect not only for the listener but the players as well. As though an ensemble is on a hunt in, around and through harmonies and melodies jumping over, under and with tempos. Ornette may be gone but music will never forget him.

Sound is to people what the sun is to light – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CoPGDfMWFc
Sound has no parents – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdqRfHdbnXE

The Philip Lynch Band will be next performing sounds at Silvana in Harlem 300 West 116th Street on Tuesday, June 30th @ 10PM

Your Love To The Battle (The video!!)

My friend and fellow singer songwriter, Kelli King, recently asked if she could play with my song, ‘Your Love to The Battle’, in video. I was flattered and surprised that she felt moved to do such a thing. In a day or less she had the skeleton (ha ha, you’ll see) of the whole video finished!! It goes to show you that you have to strike while the iron is hot. If you’re moved to make something, do it. Of course the edits and credits that followed took a number of days however that initial creative urge of hers was so instantaneous it was alarming. I am proud to present Kelli Kings video for ‘Your Love To The Battle’ from my album, ‘At The Start / At Long Last’ produced by my friend James Beaudreau.
Kelli will be playing her songs with Liz Taub as part of the production of the play, “She Calls Me Firefly” by Teresa Lotz, April 15th – May 3rd. http://www.shecallsmefirefly.com/
The Philip Lynch Band is playing Thursday April 9th @ 11PM Silvana 300 West 116th Street Taylor Rich’s Birthday, c’mon out!!

Roll the clip yo!!

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra / Ricardo Muti

I haven’t seen Ricardo Muti conduct since my college days in Philadelphia. On this occasion he was conducting The Chicago Symphony Orchestra performance of Scriabin’s Symphony No. 1 and Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky at Carnegie Hall. I held my hands and my breath tight throughout the beginning of the Scriabin. The music was delicate and strong and could fall either way easily but Muti and the orchestra held true to the tension. I got the distinct feeling that this is the best of us. People are focused on little screens and seemingly anything else to escape where they are nowadays. It seems so to such a degree that I begin to lose sight of people as potentially deeper, more insightful, more sensitive, more creative, more helpful, more loving than the current mindless consumerist society connotes. It can be lonely grasping the beauty of a musical passage when those around you slumber. I suppose that is the nature of beauty though….passing, ephemeral. The power of the Prokofiev was exhibited by the managed chaos of the piece. I suspect Prokofiev was perhaps a bit of a madman. I feel very lucky to have heard some of the most amazing music in my life at Carnegie Hall. The sound is amazing there, whether a solo piano concert of Maurizio Pollini or a full orchestra and choir. Music really makes life bearable. Til next time dear reader, thanks for reading!