Today our sponsors and partners over at the MOG Music Network have a bunch of new releases for you to enjoy. What’s MOG? Looking for some new full album downloads from Neil Diamond, Elvis Costello and N.E.R.D.? What does Live Fix think of MOG? Here’s the complete lowdown that’ll answer all those questions.
On Monday, we shared the sad news about the death of indie-rapper Micheal “Eyedea” Larsen, of Eyedea and Abilities. And tonight, and this week, the indie-rap community and fans will gather to celebrate his life and mourn his passing.
Sad news about the death of indie-rapper Micheal “Eyedea” Larsen, of Eyedea and Abilities, was announced yesterday. So let’s pay tribute as fans mourn his passing and celebrate his life and rhymes.
Our friends over at Wolfgang’s Vault are celebrating John Lennon’s 70th birthday by featuring one of his famous concerts from their vault. Let’s join in and start to wonder how Lennon might be celebrating his own birthday today.
A long time ago I realized that there was no point in denying the influence of my parents on my musical tastes, especially my love for live music.
And in my early twenties, I started asking my parents questions about…who they were when they were young, why they made the decisions they did and other important details about their lives that I didn’t already know the answers to.
During my inquisitive quest, I got to know more about my dad’s love for Neil Diamond. And sadly, last Monday my dad, Joe Catania, passed away at the young age of 60. And like we’ve done for other live music fans who’ve passed on, this post is a tribute to his life and especially his love for experiencing Neil Diamond live in concert.
I have some sad news to share with you.
This morning my wife’s uncle, John O’Donnell, passed away due to his struggle with brain cancer.
It’s hard to write this post for many reasons.
But I write regardless because it helps to cope.
But most of all, I write this post as a tribute to John and the great conversation we had about the power of live music.
My eyes well up every time I think about how much fun I had talking with John about his love for live music and how he met Kid Rock backstage earlier this year.
As a tribute to that conversation here’s a link to the original interview.
I haven’t listened to Rock N Roll Jesus the same way ever since my chat with John.
And I know, after today, I will continue to feel the same complex mix of grief, loss and joy each time I listen to the album going forward.
Speaking of emotions, I invite you to check out a recent post about experiencing grief, joy and community in live music. Many Live Fix readers have enjoyed it and I hope you enjoy it, too.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the O’Donnell family.
Two things have been brewing in my mind lately.
1) The Community of Cathartic Mourning
2) Building Relationships in Live Music
The Community of Cathartic Mourning
A good friend of my wife and I shared this Bonnie Raitt Star Tribune review with me a few weeks ago (the video above is one she excitedly posted on Facebook before the concert).
I share this review with you because it was one of my favorite reviews I’ve read this year. And when I finished reading the review I thought about something very important that happened to me when our friend sent me the link.
My life changed.
I was transported straight to the heart of Raitt’s palpable concert atmosphere.
I read the review and I felt rushes of joy, sadness, hope and an overwhelming sense of cathartic connectedness with the fans at the concert that captured the essence of live blues so beautifully. And this review represented one of the aspects of live music I love the most:
And it goes both ways.
Because live music can be just as cathartic for the artists as it can be for the fans.
The review writer/reporter, Jon Bream, didn’t say it overtly, but because of the way he wrote the review and captured the emotional intensity of the moment, I could feel that he too was traveling through and expressing his own version of cathartic mourning. I could feel the emotion in the words as he took me step by step through the emotional progression of the show.
And the progression allowed me to travel though my own internal emotions from the past.
As I read the review, I recalled similar emotionally intense situations were I’ve been ambushed by grief at concerts. One that always stands out is Lollapalooza 2007, where I unexpectedly mourned a friend who died. That friend loved Modest Mouse and specifically their song Float On. During that song I welled up and had a moment of grief that was unexpected and somewhat undesired (like most of us I’m still working on expressing sadness and grief among strangers).
When you read the Lolla 2007 review you’ll see that I didn’t mention the Modest Mouse moment because I wasn’t quite sure how to make it appropriate for the review.
But nonetheless that moment was good for me.
And I’ll never forget that moment. Ever.
Judging by Bream’s review, I imagine Raitt did her own mourning during the show as she mourned her brother Steve who recently died of cancer.
And I know, too, by reading the fan comments after the review, that other fans at the show were mourning in a similar way like I did at Lollapalooza 2007.
Which brings me to my second reason for this post: connecting with others during the live music experience.
Recently my friend Benjamin Slayter–who I had the pleasure of meeting at Rothbury this summer–asked me in a Facebook comment how I write my live concert reviews. This was the first time any body had ever asked me. It was a honor to answer Benjamin’s questions and a pleasure to share what I’ve learned about writing live music reviews. So I gave him a short version of my approach which led me to write a more fleshed out and formal rundown that I’ll be sharing with you in a future post.
The reason I mention Ben’s request is because meeting him at Rothbury was one of many relationships and connections I’ve made over the last year with other music writers, photographers, business owners and fans. And lately, I’ve been really excited as I think about how cool it is when relationships and community can be built because of live music.
So what I did was compile a list of people I’ve connected with over this last year or so because of live music. The list is in no particular order and is a mix of artists I’ve interviewed on-site; writers and photographers I’ve met and had great chats with in the media tent; vendors and PR I’ve connected with at concerts. I’ve included links to their online work so you too can enjoy their words, music, photos, businesses and daily experiences as much as I have.
If I’ve forgotten anybody I do apologize. It’s not because I’m a jerk. It’s because I suffer from the occasional brain fart. So by all means feel free to send along your link so I can add it to this post.
As always, thanks for reading. And I hope to see you at a show, or talk live music with you very soon!
Ann Teliczan: photographer, artist at Michigan Sweet Spot
Greame Flegenheimer: writer at Brooklyn Vegan
Mike: writer, editor at Sound Citizen
Jesse Borrell: writer at Jam Base
The crew at Rock for Kids
Lewis Cooper: writer, photographer at Gonzo Shots
Photographer Leigh Ann Hines
The crew Arts of Life
Dan Hyman writer at Popmatters
Jules Esh at Earphoria
Chicago emcee, producer, activist, poet Jessica Disu (AKA FM Supreme)
Jamie Ludwig: editor, writer at Alarm Press
Chicago producer and beatmaker Radius
The crew at Pitch Perfect PR
The crew at Madison House
Sgt Tibs at GoWhereHipHop
Scott Legato: photographer at RockStarProPhotography
The Crew at Future of Music Coalition
Ben Ratliff: writer at New York Times
S.D. Green: writer, editor at Ink19
Eric Mueller: Pirates Press
The Crew at Cornerstone Promotions
Drew Fortune: writer, editor at Popmatters
The Crew at Open Books
emcee, poet, activist Saul Williams
Ben Slayter: photographer, designer
Lily: Director of Popmurals.com
David Miller: writer, editor at Matador Travel
Photographer: Anthony Nowack
Dean Budnick: writer, editor at Relix Magazine
Janine Pumilia: writer, editor at Northwest Quarterly
The crew at Live Music Blog
Writer David Shehi
Frank Krolicki writer, blogger at Windy City Rock
Jason Petros editor, writer at Chicago Independent Music Review
The crew at I Pledge Eco