A Thousand Rhymes

February 3, 2009 2:16 PM

From my new CD, Roomful of Ghosts. Official video version here. Unplugged Pig video version here.

posted by flapjax at midnite (17 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I posted another tune from Roomful of Ghosts here at MeFiMu just a few days ago.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:21 PM on February 3, 2009

The video is mesmerizing. And, every time I play the jew's harp, I balk in fear of chipping a tooth.
posted by not_on_display at 7:11 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

damn. nice work on the jaw harp. (never thought i'd need to use that combination of words.)

i love this track and really can't wait for my copy of the disc to get here now. also liked the hypnotic, minimalistic style of the video. but i think it be cool to see a version where the dancing green guy is set against different moving backgrounds, too--specifically, street-level views of different places--as though he's just kind of dancing through different cities all over the world. eh, just a passing thought i had. anyway, cool stuff, as always.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:12 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thanks, y'all! n_o_d, the kind of jew's harp I play is the Vietnamese dan moi, which, unlike other jaw harps, doesn't touch the teeth. You just hold it between your lips. I too have a fear of the usual jew's harps: that metal-against-tooth thing is something I can't really get with. I was delighted when I discovered the dan moi. Here's a clip I put onYouTube just the other day, where you can see the dan moi in action. And here's another.

And saulgoodman, yeah, that dancing green man is mesmerizing, isn't he? You know, I shot that just three days ago, here in Birmingham, Alabama, and thought, while shooting it, that it'd be perfect for A Thousand Rhymes. Threw the vid together really quickly after shooting the footage.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:45 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Really liking the pig version!
posted by arcanecrowbar at 11:38 PM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

This makes me want to do three things:

1) Get a dan moi
2) Buy your CD
3) Pay someone to do my taxes

Guess which one I'm going to do RIGHT NOW
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 12:49 AM on February 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Video is genius, music is awesome and the dan moi videos are amazing. Well done.
posted by Brettus at 7:26 AM on February 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thanks, arcanecrowbar, Karlos and Brettus!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:07 PM on February 5, 2009

Very nice! Any chance of your CD showing up on the Amazon MP3 store sometime soon?
posted by JDHarper at 11:30 AM on February 7, 2009

No exact plans for that, JDHarper, although it is available from iTunes. Just search "Roomful of Ghosts" and you'll find it there.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:16 PM on February 7, 2009

cdbaby, baby. Can't wait for it to get here.

Birmingham? I thought you were in Tokyo?

I'd drive to fucking B'ham to buy you a beer sometime. Are you performing anywhere anytime soon?
posted by Ynoxas at 8:55 PM on February 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

Hey, Ynoxas, nice to hear from you! I'm back in Tokyo now, after spending about a month in B'ham. Heck, I shoulda dropped you a line, and indeed I'd've let you buy me a beer. Then I'd've bought you one, and we coulda gone like that for awhile!

Are you all mended up from that motorbike spill?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:14 AM on February 19, 2009

Yeah I'm doing fine, kind of you to ask. A little residual soreness and whatnot, I have a feeling my shoulders are never going to be the same again, but nothing too serious. I notice I get stiff now very easily if I sit in one position too long, but part of that could also just be getting to be an old man.

I'm digging the new tracks, looking forward to hearing the CD in my car.

How often do you come back stateside? Do you ever perform when you come over here to visit?

And the dan moi clips were neat as could be. It seems to me to be a lot more expressive and have better "range" than a typical jaw harp.

That's my favorite thing about your work, your obvious affection for traditional instruments, but taking those instruments out of their ethnic origins, and using them for your own quite unique and identifiable style.

And by the way, what is that pig? I tried to get a look at it but was hard to see on the video. It seemed to have some sort of resonator box on the inside?
posted by Ynoxas at 7:23 AM on February 19, 2009

Oh, I also meant to tell you, due to your discussion of "jew harp" vs "jaw harp" that I've also heard the instrument called a "juice harp" in rural Tennessee. I thought it might be a mispronunciation of "jew's", but the people I asked said no juice, like apple juice.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:46 AM on February 19, 2009

Ynoxas, I guess I get back to the states about every other year. I'd like to start making that once a year, like clockwork, but we'll see how the finances go. And yes, I usually do some gigs when I come back: generally one in the hometown (B'ham), as well as at least 1 or 2 in NYC, cause I usually get back that way as well, whenever I'm stateside (NYC was my home for 11 years prior to Tokyo). This time, however, I didn't do any gigs at all. Just felt like visiting and chilling. And making videos at my sister's house with her pigs.

Oh yes, the pigs. Those (there are more than one!) are just sheet metal sculpted into the shape of a pig. Simple as that! I love the way they sound, though.

And, yes, in the little bit of research I've done, I'v come upon the term "juice harp" several times. I wonder, in fact, if "jew's harp" isn't actually a corruption of "juice harp". That is, that the term "juice harp" came first and evolved into "jew's harp".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:09 PM on February 19, 2009

How have I missed this for so long? Damn this was great.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:06 PM on April 29, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ha! Glad you made it by, Effigy2000.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:09 PM on April 29, 2009

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