Saturday, October 21, 2017

"I Just Kinda Died for You..."

“I just kinda died for you, you just kinda stared at me.”
Lindsay Caudill

Lindsay Caudill
We discussed that line - my favorite line from the Foo Fighters’ “Aurora"- as well as the interpretation of lyrics in general and a thousand other topics over our first dinner. We’d met at a Foo Fighters show in April 2000 when they opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

He was handsome, with brown hair, thin glasses, and a beautiful smile. He had, as it turned out, grown up mere minutes from me in our small hometown where he still resided and we knew many of the same people, yet somehow we’d never managed to meet. He loved Queen and could talk about most music for hours on end without missing a beat. Obviously I could do the same, so instantly we connected.

For nearly a decade to follow, we shared our worlds.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

GUITAR GODS: Meshell Ndegeocello

Its 1993, and my brother Joshua says "You gotta hear Meshell Ndegeocello." Who? "Just do it."

I buy her debut album, "Plantation Lullabies", and.....all bets are off. From "I'm Diggin' You (Like an Old Soul Record)" to "Dred Loc" to "Call Me" to "If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night)", I was hooked. Buttery smooth and funky with stellar delivery...I had to hear more.

And more came.

From more solo albums (12 in all, counting her soon-to-be-released album "Ventriloquism")to collaborations with everyone from John Mellencamp to Herbie Hancock, Madonna to Chaka Khan, Alanis Morissette to the Rolling Stones. And movie soundtracks like "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and "Batman and Robin". And television and guest album appearances and world tours and various accolades (she has been credited with starting the neo soul movement, for example, and her albums ranking on many "best of..." lists) and music clinics and Grammy nominations and more still.

Bassist, songwriter, singer, rapper, and so much more...all at the highest levels. Artists like her just don't appear every day.

Visit Meshell at her website and catch her on tour.

I had a chance to chat with her recently - check it out!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Poetry Series: Not a Love Poem

~Not A Love Poem~
Liz Fink-Davenport

This poem is going to make you think.
And when you think, I want you to stop and reassess your world. Because, my love, this is not a poem for the meak.

Here is my assessment of this universe in my 42 years being a presence. Hurt. Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Strength. Solidarity. Freaking fear so much like a steak raw that it will make you stop and clench your teeth and not breath.

But this is a thinking poem. So I'll not give you flowery words. I'll not light a fireplace warm for your heart. I'm going to give you cold. Hard. Truth.

You need to change. Change what you whine about. Change your wardrobe. Change your location. You need change your job, grocery store, screw buddy. Something else. Something new and brilliant and bright.

I once read an article called "Not This". And I think all lives should be fashioned on a "not this" principle. I know what I don't want. Not this. You know what you don't want. Not this.

Take the Not This and move. Forward. My sweet friend, you are in limbo. It's time that fate smashed your fingers in the door enough that you let go. Let. Go.

This is a poem to make you think. I wish I had words about hillsides and romance. But I have words of movement. And of fingers smashed.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Poetry Series: SLOW

"Slow"
Liz Fink-Davenport

Sometimes, I can't keep up. With the world and how quickly it turns on its axis and how soon red lights become green. Social media tweets when I am romance novels in the hidden corner of forgotten bookstores. I am slow. So slow. And a delicate palette is needed for what I bring. 

I'm a southern song strummed out on an untuned guitar sitting on your lap on a rain wet porch. 

I am going back to bed on Saturday just to wallow in the sun warmed sheets. 

I am waffles on Sunday when there isn't time to make them and the extra cup of coffee on Monday. Because there is less time. 

I am the breath sucked in between your teeth when you are in awe. 

I am patience when patience is used up. 

I am a roll of thunder so far off and smell of lightening anticipation. 

I halt the clock on the wall just to put time in its place. 

I am the sigh that comes after the first kiss. 

I can't keep up with with this world. And it's spin and the feverish pace that love is set to. Slow down. Take time in your hands. And feel the sand drip between your fingers. Don't you want love that works more like a pocket watch barely wound? Don't you want to lengthen the moments between the words, 
and 
Love 
and 
You?

Monday, July 3, 2017

Why Music Matters to Us


From the Guardian:


It’s a question that has intrigued thinkers across the ages from Socrates to Schopenhauer: why is it that abstract patterns of sound mean so very much to human beings?


We are more exposed to music than ever before, thanks to streaming – from Spotify and YouTube to Mixcloud– and downloading, and we’re bombarded with music via advertising, too. It is there to influence the way we think, feel and behave. As every filmmaker knows, music is unique in its power to stir the emotions. As music therapists’ work with dementia patients and autistic children has shown, music has the capacity to touch us and tap into memories that words alone are not able to reach. But how?


