lenora_rose: (Default)
- So far, I'm convinced this was a good idea. I may not be happy with all the details, but the gist is going the right way. Sort of the way I feel about a first draft, actually...

- I seem too often to have sacrificed sleep to mandolin practice instead of more sensible things like computer time. Some of this was the added complication of my mother-in-law being here (The room she stays in during winter visits is directly connected to my study, so I "had to"* wait until she was in bed and the kitchen was clear. But it's not just that, I just put it off to too late at night too often.

- I got my calluses back in record time (Now, if only I could not *lose them* in record time should I take another extended pause... I still have my pottery pin-tool bump on another finger, which is older, so I shouldn't lose callusses that fast, but I do.)

- Both hands occasionally threaten to cramp on fast songs. And once in a while have. Which means WARM UP BEFOREHAND, STRETCH WHEN DONE, and DRINK SOMETHING (Which I should be doing for the voice). This is EXERCISE, albeit for fine hand muscles and a handful of gross arm muscles, nt the way you think of a workout. Some of those muscles are growing back. Setting them back by not stretching is as bad as for all other exercise.

- I was also dealing with unexpected elbow pains for a few days, and not just muscle ache pains. That seems to have faded.

- I feel like I'm doing worse on some of the trickier songs now than i was when I restarted. Probably this is more of the effect of getting my ear for how it should sound back quicker than I am the finger-training. I hope.

- Some of the easier songs feel noticeably better, though.

- Switching between the instruments seems to do me no favours. But there are genuinely songs which are MUCH better on one than the other, and not the same one.

- My mandolin is a much better quality instrument than my octave mandolin. (Neither is Bad, mind you, but the Silly Goose is much quirkier than the Angry Chicken). I like the idea and sound of working with an octave mandolin better. But I am not getting another instrument THIS soon.

- I would do much better, not on the individual songs, but on arrangement and figuring out chords I haven't already played / have written down, if my music theory knowledge had not rusted in the back of my head during much of the intervening 19 years.

- It's a LOT easier to practice when you have a voice. It's not just figuring out how to strum/pick/finger-pick, it's also getting the voice to meld, producing both at the necessary power and feel, and not losing the mandolin parts the moment you open your mouth and ahve to do two things simultaneously. Getting a cold that strongly affected my ability to sing for over a week made practice a lot harder than it had to be. (Throat doesn't seem to be wholly clear even yet, but I can sing)

- The 2 new songs I'm trying to arrange are both 3/4 time. There's not a large variety of strumming patterns for 3 beats, so making them sound decent with my current skill set is... daunting.

- I HAVE TO replace the deeper of the two octave mandolin's strings-that-hit-the-note-above-F# (I tried to post about a problem with these on Facebook and had at least two people misread which Kind of G-string until they got to the bit about the mandolin). Really, the whole set, but I can only conclude that the string the guy who repaired it used that he thought was a good match.... wasn't. Tune it right (Which is a tough process even with the right string) and by two frets down it's sounding noticeably flat. It also feels a bit less taut than the other strings. I think it's adding to the buzz of its up-an-octave neighbour on the course, too.


* In quotes for good reason. There's no purely logical reason I couldn't practice at other better times or other places, including ones she probably wouldn't hear much. But I have a bit of a thing about knowing people are in hearing, or could walk in, while I'm practicing. Because if they are in hearing I'd rather practice only the bits that already sound good.... and when you're rusty, nothing sounds good. I can do more practice less privately if the someone is Colin.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Since I have been so behind on posting. These, for those who don't read my facebook or who missed some, probably sum up several things I don't feel like discussing at length.

On the Desolation of Smaug:

I liked expanding Bard's story so he doesn't just appear at the end of the Dragon thing. I liked the dwarves in the mountain attempting to do something other than just wait for Bilbo and actually confronting Smaug, up to the point where it turned into more video game antics. (Also, you'd think they'd have, you know, some dwarf sized corridors....). Most of the other changes I think could have been dropped in favour of more time with Beorn and more of Smaug and Bilbo's banter, both from the book.
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(Re: Someone's comment that Legolas was there for the women....)

Legolas was indeed unnecessary (And I say that as a woman). He made a little sense being there as the son of the King, but only a little.

But what he really made me do is long for the Legolas of Lord of the Rings.

Jackson seems to have decided that he wasn't badass enough -- but *this* Legolas has me wondering why he let all those annoying humans and Hobbits slow him down in the Lord of the Rings. As he was shown in Smaug, he'd have been all the way to Mount Doom with the Ring before it even had time to tempt him, hopped over the giant black gate in a couple of Parkour tricks, killing all the guards in the process, chucked it in, surfed away from the lava explosion on a piece of debris, and wouldn't have even mussed his hair.
_________________

My son:
Dec 19: As I just mentioned to Colin, I was just re-watching "The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances". And, hearing it so often on screen, Joseph starts repeating "Mummy. Mummy."

Not sure whether to giggle or shudder. #WhoHumour

Mid December Photos, including the Christmas Tree I made for JoJo. )

December 27 (The first not miserably freezing day in a while at that point, and only a day or two before a cold snap that lasted distressingly long. We're talking vicinity of -40 for DAYS cold snap... and when it wasn't that, it snowed...)
photos behind cut )

Jan 2: JoJo has sung along to music a few times now. He's had some rhythm (Not enough, but some) for a while, and has seemed less random in his choice of notes and sounds, if not harmonizing at least clashing less and less.

But today, he found the actual melody for London Bridge.

Toddler progress is progress after all.


Jan 9: It's official. Joseph can climb out of his crib on his own.

He got out of his playpen (Used as a travel crib) twice on New Year's Eve, so it's not like we didn't know it was coming.... but still, sigh.

________________

Other:

Jan 4: We got to archery today! Current plan is to keep going on all Saturdays we can. (Though Not Imbolc, obviously, but I did reserve babysitting for the Friday night shoot)

(ED: we have kept this up. Shooting regularly again feels GOOD.)

Jan 8: First day of work since Before our trip to AB and BC! Finished the horse, other than the bits under and around water.
photo behind cut )

Jan 15: Sigh. Mom was sick (Get well soon - and not for my sake) so no chance to mural paint because no babysitter. Then ploughed through the snow with a stroller to get JoJo and myself flu shots. Sigh. Well... on the plus side, the new orthotic insoles I slipped into my boots WORK LIKE AWESOME. A lot less pain now...

(ED: Plantar fasciitis. Had it before, but this last bout was BAD. Days of barely being able to walk bad. I still galloped around daily with Joseph on my shoulders, though, because awesome.)

Today:

"Imagination is a little white light, waiting for a chance to grow
bigger and bigger till it glows so bright it eliminates all you know..."

Wait, what?

Oh. ILLUMINATES.

Enunciate, Fred.

#FredPenner #mondegreen

Music

Mar. 2nd, 2013 11:02 pm
lenora_rose: (Default)
We have more kitchen. Otherwise, though, not much new. So here, have some songs. A range of what I've been listening to lately.

From the sweet and pure:


plus the ridiculous, the sublime, and a couple more )
lenora_rose: (Wheeeeee!)
Life is busy. Short post, I hope.

