Monday Music: African Blues

This week it’s five years since my middle brother (of 3) died of stomach cancer. A couple of years ago I wrote a series of blog posts on how much he influenced my taste in music. I also wrote a post about the music I chose for his funeral.

I’ve written quite a few posts about Mark, and about coming to terms with his death. I don’t always blog on anniversaries (like his birthday), but five years, well, that seems somehow significant. Continue reading

Monday music: Spinning the blues

SpinningIn case you are new to Monday Music, this month I have been reflecting on the musical influence of my older brother Mark, who was born on the 25th September. He would have turned 62 this month. This week’s post, which is the last of the series, also doubles as the finale in a quartet of posts that I decided to write as part of my grieving/healing process after his death almost three years ago.
Continue reading

Monday Music: Tom Waits

For those who are new to this blog, this is the 4th in my September series of musical tributes to my brother Mark. The series starts here.

No tribute to Mark would be complete without Tom Waits. I clearly remember Mark’s pleasure when he shared One of Waits’ early albums with me in our grotty student house lounge room (Small change, I think it would have been). I’m not a Waits fan, but I can see … hear … why Mark liked him. The gravelly voice, the poetry, the bluesy sound, the stories of people on the fringe, the somewhat depressing tone. Continue reading

Monday Music: Transcendence

This month I have been rediscovering music that I first heard when sharing a house with one of my brothers in the 70s. While we listened to all kinds of music, I’ve noticed that I’m mainly remembering the music that is peaceful and uplifting — such as Gregorian chants.

Continue reading

Monday music: Alan Stivell

 Student life: my brother in the 70s. Not surprisingly, same hair style as Alan Stivell. And same colouring, showing their shared Celtic heritage.

Student life: my brother in the 70s. Not surprisingly, same hair style as Alan Stivell. And same colouring, showing their shared Celtic heritage.

This month being the anniversary of my brother Mark‘s birth, I thought I would pull together a blog post that paid tribute to how he influenced my taste in music, back when I first left home and lived in a share house with him.

Perhaps it wasn’t only his influence, as the nature of shared student households is that a lot of music gets played; but whether or not all of the records were his, from Gregorian chants to Billie Holiday to Bob Marley, I heard them for the first time as a teenager in that run down terrace in Newtown.

I compiled my short list of musicians to share and decided to start looking for videos well ahead of his birthday (25 September) … and then I realised that you can’t have too much of a good thing.

Continue reading