2014-11-24

Hendershot's Open Mic Nite 2014-11-24


19:30 - Joshua Hellums  A song + a free verse.  I couldn't really understand his words, the vowels were too quiet to understand.
19:40 - Johnny Rowland  1st song: "Kiss Me When The Sun Goes Down"
2nd song: "What A Wonderful World".  Nice!  This is straight up his alley.
19:50 - Open Slot = Larry Forte  "To Be Free"
20:00 - Drew Albenesius   Drew Albo Music Facebook Page
                19:56 actual - John Lennon cover "I Just Had To Let It Go".
Rumsfeld just walked in wearing a red tie & Dockers, he looks so different.
2nd song original "Locked Up".  Drew plays the Nowhere Bar tomorrow nite @ 20:00.
"Locked Up" is a song about a guy retreiving his lost guitar.  I like it!
20:10 - Julie Holmes  Soulful with a peppy strum.  1st Song is a cover:"Black & Gold".  She is like a T.A.R.D.I.S., the voice inside is a lot larger than the container it come packaged in!  
2nd song, an original she's only played for her cat until now.  Intro includes some plucking of descending harmonics!  Neat!
Her guitar chops are super-solid, wow!  She's mixing chords with strikes on muted strings.  She went from struming chords with pick, to inserting pick into the strings at 1st fret for storage, switching straight to fingerpicking so fast that she did not even miss a beat.  Holy crap, how did she do that?  The lyrics of the 2nd song were unimportant, forgettable though.
20:20 - Chris & Dane
2nd song: Cover of Nirvana's cover of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World"  The 2nd guitarist (I don't know which is which) is walking the fretboard like a journeyman.  Fun.  I think i will post this here for you to hear, later.  I want to hear them do this with castinets & maracas.  
20:30 - Rumsfeld
              20:27 actual - "The Lover, The Painter", about 1 of his ex-girlfriends.  I don't know how anyone could tell if he didn't say so, there are no lyrics.
2nd song, think his capo is on the 6th fret.
20:40 - Rick Bedell
            20:38 actual - Joshua Hellums joins him again this week for spoken word.  "Why Do You Cry?"
I found a little brown toy horse figurine toy with black nylon tail & mane.  I think I'll take it home, maybe draw it.
Joshua could benefit greatly from a compressor filter on his voice signal, I think.
Rumsfeld joins Rick for his 2nd song.  Very minor  & unresolved   notes.  No tonic to be found here, move along with your sad, lonely, drunken depression feelings.  It does a good job invoking unpleasant moods, for a distopian setting.  Possibly good background music for a "Dungeon Punk" genre story. 
20:50 - Chris Gustin  Electric  violin, thin body.  
A mashup!  "All Along The Watchtower" +, I don't recognize that he's using any other song here.  He claimed it was a mashup.  Maybe I'll have to here it again to guess what other song is there.  2nd song: He says it's related to The Walking Dead.  It's definitely not the theme song.  
He's got some device playing back a 2nd track with violin plucking, he probably recorded himself earlier.
21:00 - Ken Williams
            21:06 actual - He played at a bar called "Buffington's" in Milledgeville, has a relationship there that lasted only a while, wrote this song about it.  "Break Your Crown".  It's OK, but it seems like the song is all verse, no chorus, the word "mail" doesn't rhyme with with it's preceding or following line, it NEEDS to.  It's good, but a stronger chorus would make this song fine.  The volume is turned up way too loud.  Ken is loud enough he doesn't need any amplification at all.
21:10 - Paco Trevino
            21:15 actual - Original "Outland".  Guitar is so loud, & his mic is so low, I can't hear the lyrics.  Capo on 1st fret.  Melody is boring & repetitive.  He's apologizing for forgetting the lyrics.  One of the lyrics says "for you, I'd swim the 7 seas", but his delivery says "I can't be bothered to go to the mailbox for you".  2nd song, his chords are fine, but the guitar volume is still drowning him out.  His pitch & delivery are flat.  He needs to sell the lyrics like a punk rock star, more.  "Everything That You & I Could Be"
21:20 - Jess Berzack
            21:24 actual - An original.  Ah, jeez, my DAR is acting up, missed recording the start of this one.  "All I Gotta Do"?  This song is a long-run cry-break, nice, cosmopolitan.  The lyrics don't really matter.  2nd song, a lady joins her on stage, for an ("Asher-Book"?) cover.  Jess puts on a pair of glasses.  Anna Clear is the backup.
21:30 - Cortez Garza - NO SHOW
            21:34 actual - Elon & Emily, 2 ladies.  1st Song: Cover of Adelle's "Rolling In The Deep".  Good, but they didn't do the whole song, they only played the chorus 1 time.  2nd Song: Altered "Hotel California", with different lyrics.  I forgot to stop the recorder, both songs are in this mp3 file.
21:40 - Eddie Abraham  "Tireless Fight" Peppy tempo, slips in some minor chords & goes back to major.  Good tenor, but I can't quite make out all the words.  Capo on the 6th fret.  2nd Mashup! "Closing Time" chords, with "Land Down Under" lyrics instead.  COOL.  Forgot to stop the recorder again, hear both songs here.

"Luna, California".   Velvet Underground, influenced  ==> Galaxy 500, guy leaves to form Luna, CA.   Jem & The Holograms=Jem's voice joins Luna, Brita Phillips falls in love with the lead singer in this all-guy band.  1.5 albums & the band breaks up.  Dean & Britta split & go touring.  Luna will get back together in 2015.  Eddie says I look like the bassist from Luna.  
21:50 - James Strickland  Fingerpicking, having some initial trouble hammering-on, bending or harmonics, I can't tell what he intended, but not too much.  Better than I can do.  He's staring at his fretboard like he's gonna die if he looks up.  I would force him to practice with a blindfold on for a while, partly breaking him of the habit.  2nd song.  Fingerpicking with scale runs all over the fretboard, very technical.  Impressive, yet I must confess there are noticeable imperfections.  It's not bad because of them though, I can tell this is hard, and it's live, not a studio recording with all the errors edited out.
22:00 - Drew Kohl  1st song, Sesame Street!  "I'd Like To Visit The Moon".  Almost channeling the voice of Big Bird.  Originally sung by Bert.  Chris Gustin joins him for song #2.  They are Grand Ol' Opry ready.  "Are You Gonna Be My Friend", Drew uses a hamonica neck-holder.

