There's been a flurry of interest in cicadas lately, what with the little critters showing up in their millions in the US of Al. Here in Japan they grace us with their noisily enthusiastic presence once a year like clockwork, so I figured I'd employ one of 'em as drummer. The bug rushes the beat like hell, but there's something about its phrasing that I couldn't resist. The video (at YouTube or Vimeo) features the indefatigable critter itself, so be sure to tune in!
Here's my humble version of Louisiana-born singer/songwriter Tony Joe White's most well-known tune. Recorded live at SABACO in Waseda, Tokyo on December 9, 2010. Loved this song ever since I first heard it at age 12. Here I'm using is the Vietnamese jaw harp called the Dan Moi, plus a wobbly, warbly drone from the JUNO 60 analog synth. Video here.
Fifty six seconds of music from a jaw harp from Vietnam, played by a guy from Alabama, recorded in a room in Japan. Video here.
I posted a solo version of this tune back in January 2010, but this is the Medicine Bone version, recorded at a gig the other night right here in ol' Tokyo town. Video at YouTube.
I've been doing a lot of gigs lately, so why not post some of the music here, right? This one is from a jaw harp mini-festival I was part of on March 28, 2010. I'm playing the Vietnamese jaw harp called the Dan Moi, along with a bass line from my JUNO 60 analog synth. Video of this same performance can be seen at YouTube.
This fast and dirty recording is from the mic on a Sony CyberShot camera. It's no audiophile's dream, for sure, but I just felt like getting some recent jaw harp tunes down to live video the other day, as I had a free hour in a big conference room. The room is definitely present in the recording. Anyway, video of this performance can be seen at YouTube and Vimeo. [more inside]
...we're all in Folsom Prison, but there ain't no Johnny Cash... Recorded live in performance at Nana Hari, Tokyo, on January 17, 2010. For this song I'm playing the Vietnamese jaw harp known as the Dan Moi. Video of this performance at YouTube and Vimeo. [more inside]
MeFiMu stalwart micayetoca asked me if there was anything else from the Japonisme project, so I dug up this other one that I'd done a while back. It's just a simple little ditty that uses an a cappella vocal (slowed down a bit) from a 7" record I picked up at a flea market, to which I've added a rhythm track and some bamboo jaw harp. I put it to some video footage I shot here in Tokyo, too, and uploaded it to YT earlier today. If you'd like to see it...
This month's themes (cupcake, brisk, interstitials) didn't exactly turn the inspiration amplifier up to 11, but, goddammit, I ain't one to run away from a challenge, no sirree. I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. So this one goes out to you, my little cupcake. You know who you are. [more inside]
There must've been hundreds of times over the years that I've tapped out a rhythm on a pan full of water while doing the dishes, the pitch woozily shifting as the h2o sloshes about. At those times I've almost always thought, hey, I should put this on a track sometime. Of course, I never did, until the first MeFi Music Challenge, with its "water" theme. Along with the big metal bowl full of troubled waters, you'll hear jawharp, talking drum, bombo drum, bell, shaker and vocal. [Lyrics and more inside]
Here's a song from the RPM '07 CD that I just popped into the mail today. In the end I was able to get 8 presentable tunes together within the space of the month. Whew!
In a slow count of 5, here's some kind of convergence of Burma and the blues, or thereabouts. "scissors cut paper / paper blows away / stone smashes scissors / and so it goes / another day / but it's all downhill from here / at least that's what sisyphus said /ah you're fucked six ways from sunday / with the blues wrapped round your head"
"i blew across the great plains like a plastic bag / from the broken heart of town to the dock of the bay / there ain't that much to say about the wide wide world / people everywhere just sleepwalk in their own little way / and ain't no hope of waking up / until you kiss me babe"
This is a tune from a 1995 release called "Samm Bennett's History of the Last Five Minutes", from the Knitting Factory label. The CD is currently out of print. The guitarist is Hahn Rowe, everything else is me. I've been thinking about re-releasing this and possibly my earlier KF CDs on my own label (Yay! Rights have reverted back to yours truly!) but I've got a bunch of new songs I wanna release first. Thought I'd just throw this one out there into the ether. Anyway, [lyrics inside] and, hope you enjoy...