May 18, 2011


I've been reading blogs and seeing a few live shows around town. We are surrounded by super local music in San Francisco and Bay Area. Our City also welcomes touring bands, but then there is always the massive free downloads and free streaming. There is just oodles of music to be found and digested from around the world. If I stick with my regular diet of KCRW, Insomnia Radio, KALX, SOMA FM, Radio Analogo, I get more than a full platter of delicious tunes. Every new morsel is a gem to obsess over.

But lately on my commute to the day job, I find I can only sit in my car in silence, a well needed break from any NPR tragedy, and even jazz - that just won't satisfy. Oversaturation, constant media input can leave me manic and dizzy. Sometimes I'll revert back to the oldies but goodies, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Ella and Louie, a little Brian Eno to clear the musical palette even further. But then I begin my musical discovery frenzy again.

This week I had the pleasure of seeing Eisley, from Tyler, Texas, touring through San Francisco's Slims. It was sweet harmonies and fantastic melodies rising and engulfing from the group - so young and vibrant. They were a freshness I hadn't heard in a while. On reflecting on them more....their greatness came from the fact that they used their full range of voice(s), they had been plying together for many years, they were related, they were family. Their sound was dynamic- it rose, it dropped down, it was a joyful musical journey. It reminded me of going to church and only enjoying the singing parts of the service. I wanted to join them in their exhaultation. I was transported along with everyone with me to a lovely place. Did you see them? Sorry if you missed it.

They say it takes more than 10,000 times of practice on a musical instrument to be really great. I imagine it is the same for vocalization, or perhaps it's just the way one vocalizes. No one can teach you to express your emotions in singing. It's a magic that cannot be taught, it is the listener who is moved and inspired. I only hope to reach such greatness in my musical journeys as a musician. Off to practice I go, striving for suchness!