About Music (SXSW) and ‘Non-Music’ (Rihanna)

Norah JonesHello Music-Lovers,

The SXSW Music Festival closed out with a bang on Saturday, when festivities included a documentary, “Big Easy Express.”  One of the performers covered by the documentary nearly stole the show on the final day – The Austin High Band!  Their live performance at an outdoor venue was very well received and prompted Marcus Mumford, fresh from his gig at the White House lawn, to fete the high school children’s music as being “real music from real people.”  Well done to the high school musicians but where does that leave the other performances and performers – fake music from fake people?

Other performers like Norah Jones, who debuted her upcoming album, ‘Little Broken Hearts’ live.  The intimate and highly personal set was quite a change from her jazz and blues sounds and image.  Paradoxically, one thing that hasn’t changed is Norah’s, ah, ‘image’ – if you know what I mean!  I’m sure her live concerts are worth attending for more than one reason.

Those ‘other performers’ also included ‘gangsta rappers’ and hip hop types 50 Cent and Eminem.  The twosome apparently did a duet that sent their masochistic audience into raptures.  Aha!— I’ve figured it out: when Mumford came up with his “real music from real people” line, he was drawing a comparison with the likes of 50 Cent and Eminem . . .

We’ll close with a singer who makes more news (if you want to call it ‘news’) that’s not about singing than it is about singing.  Even an international news agency like Reuters is now acting like a tabloid rag where Rihanna’s antics are concerned.  It is solemnly reporting on fans’ and critics’ reactions to her going back to the abusive arms of her ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown.  On the one hand, it is said that the relationship is strictly business.  On the other, it said that is a little more than merely business.  Some are voting for Rihanna to give him another chance.  Many are voting for her to permanently boot him out of her life.  Is there a vote for “Who gives two hoots?” or “Let’s boot this nonsense off the news pages”?