Folk Fest went well. Due to some insane volunteer hours (I had both a shift ending at 5:00 AM Friday morning, and one starting at 5:00 AM Sunday -- although in all, I thought my schedule was better than those which are all late night or all early), and some sense when it came to wanting to get sleep, I missed the last third or more of most of the Mainstages. I got to actually listen and/or participate in the Baggiecon music circle all of once; Friday night, after a nap. And I felt like my voice was out of shape, and I tried, and flubbed, a piece on Mandolin that I knew I needed my chord sheet in front of me to pull off, but tried in the dark anyhow.

Saturday, I got to hang out during some pleasant conversation, but they started playing music at nearly 2:00 AM, when I was going to bed for my precious couple hours' nap> When my alarm went off at 4:00AM so I could prep for my shift, I still heard them singing, but by the time I got back from the bathroom run, they were all gone to bed. Sunday night, I opted to pack up early and skip the night music circle in favour of actually getting a good sleep. Smart move: I was the least burnt out I've ever been on a Monday, which meant I was very much up for the "Dead Mouse" party, the last hurrah over at the Bhigg House.

Good stuff I saw anyhow:

- A fairly good Celtic workshop Friday; one fairly strightforward Irish band, one Irish band with a bit of a twist (As one person put it, you'd be dancing along with a jig, and the music would smoothly and unobtrusively shift into boogie-woogie. Or similar.) and a band from England who did instrumentals that blended trad with trance-dance effects, in spite of being purely acoustic. (This last proved more disappointing, to me at least, on Mainstage, where it became clearer that they didn't have a lot of other tricks up theirs sleeves, and the one trick wasn't enough to sustain solo.)
- A Blues workshop I mostly went to because it was at the same stage as the prior good world-beat thingy (Not being generally a blues fan) which turned out to seriously rock. Colin Linden was no surprise, but Kat Danser was the standout for me.
- Matt (Anderson?), later to be seen in that blues workshop, doing a Tweener set on Mainstage which turned out to out-rock most of the actual Mainstage acts around him. Seriously.
- Little Feat's Mainstage show.
- Fred Penner had a mainstage tweener, which is still his first time on Mainstage, which similarly rocked; he was pretty much delighted, but so was the audience. Seriously. The guy has stage presence. And not much can beat hearing several thousand voices singing "Sandwiches are beautiful...".
- Caught part of a daytime workshop with him, Connie Kaldor and Trout Fishing In America called "Shiny Happy People" that was upbeat in almost all ways.
- Jaune Toujours, a Balkan band with Klezmer and fusion effects.
- David Wax Museum seemed pretty good, but I only really caught part of their show on Mainstage and didn't catch them again.

- I didn't get to hear nearly enough of The Once, who seemed to be pretty clearly up my alley. Similarly, I heard almost nothing directly of the Francophone band whose long name begins with "galant,", but the teeny bit I heard implied they were my thing.


Overall, I would have rated it a fairly weak Folk Fest, but there were still merits, as you can see.
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Monday after Folk Fest, by contrast, was AMAZING.

First, the ultrasound. Colin said it made it much more real, seeing the actual image of the baby shift and blur on the screen, looking recognizably like a baby. (He's not the one being occasionally disconcerted by internal motion) And I agree that it was delightful, much more this time, as he was so much bigger and better formed than the last.

Plus, of course, the whole sighting of what the technician cheerfully called "Boy parts", triggering the serious discussion of names.

No, I'm not telling any name until he's born and official. I can say a few things it won't be: Ethan and Jacob and Aidan are out for excess popularity currently. It won't be David because several of my circles of acquaintance are rife with Davids. Nor Michael or James or Chris. I also vetoed several names because I've used them in writing.

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But then was the Dead Mouse. It was good to sit back and chat the first bit, then to join in the music circle again.

Especially as the music circle ended up with an extra unexpected guest who lived in the neighbourhood.

FRED PENNER.

You know, who was on the Mainstage at Folk Fest. Who's getting the Order of Manitoba and has had the Order of Canada for years. Who's children's music a LOT of people have grown up to.

Okay, I'm used to being outclassed at the music circles, and wondering why they let me in. We have professional and professional-quality musicians. This was a bit of something else. Though it quickly didn't feel like it.

Okay, it rocked for a lot of other things. I haven't seen R. at a music circle in ages, since she's been living in China, and the first song she played was pretty much the one of hers I most remembered and wanted to hear again (There is Life, I think it's called, and it's wonderful). W. sang "A Well-earned Vacation", an old favourite written by musicmutt. Lots of other good music went around; R. later did "Waltzing with Bears", which stayed stuck in my head for about two more days, adn she and her husband (Another Dave) did at least two songs in Chinese. Which led to me requesting the "Hockey Monkey Song" from Dave. L. did "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda", which is beautiful and painful. And eventually, R.'s Chinese guest gathered her courage and did a song (Her voice is lovely, but she felt shy.)

Fred Penner did several of his less well known works, include a new song about the Children's Garden just designed for Assiniboine Park, and a song he wrote for a tv show based around making a quilt.

I think what made me react after the fact with some pretty hefty squeeing wasn't that he was there; there are so many ways that could have gone wrong. It was that he fit in so well with the circle. Joined and left seamlessly and graciously.

For myself, a funny moment: when I was asking about my first song to do, C. immediately called out "The one about the children who kill people!" which song ("Welcome to our House") had most of the crowd singing along. Someone commented with amusement on this particular request beign so readily recognized, and I replied, "Well, most of my songs about murder are between consenting adults".

OTOH, I think of songs I did, it was "Death on Hennepin" I best nailed. Doing that song these days for me has a lot of anger and fear and grief behind it, though I loved it for years.

People, mostly writers, have talked about how a work doesn't really come to life until it has an audience (which is why, however much you try to make a story about something, it's never just about the part you put into it; it's about the part that the reader sees, too.) But with writing, the reaction is delayed; the reader rarely describes it at the moment of reading,t hey get to express it in reactions, reviews, and essays after the fact. It's hard to see because it's distant.

Several times, with music, it's come very clear to me. When I practice at home alone, I sometimes sing through pretty weakly, just trying to get notes and timing, working on little muddles of technique. Sometimes I get the emotion, too, but even when I start to feel it, it's merely internal.

You can FEEL the feedback from listeners, though, even if they're not moving much, even if I'm having to look at the strings as much or more than at the circle. Feeling it made it obvious the song on Friday was going wrong. Feeling it on Monday - told me I was getting it right.

The only problem I ever have with feeling that reaction is that it makes me want to clap and cheer when I'm pulling it off. Which looks dumb at best, and egotistical.
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Fringe is on now. Some recommendations I've seen so far:

Scarlet Women - A take-off on Film Noir, part parody and part sincere pastiche. Well-done and witty.

Grim and Fischer - Full face mask theatre about an elderly lady who's adept at hiding from and taunting the man who delivers her papers and meals, who now turns those talents to escaping the Grim Reaper himself. Very funny, very touching.

