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I was just singing along to myself and I hit upon the deeply weird little ballad "The Lady of Carlisle"--a high-tone lady chooses between suitors by asking them to retrieve her fan from a lion's den, and one of them accepts--and I started thinking about the song in a new and different way. Literary types like to have the brave fellow retrieve the item (which might be a glove or a handkerchief rather than a fan) and give it to the lady along with a refusal to marry her on the grounds that a woman who would do that is not one you'd want to spend your life with. Folk tradition usually has her throw herself in his arms saying "Here's the prize that you have won," the end, implied happy ever after.

But I was thinking about this other detail in the traditional versions. Before the toss, she "lies speechless on the ground" for half an hour while the fellows stand around gaping. I started wondering about this. The introductory verses explain that she's pretty reluctant to marry in the first place. What if the whole thing is either an expression of that reluctance, or possibly an attempt to get both her suitors to give up in disgust and leave her free to continue in spinsterhood? She's be able to say, "Well, I tried, but nobody would meet me halfway..."

And then she doesn't have to subject herself to the whim of the bold sea captain or the brave lieutenant!
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So you probably know my predilection for listening to Youtube's automatic playlists starting with a song I know. They tend to drift and it often dismays me to find out where we end up. But usually that's just an esthetic problem. Today I got a shocker.

I started with Gid Tanner and the Skillet Licker's "Fly Around My Pretty Little Miss" which is a nice and kind of innocuous old dance tune. I have to be careful with Gid Tanner because while he does sing a verse about hanging Jeff Davis from a sour apple tree (in "Pass Around the Bottle") and who can blame him, I've never been sure whether that was a true hatred of the Confederacy and the traitors who ran it or whether that was supposed to be a characterization of someone else's sentiments, and there's more than one verse in various other songs that embody crude racism. So when something comes up with that it in, I skip: man's been dead for years, there's no dealing with him now. "Fly Around M Pretty Little Miss" and "Give the Fiddler a Dram" do not have that, by the way.

Youtube likes to mostly play the same things for me, so there's a pile of Doc Watson and Dock Boggs and a nice little surprise with The Tarriers who I didn't remember at all (first interracial group? folk group? on tv) and I'm relentlessly skipping all the goddamned lady-murdering ballads.

Okay now comes the shocker. I know I shouldn't drive hits there so don't go and listen to this unless you're committed to flagging it, okay? Because this piece of inflammatory garbage has been floating around for at least four and a half years, has been upvoted over two thousand times,and you don't even want to know about the comments. Let me tell you a bit about it first. It's called "Coonshooting boogie." Already you're uncomfortable, right? The artist is listed as ARYAN. Now you know for sure, don't you. I needed more than that before flagging it so I listened to bits of it. If it was subtle, I'd have to explain it, right? Not subtle. First random line I listened to was enough: "shoot em up good, shoot em up bad, hand a noose over that coon's head."

I have flagged it and Youtube's flagging menu is dumb. You have to choose violent or racist.

Do us all a favor if you're up to it-- go flag it. It's right here. It's got more than two thousand upvotes. More than two thousand times some actual human being has come across this piece of shit and said, yow, this is awesome.


Jun. 6th, 2014 06:31 pm
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Lionel Ritchie may be many good things, but to call his music Motown is to render the label useless.
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I swallowed Thornlost in five hours after I picked it up but the next book isn't even published. Now I understand the plight of the person who normally reads series books.

Like I said for Elsewhens and Touchstone, I can't describe these books so they sound like good books. But I love them. The key questions of the books are all about the complex relationships among people who are not lovers (at least not so far). The personal, the political, the magical, class relationships, gender issues, interracial relationships in a society that believes itself to be post-racial, even environmental issues, are echoed and mediated by the frightenign possibilities of these relationships. There's a bunch of stuff about the manipulations of art and audience, too.