2014-11-17

Hendershot's Open Mic Nite 2014-11-17

Ready for show to begin, once again, I'll update this post as it goes.
I haven't grabbed the list from the facebook group.  I guess I should get a password manager for my iTouch so I can log in.  That's what I use to write these open mic blog posts on, an iTouch 4 with an apple bluetooth keyboard.
I'm try recording differently this week.  I'm using my M-Audio Microtrack II again, but I think I'll record at 48 Kbps straight to MP3, and I'll try to just start & stop the recording for each song.  That should save time later, no editing, when I go to include links to those files when I get home.  Although my internet at home will probably be off until next week.
19:29 - Larry Forte "One Drunk Down"
19:33 - Michael Smith 1st time here.  2 originals.  1st one is about the fear of growing up.  "Another Part Of Me"  His voice sounds like a nasal-y Johnny Rowland.  Not bad, he's chording & strumming fast.  It's OK, but this song has no hook in it.  His playing reminds me of Jason Mraz.  "New Kind Of Love".  It's OK too, but no hook in this one either.
Kevin Whitfield just arrived, and now Johnny Rowland did too.
19:47 - Jess (Brzak?) 1st: An original she wrote a couple of months ago.  "You Ain't Gone"  A kind of torch song, but not slow.  She claims not to be much of a guitar player, but that is wrong, she's using palm muting to quickly stop strings with a clicking stop, I think her ring is adding a metallic clank when she does it too, that is neat, maybe I should try that.  I should get a whole handful of fat rings to do it with so it really claps out loud.
2014-11-17 Jess (Brzak) - You Ain't Gone - Hendershots Open Mic Nite, Athens, GA.mp3

2nd song is a downer, a (Codeline?) cover.
19:55 - James Strickland His guitar is black.  He's fingerpicking well.  Staring intently at his fretboard.  I think he just began a 2nd song, without making the transition from one to the other clear.  Nope, it just sounded like an ending there, people clapped & I stopped the recorder.  He sort of had a dead stop with a preamble at the start of his 2nd song.  He says he's too nervous, maybe he wants more practice on this complicated fingerpicking?  Larry says it a brand new guitar.
20:03 - Drew Albenesius Covering a WILCO song, ("Sad, Sad Songs"?).  I like it.  It's got a moving baseline that's just great with his "Regular guy picks up a guitar and sings better than average" performance.  Very appealing.  2nd song His "Roll Credits".  He's doing better at it tonite than last time.
2014-11-17 Drew Albenesius Covers WILCO - Sad, Sad Songs - Hendershots Open Mic Nite, Athens, GA.mp3

20:13 - Johnny Rowland "Living On The Levee"  
I just met a guy named Nathan.   He asked about my keyboard setup, I'm watching his laptop for a minute.
"I'll Never Have To See The Day Again" Nice, sweet, short song, very pleasant.
20:19 - Rumsfeld rolling in once more.  "Deep Well" A song he wrote 2 days ago.  Yep, no lyrics.  Too loud, I find I forgot to bring my hearing protection.  He's switching guitars to an all-black one.  "Mile". 
Rick Bidell has arrived.
Rumsfeld is doing the slide over the top of the neck with his index finger thing again.  I gotta remember to try that.  Ending with a harmonic strum.  I wonder if he's using an alternate tuning?  He's wearing a DragonCON t-shirt.
20:27 - Kevin Whitfield  A happy song for a change.  "I Like You"  
Sad song "Without You".  Says he wrote it when he thought he was gonna be depressed forever.  I should write a happy song for him to sing.  One that isn't buried in minor chords.  Very strong performance again.
Larry says if you want to get on the line-up for open mic nite, go to the facebook "Hendershot's Open Mic Nite" page, and then MESSAGE in, don't just leave a comment.
20:36 - Rick Biddell, He's get a thin fellow on stage with him who's been here all nite in the coffee shop.  Joshua is doing spoken word with Rick's flute tonite.  
Rumsfeld just stuck a cigarette in his mouth and walked out the back door.  Poor bastard.  Ruining his vocal chords before I even heard him sing one single thing.
Hmm, Rick's using his "V-Shaped" double-flute.  Lots & lots of reverb goes well with this, sounds like a canyon echo.  I'll have to make sure to upload that MP3 here, so you can tell what I mean.
20:48 - Zack (Tuper?) NO SHOW.
20:49 - Larry Forte "Like A Bird On A Wire" 
20:53 - Zack Morgan & Carly King.  Violin + Guitar, Carly on violin.  
Wow, super sad, I guess having a violin makes it feel even more sad.
21:03 - Nick Glick NO SHOW.
21:03 - Michael (Lisowski?) An (Alison Krauss?) song.  Capo on 2nd fret, borrowed from Rumsfeld.  Big man with a small guitare.  "They Stopped Building Roads"  "Pockets Full Of Dust", inspired by a line from Ryan Adams song.  Severe, difficult cry break at the end.  He doesn't crack.
21:11 - Diego (~something) NO SHOW.
21:12 - Larry Forte "I Live Beyond My Means"
21:15 - Liam Parke NO SHOW

