Posts Tagged ‘music

14
Feb
11

fire in the sky

Over the road


I’d called an end to the workday and had started a fire to fend off the coming chill this evening and was sipping a beer as the fire got rolling. Then I heard sort of a growl and thought I’d check the stove, as it can make noises when it’s drawing well.

After hopping the fence

I got up and then I heard a different sound, the clear burn of open propane flame and I knew a ballooner was right above the cabin. Down low on the creek it was a quickly cooling evening even though it had been 60+ just an hour or so ago. I stepped out on the back deck to scan the sky and it was apparent that my neighbor Allen Lawson was landing in the road as he was making tender pulses of burn to land rather than larger ones to make it ‘over’ the hill into Stanton, Salee or Pardo’s bottom fields.

I grabbed the camera and took the shot above then went out to see if this was going to be a ‘quality’ set down or a mess since the road is about as wide as a balloon and there is new barbed wire fencing there which cannot be good against the light fabric. He is a good flier, and the wind is dead, so when I get to the road I watch him drop on the wrong side of the fence and with the help if his ground crew, he burns & hops over the fence like a deer and drops the whole kit smack on the safe side of the road.

Packing Up - Sis & Steve

Course by then, even as sparse as people are out in the middle of the Mark Twain forest are, we got a block party going. Sis has ventured out from down the road, her husband arrives home from work, and Mike and his wife have also arrived. We all help bag the chute and Allen books a demo at the high school next week, then we all go home dinner.

Now, with a crowd there Allen cannot help but mentioning the “incident” last year where I had to ride bitch on his KTM ’cause I had poured ancient gas in the Beemer for a test ride and it had crapped out down at the bridge. Thanks Allen 🙂 no need to let a good story die a quiet death.

That’s how we roll down here. It was a good and adventurous day, and a very lovely and talented lady got recognized by very few by winning a Grammy for the best new artist. Ms. Esperanza Spalding

Allen, wife and daughter 🙂

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13
Dec
10

garbonzo bean band

Garbonzo Bean Band Event Poster

My sister sent me a link to a video she’d found on YouTube which brought back some old memories of gigs I’d done and bands I’d played with.

Everybody in town knew these guys and I ended up sitting in with them outside of Lindberg’s at the St. Patrick Day parade. Almost every musician in town played with them at one time or another, but especially drummers. John and Chris were the core members and quite often played “walk around” gigs, so drummers were ‘optional’.

I played with them for a year or so and loved every minute of it. The ideal of the band was basically .. “If you’re gonna play for folks, then by gawd, it outa be fun” 🙂

These guys made it fun, and outlandish dress was part of the gig. It wasn’t just music, it was seldom serious, and costumes were required. **

My favorite was was a lime green, pleated, Empire waist pinafore with spaghetti straps.

Most gigs were a bit like performance art and they were all very unique. We played once in the back bedroom at a private New Years party (so we wouldn’t be too loud) and couldn’t see the audience. We quit at 12:30 and visited with them and they said “You guys were great!”.

I’m glad I got to gig with them and have lots of good memories. I’ve got to say that I do not remember recording this video below, but that is me at the set of drums provided for the video.

** I wore pantyhose one evening, and I now know why DRUMMERS DO NOT WEAR PANTYHOSE !!!

04
Dec
10

ify: a custom touch

Red's Giant Hamburg, Route 66, Springfield, Mo

Red's Giant Hamburg

My favorite eatery in Springfield, Red’s Giant Hamburg, was about 15 blocks from the house. A converted former motel/gas station into a cafe. Standard issue was a burger, fries, and root beer from a barrel. Motel courtyard with picnic tables in the back.

World’s 1st drive-thru, you can see the service window on the right of the building. Your options at the window were not what to order, but how many. Ray had the grill right behind the window and separated from Julia and the inside seating. You ordered it and Ray cooked it.

This was before some idiot invented ‘fast food’, back when you went into the gas station and someone came out to fill the tank, clean your window, and chat about the day. Interacting with the necessaries of life was not an inconvenience to hurry through, but a custom touch to savor. We never “waited” for our order at Red’s, it was part of the experience, an anticipation. A bit later Ray set up a speaker at the window and another at the grill and he could chat with customers while he cooked your order.

Later, when Ray set up a speaker out at the end of the hedge (out of his sight) the full drive thru experience was complete and the personal touch was degrading. You were then one step removed from personal as you had to stop out front and order, then pull up to the window. Certainly unnecessary for us ‘old pros’.

Ray brought the order to the window and slid out a large paper tray filled with fries, root beers in the corners, and burgers on top and we’d pull into the back courtyard and have a family dinner on one of the picnic tables.

Back then we took the time to enjoy life, to experience, to revel in it. It didn’t make sense to call it an inconvenience, or turn things into “waiting”. It was always over too soon for me, and I always looked forward to the next visit to Red’s.

In the 80’s some buddies of mine did a video featuring Ray and Julia, so I hope the guys in “The Morells” won’t mind a link to their YouTube video. Please enjoy 🙂 and yes, that IS Ray and Julia.

22
Aug
10

successfully lowering the bar

Back in them ‘good old days’ of the 60’s & 70’s it was difficult and costly to get your rock ‘n’ roll group recorded, transfered to a copyable medium, and distributed to media outlets. Studio time, sound engineering, production and mixdown, and distribution did not come cheap so the universe selected a way to decide who could do that and who couldn’t. We always moaned about “the system”, and da man keeping us down, but all in all the music you could buy was pretty damned good.

Of course that was back when people sold platters, those round black records. Cassette tapes, when that tech became available, sure made copying music much easier. Roll the universe forward a few decades and now any bedroom musician can do the whole thing themselves for very little money, and that also includes an MTV style video to boot!

Nothing wrong with that per se, except for the little word “any”. That word almost guarantees that crappy musicians can produce crappy music and deliver it to the world and I’m sure somebody will like it. The public can pick what they enjoy as entertainment, but that doesn’t imply that the public has any skills in picking out quality music. It ain’t a cause & effect thing.

I guess I’m hinting at the definition of ART in terms of music. Art is entertaining in that it compels one to think, but just because something is entertaining, it does not magically become art or even good art. It just is, like … well I shouldn’t mention any names.

Our new technologies have broadened the playing field, making it easier for the cream to rise to the top, and the not-so-creamy to get out there too. Technology does not make the good better nor the bad good, but it is that much easier to find not-so-good music.

We have successfully lowered the bar.




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