Opening Pandora’s Box

ately I’ve been listening to Pandora a lot. A demonstration of the value of The Music Genome Project

[az]B000BNWJXM[/az][l1]L[/l1]ately I’ve been listening to Pandora a lot. A demonstration of the value of The Music Genome Project®, Pandora allows you to create your own radio station based on a single artist or even a single song.

Using a database of 400 different aspects of descriptions of music, it matches up music in their files with the artist or song you’ve chosen as the seed for your station. The consistency is impressive.

But that’s also the drawback.

You’ll be introduced to new artists, certainly (it’s how I discovered the chewy goodness of Maggi, Pierce and E.J. But since every song is carefully chosen to match existing criteria, you won’t stumble across gems which are fundamentally different from what you’re already listening to.

I keep making new stations (you can have as many as you want) and seeing how far I can stretch it before it breaks. From the perspective of “if you like X, you’ll probably like Y” I haven’t found anything better.

Charlie Cheney’s Music Exam (Tribes)

o, this won’t be on the test.Musician and musical entrepreneur Charlie Cheney is doing an online radio show and for some reason decided he should talk to me a lot. We’ll be foisting this nonsense on an unsuspecting world every Monday evening for the foreseeable future. Check Charlie’s BlogTalkRadio page for the schedule, time, archives, and all that blather. And call in! Call and actually talk to us during the show! Your very own voice will appear right here in these podcasts! You’ll be as famous as I am!

[l1]N[/l1]o, this won’t be on the test.

Musician and musical entrepreneur Charlie Cheney is doing an online radio show and for some reason decided he should talk to me a lot. We’ll be foisting this nonsense on an unsuspecting world every Monday evening for the foreseeable future. Check Charlie’s BlogTalkRadio page for the schedule, time, archives, and all that blather. And call in! Call and actually talk to us during the show! Your very own voice will appear right here in these podcasts! You’ll be as famous as I am!

Maybe that doesn’t mean as much as it could, huh?

Since I hate noises automatically starting on web pages, you’ll have to click the ‘Play’ button below to listen.

200

wo hundred posts.The first was March 12, 2002. That’s 2,414 days ago. 6 years, 7 months, 8 days.

[l1]T[/l1]wo hundred posts.

The first was March 12, 2002. That’s 2,414 days ago. 6 years, 7 months, 8 days.

Not a great average, every 12 days, but there were times I lost my way and went months (194 days, over six months, one time) without posting.

My life isn’t remotely what it was when I started. Much gain, some loss.

And lots and lots of music.

A not entirely but almost random list of two hundred songs: Continue reading “200”

February Album Writing Month, 2008 Edition

lease put your seat trays up and raise your seats to their upright position: it’s time, once again, for over 1,000 lunatics to gather at FAWM and try to write 14 songs in 28 days. Well, being a leap year and all, we’ll each try to add a collaboration, making it 14.5 songs in 29 days.Won’t be around much during February, since it’s also shaping up to be the biggest business month of the past nine.

[l1P][/l1]P” border=”0″ align=”left” />lease put your seat trays up and raise your seats to their upright position: it’s time, once again, for over 1,000 lunatics to gather at FAWM and try to write 14 songs in 28 days. Well, being a leap year and all, we’ll each try to add a collaboration, making it 14.5 songs in 29 days.

Won’t be around much during February, since it’s also shaping up to be the biggest business month of the past nine.

Read all about the February Album Writing Month at the website, and spread the word, if you so desire, with this here PDF with a bit of pertinent information.

Thresholds

very day, I try to practice my piano chords, a few bass lines, and some guitar chords. I decided that tiny little incremental steps would be better than a) pretending I would someday take lessons or otherwise invest a lot of time to get up to speed quickly and b) never doing it.The odd thing is that I’ve reached a tipping point. My guitar playing improved exponentially over a few days. When I added diminished and suspended chords to my piano practice, it took two days to get comfortable, instead of the weeks it took for both majors and minors. (Check out Duane’s free online/email piano lessons. Excellent resource.)

[az]B000BTJC22[/az][l1]E[/l1]very day, I try to practice my piano chords, a few bass lines, and some guitar chords. I decided that tiny little incremental steps would be better than a) pretending I would someday take lessons or otherwise invest a lot of time to get up to speed quickly and b) never doing it.

The odd thing is that I’ve reached a tipping point. My guitar playing improved exponentially over a few days. When I added diminished and suspended chords to my piano practice, it took two days to get comfortable, instead of the weeks it took for both majors and minors. (Check out Duane’s free online/email piano lessons. Excellent resource.)

It’s had a direct affect on my songwriting, being able to play chords on the guitar. Two completely new songs in a week, and completed music for some lyrics I wrote 18 months ago. The first new song is the first time I’ve totally given in to my country roots. It came out sounding a lot like Alan Jackson, which makes pretty much no sense at all. Maybe I’ll even post demos here.

