Archive for the Music Category

Music School

Posted on Thursday, November 5th, 2015 at 9:24 am

Went to Bryan yesterday for Music School, Walter Sphinx, Andre, Sharon, and Frieda were there, which was a real treat.  Did Happy Boy, which everyone liked, despite the fact that I had less than 24 hours to prepare for it.  Hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba.  We all had a lot of fun.  I drove back last night, rather than staying over, as it looks like rain.  Fingers are sore as usual, voice is marginal.

Prop side

Posted on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 at 7:38 am

Eric and Alicia are back from Hawaii.  A fair bit happened in the meantime, but nothing that was that worth noting.  Fun with the paws and daily life stuff, the days passing along.  A lot of this and that.

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One thing of note is that I recorded eight requested rehearsal tracks for Doug and Ellen.  They had better not go public.  They’re not horrible, but they aren’t good either.

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But yesterday evening while watching a recorded pay per view of the Grateful Dead reunion, I saw them using iPads mounted on holders fixed to the mike stands.  “I have got to get one of those.”  I ran a quick search, went over The Guitar Center and bought one, along with a mike stand.  (Buying a mike stand felt funny after having owned 12 of them.)  I am no longer thinking about buying a music stand.  Two and a half days until I get to show it off.

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6 string fingers

Posted on Wednesday, May 13th, 2015 at 1:02 pm

Giving up 12 string fingers is not an easy thing to do.  Got the Yamaha FS 720S DSR, which arrived shortly after 10:30 AM, in tune and shaken down.  I’m getting a quick feel by playing songs that I used to break in the Yammer Hammer.  Don’t Think Twice, Some Day Soon, etc.  I’m also getting a feel for new ones.  Waiting Round to Die, Deep River Blues, etc.

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It’s not the same as the Meenie, but it’s a familiar feeling from a loooong time ago.  I’ll make it manage.

Changes

Posted on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 at 6:23 pm

The Takamine popped its bridge last Friday, not a complete separation, but a distinct crack and detune.  It has been retired.  I have reached for it a couple dozen times in the last four days.  I miss it.  Vince and Sarah are sending me a Yamaha 6 string that Vince got for a trip, only been played three times.  It should be here tomorrow.

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Like a fool, I went to Craig’s List and found a Meenie clone for $350, barely been played, in San Marcos.  I can’t justify the $350 at this point.  Dumb thing to do.

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I have been hunting distractions all weekend and this week.  Nothing quite replaces the void.  One of the distractions in modo.

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Sore

Posted on Friday, January 30th, 2015 at 9:53 am

Came back from Bryan sore and creaky, but happy.  Music school was fun.  Lots of good tunes.  Lots of song leaders, so I got to play percussion a bunch and saved my pads from being part of the list of painful body parts.

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Made it back in the late morning and proceeded to nap off and on for about six hours in the recliner.  Still gobbling ibuprofen this morning, but it’s getting better, now just mainly my back.  My hips, thighs, and knees are mostly quieted from the comfy rest.

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Got Myka new mice, the good fuzzy ones from Petco.  She likes the rattles inside and the fuzzy texture, keeps her busy.

Music and savage breasts.

Posted on Thursday, January 1st, 2015 at 12:05 pm

William Congreve, in The Mourning Bride, 1697  Act 1, Scene 1, opening line, spoken by the character Almeria.

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Music has charms to sooth a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.

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This has been misquoted more times than just about any other phrase in English language history.  (Music soothes the savage beast.)  In my experience, savage beasts run from most music, especially cats when I play my 12 string, sort of a contra-pied piper.  And birds which gather to listen to the competition are hardly savage.

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But what is a savage breast?  In the time it was written, it meant a raging heart or tortured soul.  But today, with mass exploitation of nudity in the media and culture, the meaning is surely much different.  A stereotyped savage breast today would surely be tattooed and pierced.

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Its oxymoron in the literal state is indeed a seed of comedy.  “Beware the savage breast!” is sure to draw at least a snicker from a crowd.  It immediate brings to mind a classic breast with a face, one which is wild and angry, bearing sharp crooked teeth and scraggly facial hair, attempting to bite anything that comes within the ring of personal space.  Following with “A hard time getting to first base” is a sure chuckle.

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Alas, the misquote is better known than the original.  It crops up in all sorts of movies, most of which are poorly written, with no budget for verifying quotes.  Most common is when a musician distracts a raging beast in mortal combat with the movies heroic male lead, turning the tables on what seemed sure death for the hero.  Very cheesy.

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But hey, be careful.  You can never tell when a breast might be savage.  So never slide a hand down into a bra without at least peeking first.  Or at least play some music.

Plop

Posted on Monday, December 22nd, 2014 at 11:48 am

Back from Bryan, an enjoyable, if somewhat taxing, visit.  Cleaned up the shop for Doug, still on the injured list.  It was no small cleanup.  But the party was enjoyable.  I wore out my pads and came close with my voice.  There was a whole swarm of complements, much to my surprise.  Miss Lette was there, first time to see her in 20 years.  It was fun.  Alicia and I sat in the shed after it shut down and reminisced about the shed’s role in our lives, until I mentioned that it was 4:40 AM.

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I had a good time this month, seeing friends I haven’t seen in some time.  It was a warming tour, lots of laughter, lots of hugs, lots of smiles.  It wore me down to a nub, but it regenerated my spirit.  No doggy bags, though.  I have tons of food already.

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Now I need to hibernate and let my body recover.  I am tired and sore and partied out, and smiling.  Let Christmas pass me by.  I’m content.

Oy, what a great time.

Posted on Sunday, December 14th, 2014 at 8:45 pm

Tail dragging. The CD release was great. Dozens of friends were there whom I haven’t seen in over a year, and I got to talk to them all. The music was fun, very tight and balanced, a very good performance. Lots of dancing and carrying on.

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The food has been fabulous and non-stop. All four days have seen me stuffed to the gills because the food was too good to quit with room available for desert. (Grouper, Enchiladas del Rio, home fried chicken, shrimp, venison steaks, and lots more.) That means that all the seven chocolate items I got for my birthday haven’t been touched. It was definitely a birthday worth leaving town for.  I haven’t played any music this trip, but that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any live music.  It just wasn’t jamming.

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I’m staying over an extra half day. It’s only an hour run there, but my arm got twisted to stay over one more night. Then I’m home for two days, then off to Bryan for Solstice. The first day will be a chauffeur trip for a friend’s doctor visit 90 minutes away. Then there will be a day and a half of party prep. Then the solstice party where I will play music.

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The I get to go back home and collapse into a post-partium stupor for the rest of the holidays.

Settled with a squirt gun….

Posted on Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 9:32 pm

I swear that I will not play Love Me Do (Beatles) in front of Myka again.  With claws in my leg and teeth in my arm, I swear, never again.  The song is evil.

pwned

Posted on Friday, June 13th, 2014 at 8:45 am

Back in Brenham with the kitten.  Bryan was much needed and a great 4 hour jam session.  Jesse, George, Catherine, Steve, Pete, Will, Tina, plus others, and of course Doug and Ellen.  Had a wonderful time, and I found a new Cool Gear drinking bottle.  (Only one, I was hoping for four, but one will suffice for now.)

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Almost have the fleas under control on the kitten.  The Dawn bath got most, and now I’m ambushing individuals that hid on the head during the bath with moonshine.  I’m being sure to get only in areas not accessible to her tongue, which slows the process, but it’s working.  Only a very few left.  Otherwise, the kitten is doing fine.  Even Annie is settling down and starting to accept her.  She even lies on her back in my lap/hands already.

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It was too hot last night to get to sleep before 3:30 AM.  I wish that I could open some windows or that the AC worked.  (It does, but it needs season prepping.)  It takes a long time to cool the house with fans.  I need a nap.  Three and a half hours won’t cut it.

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Almost caught up on downloading.  The net is still a bit iffy, but it’s moving enough to get the downloads finished.

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Meenie strung

Posted on Friday, May 30th, 2014 at 10:04 pm

New strings on the Meenie this evening.  What a chore, removing old strings, cleaning, putting on new strings and trimming, tuning (several times).  And for what, harmonics so dominant that you can hardly hear the base notes.  But it’s done, and I won’t have to do it again for a while.

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I like dead strings…..  But I can’t leave them on forever.  So I suffer new strings until I can tame them with a lot of banging.  The Meenie is just too resonant.

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meenie

Shifting gears

Posted on Thursday, March 20th, 2014 at 8:13 pm

Funds became available Tuesday, so I was able to get into business mode for a change.  Convalescence lasted long enough, I hope.  This weekend will tell.

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Went to Bryan yesterday, got the license sticker and insurance slip for the truck.  Also played music for several hours, giving my pads a pre-party break in.  Good music.  Ended up getting a break on some expenses to boot.  It was fun, to say the least.

