Articles by Ian Stewart
One of the many goals I have for the rest of my life--and I guess the newer terminology is now called "bucket list," is to visit as many cáfes as I can. You know, the kind with small outdoor tables that over look parts of the city or the countryside in some faraway country. I have this image or goal in mind for a few reasons. One is for the different tastes of coffee and espresso. The other is for the culture, the people, the sounds, smells, etc. But another reason is for the music. In my mind, at least, I imagine these cáfes as meeting places of rich music.
I love the irony. When I picked the selections for this week's World Music Show (7/27), Richmond was in the midst of it's usual summer humidity hoe-down. You know, sweltering heat, possible chance of rain and thunderstorms every day. But as I write this week's World Music Blog, we're on the second day of really, incredible weather. We're talking no humidity, mid-to-upper 70-temperatures--the kind of weather that, say, if you were at a drive-in theater, you'd maybe need a sweatshirt! And it's the end of July.
I have a small confession to make. One of my secret desires is that I wish I could juggle. I'm not talking about juggling chainsaws, swords and small animals though. I mean, it'd be great to just be able to juggle, say, four oranges and one apple (and take a bite of said apple during the process), like a friend of mine did a long time ago. Sadly, that desire is more like a lament, as I'm a tad more dexterous on paper instead of with things flying through the air with the power of my hands.
In coming up with the headline for this week's World Music Show (6/29), I just had to eject a few really bad puns to accompany that headline in this lead. For instance, part of my brain wanted to write "I won't string you along this week," and "according to the studies on string theory...." But, thankfully, I decided to save you--and my small reputation by avoiding those puns. Instead, I'm going to focus on the music and the theme which runs throughout the show this week: strings.
You know what you don't hear much anymore at live shows? Mic checks. At least I don't seem to recall hearing any of these lately. Perhaps I'm going to the wrong shows. I'm thinking about this for a few reasons--1, is that my mind works in odd, mysterious ways. And 2, it sort of goes with the theme of this week's World Music Show (6/22), which is a continuation of the celebration of Summer via live music shows.
First off, my apologies to the 80s band Simple Minds. I'm hijacking their album title for this week's World Music Show (6/15) blog. I'm doing this with good reason, though. You see, throughout the Summer months, I'll be featuring snippets of live music from various World Music artists as a way to celebrate one of the best times to see live music.
On the cusp of the summer season (or rather the impending onslaught of humidity-riddled days), I thought it fitting to pepper a few of the upcoming shows with some live music. To kick off this week's World Music Show (6/8), we'll start this celebration with some highlights from a music festival that took place in Nijmegen, which is in the Netherlands.
It may seem obvious, but I think it bares repeating, that music is a universal language. There's nothing "lost in translation" when you're listening. I mean, you may not understand the words being sung, but beats are a global thing, right? So in typical World Music Show fashion, this week's show (6/1) will run the gamut of songs that you may or may not understand. But that's ok, because it's just music. Nothing to fear here from your speakers.
The great Elvis Costello (one of my hero's) once sang that "radio is a sound salvation." Well on this week's World Music Show (5/25), the sounds you'll hear may not bring you salvation but they'll certainly be able to entertain you. And not to knock the other stations that you hear around town (because there are some good ones) but to me radio, and particularly music heard on the radio, has always been a way to transform my understanding of the World. And sadly, you just don't get to hear music like that from commercial stations.