Saturday, July 28, 2007

touch the sound w/Evelyn Glennie

I do have to wonder what cave I live in when it takes me 3 years to hear about a movie like Touch The Sound. Or lord knows how many years to hear of a musician like Evelyn Glennie.

Hopefully the trailer above (posted by negativerad) will move you out of any similar hermitage & into a brisk sunshiny day. Tho' I'd pay more mind to her keen awareness and less to her clinically defined deafness.

And if you want to hear her live:

Friday, July 27, 2007

ever seen or heard of a Violano-Virtuoso?

Thanks to a friend and his friend, I got to see & hear a Violano-Virtuoso last night. Many Irving Berlin tunes were played, some Jolson.

Evidently, there's also the Double Violano-Virtuoso with two mechanically played violins and a piano.

A few links:


a MIDI-fied Violano project

The Musical Museum, London

Nice photos here

The Violano-Virtuoso I saw had been recently MIDI-fied.

So rather than playing Violano piano rolls, it was playing MIDI files extracted from the rolls via a homebrew piano roll scanner devised by a group of mechanical musical instrument enthusiasts (including the owner of the V-V). The scanner, built using elements from flatbed scanners, reads a roll in increments of 5/1000ths of an inch and thereby creates both a graphic copy for making new rolls and the aforementioned MIDI file.

Hooking up to the MIDI interface a Palm Pilot full of these MIDI files, the Violano owner could easily call up tunes at will.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

ads--to add or not to add

In case you've been reading this blog, you should be advised . . .

Like so many others, I think of money.

More of it. Less of it. Making and saving and spending it.

Not being immune to thoughts of money, I think of adding Google's AdSense to this blog.

I've no illusions that more than the slightest bit of $ will come of it.

Still, the notion won't go away.

True, ads can be annoying--but I tend to ignore them.

And some feel that ads cheapen or undermine the credibility of a blog or website. I somehow fail to see this blog as some bastion of integrity--beyond yes I like the things I write about.

So while I'm hardly sensible enough to take any of your sage advice to heart, you the reader might consider commenting on whether to do AdSense or not.

If I receive no comments on this, I'll have to assume there are a million billion of you out there who couldn't care less either way . . .

And whoever writes in I'll know to be a true blue friend. Y'know, someone I can borrow five bucks from sometime.

"human piano" @ Music Thing

iPod signals are chosen, routed, blended via human contact.

Neat . . .

Monday, July 23, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007

ever hear of the Gospel Chicken House?

Tho' a secularly minded fellow myself, the Gospel Chicken House looks like the spot to be.

Anyplace that has music and chicken statuary has to be great.

Or so I'm guessing--I've yet to go.

But if you have any yearning for gospel bluegrass and find yourself close to Montpelier VA, consider dropping by there.

cool how-to vids

I like this vid, done with offstage voice speaking and hand bringing sheets of paper with images & text in and out of sight. Gives things an informal, breezy "yes, you can do this" tone.

The good folks at Commoncraft have also done a video on using RSS feeds and another on social networking sites.

have I ever mentioned BibliOdyssey?

Well, in case I haven't: BibliOdyssey is a great blog full of old arcane illustrations, book art and such.

Highly recommended . . .


Some cool BibliOdyssey entries I had to mention:

Outsider Soul

Armour to Paper - on the Origins of Etching

Tradescant's Orchard

Just scratching the surface of what you'll find there . . .

uberCopicat echo on Music Thing

Super pricey/maxxed out tape echo on Music Thing (where else?).

In a chapter of my life entitled "Tape Echoes I've Known & Loved", you'll find the much loved Roland Space Echo (meh) and a Guild rebrand of the WEM Copicat (still got it, still love it).

The new echo on MT is some hyper-audiophile version of the Copicat (designed it seems by the same guy). Much as I like mine, I dunno if an expensive duded-up version is such a good thing.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

the Plantation Drive In

No pics of it, but a good description:

Or you can find old Newport News VA theatres and such:

Neat stuff at this site on other old theatres.   Check it out.

Also on uberkayness: a related post on the Newmarket Theatre behind the old Newmarket Shopping Center.

Monday, July 9, 2007

say huh?

I'm a great believer in compartmentalization. Or: not letting your right hand know what your left is doing.

To keep myself guessing, I like variety to the point of extreme eclecticism. Not to say I like everything. But that would be convenient in regards to making oneself happy.

I like lots of different music & different musical approaches. I like some traditional folk music (witness the recent Summerfest entry) and I like rather plain vanilla late 20th century pop music. And I like some more tripped out and aggro music.

I like music by folks who can play their instruments well. And music by those who can barely tune up but don't let such technicalities prevent them from doing whatever they can do to say whatever they want.

Anyhow, don't be too surprised if I'm talking up the Shaggs or Harry Partch one minute and Women In Docs and John Roberts the next.

You may find in your own musical wanderings that if it's something you want to hear or want to make yourself, there is no why beyond the wanting.

And so it is here.

in the wake of Summerfest 2007

Rather than upload some blurry photos etc., I'll just give some links to some of my faves from the New Bedford Summerfest this past weekend.

John Roberts, a perennial favorite, has a new CD out, Sea Fever.

Women In Docs are great, too. Click their gig guide re their ongoing US tour.

Eric Schwartz could be the funniest singing/songwriting man alive. Or I just don't get out much. Maybe both statements are true.

These were hardly the only talented folk that graced the Summerfest stages. I can think of Judy Cook and Vance Gilbert and Jeff Davis. And there were so many more.

If you're around New Bedford MA early next July, you may hear some favorites of your own.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

devil & Dan'l Johnston

Seems goofy to embed a movie trailer, but I humbly recommend you see The Devil and Daniel Johnston.

I've nothing articulate to say: I'm not an old fan. Might be a new fan, if only of his cool home movies and sheer creative drive. But if you don't know the guy's art or music or life, you might want to.

the Dresden Dolls land on Venice Beach

Words won't do (& I'm in a rush) so here's yet another Massachusetts duo (give or take one talented drummer or 50 devoted fans) parsing it out for the girls & boys on the "Shores of California".

Full disclosure: the Diamond Dave (that's Mr. David Lee Roth to you, bub) vid it's riffing on.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Another new homebrew music videos of one of my old tunes.

Unlike "Egypt Lane", which was inspired by a specific place, "Lifted" is a more abstract piece (tho' with some old live video thrown in).

Also posted on uberkayness.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Harry Partch on YouTube

Cool Harry Partch documentaries--above is part 1 of 6 of a doc from the BBC. Courtesy ShockTheseTrees.

The one below (part 1 of 3), courtesy oddmusic, seems to have more performances of Partch's music.

Here's the start of a third Partch documentary from 1968. Also, part 1 of Partch's Delusions of the Fury--thanks to blaxipad.