Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Here come the sons: the return of the Beatles?

It is the secret fantasy of every Beatle obsessive: what would you get if you put the scions of the greatest group ever in a recording studio together? It’s like a musical science experiment, mixing the creative DNA of John, Paul, George and Ringo to see how much is nature, how much nurture, and how much nepotism? What would a Next Generation Beatles sound like?

The Beatles can never reform, but perhaps they can continue as a family business: Beatles & Sons.
 They all look a bit like their musical parents, although you also have to factor in Yoko, Linda, Olivia and Maureen, which is possibly not quite such a compelling line up.

Sean Lennon (now 36) has been the most musically interesting of the Beatle boys, in ways his father would certainly approve of, creating whimsical experimental rock, sometimes with his mother, Yoko Ono, and sometimes with his own Japanese girlfriend, Yuka Honda. His vocal tone is very close to John’s, his instincts are for the avant garde, but there is no sign in his work of any of his father’s populist flair or driving anger.

James McCartney has been a bit of slow developer. He has played guitar on a couple of his father’s solo albums, and released a couple of pleasant EPS that reference Sixties beat music, although more the kind of jangly rock of the Byrds and Searchers than the muscular pop of the Beatles. Never likely to challenge his dad as a pop pin-up: he looks like a slightly plumper, sadder and balder ginger Paul. But his old fashioned guitar group tastes and melodic sensibility could combine well with the more experimental instincts of Sean.

Dhani Harrison (33)
looks and sounds a lot like George, contributed guitar to some of his father’s solo work, and played with a couple of decent bands (thenewno2s and Fistful of Mercy) where he sounds very much his father’s son, to no great success.Yet there is a suggestion in the best of his work that he has the makings of a great sideman.

Zak Starkey (46) is the most established as a professional musician, as a drummer with The Who and Oasis. He is fierce drummer, more Keith Moon and John Bonham than Ringo, and arguably the only Beatle son who has surpassed his father, in a purely musical sense at least. And it turns out, not surprisingly, that
he is the least interested in a Beatles 2.0: “I don’t think it’s something Zak wants to do,” admitted James.
 “Maybe Jason would want to do it.” Jason Starkey (44) is another drumming son of Ringo and Maureen,
 who has played in a couple of bands that made no impression whatsoever.

And where’s Julian Lennon in all this? Poor fellow has been suffering from comparison to his famous
 father all his life, now it looks like he’s getting left out of the party again. Where, to be fair he is probably better off.

The Beatle’s offspring may be talented musicians in their own right, but they are also privileged musicians who grew up in wealth and comfort. Their dilettantish careers suggest that they lack the fierce drive and hunger of their fathers, raised in a post-War world or rations and deprivation, where rock and roll exploded as a new and exciting creative force, offering them a chance of escape.
 The Beatles were playing professionally in the strip clubs of Hamburg before they were twenty years
old, a sink-or-swim experience that was the making of them, binding them together as friends and players, and setting them off on a path that would shake the world. They were younger than their sons are now by the time they had broken up. 
Different people, different world, and no matter how their fans long to see it recreated, the Beatles can never happen again.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Rock Moms, Rock Kids

There were the groups -- The Mamas and the Papas, Mothers of Invention, Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys. There were the songs -- "Your Mother Should Know," "Mother and Child Reunion," "Your Mama Can't Dance."

But nothing pays simultaneous tribute to rock and motherhood like recognizing these rockin' moms and their kids who followed in their professional footsteps. Here's to the moms who rock, and their contributions to the musical gene pool.

Mom: Carly Simon   Kids: Ben Taylor and Sally Taylor 

In music, there's nothing quite like the sound of family harmony, especially when the family includes the likes of James Taylor and Carly Simon. Mom enlisted her two talented children by Taylor, Ben and Sally, to join her on her 2005 tour.When not performing with mom, son tours and records with the Ben Taylor Band. Daughter writes and sings and has three solo albums to her credit.

Mom: Carole King  Kids: Louise Goffin and Sherry Goffin Kondor

The songwriting team of Carole King and Jerry Goffin produced a huge catalog of hit songs. Their nine-year marriage produced two successors to the family business.Louise Goffin is a singer-songwriter with a five album discography. She is heard in duet with her mother on the Gilmore Girls TV show theme, "Where You Lead."
Sherry Goffin Kondor -- who performed (along with sis Louise) with mom during her Living Room Tour in 2004 -- has recorded an album of children's music, founded the band Sugar Beats and manages pop artist Jesse McCartney.


