More shots from my blockbuster performance at the grocery store. It is with great pride that I have so little pride.
I played the liquor aisle at the supermarket this weekend. No lie.
There are artistes who would be repulsed by this situation, but I am not one. It was not a bad gig at all, I swear. I played hard, and a couple friends actually stopped by to watch. It was fun to see them lurking in the aisle – supermarkets aren’t made for gawking.
I gave this little rap: “There are those who say Napster didn’t hurt the rock stars. But don’t believe them. Who am I? Why, I used to be known as… BARBRA STREISAND.”
About a year and a half ago I answered an ad for musicians to participate in an art project. The project was about “rewilding.” As far as I could figure it out I think the idea was nature taking back developed land.
She put a little audio recorder in a patch of weeds and went across the street to shoot video with a Flip camera. It didn’t take long. We did one take each of two songs, parted on the spot, and I never heard anything else about it until just now when I stumbled across it on YouTube, under the title Rewilding With Intention.
It’s not my best singing, but the feeling of the place makes it worth tolerating.
I learned about it from this warm email titled “About your job”:
My name is Antonino and I’m writing from Italy. I am a young filmmaker and I am writing about the history of my project.
I’ll be brief: some time ago an actor friend of mine asked me to make a video of his monologue that he had brought as a final exam in his drama school in Bristol. The text was taken from “The Martian Chronicles” by Ray Bradbury, in particular a novel called The Off Season.
I made the video trying to complete an original work and self-sufficient rather than a simple recording of a dialogue. The result was a ten-minute short film rather special, not particularly beautiful or great, but I think an interesting experiment.
Anyway while I was working in post production, I tried, just for fun and curiosity, some music that could accompany him and help create the atmosphere of this sci-fi Western.
During my research on a free music site I found your songs from your album”Ghost Solos” and I found these really perfect for what I had in mind and I mounted on the video. The effect was amazing. Now that the video is complete I would first like to apologize if I have done this without your permission, but I honestly did not believe that the video had any visibility or was seen by some other person of my friends.
But now I’m writing because so many people tell me that the video may be interesting for some kind of sci-fi film festival, and I would not miss this opportunity also to thank the many people who helped me for free to realization.Obviously I will not do it without your knowledge, and I’m writing to ask permission to use your own sounds for public screenings.
As you might have guessed the film has no budget production or distribution, and I can not afford to pay the rights, so I’m asking you a favor.
You do not know me and I do not know you, but I think you understand, because your work has given me this impression, I’m not doing this for money. I have ambitions and projects, but it is not business, it is passion. I hope that you agree to grant use of your two songs and I’ll share with you every success this project were to obtain.
The video you can see on my vimeo channel, here’s the link:
I hope you do not be offended if I uploaded on the Internet, I assure you that I have kept the private link.
Aspect of your news and thanks for your attention.
When I previously blogged the old old sheet music for “Pompey Ran Away”, I used a scan that only an insane person would try to read:
To make restitution I dug up a better source and clipped out the image for myself and am herein sharing a version that will not cause you to go blind:
Some funny song titles from that book:
- Bung Your Eye
- Carlen Is Your Daughter Ready
- The Widow’s Rant
- Had the Lafs till I win at her
- My Wife’s a Wanton Wee Thing
- For a’that and a’that
- My Mother’s aye Glowring o’er me
And my favorite:
- I’ll Touzle Your Kurchy
I enjoyed this round and organic banjo playing by a guy named Dan Gelert:
These mp3s are deep links to his site so will go 404 sooner if not later.
From “A Few Words of Advice to Singers” in an 1813 songbook called “David’s Harp”:
Let the mouth be opened freely, but not wide, and let the tones proceed from the chest — otherwise they cannot be good.
Avoid singing as though the nose was stopped up; — this is commonly called “singing through the nose,” but it is the very reverse of it, as may be proved by closing the nostrils.
Never attempt to sing a part for which your voice is not calculated; for if you strive to reach tones which are above your compass — your abortive attempt will have a tendency to depress the pitch of the tune and create unpleasant sensations in yourself and others — men who cannot reach F with ease, had better sing Bass.
Stand or sit erect, and avoid all ridiculous gesticulation and affectation; “suit your looks and action to the words,” and if the subject be praise and thanksgiving, you need not look as though you were at a funeral.
Above all, let the melody of the song, be accompanied by the melody of the heart; never losing sight of the important direction of the poet, “Rehearse his praise with awe profound, Let knowledge lead the song; Nor mock him with a solemn sound, Upon a thoughtless tongue.”
A giant buffalo-shaped building projected for the 1901 Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, NY.
Hype Machine has introduced a new feature called Fast Forward that’s like speed dating for indie rock fans and indie rock songs. Here’s how it works: After clicking “go” on the Fast Forward home page, Hype Machine plays 30-second samples of songs and shows the blog post from which the song came. (For the uninitiated, the Hype Machine is a streaming service that plays songs that have been posted at a select group of music blogs.)
