Nez the Conducer

He’s smart. I just keep thinking how smart he is.

Brief but interesting interview with Michael Nesmith at Wired. He says things like “The problem with those kind of companies is that they don’t have any good way to add value anymore.

For years, they’d support the artist in their nascent stages and get the goods to market. Those are old-time, Methuselean economics”

Tip o’ the hat to Nez’s VideoRanch for the link.

Latitudes of Celtic Jam

The seat of Placer County is the gold-mining town of Auburn. The new center of Auburn, for Best Beloved and I, is the Latitudes Bistro, downstairs from the Latitidues Restaurant.

Wandering through Auburn this morning we remembered that the only time we’d stopped at Latitudes they were already closed (we keep forgetting that, unlike southern California, NorCal is not open 24/7.) We stopped in, just to see if we could find an interesting cup of tea.

We popped our heads into the bistro, and the friendly lady inside invited us in to look around, turning the lights on so we could see properly. We chatted about music (seems to happen to me a lot) and, despite my childish comments about brewing being more important than baking (she’s a baker) she let us in on her secret: a group of Celtic musicians meets at the bistro every Sunday night, from 5:30 to 9ish.

We were, of course, on the spot, spot on 5:30. (During our morning visit, we went upstairs to the restaurant and had mimosas and a bowl of fresh fruit and yogurt; o! so good.)

The jam this evening grew to epic proportions, with 14 players at one point, including multiple flutes and fiddles and whistles, guitar, dulcimer, cello, bodhran, and the only eight-string resonator guitar I’ve ever seen, in the hands of one Pete Grant.

Pete Grant - Greetings from California & BeyondOf Pete, phenom David Lindley says “He’s the master of the “snapper”—when you’re onstage playing with him on some tune he’ll do something so mind-blowingly amazing that your head snaps around automatically to see what he just did. I would recommend buying anything he records.”

It turns out he’s as much of a geek as I am, but most certainly more of a musician.

I strongly suggest you investigate Pete’s album “Greetings from California & Beyond”. I intend to. If you’d like to hear Pete playing right now, he’s posted a recording of one of Toirdhealbhach’s pieces, accompanied by a slide show of the most beautiful place on earth: the west coast of Ireland.

And, if you’re in Placer County or its environs, drop by Latitudes on a Sunday night between 5:30 and closing. You’ll probably hear Pete, and you’ll certainly find Best Beloved and I swaying to the music over pints of something barley.

Dylan Goes Country

Okay, he’s always had a huge country feel to a lot of his stuff, but last night, it was a very country-sounding show. Which, for me, was just fantastic. When it’s done well, I love country music; it doesn’t have to sturm and drang and clang to be good.

The arrangements, as usual, are totally different from the studio versions. I imagine over 40 years songs are bound to transmogrify a bit.

Bob Dylan's Greatest HitsThe one that was closest to the original was “Like a Rolling Stone.” Guess even he knows not to mess too much with perfection.

It also got the biggest roar from the crowd all night when he started the encore with it.

Not planning on waiting years and years to see another rock icon perform. I missed too many good shows over too many years.