my ukulele progress

Someone has posted elsewhere on one of these other UU forums about musical influences... but most of the respondents seem to be missing the point...

The question is: What was a genera you though you loved until a band or record came along that was so awful that it completely turned your head around and drove you to seek a more mature musical palate?

Disco. The BeeGees. Staying alive.

I really liked that overproduced dance music there for a while, and worked in a dance club spinning records, But this event cured me and sent me off into folk, bluegrass, singer-songwriters. And so on.

Not quite sure how that other board got so far off the rails...
If we are talking exclusively about the music, then I'm with you. But I have read some very interesting historical assessments of the importance of disco in race relations. The basic premise is that disco sanitizes black cultural for white consumption.
 
If we are talking exclusively about the music, then I'm with you. But I have read some very interesting historical assessments of the importance of disco in race relations. The basic premise is that disco sanitizes black cultural for white consumption.
True... the place I worked was a safe space for all to come together and hang out. It was like a secret club for a while, where an off the beaten path daytime restaurant would suddenly transform at night into a wild dance club and everyone was welcome.

For a minute there, in the late 70's, it seemed like Rock and Roll's days were numbered. At least that's what I thought at the time. I was sure wrong about that... classic rock seems permanently embedded now. It's hard to get away from!

The Bee Gees' Disco records were to dance music as Elvis was to the "Race records" and black music to be sure. John Travolta made dance music safe for the masses. Leisure suits and feathered hair became the inevitable conclusion. Soul Train, the Johnny Otis Show and TV shows like it faded away. Frank Zappa wrote scathing parodies. The cycle was complete.

But in the end, it became all about bar culture and cocaine and pickups and fast money, not cultural enlightenment. And the music became secondary, no matter who was playing it. It seemed very fresh and exciting in the beginning. But turned shallow and depressing and sanitized after becoming so fully commercialized.

And then black music turned to Rap and became dangerous again. Eventually, that gets assimilated as well. Now that Rap and Hip-hop have become mainstream safe: Enter Eminem. Rap becomes safe for the masses...

And thirty years later? Snoop Dog is selling snack food and Beer. Tupac has a street named after him. Ice Cube is a Trumper. Who could have imagined it?

What follows? What music will bring everyone together just for the sheer joy and excitement and transgressive spirit of it in the future?

Taylor Swift? Bad Bunny? K-Pop?

Well see...
 
Last edited:
I have been dabbling in lesser known grains. Stuff like einkorn or, this week, spelt. I know spelt isn't so very special but I'd say it was a liminal grain as far as popular grains go.

I made a first attempt at pressure cooking some spelt and, of course, I undercooked it. I just threw it in the pot applying rice techniques. It came out a bit chewy since it is more hardy than rice. I am re-cooking it atop my wife's porridge.

I have to say I am a bit non-plussed with these fancy grains. They're kind of like the Swedish bikini team. They're all wonderful but they are a bit monolithic. You seen one you've seen them all.

I think good old barley still beats them. Barley has that chewiness that you may require. However it still is easy to cook
 
I just saw a curious thread about music theory for beginners. It was intriguing because even though I know some theory, I don't think I can help. When I was more of a beginner, I just researched things ad hoc when I felt that lack of knowledge was holding me back. That approach is completely predicated on my mindset and I don't think I could turn it into a useful curriculum for others.

My musical theory is geared towards my needs, but I was wondering what theory is universal and germane to everyone.

I think keys are universal. Everyone should know the 12 keys, which notes are in each key and how many sharps or flats are in each key (although that doesn't apply to ukes).

Even though it isn't strictly theory, everyone should know the notes of the fretboard because the application of theory depends on that.

People should know about chord construction and know which degrees are in a chord. This way they can construct a chord around any root regardless of where it occurs on the fretboard.

That's all that I can imagine are universal. Certainly there are other things that I think are important like scales but that isn't necessarily universal. Same thing with chord substitutions and chord progressions. They are important to me but I can see where someone who doesn't improvise wouldn't need them.

I have been playing a little something:

E9

A add9
C#7
B9 rooted at 4th fret
Em6
Em

The last chord is rooted at the 4th fret. From there I move to the 9th fret because therein resides a different voice of the root but the same note as the 4th fret. I do this because I am much happier higher on the neck. Plus, since it is near the middle of the fretboard it gives me the options to move up or down. When you play first position chords, you really paint yourself into a corner since the nut is right there pressing against your back and you have to move forward.
 
You’re priceless, Ron!
Au contraire, ma mere. I can be bought. Name a price.

Next week, I am scheduled to meet with my luthier to confirm that he has all the details correct for my baritone. I am also going to call the body shop to see about the progress my jeep is making. And since I will eventually have my jeep back and since it is becoming winter, I have to start my winter coat. To that end I've starting growing my dundrearies again. Maybe I won't get them as majestic as my avatar, but at least they'll keep my cheeks warm.
 
Au contraire, ma mere. I can be bought. Name a price.

Next week, I am scheduled to meet with my luthier to confirm that he has all the details correct for my baritone. I am also going to call the body shop to see about the progress my jeep is making. And since I will eventually have my jeep back and since it is becoming winter, I have to start my winter coat. To that end I've starting growing my dundrearies again. Maybe I won't get them as majestic as my avatar, but at least they'll keep my cheeks warm.
I didn't know there was a name for those. Whether I'm going to remember it and actually use it remains to be seen. I'm sure Voran can use it in some lyrics when she's better (hopefully) soon.
 
somewhat appropriate with the hirsute discussion, I just received this ad for cyber Monday:

View attachment 161951
Monocles! I can see you with a monocle, Ron.