If Fast Forward seems familiar, it may remind you of Shuffler.fm, a great site that streams music from music blogs through a couple dozen or so curated channels of both mainstream and niche genres. Each song played at Shuffler comes with the blog page with the source music (Shuffler takes the music from each blog’s RSS feed), allowing the listener to read up on the artist as the song plays. Shuffler launched last year, got some good press and won a B2C award at MidemNet Labs startup competition earlier this year.
It’s striking that Billboard, which is the voice of the legacy music industry, has a friendly feeling towards both hypem and shuffler.
By email he commented:
I left in too many of those transitions, which are every bit as amusing and clunky as Windows Movie Maker transitions. I’d take them out if I were doing it again. Overall, I pronounced Pinnacle VideoSpin a worthy successor.
Prince Albert Hunt was a pioneer of western swing. His fiddling had a ferocious groove. It was just outrageously swinging and hot.
Here’s a 30 minute super-8 documentary about him from 1974:
Warning: there are some flashes of racism in the blunt old school style.
The link above goes to a full length version. This embedded version is a trailer:
I found this film and these people had charm.
Working from this history of the song Maiden’s Prayer on Wikipedia…
Sentimental salon tosh original, published as “Modlitwa dziewicy” in 1856 in Warsaw, Poland
A medium difficulty short piano piece for intermediate pianists. Some have liked it for its charming and romantic melody: others have described it as “sentimental salon tosh.” The pianist and academic Arthur Loesser described it as “this dowdy product of ineptitude.”
That sounds almost nothing like the Bob Wills version, published in 1935, via YouTube
The American musician Bob Wills arranged the piece in the Western swing style and wrote lyrics for it. He published it first in 1935 as “Maiden’s Prayer”; later, it became a standard, recorded by many artists.
74 years after the Bob Wills version it keeps just the chord progression and a few fragments of the melody.
Some plays put on in New York in 1923-1925:
- Sun Up
- Hell-Bent Fer Heaven
- The Shame Woman
- This Fine-Pretty World
(From Hillbilly Music: Source & Symbol).
Here is Uncle Bob Larkan and Uncle Sam McRee, Sr., with the boys and girls that go to make up the happy groups of “Arkansans” that so many hear and enjoy. Typical old southern melodies and old fashioned tunes make up their efforts to please you.
Names of medicine show pitchmen:
- Doc Zip Hibler
- Mad Cody Fleming
- Widow Rollins
- Sergeant Poulos
- Pens Patterson
- the Canadian Kid
- Sox Clark
- Ask-Me Dodge
- the Ragan Twins (Mary and Madaline)
- Paperman Dell
- Sir Tom Rogers
- Doc El Vison (“Lord Dietz”)
- Population Charlie
- Professor Mayfield
- Joe “Fine Arts” Hanks, the punkmugger
Since my son was born I have been on a new path.
In the mornings when the 4am feeding is over and before my wife gets up I find time to practice, and one night a week I go out to sing.
The practice time is going towards lap steel and dobro. I started learning steel during paternity leave. The pinky on my fretting hand is giving me a lot of pain, so I can’t play normal guitar without making the pain worse, and since steel doesn’t involve fretting it doesn’t need the pinky at all.
The singing is Sacred Harp. It’s a deep well.
Eventually I’ll have time again for gigging, music blogging, and recording. By then I’ll have a new instrument under my belt and probably won’t play much regular guitar. But in the meantime – hibernation.
Horace Weston’s approach to harmony was bold and advanced.
In his composition “Egyptian Fandango” (sheet music here) there is an E7 spelled f#-g#-d-e, putting two whole-tone pairs next to each other to maximize dissonance:
F#-g#-d-e by lucas_gonze
Something really unusual there is the f#, the 9th of the chord, as the bass note. Modern jazz might do that to give a sense of two chords at once, meaning an E7 chord and an F# chord happening at the same time. But the way this is voiced with the 9th right next to the 3rd makes the f# act more like a coloration than a tonal center. Funk would have a 9th but only if the 3rd and root are in other octaves, far away from one another to prevent dissonance, and anyway the 9th would never be used as the lowest note. It’s a quirky and creative touch on Weston’s part.
Another approach to this voicing from the same song, this time staggering the high note to be on the downbeat, putting the rest of the notes together on the upbeat, and adding the 5th of the chord in the root:
B-f#-g#-d-e by lucas_gonze
This is again a personal and creative concept. The phrase here is the classic oom-pah boom-chuck 1-2 bass-chord chop, but the first note is above the entire chord rather than below it. If that e note before the chord were an octave down, it would be the same old same old. Weston had ideas.
Here’s the entire bar where that chord is sitting:
And here’s the overall phrase containing that bar, to help you situate this with respect to the beat:Phrase B from Egyptian Fandango by lucas_gonze
A similar harmony to the above is in Weston’s composition “Horace Weston’s Celebrated Polka” (view sheet music at the Library of Congress). In the B section the main idea is a closely voiced V7 chord, with the 5th, the b7 and root note right on top of each other in a strongly accented chop:
D-a-c-d by lucas_gonze
Some cool things about this version of “John Henry” by the Blind James Campbell String Band:
- The fiddler rocks.