Notice I've been talking about the abstractions here. Would you be more likely to read it if I said it was a fantasy novel which employs Dungeons and Dragons -like "races" with inherent gifts? I was really uncomfortable with it when I first saw those things deployed, but as I've seen how Melanie Rawn tears that stuff apart and stomps on it while allowing the characters to continue to believe in different versions of it in different ways, I've started to admire her for it. Also, it's one of those fantasy worlds where people wear a lot of ribbons and velvet when they can afford it, but she's much more aware of the economic and technical-industrial questions around clothing and class than most high fantasy authors seem to be.

I may end up actually reading things from her other worlds, even though they seem to have even more high-fantasy trappings and I often get itchy when I pick up books with dragons and princes and things in them. We'll see.

I'm still slowly working my way through The Coasts of Bohemia and I'm really really glad I stuck with it. He's dealing with the Enlightenment and the early Czech nationalist movements in nuanced, fact-dense and eye-opening ways. I'm fascinated with the way he traces how particular written works travel through time and their meaning changes while their words remain faithfully the same. Derek Sayer is just a much more impressive historian than I thought he was from the introductory chapters. He's treating the various actors in history, for example the Bohemian Estates, as the complex entities they were. Yes, for example the Bohemian Estates. These are the indigenous aristocracy. They were in various times the spearhead of the push for local autonomy. Sometimes they were allied with the students and workers and sometimes not. Sometimes they were preponderantly Slavic-speaking, but for example in the late eighteenth century when the modern nationalist movement was born, they had been speaking and reading German for close to two hundred years. And their complaints about the centralizing tendencies of the Austrian government included that the new laws freed up peasants from having to give two-thirds of their labor and earnings to their lords (they still had to give them some, of course, and now they also had to give more than they used to directly to the central government, but the net effect was to leave a lot more in the hands of the peasants): and that the new laws also made lords and peasants alike answerable to the courts of law and gave the peasants the freedom to sue their masters. There was likewise generally more freedom of movement for all the working classes than before, and universal education was instituted for all classes (and yes, for girls, too). There was an immense tug-of-war over languages. Sometimes the centralizers instituted actually more diversity of language in education and official business, in order to draw everybody in better, and other times Czech (and other languages) was vigorously suppressed so that everybody would be doing business in the same language. Sound familiar? So anyway, this is fascinating stuff, and it makes me want to go looking for some of the folklore and literature that was collected, written, and published in these years. The direction that Czech intelligentsia appears to be going is from an Enlightenment "Land Patriotism" including a lot of dictionaries and museums and challenging of historical texts to a Romantic Nationalism, the kind that leads to exactly what you think it will lead to, and did, even beyond the participation of the Nazis. I'm also seeing why the Nazis thought they could fold the Czechs into their orbit without much resistance, and also why the Soviets were surprised the Czechs didn't want to do exactly as they were told. Not so much that they thought the Czechs were docile in each case, but because they thought the Czechs were one with the Program.

I'm about to read The Song of Achilles because a friend of mine has been begging me to so we can talk about it. She's a huge Iliad fan to start with. I also picked up a random Polish-Lithuanian novel that might either be really interesting or else might be repellent. We'll see.

On another front, speaking of Czechs and so on, Frank sent me this video of the most popular Moravian popular tune of like thirty-forty years ago, with English subtitles. Natually since then I've been tracking down all the videos ever made of Ivan Mladek and the Banjo Band, and it is illuminating.


Apr. 17th, 2014 01:08 pm
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Words from here, though I do know them by heart. This has a lovely tune, though I like Ewan MacColl's rendition which I can't find for listening to online better than Steeleye Span's. I mean, theirs is lovely and haunting, but his is simple and heartfelt.

Just think about it, though: how harsh a shepherd's life is, that a woman would prefer to take a grueling, 24/7 job in service rather than live with one.

Sheep-Crook and Black Dog (trad)

Here's my sheep-crook and my black dog, I give it to you.
Here's my bag and my budget, I bid it adieu.
Here's my sheep-crook and my black dog, I leave them behind.
Fine laurel, fine floral, you've proved all unkind.

