Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Michael Hutchence

Michael Hutchence
Lindsay Caudill

On November 22, 1997, my world changed forever.

Twenty years ago, my favorite singer/songwriter and one of my biggest inspirations left this Earth. INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence died at age thirty-seven. Suicide.

I remember vividly the phone call, my high school/college best friend letting me know that the news had just given that Michael had killed himself. It was a Saturday night. I was finishing up my second full semester of college, preparing for the Thanksgiving holiday, and spending time with my Mom and Granny. I was stunned. At that time, I did not have internet access at home, so I went to the college library early that following Monday and printed off every article I could find, sick inside as if I were reading about a family member’s passing.

Rumors swirled - was it suicide? If so, why? Was it because of his fiancee? Was it a sex act gone wrong? What about his child?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Music Rant #1

Music Rant #1
Dylan Bourne

I'm sure anyone who decided to take the time to click the link to Skinny Devil Magazine already knows about the joy of playing music. After all, this IS a guitar publication. That being said, as someone who continues to be surprised as to the pleasantries of being a musician, I wanted to write an article for any non-musicians who may be scouring the internet late at night wondering how in the world we do what we do; or more importantly, WHY?

They say that "music speaks to the soul." I remember being a child and feeling my way through the world, and music has always been a static yet ever changing force in my life. If I want to step back in time, I can just put on an old album or playlist and remember times of the past. Just as well, I have found many new bands that I know in five years will define my memory of this time. When you go through a rough break up and you hear a love song and revel in the sadness it makes you feel; or when you are having a fantastic time and you put on some good jam music, it is a clear illustration of the power that these simple chords and musical phrases have over the human psyche. The drive to learn this craft, personally, comes from the desire to emulate and understand why I feel the way I do about music and life.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Attraction: Lindsay Caudill

(ed note: this article was originally written 9/11/16)

Lindsay Caudill

I said Friday that I was going to elaborate on partly why I had dubbed it “Simply Red Day” for me. It was not at all because I had become a redhead on that day two years earlier, but it was fun to find that out courtesy of Timehop. Of course it’s late but here goes.

--Bear in mind this is not really related to Simply Red, per se, although the bulk of it will use Mick Hucknall as a reference point. It’s more of what discussion(s) his music has prompted over the years but in the last few days in particular.--

If you know me or even if you just see my timeline you know that I breathe music and, as a result, have a handful of singers that I love above all others. Mick Hucknall is one of them (also something you learn quickly if you interact with me). I have been openly gushing about his voice, his lyrics, and his performances for many years. But I’ve also been equally open about how attractive I think he is. I save the borderline (and completely) inappropriate stuff for conversations not happening on my timeline but, without fitting some stereotypical “guy” manner of speaking, I think that he is absolutely delicious. Sexy, handsome, gorgeous, beautiful, nearly perfect. And I know that that makes many of you likely want to know what the hell is wrong with me.

This discussion has been had many times in my life since my Simply Red “fandom” dates back to when I was about seven years old. No one ever questions my fawning over Michael Hutchence, Prince, Don Johnson, Lenny Kravitz. With Mick, the eyebrows go up.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Poetry Series: ME TOO

Liz Fink-Davenport

This poem is going to hurt. It's going to feel like you just had it happen. Like...just now. Not days ago, weeks, yellowed years. Dusty decades. Not under quilts of lies you tell yourself. And others. Under secrets and in the shed. Burrowed into layers of dark earth. Sleeping. But it just. Happened.

So brace yourself. Grip the counter. Hold tight to the floor with your toes. Clench your teeth. It's going to hit hard like the back of a hand.

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

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, 

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.