On New Music, Stress, and et cetera

So lately, there has been a lot of new music entering my iPod playlist and ears alike. As you may have gathered from the last post, Matt Marshak’s newest release, Urban Folktales, was one such addition, and it left me thinking of earlier tonight, getting out of work, and getting a drink. …well, not yet. Drink didn’t happen; a wee bit broke and more than a wee bit tired.

And now, Boney James’s Contact is in the Recently Added playlist, and I find myself smiling. The reason that Boney James is on my list of best-loved sax players is that somehow, no matter what he plays – original, cover, accenting licks – he always seems to make his saxes do a little more than emit notes in perfect pitch and cadence. His horns sing just as lyrically as a vocalist; they express something that can’t be quite put in words, but a person can nearly always interpret the message correctly. This sort of wordless speech in melody is a favorite trait among nearly every musician who makes his or her way into my Favorites List.

Now, for the less pleasant parts of this post.

1. Stress sucks in extreme amounts. I’m sure you know this. Now know this: tax deadline is April 18th this year. 17 more days… Yes, I’m likely going to work them all straight through. Yes, I’m sure some people are reading this and screaming at the screen, “Are you out of your mind?!” Believe me, I know. But it must be done. When I took this job, I knew precisely what I was signing up for, and this is part of the package deal. But the best part is…in 17 days it’s over. Viva la vida, and I shall live to cause mayhem again. :)

2. Because of Point 1, I’ve not had much of a chance to update Book 3. And that thing is aching for release already! I don’t want to have to push back the deadline for release again.

I’m also very, very amazed at all the Japan relief efforts happening around right now. If you hadn’t heard, the radiation leak forced the decision to entomb the Fukushima Daiichi plant in concrete. A good decision, but I hope that the same thing that happened with the Chernobyl enclosure won’t happen there. It may not mean much, but there should be a sheeting of lead somewhere in the enclosure. Not inside or outside, but within the concrete itself. The force of the radiation at Chernobyl melted the first enclosure, which is why there are two on that plant. And to this day, the exact amounts of radiation that leaked from the enclosure are unknown.

I don’t want the same thing happening to Japan. They have a country to rebuild already.

Please keep the people of Japan in your thoughts. And if you are a jazz lover, set some good thoughts aside for Keiko Matsui, Hiromi, Jeff Kashiwa, and others. And of course, keep in mind everyone who may have a friend or relative in the Land of Rising Sun.

Most of all…don’t forget to donate. Everything counts.

The old deal still stands. Buy my books in any format you would like, and all proceeds through the end of April go to the Japan relief effort. I donate directly to Red Cross.