All to my dear Dinah these words I did say,
“Tomorrow we'll be married love, tomorrow is the days.”
“'Tis too soon dear Willy my age is too young,
One day to our wedding is one day too soon.”

“I'll go into service if the day ain't too late,
Oh, to wait on a fine lady it is my intent,
And when into service a year or two bound,
It's then we'll get married and both settle down.”

A little time after a letter was wrote,
For to see if my dear Dinah had changed her mind.
But she wrote that she'd lived such a contrary life,
She said that she'd never be a young shepherd's wife.

Here's my sheep-crook and my black dog, I give it to you.
Here's my bag and my budget, I bid it adieu.
Here's my sheep-crook and my black dog, I leave them behind.
Fine laurel, fine floral, you've proved all unkind.
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When you have an earworm and for once you want to undulge it rather than exorcising it and either you don't know the name of the song or worse, you do know the name of the song and youtube is full of songs with that name or a similar one and you keep clicking and clicking trying to find the particular song.

I had no idea how popular lemon trees were as a topic for Greek and Middle Eastern folk and popular songs. Many of them are nice, but none is that particular song I want.

Edit: found it. This group appears to be Hungarian? And the drummer has green hair.

2nd edit: I also found the lyrics.
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This video is a pretty literal acting-out of the words of "Dedo mili, zlatni," which ia Macedonian song about how Golden Dear Grandpa and Grandma live out their quaint and loving sunset years eating peppers and smoking pipes and spinning wool and all that.

I'm seriously trying to learn the song, though it pisses me off*. What should be happening right now is that I should be learning this song to tease the nice fellow about being Dedo mili zlatni himself. And it's five years too late for that.

Couple dances piss me off too, did I ever mention that? Because a project the nice fellow and I were working on that year was finding a dance class we both would like to do.

*I mean, it also pisses me off, as well as making me happy.

edit: on another front, Youtube is recommending for me videos posted by "Moldova Are Talent," which pleases me immensely.
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So I had lent my banjo out and I just got it back, and I'm very glad to have it, but I need to get a new bridge for it.

I'm not an accomplished musician. I play for my own enjoyment, when I feel like it. Sometimes this causes a dilemma. People think I'm being weird and rude and ungenerous if I don't play for them, but if I do play for them they're embarrassed for me because I'm really that unaccomplished. And no, it's not "not as bad as I think it is" -- I can't even tune to a tuning fork or pitchpipe or other person's instrument, I can only tune the banjo to itself, and then only with great difficulty. I know only a handful of tunes that I learned by ear. I can puzzle out the notes on sheet music, but slowly and with difficulty and it's not worth doing most of the time. But I can have a lot of fun banging away on my banjo.

I can sing in a group, when I find myself there. But my banjo playing is not a group activity.
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Lyrics Translate

I now know that Can Bonomo's song "Ali Baba" is not about what I thought it was about, for example. I mean, it is about the character from the Arabian Nights, but the rest is pretty unexpected.
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I can't even remember what I read in the weeks I didn't post, which is why I have joined this little game.  Anyway, my bathroom book is A Hundrede Thousand Fools of God which is not about religion especially: it's about everything to do with ethnic music in ex-Soviet Central Asia since before it was ex-Soviet to roughly now. It comes with a CD to which I have not listened yet. It's more of my father's ethnomusicology trove. It's really interesting, and the author's point of view is one of the least annoying and most nuanced ones I have read when assessing Soviet history. Even things he hates (like the Soviet penchant for inventing large-ensemble music styles for each nationality, whether the instruments and the musical styles were suited for it or not) he is able to look at with open eyes. It's refreshing to read something that is neither an apologia nor the usual dumb, uncaring knee-jerk anti-sovietism that you see around the place.

My bedroom book is Stephenson's Reamde which I am having trouble with. It's very, very scary, because he's got this whole normal, benign world that people are moving through and then -- people who view large amounts of murder as a simple, sensible business strategy get involved. It is very long, and very detailed -- not loving graphic details of murder, but it doesn't need it to be unsettling and even occasionally disgusting (I don't mean that the writing is disgusting, but ddisgusting things happen).