Read it all at https://www.theguardian.com/music/2017/jul/02/ultra-sound-why-music-means-so-much-to-us

Saturday, June 3, 2017

GUITAR GODS: Donna Grantis

GUITAR PLAYER MAGAZINE said "...Trading blazing solos with the late Purple One on a nightly basis, she proved her mettle, and earned a place in guitar history."

And its just that simple.

Donna Grantis is best known as the last guitarist for New Power Generation and as the guitarist of Prince's 3rdEyeGirl (who released the top 10 & critically acclaimed album "Plectrumelectrum" in 2014, with the title track written by Donna), but has been slugging it out on the scene for years.

The McGill jazz performance graduate quickly went to work as a session player and band leader in the Toronto area, working with a stunning array of musicians of all styles from 2002 to 2012. Also during that time, she worked as music director for the CBC and others for all manner of events.

Then, in 2012, she hooked up (by invitation) with Prince, and, following the release of their album, toured Europe and North America, including 3 nights headlining the Montreux Jazz Festival...and playing at the White House for the Obamas.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Humanizing, harmonizing effects of music aren't a myth

From ScienceDaily:

Jake Harwood turned his lifelong hobby as a musician into a scholarly question: Could the sharing of music help ease interpersonal relations between people from different backgrounds, such as Americans and Arabs?

To explore the issue, and building on his years of research on intergroup communication, Harwood began collaborating two to three years ago with his graduate students and other researchers on a number of studies, finding that music is not merely a universal language. It appears to produce a humanizing effect for members of groups experiencing social and political opposition.

"Music would not have developed in our civilizations if it did not do very important things to us," said Harwood, a professor in the University of Arizona Department of Communication. "Music allows us to communicate common humanity to each other. It models the value of diversity in ways you don't readily see in other parts of our lives."

Read the entire article HERE.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Hello again, Square One – Starting a Band, Part 2

Hello again, Square One – Starting a Band, Part 2

By Thom Suggs

A graduate English professor of mine once said that “Irony is great in literature, but hell in real life.” Yep. A few months ago I had planned on focusing the second installment of this blog chronicling the start of Five Minutes Left (www.5minleft.com) on the importance of solid organization, flexibility, and having a “Plan B.” Well, here we are a few months removed from that first blog, and I’m pretty sure I’m on “Plan C” at this point. Irony… awesome.

Once you commit to forming a band, a clear, simple plan with concrete goals is critical for success because when a hundred unexpected things change, and a band finds itself drifting and unsure, being able to focus on specific steps toward a specific goal is invaluable. That doesn’t sound particularly profound – and it’s not – but you’d be surprised how easily the unexpected can sidetrack and frustrate you, and before you know it, you’re not making the progress you wanted.

Poetry Series: A BIRTHDAY POEM

~A Birthday Poem~
Liz Fink Davenport

God has a great sense of humor. He seldom gives you what you asked for and generously gives you what you begged not for. My darling, there are years that will ask you why you rowed so far ahead. And years that cry over your turned cold shoulder. And years that you will always try to say "I did my best". But your best failed. Life is funny like that. You fail. Life bites.

But here's what I know, when you hear the rush of love or waterfalls. Paddle towards them. With all your might. Love and waterfalls are always worth it. You will tumble. And you will come up with water in your ears and your nose and your mouth. Sputtering. But you will also learn the rush and the wake. You will feel more alive.

I once heard said that instead of counting towards our days we should count away. I have less than 40 summers coming to me. If I am blessed. I have spent 40 summers frivolously. May I revel in these next 40 like they are softly turned earth.

I'm gonna row. Hard. Toward the spray of the fall. Toward stupid doomed love. Towards destiny. Towards my word. Serendipity. Toward 40 warm and leafy summers.

I row. God and His sense of humor gives me the giggles. And I row. The spray of the water is on my lips.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

GUITAR GODS: Udi Levy

Its not every player who can play with equal passion and authenticity in a variety of styles, but Udi Levy is on the short list.

An in demand session player in New York, he has been immersed in the world of jazz for years, even playing with jazz greats - and Miles Davis alumni - Marcus Miller and John Scofield, toured the world. and seen his music on the charts.

But now Udi has released an album of shredding instrumental rock music that sounds like he's been doing it his entire life!

Learn more about Udi Levy at his website, and be sure to check out his music and videos.

I had a chance to chat with Udi recently - check it out!