Music Monday: Songs You Might Want to Hear

NaNoWriMo Totals to Date: 13 580 words, 21 cups of coffee, one cup of Earl Grey, one cup of tea (unknown), two glasses of Rum & Coke, one glass of cabernet, and a half-pint of a Session IPA.


There is a radio show on CBC here in Canada that occasionally does a feature called SYNTH: Songs You Need To Hear.

Now, I can’t say to someone, “You’ll like this song” (or book for that matter) because I can’t presume that others will share my taste in music (or books), so it is safer to say, “You might like this” and if they don’t like it, so be it.

Maybe you will find a new favorite.


Every time I decide on a song to share with you, three of four others come to mind. This one has been slipping down the list, so I thought I would get it out there.

Last week I mentioned that I try to avoid posting videos, especially if I think that it detracts from the song, but I watched this one and the ending told me otherwise.


-Leon

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Update

Different deals each day
Just a heads-up for this one

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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Music Monday: Songs You Might Want to Hear

NaNoWriMo Totals to Date: 10 653 words, 13 cups of coffee, one cup of Earl Grey, one cup of tea (unknown), two glasses of Rum &Coke, one glass of cabernet, and a half-pint of a Session IPA.


There is a radio show on CBC here in Canada that occasionally does a feature called SYNTH: Songs You Need To Hear.

Now, I can’t say to someone, “You’ll like this song” (or book for that matter) because I can’t presume that others will share my taste in music (or books), so it is safer to say, “You might like this” and if they don’t like it, so be it.

Maybe you will find a new favorite.


Many may not know of Hawksley Workman. Now you do.

For the longest time I always thought this song was by Rufus Wainwright Jr. (something from him later, perhaps). Why do I like it? It sounds sad, yet it has an affirmation that everything is going to be all right. The guitar and drums are simple and the synthesizer adds a little uplift.

I try to avoid posting videos of songs. I don’t tend to watch them, and most times I hear the audio first—and prefer it that way. Some songs are best when you sit back and close your eyes—unless you are driving of course.

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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Music Monday: New Feature: Songs You Might Want to Hear

NaNoWriMo Update: 5877 words, 8 cups of coffee, one glass of cabernet, and a half-pint of a Session IPA.


There is a radio show on CBC here in Canada that occasionally does a feature called SYNTH: Songs You Need To Hear.

Now, I can’t say to someone, “You’ll like this song” (or book for that matter) because I can’t presume that others will share my taste in music (or books), so it is safer to say, “You might like this” and if they don’t like it, so be it.

Maybe you will find a new favorite.

Sometimes a song just grabs you from the first chord or notes. Maybe it’s the melody or lyrics. This one checked all the boxes. There is a studio version with the full band which I think is better, but this, apparently, is the official version.

Leon

Music Monday/ Inktober Day 11 (Sour): The Unknown Known

October 11: Sour

Went for the literal…

All previous drawings: https://linesbyleon.com/inktober/


Music Monday: The Unknown Known

I found my old iPod shuffle which had some playlists that I hadn’t heard for quite some time. Each song brought back memories, some pleasant, some…well, not so much.

Often we stumble upon a band that grabs us from the first note, chord, or lyric, and think, “I wonder if anyone else knows about this band?”

Of course they do. But sometimes it feels like we are the only one who likes them, and we do one of two things: Tell people about them or keep it as our little secret—which it is not. Bands don’t exist without a following, large or small.

I heard Frightened Rabbit about a decade ago and no one I knew had ever heard of them. I listened to them a lot, but then they dropped off the radar as my life moved on until the discovery of that iPod I mentioned.

When I was preparing to write this post, I was going to post a video…then I discovered that the lead singer had taken his own life several years ago.

I can’t pick a favorite song. Maybe you can.

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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Music Monday: Song Titles

Without looking it up, can you name a song for each day of the week?

  • Monday, Monday
  • Ruby Tuesday
  • Wednesday? There was a band in the 70s named Wednesday…
  • Thursday?
  • Friday?
  • Saturday Night’s Alright for Fightin’  / S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday

I got 4 out of 7. Care to fill in the blanks or add any others?

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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Music Monday: If you haven’t heard it already…

Every so often, I like to share my music page link. Many people read my posts, but unless they visit my website, they don’t see the other things that I have created.

http://linesbyleon.com/my-music-and-more/

Most of the recording is not studio quality (since it wasn’t done in a studio), and recording isn’t something I enjoy doing, but I made the mistake of not putting my earlier compositions on tape (yes, that early) or onto the computer. Trying to remember those pieces has been futile effort. So now I at least score my pieces as I write them.

Earlier this year I did a series of posts on my writing process:

Music Monday: Composing something original

Music Monday: Opus 2

Music Monday: Opus 3 – Decomposing Composition

Music Monday: Opus 4-Writing it Down

Music Monday: Opus 5 Playing and Recording

I hope you enjoy!

