Monday, June 30, 2008

Not Just Another Coltrane



On the far side of Diamond Head is the estate of the late tobacco heiress Doris Duke. A look inside...

Sea Dogs

Latest info from the 3rd Annual Loews Coronado Bay Resort Surf Dog Competition at Imperial Beach in California.

"At The Tone, the Time Will Be..."

I took this shot of the entrance road to the National Bureau of Standards Time Station, WWVH, in 2003. This is located in the far southwestern part of Kaua'i, next to the Barking Sands Missile Range. We were not able to get any closer due to post 9/11 security, sadly. WWVH is the "sister station" of WWV in Colorado; both use atomic clocks and broadcast time signals worldwide on shortwave frequencies. Notice the burned-over sugar cane field by the sign!

In 2005, a radio engineer named "Bonny Doon" was also in the area, and managed to sneak some nice shots of the station:

First in the Nation

All new homes built in Hawaii will have to have solar hot water heaters.

6/30 Music Digest

Ringo sells his personal art collection:

John Mayer pays tribute to Ringo's mate George Harrison...

Bob and Doug, last seen playing a pair of Mounties on "That 70s Show", are back in cartoon form!

The Nevilles shuffle off to Buffalo:

And a look at Ry Cooder's new album, the final part of his California Trilogy.,25197,23915096-5016490,00.html

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Happy 100th to Leroy Anderson

"Leroy Anderson was born June 29, 1908 and grew up in Cambridge Mass., where he graduated from Harvard University. His parents were Swedish immigrants-his mother was a church organist and his father played a banjo and instruments. The elder Anderson composed music as well."

Music Festivals as Destinations

Duh, we knew that already.,0,6733300.story

Boston Red Sox/Hawaii Connection Unearthed

Our friends at the Boston Herald discover that Red Sox relief pitcher Hideki Okajima actually played for the Honolulu Sharks!

Jamming and the Brain

"A Johns Hopkins surgeon who says he is 'totally obsessed' with music studied what happens during the creative process when professional pianists improvise jazz riffs.",0,645330.story

Martian Soil-Not All That Bad

"Some Martian dirt has the same basic chemistry as garden soil, a new analysis from the Phoenix lander suggests. The find widens the range of organisms that might be able to live on Mars."

Redd and Cindy

(Photo courtesy of Folk Alley)

Two bona fide Texas legends will play this year's Lowell Folk Fest in Massachusetts, namely Redd Volkaert and Cindy Cashdollar.

Kitesurfing From Mau'i to Oah'u

Watch out for sharks!

"Mmmmm, Beer...."

Hawaii's 4 craft breweries are increasing production to meet demand:

One Ringy Dingy...

Comparing cell phone reception in our National Parks:,0,6285709.story

Sunday Music Digest

Review of the new album by the Reverend Al Green

"Breakfast With the Beatles", an LA radio show, turns 25:,0,1475329.story

What to do when your ukulele gets wet

The Radiators

Another music fest-blues this September in the Maritimes

Remembering Ray Charles

Ringo's Liverpool childhood home will NOT be listed for sale...

And finally, channeling Jimi Hendrix

Saturday, June 28, 2008

More NYC Waterfalls

A tongue in cheek reminder that there are other Big Apple cascades of H2O...

Merle Plays the Ryman

And started with a tribute to Bob Wills, no less.

4th of July

A tradition dating back many decades, and always great fun, the 4th of July Parade in our old home town of Kailua is ready to roll!

To Air is Human!

A report on the Air Guitar Championships in L.A.

"Let's Play Two"

Down in New York City Friday, the Mets and Yankees played a day-night double header, one game at each stadium. How they got from one to the other is a story in itself!

The "Other" Tommy Dorsey

Profile of a gospel singing legend...

Styling Music

Creating music for a certain environment, British-style:

Another Hawaiian Monk Seal Rescue

This one was a 5 year old female, who had a fishing line in her mouth...

Figment on G.I.

Our old "home town" of Governors Island in New York harbor is busy again this weekend-last weekend it was the punk rockers, this time it's the Figment Art Fest:

Saturday Music Digest

Music from Treme

We got to see Johnnie Johnson, whom Chuck Berry honored with the song "Johnnie B. Goode", several years before he died. He was working with NRBQ at the time. An annual blues and jazz fest is held in his memory every year in his home town in West Virginia:

Sighted: former All-Starr Sheila E.

Former Dirty Dozen guitarist goes on the road:

Island Mele with Kawaikapuokalani Hewet!

And Joe Cocker's performance at Woodstock has finally been translated into...English!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Last Call At Magnolias, Part 5

Genius at work!

Magnolias Owner/Chef John Silbermann started out in the Big Easy with Chef Paul Prudhomme at the cusp of the 1980s, then opened "The Cajun Yankee" in Cambridge MA to rave reviews a few years later. It eventually morphed into Magnolias.

In the entire history John has cooked each meal. Notice how tiny the kitchen is...

We're Howling

First seen by your humble scribe at JazzFest in 1988, Walter Washington has a new album. Cue Count Floyd!

Guitar Fest

New Orleans guitarist Jimmy Robinson (no relation) has released his debut record.

African Trumpet

No, not Hugh Masekela

New Resident at Sea Life Park

Born June 9th...and not to be confused with the orphaned Hawaiian Monk Seal pup "KP2", who's still doing OK, thank you.

For those who've never been there, "Sea Life Park" is on the Windward side of O'ahu, in Waimanalo. It's just uphill from the "From Here to Eternity" beach, and diagonally across the Kalanianiole Highway from the "Robin's Nest" estate from "Magnum, P.I."