The Fabulous Miss Rosie Bitts - Burlesque show, which, as my husband put it, would be excellent even if it didn't involve a hot redhead taking her clothes off.

I'm not sure this is a recommendation exactly - Interruptions. It's about mothers (And grandmothers, and at least one father) who lost children before or at birth. She's a bit slow at the costume changes, and some of her character voices aren't as sharply different as they might be, but the stories speak for themselves. OTOH, it's probably depressing even if you aren't me, even with the more hopeful last section. I spent between 2/3 and 3/4 of the show crying, and the hopeful stuff just altered the nature of some of the tears. I kind of knew I'd cry -- but I hadn't realised just how much that hurt remained scabbed rather than healed (Even with the current and thus-far successful pregnancy), and how much it would bleed if ripped off.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Hmm. A while since I posted. Colin and I did our little run out of town, I went to Keycon, we watched a verra good concert with S. J. Tucker and Heather Dale and their musical teams, we've been making lots or prep work for house renovations with my father-in-law, and am now at 17 1/2 weeks, or over 4 months. Yow.

I'll try not to blather too long about any of the above, but I do have a few things I thought were interesting and/or cool.
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On a writing-related note, there is *nothing* more frustrating than waiting for an answer from an agent.

To be specific, during Keycon, I got an e-mail from one agent that she'd like to see my full MS (Dance! Dance!).

So I e-mailed the agent who's had the partial for a while and might want the full -- in hopes of speeding up the response now she knows there's other interest. I thought sicne she requested the partial first, this was the appropriate order. No reply yet.

Of course, to me, this is *TWO WEEKS AUGH EEK!* but for her, I presume she's swamped with work for her current clients. (Not least because she replied to my earlier "You've had that 4 months now" with "Sorry. Swamped. I still have it, but haven't had a chance to read." (In more professional words on both sides, of course).

But really. NOW would be nice, says the writer-anxiety brain. I don't suppose anyone knows how much longer before I should push again? I really would like to be able to say something to the one who requested the full.

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Keycon was fun, I missed a lot of panels, and did a lot more singing. A good year, and good to catch up with a number of people I hadn't seen, especially among the filkers. I danced a bit at the social, spent a lot less time than you'd expect in the Consuites, and listened to yet more music. I was completely floored by Lanna (I THINK that's the right spelling) and Wolfgang's costume pairing of a young Steampunk scientist and his Igor, who was complaining about this newfangled steam tech and how the old days, and the lightning, were so much better. (Lanna was inside the Igor puppet, melting to death and Not Dropping character.) Also cheered Suninherhair's gorgeous dress , and a highly impressive Red Queen who used an amazing wig and makeup job to make her head look genuinely big. Did catch a good panel with Robert Sawyer, Derryl Murphy and Craig Russel (Not to be confused with P. Craig...) on writing, which was entertaining but mostly 101 level writing advice. I didn't get into the writing pitch and advice session as it was full.

More interesting, though not necessarily to his benefit, was the talk I heard by the author GoH, L.E. Modesitt. The first thing that annoyed me was how he interspersed interesting remarks with things that struck me as painfully over-generalized, especially as regards gender (Your examples of humans as a tool-using species are "Look at any man's garage and any woman's kitchen"? Really, if you'd dropped the "any", I might not have gnashed my teeth).

Although the one that really stuck for me was when he was talking about his magic system, which seems to combine magic-as-engineering, IE, people will develop reproducible results where possible, and the "You need to HAVE the innate talent to do it at all" approach. But he did concede that not everyone who has the talent has the same amount -- but most of them, except the least talented, go to the big equivalent of Engineering school, if one had no choice but to go to engineering school if one had the aptitude. So I asked, "So nobody in your world ever does magic as a hobby? The way people who don't have or want the formal training still paint watercolours on Sunday?"

He answered very quickly, "Put it this way. You don't see very many ... surviving ... Sunday Electricians."

Which admittedly got a laugh, even from me. But also had me immediately think that Colin has done a fair bit of the wiring in our house, has done it safely, and up to Code (And no, I have no fear of out house ever showing up on those "worst mistakes" type renovation shows. Not, at least, for unsafe electricity.) By actually reading up on it of his own free will, and being shown things by other people who've done it at what is, effectively, a hobby level -- and at least a couple of times, by watching the mistakes people have made that might be dangerous and vowing not to repeat that. And knowing when (as with the reno coming up), he wants a real electrician to do the work, or look over it.

I didn't say so, but I was thinking it over ever since. Really. Is there no way to get a hobbyist magician in a world where magic has as strict and firm rules as physics and chemistry? No text for how to do it safely? And if not, then doesn't that make people with a smidgin of power MORE dangerous than hobbyists?

(It seems unlikely in my particular fictional world, but it really doesn't seem to contradict his stated rules for Recluse)

I have no idea right now if that's a plot kernel or merely a cool toy for my brain to play with. But there it is.

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Everyone in my local circle (Though not necessarily everyone on LJ/DW) has a pretty good idea who Heather Dale is. (Lookie, official video!) But I felt like I was about the only one outside the filkers who had heard of S.J. Tucker, and that was via the band Tricky Pixie.

I discovered the existence of Tricky Pixie because Alexander James Adams is one of the members, and I've been a fan of his since around 1992, but the very first song sample I heard din't impress me much; it was kind of rough around the edges (Plus Alec was obviously still getting used to a different vocal range, and was not singing terribly well). Later, someone (either aymaera or Greek_Amazon, I genuinely don't remember and don't really want to dig through OMG journal entries to figure out) linked to their version of Tam Lin, which was much smoother, much more impressive, and told me the band had really come together since the first sample (Also, that Alec's voice had settled nicely). Anyhow, once I registered that this was *that*( singer, I decided that Sooj solo would also be a pretty fair bet. Yay! I was right.

Turns out S.J. also brought fellow Pixie Betsy Tinney, the cellist, so I got to meet the other 2/3 of the band. And S.J., in spite of some of her banter being about how little sleep and how little brain she had, was also quite good at the between song banter and the overall performance, as well as writing interesting and enjoyable songs. (Sometimes in live concerts, the presentation itself is key. Loreena McKennitt, for instance, barely spoke in the concert I saw, which, from reports I hear from her being pretty boring when she does, via those who saw her at the folk fest, meant she gave exemplary concert by not doing banter. Where, with Heather, I think you'd lose a lot from the live show by *not* hearing her and Ben doing commentary.)

Sooj's style is a bit closer to the singer-songwriter folk, with an occasional gospel-like bit thrown in, but her lyrics are strongly fantastical. I especially liked Ravens in the Library myself (And the very silly Alligator In the House, which she blamed on Betsy songwriting wise, though the album credits them together). Of the two albums of hers, I found the current one, Mischief, mostly good, and the 2005 one, Tangles, rather more generic; had I bought it before hearing her, or the recent work, I'd have dismissed her as promising but not really interesting.

Anyhow, two superb acts. Lots of fun. Plus, of course, getting to see the Bhigg House crew and others of that ilk.