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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Music Monday: A Poem

I have never written a poem about music. Until now.

The melody sings 
The poem without words
The painting of sound
Sets emotion in rhythm
When words just won’t capture
Emotional states
Music sates

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

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Music Monday: The Folly of Youth

I hope that you enjoyed my conversation last week. It was fun to do, and I will definitely do more. I tried to keep it casual sounding yet informative as I aim to highlight some of the authors I am doing promotions with.

Now onto today’s topic:

When I first picked up a guitar, I wanted to be a rock and roll star. My friend had recently played a new album by this band called Van Halen. I was awestruck. I went out and bought the cassette (Remember those? Some of you won’t, some of you will have fond memories of making or receiving a mixed tape).

I liked every song on that tape except for Ice Cream Man. For some reason, I disliked it so much I put tape over the little gap on the top corner (some of you will know about this, others will be scratching their heads) and proceeded to erase it. Thankfully, it was the last song. I also scraped the title off the cassette.

Why did I go to great lengths to eliminate this one song from my life? It was a departure from what I thought Van Halen and hard rock were supposed to be, I suppose.

Hearing it later in my life, along with songs and covers like Pretty Woman, You Really Got Me, Dancing in the Street (which was much better than the terrible Jagger/Bowie version), and Big Bad Bill/Sweet William (clarinet in a rock band!?) showed just how talented and versatile the band members were—and no one screams quite like Roth, either. I’m not saying he was the best, just that you could always tell it was him. I also remember there was an uproar when 1984 came out and featured keyboards in Jump and many others (keyboards in a rock band!?)

What made me think about this? I found an old iPod (mine) that had all the pre-Hagar albums. (don’t get me started on that fiasco*). So, I listened to them all. They had many hits—and many misses—and you could hear the sound that influenced many of the 80s hard rock bands.

So, I apologize to Mr. Roth, Mr. Halen (both), and Mr. Anthony for my hasty judgement and destruction of your work. I am not a rock star…you all are.

-Leon

Thank you for sharing your talent, Eddie. R.I.P

*FYI: Joking aside, Van Halen with Hagar was different, not better or worse. It changed the band, not like how AC/DC was able to change their lead singer and not miss a beat.


You may have missed:

Music Monday: What Goes Around Comes Around

Music Monday: So Many Genres

Don’t miss:

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

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C’mon, space stuff!

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Music Monday: In Conversation With Abigail de Niverville

Welcome to my new conversation series! Season 1, Episode 1: The One with Abigail

[Chairs scuffing on floor…*cough*…]

Hi, Abigail. I’m glad you made it. I know that internet traffic can be congested at times. So, if you are comfortable, let’s get started.  In 33 1/3 words (see what I did there?) or less, tell me a little about you.

I’m a musician and author from the East Coast, now living in Toronto! I also play the oboe, sing, and write lyrics. I’m very inspired by the places I grew up around back home.

(did I do that right?)

You’re a little over, but I’ll let it pass. What is your favorite note?

I’ve never given it much thought, honestly! I’d say D is very nice.

That’s a good choice. I like that one as well. Do you know how many people pick that note?

I have no idea!

Neither do I. Interesting to know, though. So, along that same line, do you have perfect pitch, and if so, what is the most common note out there?

I don’t have perfect pitch! The only note I know 100% whenever I hear it is “A”. That’s the beauty of being an oboist and tuning every orchestra/band you’re ever in. I spent many hours practicing playing “As” over the years!

I think there is an oboe joke about that.

Oh, probably. There’s an oboe joke for everything.

Not as many as for the viola, I’m sure. What composer has influenced you the most?

Probably Sondheim! I’m very inspired by musical theatre in general. I once thought I might try for a performance program in that area, but I found I much prefer being behind the scenes.

I recognize the name, and I’m sure I’ve heard his pieces, so I looked him up and said, “Oh yeah. That guy.”

Yeah!!That guy!!

What inspires you to compose a piece, and how do you proceed? I rarely hear a melody in my head, so when my emotions need an outlet other than poetry, I have to turn to playing guitar to come up with ideas.  

It really depends. Sometimes, I have a melody spring out from my head that I have to write down, but sometimes it’s just a concept I want to explore more. Like, maybe I’m inspired by a photo or a poem and want to convey that musically. Or maybe I have words in my head I want to put to music.

Do you have a favorite instrument to score for, and on the flip side, what instrument do you find challenging?

I love writing for voice! An instrument I find challenging to write for is the harp, or really anything stringed. As a woodwind player, stringed instruments are foreign to me, so sometimes I need to ask around to see if what I want to write is possible or if a player would hate me for writing something a certain way.