I seem to have inordinate amounts of trouble with all sorts of things lately. I haven't really finished very many of the books I've started this year.

On another front, I got deferred for giving blood today. My hemoglobin was 11.5. It needs to be 12.5 to give blood. Last time it was low and then it came up enough when they re-tested it. I do not like this development: I used to have remarkably high hemoglobin, and now it is below the normal range (it should be 12 to not be considered to have anemia or something). I am pissed off. My diet is normally high-ish in iron. I have a reason at hand for why I might be dropping hemoglobin levels, but I do not see an immediate answer for what to do about it. Also, I still have no health insurance, so I'm looking for self-treatment first. I will go see the doctor but first I will do whatever I can find that is obvious so as to be able to come in with that information and make the most efficient use of his time.

On still another front, a PSA: too many livejournal users are using the automatic location finder thingy and they are publishing the exact address from which they are posting. This is a dumb move, folks. If you want to post a location, use some kind of cute shorthand instead of your whole address.

bean stew

Jan. 9th, 2013 11:55 am
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So often when I have an idea for a perfect bean stew the result is less magnificent than I imagined and I am stuck with a large pot of only-okay food to eat up before I can make something else. Today I am eating a very nice pot of adzuki bean stew and I can only say I am quite relieved (also the pot isn't so big that the flavors will go flat before I finish it).

So in the interests of remembering hjow I did it and what went into it I am recording this for later on.

first, contrary to usual instructions, I soaked the adzuki beans overnight. I started with a cup and a half or so: half the jar, which was a 24-oz jar. I didn't buy them in a jar, I put some in a bag from the bulk bin, but I got the amount that sort of fills that jar. Lately I even soak lentils. My reasoning is that I am also draining them and hopefully removing some of the stuff that makes bloating happen. I'm not always afflicted when I eat legumes, and I'm trying to turn that into "almost never" because I love legumes and they're cheap protein, high fiber, high iron, and low-glycemic starch, what more can you ask of food than yumminess and appropriate nutrion and afforability? I think that covers everything. Adzukis aren't the cheapest beans, but they aren't the most expensive either, and the most expensive beans are still half the price of the least expensive meat, so there you go. Did I mention I love the taste and texture of most beans?

So then I cooked the beans in new water while I cut up a pile of vegetables. These were a special combination that I wouldn't put with just any bean: only ones with a red color or a flavor like red beans. I'd do something else with whiter beans or black beans or garbanzos (which are the pinnacle of beans to me, ordinarily)

The vegetables I used were the least-warty fifth of a medium-large kabocha squash with the peel left on (that's why the least-warty part): three inches of a thick carrot: half a large turnip: a medium yellow beet: a half a large onion (about the quantity of a medium onion): only one large clove of garlic (because this was shaping up to be a kind of sweet stew: normally I use four or more because I hunger for garlic): and a bunch of dinosaur kale. I did not have any chile: I would have liked to put in a red mildly piquant one, like some frying peppers. No tomato in this one. Also no mediterranean herbs. I did put in a bit of soy sauce, probably not enough to make a difference, and a spit of salt and a splash of Tapatio (chile). If you need more sweet to notice that it is sweet, you could add honey or sugar or something, but I didn't need it. No broth, just water. I don't usually use broth anymore unless I have recently made some kind of meat with bones, and even then not likely because I mostly make stews when I have meat.

So then I put the veggies in all at once and I didn't sautee them, I just added them to the cooked adzuki beans and I cooked them altogether for a bit over forty-five minutes, to when the veggies seemed tender, then I let it cool, and put it in a bowl in the refrigerator. First ate it for breakfast today, which is the next day.

It is not the sort of food that makes you cry with pleasure. It is very pleasant and nourishing-feeling, and it makes me happy. Also the pumpkin bits are really, really nice. Did I ever tell you how much I adore kabocha squash? I only tolerate other kinds of squash. A nice sugar pie pumpkin is pretty good, and butternut squash is adequate, acorn squash is usually edible, but the others only exist to fill in the gaps when there's no kabocha squash to be had.

