It's Lyrical - My Music Hideout On The Web

American folk, bluegrass, blues, British folk, soft rock, music of the 80s, Irish drinking songs, Canadian east coast music, folk rock, country, fugues, gospel, and a whole lot more

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Location: Toronto, Canada

Saturday, November 04, 2006

You Argonotes are Awesome

Well, wish me luck. I'm going out to play with the Argonotes for the first time tomorrow. It should be a blast. Check these guys out on the web: It's the CFL(Canadian Football) Eastern Semi Final game - and I believe I am just crazy enough to play with this band.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

That's what I Fingered

So, MusicInYourEar was getting the band back togeather for a Service to honour the Queen on her eightoeth birthday, and of course St. Georges Day. As usual, he found trumpets by the dozen and trombones by the half-dozen. As usual, there was a shortage of French Horns, and Tubas. To make a long story short I had to get the souzaphone out of the storage unit. And now I'm hooked on Souzy. Since I don't really read music for the souzaphone (yet), I needed a fingering chart. I found this site which has a very nice selection -> Fingering chart site. Well, the gig

That's it. Have a nice day, unlike the crappy day you probably had planned for yourself!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Little Kitty

Princess Diamond the golden kitty's castle birthday cakeDiamond the golden kitty (my daughter) had a birthday (Mrs. Buttonbox did an amazing job on the cake ->). Of course we sang the "Happy Birthday" song which got me thinking. Where did this song come from? This post is about some of the songs that we sing habitually without thinking about it (it's also a bald face way for me to post this picture).

The first thing I found, on my search was this link to a fun fact, and then I decided to look a little further, and found the wiki entry for Happy birthday which has a little more information. Here are some highlights:

  • First published in 1893 - I'd like to know how we celebrated birthdays before this.

  • Written by Patty Hill and Mildred Hill, school teachers. Very interesting to think of how this song has blossomed from one schoolroom to be sung without thinking across the English speaking world. The Borg need some sort of song.

  • A number of word variations are known. Which shows that even the most basic song is not invulnerable to the folk mill (a term used to describe the changing of a song as it is passed from one ear to another).

Then I got to thinking about some of the other songs that are part of our folk culture. Two other songs immediately came to mind.

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
This is an interesting one, in that there are different version of it (The British have one, the States have one and there is French translation). So this is an example of folk culture, put through folk mills separately on different continents.
Here is the wiki link to For He's a Jolly Good Fellow

Finally, the beautiful song Auld Lang Syne

  • A poem by Robert Burns (January 25, 1759 – July 21, 1796)

  • We usually sing this song once a year on new years eve, and then forget about it. (Although the wiki alleges that it is sometimes used at other times of the year as at a parting)

  • I don't know of anyone doing a cover version of this, but I think it would be great! Imagine the Pogues version!!

Well that's the show.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Thank the Folk gods for Folkways

Does anyone else want to stand up and clap heartily for Folkways the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution? I do, and I rarely stand up to clap.

The following mission statement is copied directly from the folkways mission and history page.
'Our mission is the legacy of Moses Asch, who founded Folkways Records in 1948 to document "people's music," spoken word, instruction, and sounds from around the world. The Smithsonian acquired Folkways from the Asch estate in 1987, and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has continued the Folkways commitment to cultural diversity, education, increased understanding, and lively engagement with the world of sound.'
It is my belief that this organization has delivered, and will continue to deliver on this mission.

I have the albums listed below. I highly recommend them to anyone interested in folk music!

And here are some nice links for grins

Enjoy your day! At once!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Walkaround Dixieland Band

Picture of Dixieland DaredevilsDixieland music is high octane fun for everyone. That's me wrapped in the sousaphone. If you look closely you should be able to find MusicInYourEar with his trombone because this is a picture of our walk around dixieland crew.

We styled ourselves after the amazing New Orleans band The Dirty Dozen Brass Band. I only have one of their albums "Whatcha Gonna Do for the Rest of Your Life?", but my guess is that I have listened to it two hundred times.

We used to play some classics like : When the Saints Go Marching In, The Happy Birthday Polka, St. James Infirmary, Amazing Grace, and It Don't Mean a Thing If It Aint Got That Swing.

An interesting fact: If you want to get brass quintet gigs, then you have to walk around playing dixieland on the street. Perfect strangers will ask you to come play their galas, gatherings, get-togethers, childs birthday parties, food courts and even parking garages.

As far as I am concerned, playing dixieland should be a total body experience. Heh heh, what I mean is go and get yourself wrapped in a sousaphone, and definitely try this at home!

Friday, February 17, 2006

When Two Whistlers Meet

Whenever I meet another whistle walker on the street one of two things will happen. 1. The other walker wasn't whistling, and they start. or 2. The other whistler was whistling already and keeps whistling. You can assume that I was whistling for the sake of this post because I would never start whisting if someone else was already whistling.

In either case a number of options are available now that you are both whistling.

Whistle Options:
a. You can stop whisting - This doesn't seem fair, because you were walking along minding your own business, and it is your right to whistle wherever and whenever you want to - Except in the work place (Peril of Workplace Whistling).
b. Whistle along with Whistler B. - You will get all different reactions, but in my experience this is rarely a good choice. You may get attention that is unwanted since you are essentially puckering up.
c. Whistle your own tune louder - This is an act of escalation which may not be within your aggression range.
d. Consider a walking option.

Walking Options:
a. Stop walking - this can be effective if the other person is walking. A natural separation should ensue.
b. Walk slower or faster to remove yourself from the situation.
c. Walk in the opposite direction. Caution - this could take you out of your way.

I hope you find this post helpful next time you are in one of these awkward situations. Your best bet will be to think on your feet, try to keep as many options open as you can, and keep your stick on the ice.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I Love That Red Harmony Rocket

It's official, the best guitars in the world are Harmony Guitars. They have a unique sound which makes them fun to play, they have a certain alluring sexy je ne sais quoi which makes them fun to collect, and they were made with superb long lasting quality. If it were up to me, and it rarely is, I would own them all. But then, that wouldn't be much fun for anyone else out there who appreciates a drachm of style, a pinch of grace, a parcel of poise, a firkin of charm and a whole lot of just plain fun, all rolled in to one cool looking guitar.

Here are some great sites about Harmony guitars:
  • Harmony Guitar page - This site has some excellent photos, catalogue pictures, and images of Harmony memorabilia

  • Same site - specifically Harmony Rockets - Really nice Rocket close-ups

  • Rothguitars Picture page - Lots of pictures, good info on body styles

  • You can get Harmony T-shirts - which is proof that Harmony Rockets are great guitars.

    Go get a Rocket and have fun with it! Now!

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