_____________

House reno plans are ... a lot bigger than they were when we started talking about it idly in march/April. Like, a whole extension. Colin has been toiling away at the computer on the plans (He has an amazing program for doing so, plus it's exactly the sort of thing he's skilled at.) We got the surveyor to confirm the actual property lines, he had an engineer in twice to look over Colin's drafts of the project (Ha approved them, confirmed this would be fairly easy, but also told him exactly what he'd need for the actual permit that he hadn't drawn out in detail yet) and a concrete guy to give is price estimates on foundations.

My Father in law was intending to return to BC on Friday, but had to cancel his flight due to illness. He seems a bit better, though far from well, and he has antibiotics. And I'm under firm orders not to go near him (My mother-in-law is exceedingly protective of her unborn grandchild, even if she has to call from BC to be so. I do want to remind her that I'm ALSO very interested in the fate of said little one and am indeed taking care of myself. But some things, like walking up or down a flight of stairs, don't exactly worry me yet. Not until the bump is much larger. And exercising is strongly in my interest. Though I agree that exposing myself to ill people, even ones I care a good deal about, is not. So I'm fretting at a distance.)
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Doctor Who this season seems to be aiming for cracktastically weird as its gold standard. Which the emphasis on the cracktastic, not the gold, or even the Who. It doesn't quite feel Whovian as I'm used to thinking of it, even less than last season, but whatever it is, it's having fun.
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The Sea Thy Mistress just cemented Bear's Edda of Burdens as my favourite of her series'. (Okay, I'd have to read all three and the two Stratford Man books in rapid succession to be sure, but I think if I tried that just now, my head might explode). Though it seemed to me for the first half of the book that there was a lot of not-much happening, most of it did turn out to have accomplished more than it first looked like, and the second half more than paid for the slow start. Wow.

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Similar wows for N.K. Jemisin's The Broken Kingdoms. (If you haven't read the first one, the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and you've ever wanted to read something a little different and a lot amazingly good in fantasy, FIND IT. NOW.)
lenora_rose: (Default)
I don't think you're supposed to be in a happy mood all day on the last day at a job at a workplace you like, with no immediate prospect of future work. But... it was a good day. The new receptionist is sweet and will fit in well, a number of people say they'll genuinely miss me.

I also have to admit I have some plans for trying to sort out a few things at home (things still occupying too much of my study that aren't mine) and maybe pull out a clay project or twa, as I'm behind in doing so. And of course to get more writing done - Not that I haven't made some progress, but it tends to be smaller and slower than it ought. And also arching more.

And when I got home, the package with the new Heather Dale was on the stairs. Technically, it's not a new album per se, as it's a collection of virtually all her Arthurian songs (barring Holly Ivy and Yew, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, rearranged into the rough order in which they happen, and in completely new arrangements. So far, some of these are not that terribly different (As I Am and Culhwch and Olwen), some are wildly so (Mordred's Lullaby, which is ALSO very unlike the stripped-down-to-solo-voice way she's performed it at the last concerts I saw. It's heavily layered again, but with new and different sound). but it makes me happy, because even the not terribly different, at least at first hearing, are still fresh enough to force a new listen to what it's about.

After the last three book gripes, I just read two pretty decent books in a row - the second of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson books, the Sea of Monsters, which does indeed make for a better adventure, more for the girls to do, and the beginnings of a cure for the "Ugly and heavy and therefore evil" vibe you get off a character in the first book - she kicks butt in this one.

And Elizabeth Bear's By the Mountain Bound which is - well, it's a tragedy, in the literal sense. I can see very well why she chose to publish these in the order she did, because this was heartwrenching and terrible and I don't think I'd have had the courage to pick up All the Windwracked Stars second, for all it takes place a significant time later - by immortal standards. I rejoiced in the writing and the story, but oh, that wasn't easy to read through. There were moments where it was equally unbearable to read on and to stop.

So far these have beaten out the Stratford Man books (Ink and Steel and Hell And Earth) as my favourites of Bears.
lenora_rose: (Plot Bunnies?)
I have to admit, Colin’s and my plans for the few weeks Jeff is back in Houston packing did *not* originally involve being down with the flu for several days. Just sayin’.

___

I’ve been doing a great deal of music-related geekery lately. For one, last week I *finally* finished listening through the entire 2022 files on my MP3 player, after which I cleared it off almost entirely (I had under 300 songs when I’d done and considered it stripped to bare essentials. What this says about me, yeah, I know.) I’ve brought it back up to over 600 mostly by copying over music that is either new in the months since I started the listen-through, or never made it to the player for other reasons (I had albums I almost entirely neglected).

Things I learned in so doing:

Sometimes, it’s really hard not to hit the repeat button -- moreso when you know you won’t pass the same song again for a couple of months. Sometimes, it’s really hard not to hit the skip button just because a song is the wrong mood for the moment, never mind if you realize it’s just not as good as you thought.

Listening through the Es, I hit Euchari, and assumed that I must be pretty close to the end of the letter. I was wrong. I had more than half the Es to go (Europa, Eva, Evangeline, Ever Dream....)
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I also started a project among some of my friends where we e-mail each other MP3s (Or youtube links) once a month, since so many of us are music geeks and so few have fully matching tastes. So far, more people seem to think this is an interesting idea than otherwise, once we hammered out a few details. I’m looking forward to the results once even more people join in.
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I have not been practicing mandolin as much as I ought, but at least I am practicing. Harder when you have no voice to speak of, I’ve found (Stupid flu). I have to remind myself much more there than I do about writing that I have permission to suck. Because if I stop because I’m playing badly, I’ll never play well. I really wish that lesson was easier to keep ingrained when others can hear me suck, though.
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Writing wise, things are going okay. I red-penned my way through the last section of the Serpent Prince, and if the amount of red on the page is anything to go by, I’m half tempted to run through the second last section on paper, too, because I think I remove a lot more words at one pass on paper after all (I think I’ve lost most of what I need to lose in the earlier sections, but they had several earlier passes on the computer).

I had one more query rejection come back and am looking into where else to send it. The two places with extended samples haven’t come back yet, but one is an ‘if you don’t hear from us, we don’t want it.’ Which, frankly, if an agency is going to do that, they should have an auto-reply that at least indicates the darn thing got there, because I’ve had e-mail disappear, and it would be nice to know the thing is rejected, not just lost.

I’ve managed to make decent progress on Labyrinth, including accidentally importing another character from another story, though I’ve wandered into a digression about zombies, which translates to, “author isn’t sure what happens next and is stalling”. (There’s a canonical incident involving zombies in Phoenix, AZ in roughly 2007-8, on Damina-Earth, which Heather would have seen on the news, but it’s not relevant to this plot, so why are they talking about it?) Argh. I thought I was past the jam.

I restarted the PWP that grew a plot with the characters the right gender this time, just to prove to myself that it worked story-wise that way. It does, but I’m also debating making the nice young lass back into a man, while keeping the other changes. Sigh. We’ll see.
lenora_rose: (Wheeeeee!)
I NEVER thought I'd be linking to a version of this song and saying, "No, really. Just hit the play button."