- The tuba player sounds great in a string band. How come you don’t hear more tuba in string bands?
- The dancing about a minute in.
gurdonark ran across the true history of a pair of star crossed lovers from the olden days. He seems to have gotten hooked on their life stories and cyber stalked them, digging up any details he can find on the internet. It’s a sad tale of an ordinary breakup between two ordinary people, a long time ago.
“Strike the chords of Life’s great autoharp whenever you may, and there comes forth the wails of misery and woe commingling with those of laughter and song”
[letter of Lucy Roberson to Ollie Roberson, from the Nevada Supreme Court case of Roberson v. Roberson, 41 Nev. 276, 169 P. 333(1917)]
I can’t tell you the parts of their relationship which involved roses and love poems and promises in the dark. I can tell you they were minors when they married. I can tell you that their relations crossed the expected boundaries of intimacy, such that Lucy bore at least one child. I can also tell you that the marriage did not work.
The couple talked it over, and decided to go their separate ways. Ollie moved from the piedmont of North Carolina to Reno, Nevada. Lucy moved in with her people, along with the couple’s child.
The lyrics are coming from the Mississippi Sheiks version of the song, the original and very first. This song became a bluegrass, blues and folk standard over the decades. There might be some significance to the fact that the Sheiks were black and their version predated the many countryish versions by whites. For example, Turner might identify with the Sheiks more than with Bill Monroe.
The way the slide and quills work together is great.
Update later: it seems most likely to me that it’s Otha Turner’s *age* causing him to use the original Mississippi Sheiks lyrics. It took a while for this song to spin off all the related versions, and in the meantime it was a great song just as it was. The original came out around 1930. Turner was born in 1907, so was around 23 when the Sheiks were doing their thing. That would be a perfect age for him to learn the original just as it was.
A little ways back an article about my music appeared on a web site. I posted about it here. Along with the entry I posted a PDF of the article, in preparation for the time when the original site goes dead. Recently I got a takedown request for my PDF, alleging infringement. The site is a content farm generating linkbait. Most likely they think I’m a spambot that mirrors original content. The takedown request itself is probably 90% bot.
So, no point arguing with lawyerbots. For the moment there is a PDF of the takedown request in place of the PDF of the article. When the original site goes down, whenever that is, it will be safe to put the original PDF back, and that’s also when the original PDF will be useful.
The URL of the article was http://guitar.lovetoknow.com/Reviving_Historical_Guitar_Music . The URL of the PDF is http://soupgreens.com/wp-content/uploads/lovetoknow-noticeofcopyrightinfringement.pdf .
How do musicians get paid if they can’t sell CDs because Napster is sucking the very lifeblood from their marrow? Per The Personal Memoirs of U. S Grant, one way is to
issue bread to the soldiers instead of flour.
Our regimental fund had run down and some of the musicians in the band had been without their extra pay for a number of months.
The regimental bands at that day were kept up partly by pay from the government, and partly by pay from the regimental fund. There was authority of law for enlisting a certain number of men as musicians. So many could receive the pay of non-commissioned officers of the various grades, and the remainder the pay of privates. This would not secure a band leader, nor good players on certain instruments. In garrison there are various ways of keeping up a regimental fund sufficient to give extra pay to musicians, establish libraries and ten-pin alleys, subscribe to magazines and furnish many extra comforts to the men. The best device for supplying the fund is to issue bread to the soldiers instead of flour. The ration used to be eighteen ounces per day of either flour or bread; and one hundred pounds of flour will make one hundred and forty pounds of bread. This saving was purchased by the commissary for the benefit of the fund. In the emergency the 4th infantry was laboring under, I rented a bakery in the city, hired bakers—Mexicans—bought fuel and whatever was necessary, and I also got a contract from the chief commissary of the army for baking a large amount of hard bread. In two months I made more money for the fund than my pay amounted to during the entire war.
At a dance held in Gilliands opera house of Van Wert, O., Thanksiving evening William Stewart, a musician and plasterer, shot Ham Proost fatally and seriously wounded Oliver Ramsy because they objected to his going into the hall.
Originally published December 5, 1890 in The Detroit Plaindealer. I found it in Out of Sight.
At the free sound web page we have found your great “Homestyle Mandolin matched set” which we would like to use for a short vídeo which I am sending you. We are a photography collective and we have been asked by NOKIA to test their new N8 camera. We have made 7 short pieces and one of them is Matías Costa’s on his daughter birthday. The vídeo will be on the NOKIA page and their blog.
It doesn't bother me that a business like Nokia is involved, by the way.
This same mandolin music was also used in mandolin love by gurdonark, which is a fun bit o' honey that I posted about previously.