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26 June 2012

To do lists

I’m really into “To Do” lists. Apparently, so was Johnny Cash. Here’s an undated one he made which was put on auction a few years ago:

Obviously had mixed feelings about such lists. I have mixed feelings about them, too. I can only hope I have the strength to revise my To Do list practices one day along more Cashian lines.

Anyway, here’s the story of how the internet came upon this most excellent document.

Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis

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4 June 2012

Sometimes simple is the most beautiful

Yeah, so, sorry, this is one of those Youtube videos with the random picture that I don’t quite connect with the song in any deep way, even though, yes, it’s a song about horsies (or, rather, ponies). Anyway, this song is by the Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers aka the Rolling Creekdippers aka just plain Creekdippers. The project was started by Mark Olson after he left the Jayhawks, and was done in close partnership with his then wife Victoria Williams, and some guy named Mike Russell about whom I know nothing. What I loved so much about it was the informality — you could hear the lack of trying in this music, the casualness as causality to closeness. The way things sometimes sound better when they just happen instead of being part of some plot.

As these things go, Mark and Victoria divorced in 2005 and several beautiful records of theirs, records that are great treasures to me, now seem to be out-of-print and unavailable in any reliable fashion in formats both physical and digital. (Ok, well it looks like you can get one of their compact discs either used for about $4.00 or new(ish) for about $40. I suggest their worth is closer to the latter figure than the former.)

Apparently their initial albums, self-released in the late 90s, an era when artists just didn’t do that kind of thing, seem to have, well, what’s the standard term, oh yeah, I got it: languished. (There are some later records Olson did using variations on the Creekdipper name as his backing band — as in Mark Olson And The Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers — and really I’ve only dipped into those, but even on a casual listen they don’t have the same lovely sense of ease.)

So: it’s a fucking shame.

But don’t sweat it, sometimes even miracles happen, and things and people I once thought disappeared, reappear, like magic.

Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis

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29 May 2012

Discovering The Blue Nile

I’m pretty mad at the world for not telling me about this earlier. It’s like Talk Talk. But with tunes. (Yes, even better than when Talk Talk wrote tunes.)

Sure it’s not that good in the live setting, but imagine for a second if this was the version of blue-eyed soul that infected the internet how much healthier & happier & more connected the world would be.

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24 May 2012

Bono in living rooms

A few weeks ago, I saw this. But with my actual eyes. So did some other people. It’s the funny thing of the post-scarcity media environment we live in. It’s unclear if there’s a real difference between Bono at the Living Room, and Bono in your living room. Viz.

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21 May 2012

About a year ago I started obsessing on Jai Paul

And I’m not finished yet. About a month ago he posted a new song called “Jasmine.” It’s only the second song he’s ever released (sorta) commercially. (The version available for purchase on iTunes, et. al. is referred to as a “demo.”) Remain aware of him. It’s important:

Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis

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