Search Results for "Green Strum Project"

Green Strum album

Blogged friend Ryan Spearman started his twice blogged Green Strum Project with wife Kelly Wells. They promised of an album dedicated to sustainability. Get Along Home was released June 18, 2011. You can find my name among the sponsors inside the cover. So far, my favorite song is “Willie McGee” about former Cardinals great Willie McGee. The Riverfront Times ran this fittingly flattering review.

Ryan will play the Sheldon Friday, August 26, 2011. The blogged Lulus, featuring H on fiddle along with Kelly and some twin harmonizing, will open. The Sheldon is one of Saint Louis’ great concert spaces. It should be a great night.

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Michael M. on July 16th 2011 in General, Live, Music, Recorded

Green Strum Band Scramble

H and I were listening to KDHX this afternoon when we heard an announcement for St. Louis Earth Day. The festivities will include the Green Strum Project Band Scramble on April 17, 2011. Friends Kelly Wells, new director of the favorite Folk School, and blogged Ryan Spearman are behind the Green Strum Project. Participants will be assigned randomly to bands with the challenge of creating a band, a new instrument from old materials and a short performance. H and I just signed up and look forward to the fun!

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Michael M. on April 2nd 2011 in General, Live, Music

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

Introduction

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

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

Chorus

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.

Chorus

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.

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

Upcycling music

I was idly listening to To the Best of Our Knowledge on KWMU while eating a sandwich when it seized my attention. The episode was Upcycling, something I certainly support, but I was not listening closely. Then the segment Mark Frauenfelder on “Made by Hand” began. Frauenfelder is the co-founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of Make magazine. I found this older video from his appearance on the Colbert Report. Several of his projects are musical instruments, including a cigar box guitar he played on the Colbert show. TTBOOK also pointed me to Cigar Box Nation, an amazing web site dedicated to homemade musical instruments.

The segment also brought several local friends to mind. The blogged Green Strum Project, by friends Kelly Wells, director of the favorite Folk School and member of the the blogged Lulus, and blogged Ryan Spearman, have many of the same goals. Back in the spring, my band scramble group the Dumpster Divers won at Earth Day. Teammate Jr and I played two of his cigar box guitars for the win. He has this page on Cigar Box Nation for his Crooked Box Guitars.

Because upcycling is local by its nature, I am happy to know local folks in an endeavor gaining the national attention of public radio. At the same time, their projects extend beyond the local. I  hope that my local friends gain wider attention, too.

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Michael M. on October 9th 2011 in General, Music

Folk School on Cityscape

KWMU local arts program Cityscape featured the beloved Folk School on today’s program. The last Folk School segment, as far as I know, was on the blogged May 27, 2005 program. Friends director Kelly Wells and blogged instructor Ryan Spearman were interviewed today. They also performed two jug band numbers, “Yes She Do, No She Don’t” and “Take It Slow and Easy.” Their blogged Green Strum Project got some well deserved promotion. Listen to enjoy the songs at to learn more.

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Michael M. on August 12th 2011 in General, Music

Winning Earth Day

As planned, I entered the Green Strum Project Band Scramble at St. Louis Earth Day with H. The weather was perfect. Blogged friend Ryan Spearman is behind the Green Strum Project with his wife Kelly Wells. As luck had it, H and I ended up on the same team with two other friends. We brought our own fiddles, but we did not need them. We played two cigar box guitars, an olive oil can slide banjo and a salt canister fiddle. H and I constructed the salt canister fiddle using a board for the neck, a salt canister for the resonator, an orange juice cap for the bridge and screws for the nut and tuning pegs. It was quiet, but effective. As the Dumpster Divers, we composed “Dumpster Diving” and performed it for a first place finish! We won tickets to LouFest. Watch the shaky camera video on Facebook. It was a great day.

“Dumpster Diving” by the Dumpster Divers

Intro
D-A7-D-Db-D

Verse 1:
D                Dsus4 D
Your trash is my treasure.
G               Gadd2 G
Your junk is my art.
D            Dsus4 D
You throw it away.
A7
I take it apart.

D               Dsus4 D
Roaming through alleys,
G               Gadd2  G
Looking through bins,
D
I see something.
A7              D-Db-D
I dive right in!

Chorus:
A7
Dumpster diving!
D
It's surprising
E
What we're finding
A
Dumpster diving!

Instrumental over verse chords

Verse 2:
Old cigar boxes,
Futon frames,
Add some strings, and
Now we're playing.

Put it together.
Make something new.
Where there was nothing,
A green song grew.

Chorus

Instrumental over verse chords

Verse 3:
Diving in the city,
Diving in the county,
Head to St. Charles,
To check out the bounty.

It used to be theirs, and
Now it's ours.
My guitar's made of
Cuban cigars.

Chorus

Instrumental over verse chords

Chorus

D
Put it together.
G
Make something new.
D
Where there was nothing,
A7
A green song grew.

Outro
D-Db-D

Update April 24, 2011: Local blog Book of MY has this post about the festival that includes pictures of the Dumpster Divers as we practiced.

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Michael M. on April 17th 2011 in General, Live, Music

DJ NYT

The D.J. Auteur” in The New York Times Magazine profiles Danger Mouse and his project with Cee-Lo Green, Gnarls Barkley. I really like the songs I have heard, especially the terrific “Crazy.” I put in a library request today.

When Gnarls Barkley performs live, there are 14 people onstage. Technically, however, Gnarls Barkley is just two people: Danger Mouse (the aforementioned Burton) and an Atlanta-based singer-rapper named Cee-Lo (born Thomas Calloway). But in a larger sense, Gnarls Barkley is really just one person, and that person is Burton. Cee-Lo is essential, but he’s essential in the same way Diane Keaton was essential to “Annie Hall”: he is the voice that best incarnates Burton’s vision, so he serves as the front man for this particular project. Burton will aggressively insist that Gnarls Barkley is a two-man game, but that seems more magnanimous than accurate. On the surface, Cee-Lo looks like the vortex — he wrote the lyrics and sings the vocals on every song, including “Crazy,” a single on the cusp of becoming the demographically limitless song of the moment (i.e., a 2006 version of OutKast’s “Hey Ya!”). Yet even while “Crazy” is Cee-Lo’s song, it’s still Burton’s design. It’s the product of a singular vision, which is (more or less) the whole idea. The music of Gnarls Barkley is collaborative, but not in a creative sense; the goal of this collaboration is to reproduce the music that already exists inside Burton’s skull.

This paragraph downplays Cee-Lo Green’s role far too much. Obviously, Danger Mouse directs the music, but Cee-Lo’s singing is something special. I cannot remember any recent pop singing with such exquisite pitch, especially not by a man. The “Hey Ya!” reference is right on, though. “Crazy” is great in much the same way “Hey Ya!” is. (“Hey Ya!” had a wonderful alternate video. The original is good, too.) Both “Hey Ya!” and “Crazy” should be covered by country musicians. They should become jazz standards.

I was delighted to read that Res sang backup at Coachella although she really should have blown up by now. I have a blog entry about her and other innovative black music that I may never finish. Good luck, probably in the form of a New York Times article or maybe KDHX, led me to her album How I Do back in 2001 or 2002. It is a terrific mix of vocal talent, tight harmony, instrumentation, production and styles. I love listening to the songs over and over and directing my attention to different vocal or instrumental lines. Her Myspace page has streaming songs, including several new ones. I cannot understand how she is so good and so unknown.

I wish Danger Mouse and Res would cut an album. Maybe Martin “Doc” McKinney could produce Cee-Lo, too.

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Michael M. on June 19th 2006 in General, Music, Recorded

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