Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lincoln Center, NYC 8/13/09

Who knew the Lincoln Center could be so groovy? I sang there a few years back, and it struck me as more of a conservatory, a place for serious music.

And this music? Seriously GOOD.

I caught the tail end of Snehasish Mozumdermmm & Som, and was intrigued to find myself in a state of somewhat hypnosis after a short twenty minutes. There was a heavy Indian vibe happening up there, complete with a double-necked mandolin. To add a modern jazz element into the music, there was a synthesizer and a guy who switched off between the soprano sax and the flute.

What I began to notice after a few minutes was the structure of the music. It may have been because I was gearing up for Phish the next night (! more on this later), but their music seemed to be structurally similar, trading heavy riffs and light interludes and lots of different sections to the songs.

As for sound, there was a lot of flute/soprano sax solos- very fast and furious, lots of slurred, Jethro Tull-esque sound quality. I caught myself thinking that I would love to get some of this guy's music on my iPod, but would I see them live again? Only if the winds of fortune and coincidence blew my way.

This is the only music I could find of his on the internet, but I would check it out, albeit the fact that it is a myspace:

Jake Shimabukuro was the second set, a native of Honolulu who played the ukalale like no other. Before plucking a single note, Jake stood up and announced to the crowd that he was greatly influenced by his two heros- Bruce Lee and Van Halen (cue the mental groans from elizabeth). But once he started playing, I came to terms that maybe a ukalale inspired by Van Halen isn't such a bad thing- there was so much passion in every song, every stroke and pick of a string.

What really intrigued me about this guy is the way he could imitate the style of other instruments and genres, while still able to capture a unique vibe and sound (mostly due to his medium, I suppose). I was able to find a few of his tunes on youtube to share with you all, including some of my favorites of the night:
"Blue Roses Falling," which captured such beauty and imagery in my mind, prompted by the title alone.
"Let's Dance" Flamenco-inspired goodness

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" self-explanitory. He ended the set with this one and Ave Maria.

None of his songs have lyrics, but I find the music doesn't need them. The ukalale has a strong voice and speaks for itself. I could definitely conjure images and emotions though the music, no words needed.

As for Derek? What more can be said about their sound than soul-lurchin, foot-stompin, guitar-shreddin blues. But not just blues you say? No kids, it's much more. In fact, the Derek Trucks Band is the first band I, in my youth, that intrigued me because I couldn't put a label on it. Was it world music? Blues? Gospel, even? Funk? World? Or just plain groovy? My attempts to figure out just what they were about took me many shows, recordings, and albums to mull through. And the final result? Undecided. Although Derek Trucks was the lead guitarist for the Allman Brothers, he lends his talent to a more funktastic vibe on his own.

Highlights of this show included This Sky and Joyful Noise, both tracks that I have loved for years, and will for years to come. Truly beautiful stuff. I actually found a recording of the show I was at on youtube with good quality.. enjoy my friends.

So adieu, loves. Until next time..

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