Getting back to the new pup...

Fixing the Trail to Kalalau

The first two miles of the world-famous Kalalau Trail on Kaua'i are getting a million dollar repair job. The trail has been badly eroded and the work will include water channels and some stone work.

"Layla" Speaks!

A rare interview with Patti Boyd, who teamed with two legendary guitarists, namely George Harrison and Eric Clapton. She's in Vegas for the Beatles' "Love" show as well as a Beatles convention. Also interviewed here is Mellow Yellow himself, Mr. Leitch.

Monterey Blues Festival Lineup Announced

Dad, Fly This!

The nation's only father-son aerobatic team takes to the skies over Boston.

R.I.P. Ira Tucker

One of the greatest gosepl singers of the past half century has departed. Ira Tucker sang for the Dixie Hummingbirds, who have been around since 1928, 10 years before Ira came aboard.

The group came to widespread attention in the 1970s, when they appeared on Paul Simon's classic tune "Loves Me Like a Rock".

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Friday Music Digest

San Francisco Jazz Fest lineup announced:

Zappa's Mothers

Blues on the waterfront in Maine:

DVD review-Santana at Montreux, 2004:

New Orleans' Dr. Michael White

And a "music house" in California will open its doors this weekend:

Worst Rock and Roll Marketing Strategies of All Time

Funny stuff!

"Todd Rundgren, whose second album shifted a miserable 15,000 units, thought it might be wise to advertise his third with a poster of himself holding a stick of dynamite and the dare, "Go ahead. Ignore me", to which the general public responded, "OK then, we will."

rest of the list:,,2287371,00.html

A Frosty Brew

The NY Times taste-tests 25 different root beers.

Wireless News

The BBC runs a transmitter relay station on tiny Ascension Island, in the middle of nowhere in the South Atlantic Ocean. Now, they have decided to power the facility with the wind:

George Carlin's Final Interview

George did a lengthy telephone interview on June 10, 2008 with Jay Dixit, a senior editor of Psychology Today. Here 'tis!

Legendary Session Musicians Honored

"The Wrecking Crew" played with everyone from Sinatra to the Beach Boys. They've finally received their due.

Waterfalls Turned On

First report and pictures from New York City:

Another Side of George Carlin

A lot of people only associated George Carlin with "7 words", drug use, etc. But he did have a kinder and gentler side, evidenced when he replaced Ringo Starr on the PBS kiddie show "Shining Time Station".,0,3849505.story

Iwi Stops Kaua'i Construction

More native Hawaiian remains halt another building project, this time on the Garden Isle:

Thursday Music Digest

The Essence Music Festival rolls into the Big Easy:

And also in N'Awlins-Borders to open a new concept store there...,446143.shtml

Interview with jazz veteran Dave Liebman

More New Orleans music-hoofing it thru the Quarter (which I have done-lots of fun!)

And Hawaiian ukulele old-timer Herb Ohta is sighted yet again...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Great Photo Alert

Be sure to scroll down to the very bottom of this page and click on the latest batch of pictures from the RSS feed from the Mt. Washington Observatory. Or if you're too lazy, click here:

End of a Jazz Era

Washington DC jazz group The Federal Jazz Commission played their last gig Tuesday night. An appreciation:

World Bodysurfing Results

Wonder if this guy is a descendant of Buster Crabbe?

Ringo Does Connecticut

You know you're getting old when you read this line:

"The performance sported an informal feel as soon as the 67-year-old Starr strolled onstage to provide vocals for the bounding "It Don't Come Easy"",0,3946481.story

Hotel Lounge Music From Africa

As Count Floyd would say, "that's scary stuff, kids!". Includes some samples you can listen to...

Last Call at Magnolias, Part 4

Another look at the interior of Magnolias; this corner of the restaurant has a definite JazzFest/Mardi Gras theme.

The Gash on Mars

Every scar tells a story...

Hawaii Tourism Decline

"Fewer tourists are coming to Hawaii, and some think the problems are only beginning."

Gumby in Outer Space?

What is Hanny's Voorwerp? Credit: Galaxy Zoo Project, ING

Explanation: What is that green thing? A volunteer sky enthusiast surfing through online Galaxy Zoo images has discovered something really strange. The mystery object is unusually green, not of any clear galaxy type, and situated below relatively normal looking spiral galaxy IC 2497. Dutch schoolteacher Hanny van Arkel, discovered the strange green "voorwerp" (Dutch for "object") last year. The Galaxy Zoo project encourages sky enthusiasts to browse through SDSS images and classify galaxy types. Now known popularly as Hanny's Voorwerp, subsequent observations have shown that the mysterious green blob has the same distance as neighboring galaxy IC 2497. Research is ongoing, but one leading hypothesis holds that Hanny's Voorwerp is a small galaxy that acts like a large reflection nebula, showing the reflected light of a bright quasar event that was visible in the center of IC 2497 about 100,000 years ago.

Pictured above, Hanny's Voorwerp was imaged recently by the 4.2-meter William Herschel Telescope in the Canary Islands by Matt Jarvis, Kevin Schawinski, and William Keel.

Fire Under the Ice

Volcanic activity in the Arctic Ocean:

Olafur Eliasson: Before the Waterfalls

A look at the man behind the New York City Waterfalls, which will be officially turned on tomorrow!

Remembering George Carlin

HBO will run a special tribute to Al Sleet this weekend, with material dating back 30 years.