Really> Go. Don't read the commentary until after you start the music, either. Just play.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Yes.
lenora_rose: (Wheeeeee!)
Thursday I hoped to wake up to a world where Sam Katz was no longer Mayor of Winnipeg. No luck, alas.

Friday I hoped to wake to a world where I was employed full-time. Also, alas, no luck. And I really thought the job perfectly suited me in every way except the almost-minimum wage. (Physiotherapy office, close enough to home to walk at least one way every day - dangerously close to McNally Robinson, which can be read as a pro or a con.)

So I consoled myself with buying an octave mandolin.

This was kind of in the works for a couple of weeks. I wandered into the right music store on the way home from a job for absolutely no good reason whatsoever, and there she was. On consignment, so significantly cheaper than I could order one, though not really cheap. I waited until Abacchus could inspect it, as I only had a vague idea what damage is a worry, and what is negligible. Seemed to be fine.

It seems to be named the Gooseneck, or possibly the Silly Goose. It's definitely a Goose, though. It likes to eat picks. My usual pick vanished between setting down the Angry Chicken and picking up the Goose. The alternate pick I used slipped out of my fingers at one point, and instead of bouncing off the strings and out, like usual, it bounced straight into the sound hole. It took a remarkable amount of shaking, turning the goose, and other manoeuvres for it to reappear.

It's a bit hard to say how I'll do with it; since right now I have no strap, it likes to wander down my lap enough to make simply practicing songs tricky. it buzzes a little, but Abacchus seemed fairly sure that was more a temporary state than a permanent. I'll definitely need to do more stretching exercises for the fretting hand, though; the largest fret on a mandolin is around 3/4 inch, and the 7th fret is just over a centimetre (so I mixed measurements. Sue me).

Meanwhile, I picked up new strings for the Chicken, which is nice. Except. One of my D strings buzzed a little (I know why, and I didn't want to spend the money to fix it when it generally stops buzzing during full strumming).

I bought lighter strings this time, which seemed like a good idea. And still does, except for the fact that the new string buzzed MUCH worse, and not in an "It just needs to settle in" way. I either need to completely replace a part right after another large music related expense ... or play the Chicken with seven strings. Which is what I've done the last two days for practice. (If anyone has a reason why this is a bad idea, let me know. The sound seems sufficiently balanced for practice.)

But all in all, it's gotten my music geekery back, after a couple of months of not feeling like practicing much.
lenora_rose: (Labyrinth)
As a follow-on to a prior LJ post, this is the revised version of the aspirations thing.

My ambitions as of this moment:

- Within six months, I should be either working at least 30 hours/week steady, or have a damn good reason why not (such as pregnancy). At a place that I anticipate staying for a while.

- Within the next two years, I should acquire an agent, or else obtain a minimum of 50 rejections from agencies on various works, proving I tried. (Since I can try to sell Bird of Dusk and Serpent Prince, and possibly others as I go.)

- Within five years, I should have an offer on a novel, whether through an agency or otherwise, from a legitimate press. or enough rejections to prove I made a really damn good try.

- Within those same five years, I should have sold at least three more short stories (considering the number I don't write, this is a tougher goal than it sounds).

- Within three years, if physically possible*, I should have at least one child. While this and work goals might have trouble working together, I genuinely think this and writing goals should not.

- On each of the next few years, i will have completed at least two large-scale pottery projects, large scale being defined as either one object like Nessie, or a significant number of smaller objects. Failing this, five medium-sized projects. (I know what I would personally define as large or medium. The pendants for the event in January, for example, qualify as one for 2010.)

- Each year, I will endeavour to complete at least one drawing or illumination project from scratch, and to complete at least one of the partially finished ones in the queue.

- By December 2011, I will learn enough on the mandolin to actually succeed in playing the song Abacchus gave me as the next level up and which I've never yet managed, and to be able to play simple melodies as well as accompaniment. *

-I will have all of my current practice repertoire up to performable standard, and have added at least 10 new pieces to the practice or performance roster outside songs given me by Abacchus for teaching.

- I will get my driver's license, or at least have passed the driving portion of the test, before the snow falls.

- I will break 100 points in this upcoming winter shoot. (Archery-related.)

- To my already extant exercise, I will add at least one regular weekly swim, and at least 3 sessions of 20 minutes of heavier cardio (such as dancing), excluding that swim.

Should I be considering other goals? Throw me suggestions.

____________
* Weirdly, this will likely be easier when he moves out; I feel awkward practicing where my teacher can hear me when I know I haven't been practicing enough and I've lost technique. So I practice less. So I feel more awkward. So I practice less.... Honestly, I did more practice when we were travelling in BC and AB.
lenora_rose: (Wheeeeee!)
The event this weekend went well; being our 40th anniversary, a great many people made an effort to show up who haven't in a while, or have never been this far north (their Majesties for one - eeep.)

Rather than leave it in the middle of the ramble, I'll put our best news up front:

Oh, lord, we have a quadruple peer.

Duke Tarrach Alfson is now a Pelican, too. And it truly, genuinely, and totally could not have happened to a nicer guy.

(Also, Gabriel de Lion and Azalais got engaged!)

________________________

Friday was its usual self; getting in, setting up, catching up, greeting old friends, and War Court, our short Dark Ages court for the Huscarls and the people who got to events-other-than-our-own to do one of the martial activities through the war season. We were given little pewter towers.

Personal thing: I've been rather wishing that the Huscarls spend a moment in this court to turn around, remove their helms and introduce themselves to the populace. Because three of the central Huscarls spend most of the event in the kitchen, making us our wonderful feasts and bacony breakfasts - and thus end up talking mostly to their old familiar friends. Which has the notable disadvantage that we have members who've been around a few YEARS who've pretty much NEVER met them in anything but passing (even the kitchen clean-up area is different enough from the rest of the kitchen that . And in the dark, in full Norse regalia, people really can't tell who they are, so even the ones we know well and love dearly (HEs Robin and Hreodbeorht even newbies have likely met, and it wasn't that long ago that HE Thrym came back for a while, and his name is still passed on in many a story) are turned into strangers. It works for the impression of the Elite Guard, but not so well for the feeling of connection. These guys feed us and toil for us all weekend; it would be great for even newer members to be able to look at the Huscarls entering the War Court and making their solemn oaths and to recognize them as Part of Us.

And some of them are very worth getting to know. I remember that from when they came out to all the other things.

We also had a class on what's involved with wine-tasting and mead-tasting and appreciation. With, yes, chances to try out the samples. Much fun.

The night seemed to end a bit early, even with that. I'm surprised, with the number of younger members, to be reminded that the group as a whole is aging.

________________________

Saturday began leisurely with the aforementioned bacon (and French toast and other breakfasties), then set-up of the archery range, and long slow shooting. We ended up with so much general practice we only did 2 royal rounds, nothing more -- everyone knew the Water Duel was waiting for Sunday, when the heavy fighters weren't doing their thing. I did okay - 45 - on my better round. (The other one was an embarrassment which ended with a freakishly good speed round - which earned me literally 2/3 of my total points on its own.)