21:15 - Gustavo Rodriguez  Small guitar.  Fast on the fretboard with rapid bends.  Sounds cosmopolitan to me.  Mighty slick.  
The guy who play extremely loud Irish music just walked in the back door.
Gustavo is doing some fast scale runs between sliding barre chords, without missing a beat.  2nd song features some interesting tempo changes.
21:28 - Diego (Ngiano?) Poems.   2nd Poem: "Sexy, Educated, And Kinky"  3rd "Retired Pirate, In Need Of Booty"  These are like funny personals ads.
21:33 - Liam Parke  The loud Irish music guy.  Finished this song this morning.  "All There Is".  "So Many Years Ago".  A song about his broken heart.  There is some weird extra noise getting picked up big time.  I think he's striking the pick guard with every strum.  But there's some extra noise too. . . .maybe it's his glasses against the back of his guitar.  He stuck his glasses in his shirt so one arm is right where the buttons meet.
21:41 - Joshua Helms  Borrowed a pick from Drew Albenesius.  A song he wrote.  Way too loud, completely off-pitch.  Sorry, dude, big fail.  I would not ever want to hear that again.  Now he's asking to borrow a capo.  Oh, that's bad, signed up for an open mic nite and came completely unprepared in every way.  I'm sure he's a nice guy, but he'll never be a pro.
21:52 - Carly King  She's got a guitar now, she's asking for a capo.  Says she wrote 20 songs but only has 2 memorized.  This song is OK, but forgettable.  Angry loud drunk man is shown out by the staff complaining "You grabbed my arm!", ah geez he's the guy who loaned her a capo.  I sense danger.  Oh crap, she wrote a song to jezus.  Please stop now.  This is boring.  Please be over.

2014-11-03

Hendershot's Open Mic Nite 2014-11-03


The lineup wasn't posted before I left home, so I don't know who's playing tonite. I guess we'll see as
it comes!
I just whipped out a drawing of a dude with beard on a motorbike, 'cause I felt like it!
I wanted to make a dude with essentially nothing but a beard coming out of his helmet. I decided to add a nose here,
though.
19:30 -
Austin Tyler Covering Pearl Jam. This is interesting, because his voice is smooth, whereas
Eddie Veder's isn't. Sounds good, just like the original, I can't make out all the words. His
Hi-fret picking at the end was spot on.
19:40 -
Austin Green
"I Put A Spell On You". Nice & soulful. Good dynamic range, good tempo changes. Original:Angsty with no
hook. There's nothing wrong with it, but there's nothing right with it either. The lyrics are too generic.
19:50 -
James Strickland Finger picking. He's watching his hands like he's gonna die if he looks up.
He's moving all up & down the fretboard. There are some short, tiny pauses in his playing every time he switches
chord positions. He's not striking any wrong notes, but he's not delaying them so long that the suspension doesn't
comortably resolve in time. 2nd song, he's scaling is a bit better here. This could be part of some polite dinner party
background album just fine.
20:00 -
Drew Albenesius Ohh, looks like he brought a neck-harmonica holder. 1st song, he's not using that yet.
"Don't Tell Me Any Lies" Nice Western sad song. 2nd: Covering
The Decemberists. "The Old Main Drag"? I've never heard the original myself. He's good at
this one.
20:10 -
Johnny Rowland He says he hasn't played this in a long time. Looks like he's got his sheet music on
the music stand though, sound like old hat to him, though, didn't miss a thing. "Springtime", the one he
finished 2 weeks ago & played last week (when I recall he was a little sick. Jeezus christ,
his voice is like good milk chocolate. When he gets on the radio people will choose his songs to have sex to.
Freakin' fantastic!
20:20 -
Rumsfeld Will he finally sing tonite? Rick Bedell is joining him! Let's hear what happens. . . .
Rumsfeld grew a bit of a beard & 'stache this week, looks good on him.
Rumsfeld has a capo on the 2nd fret. I can't tell if they practiced this before or not, or if it is all
improv. These 2 compliment each other very well.
Wrote this 2nd song about a year ago. Perfectly good guitar strumming. Maybe he'd be a good part of big guitar
band, with an obscene number of guitarists, like
The Eagles. OOO, neat, he's playing bass strings OVER the top of the neck, with his index finger, and
sliding it! Cool stunt, I totally dig it. I've never seen that done anywhere else, but I suppose that just hasn't
crossed my sphere of awareness before. He's very good with guitar. He's just got to get some lyrics, or a band, or
something more.
20:30-
Kevin Whitfield He says we can sing along if we know it. "Landslide"! Wow, this is a very fresh
take! Best thing I heard all nite, Johnny Rowland's "Sunshine" is a close 2nd (Art is not a contest!)
2014-11-03 Kevin Whitfield - Landslide - Hendershot's.mp3 It's not really one we should sing along
to, though, it's very minor chord-y. 2nd Song:"Radiate". Recorded in November 2013, he still hasn't released
it yet, because "Life.". On Instagram & SoundCloud.
20:40-
Rachel Morgan Original she wrote in high school. "Possibilities". Nice.
"Wolf-"?-something. I didn't quite get the title. Maybe I'll hear it on the recording.
20:50 -
Rick Bedell Snagged James Strickland to come join him this time. They worked swell together. 2nd song,
he's playing a much longer flute that I've never seen him use here before.
21:00 -
Kenneth Williams "Money & Jesus". Good & political & MEANINGFUL, like a Bob Dillon
song. "Sara Lee". Struggling with a high note at the start, I've done that before too. . . .
He lost his pitch at end there, sounds like he's straining terribly there. Need to change the situation to make it,
maybe drop the key.
21:10 -
Twin Courage First-timers here. Guitar + Ukelele. He just played a keyboard hamonica - I should look up what
the proper name for these things are, they're the latest affordable thing in the music stores.
This looks like pretty good picture, from my tiny screen, though perhaps dark. Maybe I should bring my SLR next time?.
That song was sad, done well. 2nd song is about a fox she saw in England once, and that's all there is to its origin.
She's got a rich full-bodied alto voice. From Greenville, South Carolina
21:20 -
Castaway - aww, they're a NO-SHOW tonite.
Larry Forte is playing a peppy song instead. He took a moment to tune. "I Live Beyond My
Means"
21:30 -
Brett Vaughn
Chill Will is joining him on stage.
"Bring It Home To Me". 2nd song: "Halelujah" cover.
21:40 -
Conner Pledger I'm calling this "White Soul". 2nd song has a nice beat.
21:50 -
Liam Parke With Mister Everett. Irish Band. Loud as hell. With banjo. "The Road To
Freedom".
22:00 -
Lulu Shurod For a poet, his delivery is awful. Monotone. He's reading it like he wasn't even the
person who wrote it. Come on dude, if all you're gonna do is talk your own poetry, you should have most of it memorized,
and you should be standing up, not holding your book, unless it is a prop used while reciting a poem about a book. Aw,
you're probably a nice guy, but man, you could easily do so much better. There were lots of wet-mouth noises that
weren't part of the performance.
22:06 -
Castaway is here now! Starts to tune up, sound man jokes it is tuned to L-A-R-R-Y. (
Larry Forte). 4-piece band will play New Earth tomorrow, did he say at 16:30? "Crossbones".
Castaway @ bandcamp.com, 11 tracks.
22:17 -
Mister Jim (or Tim?) McNeil from far away. "Company Store" accapella.
Brett Vaughn starts clapping, now the crowd does too. Worked for Chrysler, they had a labor
dispute.