Weds. Music Digest

Voodoo Music Experience 2008:

All that Chinese jazz-

Another Blues fest, this one in Massachusetts-

Best music books of the past 6 months:

The Delmark blues label keeps on rolling.

And online Hawaiian music station KAPU gets knocked off the air by a forest fire!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Last Call at Magnolias, Part 3

Here's the famous "Riverwalk" mural in Magnolias, which is in the back dining room on the way to the powder rooms!

We Travel the Spaceways

Looking for Earth's twin:

"Just last week, astronomers announced they had discovered three super-Earths — worlds more massive than ours but small enough to most likely be rocky — orbiting a single star. "

As Mr. Spock would say, "fascinating!",2933,370843,00.html

"Let Me Take You Down..."

That time of year here in New Hampshire-strawberry fields forever!

Happy Birthday Mick Fleetwood

The only member of Fleetwood Mac to be there from Day One til now turns 61 today.

Here's the Mac's epic 9 minute classic, "Oh Well"...

Stupid Music Digest

Bob Wills' niece Dayna sings for the elderly:

A history of the Hot Club of Cowtown, who wowed us a few years back in Lowell:

And BB King admits one of his first guitar heroes was...Bob Wills' steel man Leon McAuliffe?

Good Dog!

Fascinating story about how actress (and Kaua'i resident) Bette Midler helped start a program in Toronto with Border Collies to reduce goose poop on the beach!

Iwi Forces Bank Re-Design

A new bank in Kailua Town will need to be redesigned after native Hawaiian remains (iwi) were discovered during excavation:

Music Digest-Tuesday

Claude Rains alert-rapper charged with using foul language!

Vermont drummers support the Big Easy

Stars remember George Carlin

More on the XM-Sirius satellite radio merger

And how much is "Stairway to Heaven" really worth?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Afternoon Rain

Looking down Lihue's Main Street from in front of Hilo Hattie's...

Louis Jordan Centennial

Arkansas celebrates the centennial of native son and music original Louis Jordan. But the news isn't all happy.

"Jordan's boyhood home is rotting and falling down, and weeds and tall grass surround the building. A homemade sign reads: "Historical Site Boyhood Home of The Legendary Musician Louis Jordan.

"The city has condemned the property, and the mayor is waiting for the city council to appropriate the $2,000 or so needed to tear the house down. The owner, who lives in Ohio, insists he will sell it.

"There's really nothing left to restore," Mayor Barbara Skouras says. "One good snow storm or wind storm, ... that's going to be the end of it."

Copper Thief Nabbed

Copper thieves are everywhere-I lost a $150 shortwave radio antenna from my back yard in 2006. But it's a major cottage industry in Hawaii, where one of them finally got caught at 4 AM:

USS New Hampshire

The 4th US Navy vessel named after the Granite State was christened this past weekend in Connecticut. Doing the honors was ship sponsor Cheryl McGuinness of Portsmouth. Her husband, Tom, was the co-pilot of American Airlines flight 11, which hit the north tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11.

Nasty Inclement Weather

Wild weather today here in Granite-land...luckily much of it was to the south of here...

"Stupid Music" Festival in DC This Week

Kicking off Wednesday in DC is the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. This year's edition has three major themes:

Bhutan, Land of the Thunder Dragon

NASA: Fifty Years and Beyond

Texas: A Celebration of Music, Food and Wine

The Texas music will include all of the usual suspects like Asleep at the Wheel, Marcia Ball, Joe Ely, Augie Meyers, James Hand, and the Quebe Sisters, along with some lesser-known acts. List here:

And the food:

Last Call at Magnolias, Part 2

Here's another great photo by Nate Dow showing one of the funky murals inside Magnolias Southern Cuisine in Cambridge.

Vintage Planes = Big Bucks

"Glacier Girl", a P-38 that was extracted from the ice of Greenland, fetches $7 million. Only 4 of these planes (out of over 10,000 built) are still flying.,0,5381980.story?page=1

Maine State Bird

This story is about a month after the fact, but here's a look at the renaissance of the black fly...

Stormy Monday Music Digest

Dodging lightning bolts here...

As CDs fade, live music thrives:

Beatles music may soon morph into video games?

The Songwriters Hall of Fame inducts a few

Another great band name-Sea Power

And yet another music fest, the National Folklore Festival in Turkmenistan!

Kaua'i Tour Helicopter Crash Settlement

A couple from here in New Hampshire (Newport) who were injured when a tour helicopter went down on Kaua'i last year have reached an "eight figure" settlement with the helicopter's manufacturer.

R.I.P. "Mayor Aloha"

And another RIP-the mayor of the island of Kaua'i, Bryan Baptiste, died over the weekend after heart surgery. He was only 52 years young.

George Carlin, R.I.P.

Comic legend George Carlin has left the building. He was 71.

In recent years, George performed a great service keeping classic comedy alive with his "" website, which reissued dozens of vintage comedy recordings by everyone from Moms Mabley to the Smothers Brothers to the Firesign Theatre.


And is here!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Last Call at Magnolias, Part 1

Over the next few days I will pass along some great pictures taken by my friend Nate Dow, who's a sports editor at the Boston Herald (and also my brother Dan's Best Man) when he made his final visit to Magnolias Southern Cuisine in Cambridge MA a few days before it closed for good last weekend. More than a few of us have made the pilgrimage to Mags for many years, and Nate was the last of us to get there.

