Well OK, Music…

Well, inasmuch as I’ve been tagged with a CD image game I’m playing along. I didn’t find the hotfreelayouts music site totally thrilling, probably because the first two CDs I looked for weren’t there.

Here are three that were, just to have a little variety:

Create your own Music List @ HotFreeLayouts!

I don’t actually have the Leeway CD, I have it on vinyl from the ’60s. I LOVE that first tune on it, in fact just the first trumpet riff is enough to justify the album.
The Ditty Bops album — I heard one song, “Walk or Ride” on WZBC, the Boston College student radio station, and decided I wanted the CD.

Pete Seeger — I probably don’t have that particular recording on CD nor vinyl, but we have several of his on vinyl so that’s representative.

The first thing I searched for that wasn’t there was “Berryman”. Lou and Peter Berryman are two friends (a long friendship interrupted by a brief marriage) from Madison, Wisconsin, who sing some of the funniest songs you’ve ever heard. A couple of their CDs are in the HotFreeLayouts database, but without pictures, so what fun is that? Perhaps the Berrymans’ best song is “When did we have sauerkraut?” It’s about nuclear disarmament and cleaning the refrigerator. When you’ve listened to the song several times you start to realize that those two topics aren’t so different after all. But that’s why I think it’s such a good song. It doesn’t hit you over the head with the analogy, you have to listen several times and think about it for a while, and meanwhile it’s a very funny song. Two other classics of theirs are “A Chat With Your Mother (the F-word song)” and “Squalor”.
The other that wasn’t there was Pat Donohue’s “Two Hand Band”. Again, the CD was in the database but without a picture. Pat is a regular on Prarie Home Companion. We heard him live at a WUMB, UMass/Boston radio station, member concert once. He said he learned to play from recordings, and one he tried to copy had two people playing guitar at once. It was hard to learn, but he didn’t realize that it was supposed to be impossible, so he went ahead and learned to do it. He is a phenomenal guitarist.

I don’t really listen to much music  from recordings these days. I live so close to work that if I remember to turn on the radio in the car at all I just hear three or four songs, and even that’s only an option if I’m not bicycling to work. No, no iPod on the bicycle, I want to be able to hear cars coming up behind me, and to hear any Carolina wrens that happen to be singing along the way.

I do practice trumpet for a few minutes every morning. Mostly I work on a range-building exercise from the Lip Flexibilities book and then practice a song or two for the klezmer band. I’ve been concentrating on one song that’s at the extreme upper limit of my range (it goes up to C sharp and D above the treble staff, and I have to rest my lip in the middle of the song) for a few weeks now. Playing nothing but very high notes has been helping my endurance with the medium-high range greatly. I’d better get back to practicing some songs I can do, just to keep them memorized.

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