Thursday, September 13, 2007

Kevin Carpenter was my first friend when I got to high school in 1972. We've kept our lives congruent for about half our subsequent lives, but not so much recently. We talked on the phone last week and made a plan to go back to the Broom Bush for pancakes, like we used to during the Clinton administration.

He told me he'd seen me playing ukulele and singing on YouTube. You could have knocked me over. I racked my brain but finally it occurred to me what it was - a strange low budget video show I performed on a couple years ago in a makeshift studio on Old Bayshore Highway in San Francisco. Everything will eventually wind up on the 'net, so why fight it?

The hostess finally gets around to introducing my performance after about five and a half minutes of willfully obtuse behavior. I had no idea the feral girl was going to crawl across me while I played.

Malaka Mo Kalu - Steven Strauss And His Ukulele
I definitely had the David Seville haircut that week.

A friend wrote to tell me that in this picture I look like the cat from Shellac Shanty.

I thought it would be a good idea to share an exceptional recording, a rare example of a uke-strumming singer whose appeal is almost entirely musical. He's not pouring on the charm in the manner of the master entertainer, but he's really delivering an adroit and nuanced performance. He makes it sound mighty easy.

No Wonder She's A Blushing Bride - Art Fowler And His Ukulele

"Aaow, sompn just pote me in the nayeck!"

(from 11/30/05)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I came home from playing bass with Failure To Disperse (old timey music) at the Solano Stroll Sunday at about six. We made pretty good tip money. It was my forty-ninth birthday. I went out on our tiny porch balcony to see my wife Cynthia, who gave me our little yearling cat, Geoffrey, to hold. A friend in a neighboring apartment took a picture. It was a good day.

"Amy, the calamari was superb." - Vern Agoyan