Archive for April, 2012

My profile of the Carolina Chocolate Drops in the NOLA Defender for Jazz Fest

I have been a fan of theĀ Carolina Chocolate Drops for a few years. They are playing Jazz Fest this year. Although I cannot go, my friend Brad Rhines invited me to write a preview for the NOLA Defender, an online publication in New Orleans. It is now up as part of A Handful of JazzFest: 5 Acts to Watch on April 28, 2012. Brad’s piece on favorite Bobby Rush is also part of the preview. I wish I could attend Jazz Fest. Have a look!

No Comments »

Michael M. on April 28th 2012 in General, Music

Physics friend makes PhD Comics

Dark Matters appeared recently PHD Comics. The star is Daniel Whiteson. He is an associate professor at UC Irvine and a scientist at CERN. Long ago, we shared a major in college.

No Comments »

Michael M. on April 28th 2012 in General

Horrible disease story

I recently started following the MetaFilter blog Best Of MetaFilter. The Problem with Trusting a Prognosis links to this interview and book excerpt “The Chief Complaint: Dr. Otis Brawley” in Atlanta Magazine. The MetaFilter discussion has some good comments. Boing Boing posted it before then. Brawley is Chief Medical and Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of the American Cancer Society and a professor at Emory. The excerpt is a harrowing account of breast cancer from his book How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America. Barnes-Jewish Hospital holds a position similar to Grady in Atlanta. I have seen not seen an automastectomy at BJH, but I have seen advanced cancer diagnosed for the first time including a fungating tumor and widely metastatic breast cancer. It ought to be better.

No Comments »

Michael M. on April 26th 2012 in General

Winning Earth Day Again

H and I teamed with Doug Foehner to form the Trash Tones for this year’s Green Strum Band Scramble at St. Louis Earth Day. The rain and wind were intermittent enough to let the event happen. I blogged last year about winning the band scramble. The blogged Green Strum Project, headed by blogged friend Ryan Spearman and Kelly Wells, had a tent again this year with JR Scott and a crew of others. Kelly promoted the event on local station KTVI in this segment. H built a bow for the fiddle that we made last year, and I built a cigar box instrument somewhere between a guitar and a mandolin. Doug played a bucket slide guitar. We won against the Chlorphyllians and the Trash Truck Revival with our song “Solar, Wind and Waves.” Our prize was tickets to LouFest!

“Solar, Wind and Waves” by the Trash Tones


Solar, wind and waves,
They'll be here all our days.
Renewable, reusable,
They don't make no waste.
Instrumental over chorus chords

Verse 1:
Nuclear, petroleum, natural gas and coal,
They're powering our cars and homes,
But crushing all our souls.


Instrumental over chorus chords

Verse 2:
We can't go through out lives just digging up the past.
We must make it better now
If this world's going to last.


Instrumental over chorus chords

Update April 23, 2012: This video on YouTube is up!

Update April 30, 2012: This message of thanks from St. Louis Earth Day links to the video above and to this post with the lyrics and chords.


Michael M. on April 22nd 2012 in General, Live, Mine, Music, Recorded

Singing together

The Atlantic has “How Communal Singing Disappeared From American Life” at the end of March. A friend pointed to it through the page on Facebook of the beloved Folk School. It makes the argument that public singing has declined and that it ought to return. The article refers to the Get America Singing… Again! songbooks. They appear to have a good collection of songs. Rise Up Singing is preferred one among friends. The article reminded me of “Shared Song, Communal Memory” from The New York Times a few years ago. They share many points. Sing more.

No Comments »

Michael M. on April 19th 2012 in General, Music

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.