Monday, January 28, 2008

I Hear Music by Barbara Quinn

I’m a fan of many types of music. I listen to Blues, Rock and Roll, Classical, and Opera at different times for different reasons. Chopin’s Nocturnes are a sure way to spark creativity . Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Dylan, never fail to put me in a better mood when I head my car to the shore. Opera can bring me to tears and all types of music can be downright orgasmic. Music and I have an intense relationship.

I spend a good deal of time in Asbury Park, NJ, which is a short walk from my place in Bradley Beach. This area is the home of the "Jersey Shore Sound" whose most famous practitioners include Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny, Little Steven, and Bon Jovi. The Jersey Shore Sound has been described as dance music with lyrics that have a sense of being an underdog. Other flag bearers for the sound include Lance Larson, Gary US Bonds, and John Eddie who often perform in and around Asbury Park. Wherever you go in this area of Monmouth County, music plays. The venues range from The Stone Pony to the smallest coffee shops which cram in a musician or two. Outside on the street corners, there are doo-wop performers. Even in winter you’ll hear people practicing in the alley in Ocean Grove, their voices echoing off the buildings. Antique shops sell CD’s of local performers such as Meat n’ More, a group named after a local meat market on Main Street in Asbury. Giamano’s, a fine Italian spot in Bradley Beach, has an upstairs bar area the size of a living room where musicians perform on weekends.On Monday nights in the summer Bradley Beach hosts opera at their beachside pavilion on the boardwalk. The ocean crashes behind you and the gulls caw overhead adding to the score. Any time of year, when I walk along the boardwalk it’s not unusual to find someone facing the ocean playing an instrument; one fellow in a kilt plays the bagpipes, another sits in his car with a flute. I love hearing the melodies that are coaxed out of them by the sea.

Sweet, sweet music is a healer, an energizer, a way to soothe nerves. I’m grateful to all who send their sounds out into the air and enhance the soundtrack of my life. Play on!

7 comments:

Angie Ledbetter said...

Been to Joisey before and walked around the Boss's playground. Even got to hear him live once when he toured down south. You're so right -- music is a great healer.

Kathryn Magendie said...

My son played the bagpipes and quite well -

every now and then someone from somewhere visits our mountains and plays them - haunting over the cove

Nannette Croce said...

Every time I hear Un Bel' Di from Madama Butterfly I remember my grandfather. On a family trip to Italy we ate in a small Trattoria in Florence where a young girl was singing opera for tips. When she finished the aria my grandfather waved her over and with tears streaming down his face he pulled a wad of lire bills from his pocket and shoved them in her hand. He wasn't a rich man.

Trish Ryan said...

Gorgeous post! Thanks for reminding me--sometimes I get so into the zone that I forget how much music would add depth to my day. I clicked on iTunes before I was even done reading your post :)

Barbara Quinn said...

Nannette, Loved the tale about your grandfather. Un Bel Di was always a favorite of my Aunt's. I get the chills when I hear a fine aria like that. One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to visit local opera houses. And ball parks!

Barbara Quinn said...

Kat, That'd be wonderful hearing the bagpipes float over the hills.

Angie, I'm glad to hear you've made it to NJ and have seen Bruce. The Boss lived in my little town of Bradley Beach for a bit. And the E Street in the E Street Band is a street in Belmar, which is a couple of miles south.

Barbara Quinn said...

Trish, it's so much fun to have music at our fingertips, isn't it?
Another thing I've taken to doing is listening to the Dylan theme hour on XM radio. He's a fascinating trove of music history.

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