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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Tue, 29 Jan 2019

Video: Introducing Mozart's Clarinet

Principal clarinetist Antony Pay of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment demonstrates and discusses the clarinet as it existed in Mozart's time. This five-key instrument is what a musician would have used to play Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A at the time it was composed.

Thu, 13 Dec 2018

David Rawlings: 'Midnight Train,' live on WFUV

Another great video featuring David Rawlings and Gillian Welch and their band.

Wed, 21 Nov 2018

David Rawlings and Gillian Welch: 'Airplane' and 'The Trip'

David Rawlings in general, and this video in particular came to my attention because he plays acoustic archtop guitars and at some point in the past couple of years switched from an 1930s Epiphone to this very significant 1959 D'Angelico Excel. It's rare to see these played without pickups, and I wish guitarists did it more.

This video has Rawlings on the Epiphone Olympic. Still sounds great:

If you want to hear someone talk extensively about how acoustic archtop guitars sound, especially in a swing jazz context, Jonathan Stout's videos can provide a lot of insight.

Mon, 22 Oct 2018

Ana Vidovic plays 'Asturias' by Isaac Albéniz

'Classical Gas' by Mason Williams

Wed, 19 Sep 2018

Soundslice makes this the best Ted Greene video ever

A link on Reddit led me to this Soundslice version of a 1993 Ted Greene guitar clinic at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood.

While a lot of human effort from a guy named Jon, who does have a Patreon account, went into transcribing every note in the video, the technology that makes this happen is revolutionary.

Basically you watch the video, and below it, the music unfolds with a line sweeping by every note and chord as Ted plays it. It opens up the harmony right there for you.

Click the image above to see what I'm talking about. Or just watch the video.

I am getting so much more out of the video now that I know every note being played. I'm not saying this is the only way to present an interactive transcription of a music lesson on a video, but it's a pretty great way of doing it. Soundslice should be commended for what they've built here.

It looks expensive as hell to embed on your own website, but it's cheaper to use on their domain, and it's an amazing technology for teaching music.

Watch the video to see what I mean.

Tue, 11 Sep 2018

Tuck's Corner lives in the Wayback Machine

Whenever I listen to Tuck and Patti, I want to go to Tuck's Corner, where Tuck Andress talks about all of their gear.

But Tuck's Corner doesn't appear on the duo's current web site. It's not gone forever. It lives on the Wayback Machine.

Video: Tuck Andress plays 'Europa'

Tuck Andress sounds so great. His tone is unique and not at all what you expect from an archtop guitar, and like all great players, his time is amazing. More than anything, music is about time.

Fri, 03 Aug 2018

The B-52s: 'Give Me Back My Man'

Wed, 20 Jun 2018

An intense 'My Favorite Things' from John Coltrane's late-period 'Live at the Village Vanguard Again!' album

John Coltrane's rendition of "My Favorite Things" from the 1961 album of the same name) is pretty much a gateway into Coltrane.

This isn't that version. Instead, here is the 1966 version from "Live at the Village Vanguard Again!", with a much different band in an equally different era for Coltrane. Basically, free jazz entered, and he embraced it.

Though I love the "classic" Coltrane quartet, this is a great band, and I'm really listening to Alice Coltrane's piano -- I like her approach to the tune. Aside from John Coltrane himself, bassist Jimmy Garrison is the only other holdover from that classic quartet, and the lines he plays are also very different from those of bassist Steve Davis on the recording made five years before. You can tell that Garrison had played the tune live with Coltrane probably hundreds of times.

I'm still absorbing this version, but it's notable that the band plays a full 3 minutes before John Coltrane plays the tune's melody.

For comparison's sake, here's the "classic" rendition of "My Favorite Things" from 1961: