Yes Music Early In The Morning

Posted by steve | General Commentary,Music | Thursday 29 May 2014 4:06 am

I woke up early this morning and decided I had not listened to music from my favorite progressive rock band, “Yes”, in a long time. So I made a quick playlist in iTunes of about a CD-length of music, put my headphones on, and listed to some wonderful music. I remember, when selecting songs for the quick playlist, that I wanted to hear some of their best but out-of-the-way music.

Listening, I remembered why I love this band so much. The music and vocals are outstanding and moving.

Here is the playlist.

  1. Cinema
  2. Leave It (vocal)
  3. Take The Water To The Mountain
  4. Nine Voices (Longwalker)
  5. Mind Drive
  6. That, That Is
  7. Order Of The Universe [Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe]
  8. Change We Must [Jon Anderson]
  9. New New World [Jon Anderson]

When I got to the end I looked back over the playlist song titles once again and noticed a theme running through these which is striking. My subconscious was talking to me this morning?

It is interesting that my mind often seems to work on design and coding problems while I sleep. I’ve written about that behavior before. And it happened again. This morning when I first awoke, before deciding to listen to some music, sure enough I realized a possible solution to a technical problem at work. When I get in this morning I’ll check it out.

This is the first time in a long time when I awoke also thinking about music though.


Poem from Yes’ Relayer album

Posted by steve | Music | Monday 12 April 2010 1:51 am

In 1974 the progressive rock band Yes created an album that became one of my favorites. Inside the album cover, of a fantastic painting by Roger Dean, was a printed a poem. I still remember the opening lines of that poem and thought about it when awakening this morning. This is the poem:

Snakes are coiled upon the granite
Horsemen ride into the west
Moons are rising on the planet
where the worst must suffer like the rest.

Pears are ripe and peaches falling.
Suns are setting in the east.
Women wail, and men are calling
to the god that’s in them, and to the beast.

Love is waiting for a lover.
Generations kneel for peace.
What men lose, Man will recover
polishing the brains his bones release.

Truth conceals itself in error.
History reveals its face:
days of ecstasy and terror
invent the future that invents the race.

Donald Lehmkuhl
(c) October 1974


Other Podcasts

Posted by steve | Music | Wednesday 8 April 2009 6:41 pm

Someone asked me recently what interesting Podcasts I’ve been listening to. So I decided to make a simple entry here, but exclude Podcasts about software and board games.

These have been on my hot lists lately.

The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe is published by The New England Skeptical Society. I really enjoy listening to these guys as they take on the pseudo science and other ignorance expressed in our society.

Dan Carlin has a lot of energy and opinions. He talks really fast, and I find his “take” on things happening in our world to be very insightful. He actually does 2 Podcasts. The “Common Sense” show is where he discusses politics and events. The “Hardcore History” program is surprisingly entertaining. I actually listen to both. The history podcast is published less frequently.

It’s no secret that I enjoy the television show LOST. There’s an abundant supply of Podcasts about LOST. I don’t listen to this Podcast as often, but Stephanie and Cliff Ravenscraft produce a very entertaining program from their Generally Speaking Podcast Network.

Last one. I love classical music, opera, movie soundtracks, and jazz. But I really love Progressive Rock. These guys put out a very entertaining and informative Podcast on Progressive Rock music. They haven’t published since December 2008 but I hope to see them resume soon.

Now I still mostly listen to Board Game and Software Development related Podcasts. I also still listen to audiobooks quite often, especially if I know I’ll be taking a long driving trip.


Steve Howe – a real “guitar hero”

Posted by steve | Music | Tuesday 24 February 2009 9:39 pm

I came upon some instructional video clips by Steve Howe on You Tube recently and was watching them on our HD TV (via an Apple TV). He’s quite an amazing guitar player.

While watching the video clips my wife remarked that Steve Howe is a “real Guitar Hero”.

So true. I remember many years ago when Guitar Player Magazine used to do an annual poll of their readers about who was the overall best guitar player. Steve Howe won so many years in a row that they ended up labeling him a “luminary” and removed him from any future voting by the subscribers.

Like many other high quality musicians out there, Steve Howe is an inspiration to aspiring guitar players everywhere.


My frustration about Guitar Hero

Posted by steve | Music | Monday 19 January 2009 6:46 pm

So, our teenager has been anxious to have us purchase the Guitar Hero video game, and guitar controller.  It’s an enormously popular video game and I can understand it’s appeal.  I’m going to go out and purchase it.  However, I’m also going to use this BLOG to vent a little about the whole concept.

Guitar Hero and Rock Band (similar video game themes) annoy me.  Here’s the deal.  As a musician, I have a lot of frustration with the general degradation of modern musical values.  I honor creativity expressed in music.  It just sounds like a lot of popular music today is nothing like what I call “real music”.  And, yes I know that classical composers generously “lifted” whole excerpts from each other.  

Yet when I hear modern popular music that has obvious copied sections from music I listened to 20 years ago, it really disappoints me.

I know.  I sound like an old fart complaining about “the newfangled crap these kids call music.”

What bothers me about video games like Guitar Hero is that it seems to substitute learning about playing a real music instrument with learning to play a “fake” music instrument.  The musician in me finds the whole concept difficult to abide.  The best argument I can support is the one where video games like this teach how to play in time and how to recognize chord changes.

It just feels like it further establishes a public acceptance of “just doing” things instead of learning things or gaining a valuable skill.  Learning to play an instrument is difficult and rewarding.  I’m not sure what learning to play Guitar Hero accomplishes.  That’s a bit harsh.  I’m okay with playing video games for the “fun of it.”  I just struggle when I think the video game is a substitute for the fun of playing a real musical instrument.

Okay.  I’ll step off my rant soap box now.


Middle School Strings Concert

Posted by steve | Music | Thursday 11 December 2008 6:30 pm

We’re at Buffett Middle School (in Omaha of course) for a Strings concert.

Nicholas will be playing the viola.

Here’s hoping the acoustics in the Gymn are reasonable.