Monday, May 15, 2017


The jam scene in Lexington is mostly dead. The 1x a month late jam at Green Lantern that happened 1x got cancelled for this month. There's still a jam every other week in Danville, but that's a 45 minute drive. I have gone 2x to a 1x a month jazz jam at Manchester Music Hall run by Matthew Polashek, who I 1st met when he was playing sax for Funkability. Great musicians, and an excellent female singer named Rebecca. I went to listen and wound up singing 2 stongs each time, including 3 duets with Rebecca. 1st time I sang "Night and Day" (with Rebecca) and "Bye Bye Blackbird". 2nd time I sang "The Way You Look Tonight" and "They Can't Take That Away From Me", both with Rebecca.

I also wound up sitting in with Ronn Crowder and Friends this past Saturday from 7:30-11:45. Lindsay Olive was supposed to show up late and showed up not at all. That was fun, got to play some new songs - best I think was "Get Back" by the Beatles - but didn't get to do any singing.

But it is really slim pickings, particularly compared to Florida, where I could play 4x a week if I wanted. So, to get a chance to play, last year I started working with my favorite blues harpist in Lexington, Steve Konapka (Fuzzy), on a duo act. We've been rehearsing 2-3 hours a week. Our main song list is at 39 songs (3 hours x 13 songs/hour) plus 30 more in process or demoted. We have played maybe 10 times at Coralee Townie's Open Mic, 1st at Willie's Locally Known, then at The Burl, then at Cosmic Charlie's. We've done maybe 25 songs total, all have worked well. So we are ready for gigs.

I talked to my friend Josh Brown, who is GM at J. Render's Southern Table on Beaumont Circle, about doing an audition on a Thursday - they normally have live music on Friday and Saturday. This Thursday, they are having a Ky Ale dinner: 3 beers paired with 3 courses and the Ky Ale brewmaster commenting. It starts at 7, and Josh invited Steve and I to attend the dinner and then play from 8-10. He is expecting around 50 people, so we will have an audience, at least at the start. Their patio seats 70. Sweet!

On the music in side, after the drought in January and February, I have a ton of new music - my Unrated playlist was up close to 200. It's hard to find time to listen to it all. So some these have been somewhat rushed through processing.

  • Dirty Projectors, eponymous. I like this less than the one before. This was a breakup album, the band leader and 1 of the female vocalists, so maybe that made it a little down. Some of the synthesized vocals get uncomfortably close to Alvin & the Chipmunks at times. I will still give it 4 stars based on my overall appreciation of this band. Here's the 1st track, "Keep Your Name".

  • Father John Misty, "I Love You, Honeybear", 2015. Apparently he is the drummer from Fleet Foxes. The songs aren't bad, but some of the lyrics are ... pretentious? self-indulgent? One suspects drugs are involved. 3 stars.
  • Vagabon, "Infinite Worlds". Recommended by my daughter Erica, who likes the drumming on this album. This is the 1st album by Laetitia Tamko, who was born and lived in Cameroon until her family relocated to NYC when she was 13. Nice songs, interesting backgrounds. A little brash for my aging tastes perhaps. 3 stars.
  • Tennis, "Yours Conditionally". Perhaps not as good as their earlier albums, but I still love this woman's voice. I still put them in the genre "Girl Groups". 4 stars. Here's "My Emotions Are Blinding".

  • The Flaming Lips, "Oczy Mlody". Creative as ever. These guys are almost becoming "conceptual music" - music, in concept. 3 stars.
  • The XX, "I See You". Nice tunes, nice male/female harmony vocals. A good British indie band. 4 stars. Here's the 1st track, "Dangerous".

  • Willie Nelson, "Stardust", 2014. Willie covers old standards. I got this because I liked his version of "September Song" so much. 4 stars for that track and "Moonlight in Vermont", which I hadn't heard before, 3 stars for the rest.

  • Aimee Mann, "Mental Illness". So nice to hear Ms. Mann's voice again, it had been a while. A lot of the arrangements are very simple, almost folky. 4 stars. Here's the 1st track, "Goose Snow Cone". Odd video.

  • Jamiroquai, "Automaton". Their 1st in a while. Man, this is great dance music - but I don't dance that much. 3 stars.
That brings me up to April 1. Unrated playlist is back up to 192. :-O

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