Mom: Yoko Ono  Kid: Sean Lennon 

Mom has a catalog of 23 albums, seven of them with husband John Lennon. With that kind of genetic background, it seems inevitable that son should be a singer, songwriter and musician. He also has acting and film producing credits on his resume.

 Mom: Jessi Colter  Kid: Shooter Jennings

Both mom (widow of the late Waylon Jennings) and son have left their musical footprints primarily in the country genre, but both have crossed over to pop/rock: mom with '70s hits like "I'm Not Lisa" and son with Southern Rock band Stargunn. 


Mom: Michelle Phillips Kid: Chynna Phillips

Michelle was the mama and John Phillips was the papa in both their professional and personal lives. Like mother (The Mamas and the Papas) like daughter Chynna (Wilson Phillips) -- both found their musical success came when they performed with a group, and both have also pursued acting careers.

 Mom: Sharon Osbourne  Kid: Kelly Osbourne

Mom's musical career has been behind the scenes, as a manager and promoter. She has had three kids with Heavy Metal stalwart Ozzy Osbourne, including Kelly, who has released three relatively successful (especially overseas) solo albums.

 Lot of people might say that their mom is a rock star. But for a smaller portion of the population, their mom actually is a rock star. In honour of Mother's Day, and all of the figuratively and literally rocking moms out there, we'd like to salute them all for their selfless love and inspiration

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

cafe idly @ bangalore: Music lessons for kids this summer

cafe idly @ bangalore: Music lessons for kids this summer: Summer is here and parents are looking for ways to keep their kids entertained, engaged and learning.When our children were younger, we co...

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Music lessons for kids this summer

Summer is here and parents are looking for ways to keep their kids entertained, engaged and learning.When our children were younger, we comforted them with lullabies and entertained them with nursery rhymes and songs. We shouldn’t stop there. Ideally, we should encourage them to learn how to play a musical instrument may be enroll children in music lessons over the summer.

Music helps develop our children’s creativity, plus a number of other skills that will serve them well for the rest of their lives. Even if they never play for a symphony orchestra, the process of mastering an instrument will develop their mental, emotional and cognitive abilities.

1. Music improves your child’s concentration.
It takes a great deal of focus and patience to master an instrument. Aside from learning how to read notes, your child will also have to pay attention to his posture and factors like rhythm, timing, or even the pressure of his fingers on the instrument.

2. Music improves your child’s coordination.
Playing the piano or the violin may not be as physically rigorous as cricket,football or kabaddi, but these activities do develop hand-eye coordination—not to mention the fine motor skills required in learning how to write.

3. Music provides a good form of stress relief.
Children do get stressed! Adults may think that school is nothing compared to the pressure they go through at the office, but they’re much younger, and still have difficulty understanding and getting a handle on their emotions and fears.

Music can be their way of relaxing. Studies show that playing an instrument can lower heart rates and blood pressure. Plus, the daily practice can be a comforting routine.

4. Music develops your child’s self-confidence.
As your child masters an instrument, he discovers and develops his talents, and gains tremendous self-satisfaction in seeing his progress. He may also enjoy having a skill that other people don’t have—and of course sharing it with other people, and enjoying their praise and admiration. It also helps if your child has the support and encouragement of the adults around him, from his parents to a kind teacher or mentor.

5. Music can make our child smarter.
Studies show that learning music can help improve reading comprehension, mathematics, and cognitive skills like verbal and perceptual abilities as well as spatial reasoning. One landmark research, done by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, show that exposure to musical instruction can lead to higher academic scores.

Researchers believe it’s because reading musical notes and playing instruments involve thinking ahead, visualizing, pattern recognition and using spatial-temporal skills—which children don’t get when they’re just watching TV or using the computer. The spatial-temporal skills are also one reason why music has been linked to mathematical intelligence and abstract reasoning.

Learning to play music well builds creativity, confidence, persistence problem-solving, and other skills that can help children in schoolwork and in life. Regardless of the instrument, every kid should get the opportunity to experience the joy and sense of accomplishment that comes from learning to play.

So let's get the kids signed up for music lessons!what do you say ??