PS: A couple years go, after cataract surgery and lens implants, I still needed readers. Wanted a lorgnette, but the optician didn’t sell em.
 
Last edited:
somewhat appropriate with the hirsute discussion, I just received this ad for cyber Monday:

View attachment 161951
Thanks for sharing this link! I just ordered this magnifier, which comes on a lanyard and will be a lot more convenient than taking my readers everywhere. Great discount too.
 
I have a prescription-strength black-rimmed monocle. But I don't wear it. My body isn't made for it. The skin around my eye touches the lens and makes it all greasy and cloudy. Since then I have had my eye open for something I once saw in a sci-fi movie: a pince nez bridge that would hold the monocle in place over one eye.
 
One of these beards has a local name here in Sonoma County (and beyond I'm sure): Wiskerinos

In Petaluma, there is a yearly contest: Show up shaved clean on sign up day - return and compete 365 days later. Most impressive wiskerino styled beard wins the entry fees of everyone else.

I think this sort of contest used to be more common. They still do it here!

It's a long... and well styled... tradition.
 
On the culinary front I made a mustard sauce. Which sounds a bit fancy but it is just runny mustard. And mustard is easy to make. I just grind some mustard seed in the mortar. Then I add other dry ingredients. I use curry powder but a person could throw in some herbs like dill or garlic powder or whatever. Then you pour in some vinegar. Let that sit for a day for the bitterness to abate. Then mix in some mustard powder, like Colman's, to bring your mixture up to the texture you want. This time around I kept mine at the consistency of a pancake batter. So now instead of spreading it with a knife, I'll be drizzling it with a spoon.

I also made a stir fry. Again, easy-peasy lemon-squeezy. I cook some shrimp in butter, lime, and garlic, and set it aside. I combine cold millet and eggs and then I stiry fry that mixture. Once the eggs are crunchy, I add in the shrimp and two bunches of shredded swiss chard. At some time during the process, I also throw in some spices, typically garlic, onion, Chinese 5 spice, umami powder, etc.

Musically I have been playing with the idea of juxtaposing a major and a minor chord quality of the same note, just as some people do with a major and a sus4.

What I did is going from a C#7 down to a B7, switch to a Bm, and finish with a Eadd9 and Em. Sometimes I play a Bm add9 instead of a Bm to significantly raise the pitch of that bar.

For an hour I can sit down and play the progression of which the chords aforementioned are the ending. That's because the progression is just the outline of the discussion but the real articulation of the colloquy of chords is in the details. Once you move past the Island Strum or any other repetitive pattern, you can make the progression talk. With dynamics and phrasing, you can clump some chords together in their own little sub-group, you can change the strum of a certain measure to make it sound like the punctuation mark of a phrase or make it sound like a culmination. You can insert some arpeggios of the chords to change the pace. You can make use of the varying pitches of the chords by emphasis.

With so many options it is easy to imagine how you could enchant yourself for an hour. One of my favorite things to do is imagine a situation and imagine the words a person would say in that situation, and then play the chords in time with the imagined words you hear. It actually creates a coherent song. Of course, no one else will understand the significance but he or she will perceive the structure and the music. Or, if you give the song a title, then the audience will understand because titles are half the battle. If you randomly scrambled Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" and made Spring the winter and summer the fall, the audience would not even notice because once you tell them that this concerto is meant to evoke winter, then they'll do that for you.
 
I made some sweet potatoes with pequín peppers, cumin, and an aromatic mixture of chives and shallots. It is nice and the peppers only hit you as an aftertaste. Oh, I also added some Ceylonian cinnamon.

I have heard of inviting your ghosts to tea. I don't have any desire to reconcile my past but I am inviting my least favorite modes to a hootonanny. I have always disliked the C# Lydian #2 and the G Ionian #5.

Part of it is theoretical. I always play in a aiolian fashion and the Ionian is the Ionian and the Lydian is supposedly more Ionian than the Ionian. They just sound so normal. I consciously and unconsciously avoid the part of the fretboard where they exist. But I need to mature a bit and just play them. After all, they contain the same notes as the Phrygian and Lokrian modes I prefer. It shouldn't be too hard to make music with them. Also, using these normal modes atop my usual chords like a minor 2-5-1 could prove to be ear-catching.
 
Last edited:
I made some sweet potatoes with pequín peppers, cumin, and an aromatic mixture of chives and shallots. It is nice and the peppers only hit you as an aftertaste. Oh, I also added some Ceylonian cinnamon.

I have heard of inviting your ghosts to tea. I don't have any desire to reconcile my past but I am inviting my least favorite modes to a hootonanny. I have always disliked the C# Lydian #2 and the G Ionian #5.

Part of it is theoretical. I always play in a aiolian fashion and the Ionian is the Ionian and the Lydian is supposedly more Ionian than the Ionian. They just sound so normal. I consciously and unconsciously avoid the part of the fretboard where they exist. But I need to mature a bit and just play them. After all, they contain the same notes as the Phrygian and Lokrian modes I prefer. It shouldn't be too hard to make music with them. Also, using these normal modes atop my usual chords like a minor 2-5-1 could prove to be ear-catching.
I understood the sweet potatoes - the rest is beyond me.

Lydian and Ionian might just as well be ladies in the grocery store or something as far as I know. I am really out of the loop when it comes to musical fashion and theory.... Those names sound like ladies who might like to play Bingo in the senior home.

Keep up the good work Rip !
 
Top Bottom