It looks like announcing your retirement from music causes the same sales spike as a death. Except you get to be alive when it happens. Well played Mr. Stipe.

A lot of instrumental music sounds like a ring tone that goes on forever with no one picking up the damn phone.

Your Brain on Jazz

Charles Limb, a hearing and ear surgeon at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, studies jazz as a means of understanding what goes on “under the hood” when a musician is improvising. The Q&A in Scientific American ‘s May issues queries Limb about the nature of his work. And this video expands on the insights in the interview through a seminar at Johns Hopkins, “Neural Mechanisms of Musical Improvisation,” that Limb organized with jazz musicians Pat Metheny, Mike Pope and Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

From Scientific American [Video]

Ethan Lipton

I’m a big fan of Ethan Lipton. Its very hard not to be entertained by a crooner whose ballads mention yoga positions, Martian juice and women who work at Renaissance Faires. The latter being described as having hair smelling of steak.

It is really hard to call him a comedian as his songs really don’t follow any joke format. They aren’t parodies. There is irony and amazing comic timing but it is really hard to pick out a joke. Lipton’s music is funny in the way a puppy chasing his tail is funny.