THIS is Rock n’ Roll!

6 04 2008

Sometimes I wonder if my students think that since I teach strings and conduct The Orchestra, I must have classical music playing in my head 24/7. They’re right. Ha! Just kidding 🙂

The answer is no – while I do listen to a lot of classical music (although its probably not as much as I would like to imagine), I did grow up listening to music of various genres – Dad had traditional irish music playing on the car radio fairly often…alongside Vivaldi, Bach, Simon & Garfunkel, Jim Croce, and the music from the original Godspell.

I freely admit that before buckling down to study and teach strings and conducting, I was a bassist in college band. We did a lot of Jars of Clay and Newsboys, and I went on to study the music of The Orange-County Supertones, Delirou5?, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Pax217…the list is long. Suffice it to say I was a diligent student of the groove, always searching for the opportunity to lay down a bass line that would yank people out of their chairs and onto their feet.

Interestingly enough, I really only got the opportunity to do that when I started paying more attention to the violin. Suddenly I was confronted with the music of U2 (pumping 8th notes never sounded so good before!), and, I remember that I was idly going through channels on TV at the time, Bruce Springsteen.

I remember seeing the music video of Dancing in the Dark for the first time when I was in college (it featured a then-unknown Courtney Cox of Friends fame), and while I found the 80’s fashion a bit embarrassing, the melody and lyrics were catchy, the beat was simple yet irresistible, and above all, the groove was righteous. 

Well, on a whim, I looked it up on YouTube and found this:

Now this was written back in the 80’s, and while I know Rock n’ Roll has been around longer than that, when you say Rock n’ Roll, I think Bruce Springsteen. His music has that semi-rural, semi-urban quality that I saw a lot of during my time in America – a certain jaded wildness, if you will.

Uh…okay…I don’t expect my Philippine audience to understand.

But the real point I want to make is…look at him go! It’s hard to find musicians nowadays who bring the same amount of passion to every song they play, but when I find it – as in this case – I cannot help but be inspired. I mean, even his band looks inspired!

I’m no expert on modern music; nowadays, as far as the Top 40 is concerned, I live under a rock. But as far as I am concerned, this is Rock n’ Roll! Woo-hoo!






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