April 2nd, 2013 § Comments Off on Slomped § permalink


Driving the bus.  4 minutes down on my third trip of the day.  The 4th trip at 8:30 can be crazy on a Tuesday.  All the kids go to their Tuesday classes, I guess.  I say to myself, “I better pick up these 4 minutes or I’m going to get slomped.”

“Slomped.”  Where did that come from?  I thought about it for a few seconds and figured it must have been some kind of a synthesizing double elision between “slammed” and “stomped”.  I thought about John Lennon’s advice to George Harrison about finding the right word for a lyric – “you just keep saying the line over and over and saying whatever comes to mind in the empty place.”

Something in the way she moves

Attracts me like a rutabega


I thought of Pete Maravich’s game when no one, least of all Pistol Pete, knew what physical genius was about to instantiate.

Stevie Wonder’s melisma.  Charlie Parker’s phrasing.

And then I thought, “hey, I bet my elision was actually between ‘slammed’ and ‘swamped’.”  I hadn’t even had immediate access to my own thought processes in retrospect.

Take a flyer.

Trust the universes to provide for the completion of the gesture.

Embark upon the worthy gesture at a moments notice.

Here lies Genius.



Ain’t Misbehavin’

December 9th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Nothing much to say here, but check it out…

It’s Only Rock n Roll…

April 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

The Rolling Stones…

The original record just sounds great. Whatever you think of these guys, they could play rock n roll. Oh yes.

The Monkey Song

February 21st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I found this by the Animaniacs at Boing Boing:

A Zillion Theatrical Volts

February 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink


I’ve been working on musical settings of Arnold Lobel’s FABLES for several years now, and am finally at the point of getting singing actors to take a look at them.  I have a metaphor.

Over the past few years I’ve been involved with the Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, Michigan.  One of the cool things the Purple Rose does is to “greenhouse” new plays by taking a week… » Read the rest of this entry «


January 10th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Rich Dishman told me about this video he found of a young Aretha Franklin. Wow.


January 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink



Silver Horns

March 15th, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink


Have a look at these:


My old 1972 Bach Silver Trumpet and my brand new 1918 Keefer Eb Alto Horn.  Three cheers for e-bay.  The new horn is too cool.  Here’s another look:


How could anyone not buy this beautiful horn?  Last week I was down the basement with a digital reverb gadget plugged in, goofing around with the new horn.   Here’s what it sounds like.

After that I had to pull out the trumpet.

One of these years I’m going to find time to really learn how to play these horns.  I really love how they sound.

Visual Instrumental Music

March 3rd, 2010 § 0 comments § permalink


This, about the Tijuana Brass, caught my eye:

What explains the left-field success of the Tijuana Brass? Certainly some credit goes to the album’s cover, which features a sultry model swathed in whipped cream. (Alpert, who co-owned the creative, independent A&M Records with Jerry Moss, recalled, years later, that this was the album where he “realized how important it is to be visual with instrumental music.”)



The Beatles Were Theater

February 28th, 2010 § 1 comment § permalink


The Beatles were a theatrical presentation.  Yes, they were a pop or rock and roll band, but when they went on stage, it was as The Beatles, and the conceit was sufficiently fanciful to promote and/or require an essentially theatrical suspension of disbelief.  Once the ball was rolling, even their records were part of the essentially theatrical act.

(The preceding is an example of a post where I am sleepily torquing a provocative idea onto theWheel.  Little editing, no critical thinking.  Lots of room to be corrected, contradicted, extended, discussed or ignored.)  It’s OK to be wrong, though it helps to be wrong about something interesting…

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