Practice may or may not make perfect, but it sure makes better.

The Commonsense Entrepreneur

‘m writing a book, ‘The Commonsense Entrepreneur.’ My goal is to help small businesses succeed, while succeeding myself. As one step on that road, I would like to offer entrepreneurs a free half-hour consultation. Let’s discuss the biggest challenge you’re facing in business, your most recent ‘learning experience’ (some call them mistakes), or your dreams for your career and yourself. Let me convince you of my ability to understand your issues quickly, and offer practical guidance to help you succeed.All I ask in return for this free consultation is your honest feedback, and the right, if I choose, to include it on the Commonsense Entrepreneur website (credited to you, or anonymous; your choice.)

The Commonsense Entrepreneur[l1]I[/l1]’m writing a book, ‘The Commonsense Entrepreneur.’ My goal is to help small businesses succeed, while succeeding myself. As one step on that road, I would like to offer entrepreneurs a free half-hour consultation. Let’s discuss the biggest challenge you’re facing in business, your most recent ‘learning experience’ (some call them mistakes), or your dreams for your career and yourself. Let me convince you of my ability to understand your issues quickly, and offer practical guidance to help you succeed.

All I ask in return for this free consultation is your honest feedback, and the right, if I choose, to include it on the Commonsense Entrepreneur website (credited to you, or anonymous; your choice.)

Please call toll free (877) 771-7746 or email Book@BizBa6.com (or use the Commonsense Entrepreneur contact form) to arrange a free half hour-hour consultation by phone, email, or letter, or if you’re in the Roseville/Sacramento area, in person at our office or preferably your place of business.

Museum of Making Music

ernie met us at the door.”We close in an hour. An hour isn’t long enough.”

[l1]B[/l1]ernie met us at the door.

“We close in an hour. An hour isn’t long enough.”

I had been cheered by the fact that we walked through the front doors without being charged, but over Bernie’s shoulder I saw the Admissions desk with its $5 fee posted. $5 isn’t much, but we didn’t have it. I didn’t tell Bernie.

To prove his point, Bernie, one of the docents, took us on a lightening tour. Ten minutes later, it was clear that, as my brother is wont to say, the admission would be cheap at twice the price.

Breaking the last century arbitrarily into 5 eras, displays throughout the museum contain over 450 instruments and and endless variety of interactive exhibits. The Martin guitar display boasts one of two 045 Jimmy Rodgers Martins and Eric Clapton’s 000-28 Martin acoustic. As you walk into the lobby, there

Shirley’s Saturday/Sunday Sounds

he effervescent Shirley Kaiser has started a new feature at her weblog BrainstormsAndRaves called ‘Saturday/Sunday Sounds.’ Shirley has a Master’s Degree in Musical Performance, and her writing is indeed masterful. While KnowYourMusic is more or less on hiatus, Shirley’s personal reminiscences and insights will help fill the void. Read her debut column in the series; you’ll love it.

[l1]T[/l1]he effervescent Shirley Kaiser has started a new feature at her weblog BrainstormsAndRaves called ‘Saturday/Sunday Sounds.’ Shirley has a Master’s Degree in Musical Performance, and her writing is indeed masterful. While KnowYourMusic is more or less on hiatus, Shirley’s personal reminiscences and insights will help fill the void. Read her debut column in the series; you’ll love it.

Hundredth Note

t’s been 300 days since I posted “Overture” and gave my obsession a voice.Isaac Asimov, author of nearly 400 books, used his 100th as a retrospective of his impressive accomplishment; few authors ever reach their centennial publication. Asimov’s “Opus 100” is essentially his personal musings on those of his writings he was particularly fond of (or particularly embarrassed about.) I’m just cocky enough to take a page from his book.

[l1]I[/l1]t’s been 300 days since I posted “Overture” and gave my obsession a voice.

Isaac Asimov, author of nearly 400 books, used his 100th as a retrospective of his impressive accomplishment; few authors ever reach their centennial publication. Asimov’s “Opus 100” is essentially his personal musings on those of his writings he was particularly fond of (or particularly embarrassed about.) I’m just cocky enough to take a page from his book.

Welcome to “Hundredth Note.” And, no, I don’t know what kind of time signature that would require.

My server logs show 8,346 visitors of whom 1,140 seem to be semi-regulars. Haven’t received a single response to my invitation at the end of Still Haven’t Found What You’re Looking For?. Come on; tell me who and where you are. I promise, I don’t bite, I don’t spam. Just curious who y’all are.Some hopes have yet to achieve fruition. We haven’t seen an official album from “Walkingbirds” or my good friend Shirley Kaiser; both are kept busy with their web design businesses and real life. Both are still eagerly anticipated. Haven’t received my copy of King L’s “Great Day for Gravity” but at least the new vendor had it in stock, and claims to have shipped it. No decisions on ‘Paris or Alaska‘; no ears nibbled; no links fixed. Still haven’t gone to see Wally’s Swing World again, and some of you still haven’t found what you’re looking for. Twice.