Owner/chef John Silbermann, who fed us all many a free appetizer of fried ersters, cooked every single meal over the entire time he ran Mags and its forerunner, the Cajun Yankee. The news is not all bad, as he sold the place to Auntie Tetsi, who has become legendary in the Boston area for pies. She's going to add Southern comfort food to the palette, so we will still have a place to go!

Nate took this shot from Cambridge Street...

Ringo Does NOT Play Woodstock

Ringo's All-Starr Band was scheduled to play "Bethel Woods", which as I recall is on the site of the original Woodstock fest, Saturday night. However, an equipment truck broke down at the Canadian border after Friday night's show in Niagara Falls, and they couldn't make it across NY State in time.

And in a related story, Ringo talks about how the band got ready...10 straight days rehearsing for 8 hours a day.

The Streetcar Returns in New Orleans

Almost 3 years after the hurricane, the St. Charles Avenue streetcar is running again in the Big Easy.

Tour Plane Found

Sad news from the Big Island:

"After six days of searching over land and sea, the wreckage of a missing tour airplane was discovered yesterday in dense vegetation 5,200 feet up the southwestern flank of Mauna Loa.

The bodies of the pilot and the two passengers were recovered by helicopter crews because the crash site is eight miles from the nearest road."

We Travel the Spaceways

Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1300
Credit: Hubble Heritage Team, ESA, NASA

Explanation: Big, beautiful, barred spiral galaxy NGC 1300 lies some 70 million light-years away on the banks of the constellation Eridanus. This Hubble Space Telescope composite view of the gorgeous island universe is one of the largest Hubble images ever made of a complete galaxy. NGC 1300 spans over 100,000 light-years and the Hubble image reveals striking details of the galaxy's dominant central bar and majestic spiral arms. In fact, on close inspection the nucleus of this classic barred spiral itself shows a remarkable region of spiral structure about 3,000 light-years across. Unlike other spiral galaxies, including our own Milky Way, NGC 1300 is not presently known to have a massive central black hole.

Saturday on "The Rock"

Today's NY Times reports on what happened yesterday on Governors Island in New York Harbor, where my family lived for 3 years :

"On Governors Island, 66 punk rock bands were scheduled to play on 13 stages scattered across the island. The revelry made for unexpected contrasts with the other events taking place there, many of them related to the island’s military legacy. People who had crossed New York Harbor to see drills performed by men dressed in 19th-century military garb or watch a demonstration of historic weapons ended up mingling with punk rockers sporting gravity-defying hairdos and belts resembling bandoliers of ammunition. "

"North to Alaska"

Hula in the 49th state?

Transparent Aluminum?

"Imagine a plane that has wings made out of glass. Thanks to a major breakthrough in understanding the nature of glass by scientists at the University of Bristol, this has just become a possibility. "

Details here:

End of an Era on Mau'i

The Nagata Store is in its final days...

Storytelling and Sacred Sites

Here's the story about an interesting new tour of sacred sites on the Windward side of Oahu, including the previously mentioned Ulupo Heiau.

Sunday Music Digest

Music at Aspen Turns 60:

Samsung releases a challenger to the iPhone

"Guitar Fest" in India

Native American drums

Joan Baez sighted

And bamboo music is enjoying a revival in the Philippines...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Menehunes At Work!

Speaking of Heiaus, I found this great sign out behind Brennecke's Beach Broiler, which is the restaurant right across the road from Poipu Beach. Their calimari was C+

The Price Is Right!

Certified Stupid Music fan and genuine nice person Maryann Price, who started out singing tunes like "I'm An Old Cowhand" with Dan Hicks, then moved on to sing for a pair of Rays (Davies and his Kinks, and Benson and his Wheel), is now singing with a new outfit called "Trio Del Rio".

Check them out!

Happy Birthday to a Great Poet

RDD, aka Raymond Douglas Davies, celebrated his birthday today. Here's a stripped down version of his finest song.

We Travel the Spaceways

Some nice pictures from the Space Station...

Free Forvik!

"The owner of a tiny island in off Scotland declared its independence from the United Kingdom on Saturday, saying he wanted the territory, population one, to be a crown dependency like the Channel Islands. In a declaration on his Web site, Stuart Hill, who owns the 2.5 acre island of Forvik in the Shetland Islands in the North Sea, said he no longer recognised the authority of the government or the European Union, and cited a centuries-old royal marriage dowry deal as the basis for his claim"

The Mother of All Guitar Fests

Back in the early 1990s, my brother Dan and a couple of friends saw the great guitarist Chet Atkins in concert in Waterville Valley. This was about 6 years before Chet died. His band was impeccable, and included his extremely talented "rhythm guitarist" Paul Yandell.

Here's a sample of Paul and Chet, as well as a link to a photo page of all the guitars Paul owns!

UPDATE: I e-mailed Paul Yandell this afternoon to ask him about how Chet met Mark Knopfler. He replied! Chet actually heard one of Mark's records and asked to meet him, and found a friend who knew a friend...

Sat. Music Digest

Mexican music lives!

REM plays Madison Round Garden:>

From Texas, it's the "Green" Festival

The "Blue Whale Song" gets deeper...

Foreigner sighting:

Deep in the jungle of jingles!

And Motley Crue wants to make a movie

Friday, June 20, 2008

It's Tough Being Blue

Blue Dog, anyone?

I was stupid enough to shell out $49 apiece some 10 years ago for some concert posters. Even though the artist is still with us, they have gone up in value...the first one is now at $800.