Isn’t a harp just a sideways piano? It’s like the builder just gave up and said, “That’s enough.”

Haha, I wish it was that simple! All those pedals and tunings make things interesting.

When was the last time you have an earworm, and what song was it?

Yesterday, I had “Danger” by BTS stuck in my head basically all day.

I’ll give you one—Watermelon Sugar. You can thank me later.

Gosh, that’s also constantly in my head. It’s too catchy!

First concert? Last concert?

My first concert was probably Symphony New Brunswick. My parents started taking me to them when I was pretty small, so I’m guessing it was them! The last concert I saw was Kim Petras.

I’ll have to look her up. What song or genre are you embarrassed to like?

I don’t really get embarrassed by my music taste anymore. Life’s too short to get hung up on those sorts of things. If I had to answer the question, though, I’d say K-pop because it’s so big right now, and many who aren’t in the know are annoyed by it and the fans, but I really don’t care.

I agree. There’s usually merit in all styles of music…usually.

[Sound of flipping through cue cards]

I read here that you are a writer of poetry. What came first for you, music or writing?

I think writing. I was writing stuff way before I could spell or print properly, but music came shortly after. I began lessons when I was still in kindergarten.

Do you have a favorite book?

So hard to pick just one! I’d go with the Lord of the Rings trilogy because I’ve reread it the most out of everything.

I’ve read that a few times as well. I think the sign of a good book is when you want to read it again. I’ve read Klondike by Pierre Burton many times.

I can’t say I’ve read it or even heard of it! You learn something new every day!

It’s a historical account of the gold rush. Quite fascinating. Speaking of fascinating…are you allergic to anything or wish you were?

I have sooo many seasonal allergies.

Let’s change things up a bit. Are you ready for the lightning round?

Sure!

Introvert or extrovert? A bit of both?

Talk or text? Text

Physical or Ebooks? Ebooks

Tea or Coffee? Coffee

Coke or Pepsi? Coke

Rick or Morty? Neither? I’ve never watched it, haha.

The beaten path or the road less traveled? Road less traveled.

Like or dislike: Ice cream like

Moths  like (when they’re not stuck in my house)

Waterfalls — like

Hedgehogs like

Bonus question: What’s the square root of 13?

Why are you making me do math??

I didn’t say it was going to be easy. Time’s Up! I’m glad we had this chance to chat. Are there any links you would like to share?

Be sure to follow my newsletter for monthly updates! You also get a free e-copy of my poetry collection MIDNIGHT when you do!

https://adeniverville.substack.com/

I hope you enjoyed this conversation. I hope to more in the future. If you are interested in participating, let me know! (See below)

You can also listen to some of Abigail’s compositions @ https://adeniverville.com/listen/


More Interviews:

Last year I wrote a couple of interviews that I did with myself Leon Stevens Interviews Himself – Yes. I interviewed myself!

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

Purchase paperback directly for the author!

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Oh, pick me!
C’mon, space stuff!

Contact me!

Music Monday/Monday Musings: Now for something completely different.

So I decided to put my interview skills to the test. I have written a few humorous ones, Leon Stevens Interviews Himself, but after participating few new book promos, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce some of the authors that are featured on my page, Discover New Authors and Free Books.

My first conversation will be with poet/composer Abigail de Niverville. I immediately was drawn to the parallels in my skill set, which was what made me decide to do this feature. So stay tuned (Ha! There’s the music reference for today), I hope to have it ready for next Monday.

And, now for something not so different:

For today, I will continue on the Olympic theme because, hey, why not. One more year and I’ll be annoying you with Winter Olympics stuff.

As reader (Stevie) brought up a point about performance enhancing drugs. as with most (all?) sports, there regulations and rules preventing the use of these, which in most people’s minds make sense. There is a definite advantage (plus negative long-term disadvantages) to the use, but if some do and some don’t, it does create an imbalanced playing field.

Some athletes knowingly take them – hoping not to be caught, and some unknowingly do – from an honest mistake to subterfuge (I’ve been waiting a long time to throw in that word). The consequences can range from banning (some as harsh as lifetime), records and medals being taken away, to asterisks being places beside your achievement.

Kudos to the Olympic committee for allowing some Russian athletes to compete in the last few games amidst the allegations of doping by their government. On a side note: They should also be applauded for creating a refugee team for the displaced athletes with no place to call home.

Maybe the solution is to have a competition solely for athletes that take PEDs. Wouldn’t that be exciting? Imagine how much weight they could lift or how fast they would run/swim. Gymnastics would be interesting, though.

-Leon

Leon Stevens is a blogger, composer, artist, and an author of three books (so far): Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and PicturesJourneys: Eight Original Pieces for Classical Guitar and The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories.

Purchase paperback directly for the author!