I love lists. Make them all the time. I will even keep on file other people’s lists if there’s something about them that resonates. One of my favorites is a handwritten list of book titles Ernest Hemingway wrote for Arnold Samuelson, who once hitchhiked from Minnesota to Key West, to ask the writer how he too might become a writer. Hemingway gave him a list of sixteen classic books to read, including novels by Leo Tolstoy and E.E. Cummings.
I still haven’t read War and Peace or The Enormous Room, Mr. Hemingway, but I intend to.
The list below is special, not the least because it signifies a debut, the first voice other than my own to appear here on the Mischief Time Blog. Welcome, raconteur, bon vivant and all around good sport, Dai Bando!
Number two, the piece is in the tradition of those end-of-the-year lists that music fans like myself used to devour in such publications as the New York Times, Village Voice, Newsweek and Rolling Stone.
Lastly, as an artifact, it references an experience which, sadly, is not available to us in the current setting of late 2020 and the COVID-19 Pandemic: listening to live music in concert halls, nightclubs, arts centers, bars, cafes and festivals. May all of it return by the end of 2021.
– Wayne Cresser | Between You and Me
Dai Bando’s TOP 10 LIVE MUSIC EVENTS of 2015
1.Pokey LaFarge / The Sinclair, Cambridge, MA
– A Pokey LaFarge show is like watching Cab Calloway and Jimmie Rogers together onstage, only they’re both Pokey. Add a little Ernest Tubb, and maybe a little Ernest T. Bass, as well. Early in his set of western swing, Storyville jazz, and country blues, Pokey jumped off the stage at The Sinclair and offered me and my pal a communal swig from his bottle of whiskey. Later, he silenced an unfortunate group of local yokels who were shouting “USA, USA!” using only a smirk and a raised eyebrow from under the brim of his fedora. Song of the night? “Cairo, Illinois,” which is the best country song I’ve heard in some time.
“The merry time of Christmas is drawing on a-pace…”, and so I’m delighted to share with you this Birmingham-related recording of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” [Roud 394], taken from my forthcoming album, “Up The Cut”. You can listen to (and download) the track via my Bandcamp page now, and via various streaming platforms from December 1st.
Pre-save “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” on Spotify by clicking here. You will be notified via the Spotify app when it becomes available.
I found this broadside version of the well-known carol on the Broadside Ballads website. Printed by D. Wrighton at 86 Snow Hill, Birmingham, sometime between 1812-30, it contains lyrics I don’t recognise from my school days. Throwing down Satan wasn’t a major part of Yuletide festivities in 1980s Solihull, as far as I recall.
Sure, it’s a bit cheesy to do a Christmas song, but I feel it’s something of a Midlands tradition. If Slade can do it, then I’ll have a bash, too. This one’s for Noddy. Oi, oi!
Huge thanks to Andi Lee of Kosi Studios, who has helped me to mix and master this track, and the remainder of the tracks on “Up The Cut”. It’s hard to listen to your own music even once, let alone a hundred times over, so I’m very grateful to Andi for his help (and to Tom Moore for his help in demoing the track to begin with). Thanks also to Jon Nice for the lovely linocut cover.
Here’s to having as peaceful and restful a Christmas as 2020 will allow. Good tidings of the season to each and every one of you.
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Lyrics
God rest ye merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our saviour
Was born on Christmas Day
To save our souls from Satan’s thrall
Which long have gone astray
This brings tidings of comfort and joy
Older adults are taking advantage of their extra time during coronavirus restrictions to learn to play a musical instrument through online lessons.
The piano Linda Howell had purchased for her now-grown children sat in the corner of her living room for decades before she wondered if she should take lessons.
Howell, 72, of Fairport, New York, was having trouble adjusting to retirement after a 50-year career in nursing, and figured practicing would be good for her brain.
When the pandemic hit, she had plenty of time for practice.
Howell isn’t alone. Older Americans are picking up instruments they always yearned to play, or returning to those they may have tooted or screeched through as young children. Staying close to home and a limit on socializing have provided time and space for this new pursuit. Continue reading →