A Monster is Born

One of Ringo's All-Starrs is a veteran of an earlier ASB tour, namely Edgar Winter. Here's a look at how he wrote "Frankenstein"...

"It was cut up into pieces and we were trying to figure out how to put it back together," Winter recalls. "Chuck Ruff, the drummer, mumbled the immortal words, `Wow, that is like Frankenstein.' That was it! The monster was born."

Ringo Plays The Falls

Ringo Starr kicked off All-Starr Band Tour #10 Thursday night in Canada.

"After the first few songs, Starr went behind the drum kit and gave the floor to his band – Billy Squier, Gary Wright, Edgar Winter, Marvin Hamish of Average White Band and Colin Hay of Men at Work. The format is the same for every All-Starr band tour: Everyone plays a few of their own hits in-between Starr’s songs.

For a band that has been rehearsing barely ten days, they were remarkably tight. Hay’s “Down Under” and “Who Can It Be Now” were lively crowd-pleasers (highlighted by the spastic dance moves of one die-hard fan in the front row); Squier cut loose on “Lonely Is the Night” and “The Stroke,” while Wright got the crowd pumped with his ‘70s classics “Dream Weaver” and “Love is Alive.”

If the audience wasn’t familiar with Hamish, they sure recognized the groovy “Pick Up the Pieces” – a full-blown jam which had the Avalon bopping. It was topped by Winter’s “Frankenstein,” which had him racing around the stage playing sax, keyboards and drums. As always, it brought the house down.

“Being in this band, you wish you’d done all those numbers,” quipped Starr."

Rest of review:

Music-Sharing Update

A Judge has ruled that a college must turn over names of its students who are suspected of having downloaded music illegally.

4 or 5 Crazy Guys Sighted

Audio theatre in Kentucky, featuring some Firesigns:

Celebrating Ulupo Heiau

Here's a view we had of Oahu's second-largest "heiau", Ulupo, in 2003. This is located 2 blocks from where my family lived in Kailua and was allegedly built in one night by the Menehunes.

Ulupo has a dedicated group of volunteers taking care of it and they are inviting one and all to a celebration.

And here is an amazing panoramic shot of Ulupo:

Tour Plane Still Missing

The tour plane on the Big Island that went missing is still missing.

Maui Musicians Shine

Da folks from Mau'i also brought some award hardware home to the Valley Isle from the Hoku Awards...

Friday Music Digest

iTunes hits the 5 billion sold mark

Grand Funk,man

New release of MediaMonkey


JVC JazzFest lineup announced

Hard Rock Cafe will open in the new Yankee Stadium

And a sighting of the still willin' Little Feat...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Return of the Hawaii Kingdom?

One group wants to bring Hawaii's Monarchy back:

Coasties at Work

The new edition of "Popular Mechanics" has a great story about our friends in the US Coast Guard and their latest amazing rescue story, this one in Alaska 3 months ago. Includes video!

And here's a link to the Flickr CG photo page:

"Where Do You Turn Off the Water?"

Photo courtesy of Robert at the CURBED blog.

Here's a look at the first test of the waterfall on Governors Island. As previously noted, this is in between the ferry dock and Building 110.

Robert's blog has some more new pics of the other waterfalls in testing, although the one directly under the Brooklyn Bridge has yet to come on:

There's Always "Hope"

The great Hugh Masekela live album from 1994, "Hope", has been remastered and sounds great! Almost as good as sitting there live...

Thursday Music Digest

Guitar Fest,0,4078422.story

Rascal Flatts will play the big gig in Boston July 4th with the Boston Pops:

Peruvian folk songs on the train:

A major song lyric mix up!,23599,23888189-13762,00.html

And a psychologist analyzes you by looking at your music cds

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tour Plane Goes Missing

On the Big Island...


(NOAA Courtesy Photo)

The rare Hawaiian monk seal pup abandoned last month on Kaua'i is doing nicely, but not yet out of the woods:

"At 55 pounds and growing every day, KP2 is beginning to show his first teeth."

More on Hoku Awards

The Brothers Caz got a Lifetime Achievement Award...

Wednesday Music Digest, Non-Hawaiian Edition

The world's first digital recording (1951) surfaces

Bach Down Under:

More on Cos at the Playboy Jazz Fest...

Bill Frissell sighted!

And yet another one, the American Music Festival...

No More Excerpts!

I'll be writing my own material from now on and not quoting from AP stories...

"The AP’s disharmony with bloggers may have only just begun, as the alternative it’s now offering to being served with takedown notices involves paying an up-front sum for excerpting online articles — as few as five words…

The pricing scale for excerpting AP content begins at $12.50 for 5-25 words and goes as high as $100 for 251 words and up. Nonprofit organizations and educational institutions enjoy a discounted rate."

Wednesday Hawaiian Music Digest

Only one story today-Hoku cleans up at the Hoku Awards:

And the Star-Bulletin has some pregame pictures:

"We Win!"

For the first time in a generation, our Boston Celtics win the NBA Finals.

Final score of tomight's game: 131-92. AUWE!

I like this particular news story about the halftime score-it comes from New Zealand, where it was Wednesday afternoon when the game ended. That means it hasn't even been played yet here? I'll have to watch it again, I guess.

"Despite the best efforts of Bryant, the Celtics extended their lead to 23 (58-35) at the main break..."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"They Grow An Awful Lot of Coffee in...Hawaii"

Kaua'i Coffee Plantation in Eleele, photo by your humble correspondent...