Random thoughts on reviews I hope you didn’t miss:

  • My favorite: Scheherazade—Still the best combination of pop/rock and classical music ever accomplished; still thrilling, musically and lyrically. If I could witness only one live musical event for the rest of my life, without hesitation I would choose Renaissance performing “Scheherazade.”
  • The David Gray collection—”See the Sun Spreading Wings of Gold“, “Putting Flesh on the Bones of My Dreams“, and “Falling Free“. David’s music, lyrics, and performing inspire me.
  • I took more than one trip during the past 300 days, most to visit friends and scenery in Arizona. One of those trips, along with things happening in my own life, gave rise to “While I’m Far From Home“, whose first paragraph feels more real every day.
  • It was touching that the first serious attempt I’ve made at writing about my father’s death solicited the first response I’ve gotten from the artist in question.
  • Twas fun to be mentioned in Mike Nesmith’s official newsletter after my review of “Laugh Kills Lonesome.”
  • Some geeky statistics: though a hundred entries in three hundred days is an average of one post every three days, eleven times I’ve gone more than a week without posting; the longest was 13 days. I’m working on that. 60% of the time I posted in less than three days, but those slack times bring down the average.

  • Desafinado” was one of the songs which drove my need to write about the music that inspires me. I failed utterly to put into words the delirious joy I feel every single time I hear this unique song. As Shirley wrote once, “How can one fully describe the fragrance of a fresh rose with the early morning dew on a fresh Spring morning? Words can only do so much…” Please, find Desafinado, get your favorite cold beverage, mentally put yourself on a sunny Brazilian beach, and experience one of the seminal moments in modern music.
  • On the other hand, Enya’s “Na Laetha Geal M’

New Links Added

From Bobbi:”My very favorite Jack Brothers cd is “Nivose” and it has two really great songs, “Jattebra” (I think it means “perfection” in Swedish) and “Min Lilla Ros” (words are something like “there was black there was dark there was nothing there was snow … then there was you, my little rose”-but sung to music that makes you want to ride a truck in circles under the desert stars in the middle of the night!) Then most of the songs on “Ventose” are good-they’re mostly in English and they’re the funniest take on the blues! I especially love “Hole In Your Pocket Blues.”There’s also a song on “Germinal” called “Under Finspangs Boar” that I love-I love it because as they’re singing it they switch back and forth between major and minor chords (vocally) which kind of tweaks your emotions-cyclical responses.”atching up on some old business—Our links list has a couple new entries, courtesy of Bobbi and Benjer.Bobbi recommends the Jack Brothers—a huge proportion of their tunes are downloadable, so you can be pretty familiar with their work before you buy.

[l1]C[/l1]atching up on some old business—Our links list has a couple new entries, courtesy of Bobbi and Benjer.

Bobbi recommends the Jack Brothers—a huge proportion of their tunes are downloadable, so you can be pretty familiar with their work before you buy.

Benjer’s link to GEMM was really helpful right now. I discovered recently that my long-awaited copy of King L’s “Great Day for Gravity” wasn’t going to ship, and I found more than one copy at GEMM. As Benjer says, it’s “an exhaustive database for music lovers”—and a great resource for hard–to–find music.

From Bobbi:”My very favorite Jack Brothers cd is “Nivose” and it has two really great songs, “Jattebra” (I think it means “perfection” in Swedish) and “Min Lilla Ros” (words are something like “there was black there was dark there was nothing there was snow … then there was you, my little rose”-but sung to music that makes you want to ride a truck in circles under the desert stars in the middle of the night!) Then most of the songs on “Ventose” are good-they’re mostly in English and they’re the funniest take on the blues! I especially love “Hole In Your Pocket Blues.”There’s also a song on “Germinal” called “Under Finspangs Boar” that I love-I love it because as they’re singing it they switch back and forth between major and minor chords (vocally) which kind of tweaks your emotions-cyclical responses.

A Slack Hand Makes for Something, But I Don’t Remember What

uess who went on vacation and didn’t tell anyone?Sorry for the complete lack of communication here. I spent a week in Arizona with a couple friends, much of it driving through the incomparable Oak Creek Canyon and other fun places.

[l1]G[/l1]uess who went on vacation and didn’t tell anyone?

Sorry for the complete lack of communication here. I spent a week in Arizona with a couple friends, much of it driving through the incomparable Oak Creek Canyon and other fun places.

I’ll have a complete dossier on the trip, including photos and musical connections, by the weekend.

Next time, I’ll let you know where I am. I know how you worry.