Category Archives: Uncategorized

a Listening Experiment

I recently read that the means that the music industry uses to create interest in their products is repetition. The idea that if you hear a song more than a half-dozen times you’ll find yourself liking it, no matter how awful it is (this could explain why people find themselves singing songs to themselves that …

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Promotion?

There a Buddy Hackett joke, presented here in abridged version: I’m playing roulette, and after losing the guy next to me tells me to spread my bets more. I lose again, and he says to make sure I’m evenly spread across red and black. I lose again, and he tells me to make sure I’m …

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What are you, really?

Someone recently asked me a question, one I’ve been asked quite often, and it always confuses me. This person (who may even be reading this blog), having witnessed me perform on guitar as well as bass, asked me if I was a guitarist or bassist. I replied that I consider myself proficient on both, and …

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Authenticity

I recently read an interview w/ Marcus Miller where he said “the worst thing you can do is try to out-authenticize somebody’s native music.” and I thoroughly agree, but I feel that it’s deeper than that. Just ‘cos someone grew up in, for instance, Thailand doesn’t mean they should try to play “authentic” Thai music. …

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Symbiosis

I recently read (and commented on) a Facebook post by the mandolinist Buddy Merriam. He was making a plea for support of his music. Now, to me, Buddy is a bluegrass icon on Long Island.  The idea that he has to ask for support seems utterly ridiculous. But thinking about it more carefully, I feel …

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Hugh Laurie and the state of music

I saw Hugh Laurie being interviewed, and he had put out an album of old blues and swing tunes. Asked why, he said that these old songs mean so much to him that he doesn’t want them to be lost to history. This created some mixed feelings for me. On one side, I also feel …

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Genesis of a Song

I recently wrote a new song, though “wrote” doesn’t feel like the best way to describe it. Often, songs seem to more “appear” in my head, generally a bit at a time. This one was no exception. It was a Tuesday night, probably around 11ish. I had been at an open mic (whether that has …

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Why do we like what we do?

My recent comments on the new Black Sabbath (and the replies to it) caused me to wonder about what makes us like certain things and not others. And not just in the sense of why do I like Wolfmother but not Justin Bieber (that one’s pretty obvious). Or even why such a Rush fan as …

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What If? (solo show jitters)

I’m currently preparing for a solo performance, where I will play and sing all by myself, w/out any backing band to lean on. This is of course fairly frightening. But there’s a great technique I know of that works well w/ these kinds of scenarios. It’s basically to imagine the worst case scenario, and discover …

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Getting a Great Show

When I did the Landmark Forum (and if you like I can rant about that for a page and a half) there was an exercise we did where one person talks about a topic they’re passionate about, while their partner makes a point of ignoring them. It was amazing how difficult it was to put …

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