Archive for January, 2012

Folk School, Kinky and Prine

The first weekend of December provided a musical feast.

That Thursday featured blogged Betse Ellis opening by herself. She plays in the Wilders, but this time she filled the stage with her voice, her fiddle and a little stomping. She played to help the favorite Folk School celebrate its tenth anniversary. It was a great night. The duo of blogged Pokey LaFarge and blogged friend Ryan Spearman followed. They made Thursday night. I only wish they had filled the Sheldon. KDHX has these photographs, and the Riverfront Times published broader coverage of the anniversary.

Since the concert, I have joined the Folk School Board of Directors although my name is not on the page yet. I learned to fiddle there, and I took up the banjo with help from Folk School classes. I learned new guitar styles and even taught one class, Introduction to Fingerstyle Guitar. I continue as a student, and I hope to teach again someday. Serving the Folk School in a new capacity is an honor, and I hope to contribute to continued success and growth.

In the nights after the anniversary concert, H and I saw twice blogged Kinky Friedman again at Off Broadway. It was his Hanukkah Tour. The jokes do not change much from show to show, but I still enjoy them every time. We stayed for part of the 1st Annual Hanukkah Hullaballoo with the Brothers Lazaroff, but I tired out early.

The next night was twice blogged John Prine at the Touhill. The review on the KDHX blog covers the basics. Blogged Jason Isbell opened with a solo acoustic set. Some of his betters songs worked in the format, but his electric rock is better. Prine was terrific. He played his familiar greats, both accompanied by his band and alone. He performed without appearing tired or resentful of past successes. He seemed grateful and charming, and he gave more than straight reproductions. I have wanted to see him in person for a while, and doing so easily met expectations. I hope I can attend more of his concerts in the future.

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Michael M. on January 31st 2012 in General, Live, Music

Camper / Cracker

It was David Lowery night at the Pageant a few Fridays ago. After the opening band, he came out with favorite Camper Van Beethoven. The KDHX blog has this review. After the show, I found 300 Songs, his blog about both bands’ songs. The most recent post about downloading music is disappointing from someone so interested in mathematics and information, but many of the posts have great information for Camper and Cracker fans.

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Michael M. on January 31st 2012 in General, Live, Music

My “Stagger Lee,” a resophonic festival and Mississippi John Hurt’s Rediscovery

On January 14, 2012, the Department of Pathology and Immunology at the Washington University School of Medicine hosted An Evening of Music / Winter Concert. It featured some great performances by string quartets, small ensembles and singers. I volunteered to play. With nods to the city of Saint Louis and  favorite Mississippi John Hurt, I chose favorite “Stagger Lee.” I got past the nerves and played it out. H took a video for me that I posted.

“Stagger Lee” (mp3) (video on YouTube)

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This past Sunday, H and I headed to Iron Barley for the 6th Annual Tom Hall Resophonic Extravaganza. I had to return after the blogged last one was so good. The Lulus, another favorite, made fine contributions to the festivities. So did blogged Tom Hall, Geoff Seitz, Brian Curran and many more I have forgotten.

At the benefit, a friend reminded me about the new Mississippi John Hurt album. He later directed me to this post on Black Grooves. It leads to Discovery: The Rebirth of Mississippi John Hurt. Weenie Campbell has this worthwhile thread on it. This new release on Spring Fed Records features recordings that Tom Hoskins made on March 3, 1963 when he journeyed to Avalon, Mississippi in search of the long lost musician. This video from the University Press of Mississippi on Vimeo also appears at the bottom of the album link above. In it starting about 10:20, twice blogged Philip Ratcliffe and author of Mississippi John Hurt: His Life, His Times, His Blues discusses how these tapes were found in the bottom of an old cardboard box under Tom Hoskins’ sister’s guest bed. I have been streaming tracks, and I gladly anticipate the arrival of my CD.

Update February 8, 2012: Outlook, the Washington University School of Medicine’s magazine, published this gallery of the Winter Concert. The photograph of me is 17th. You also can see it directly.

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Michael M. on January 31st 2012 in General, Live, Mine, Music, Recorded

Appropriation

Waxy Links pointed me to “Apropos Appropriation” in The New York Times. It concerns attempts to sue visual artists who appropriate from prior art to create their own. I have not blogged on copyright in a while. I am all for borrowing and theft when it comes to ideas. The relative openness with which the article addresses the issue seems to be a departure from past Times coverage, especially considering that the pendulum of its own web site is swinging back toward subscription fees again. TimesSelect is gone, and  New York Times Link Generator is a thing of the past. Some new form of paid subscription is back, though.

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Michael M. on January 1st 2012 in General

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