I had a great time collaborating with billiebee on a cover of this traditional folk song/sea shanty. The goal was to record a simple arrangement that was different from the more lively covers out there -- to borrow billiebee's phrase, a gentler version. I'm hoping our rendition highlights the lovely melody of the song. [more inside]
An original song, just written and performed on the ukulele, recorded on my cell phone.
In the past couple of weeks, I found myself going back to a piece that I'd started working on a few years ago -- probably because it's in a slower triple meter that's somewhat calming for me. This is a condensed one-minute version, featuring piano and guitar, for the 60 Seconds and Under #2 MeFi Music Challenge. [more inside]
A wrote a little pep talk, for myself and for anyone else who needs one, as we wade through the fuckedness of all this. Catchy and short and angry and upbeat and exactly a minute long. [more inside]
My entry for the May/June 'City Songs' challenge. [more inside]
Acoustic tune for this month's challenge [more inside]
It's well known that Radiohead went to Bob Dylan for inspiration on the title of Subterranean Homesick Alien; it's less well known that they actually lifted the song structure and lyrics themselves from this rare demo recording. [more inside]
It's been five years since my last attempt at arranging Auld Lang Syne. I thought I might try to start a small fire under it this year. [more inside]
Recorded onto an audio cassette in about 1982 from a radio/cassette player with built-in mic. As a bit of a laugh between recording our more earnest efforts at Irish folkmusic (posted earlier here).The Early Puritans we called ourselves up there in Stockholm. Does it count as a September offering? [more inside]
A ragtime arrangement of one of the most ear-wormy, riffiest songs I know. [more inside]
I seem unable to cover songs (even those I hate) without making them sound completely earnest.
It's a little known fact that wedding band and creepy stalker favorite "Every Breath You Take" is actually a cover of an old folk standard, as this recently discovered outtake from the "Another Side of Bob Dylan" sessions shows. The glossy adult contemporary arrangement popularized by Sting and the Police has unfortunately displaced the traditional arrangement in popular memory.
Here is an entry for the January Challenge! It is by me and rangefinder 1.4. It is a cover of "Leave Her, Johnny," a traditional sea shanty that was sung by sailors at the end of a voyage, as they were preparing to leave their ship ("her" in the song). [more inside]
Cover of the Dock Boggs song, on banjo naturally. [more inside]
DMelanogaster and I try the traditional music challenge. Banks of the Ohio is the story of Willie killing his proposal-rejecting lover. (see also Knoxville Girl)
Tumbalalaika, a traditional Russian Jewish love song. Generally sung in Yiddish, presented here in English. [more inside]
As it's Valentine's Day, here's a song about love. Well, kind of about love. Actually it's about the end of love, as it fades due to age and fatigue, and the death of romance. Errr...happy Valentine's Day! [more inside]
Does what it says on the box, with guitar. Solve the Limerick Challenge! [more inside]
cortex was kind enough to let me borrow the lyrics from his song "The Bottom Falls Out of the Clouds" (which he wrote for the first ever MeFi Music Challenge), and allow me to set them to new folky/acoustic/lo-fi music for this month's challenge. [more inside]
Music for an imaginary children's TV show. [more inside]
MEFI MUSIC CHALLENGE July [more inside]
Written to satisfy both a Songfight challenge and the mefi music challenge. Who says you can't spook two horses with one chestnut? Featuring three buttons on my accordion.
Featuring Daniel Johnston (yes, that Daniel Johnston), Jad Fair, and item. Contains a bit of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water', and may hold the world's record for the most number of musical bridges ever in a song.
Written and recorded for the serpentine challenge now underway. My buddy Ken Kawashima brought in the North Mississippi blues riff and yours truly did the rest. Apologies to animal rights advocates, but some snakes were severed during the recording of this song. Had to be done. [lyrics inside]
A song by my band, the Notes and Scratches, kind of about Vivian Eliot and featuring a bunch of water. I sing and play the acoustic and the harmonium.
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]