Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I'm Back???

Apparently I haven't been much of a blogging mood lately. I have been sick or injured for >~= 1 month, this shit is getting old.

So, went on the company President's Club outing, which was a 4 day cruise, Miami-Key West-Cozumel-Miami March 15-19. The high point of the trip was the last day, where we spent about 4 hours singing harmony and backup with Brian Lavelle (we were the Lavellettes). Started off with a coworker who's a bass player/singer, with our wifes also harmonizing, wound up with about 40-50 of our crowd singing along. Early evening, we had 5 part harmony on "Take It Easy" with everybody right on their notes, very nice.

So, off the boat at around 8:45 am, bus from Miami to Ft Lauderdale, flew to Cincinatti, drove to Louisville to get our dog, then home, arriving at about 9:00 pm -- no problems. Soon as I come in the house, landsickness -- for 2 weeks, woo-ha!

So that finally goes away, the next Sunday I spend 7 hours cutting and bundling branches from 3 ash trees in our back yard that my wife Paulette Bunyan and her crew had cut down. My hams and quads killed for the next 5 days.

So, a couple of good days -- then the temperature drops from 80 to 40, with 20's at night and I caught a nice cold -- which of course brought back the landsickness. Just about over both now, praise jebus.

I've only played at Lynagh's once in the last 6 weeks or so: the week before last, when all that was wrong was sore legs. Had a great night: played 4 and sang 3, then later played 4 more and sang one, after which T.D.'s band played, woo-hoo! T.D is a guitarist who owns a (black) nightclub at 2nd and Elm Tree in Lexington. His band is him, bass, drums, keyboards, and 1-4 singers. They play blues, jazz and R&B, all most excellently. T.D. plays a Parker guitar (I gotta get me one of those) and is a great guitarist. King William, who is one of the Lynagh's regulars (and Robin to my Batman -- he plays a white Stratocaster), took me to T.D.'s one Monday, which is their live music night -- it was the best live music I have ever heard in Lexington in my 26 years here.

So, that Wednesday at Lynagh's was a pretty good night.

While on the cruise, I read Dan Simmons latest "The Terror". It was some great cognitive dissonance, reading about 2 1850's British ships trapped in the ice for 2 years trying to find the northwest passage, while on a Caribbean cruise. Pretty good read as Simmons always is, 4 stars.

Music-wise, http://www.emusic.com/ seems to have some potential. At 1st I thought I was only going to be able to get old stuff from there. I downloaded some old Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, and a bunch of Django Reinhardt (the greatest jazz guitarist of the '30s, with his sidekick violinist Stephane Grapelli). But, after buying the new Arcade Fire and Andrew Bird at iTunes, they showed up on eMusic about a week later -- and they had the new Bloc Party right away. So, definitely need to defer any iTunes indy purchases.

My youngest has been having a Real Life Adventure student teaching in Capetown, South Africa since mid-January. She gets home May 5 and graduates UK with her elementary ed degree on May 6. Celebratory cookout may feature the internationally renowned guitarist, the inimitable Ben Lacy.

Here's her blog.

Here's her pictures.

I've had a steady stream of new music:

  • Bloc Party, "A Weekend in the City" -- still unrated, probably 3 stars.
  • Django Reinhardt, "Anthology 1934-1937" -- some great stuff, recorded at the Club Hot in Paris. His quintet was bass, violin, and 3 guitars -- no drums. Apparently Django is credited with inventing the concept of rhythm guitar.
  • Arcade Fire, "Neon Bible" -- not as good as "Funeral", maybe 3.5 stars.
  • Air (french band), "Pocket Symphony" -- 3 stars.
  • Rickie Lee Jones, "It's Like This" -- covers of various 50's - 70's tunes -- Steely Dan, Traffic -- some odd stuff, still unrated, probably 3 stars.
  • Modest Mouse, "We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank" -- not as good as their previous, maybe 3.5 stars.
  • Andrew Bird, "Armchair Apocrypha" -- not as good as his previous, 3 stars.
  • Rickie Lee Jones, "Sermon on Exposition Boulevard" -- 2007, very raw stuff, kind of reminds me of Lou Reed -- still unrated.
  • Clap Your Hands Say Yeah "Some Loud Thunder" -- really wierd engineering, trying for an authentic garage sound?
  • Tracey Thorn, "Out of the Woods" -- a step down from EBTG, needs some more listens.
  • Django Reinhards, "Jazz in Paris: Nuages" -- one of his last recordings (1953), with a standard jazz quartet (bass, drums, piano, Django), with Django playing an electric. An interesting contrast to the crazy stuff from the 30's.
The '50s Django is in my iTunes as Jazz, the '30s is Early Jazz. The dividing line is WW2 -- when the crazy energetic small band jazz of the '20s and '30s got morphed into big band -- which then became the execrable pop of the 50's.

I'm reading a Good Book now, hopefully blog it before too long. Still working a bunch, but The Magical New Product is going well.

'Nuf said.

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