Music Friday …On the Cheap

Most of the music I have listened to over the years has been performed by talented musicians toiling in relative obscurity because they wanted to stay true to their roots and passions. At the end of the day, bands and performers who dwell on the edges of success have to keep expenses down. The music business, like any business comes down to the fundamentals of revenues against expenses and the less mouths to feed the better. So if you are really going stretch a dollar, you do it in one of two ways: Have muli-instrumentalists in the band, or go it alone. Here are two examples of minimalist acts. One man band Jesse Fuller playing San Francisco Bay Blues on guitar, accompanying himself with harmonica, kazoo, and fotdella, an instrument he designed and built himself for percussion and bass. Below, Ron Thomason demonstrates the art on hamboning, first developed in the deep South by dirt poor sharecroppers who couldn’t afford instruments and later used in minstrel acts. It is use of the body as percussion.

The Watering Hole: September 23, 2011 — Schweddy Balls


A bunch of Moms have their panties in a twist over the latest Ben & Jerry’s delicious creation of yumminess — Schweddy Balls.

Vanilla ice cream with a hint of rum & loaded with fudge-covered rum & malt balls.

Apparently, Schweddy Balls are a threat to the innocence of their little darlings.  Methinks these ladies haven’t heard their special boys and girls talking among themselves on the school yard.

Hey ladies, thanks for putting up a fuss about this new Ben & Jerry’s flavor — I hadn’t heard of it!

So what do you think about the fuss?  Personally, I can’t wait to get some Schweddy Balls in my mouth.  😉

This is our Friday open thread — ice cream anyone?

Music night. Happy birthday, Sir Paul

Paul McCartney was never my favorite Beatle, although in early days he did seem to be a lot of fun — I’m talking early 60s, pre-hippie phase Beatles. And there is no question that he and John Lennon wrote an incredible number of great, excellent, charming and influential songs. Most of the Wings-era stuff made me gag, though. I never believe he or John wrote much worth listening to without the other, but that is admittedly my own warped opinion. I was amazed to find McCartney on YouTube and figured I should go with one of my favorite singers, Alison Moyet, but… there is some good stuff here. A shout out to Alison, however. Happy birthday, Alison!

The first one is a corker! More music after the jump. You won’t believe #2. #3 has its moments, too.

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Ballad of Lucy Jordan

One of the most brilliant reinventions of a musical talent appeared on the 1979 LP Broken English. Once the delicate and sensitive British hearthrob of the 60s, Marianne Faithful had gone through hell and back again, subsequently producing one of the best albums of the period. 30 years later, I can still listen to the whole thing without wincing or skipping a track, and one of my favorite cuts is this poignant Shel Silverstein song.

Her voice on Broken English was startling, to say the least. Like the English, it too seems broken, nearly a croak — but powerful stuff. The title song, also from a 1980 live performance: