Sunday, January 27, 2013

Resurrection: Within You / Without You

The Beatles/Spottiswoode: Within You Without You

Resurrection/Reincarnation… Star Marker is too established to fade away so easily- at least for now. Several regulars have noted our recent absence, so we’ll make an attempted come back.  Hence, the current  topic. It seems that the topic is appropriate in that it’s related to our absence since the new year:  the subject of New Years’ resolutions: our wish to remake ourselves each new year.

So … George Harrison’s “Within You Without You”…  A sitar-based/Hindu based  piece that seems to convey the sense of a world beyond the one we normally perceive: that  there may be more to reality than that which humans perceive.

The use of the sitar in itself conveys the appropriate other-worldly atmosphere.

While not directly focused on resurrection, the song calls to mind the fact that there are cultures that see the world in a different light; it raises the idea that our lives may not end with the one we now know/experience.

Death does not have to mean the end. We each possess the potential to “save the world” if we could only see beyond our limited view of our present world.

Resurrection: Come Back

Dough: Come Back

Well, we’re back. And it seems fitting to follow the In Memoriam theme and a short period of dormancy with a Resurrection theme. To be honest, the song I chose isn’t really about resurrection, but the title, “Come Back” fits.

Dough was a band that played around New York in the early 2000’s. They put out a nice, self-titled album filled with catchy, uptempo songs. Think Fountains of Wayne. The reason that I am aware of the band is that they replaced their bass player with Tony Maceli. Tony was the music teacher at my son’s school when he was in 4th-6th grade. He might read this, and I am going to maybe embarrass him by saying that he was a great teacher and a huge influence on my son. My kids have been lucky to have had a number of really good teachers when they were in school and very few, if any, real clunkers. Most were good, but a few really stood out, and Tony was one of those special teachers. He taught them to be confident in their new musical abilities and ran an afterschool jazz band where he taught the youngsters music theory, improvisation and more. He pushed them beyond what you would expect from a public school teacher.

For example, he found my son, who played the flute, at the end of 5th grade, handed him a baritone sax and a book and told him that he was going to be the bari sax player in the jazz band the next year. My son learned the instrument, and was, in fact, the bari sax player in the jazz band the next year. And soloed. I know that his time with Tony gave my son the confidence to pick up the guitar, and drums, and even a little keyboard, and helped to foster his love of music of all kinds. Unfortunately, Tony left our district before my daughter had a chance to study with him, and to my knowledge, he is not teaching in schools anymore, instead living the life of a professional musician in Brooklyn. I see pictures of his gigs on Facebook.

When Tony joined Dough, we went to see the band play, with my kids, a number of times, at venues including Arlene’s Grocery on the Lower East Side, and a teen club in Connecticut. I definitely recommend taking your teenagers to rock clubs on the Lower East Side. Really. With Tony, Dough released an EP that was similarly catchy (with, of course, better bass). Dough was good, they were tight, and with a few breaks, they might have made it. But it didn’t happen for Dough, and as best I can tell they went their separate ways.

I don’t really have much to say about the song, except that it is a very good pop song, which is hard to do, and I think that you will enjoy it. And, it is great to be back.