Hawaii Magazine's Derek Paiva takes the "Hawaii Coffee Tour", and finds out that besides the world-famous Kona pedigree, there are some other great varieties. I still have some "Kaua'i Blue Mountain" beans, which aren't quite as good as their Jamaican namesakes, but are still tasty enough to be sold out.

And here are some of the Kaua'i Coffee Company's more esoteric blends:

Awards Time

As previously noted, the Hoku Awards, Hawaii's version of the Grammys, will be held Tuesday night:

"Catherwood" Writes a New Book

(Courtesy photo from "Friends of Friends" on Whidbey Island)

Another new book from David Ossman, DR. FIRESIGN'S FOLLIES
from Bear Manor Media:

"Dr. Firesign's Follies combines David Ossman's insights on
the Art of Radio and the creation of Firesign's audio oeuvre
with his scandal-filled account of a tumultuous year as Surrealist
Party candidate for U.S. Vice President. Included in the Follies
program are many of Ossman's favorite comedy characters - George
Tirebiter, Ben Bland, Peggy Koolzip, Beat St. Jack, Maxwell Morgan
and Mark Time - appearing in the scripts that made them infamous."

More information and links to Bear Manor Media and here:

Ukulele Ensemble Storms Da Beach

20 ukes at once...

Shrimp Put on Ice

The previously-mentioned shrimp farm on Kaua'i has been quarantined!

Tuesday Music Digest

A summer Chicago tradition, the Grant Park Music Festival has started:,0,1197178.story

Another "unique" music website:

Another live review of Go Back From Nowhere-

A Dylan sighted

94 year young Herb Jeffries is still singing!

And a celebration of 175 years of Martin Guitars...,0,7390901.story

Monday, June 16, 2008

More Climate Change!

On our "Kerouac Meets Doctor Gonzo" cross country journey in 1976, Gumby and Robinson and I crossed the Continental Divide here, east of Gunnison. The Great Red Shark (the 1971 Toyota Corolla Station wagon we drove in) just barely made it over this 11,312 foot pass. Here's what it looked like earlier this month.

The Final Mural

When we called the Movie Tour people on Kaua'i to get directions to their office, they told us to just look for the "whale mural", shown above. It was done, of course, by the famous artist Wyland. He's about to embark on his final project, in China.

Hawaii Magazine Photo Contest

It's the 10th annual edition, and the deadline is August 10. Grand prize winner gets a trip to the Islands.

mp3 Blogs

The latest music marketing tactic?

Fly This!

One of the more spectacular landing approaches anywhere is of course coming in past the beautful southeast shoreline of Kaua'i...

Waterfalls Part 27

More on the construction logistics of the New York City Waterfalls:

Free Pie For Pi Day

More intriguing details on this later...

"Flight of Passage"

I previously have mentioned "Flight of Passage", a great true story of two teenaged brothers who restored and then flew a 1940s Piper Cub from coast to coast in 1966.

Here's a similar story circa 2008-a 16 year old guy who's sailing the Pacific Ocean. His 14 year old sister is "very jealous".

We Travel the Spaceways

"European scientists on Monday said they had located five 'super-Earths', each of them between four and 30 times bigger than our planet, in a trio of distant solar systems.

The discovery suggests that at least one third of stars similar to our own Sun host these difficult-to-detect celestial bodies, multiplying previous estimates by five."


Airport Upgrade for Kona

Big news from the Big Isle

Playboy Jazz Fest

A look at some of the Day One performances at the Playboy Jazz Fest at the Hollywood Bowl. Once again, Bill Cosby hosted the goings-on...

Monday Music Digest

Bonnaroo Fest wrapup:

In search of pan pipe music high in the Andes-

Broadway gave out the hardware Sunday night...

Flamenco Express

Mick and Keef and company may be leaving BMI?

And yet another festival with music-"The Bird Island Puffin Festival" in Canada...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

RIP Magnolias Southern Cuisine

24 or so hours ago, our longtime friend John Silbermann cooked his final meal at Magnolias in Cambridge. I will have some photos soon of one of the final nights.

New Hampshire Webcams

Here are a few local and regional webcams, including a couple from Vermont. Sadly, the old Weirs Boulevard webcam, which was especially fun to watch during Motorcycle Week, seems to have gone off the air.

Crabbing In

Scary flying stories-the top 10 "crosswind landings".

Kahala Rising

The Aloha Shirt makes a comeback in Hawaii...

Jake in NY

"I really think George Harrison is looking out for all the ukulele players out there," he says. "He was a big ukulele fan."

Don't Fly This?

Some military veterans are up in arms-the historic Ewa Airfield on Oahu may soon be redeveloped.

"World War II started here two minutes before Pearl Harbor got hit. This was the spot. The first spot."

Sunday Music Digest

BB King gets the key to the city at Bonnaroo:

Probably the 10,000th music festival story here, this one the Texas Folk Fest:

And another one-the "Blistered Fingers Festival" in Maine:

Sad to say, Jamaica is not only known for music, but also murder:

Can't pass up THIS music fest story, as it's an heirloom tomato fest!

And a nice "Rocky" story!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

RIP Charlie Jones

Another classic sports announcer voice goes silent...

"SAN DIEGO (AP) - Charlie Jones, the deep-voiced sportscaster whose career as a play-by-play announcer dated to the beginning of the American Football League in 1960, has died. He was 77.

Jones died of a massive heart attack Thursday at his home in the La Jolla district of San Diego, said his wife, Ann.

Jones, who retired in the late 1990s, had been in poor health for several years, she said. Jones worked for ABC and NBC in a career spanning 38 years."