2014-10-27

Hendershot's Open Mic Nite 2014-10-27


Here's the line-up, I'll add notes once I get there:
18:12 - OK, i'm at Hendershots now.  Got a large dark drip, and a soft chair next to a coffee table, so I can draw some art, if I like.  I think I'll try a grammaphone in perspective first, maybe with a pointillist style?
19:05 - Larry's friend Mamie just arrived, I think she's going to play with a keyboard tonite.  She has a very distinct speaking voice, almost like a fun-friend character actress from a sitcom.  Funky fun glasses to match, so cool.

19:47 Actual time - Betsy is starting to play, 17 minutes late, way too loud.  Glad I brought my hearing protection from home.

19:30 - James Strickland - 19:52 Actual time.  He's fingerpicking, it might be improvisation, no singing, no resolution to the tonic here.  I think he said he's covering a "YES" tune.  It sounds vaguely familiar.  Strong finish.
19:40 - Mamie Fike Simonds - 20:02 actual.  "It's Raining Tonight" Good blues song, STRONG stage presence, excellent delivery, entertaining.  She's playing a red (roland?) electro 2 keyboard:"Trust & Tenderness" 3rd song:"Good Rockin' Daddy"
19:50 - Brad Aaron - 20:08 actual Playing Nuçi's space jam on Wednesday.  "We Both Know It's Time" Band is "Summer Sonic"  "Say It To Me"  Both he & the guitar are out of tune.  I can't tell if that's intentional to match the angsty lyrics or not.
20:00 - Sean VanMeter and Jordan Wilmoth - 20:20 actual performance time.  "Anybody heard the joke about the sidewalk?" Crowd:"no. . . " "It's all over town!" Crowd:pleasant groan.  A year ago today, Nuçi's had a band camp (Halloween Ball?), that's where these 2 started playing together.  "Happy Valentine's Day" Sad song.  "Mary Beth".  He wrote this when he was 13 years old.  Very Elton John sounding.
20:10 - Johnny Rowland - 20:27 Actual time.  He's under-the weather.  He just finished this song "Springtime" last Friday.  "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay", excellent.
20:20 - Rumsfeld - A standard Rumsfeld performance, OK guitar playing, no singing.
20:30 - Kevin Whitfield - Excellent head voice on 1st song.  He wrote "To Ash" in February.  (Did he say it was last year, or this year?).  He says it was this year, 2014.  Kevin Whitfield Music on instagram, twitter, facebook.  Similar to Dave Matthews tonite.
20:40 - Drew Albenesius - "Down With The Glistening Shine".  Plus an untitled song.  "The Truth Is A Loaded Weapon" or "Don't Tell Me Any Lies".  Drew Albo Music on facebook.  Here's an audio clip of Drew, the only thing I managed to record all nite.

20:50 - Rick Bedell - The Flutist.  Improv.  Betsy needlessly told the audience to be quiet for Rick.  There has never been a week in which the crowd didn't just get silent on its own when he started to play.  And there's nothing special about the flute that requires quiet, It's amplified plenty through the sound system.  The crowd REALLY likes it.
21:00 - Larry Forte - 21:20 Real time.  "One Drunk Down"  "Lonesome Trail", I'm starting to recall the lyrics of the chorus from before.  It could be a crowd sing-along, if they knew it by heart.
21:10 - Between Naybors 21:27 Actual time.  1st song about guy like himself, in probably 12 years.  It's about the hardship of songwriting.  "One Straw Away From A Broken Man".  
21:20 - Luck Bucket - Doesn't remember the words to "Freebird" for his sound check.  ugh, ordering the audience to tip, as though we haven't or aren't. so cliché.    A song about 2 dogs, the narrator's dog and the narrator's dad's dog.  Strong story.  Betsy is wrongly telling the audience they must be completely quiet.  That is not appropriate for a coffee shop open mic nite.  "I Just Wanna Get Drunk"  


Nice use of cuss words, I like it.  But he's asking the crowd to sing along to a song he's never sung here before, and so they aren't familiar with it, and the chorus isn't simplistic enough to support that kind of participation.
21:30 - Ken Williams - "Find Love Again", a song about 2nd chances.  He's working hard.  Going flat here & there.  "Hard Knock School Of Life", A song about touring with a band.
21:40 - Castaway - He was smoking outside when I was locking up my bicycle earlier, such a shame.  Hope he can break the habit before it kills him early.  He's got a classic crooner's voice, it won't take long for the cigarettes to hurt it.  "If Only You, If Only Now".  

