Friday, September 30, 2011

On the Airwaves

If you don't happen to be up in Grass Valley yourself this weekend, it would be worth tuning into KVMR's live webcast to catch a bit of the Celtic Festival Saturday and Sunday. Scots singer Emily Smith--which by extension, unless I'm much mistaken, also means fiddler Jamie McClennan--and the classic Old Blind Dogs are all in the line-up, for starters.
The Scotsman has a short article on the John MacLellan Medal recital which is coming up next month. Alas, attending wouldn't just mean a drive across town, or across a county or two--or even across the state, for that matter. Still, I don't think it's only a case of the grass always being greener on the other side of the. . .pond that makes the evening's planned entertainment sound so intriguing.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


Two miniscule people, neither of whom could have been much older than four, were regarding the cover of a music magazine with a gravity that would have gladdened the heart of anyone guilty of designing it. It depicted a riot of the professionally unkempt who were brandishing their guitars and trying to out-snarl each other.

"Why aw they so mad?" a small, serious voice ventured.
The other explained,"Dey don't want to pway da duitaw anymow."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oh I May, May I?

To wax slightly biographical, I went to Barnes & Noble yesterday and bought a copy of Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit. I've read it before, and it is quite a good book, which is why I finally determined to own it, however, the part of this little episode which most invites comment is that, along with my receipt, the register printed me out a helpful little slip of paper that read like this:

Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens
Moby Dick: Or, The Whale by Herman Melville
Martin Eden by Jack London

Which occasions a meditation on just how the computer might have come to such a conclusion:

Barnaby Rudge You, valued customer, just bought a book by Charles Dickens. Therefore, I shall assume you might like to try yet another.

Fair enough, register. I see your logic and, inded, I may read that one someday.

Moby Dick: Or, The Whale You, valued customer, whose taste in literature is now an open book (ha ha) to me, obviously like Big Fat Tomes. Here is a volume quite famed for its portliness.

I'll give you points for some restraint, register. I suppose you could have suggested Melville's Complete Works, which I have seen bound under a single cover, and which would be my choice of the book to throw at someone, if throwing the book at someone ever fell to my lot. But, deep in your little mechanical heart of hearts, do you find much similarity at all between a tale of hypocrisy in England, and one of verbosity on the high seas?

Martin Eden With my keen, virtual eye for detail, I have noted that you have been known to buy books with the Christian name of Martin. I've cleverly found another for you.

Now you're just havering. And I have a book to read. Goodbye.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

And Now For a Bit of Piobaireachd

After a long absence. . .I'll take the lazy way out, write very little, and post two videos and a website. Like this:

Scotland's Songs, has a page which I may have linked to before (and if I didn't, well, I should have) which has a bit more about "Lament for the Children," as well as examples of some other piobaireachd-related singing.