Three Musical Prompts for Your Monday
Posted on February 6, 2012 Posted by John Scalzi 7 Comments
1. Patrick Nielsen Hayden is not only a Hugo-winning editor over at Tor, and my editor, but he’s also a damn fine guitarist, and plays in a rootsy rock band known as Whisperado. That assemblage of musical ne’er-do-wells have just released their first full-length album, I’m Not the Road. If you wished, you could purchase it, in physical form at CD Baby, or in non-corporeal form either at CD Baby or iTunes.
Here, have a listen to their song, “Over You”:
If you’d like to hear more, PNH has put up more samples on his own site.
2. Brian Francis Slattery is not only a writer of complex and interesting science fiction, but is also a damn fine musician, which I know first hand because he and a group of his friend provided musical accompaniment for me, Lev Grossman, Cat Valente and Scott Westerfeld at our group reading at the New York Public Library last year; he and his friends did me in 7/8 time, or as I like to call it, “Sting’s favorite time signature.” Slattery and the band (now known as the “Slick Six Five”) also have a new release out, Pictures From a Liberation, with lyrics derived from Slattery’s novel Liberation: Being the Adventures of the Slick Six After the Collapse of the United States of America. The album’s up for a listen and download over at Bandcamp, and it’ll be one of the more adventurous musical listens you’ll have today.
3. Joe Rybicki is not only one of my former editors, but also a damn fine guitarist (sensing a theme here, are you) who puts out music under the nom de rawk of Johnny High Ground. But before that, he was in a punk band called “Whatever…”, and you may imagine I get a kick out of that. Fans of that band (and those who just enjoy old school punkishness) will be glad to know Whatever…’s discography is now available on Bandcamp. It’s just like moshing, in digital form.
There, you’re all music’d up and ready to face your Monday. Go get ’em, tiger.
Jonathan Vos Post is not only a science fiction novelist who has been in the Nebula Awards Anthology, and wrote 12 novel manuscripts in the past two years, but was also a barely adequate musician.
Andres Segovia [1893-1987], from Spain, was the most famous guitarist of all time. He brought the classical guitar from its folk- and dance-related image to the symphonies and concert halls of the most established musical prominence. He developed an approach to plucking the guitar strings with the fingernails of the right hand, which became the dominant school of guitar, displacing the gentler and more lyrical Neapolitan school which used the fingertips. I’ve spent some time with the elderly son the woman who led the Neapolitan school, and boy, did he hate Segovia
Christopher Parkening is arguably the greatest American performer of Classical Guitar.
After a year of intensive Classical Guitar at Brookdale Community College, under Christopher Parkening’s master student Barry Eisner, where I was Publishing Editor of the 24-page underground Music newspaper Sound Options (25,000 readers), I was able to play a few baroque pieces and original compositions at community college concerts, and then retired to the occasional original song at Woodstock, various parties and resorts, and while hitchiking across America, singing for my supper. And wrote one song that was performed on MTV.
My brother Andy, on the other hand, was a damned fine musician, wrote lyrics and played bass for The Planets, who had opened for KISS and The New York Dolls.
What I thumnbnail for new friends (of 4,250) on Facebook is: “I am a scientist and author, married to a scientist and author. I have degrees in Mathematics, English Literature, and Computer Science. I worked many years in the Space Program, was a Professor of Astronomy, Professor of Mathematics, then taught middle school and high school. I post original science fiction, fantasy or poetry on my Facebook Wall every day. Great to be connected!”
A couple of weeks ago I spent a week at the Research Station on Heron Island Nature Preserve, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia.
I presented for 50-minutes on “Complex Systems Theory and Science Fiction” to a transdisciplinary group of faculty and students at the 2nd week of a 2-week workshop on Complex Systems Theory, and chaired the Wednesday morning sessions. I was offered, and accepted, a visiting professorship, part time, the details to be disclosed upon higher-ups signing the agreement, and a funding agreement with a 3rd party.
The band at the resort bar at Heron Island Nature Preserve played 2 hours straight of damned fined covers of Pink Floyd.
They were damned fine musicians.
The link for Liberation doesn’t work.
Money-making scheme for Whisperado: trademark that cover image and charge licensing fees to optometrists. *blink* *blink*
7/8? That’s nothin’. I once saw a stoned crowd in the 70s try to dance to a Yes song that’s in 11/8. It works if you don’t mind that half of the time you’re going to the right on the downbeat and half the time to the left.
Oops, apologies for the misfire on the first comment. Clearly the caffeine hasn’t quite kicked in yet.
I love the idea of a stoned Western crowd dancing to 11/8. Though the same thing of alternating feet that you’re talking about is true of 7/8–or any odd time signature. Unless, of course, you are Eastern European, in which case you *really* know how to dance to odd time signatures. I will never forget the first time I watched hundreds of people really boogie down in 11/8. That part of the world is centuries ahead of us on that score.