I finished the sketch of a grammaphone I was working on.  The caffeine in the coffee is making me jittery. . . so I'll wait to retrace it later at home, perhaps.



Now a song off the 1st Castaway album available on Bandcamp.  

"The Rain Ain't Comin' Soon"
William.
21:50 - Rachel Morgan - 22:13 Actual time.  "Prosperous".  She wrote it after watching an episode of "Supernatural".  She says it's not a great show actually. 

It's good!  Capo on the 4th fret, an unusual placement.  She could cut out some "whoa-uh-uh-oh's" to shorten it a bit.  A cover song:"It's Raining In Paris"  Wow, she is radio-ready tonite.
 Add a fancy stage costume, & she's a platinum hit for sure.
22:00 - Jules Wood - 22:23 actual time.  Voice smooth as chocolate milk.  "You Can Sing Me Anything".  Magnificent.


2nd song was OK, couldn't really understand the words as well as the 1st song.

Now it is 22:30, Billy Todd Puckett is an add-on.  Calm, quiet blues song.  

22:37 -  Brett Vaughn.  "I Find It Kinda Hard To Breathe".  He's a snappy dresser.  This song needs to be chopped down to length by about 2 verses, 20-40 seconds.
Guitar has a hole in the spot where the pick guard normally goes.

22:45 - Austin Tyler - One he just wrote: " Damn Sam".  Another he wrote when he met his girlfriend who is here, a few months ago.  

The battery in my audio recorder died long ago.  I don't know if I even got any audio from tonite at all.

"Love You For The Rest Of My Life".  Includes a reference to "Mister Jones" by the Counting Crows.  He's normally a drummer.

22:54 - Jessica (Ford?), a friend of Betsy.  "Holes In The Soles Of Her Shoes".  It seems she's got some kind of tambourine bells triggered from her foot that I can't see through the speaker.  Maybe it's just an effects trigger?  Nope a real foot bell, just like those of a tambourine with no drum head.

23:02 Betsy is singing an accapella song.
.

2014-10-14

Hendershot's Open Mic Nite 2014-10-13

It's Monday night again, and this time, I'm recording these notes directly into this blog as they happen!  I've never "live blogged" anything before.  This will be interesting. . . .

There's a nervous new guy with a guitar next to me, his shirt is tie-dyed an orange-yellow color that matches his natural hair & beard, and it has a bald eagle graphic on it.  Tonight's host just said hi to him.

I think I need to plan my visit a little better, the younger barista charged me by the cracker.   That's weird, that's never happened to me anywhere else on earth in my whole life.  He tossed the lid on the container, so I can't use it to cover the chicken salad, so I've got to eat the entire thing immediately.  He didn't give me a fork. . . . that and 1 large coffee for $7.95.  Jeez, this is painful.

Looking at some of the guys around Athens, I guess the bushy beard with no mustache (or a thin one) is the prevailing style.  It is on display tonight.  I won't be sportin' that style myself, if I grow a beard it itches like crazy.

Betsy Franck is the host, she's doing a gospel-y number.  Once again, the volume is up too high, it is painfully loud tonight.  I just had to go to the jar at the front to grab some free earplugs.  It is a shame I couldn't just sit & enjoy her song.  The woman next to me just thanked me for watching her laptop as she stepped away, but I didn't hear her the first time, so she said "oh, never mind".  Man, the volume is interfering with my ability to make new friends.  Maybe the sound guy has lost lots of hearing over the years?

Ethan Mullinax is the guy with the eagle shirt, he's up next.  Oooo, he's got a neck-harmonica holder!  He just hit some harmonics on the 12th string, too.  Both songs are imploring god for favor.  This song has a pleasant low-grade depression sound.  Ethan moves easily between chords, fingerpicking, singing & harmonica.  I think he's practiced a lot.

Here comes Rumsfeld again.  He plays guitar well, but never sings anything, such a waste perhaps, I want to know what his singing voice sounds like.  "Santiago's Road" is his 1st song.  His stuff could easily be used as background music for parts of movies or documentaries.

I'm gonna take my earplugs out & try to talk to Ethan . . . . His band is "Modern Mammoth".  The other 2 guys in that band are biology majors, so they don't have a lot of spare time.  Ethan majored in piano.  He's not a fan of ordinary cover songs.

Simone ZJ:"When The Time Comes".  She has an sound that is adjacent to Jewel.

Evan from the Tabletop Board Games Meetup just sat down with a friend.  I don't think he recognizes me yet,  I'm gonna say Hi to him in a second.

Rose Riot: She's singing a discordant minor song.  Wow, She's good!!  A guitarist with clothespins on his jacket just walked in.  Rose is figerpicking.  And she's concentrating hard.  Larry Forte just showed up too.  "Who Are These Ghosts".  Rose claims she's rusty.  If that's rusty, I can't wait to hear when she's practiced!  She loves David Bowie, here comes a cover:"......."
I don't recognize it, it must be one of Bowie's non-radio hits.  "As the pain sweeps through. . . . .'till the world falls down, fallin', falling in love".  Heck, that was very nice, I need to look up that song.

Johnny Rowland is back with a black knit cap today.  His music is usually delivered with a delirious happiness, no matter what the words say the subject is.  He's hitting a homerun again tonght!  Johnny used a slip into conversational talk right in the middle of this song, very nice!  Johnny went home & learned the song "Valerie" he heard last week here at open mic, but he's covering a Dillon song now instead.  "When the wind is blowin' in your face..... ".  Johnny sure has a much better voice than Bob Dillon, but almost everyone does. 

Kevin Whitfield Performs
@ Hendershot's Open Mic Nite, 2014-10-13
Kevin Whitfield is back.  His volume is down to listenable level, or maybe the performers are playing  more softly in response to hot levels.  It is really hard to type into blogspot, as the window is doing something with javascript that hides the last line of the text box edit window, at least in Safari on an iTouch 4.  I guess I'll have to file a bug report with Google.  Kevin sounds great, but most of his songs are just too long.  2nd song chronicles his 4-year relationship:"I Love You Just The Same".

