Classic Rock Corner

Astronaut Plays Jethro Tull Flute In Space

Rocks Off has been trying to come up with a "space rock" joke all day, but we can't, so we'll just say this is pretty cool. Today we got an email from Austin nonprofit Dart Music International with a link to the above video, which premiered during SXSW.

It's astronaut (and musician) Cady Coleman giving a guided tour of the International Space Station, concluding with an interstellar duet with her all-NASA folk-rock group Bandella from the station's cupola, which has (to say the least) a killer view. Even better, she's playing a flute given to her by Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull.

The song, which starts at about the five-minute mark, is more Little Feat than Tull, but we're not going to split hairs... it's in space. (Bandella actually played Houston back in January.) Coleman also holds up a flute and tin whistle given to her by two members of Irish folk masters the Chieftains, but she doesn't play those.

Maybe next time. If there is a next time.

In other space/music news, NASA seems intent on sending out the Space Shuttle program with a musical flourish. Big Head Todd's "Blue Sky" won the agency's Space Rock contest earlier this month, enabling the Colorado jam-band guitarist to awaken the Discovery crew with a command acoustic performance.

Today NASA opened the voting for the next (and supposedly last) shuttle flight next month, narrowing down the field from 1,350 songs to 10. Listen and vote here. There are no ringers like Todd or the theme from Star Trek this time.


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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray