Monthly Archives: October 2009

Slightly on the Mash schottishe (2.0)

I have done a new recording of the 1885 schottishe “Slightly On The Mash”. You are welcome to reuse my recording in derivative works or upload it to other people. It is in the key of D. The time signature is 4/4. The length is 1:16.

<br /> <a href=""><br /> <img src="" alt="Lucas Gonze playing Slightly On The Mash schottische" /><br /> </a><br />

This is the second recording I’ve done of this tune and the fourth post related to it. Other posts in the series: Slightly on the Mash; E. Pique revealed; E. Pique motherlode

Horace Weston’s Celebrated Polka (2.0)

<a href="">[[[Link to video on YouTube]]]</a>

Here’s a new recording of Horace Weston‘s Celebrated Polka (sheet ♫), which I wanted to try a different approach to. The first one I did was classical style with rubato laid on thick. This new one is ragtime flavored.

It makes sense that that you could do either way, considering that Weston was part about European art music and part about American vernacular styles like minstrelsy. In his time people thought that the euro influence was automatically better, in our time it’s maybe the other way around (at least if you’re more into rock/blues/jazz/disco than classical) but this one guy managed to integrate them. And if this composition sounds more snooty highbrow euro than rube yank, keep in mind that it was written for banjo not guitar.

The main theme has a swirly mood like a lady getting dressed up to go out.

The second theme has colorful and daring harmony for that time and place.

The third theme is a jig, as in an irish jig.

And the last bit of the third theme would sound perfectly at home in a 1920s jazz or blues tune:

(Code for indexing into sections of the video courtesy

More posts about Horace Weston:

what’s original about originals?

If everybody does it, what’s original about writing original songs?

The reason our musical culture has grown such an overwhelming emphasis on original songs is that owning compositions is lucrative.

Revenues from compositions can be more enduring than from sound recordings, because performances go in and out of style, but new performances can bring an old song back to life.

And this way of evaluating the virtues of a piece of music complements the corporate basis of the business. Corporations need to be able to think of their work as investments. Compositions are assets that can be bought and sold, amassed, licensed, published, attributed. As a result songwriters can get corporate backing, which in turn enables them to rise at the expense of non-songwriters.

It’s an economic thing, not an art thing.

ye shall know each other by the trail of bands

gurdonark on peaktrough in Hollywood:

When I think of music in Los Angeles, I always think of the wrong things. I think of kids who came all the way west to pay to play Cococut T’zers and homogenizing their style into a kind of Los Angeles bar band sound that always sounds a bit dated. On the other hand, I think of folks writing music for movies, and feeling insulted, somehow, because the people for whom they write want the music to be a universal prop for a wide audience film.

I know I should think instead of mariachi guys who light up the sky every Thursday at La Fonda, or guys out in Shadow Hills who make music for the creative commons on their home computers, but I always think about notes in Guitar Center or the weekly alternative that say “must appreciate Alice in Chains”.

I think about the relationship between these two classes of players pretty often. I don’t know why.

The dreamer players are a tsunami. The ambitious — often bitter — talented are a steady trickle. I am myself among the unambitious but passionate mediocrities, who know each other by the wake of modest bands.

peaktrough in Hollywood

A field trip to the Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood is both a peak and a nadir in any musician’s routine. Here are some photos to thrill and depress you.

Flier seeking members to form The Biggest Band In The World

Flier for a band called “Cockeyed Optimist”

Flier for a band called 'Cockeyed Optimist'

Bronze reliefs of Dimebag Darrel and Miles Davis on the wall of fame, together at last.

Dimebag Darrel and Miles Davis, together at last.

Flier for a band called “Race Card”. Bad band names are profoundly depressing.

Flier for a band called 'Race Card'

The Kiss

The biggest film of the year in 1896 was 47 seconds long.

The Kiss was an Edison Vitascope film featuring a scene from a New York stage comedy entitled The Widow Jones. The actors were May Irwin and John Rice; May Irwin made a previous (uncredited) appearance here on as the singer to popularize Good-Bye, Booze! when it first appeared in 1901. Similar to Paris Hilton’s sex tape, the kiss in The Widow Jones was the titillating scandal that made May Irwin’s career.