Then it was running around trying to figure out where I was supposed to be going to find their Excellencies to set up for court. I ended up at the chapel we chose to use for court, and almost at the royal cabins before I was pointed the right way. At least I was only needed to stand there and look pretty (Archer Captain), unlike Colin, who was Herald, and had needed to be off doing his set-up well before.

Sometime before the event, their Majesties had decided their court would be Sunday noon, and so, "aside from one piece of business", our evening court was all local work; making Hadassah, a much-loved member who moved back to Ontario, a Forester (A local award for people who don't live with us but are considered part of the group. Inducting a new member into our order of the Snowflake, for people who've done good service. etc.

The whole court was actually run by the Prince and Princess (Hrodir and Anne - incidentally, both also Foresters for our group), since the King and Queen arrived less than an hour before.

Which meant that when their Majesties arrived, they swept in just after Hadassah's award, and took over on the spot. Which involved shocking the hell out of Duke Tarrach Alfson. Mistress Ia said that she felt he needed to be required to attend ALL the peerage meetings. (I first thought they were accusing him of slacking off on attendance, and only about the time it was occurring to Tarrach what was going on did I start thinking, "No, wait. HG FINA has the Pelican. He doesn't...")

We also got back the Baronial court long enough to make Tarrach and Fina foresters, of which the only surprise to me was that they weren't already.

(A fun bit of trivia; Colin, at the start, forgot to officially open the court until Hrodir told him to. When their Majesties came in, their herald Moraig, not knowing, forgot to open court until their majesties chided her. And on Sunday. Colin forgot to open court...)

And Tarrach was put on a very odd vigil.

See, after feast, Tarrach has been one of the main people to stand up, and challenge the other lord in the vicinity to go to the kitchen and help with clean-up. (The Lords specifically because the tradition involves stripping off tunics and doublets; we Ladies go just as enthusiastically when it's our cabin's assigned job - and it was for me - we just don't strip. Er. usually. There was that one time I walked in the kitchen and was shocked dead still to discover Branwen had removed her Tudor gown and was working! In! Public! in her chemise and her corset alone. (GASP) The little detail that she was more decently covered than I'd seen her outside SCA many a time in the summer...)

Because of this, though, they had set up two chairs in the corner of the washing room. His Grace was to strip off his shirt... and sit there on vigil while we worked around him. (He did, in fact, insist on drying some dishes. He stopped when the Prince came in to berate him. Also, I managed to keep him from getting a fresh drying towel.) When we were done, his vigil moved to the fireside, then to watch the fire arrows. I hung around various places, including fireside, to chat with various people.

They'd made one change to the fire arrows this year, thanks to Lord Bearaich; enough to make me feel it worth my while at least to watch the first few. Bearaich had figured out how to make "whistlers" for the arrows out of ping pong balls. So not only were there the sparklers to make beautiful arcs of light in the midnight sky, there were also sounds. Coolness.

Then we burned a tower down (as is traditional), and chatted, and called it a night.

______________________

Sunday's focus was on court and on the Water duel, as far as I was concerned.

Court went very nicely. I was surprised to get an award - a Crwth, for continuously singing around the campfire when there's a chance. (I have a Balefire, but mostly for pottery). Many people got many awards. A couple from Fargo were surprised by a sneak Court Baroncy.

And Tarrach got his Pelican.

Little story about that...

After Brunch in the AM, Tarrach and Mistress Ia, his sponsor, went and and distributed slips of paper to the populace with what are called admonishments - things the person being elevated into the peerage should do and be. Things like, "A peer should be generous to others and not boastful of his own accomplishments."

One of the locals given such a slip remarked that they looked kind of like fortune cookie sayings.

Which meant that he HAD to mention to HG Tarrach that some of these read REALLY well when you append "in Bed"...

Tarrach almost lost it during his own elevation.

Anyhow; the water duel went well. I won my first round - against a rather decent archer, Ingvar, who pointed out that he always went yup against either me or Cristina in his first or second round, and always got taken out by one of us. (Hee). I lost in my second round to a beautiful one-shot by an overall less experienced archer. I'd told her that it didn't matter that she thought I was better. She just had to get one in the right place at the right time. Evidently, she listened.

I wandered off then and did some knife-throwing for fun, got back in time to see the finals, which was Tarrach's younger son, Gregor, against Magnus. Magnus won.

I did four challenge rounds after; lost one for shooting like crap, one in a somewhat closer battle, and won two. Including against Colin. (Technically, I one-shotted him, since I took the bottom out of the target right on the first shot. But I kept going, and put another one through later. And had one skin off a corner, and probably would have hit with the last one if his target hadn't dropped. To be fair, he did hit it too, just not well enough to drain and balance out.)

We ran in after that, late for supper, and when that was done and the fire was lit outside, we sang bardic songs (though it took a surprising effort to lure members of the group hanging out on the balcony to the fire; they were singing occasionally, but there was a younger member at the fire begging for music. We paused long enough for lady Cristina to fulfill a longtime dream:

In Lord Gabriel's very first event, his mother made him garb. Of horribly synthetic fabric with silver spray paint, in the shape of a giant hoodie. (He said when she asked him if he wanted a hood, he said yes, thinking she meant a period-style detached hood).

Cristina had, last Winter, acquired this dubious piece of garb. (Okay, some of the worst I've ever seen). And at the event, she built an effigy, and burned it on the fire with great ceremony as a warning to all other bad garb.

Then we sang to late, and slept until it was time to get up and pack.

And now I should sleep again.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Back from Folk Fest. i spent yesterday, as I tend to, in a kind of burned-out stupor; I cancelled going to the Baggiecon closing party ("The Dead Mouse" - like a Dead Dog but smaller) so i could spend time with my husband, then decided that was too much sociability. The danger of being a natural introvert after a people-heavy event.

The music was good. A number of groups were great live - the Peatbog Faeries, Oka, Delhi 2 Dublin, Arrested Development - but I wasn't sure the live experience would translate to worthwhile CDs.

The major new (to me) winners were probably Tao Seeger, high energy oft-political folk-rock with decided Hispanic influences, and not just when he's singing in Spanish, and Luluc, a subtle and delicate-sounding Australian Duet.

I have nods for the United Steel Workers of Montreal, who did some darn good country-folk-rock worth dancing to and with lyrics worth listening to, Ukrainia, who do a very similar thing to the Ukrainians in rocking up their traditional tunes.

Also Bette et wallet, a Francophone duo who write modern bilingual lyrics to old folk tunes, Pura Fé, who used her tweener to do looped vocal pyrotechnics, part First Nations and part blues (The track on the sampler CD is rather more straightforward Bluesy), and Delhi 2 Dublin, who came closest of the "might not be as good recorded as live" set to having me pick up a CD anyhow.

Debashish Bhattacharya and Etran Finatawa (Indian and Nigerian respectively) gave good workshop, and Jimmy Cliff did a fabulous high energy reggae mainstage, but didn't leave me with any urge to pick up more. Ditto The Cat Empire - I like them, but I can't muster the rabidness with which many have embraced them.

The CDs I got (that were directly related to the festival) were:

Tao Seeger - Rise and Bloom
Ukrainia - The Maiden (part of my birthda6y present from mom)
Luluc - Dear Hamlyn (Also signed!)