And here's one of his classic college football calls:

"Big Time, Ladies and Gentlemen!"

Kaneohe Bay is right next to Kailua Bay on Oahu. The only thing separating the two is Mokapu Point, where the Marine Air Station is.

"KANEOHE (KHNL) - From the waters of Kaneohe bay to television sets and computer screens across the country, dramatic video you saw first on KHNL News 8, is making headlines across America.

The top concern for viewers is safety. At a quick glance of the video, two different men come to two different conclusions.

"They are certainly hammerhead sharks, " said Marine Biologist Kim Holland.

But the Captain of the 'Coral Queen' who's patrolled these waters for the past 17 years had a different opinion."Those don't look like hammerhead sharks," said Mike Nolan."

Link with the video:

Sing It!

"Looks hard at first...careful with that twang bar!"

"Acoustical analyses of people belting out "Jingle Bells," "Brother John" and a Polish birthday song, "Sto Lat" reveal that most people sing in tune and in time, even without musical training. Moreover, two distinct "phenotypes", or recognizable forms, of impaired singing exist that are linked to perceptual abilities.

Establishing this linkage is helpful for designing a music education curriculum.

Dr. Simone Dalla Bella and colleagues from the University of Finance and Management in Warsaw, Poland, set out to evaluate the proficiency of singing in the general public because little data existed, yet most people believed the majority of people can't carry a tune."

Ringo Digest

Ringo sighted in Niagara Falls, where he kicks off his 10th All Starr Band tour next week:

Ringo's art work will go on display in Florida-,0,5995021.story

Rare behind the scenes Beatles pictures emerge:

And drummer John Densmore of The Doors gives Ringo credit even though he calls himself "a jazz drummer":

"Oh, The Colours!"

How to smoke a banana:

Monk Seal Haven

They seem to like Moloka'i...

"In total, there are between 82 and 100 monk seals in this area with the majority on the Friendly Isle and Kauai"

We Travel the Spaceways

The blackness of space, Planet Earth and the International Space Station (ISS) as seen from NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-124) on 11 June 2008 after Space Shuttle Discovery and the ISS undocked.

"I Was Right About the Comet!"

New Comet Dust Mineral Discovered

"The mineral, a manganese silicide named Brownleeite, was discovered within an interplanetary dust particle, or IDP, that appears to have originated from comet 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup. The comet originally was discovered in 1902 and reappears every 5 years."

Saturday Music Digest

Bonnaroo Fest starts in Tennessee!

@bat Music-our Boston Red Sox:

The Stone Temple Pilots get sued...

Yet another music festival, this time in Sarasota Florida.

Music therapy at Stowe Mountain in Vermont:

I previously mentioned crack drum and bugle corps "The Boston Crusaders", who are here in New Hampton. Here's a look at one of their competitors:

And a nice story about a couple of "piano pounders" from Texas!

"Such a Night"

Way back in the ancient days of live music (1970's?) one of the best live bands around was NRBQ, which I have mentioned here time and again.

One of their more "memorable" shows was one where they were joined late in the show by some special guests.

There are about 27 different accounts of this show, so here we go!

First up, 'Q lister "silverfred"

"I rarely missed a Q show at the Rusty Nail (be crazy not to), but I missed that one.

But a friend of mine who was there told me this, as far as I can recall:
Bonnie Raitt and the Allmans had played a show together in the area (Umass I think) , probably late 1970's, and she brought them onstage. He said Dickie Betts wanted to play Al's guitar but Al wouldn't let him. So they milled around on stage and left...

That's all I remember. Cannot speak to the veracity of the story.....The next week the Rusty Nail had an ad in the Valley Advocate the next week begging for any pics of the Q and Allmans onstage together ..."

The legend continues:

Here is the same story as told by NRBQ's original drummer, Tom Staley:

"The story I got was that The Allmans did get up and play but after a few minutes the audience started booing and the boys took over(actually shooing them off the stage).

I understand Bonnie was upset about it. If I was the Allmans I would have been listening and learning, not wanting to play."

Here's longtime NRBQ keeper of the music "Johnny D's" account:

"I was there. It didn't exactly happen like that. The Q left the stage after their set. Tom was a little late getting back for the encore and one of the Allmans drummers sat behind the drums without the rest of the Q realizing it.

Terry started playing "Shake Rattle and Roll" and he realized something was wrong because the drums sounded really weak. He turned around and saw that it wasn't Tom. Then Tom appeared and they managed to coax the Allmans drummer out from behind the drum set by giving him a tambourine to play.

Greg was also on stage sitting at the clavinet while Terry was at the piano--or maybe it was the other way around. He (Greg) seemed a bit out of it. He kept looking at Terry's hands to try to figure out what key Terry was playing in.

Then after 30 seconds or so, just as he'd get ready to play, he'd turn around and look at Terry's hands again. By the time he figured the key out, the song was over! During the next song, he tried to light a cigarette, but Terry's fan kept blowing his matches out.

By the third song, the Allmans realized that the Q wasn't gonna let them take over the stage and they beat a hasty retreat. I think Dickey Betts was onstage with a guitar, but I was standing on the other side of the stage so I'm not sure. I heard that Dickey was so pissed off that he kicked over one of Al's guitars back to the dressing room."

Q fan David Greenberger was also there, and recalls:

"Probably the weirdest night of music I was ever at was a show NRBQ did in the mid-80's at a roadhouse called The Rusty Nail in western Massachusetts.

