Perhaps as a result of my love for 1960s music, I’ve been reading up a lot on space travel. Any wonder that once existed for the wilderness of our universe has died with my generation. To us, Outer Space is nothing more than a highway for our text messages to travel between phones. We live with our faces flush against laptop screens and iPad screens and cellphone screens and GPS screens, forgetting about the expanse in which all of that information was once floating, and the Divinity behind that mysterious frontier.
Above is a photo of the Crab Nebula taken by the Hubble Telescope. I like to keep up with the little guy as it floats around up there, sending home postcards of his journey. Wish you were here, he says.
I recently wrote a piece about a band and nerded out so hard in the article that I mention both NASA and Nintendo in the same breath. Who knew music and space travel are so closely related. You can read it here.
Speaking of great music not of my own generation, here are some artists you should be listening to:
No relation to Leonard, though they were pals, Elmer Bernstein was a heavily decorated film score composer. You’d be most likely to recognize his music from The Magnificent Seven or the zipping horror riff from Psycho, but I most enjoy his score from the 1962 version of To Kill a Mockingbird. “Main Theme” and “Summer’s End” are beautiful and childlike. They play well behind a star-dappled sky.
Though technically my contemporary, his music is nostalgic and classic. My mother, a music guru more advanced than myself, said it makes her want to “put on lipstick and sway.” Swift effortlessly layers brass and keys and strings into his songs yet manages to preserve their simplicity. Be sure to pick up his first recording, The Novelist/Walking Without Effort.
Wood often gets overlooked in favor of artists like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding who were recording similar music at the time. But let’s not forget “Gimme Little Sign,” that little gem co-written and then originally recorded by Brenton Wood in 1967.