Wednesday, November 26, 2003


Pretty amazing 2500 words on rabbit blog today! Not that any of it means anything to me or my life, but the quality (and quantity) of the writing is something else. Some folks lead interesting lives, no doubt about it.

He's prone to joblessness and self-inflicted existential pain. He's a big ole Do Not Enter sign on the turnpike of partnership.

Addendum to Christmas List

The New Pearls Before Swine Tribute - For The Dead In Space Volume II & III. If your budget is larger, I'd actually appreciate the 4 CD box set Jewels Were The Stars even more, Santa.

I really should have managed to find the $55 to buy that myself by now, but... Hey, I bet I blogged on about that a year ago. Whatever. Familiar Songs is due to be released December 30, 2003, and the 4 albums from he box set are supposed to be individually available sometime soon, as well. Having all these rereleases on more or less pristine vinyl makes them less than critical CD acquisitions, considering budgetary constraints. What's your excuse? When Joe Phillips and Wildcat Recordings manage to get some archival Tom Rapp live recordings released, there will be no such hesitation, he glibly predicted.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Warren Spahn

A boyhood hero, Warren Spahn died yesterday. The winningest left-handed pitcher, ever. Fought in WW2 three years and started his major league career at age 25. Won 20+ games in 13 seasons. Played for the Boston and Milwaukee Braves for years and years, and got shuttled around a little in the twilight of his career, ending up as a pitching coach for Casey Stengel with the Mets, I believe. Died at home in Oklahoma, age 82. A good life.

He had a memorable multiple inning conversation with Bob Uecker on the radio broadcast of the Brewers' home opener in 1999. WTMJ rebroadcast the conversation sans the play calling a few days later, and I captured it on tape and eventually burned a 20 minute CD-R. Funny and insightful baseball talk from a couple Hall Of Famer ex-teammates. (Uecker, of course is in the broadcasters wing at Cooperstown!) If you were a Braves fan in the 60's like I was, you oughta hear it.

Monday, November 24, 2003

King Crimson Fractalizes Again

A little King Crimson news for interested parties... The Double Duo has entered the History of King Crimson. Hints as to what The Next Stage might be for Robert Fripp are between sketchy and nonexistent. I know he's considered Tony Levin and Bill Bruford to be members of KC in good standing despite pursuing other opportunities the past several years. But Fripp himself has expressed a declining interest in being a Traveling Musician. Who knows, maybe he'll buy a theater in Branson.

November 21, 2003

All things must pass. And now, for me, life with King Crimson fulfills itself.

I am sending out this letter of thanks to all the people who have made the experience of being part of King Crimson such a powerful and vital one. I am grateful to all the musicians who have I been able to share the stage, the creative process and the long bus rides with: Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Pat Mastelotto, Tony Levin and Bill Bruford. To be able to call these modular, glowing, rock solid, earth shaking and nimble characters my friends and allies has been a constant source of amazement to me...

But most importantly, I am grateful to all the audiences who have supported the work of this band while I have been part of it. People have come to us with open ears and enthusiasm to hear something new. And they have done so even when we were still testing the waters with untried material and ideas. A musician couldn’t ask for anything more.

Earlier this year, at the inevitability of the closing of this phase of my musical life, I spent some time looking back. I thought back to the original aims I had as a young musician. And much to my surprise, I discovered that I have realized them. They were simply and elegantly stated to myself at the time: I want to play with the best musicians on the planet and make the most powerful and unusual music possible. I have done that. And done it with this band: King Crimson. And… I don’t need to just keep on doing it over and over again.

This path has taken ten years (not to mention the previous eight working with Robert Fripp in many other projects.) During my time with the band we have put out 17 CDs, 2 DVDs, and brought to the stage hundreds of performances. Here again, a musician couldn’t ask for more.

Musicians, in general, follow their instincts. Following my own, I have found myself constantly on the move. I have played so many different instruments, and even when I finally found my home on the touch-style string instruments, I still kept moving. From different string configurations to different tunings to different roles as a player. Rarely have I stayed anywhere longer then a year or two. It seems that once I have done something, then I have done it. And all that is left, then, is to drop it and move on to something else...

Trey Gunn

Thursday, November 20, 2003

I see there are "scattered clouds" in North Bend, Oregon this morning. Presumably the clouds are better organized and aligned in geometric ranks at other times...

So, I threw together a CD-R just before bed last night, mostly to get some movies off the hard drive (Doors, Ralph Stanley, some movie trailers), with a bunch of music to fill up the disc. I wish Nero didn't make the data subdirectory look like a silent 10 minute Audio Track on the silly disc. Maybe there's another Mixed Mode I can try that will handle it better. This one is ISO something or other and requires two seconds between audio tracks, too. Anyway, since I'm typing up the track listing anyway, here it is. Questions are welcome.

Several of the tracks are courtesy Otis Fodder's amazing 365 Days Project, some are completely unavailable on CD, LP or 8-track, and a few are probably available for 99 cents on an internet near you.

The name of this disc might be I Don't Know If I Believe In Nihilism. (That's something Wigu's big sister, Paisley Tinkle, said in today's comic.)

