Greetings to our recent visitors from Australia, England, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Scotland, Switzerland, and Taiwan!
From the Blog
Monday Map - Celtic Genes in the UK
A paper published in Nature reveals startling truths about the still-separate genetic populations of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
…The Celts were anything but a single people. The findings “show that in non-Saxon parts of the United Kingdom, there exist genetically differentiated subgroups rather than a general ‘Celtic’ population”…
The Annual McCrindle Concert at Carnegie Hall – a Review
With Joshua Gersen conducting, guest star Elena Urioste shone bright in Beethoven’s violin concerto, opus 61, followed by an NYYS ensemble rendition of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, op. 35, full of memory, passion, and promise. I couldn’t have been more delighted.
Monday Map - Ancient Persia
Armistice Day Essay
Remembering veterans while not forgetting why we chose this particular day.
* * NEW FEATURE – Around the Web * *
Backpacker has three-inch leech up her nose for a month!
A personal remembrance upon the death of Eli Wallach, actor, chameleon
“A gleam came into his eye, and his lips twitched as his mouth searched for words around a flickering tongue, as if he was savoring the tasty memory of being 38 again and starring in his second major Tennessee Williams play on Broadway.
“Kazan would Wwwwork it up. And then we would shhhow it to Tennessee…” he said like a master storyteller, to the arc of listeners around him.”
Life in a Blender – New CD Review!!
We Already Have Birds That Sing, the new CD from Life in a Blender…
“…inventive thinking man’s rock composed by an ensemble of veteran musicians, and the sneakily adroit lyrics of front man Don Rauf, which are like little short stories, filled with quirky characters defined by the imagery of a specific time and place, yet achieving the cathartic impact of broader human experience.”
Blazing Jazz – Stefon Harris and NYYS Jazz Orchestra
“Part acrobat, part magician, Harris enveloped himself in the round and ringing tones from his vibraphone, only to switch to the woody plunk and rolls of a marimba. But whether his mallets were hammering away at metal or rosewood, or stretching wide to play both at once, he coaxed out melody and raised cacophony like a shaman communing with his spirit guides.”
Read the Full Review
D.B.S. Reunites for gig after 24 years
The same year that Spinal Tap took the mickey out of hard rock, D.B.S. put a skewer through the heart of Punk…Many of the songs are indeed quite funny, but they are also clever in the way they captured the blistering essence of Punk music, often mixing the raw edge of the Stooges with the finesse of the Minute Men.
This is not surprising, considering the artistic background of every member of D.B.S., all of whom went on to critical acclaim as a writer of weightier material.
Last night, at the Cornelia Street Café, there reading with music of the works of Seamus Heaney featuring Paul Hecht with music by Ellen Mandel.
“The timbre of the women’s voices added highlights and brightness to the evening, set off by the sonorous shadows in the voice of Hecht, rich with resonance, and wide and deep in range, with just enough gravel to mark the boundaries.
The evening opened and closed with passages from Heaney’s Nobel acceptance speech, filled with its own poetic imagery. But none quite so distilled and served up like the actual poems read tonight, with their memorable memories relived…”
Read the Full Review
Rare photo of Pancho Villa, Zapata, others
at very first Fiesta de la tarro vacía, 1912
In Mexico during the time of the Revolution, mayonnaise was a national obsession. More of the condiment was consumed there than any other one place on earth.
“In fact, leaders on both sides of the conflict were crazy for the stuff. But it was Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata circa 1910, who spread the spread among the common people, as it were, so that its popularity soared…”
Read More on this amazing find
At the Met: From Guitarmania to Beatlemania
The Metropolitan Museum of Art gave a lecture about Martin Guitars, featuring Dick Boak, who has worn many hats at Martin and now is the company’s chief archivist, historian and head of the Martin museum. He was joined by two-time Grammy award winner Laurence Juber, who is among the finest guitarists of this or any era. Juber’s first book, Guitar with Wings, is set for release in May 2014, and features his personal photography from the years he spent as a member of Paul McCartney and Wings.
Scots were hae – Tartan Week in NYC included the Pipes and Fiddle Concert at Jalopy, in Brooklyn
Featuring players who frequent the weekly Monday night Scottish music session at Iona, in Williamsburg, with special guests like award-winning multi-instrumentalist Troy MacGillivray and fiddler extraordinaire Katie McNally.
Read the Full Review with Video
Monday Map – The Irish in America
The immigration from Ireland in the early 1800s placed many Irish in America, and across the globe. But the paths to assimilation and success were varied
NYYS at Carnegie Hall
featuring guests Pleasure is the Law, and the world premiere of Against the Shrieking City Air, by Loren Loiacono.
“There was no malice in the maelstrom, just the exhilarating risk of being overwhelmed, if not drowned. And just at the crest of it all, it falls away, with but one minor surge before the exhalation, as all tensions fade quickly into a subdued calm, quiet enough to hear the country crickets, had she chose to add some. It was a very impressive piece, no less so for one just starting their career as a composer.”
