There Will Be Light

One of the great things about today’s technological infrastructure (well, until the whole thing collapses and we revert to banging rocks together) is that you can have your favorite local radio station somewhere on the opposite side of the planet. Which is the case for me. Which means I get to hear stuff that will likely never make it to American radio (which still exists) or my students’ mp3 players or phones (my other source of new music recommendations).

I liked this one enough to buy it, to support the band. I recommend listening late at night, in some deserted parking lot or seldom-travelled back road. Extra points if you have someone there to dance with.

This Machine

Roots are neat things–they can intertwine in odd ways sometimes. I mentioned a couple of days ago that were it not for Pete Seeger, there would be no Digital Cuttlefish. Seeger’s influence, though, does not take just one direct path–Seeger influenced lots of people who (unintentionally, I assure you) shaped me in turn–Dylan, for instance, and Mojo Nixon, and Tom Waits, and Bruce Springsteen… sometimes you can see direct influences of these people in a verse I write (in such cases I usually try to apologize to Bob Dylan, for instance), and sometimes it is more subtle.

One such intermediate influence is Roy Zimmerman. He doesn’t know it, but we’ve met, a couple of times, and I have quite a few of his CD’s autographed by him (the others, not yet signed). His facility with wordplay is as inspiring as the ideas thus presented, which is saying something. Anyway, the video below was just sent out via his newsletter–if you aren’t already receiving it, click through to youtube and follow the link to subscribe (I’d link here, but I’m assuming he gets revenues through youtube as well, so give an artist some clicks)–and it is inspired by and dedicated to Pete Seeger. I’d explain the “this machine” reference, but Zimmerman does, and I don’t want to steal his thunder.

My own machine has no strings at all, but (I am reliably told) it is mightier than a sword.

I Need Some Advice…

For an upcoming funeral. The deceased was a Christmas-and-Easter churchgoer; most (a slim majority) of the extended family are atheist, with a mix of religions (mostly various Protestant Christian) a strong minority. And one daughter, Catholic, who wants to sing The Lord’s Prayer at the memorial.

The question I was asked, and which I am passing along to you… can you think of a compromise song? Something that won’t have either the religious or the atheist half of the attendees rolling their eyes?

Hmmm.. the lord’s prayer? Last time I was at a family gathering of a substantial number of people, just saying the lord’s prayer was hilarious, with a handful of us just looking around for the other atheists in the crowd, and two strange moments when different versions of the prayer collided–“debts” versus “trespasses”, and “for thine is the kingdom…” which only half the people said. When even the prayer named for your religion’s savior divides rather than unites the various Christian sects, there has got to be something better to sing to a diverse group.

Frogwhompers And Buffaloes

So… Greta is having fun with the Buffalo game. Which, frankly, is a cool game, but which I got to a bit late. My entry was “The New Vinton County Frogwhompers Marching, Singing, Strumming And Plucking Buffalo, Incorporated” (If you read Greta’s rules, you’ll understand).

The Frogwhompers (for short) were a “New-Grass” band–bluegrass, but with modern influences, from the Beatles to the Grateful Dead to The Monkees… I saw them in concert, and bought (and had autographed!) their album.

So… First off, the Frogwhompers– “Sweet Ohio”, by Jim McGaw (one of the Frogwhompers, so one of their original songs):

This was within a year of when I saw them, so these are the Frogwhompers I remember. Original songs, but also traditional and covers. I don’t know whether “Dark Hollow” counts as traditional or as cover, but the Grateful Dead did a version, and so did the Frogwhompers:

The Frogwhompers were fantastic… which musicians did you see locally, who could have (we won’t go into “should have”) made it big? I have another band I’ll save for the comments; I want to know yours.