Plus a free festival sampler with one song each by 17 of the folk fest bands.

Tao Seeger's energy does translate well to CD. I'm on my second listen of the CD. It's not a perfect set - "Rueben's Train" is kinda Meh, and "I Don't Want Your Millions, Mister" is about as preachy as it sounds - but I like his rocked up version of grandad Pete's "Bring 'em Home"*, even if I'm not 100% in line with the lyrics, and "Rise and Bloom" (with a seriously hypnotic bass line) and "Well May the World Go" have already repeated a few extra times.

Luluc really needs a good quiet moment to properly attend to; it's lovely, and ghostly, and all kinds of things I like, but it is altogether very mellow.

I haven't actually put on Ukrainia yet due to repeating Tao Seeger, and to listening to the first of my not-festival related acquisitions (further to my birthday present from mom):

Ray Cooper - Tales of Love, War, and Death by Hanging (Cooper is also known as Chopper from Oysterband, the Cellist/bass player and mandolin player. His voice is decent but not great, but it's a damn good album if a listen and a half is enough to go by)
Benji Kirkpatrick - Boomerang (At this rate, I'm going to own music by every member of Bellowhead in spite of missing them at the festival last year. But I haven't listened to it yet, so it may be a mistake. or fabulous.)

Anyhow; I got to dance a reasonable amount, only one of my dreadful shifts was actually dreadful; the Friday 6-11:00 both ran to 11:45 before I was relieved, and ended up being a shift of all walking - directing traffic and answering questions in the overflow to the overflow parking - even though I was footsore when it started and requested a shift where I could sit some. Also, I walked right through a giant spiderweb (The two cars hadn't been parked there even two hours!!!) and ended up with the denizen on my vest. Ugh. But I got it onto the grass unharmed in spite of my urge to squish; partly because it wasn't nearly as big as its web suggested.)

[livejournal.com profile] sun_in_her_hair and her sister, C, were the only people from our regular group camping besides me, and I only met up with them after I'd arranged with Baggiecon to stay with them. I think this worked out for the utter best for me; I had friendly people to talk to - as well as the already oft-mentioned [livejournal.com profile] decadentdave, E., D., L, and W., in particular were great to see as I don't often enough - and a tonne of music to listen to, including by a few people mainly new to me, of whom A. was probably the best prize. [livejournal.com profile] sun_in_her_hair joined in sometimes, sometimes with her sister and a cousin I think I've occasionally met previously.

And Baggiecon gave me a nice camping mug with kamora in it (The Bailey's went away the night before, when I couldn't join in the 'ceremonial mugging' due to stupidly late shift).

I also got to catch up with the university prof who sells his pottery there, and the friend who makes jewellery (and for whom I occasionally work around Christmas)

I only got to see [livejournal.com profile] forodwaith once, though.

I got back an hour later than planned due to a bit of odd stupidity - in spite of being asked to leave the gate open, Bird's Hill Park staff locked up their entries for the night on Sunday - which meant the buses intended to pick up the volunteers and crew from the backstage party couldn't actually get in. By the time we were leaving, it really was an hour late, and the bus trip was slightly longer than i remembered it being, too. I was so tired walking home that I was literally having trouble seeing straight. But I still showered before I slept. Aaaah, showers.

___________________
* and yes, technically, that does mean I added ANOTHER one to the literal next generations of folk thing I've been noting lately.
lenora_rose: (Default)
Back from Folk Fest. i spent yesterday, as I tend to, in a kind of burned-out stupor; I cancelled going to the Baggiecon closing party ("The Dead Mouse" - like a Dead Dog but smaller) so i could spend time with my husband, then decided that was too much sociability. The danger of being a natural introvert after a people-heavy event.

The music was good. A number of groups were great live - the Peatbog Faeries, Oka, Delhi 2 Dublin, Arrested Development - but I wasn't sure the live experience would translate to worthwhile CDs.

The major new (to me) winners were probably Tao Seeger, high energy oft-political folk-rock with decided Hispanic influences, and not just when he's singing in Spanish, and Luluc, a subtle and delicate-sounding Australian Duet.

I have nods for the United Steel Workers of Montreal, who did some darn good country-folk-rock worth dancing to and with lyrics worth listening to, Ukrainia, who do a very similar thing to the Ukrainians in rocking up their traditional tunes.

Also Bette et wallet, a Francophone duo who write modern bilingual lyrics to old folk tunes, Pura Fé, who used her tweener to do looped vocal pyrotechnics, part First Nations and part blues (The track on the sampler CD is rather more straightforward Bluesy), and Delhi 2 Dublin, who came closest of the "might not be as good recorded as live" set to having me pick up a CD anyhow.

Debashish Bhattacharya and Etran Finatawa (Indian and Nigerian respectively) gave good workshop, and Jimmy Cliff did a fabulous high energy reggae mainstage, but didn't leave me with any urge to pick up more. Ditto The Cat Empire - I like them, but I can't muster the rabidness with which many have embraced them.

The CDs I got (that were directly related to the festival) were:

Tao Seeger - Rise and Bloom
Ukrainia - The Maiden (part of my birthda6y present from mom)
Luluc - Dear Hamlyn (Also signed!)

Plus a free festival sampler with one song each by 17 of the folk fest bands.

Tao Seeger's energy does translate well to CD. I'm on my second listen of the CD. It's not a perfect set - "Rueben's Train" is kinda Meh, and "I Don't Want Your Millions, Mister" is about as preachy as it sounds - but I like his rocked up version of grandad Pete's "Bring 'em Home"*, even if I'm not 100% in line with the lyrics, and "Rise and Bloom" (with a seriously hypnotic bass line) and "Well May the World Go" have already repeated a few extra times.

Luluc really needs a good quiet moment to properly attend to; it's lovely, and ghostly, and all kinds of things I like, but it is altogether very mellow.

I haven't actually put on Ukrainia yet due to repeating Tao Seeger, and to listening to the first of my not-festival related acquisitions (further to my birthday present from mom):

Ray Cooper - Tales of Love, War, and Death by Hanging (Cooper is also known as Chopper from Oysterband, the Cellist/bass player and mandolin player. His voice is decent but not great, but it's a damn good album if a listen and a half is enough to go by)
Benji Kirkpatrick - Boomerang (At this rate, I'm going to own music by every member of Bellowhead in spite of missing them at the festival last year. But I haven't listened to it yet, so it may be a mistake. or fabulous.)

Anyhow; I got to dance a reasonable amount, only one of my dreadful shifts was actually dreadful; the Friday 6-11:00 both ran to 11:45 before I was relieved, and ended up being a shift of all walking - directing traffic and answering questions in the overflow to the overflow parking - even though I was footsore when it started and requested a shift where I could sit some. Also, I walked right through a giant spiderweb (The two cars hadn't been parked there even two hours!!!) and ended up with the denizen on my vest. Ugh. But I got it onto the grass unharmed in spite of my urge to squish; partly because it wasn't nearly as big as its web suggested.)