01 Data Track - Do Not Play
02 Tornadoes - Telstar
03 Spooner - Feeling Good Is Gonna Come Easy
04 Toys - A Lover's Concerto
05 People - I Love You
06 Justin Hayward - The Actor
07 Wild Man Fischer & Mark Mothersbaugh - The Way We Were
08 Spooner - Wild Winds
09 Graham Parker & Rumour - Pouring It All Out
10 Blues Image - Ride Captain Ride
11 Bloodrock - DOA
12 Nick Cave - Time Jesum Transuentum Et Non Revertentum
13 Spooner - Fugitive Dance Mix
14 Buggles - Video Killed The Radio Star
15 Dondero High School Choir - Fox On The Run
16 Eddie & Edie & Reggaebots - Some Velvet Morning
17 Van Morrison - Ringworm / You Say France And I Whistle / Have A Danish
18 Jorma Kaukonen - Song For The High Mountain

Friday, November 07, 2003

Marking Time

For my own personal edification, I'd like to discover any (relatively non-obscure) rock or pop songs with time signatures other than 4/4. I'm not necessarily talking prog rock pond scum stuff that changes meter every couple bars just because it can, but tunes with an actual melody that moves along for a significant period in 7/8 or whatever. I have a hard time "feeling" anything besides 4/4 or 3/4 (e.g. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Mr. Bojangles") and wonder if I'm too old to improve my rhythm, so to speak. I know Dave Brubeck Quartet's "Take Five" and Jethro Tull's "Living In The Past" are supposed to be in 5/4, but untrained musician that I am, I get lost whenever I try to count the beats. One, two, many...

This may be a job for Blogcritics. Buffalo Springfield's "Down To The Wire" is an odd one; I know there's a 3/4 section, but the main verse has an unusual stop and start rhythm. IIRC, Fairport Convention's "Tam Lin" is supposed to have a variable number of beats per measure as Swarbrick, Mattacks and Thompson adjust their riffage to match the irregular traditional lyrics. Weirdnessabounds says the Toadies do a lot of stuff in weird time signatures, but I've never heard anything by them. I think Kenneth Newman used to claim he naturally falls into fives and/or sevens when he plays at the guitar, so maybe he can point me to some Gentle Giant or ELP or Genesis or something with an identifiable meter... King Crimson or Rush or somebody playing 13's over alternating sixes and sevens ain't quite what I'm looking for. At worst, I suppose I can study Brubeck's "Time Out" and "Time Further Out"...

All this comes out of the fact that we played a Tanzanian tune in 7/8 at church last week and none of us really internalized the rhythm very well. I'm not sure why, but the songs in 3/4 seem to come to me more easily than the others. It's not that I know how to waltz, it's just comfortable to strum. Perhaps there tend to be fewer chords per measure! (For some reason, the tang never did any new wave hard pop beat rock songs in anything but 4/4 back there in 1979-1981...)

UPDATE: Pink Floyd "Money" and Steeleye Span "Dark Eyed Sailor" have been mentioned as odd time signature tunes.

Also, while I'm making lists, I oughta recompile the old "Sunday Morning", "Monday Monday" "Tuesday Afternoon"... days-of-the-week song list, since I have no idea which floppy disc that's stored on anymore.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

A Quick One

I've been working on slicing and dicing the Buckingham Nicks album into clean wav files so I can burn myself a CD of the damn thing. Unfortunately, I recorded it too hot and have about a hundred clipped peaks that I'm going through and editing by hand. Pain in the butt, but I'm too lazy to disconnect the stereo system and haul it over to the computer again. (That's only part of the story since I sold the source cassette to somebody on eBay already and would have to record my LP instead, which perhaps I will do someday, as well.) Nonetheless, it's time consuming, but I've always spent time tweaking aspects of music compilations that nobody but my own self will ever notice.

Also planning a CD-R for the sheepshead game Saturday. This is what I have so far:

Impressions: "People Get Ready"
Aliotta Haines Jeremiah: "Lake Shore Drive"
Cinerama: "Sly Curl"
Henry Mancini: "Theme From Romeo & Juliet"
Magic Lanterns: "One Night Stand"
Moody Blues: "Go Now"
Hombres: "Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)"
Brooklyn Bridge: "Worst That Could Happen"
Brand X: "Nuclear Burn"
Spooner: "Photographs"
Kenny Rogers & First Edition: "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)"

I haven't quite determined what the theme of the compilation is, yet. Sequencing will be key to getting this load of nonsense to hang together. Who am I kidding, someone will be crying for a Springsteen disc before three songs are done... Okay, then, a defensive substitution:

David Bowie: "Growin' Up"
Easybeats: "Friday On My Mind"

...and so on.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Nothing Important Happened Last Month

I posted a Halloween Music article at Blogcritics and discovered that posting a List Of Things is a hot button for getting people to comment. Have to remember that.

Still playing Telecaster through my new Roland Cube 30 amp a couple times a week. (I guess buying that is one thing that happened last month.) I sold the Twin Reverb and spent some of the proceeds. I really like it. Much lighter than the Fender, plenty loud for my needs, a very nice selection of tones and effects easily accessible, and it looks good, too.

Hmm, not a lot to say today. This ain't much of a diary. A "crapblog" according to noted bass player weirdnessabounds. :-) Sheepshead game at BZ's bachelor pad this Saturday, and Sarah is Lady Macbeth the following weekend. Outside, the rain has stopped, but it's overcast, foggy, cool, and getting dark. I better post this now, and try to remember how to update the archive.

Now Playing: "Shadrack Chameleon", a Gear Fab CD release of a DIY indie recording from Iowa, 1973. It's not very good, but of historical interest, especially if you claim to enjoy both kinds of music!