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StreetWise vendors write about music

Wed, Feb 26, 2014

Music is a Powerful Tool
By A. Allen

Andy AllenMusic is a powerful tool that influences emotions. It can be relaxing and soothing. Music has a way of altering a person’s mood.

In the Bible, in I Samuel 16:23 we read “and it came to pass when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took up an harp and played with his hand. So Saul was refreshed and was well and the evil spirit departed from him.”

From the ancient days of the Bible until today music has influenced individuals, communities and cultures. The Blues was born from a depressed time and a depressed people. The Blues often tells the story of the African American social struggle. Sometimes the Blues is about a group. Sometimes it is about an an individual who is suffering.

Each kind of music tells its own story. First the composer is moved by the music he creates. Then the listener is influenced by the music. Music carries important messages and music is a way to get a message across. When you listen to music be aware of the message. The music will influence your behavior and mood consciously or subconsciously. From classical opera to the modern day, young people’s rapping, all styles of music influence the moods and sometimes the behavior of listeners.

It is important to listen to a variety of musical styles because we use music to enhance our changing needs and moods. Therefore enjoy and share good, positive music… because music is a powerful tool that influences emotion, mood and ultimately, behavior.

Free Music in Chicago
By Jeffrey Berg

Jeff Berg5As a small child I was introduced to music. I first played the flute in my school. After that I took guitar lessons but I do not feel that I was blessed with a special musical gift. I live in Chicago as an adult and I like to listen to some of the free music. One of my favorite music events in Chicago is Jazz Fest.

I would really like to start going to Lincoln Square in the summer. In Lincoln Square there are many different groups of street musicians who perform music in the evenings. There are also street musicians who play on the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) trains and around the stations. While waiting for the train you can hear Rap music or Country music. I guess I like Classical and Rock music more than Rap. I hope to learn more about where I can go to hear free music in the parks and around Chicago.

The Rolling Doomahicky
By William Plowman

Will PlowmanIn October, 2009, I was selling StreetWise in front of a Starbucks at Berwyn and Clark. There was a street musician doing a puppet show. He had a group of puppets that danced to the records he was playing. People gathered around to watch the show. Even I couldn’t resist the fun of watching the event. So I took a break from vending for a while. We all enjoyed the show together.

We took turns approaching the rolling doomahicky. This was a grand puppet house, a showcase on wheels. We put money in either the money slot or in the mouth of a puppet. As long as we kept giving money the show went on.

Some Street Musicians in Chicago
By Clifford T. Harris

photo[1]I hear music on the Red Line at the Jackson stop.
There is Hip Hop music.

There are break dancers that do moves such as the helicopter and the 1990 b-boy pose.

There is Gospel singing on the rail line – The singers pray for you to arrive safely. This is a good service.

There are the 63rd street Bucket Boys. They drum b4 office meetings.
Some music is good.

Some music is annoying.

Annoying music is string music on the subway.

A Christmas Song for a City Without Snow
By James Metzger

James Metzgar 1I am writing about a song I used to hear on a Chicago FM station that went out of existence around 15 years ago. The title of the song is, “Christmas in San Francisco” and it was sung by Vic Damone. The theme of the song is that the charm of San Francisco is enhanced by the lights and Christmas decorations. So many Christmas songs are about snow and winter. Some songs that we think of as Christmas songs do not even mention Christmas! This song shows that a place that does not have snow can still have a romantic Christmas.

These are the lyrics to the song: “Christmas in San Francisco/ What a lovely place to be / Seeing the hills all lit up / like a diamond Christmas tree… /Christmas in San Francisco / There is no place quite so dear / It’s the closest thing to heaven / How I wish that you were here.”

I have a CD of Russ Lorenson singing this song with some minor changes to the lyrics. Because I had heard this song I made a trip to San Francisco shortly before Christmas in 1988.

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