Who Does She Think She Is?

Music

Audio

Sound Bite

Posted by Joni in Music

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Don’t know where I ran across this on YouTube but it vanished and I recall making a copy of it because I was so taken with it. Glad I did. Enjoy. “Please Don’t Break My World” by Global Genius.

Blog Post

A is for Apple; Z is for Zune

Posted by Joni in About Me, Geekery, Music

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Anyone who truly knows me knows how important music is to me. I must have it wherever I go, in every room in the house. The TV? Not so much.

So tonight, I sat down to my computer to try to get four songs I’d downloaded from Apple Music/iTunes onto my computer to (1) burn to CD to listen to on my revamped sound system, and (2) transfer them to my Zunes. (Yes, plural.)

Blog Post

Of Sound Mind

Posted by Joni in About Me, Music

I have always loved music more than TV and movies. I used to joke with Roberto that someone could break in and steal the TV and it would be months before I’d notice. Steal my stereo, it’s gonna get ugly!

I recently went to turn my stereo on in the living room because I wanted to sit and fold towels and listen to some old music on vinyl (e.g., Brian Ferry, ARC Angels, etc.). But the amp was dead as a door nail.

Blog Post

Leighton Hamilton Playing the Blues

Posted by Joni in About Him, Music, Video

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An old beau of mine has been on my mind a lot lately. Maybe because this is the fifth anniversary of his death at the young age of 56. Or maybe as I myself grow older, nostalgia kicks in. Anyway, he spent his last years back in his hometown of Dalton, Georgia, and Tuesday nights were spent in front of the mike at The Blues Train Cafe. Here are some photos from that period.

Blog Post

Watermelon Man

Posted by Joni in Music

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I used to know a very talented blues musician out of Austin who played at Ski Shores there back in the mid-1990s. His name was Leighton Hamilton and he was also a blues historian and had a great collection of guitars, but his most cherished was his Style O National Steel. He passed away about a year before Robo.

I had learned of a movie he had made with independent Texas filmmaker Ross Wells — Of Strange Voices and Watermelon Men. I have to say, had it not been for Leighton’s appearance in the movie, I wouldn’t have bought the DVD or sat through the thing. Not to be mean, but honestly, that was the most cheesy film I ever fast-forwarded through. And as I said, what made it tolerable at all was the music.

I ripped portions of the DVD that had Leighton’s guitar work. And I share that with you now.

Audio


01 L Hamilton 2007

Video

And here’s the video clip:

Blog Post

It’s a Rap!

Posted by Joni in About Him, General, Music

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I recently discovered a great white rapper inadvertently while listening to a new YouTube video from one of my favorites, The Internets Celebrities (Dallas Penn and Rafi Kam). There was some catchy Latin music playing and it turns out it was none other than Action Bronson, a young Albanian rapper from Flushing, Queens. Now, I’m not too big into rap really. I can listen to Sean Combs and Ice-T and Yah-Boy and a few others, but it’s really “not mah thang.” But when I saw a picture of this guy after Googling for him, my heart stopped. And I’m going to show you why.

Action Bronson, rapper from Flushing, Queens, NY

Blog Post

Goodbye, Watermelon Man

Posted by Joni in General, Music, Obits

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I had a dream about an old flame a few nights ago. And that prompted me to contact him to see how he was doing. I knew he’d been very sick, and in fact the last time we spoke, he mentioned he was in hospice. This was earlier in the spring. This afternoon, I sat in my car in the parking lot of the CVS waiting for Robert’s prescriptions, like a chicken-shit. I had Leighton’s contact info pulled up on my smartphone, my finger on the “Dial” button. At least five minutes passed by before I had the courage to press it.

The phone was picked up and I heard a familiar Southern drawl on the other end. “Hello?” “Leighton?!” I exclaimed. “No, this is his brother #####.” My heart sank. I knew then that my call was too late. I introduced myself and I could tell his brother was trying to process the information. He then told me in as gentle a voice as he could muster that Leighton had passed away less than 36 hours before, at four o’clock the previous morning in fact. I was a day late. I’d been trolling the internet in the last week or so, reading the obituaries, looking for the dreaded listing. As recently as the evening before, I didn’t find it. So that emboldened me to go ahead and make that call. I’d felt bad because the last time I called him, around May, it was early in the evening on a Saturday evening, a time when he would normally be up and about (and raising hell). But I’d woken him up, it was very obvious. So I apologized profusely, and told him I’d call him later. And never did. And then started feeling, alternately, ashamed and afraid. Ashamed I didn’t follow up in the next few weeks or months. And afraid that when I did make the call, there would be news I didn’t want to hear.

So his brother and I chatted a few minutes, I brought him up to speed on how and where I’d met Leighton, that we’d lost touch when he moved back to Georgia to care-take his aging parents, and that we’d started talking again on the phone a few years ago. I also mentioned to him a few articles and one video of Leighton playing the blues guitar he loved so much (and played so well). I just sent him an email with that information so that he could share it with the rest of his family. And my closing words were:

I will miss him greatly. And my only regret is that maybe I never made it clear to him what an important part of my life he was.

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Here’s the only known footage of Leighton performing, from the low-budget movie “Of Strange Voices and Watermelon Men.” Say what you want about the silly plot and bad acting. The music was spot-on.

Video

Serbian Wedding Song

Posted by Joni in Culture, Music, Serbia

From the description in the video:

A popular serbian wedding song from Kosovo and Metohia. Although it is performed on festive occasions, the song begins with sad verses: “A dense fog has fallen… not a thing can be seen.” A large number of songs from Kosovo begin with the same verses. These words are a metaphor for the suffering and pain of the Kosovo Serbs in slavery under the Turks. Dense fog symbolizes the burden of life, under the pressure of which freedom cannot be glimpsed (“not a thing can be seen”). In the very next verse, like light shining through the darkness of slavery, the song places a tall tree in sight. Beneath it sits a tailor, sewing a wedding waistcoat upon which silver adornments shine like stars in the sky. These verses testify to the existence of faith, hope and joy even in slavery.

Blog Post

No Apologies

Posted by Joni in Culture, Music, Serbia, Video

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Gibonni is still one of my all time favorite singers. My best friend introduced me to his music about two years ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Since that time, I’ve also discovered artists such as Legende, Leb I Sol, Eros Ramazzotti, Madame Piano, Zdravko Colic, and many more. Hey, it’s the gift that keeps giving!

This particular song is interesting because in Croatian, oprosti means I’m sorry. Gibonni had been approached in 2004 to sing this very song at the opening ceremonies of the rebuilt and very historically significant Stari Most, the Mostar Bridge ((The Mostar Bridge incident)), in Bosnia & Herzegovina. However, Croat officials protested the choice of music, and particularly, the song’s chorus, which reads: Say to each other ‘I am sorry’. Even though the song is actually a love song, Croat politicians didn’t want the Bosniaks to misconstrue the song as an apology on their part [for having destroyed the bridge during the conflicts of the 1990s]. Outraged, Gibonni backed out of the ceremony, saying he would not allow his music to be politicized. That makes me admire him even more.