Wednesday, June 27th, 2007
There's something in music I like, a quality I can't identify, that gives me this rush of pleasure that is strongly associated with wanting to sing along. I've talked about this before in relation to Perspex Island, and this afternoon when I was mowing the lawn and listening to Nextdoorland it hit me -- Robyn sings "Can you make it rain,/ Can you make it rain tonight" and I can't help it, singing along is just an instinctual reaction to the pleasure I feel. And then, just now I was sitting and listening to the Band playing "Up on Cripple Creek" and the same thing happened to me when Levon sang "If there's anything she can do --"... (A few nights ago Ellen and I were watching The Last Waltz and together we sang along with the whole song when they were playing "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", and that was a beautiful thing.) I want to know what this quality is.
Tuesday, June 26th, 2007
The peaches are just really good this year. I bit into one just now and got such a rush of pleasure.
Saturday, June 23rd, 2007
Last time I watched The Last Waltz -- which must have been 15 years ago -- I did not appreciate it. I think I was watching it for the Dylan appearance, which is only a few songs at the end, and wasn't really paying attention to the greatness of every song in the movie (well except "Dry Your Eyes", I wouldn't count that as a great song, though I do think it might have some possibilities if someone besides Neil Diamond were singing it). Ellen and I watched the movie last night; what a wonderful thing it is.
Thursday, June 21st, 2007
My brother's book, Monk's Music: Thelonious Monk and Jazz History in the Making, is published and available on Amazon.
Sunday, June 17th, 2007
Today I started reading Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH with Sylvia. I found it really gratifying to see how into the book she is; I remember having a similarly strong reaction to it as a kid.
Sunday, June 10th, 2007
I jammed with Bob and Janis and Gregory tonight and it was really nice. Several songs came off almost flawlessly and we were just exactly in time with each other in a way that characterizes the best of our playing, for almost the entire session. The set list (constructed from memory afterward and not complete) was:
- Wild Horses -- I had given Janis the recording of Old & In The Way singing it and wanted to get us doing it.
- Knights in White Satin, more as a joke than anything -- none of us really knows it.
- Pallette on Your Floor
- Willow Garden
- Love in Vain
- May the Circle be Unbroken
- Death Don't Have No Mercy
- Some Dark Hollow
- St. James Infirmary
- I Know You Rider
- The Star-Spangled Banner (by this point we were sort of done for the night -- the last couple of songs were not great.)
- The Night They Tore Old Dixie Down
Everything between about Love in Vain and St. James Infirmary was in "best we've ever played" territory.
Thursday, June 7th, 2007
I just found this page at the Library of Congress' "American Memory" web site -- it links to field recordings of fiddler Henry Reed and sheet music transcriptions of his pieces -- this is just excellent.
Wednesday, June 6th, 2007
Today in history: 1993, the proprietor of this blog and his wife became one in the eyes of the law.
Sunday, June third, 2007
I finally learned a bit of how to use the digital camera Ellen got recently, and in so doing posted some new photographs to our family album, the first in a while. I took a bunch of pictures of our garden, which I've been spending a lot of time enjoying lately; also some of Sylvia; and Sylvia has been taking some pictures of her own, mostly of our dogs.
Friday, June first, 2007
Last night I downloaded and listened to Robyn Hitchcock's Games for May concert from last week -- the first set was a recreation of Pink Floyd's Games for May concert of 40 years ago, the second set was mostly Syd Barrett's solo tunes. It blew my mind. The opening number "Matilda Mother" was a little weak and unsure, but the band quickly got it together. Nearly every song is a keeper. You can download it from archive.org -- bear in mind that the FTP download, using Filezilla or some such client, is much faster than using your browser or media player to get the songs.
My own favorite from the first set is probably "Arnold Layne" and from the second set (and the concert as a whole) the combination of "Interstellar Overdrive" and "Lucifer Sam" was just transcendentally beautiful. But -- I liked the Barrett solo tunes from the second set a lot too. "Terrapin" was great. It was really interesting listening to "Love You" and hearing Robyn and the female vocalist (who does not appear to be credited?) get their shit together after flailing for a verse or two. By the end of the song they were really in the groove. Hitchcock's between-song patter was as always, "eccentric" and "quirky", but more than that, fun and frequently insightful.
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