[livejournal.com profile] sun_in_her_hair and her sister, C, were the only people from our regular group camping besides me, and I only met up with them after I'd arranged with Baggiecon to stay with them. I think this worked out for the utter best for me; I had friendly people to talk to - as well as the already oft-mentioned [livejournal.com profile] decadentdave, E., D., L, and W., in particular were great to see as I don't often enough - and a tonne of music to listen to, including by a few people mainly new to me, of whom A. was probably the best prize. [livejournal.com profile] sun_in_her_hair joined in sometimes, sometimes with her sister and a cousin I think I've occasionally met previously.

And Baggiecon gave me a nice camping mug with kamora in it (The Bailey's went away the night before, when I couldn't join in the 'ceremonial mugging' due to stupidly late shift).

I also got to catch up with the university prof who sells his pottery there, and the friend who makes jewellery (and for whom I occasionally work around Christmas)

I only got to see [livejournal.com profile] forodwaith once, though.

I got back an hour later than planned due to a bit of odd stupidity - in spite of being asked to leave the gate open, Bird's Hill Park staff locked up their entries for the night on Sunday - which meant the buses intended to pick up the volunteers and crew from the backstage party couldn't actually get in. By the time we were leaving, it really was an hour late, and the bus trip was slightly longer than i remembered it being, too. I was so tired walking home that I was literally having trouble seeing straight. But I still showered before I slept. Aaaah, showers.

___________________
* and yes, technically, that does mean I added ANOTHER one to the literal next generations of folk thing I've been noting lately.
lenora_rose: (Wheee!)
Gone to Folk Fest rest of this week. Have fun! I will.

(First night mainstage summary: Wailin' Jennys lovely, Sam? Baker good for what he does but ot my thing, Emmylou Harris as utterly sublime and gorgeous as to be expected (Although I almost wish she hadn't played "Bang the Drum Slowly", I didn't need to cry that much.) Pura Fe interesting and talented vocal pyroctechnics with looping machine, Jimmy Cliff mostly reggae,a nd wholly danceable and high energy and crowd-pleasing.)
lenora_rose: (Wheee!)
Gone to Folk Fest rest of this week. Have fun! I will.

(First night mainstage summary: Wailin' Jennys lovely, Sam? Baker good for what he does but ot my thing, Emmylou Harris as utterly sublime and gorgeous as to be expected (Although I almost wish she hadn't played "Bang the Drum Slowly", I didn't need to cry that much.) Pura Fe interesting and talented vocal pyroctechnics with looping machine, Jimmy Cliff mostly reggae,a nd wholly danceable and high energy and crowd-pleasing.)
lenora_rose: (Wheee!)
Jeff and I went music shopping yesterday, and I ended up with three new CDs (If I had the capacity to play vinyl, I would have picked up two of Maddy Prior's earliest albums, ones that never made it fully onto CD.)

Seth Lakeman's Freedom Fields is excellent British folk in the Boden/Moray/Carthy - Eliza not Martin - vein: strong fiddling, partly traditional subject matter, but interpreted in ways wholly unlike the expected, interspersed with plenty of original weirdness. And with some definite streaks of rock in spite of the fact thatt he guitars are far from the focus of most of the instrumentation. I'm in love.

Nathan Rogers' the Gauntlet is a bit mixed, in both quality and style, but more good than bad, and nothing to regret. His songwriting has traces of James Keelaghan and that kind of Canadian style, and some departs entirely. His voice is distrubingly Stan-like at moments, but with a different kind of passion. Stan was young as musicians go (Dear Ghu. When he was my age, he'd been *dead* half a year.), but didn't sound young; he had a more relaxed delivery, confident his emotion would get through. Nathan still drives it harder at times.

Teddy Thompson's Separate Ways I'd already heard; he's got his dad's tendency towards gloom and doom, but a rather different way of expressing it. And his voice is rather mroe like Linda's than Richard's, which is a plus; Richard Thompson didn't start sounding actually good as a singer - as opposed to tolerable enough to do his own material - until this last decade.

What amuses me is that I seem to be heavily listening to LITERAL next-generation folk, as opposed to the musical generations (Of which I think British folk is on its fourth or fifth, but musicians of every 'generation' seem to intermingle and work together too much to draw easy lines.M Of which, more below.)

Nathan Rogers, son of Stan; Teddy Thompson as above; Eliza Carthy, daughter of Martin (And Norma Waterson); Rose Kemp (Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp). Jim Moray is the son of folkies - though a morris dancer rather than a rrecording artist, IIRC - but he's the one who said, (paraphrase) "It's like the Mafia, if you're born to it, you can't leave." *

The thing is, not only are they virtually all damn powerful musicians, they're none of them repeating their parents, more than in the occasional acknowledging nod, or the natural flow of inspiration that caused them to decide to do folk music in the first place, and in which Eliza Carthy can be just as likely to ahve been inspired by any of the other musicians *around* Martin and Norma as by they themselves.

Of course, Moray also said, "In the current quest for youth and innovation it's important that we don't lose the knowledge and experience of the people that have been there doing it for so long. One of the strongest things about folk music has always been its inter-generational aspect."

I think he's right; there's a reason why I also hankered after Maddy Prior in the middle. Fans of Maddy, Richard Thompson, Sandy Denny, or the Oysterband wouldn't feel out of place liking the new British folk, even with the sampling, horn sections, and other weirdness, and the reverse is true, even with the usually more stripped sound or minor-key harmonies. They aren't the same, but then, neither is Maddy like Richard like the Oysters.

I think he mgiht be slightly off if he's implying this is true only of folk or folk-like traditions. I know some rock and especially pop bands seem to end up reinventing the wheel, as if they don't notice things done by prior generations (There were those recently who publicly argued they were inventing a new more complex rock sound who were in fact recognized by musicophiles as doing things much like early Genesis and other prog.), but others will honestly cite their influences and inspirations. And feed off one another.

I'm not sure if there's a point to this rambling; partly I'm just "Squeee! new music, and new musicians!" and partly "But the old stuff rocks too." I guess it comes down to, I'm glad to see the field really is as active and vivid and shiny and new as it gets. or maybe, really, being happy about a new generation recreating and reworking folk music has something to do with ALSO discovering that the newest music by Fairport Convention has struck me as enormously tepid and lacking in ALL the things that make me so fond of British Folk-rock. (Not true of Thompson or Prior, but...)

(Of course, right in the middle of my new listening, along with the above three and Moray's In Modern History, is the Dandelion Wine CD, one of the few of my recent acquisitions by longtime experienced hands. Making some of the point for me; if I were ever to lose my brain and record, I'd have to cite decadent dave as encouragement, if only for not throwing me out of folk circles. It's also darn good, having only one weakness. Tom Jeffers' voice isn't terribly good - Decadent Dave's is FABULOUS - and Tom sometimes tries to do more with it than it will comfortably manage. He's fine on harmonies and some tracks - Tom's Cross sounds pretty good, and really who else could sing that one? - but Long Night 2.0 and Little Country suffer a bit.)


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* I'm not actually sure if Seth Lakeman or Jon Boden come from folk families, too. I think I'd be a mite weirded out if they ALL were...

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