The Joys of a Great Breakfast
He shrugged his shoulders, and sighed as he shook his head at the waiters flying around him, nearly frantic in their efforts to stay afloat on the latest wave of customer demands. He knows; nobody’s gonna die if they don’t get their eggs before they wish. They come back anyway. They always do.
“A hundred pots, on Saturday and Sunday. So, that is… What? A thousand cups a day?” He answered me with a voice that suggested mild fatigue and remnants of a Greek accent.
Earliest Human Footprints Outside of Africa!
“In a thrilling discovery, detailed in a paper published February 7 in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, the earliest human footprints ever found outside of Africa appeared in May, in ancient sediment along the English coastline at low tide, near Happisburgh, in Norfolk.”
David Crosby in the middle of the street, a passel of Guinneveres, and faith renewed…
“And there before me were seven blondes, each with that natural barley fading to flaxen hue, dropping like waterfalls around each girl in abnormally long tresses…”
At the Met -
January 15, 2014
An after-hours reception was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last night, where an invited group of some 60 guests were treated to a private viewing of the exhibit Early American Guitars: the Instruments of C.F. Martin, which opened to the public earlier that day.
Monday Map – New Feature
As a proud American, I might budge an inch, but never a centimeter. I don’t even know what a centimeter is.
“Like all right-thinking people, such as we Americans, along with Liberians and those staunch defenders of traditional values living in the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, no effort to brainwash us with logical Base 10 measurements can penetrate, let alone sink in. None of this newfangled metric nonsense for us. No sirree bob.”
More than just another Johnny Cash biography, Robert Hilburn’s latest volume reexamines the rags to riches details of this unique example of the American Dream with its extremes of peaks and pitfalls, as lived by one the nation’s most iconic musical artists.
“…an insightful yet sympathetic analysis that conjures up the late Man in Black in living color… it is Hilburn’s ability to include the many quoted snap-shots within the smooth emulsion of his own smart prose that keeps the focus on events as they happen, present and alive. And his insistence on allowing others to speak with emotion and opinion, while he sticks to the facts and resists grand conclusions, that provides a sense of authenticity to the story, and keeps the pages turning.…”
“Starring Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and staged by director Sean Mathias, theirs is an affectionate production, bringing together two of the greatest speaking voices of our age to revel in the language finely formed by that most deft of English sculptors, the late Harold Pinter…”
Humor from the Blog
“Now that we are deep into a festive Why-On-Earth-Would-They-Send-Me-THAT-Catalog season, I reflect upon the many rites and rituals associated with this time of year… I found no less than the promise of the American Dream, with its wild frontiers and the sanctity of home and hearth, and peopled by the hardworking, hardspending folk that made P.T. Barnum a very rich man.”
The fine folks at Mandolin Brothers in New York City are letting OMG come in to shoot a host of new videos that will be used to supplement our growing archive of guitar exposes, so YOU can compare and contrast them, including Collings, Santa Cruz, MacPherson, Schoenberg, Gibson, Martin, Taylor and others.
Our Review of the Taylor 814ce – the flagship refitted with goodness!
“This model didn’t get a makeover, it got seriously buff…”
Winter NAMM Martins
A Killer Crop for 2015
Decked out Grand Jumbo
Short-scale cocobolo angel
Martin OM-28 Authentic 1931
And about time too!
Indie Luthier Series
K Wingert Model F Custom
West Coast Wonderment
More To Come
Combining the looks of a pre-war Style 42 12-fret slothead with the convenience of a 14-fret OM, made all the more powerful with extra-deep sides, this Madagascar/Adirondack jewel box from Martin’s fabled Custom Shop is a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.
“From the first strum there is a stark ring to the fundamental voice, each note pure but with pronounced substance, clear yet dense, like diamonds. And with each steely note ringing off a string an expanding sonic reaction blooms, from an echo beneath the top voice and a woody hum deeper down, to a shining choir of lofty overtones. This guitar shows off the most sophisticated type of Madi-Adi tone.”
High-tech but simple to use, this capo with the postmodern looks was the brainchild of guitarist Nick Campling.
“His primary concerns were the effect of the capo on a guitar’s intonation, the ease of use in terms of applying and removing it, making sure the capo did not damage the guitar’s neck or get in the way of the guitarist’s fretting hand, and finally, a capo that was attractive to the eye. The G7th Performance capo does a good job in all these respects…”
Martin’s successful take on the prewar Gibson L-00 remains more Martin than anything else. A slope-shoulder 00 for the ages.
“When it came down to it, the whole time I was playing the guitar I kept feeling like the CEO-7 is the Golden Era Series reissue of a pre-war Martin that never existed.”
Review now up!
“In a word, the voice is huge … a good example of a Bluegrass banjo killer with focused trebles that cut through the stout, strong bass of its pronounced bottom end …”
Superb steel-string acoustic guitars