Here comes Rick Bedell's flutes.  He snagged a drummer from the audience again.

"Bastion Song".  Michael just drummed for  Rick, now he's playing with his regular guitarist.  They call themselves "Me & Gloria".  Bill Jenkins just gave me their business card.

The host is singing, but it's so god damn loud, I just want it to be over.  I had to grab my ears just to protect myself.  That's a shame.

Hand Drumming On Wood Box
(Robert & Pat?)  I think they slid in to replace a no-show, but I'm not sure.  ("Everywhere Song"?)  Good-time fun song.  He's drumming with bare hands on the wood box he's sitting on!  Sounds great.  The singer's slightly off-pitch here & there, but it's not bad though, here, it is charming. 
Drew Albenesius
Drew Albenesius just covered Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" very well, the crowd is happy.  Betsy says he's got a magnificent mustache, and I agree.  "Roll Credits", very nice song.

The house was pretty full.

Guy in a red hat, I missed his introduction.  "So Many Years Ago": He wrote it in the dark in his car on the way back from Washington, D.C.

Larry Forte: "Drinkin' Cheap Beer Tonite"  He brought T-Shirts & CDs for sale.  And a sign.  T-Shirts are only $5, I need to ask where he had them made!

Bubba: Picked up the house guitar with a hole in it where the pick guard should be, but the house guitar doesn't have a pick guard on it, so it has a hole ( Is that Larry's guitar?  Does he loan it out?  I'm not sure ).  "Fur Elise" fingerstyle, short but very good, it's over way too soon.  "Burn Me Up", 2nd song, barre chords with trills, nice.  Once again, the volume is too loud, but he's got a nice raspy voice, distinctive.  This song is a little bit monotone, and his pitch needs work, but his enthusiasm makes up for it, I want to hear him sing something else some other week.

Daniel Brown is a traveling musician,  he's the one with the clothes pins on his jacket.  He seems like a natural stage performer.  He wrote this 1st song @ 03:00 in the morning with his little dog ( based on the way he said this, I understand it wasn't last night at 03:00, though, just at night, previously ).  His voice is distinctly nasal, yet his diction is clear enough to be understood.  2nd song, "Killer Queen" with a capo on the 4th fret.  Very interesting, I like it.  Jeez, I wish I was recording this for later!  I'll have to fix that next week.  I think he's repeating verses though.  Daniel is the drummer for "Secondary Modern" (<--their Facebook page) playing at the GO bar soon, later tonight!  He plays drums with them.  His 2 bandmates don't know he's playing this open mic nite right now ( I don't think they would be upset ).  He has a jacket that looks like scale leather, given to him by a good friend.  2 wooden clothespins have the website URL of a guy Secondary Modern recently played with stamped on them.  Daniel says his arm used to have a bunch more of these pins, I guess a bunch of people each grabbed one.  I didn't want to take one of the last 2, though.  Secondary Modern is from the wine country of Southern Illinois.  They're on tour all over the place for 2 more weeks (<--their blog has the tour schedule).  Daniel says "Secondary Modern" is a euphemism in Great Britain for "Blue Collar Worker" or "Working Class".  Here's why...

Brett Vaughn played, but I had step away so I missed it.  Darn, I haven't had a chance to talk to him at all yet.

Betsy Franck is wrapping up the nite.  Wow, she had to ask for the guitar monitor to be turned down, so clearly I'm not the only one with loudness problems.  She's using a fancy strumming pattern.  She's clearly pro enough to get up closer to the microphone than most performers do, she's got enough experience to know that's how to get the best sound  from a mic.  Next song, Betsy says it's about this time as a 5 year old, she lost a race to another 5 year old who asked for permission to pass her, and she granted permission.  She's regretted it ever since.

I just found an app just for blogger, that should make it easier to type next time around.

2014-10-05

Open Mic Nite @ Hendershots

So I went  the past 3 Monday nites to Hendershots coffee shop-bar to hear the open mic performers and meet people.


On 2014-09-29 I heard Nigel Wright play.  He sounds rather like a Chris Isaak or Morissey with a very deep voice.  Nigel's got a stop-motion film called "Ejnar's Christmas" on his website that he wrote music for and lends his voice to.  He just released an album called "VALASKETH" too.  He could make some interesting background music for movies, sci-fi or dystopian.  I image part of the goth crowd would like Nigel Wright's work very much.

A guy named Rick Bedell played two handmade flutes.  One is long, and the other is a split flute.  When he plays that, it sounds like 2 people are playing at once.  He doesn't have any songs, he just improvises.  The crowd gets quiet when he starts to play.  I guess they hear flute sounds as a trigger to relax.  Greg likes to grab other musicians he just met, such as a guy with a hand-drum, and play with them on stage with no practice.


Cody Hudson is a Johnny Depp look-alike, but ~20 something.  He's tiny, I could put him in a shirt pocket like a pen.  Cody plays guitar left-handed, and I'm not sure, but I thought the strings were upside-down too, with the lowest pitch string closest to the floor.  I don't know how or if the chord fingerings for most standard chords can be easily translated that way.  Maybe if Cody comes back I can take a closer look.


Kevin Whitfield has some pretty intense songs about love lost.  He told me he wrote about a break-up he had about a year ago.  I asked him last week if he knows a lot of torch songs.  This week he altered some lyrics to refer to Hendershots directly in the song, and while singing joked about getting some free beer served in the artist's green room right next to the stage.  (I'm sure there's no free beer to be had.)  This was a very funny song ending, Kevin just killed it.  I think this was a response in whole or in part to my questions about his heart-tearing subject matter.  I wonder if anybody else chatted with him about his heartbreak songs?  Some of them could be condensed though.  Nashville should be on the lookout for Kevin.


 Jacob David Martin has a very southern blues voice, he sang "Luck Bucket" & "Simple". 

Johnny Rowland has a very commercial voice, don't be surprised if you hear his work in an ad for a cell phone carrier or a soft drink someday.  He's also got a bushy head of hair that's almost as big as his own lungs.  If you wonder what Ingrid Michaelson might sound like as a man, that might be Johnny Rowland.  He sang "Josephine" alone.  He used to play it with a buddy in New Orleans as a group called "The Whiskey Bill".


Quentin Nekvinda played a very Dave Matthews-sounding version of "All Along The Watchtower" with his dad, Chris, on banjo.


If you hear "There's A Fire In My Brain", that's a code phrase for "go take a leak", "get a coffee refill", or whatever else.


3 members of Pennyboy played 2 songs.  The 2 guitarists looked directly at their fretboards most of the time, but it was complicated playing, so I can understand.  They performed a song called "If".  The lead singer sounds a lot like Robert Smith of The Cure, and isn't afraid to go high pitch falsetto & warble.  I gave him hell about taking his hands out of his pockets.  He said he wanted costumes with leather pants, but another guy want them all to dress down, plain.

Patrick Ware, the sound man with glasses & a long beard, sometimes leaves the volume just a little too loud to please me.


Larry Forte makes the schedule for artists.  He makes paintings, too.  To play Open Mic Nite you tell him you want to perform the day before, Sunday, on the facebook page.  Some female performers get on the schedule, but when they do, they don't show up, leaving open slots.  I've only seen 2 acts with women in 3 weeks.  There's plenty of women in the audience, I wonder if any of them play music?

2014-06-27

Dear Sesame Street: Let's Count To 100!


Dear Sesame Workshop,


I am 40 years old.  4, 0, FORTY years! [Thunder, lightning] Ah, ah, ah, ah. . . . .  Yet I distinctly recall playing hide & go seek as a 4 year old boy.  My uncle asked me to count to 100 so everyone else could go hide well before I went searching for them.  But I had to tell him I didn't know what that was.  I had only learned to count to 20, because that was the highest number Sesame Street would teach at the time.  Even then, none of the other kids took the time to teach me what they knew, they just wanted to play the game.  But I'm certain I could have learned how to count to 21 & beyond, if only they had taken a moment to explain it.  I missed out on learning that until the 1st or 2nd grade.

I think children are capable of learning much more math, much sooner.  If the Sesame Workshop had just played some shorts explaining numbers up to 100, I think I would have quickly figured out that the pattern of increasing numbers and their names continues to at least 999, at which point I certainly would have asked adults on my own, "What comes after that?", and they could easily handle explaining 1000+.

There is one problem with numbers in American English that is invisible and built-in.  The teens and their names.

10 should be called "tenty"
11 should be called "tenty-one"
12 = "tenty-two" and so on up until 19 = "tenty-nine"

When you consider that all numbers above 20 have the same naming pattern, but the numbers 10-19 don't, then you realize that teaching numbers just up to 20 means a child is going to presume every number has a special name that someone else must share with you before you can name it, or use it, just like people have names that are unknown until an introduction is made. 

So please consider increasing from 20 to 100 the maximum number that Sesame Street teaches.  You could even make a song about how it makes no sense that number eleven should be "TENty-one", but that sounds too similar to "TWENty-one", especially on the phone, so we call it eleven instead.  You might make a joke that maybe we could call it "ONEty-one", but that too sounds too much like "twenty-one" on the phone, the radio, or TV.

You might find it helpful to present the number and the word for the name of that number at the same time.  I know Sesame Street hasn't normally done that in the past, but I think it might be time to start, with the basic numbers especially, as this could help children learn to read much faster too, as spelled-out numbers are everywhere around us.

You might determine I'm wrong, that this is too hard for children this age (for all I know, you may have already tried it before).  Maybe trying to explain how the teen numbers break the normal pattern is too much for your TV show.  Perhaps just a few rare showings of segments about these larger numbers & teen-names is all that older children will need to clue in & pay attention that this is important, because they rarely see the skit about this.

But whatever else you do, please increase from 20 to 100 the maximum number that Sesame Street typically teaches.


Your friend,

Ace Frahm

2014-06-19

ONLY Good Murder Avoidance Policies Can Stop The Mass Murders

Sheriff Bill Brown said:
"It was apparent he was very mentally disturbed"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Isla_Vista_killings


Elliot Rodger had PREVIOUS CONTACT WITH AUTHORITIES.

    2013 July 21 - He talked to officers at the hospital, saying he'd been the victim of an assault. Officers thought he might have been the aggressor.  One of Rodger's neighbors said that "he saw Rodger come home, crying" and said that Rodger claimed that he was going to kill the men who attacked him, and "kill myself."  He wrote in his manifesto that the incident was the final trigger for his planning of the killing spree.
    2014 April 30 Elliot Rodger was so disturbed that a family member asked law enforcement officers to check on his welfare , Brown said. They went to his residence, found Rodger "polite and courteous," and left, Brown said.  He wrote in his manifesto that he had already planned the killings and purchased his guns by that time, and that officers who interviewed him at his apartment would have found the weapons if they had conducted a search of his bedroom.  At the time of the deputies' visit, Elliot Rodger had already bought at least two handguns, which had been entered into the California gun ownership database under his name, as required by California's universal registration law.  The deputies were unaware of that fact however, because they did not check the statewide gun ownership database.  They also did not view the YouTube videos that had caused Rodger's parents to contact them.



THE FAMILY KNEW HE WAS UNSTABLE, REPORTED IT RESPONSIBLY, AND YET THE GOVERNMENT STILL FAILED TO TELL HIM HE COULDN'T HAVE A GUN.

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-isla-vista-suspect-20140525-story.html#page=1

The rampage left six dead and 13 hurt, with eight suffering gunshot wounds, four hit by the suspect's vehicle and one suffering a minor injury.
The action covered so much ground that officers worked 12 different crime scenes.