NRBQ are both old friends and my favorite, most frequently attended musical aggregation. The weirdness in this case came not from the music itself, but from strange, dark moods at the club. That afternoon there'd been a big outdoor concert on the U. Mass. campus by The Allman Brothers, Bonnie Raitt and Bonnie Bramlett.

Raitt, being a big NRBQ fan, brought the whole slew of them over to the club that night. Arriving midway through the set, word spread through the audience that "the Allman Brothers are here - maybe
they're going to jam!" NRBQ finished their set and left the stage to the
expected ovation.

In the band's absence (they were backstage, pacing the applause for an
encore appearance) Gregg Allman took a seat at the piano, Dicky Betts took up Al's guitar and their drummer took over the trap set. Returning to the stage, NRBQ were surprised to find their instruments usurped for the
purpose of a pedestrian rich-white-guys slow blues.

Terry went over to the unoccupied clavinet and started up a contrary groove at a much faster tempo. It only took a few bars for the Bros to become "insulted" ("we're big stars, we can do whatever we want, we don't even need manners!") and leave the stage. They gathered offstage and appeared to be sulking.

Al, in a generous, conciliatory mood, removed his guitar he'd just shouldered and held it out to them, saying, "Here Dickie, you can play my guitar!" At this point booing was sweeping the room. It wasn't clear who or what it was directed at, but it was becoming an ugly room. NRBQ again left the stage.

In their absence this time, Bonnie Bramlett, a well-known trouble-maker
(ask Elvis Costello) took to the stage and began egging on the crowd with
"well, WE wanted to jam, but I guess THEY don't want to!" Booing continued,mixed with cheering and a general ominous din.

NRBQ took the stage again and this time did play their encore. To her
never-ending credit, Bonnie Raitt brought the crowd around with her
thoughtful introduction extolling the virtues of one of her favorite bands.
She remained onstage, on the drum riser behind Tom, alternately dancing and hugging him. It remained an extremely tense room for the duration of the couple songs they played. The Allman Brothers & Bramlett breezed back out and licked their "wounds" elsewhere.

And about a year later the Rusty Nail burned to the ground."

And finally, here, thanks to Fred Boak, is the account of the same event from NRBQ Whole Wheat Horn Keith Spring, whose other claim to fame was as a player on assorted tunes by Martin Mull:

"Well, it was a long time ago, but some portions of that evening remain clear for me…

The Rusty Nail at that time was a place where we consistently drew packed houses. We had a gig there on the same date that the UMASS Spring Concert had taken place earlier in the day, the featured performers that year being Bonnie Raitt & The Allman Brother Band (there was only one brother by then).

Bonnie of course was a friend and enthusiastic supporter, and she had brought along some of the ABB to hear us that night. In the dressing room after our set, before the obligatory encore, she introduced everyone, and Terry graciously invited our visitors to sit in.

Greg Allman’s response was that it was them (rather than us) that the people wanted to hear. This was presumptuous, not to mention incorrect.

Nevertheless, it was agreed that they would sit in for the encore. The drum chair was occupied by an ABB drummer (the white, less talented one), and Greg Allman sat at the piano, which was as usual at a right angle to Terry’s Hohner Duo, right in front of the horn riser. No one else sat in, although I do remember Al inviting, if not taunting, Dickie Betts to come on up. Perhaps Dickie’s sense of pride, if not survival, wisely prevented him from accepting this offer/taunt (there were times when subtlety wasn’t Al’s strong suit) – we all knew who was by far the better guitar player, and Dickie probably did as well. If he didn’t, he was about to find out.

Terry called “Shake Rattle & Roll” – a basic 12 bar blues that everyone knows, even if they don’t. He counted it off, and the ABB drummer began playing in a sort of wispy 12/8 beat that was typical for him but unfortunately had nothing to do with the song (so maybe everyone doesn’t know the song, after all).

The tune ground to a halt. Terry said, “Boys, it’s a 12 bar blues, in 4/4, in the key of F”, and counted it off again.

During this lull Ardolino had thankfully taken over the drum chair, and the beat was now what it should be when we resumed playing.

The song proceeded without 1) further incident 2) an ineffective drummer or 3) much if any piano playing from Mr. Cher (the bandstand continued to remain a Dickie-free zone).

The second song in the encore was “Get Rhythm”, and it was thankfully incident-free as well. Greg Allman remained a very subtle if not entirely silent musical presence at the piano as, unlike “Shake Rattle & Roll”, the form of the chord changes to “Get Rhythm” is a bit less basic, though certainly not complex.

Of course, having sat in close proximity to Terry during “Shake Rattle & Roll”, Greg may have quickly learned enough to realize his shortcomings in the keyboard department, and therefore may have wisely chosen to refrain from further embarrassing himself.

I don’t remember what (if any) other songs we may have played – I think in those days we usually ended w/the Donnie & Marie “May tomorrow be a perfect day…” song, but we may well have skipped that due to the evening’s circumstances.

I don’t remember any damage being done to any guitars or any other such behaviors. I suspect all of us involved, for various reasons, were glad to call it a night"

Music From Big Red

Heavy, man.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fishin' Hole

Here's what the "upper" part of the "lower" section of New Hampshire Fish and Game's New Hampton Station looked like this afternoon. These concrete fish runways have been in existence for almost a century (circa 1920) and are a direct descendant of the original concrete runways Boston rich guy George Dickerman built just down the road, in the 1850s...

This is the largest state-run Fish Hatchery in New Hampshire and is only dwarfed by the massive Federal Fish Hatcheries in Milford and Berlin.