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Category: Music Life

Kurt Elling in Berlin

The jazz singer Kurt Elling played in Berlin a few nights ago at the relatively small club Quasimodo. I knew about the concert, but wasn’t sure if I wanted to go because it started late and it was way across town, blah blah blah, excuses excuses. Luckily it took place on the same night as my jazz class, otherwise I probably would have been too lazy in the end. I talked one of the other singers into going over there to see if we could get a last minute ticket at the door. We got one of only nine they…

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What I’m listening to today

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I love many different kinds of music, but my heart belongs to jazz. What I love about jazz is that it offers a chance for constant change. You have a tune, but instead of playing it straight like you do in basically any other kind of music, you have the chance to improvise, to reinvent, to listen and react, to stay playful. And jazz can mean so many different things. I just googled types of jazz and was given 44 different subgenres, although I’m sure this is by no means an exhaustive list. This…

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What I’m Listening To Today

Yesterday I had lunch with a friend of my mom’s who came to Berlin for an intensive tango course. Her name is also Rebecca but without an h, and I met her in August when my mom was in town and we hit it off. Today she’s flying back home to the “real” Northern California, as in five hours north of the Bay Area which still insists on calling itself NorCal, because they irrationally hate the folks down south. We ate at my beloved Hallesches Haus which both of us agreed could just as easily be in California, with it’s…

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Albums That Make Me Happy

It’s another, and another day means hours spent in front of the computer doing work I want to do and work I’m getting paid for. Someday, I hope the work I’m getting paid for is also the work I want to do, but in the meantime I’ll keep trucking. And really, I can’t complain. I have a nice life and, when the going gets tough, I have music to help me along and Spotify to play it on. When I work, I usually listen to playlists, but I occassionally also put on an album. Here are some of my favorites:…

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Deep Love On A Perfect Day

FYI: If you hire a freelancer to do a project, always give them a deadline, even if it’s completely arbitrary. Something as simple as asking, So, when do you think you might be finished? is probably enough to make sure they keep their eye on the ball. But if you hand over a project with no deadline whatsoever, chances are, instead of giving said project their undivided attention, they might decide to waste time recording a schmaltzy version of the Bee Gee’s How Deep Is Your Love in their living room. Ok, so most people probably wouldn’t do this but…

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Thanks, Spotify!

Yesterday morning my husband took his sweet time before heading off to the office. He stomped around the apartment and rustled papers and made one coffee after the other and basically drove me nuts. Couldn’t he see I was trying to work? To be fair, my “office” is technically also the “living room,” so instead of complaining, I went to Spotify and put on some music to try to stop him from distracting me. It didn’t work. Here’s what happened: Husband: What are you listening to? Me: Eddie Gomez’s album “Palermo.” Husband: Which album? Me: Palermo. Husband: Speaking of Eddie…

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Music That Helps Me Survive

I’ve been working on the world’s most boring copywriting project for just about forever and, yes, I’m happy to have the gig—a girl’s gotta have some green, or in my Euro zone case, some pink, blue, green and tan—but if it weren’t for my spotify playlists, I don’t think I could handle the mind-numbing dullness of it all. Today I’ve been listening to my “Upmix,” which has these gems among others: Ok, distraction time is over. Got to get back at it. 😉        

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Laurie Anderson Live In Berlin

Last night I saw Laurie Anderson live at Haus der Kulturen der Welt  in Berlin. Her show ‘The Language of the Future’ was the closing act for Transmediale – festival for art and digital culture Berlin, an event which has taken place annually since 1988. I was a huge Laurie Anderson fan back in college. I still remember buying used copies of her CDs at Amoeba Music on Telegraph Avenue, all stashed away under the section Arists A. I bought everything of Laurie’s I could get my hands on, but my two favorites albums were Bright Red and The Ugly…

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My eight-year-old daughter Lilly is sometimes an impatient, self-doubting perfectionist. She picks up a pen and draws a picture of a monkey (the girl really has a thing for monkeys) only to sigh a minute later. “Mama, I can’t draw.” The same goes for reading clocks, swimming, doing timetables. “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t,” after only five minutes of trying. “Practice makes perfect,” I tell her, dipping into the golden store of parental cliches. But I don’t tell her how hard it sometimes is for me to follow the same advice. I’ve gotten better about this with writing. Somewhere along the…

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