THE DEPUTY'S GUN DID NOT STOP THE GUNMAN.

    Elliot Rodger encountered a sheriff's deputy who was on foot and exchanged gunfire.
    He kept driving and hit a bicyclist.
    He shot more pedestrians on the sidewalk.

Isla Vista holds legend status as the most densely populated square mile in California
Of 20,000 people -- 13,000 of them are students
The streets are lined with bicycles

4 ADDITIONAL DEPUTIES' GUNS DID NOT STOP THE GUNMAN FROM STRIKING ANOTHER CYCLIST.

    He encountered four deputies on foot near a park and they exchanged gunfire.
    Rodger may have been hit in the hip.
    He drove away at a high rate of speed and hit another cyclist, who tumbled over the car's hood and hit the windshield.


Inside the car, police found three handguns -- all legally purchased -- and more than 400 rounds of unused ammunition, all loaded into 41 ten-round magazines.

CONGRESS IGNORES THE DEAD, DOES NOTHING AT ALL.

A father of one victim said his son died because Congress had failed to act after a mentally ill gunman killed 26 people in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut:
"Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights, what about Chris' right to live? When will this insanity stop?"
"We’re all proud to be Americans. But what kind of message does it send to the world when we have such a rudderless bunch of idiots in government?"
"These people are getting rich sitting in Congress. And what do they do? They don’t take care of our kids"

Mental Health & Gun Control.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Isla_Vista_killings#Gun_control_and_mental_health
Elliot Rodger had been prescribed Risperidone, an antipsychotic, but refused to take it, stating, "After researching this medication, I found that it was the absolute wrong thing for me to take." Now, what if Elliot Rodger had just posted the same mindless "govmn't ain't gettin' my gun" picture Costas Constantinou just did?



Costas Constantinou's Thoughtless, Child-like Opinion
Elliot Rodger says:
"Hey, Costas!: Shouldn't the government have taken away my gun?
I literally wrote that they should have done so in the screed
I posted right before I murdered 13 people and hurt 7 others."
Why should the endangered public or a responsible government permit stupid people like Costas Constantinou to empower psychotics to keep their arms?  Morons like Costas Constantinou have an infantile fantasy that there's some kind of magic big bad wolf tyranny that his personal firearm frightens, yet his real vote in real elections is powerless against. Guns don't prevent mass murders.  Even guns in the hands of trained police aren't very effective at stopping an on-going rampage, as this case shows.  Clairvoyant knowledge of the future, which doesn't exist, would also be needed before guns stop mass shootings, because guns don't magically erase the perpetrator.  Guns are particularly bad at stopping a murderer armed with a vehicle.

ONLY GOOD MURDER AVOIDANCE POLICIES CAN STOP THE MASS MURDERS

The only truly effective way to prevent shootings like this is to stop them BEFORE they start. In particular:
  1. Our mental healthcare system should be required to inform law enforcement of 
    1. Any diagnosis of psychosis
    2. Any prescription for a citizen of an anti-psychotic medicine
  2. Our law enforcement agencies in turn should be REQUIRED TO ACT on such information
    1. Suspending all firearms licenses AND drivers licenses for all persons who reside in the same domicile with the patient
    2. Take physical custody of all firearms, ammo, and vehicles registered there as well, until such time as the owners no longer live with the patient, or the patient is "cured", no longer a danger

2014-02-23

Raising The Legal Age Of Tobacco Use:A Response That Is Too Long For Facebook

The legislation aside, most people who are legally adults still have the minds of children --> hence rampant religionism, a matter we all know about :-)   Why should we make all the legal privileges & responsibilities of adulthood available all at once to everyone at some magic age number?  Each one requires a different skill set to handle, and reaching an age number is no guarantee you have that skill set.  It is just a lazy, cheap, pragmatist's way of dealing with the complexity of these disparate issues with the lowest expense that is "good enough" to avoid massive, widespread, unacceptable problems.  Otherwise, we'd need some kind of testing for each person for each dangerous thing, like taking a driver's license test or a earning a gun license for everything: voting, running for office, getting drafted-enlisting, smoking, drinking, getting married, taking out a loan, working for a capitalist, having sex, performing surgery, parenthood, starting a business, investing your savings.  A "get all adult rights & responsibilities at once" approach is an argument for pushing the magic age back to the most conservative age at which you could reasonably handle the hardest one well, or least harmfully.  If the worst issue is the physiological one for smoking, that might be as old as 23 or even 24, and then all the other rights would have to wait that long.  The go-to-war age is an argument for shifting the magic number much, much older, until the person understands just war theory and the Geneva conventions, and is smart enough to resist illegal orders, and not to enlist when the sitting president orders torture or fails to arrest previous presidents for torture.  I'd like to point out that this is the case RIGHT NOW, and has been for 12-13 years, and is likely to continue up to a total of 18-23 years at least, a time period that could encompass an entire military career.  Enough for a whole lifetime during which it is unethical to enlist, due to our own nation's well-documented yet unprosecuted war crimes.




Having one cigarette will not kill you.  Having one smoking habit can.  Sometimes the issue is framed as a "personal liberty!" concern, completely ignoring the 3rd party externalization of costs effects, especially the corrupting power of that tobacco money on our politicians, which legally places this known cancer agent out of the restricted drug class it otherwise belongs in. 


As a matter of public policy, the commercial production & sale should be shut down.  Even a transition to "do not light this on fire" version of THC hemp would be better than the current tobacco industry.  I'd like to see a transition to a single-payer system of health care.  Nobody wants to indirectly subsidize the tobacco industry through a national health care program, so the industry stands in the way.  (Even though we are indirectly subsidizing tobacco right now.)  Tobacco taxes will never be high enough to compensate taxpayers for the long-term medical costs, or renumerate dead smoker's families for defective product wrongful deaths.