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Figured the belt on the pickup (newly replace belt shredded part of its width) is a matter of pulley alignment.  I’ll see if I can align the pulleys before putting on the new belt (virgin).  For the time being, the narrower belt seems to be working okay.  A  job for April, or at least post-party, by my estimation.  I hope it won’t be a roadside operation.  But I can handle it if it is.

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Tomorrow kicks in the Fling.  I’ll pack tomorrow morning and scoot.  I was hoping to get laundry done today, but logistics dropped that idea.  I have enough clean clothes to last me through the party and to south Austin.  I’ve got the boudin, 12 pounds worth.  Got it on special, so financial serendipity there too.  (Got a Lone Star card today, to complete the trifecta.)

Days are getting longer…..

Posted on Sunday, December 22nd, 2013 at 6:34 am

Turned the corner on the sun cycle in Bryan last night.  Played a lot of music to the exclusion of a lot else.  I barely had time to eat anything before heading out.  But I had a good time and played for almost three hours.  It was my fretting thumb that gave out first, a sore spot stopping my grip.  The soreness vanished quickly.  It was the first time that my thumb ended my playing time at a party.  It’s usually my pads or voice.  But it was fun to get to play with so many people.  I definitely got my fill.

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It was good seeing people, though I didn’t have a whole lot of time to socialize more than hellos across the room.  It would have been nice to have shown under my own power so I could have spent the night, but the money retained was enough to accept cutting it short.

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The fog last night was a real surprise.  It rained most of the day, then cleared off.  On the way to Bryan, the dark fog cloud was quite looming, looking like smoke or rain, filling half the horizon.  It was a strip of saturated air hugging the ground, and it got quite thick in places.

Stoneware

Posted on Thursday, September 26th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Missed adding this a few days ago.  Yet another lathe, texture based in ArtMatic.  Placemat texture is an oldie from my Serape package, over in the download section.

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Heading to Elgin tomorrow for the weekend.  Multiple birthday party at the Mathews.

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Mowing

Posted on Thursday, August 22nd, 2013 at 1:21 am

In Bryan, moving and moving sheet metal, and wearing out my fingertips at Music School.  It’s been awhile.

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Stayed a couple of days at Lake Somerville at Welsh Park again.  Some interesting cloud images.  Lots of impressions.

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About to release my first Poser freebie in four and a half years.  I’m in no hurry.

Re-Elginized

Posted on Saturday, June 15th, 2013 at 11:52 pm

It has been an interesting weekend here at Lyse’s. Friday night saw my debut at Quoffer’s. Sharon was most unfair…. Also heard Patty Finney at the town square gazebo Saturday noon. I got to sing along. Back among the land of the living. It feels good. And Lyse has been fun.
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But it’s time to move on. Enjoyed the stay.

Heart of Saturday Night

Posted on Sunday, June 9th, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Went to see Doug up at the compound yesterday, having just finished emptying the barn of my worldly goods stored there and taking them to storage.  We ended up at Sharon and Andre’s, ate dinner, and played music. Fun night, one much needed.  Got to play Tom Waits’ The Heart of Saturday Night for the first time with others.

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Stephen and Franci had a rough passage through the middle Gulf, due an area of disturbed weather that dropped a lot of rain and blew up some bouncy seas.  They avoided a straight run to port and ended up in the worst of it.  They are now pulling into port in Mobile Bay after sunset.  Makes me glad to be on dry ground.

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Today was a day of rest, getting ready for the last push, inside the house.

End of April review

Posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 at 7:50 am

Well, I got to see Connie and David a few days ago (Saturday), and got a tentative booking in the barn for their next visit.  Patty and Rick were there, so it was a fun evening.  I was hoping to join them on Sunday for a jam, but that fell through on my end.

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I’ve been here solo for the last two weeks, and I think I have a couple more weeks to go.  But that is not a certainty.  Mowed the yard and sprayed the bulk of the poison ivy.  Got potted plants moved back inside for a cold night.  There is still another cold Thursday night ahead.  It’s been a cycle where Thursday night have been the cold point of the week, forcing the jams into the house.  Haven’t been able to hold one in the barn yet this year.  Rained an inch yesterday afternoon.

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Got a Wacom Bamboo stylus for the iPad.  It’s definitely better than a finger in the graphics apps.  Ordered extra nibs yesterday, since they’re bound to wear out.

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Been watching too much TV.  These hypertension drugs make me tired all the time.  It’s difficult to find any motivation to do normal things.  I have to force myself to be active.  I don’t like that feeling.

