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About The Daily Music Break

Les Blank, Nov. 27, 1935-April 7, 2013Today, everyone has their own channel. Somebody who is nuts for big band jazz can choose to listen to nothing but Woody Herman and Count Basie. Classic rock fans can avoid everything but Cream and Hendrix. Madrigals your thing? No problem…

That’s fine. To each his or her own. But there is a price: Listening to what we know we like keeps us from hearing what we know nothing about. In art, the unknown always is a great thing.

We also lack shared experiences. The Beatles became The Beatles primarily because they were a great and revolutionary band. There was a second reason, however: Everyone was paying attention. A huge portion of the televisions across the nation watched the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show. The Shea Stadium concert was international news.

Unfortunately, Ed Sullivan is just a memory (Shea, thank goodness, is long gone). The bottom line is that the next Beatles — or next Elvis or next Rolling Stones — can’t get the same exposure simply because our attention is fragmented. Everyone has their own channel.

This site is an effort to showcase different types of music, old and new. It’s easy for this to sound presumptuous. I’ll shut up and say that, essentially, TDMB features good music created by talented people today and in the past. There is an amazing amount of talent to be seen: From Leonard Bernstein to Louis Armstrong to Wanda Jackson to House of Pain to unremembered Georgia sharecroppers to Slim Dusty to Nat King Cole to Alabama Shakes to Aaron Copland and, thankfully, on and on.

TDMB will present the music in a context created by related links. When I know something about the artist or band that most other people don’t — which only will be once in a while — I’ll add it. In most cases, I’ll include a tidbit or two from elsewhere on the Internet. Please let me know of any artists I’ve missed…

Thanks, Carl


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  • Hey Carl,

    Found your website today on The Daily Kos. Great start!
    It’s great that your scope of material is so broad in both time & genres.

    Here’s a couple of links to the first jazz band that I encountered as a high school student.
    Jazz was foreign to me at the time, but Downbeat magazine helped lead me down a different musical stream…

    The band is Weather Report. There’s plenty of jazz that I like, but these guys are my favorites.
    For me, the period from ‘Mysterious Traveller’ through the ‘Heavy Weather’ albums is my favorite
    time of their career. ‘Heavy Weather’ kicked off with “Birdland”, probably their most well known track. & the lineup in these videos is also what I’d consider their peak…
    Both links are from July 8, 1976 @ the Montreux Jazz Festival.

    The first link is to “Cannon Ball”

    The second link is to “Gibraltar”

    “Gibraltar” is longer, but the ending is just spectacular!


    I’d seen that Leningrad Cowboys link some years ago. Too funny!
    If he could have seen it, I’d bet even Ronnie Van Zant would have gotten a kick out of it.

    here’s a link to the full version of “Sweet Home Alabama” (if you ever decide to edit the link on your site…)



    I’ve passed your website along to my musically inclined friends.
    Thanks for putting your site out there! Keep up the good work.

    Perhaps I can pass along some other links down the road…

    in the meantime, keep on truckin’!


  • Very cool and eclectic Carl. Please put me on your list and I’ll add all the other music-loving Arrisians. How about including the clip of the Yardbirds playing ‘Stroll On’ (also recorded3. as Train Kept a-Rollin) from the nightclub scene in Michelangelo Antonioni’s ‘Blow Up’?

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Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.


The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.