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Music

Spring 2021

WSM staff picks for the pandemic

WSM staff picks

Here’s what the staff of Washington State Magazine has been reading, watching, and listening to since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Larry Clark (’94 Comm.)
Editor

Books

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish (Gallery Books, 2017) – Haddish’s comedy shines through some rough times in this memoir. I was laughing out loud during several parts.

The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner (Harper, 1972) – A classic of science fiction and environmental destruction

Ivory Apples by Lisa Goldstein (Tachyon Publications, 2019) – I enjoy a good novel about fiction becoming reality, and obsession. Goldstein’s words are gripping and, at … » More …

Butch Cougar in front of music sheet
Spring 2021

Pandemic playlists

Music stimulates the parts of the brain that register pleasure, provoking memories, reducing stress, and profoundly influencing our moods. It’s both a salve and a distraction. And, during the current novel coronavirus pandemic, it offers perhaps one of the easiest and most accessible forms of self-care.

Music comforts us. It alleviates anxiety, helps us cope with emotions, and offers an outlet. It’s art, and art saves lives.

Here are some suggestions from the Cougar Nation for your listening pleasure during the pandemic.

 

Dean Karr (’88 Fine Arts)
Music video director, photographer, visual artist

Eruption by Van Halen on Van Halen (Warner Bros., 1978). … » More …

Cover of Butterfly Launches from Spar Pole
Summer 2020

Butterfly Launches from Spar Pole

Cover of Butterfly Launches from Spar Pole

Krist Novoselić, Ray Prestegard, and Robert Michael Pyle

Murky Slough Music: 2019

 

This eleven-track acoustic folk offering celebrates the natural world with profound but approachable spoken-word verse inspired by the cycles of life and sciences of ecology and geology. Armed with a PhD from Yale University and sense of curiosity about and reverence for the biosphere, Robert Michael Pyle—a lepidopterist, naturalist, and award-winning writer—presents compelling poetry that explores the intertwined fates of humans and nature.

Pyle, largely considered the … » More …

Book - Briefly Noted
Spring 2017

Briefly noted

 

No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon

Erik Weihenmayer and Buddy Levy

Thomas Dunne Books: 2017 

After Weihenmayer became the first and only blind man to reach the top of Mount Everest, he decided his next adventure would be to traverse the treacherous Grand Canyon by kayak. He and Levy, a Washington State University instructor, chronicle the turbulent whitewater journey, and the insights gained by Weihenmayer and other trailblazers he has met.

 

Unusual Punishment: Inside the Walla Walla Prison, 1970–1985

Christopher Murray

WSU Press: 2016

Murray was an employee of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services … » More …

Lowell Liebermann - 88 Squared album cover
Spring 2016

Lowell Liebermann: Complete Works for Two Pianos

Lowell Liebermann - 88 Squared album cover

88 Squared Piano Duo

Albany Records: 2015

WSU piano faculty members Jeffrey and Karen Savage are the formidable pianists of 88 Squared, a critically acclaimed piano duo. This remarkable recording of Liebermann’s music for two pianos will only add to their international reputation. Liebermann’s piano music requires keen attention to color, texture, balance, and lyricism. His ample use of counterpoint requires absolute precision between the four hands.

88 … » More …

Summer 2015

Key to My Cage

Key to my cage

Michael Kirkpatrick ’01
2014

The human voice is our oldest acoustic instrument and it’s still one of the most captivating. Add a few well struck strings—just a few chords even—and you have a remarkable symphony of bass, harmony, lyrics, and emotion.

This is the beguiling formula of Michael Kirkpatrick ’01. He’s a troubadour, both self-described and according to the 2014 Telluride Troubadour Competition, which he won. Performing some 150 dates a year from his Fort Collins, Colorado, base, he writes his own tunes and for the most part plays all … » More …