Too many parties in spring

Posted on Monday, April 8th, 2013 at 8:10 am

Spring is the big party season.  Makes sense, outdoor weather window is prime, everyone wants a slot before the heat arrives.  Makes it hard on the body, though.  Nancy’s was just an evening, but still……..

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Good news, I got positive responses from two of the three bands that I want to book for the barn this spring.  And I’m hoping for the third to be receptive, if they have time.  No hard dates yet, but they will come soon enough, as will their names.

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The rain we had last week has really brought spring around.  But…. cutting season begins without the lawn tractor.  *sigh*

Thursday Jam

Posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2013 at 9:38 am

Thursday Jam resumes tonight.  It will be held indoors, since it’s too cool for the barn.  That is in contrast to last Saturday, when we celebrated Helen’s 65th birthday in the barn.  There was a lot of good music and ample good food, and we had a fine time.  Helen’s ashes were spread about the property by those who wished to do so, using her party spoon.  Total attendance was about 60.  About a dozen stayed overnight.

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I am looking forward to a resumption of weekly live music here.

Spring Fling ends now

Posted on Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 at 1:01 am

Took two days of heavy napping to sleep off the Fling, but I think I made it through another one.  Still a little stiff and tired, but alive.

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Blistered my pads slightly (I stopped) and blew out my voice (slightly).

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Very good party, a lot of fun, no negatives (except one very loud band).  I smiled a lot.

Springing and flinging

Posted on Friday, March 22nd, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Spring Fling begins now.

Slow days

Posted on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 at 7:52 pm

Gum issue has had me on low throttle the last four days.  It’s fading, but still a little of a hinderance.  At least there is no fever associated with it.  Also, to add insult, I passed a scattering of sand, uric acid style.  I’m hoping that was it.

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On a lighter note, I think I may have found my music again.  Not big time, but a start.  Got all my net tunes on the iPad.  What a monster of a process, one at a time and some 2300 steps.  Shoot those idesigners!  But I have 45 PDF’s onboard.  A lightweight music book, for starters.

Post wake

Posted on Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 at 10:38 pm

On Saturday, January 12, 2013, friends of Helen Weber gathered at Bottomland to see her off in a celebration of her life.  We began with a series of songs that Helen requested most from those who performed them.  I led it off with Lay Me Down by David Hoffpauir.  We then had a Christian service for Helen, led by Mary Ann Green, with assistance from Billy Richenbacher, John Sharp, and Javier Chapparo performing Ava Maria on violin.  People were allowed to speak on microphone about their experiences with Helen during the 90 minute service.

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Afterwards, we opened the pot luck table for serving, opened the greenhouse for people to take Helen’s plants home, and the music began.  Performances were had by Sister Jane, 2 Way Radio, Nani Wahine, and numerous permutations of performers that had played Bottomland on past dates.  The music was performed in six sets, spanning over eight hours.   The music was magic, there is no other way to describe it.  I’m certain that we did Helen proud and then some.

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It changed the course of the way the estate was to be handled.  Several of those attending offered to purchase the property, to keep the place alive.  Helen’s brother Jim (JV) got to see Helen’s dream, and it touched him deeply.  It opened many possibilities that were not previously considered.

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So, my future is more uncertain than before the wake, but that has the potential to be a good thing.  I might be staying on at Bottomland as Helen wished.  The magic just might yet live on.

Day 5 of 12

Posted on Monday, November 12th, 2012 at 7:15 am

The body is protesting, and I slept without waking last night from the physical tiredness.  But the property is, for the most part, ready for the horde that is known as TRD.  Today is the last day that can be dedicated strictly to rest and rehab.

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The twelve days runs from Thursday Nov 8, starting with the Thursday Jam, through Monday Nov 19, which is the Monday after the finale.

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Thursday Jam was small, but it did kick off the week and a half of mayhem.  Friday was spent in Austin for Helen’s blood check, which proved good enough to skip transfusions.  Work began on cleanup of the house.  Saturday and Sunday was the work party, cleaning the barn, garage, and landscaping.  An attempt to clean up the grass burs in the field was attempted, but it wasn’t entirely successful because of impatience on the part of some of the workers.

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So, the greenhouse is set for winter, which is good because we’re having some cold nights this week.  Tonight is forecast for freezing.  The property is set for the party.  And I have three medical runs this week, two to Austin and one to Houston (biopsy).  The rest is getting ready for the coming weekend of wonderful madness.  I hope to reach day 11 intact.