Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Eclectic music selection for grading papers

What I've been listening to the last few days:

Pete Seeger (WUMB #25). Had to skip ahead on my WUMB list when I saw that the recording from the Carnegie Hall Concert from 1963 was available in the library: We Shall Overcome. The Complete Carnegie Hall Concert. Historic Live Recording. June 8, 1963. CBS Records (1989). Happened to listen to this yesterday before I learned it was Pete Seeger’s birthday.

Iris DeMent (WUMB #90) My Life. Warner Brothers (1994). Kind of folksy; kind of country-y.

Hesperion XXI, led by Jordi Savall. Diáspora Sefardí Alia Vox (1999). Good to listen to while reading research papers on historical novels and films set in medieval Spain or the “diáspora Sefardí.”

And a recording of the Magic Flute [Die Zauberflöte] from the chorus and orchestra of the Bayerischen Runfunk, conducted by Bernard Haitink. EMI Records, 1981. Why not?

And a couple I listened to a while back but didn't get a chance to post:

Jennifer Kimball. (WUMB #89) The only thing I could find by her was one song on Seeds: The Songs of Pete Seeger, Volume 3. Appleseed Recordings (2003).
Track number 5 on disc 2 is her singing Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” in English (an arrangement and the English lyrics by Pete Seeger). In the Seeger/Kimball version, it doesn’t sound like liturgical music--probably because the banjo provides the main melody. Overall, this is a great album. A really wide range of songs and voices (with some other WUMB favorites as well).
I learn from her website that she used to perform with Jonatha Brooke as “The Story” and that she is from Cambridge, Mass. and performed with various Boston-area groups in the 80s and 90s. She now seems to perform once a month or so in Boston and in Ireland.

Dave Matthews Band (WUMB #115), Before these Crowded Streets, [1998]
A mixed bag: some of the songs sound the same; and some of the music is technically perfect but repetitive and uninteresting. But there are some songs where the lyrics and music fit and are interesting (e.g. “The Last Stop”).

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