On another front, I have inherited my father's CD collection. My brother got the tapes. I think he chose the tapes because he thought there were fewer of them. He was wrong.
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Pyrophone -- an instrument in which flames cause vibrations in glass tubes.

Symphonia-- ah, who knows?

Glassichord -- different from the glass harmonica in that it is played like a spinet and little hammers hit glass rods.

Marimbaphone -- which could be used with a bow.

Lithophone -- yes, a xylophone made of rocks.

Crotales -- little bowed cymbals.

nail violin


friction harp

Ball point pens  now, go surfn the pen tapping

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My latest favorite musicians are these fantastic singers from Russia.  They are this year's Russian Eurovision entry.

Everything they do is magnificent, although I am less anamored of the covers of "Hotel California" and "Let it Be," even though the latter has some cute grandsons playing along.

On another front: Bosnia and Herzegovina abolished serfdom in 1918, and they weren't even the last ones -- that honor goes to Bhutan and Tibet -- 1959.

Also, there's this Ukrainian dance (also Romanian and a few other ethnicities), called "Arkan."  My brother used to dance it as a young man.  It's kind of the archetypical macho Eastern European dance, with stomping and high kicks and showing off and arms around the shoulders.  Tonight I discovered that at least in some places there was this tradition where the men would kidnap boys and bring them to a bonfire where they would be made to dance this dance with the men and thus be initiated as an adult who could marry and tend sheep.  I am not making this up.  I couldn't make this up. 

I also am now thoroughly confused about just who was expelling whom from which villages throughout the 20th century.  There was a lot of it going on.  The end result, at least in this one area I spent a lot of today reading about, appears to be vast tracts of utterly empty land with houses gone to ruin and the families scattered all over the globe.  I already knew that there was a large area where several of the dialects could be and are equally justifiably assigned to Polish, Czech, Slovak, or Ukrainian, depending on the language ideology of the observer. 

I also am more confused than ever about what it means to own villages in that region.  I had this picture in my mind of a long-established nobility in at least part of the landscape, with landed folks claiming ancestry going back hundreds of years, but looking at these villages and the estates that claim them, with records going back to the 1500s, it looks like the ruling class had a complete turnover every two or three generations, with partial turnovers between.
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*I know several people with six children, so I spent a few moments and tallied up all the women I knew who were definitely done bearing children, and all their children who were either living or had lived to child-bearing age, and made a crude average.  The result was 2.4 children/woman, which is a tiny bit above what's necessary for replacement, and also much like the US as a whole.  And yes I know "all the women I can think of" is not a method.  It was for fun, so I could say "don't judge these friends of mine, without them, the rest of us wouldn't be producing enough children to carry on."

*I have spent several days surfing the Central Asian-to-Siberian You Tube videos (I learned the tune and refrain to "A-Shuu Deikei-O" and turned it around from a competition taunting game song to a simple song to describe infant's motions when they're dancing, as a welcome-back present to my babies.  They weren't impressed, but they were glad to see me). I have a present for you!  It is two excellent musicians in very funny hats playing a competition concert with a komuz (on the left) and a dombra (on the right).  I have rarely seen such accomplish musicians be so ridiculously playful. I do not think they are competing for a prize.  I think it is a game. Like the Inuit Throat Singing, which is an improbable girl game involving amazing sounds and the goal is to make your partner laugh first.

Like break dancing.  And capoeira, except when you play capoeira you could get your ribs kicked in.
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". . . oh no! They have pheasant feathers on their heads!"
"It's folkmusic? A brass band . . . and inexcusible embroidery . . ."
"Really inexcusable embroidery . . ."
"Cut-ogg vests with more inexcusable emroidery . . . that's cutwork on those sleeves . . ."
"and they're singing about Moravian girls . . ."

"is it all like that? Polkas. Dogdamnit."

And then the cat bit me on the chin.

It's here, but if you can't enjoy polka-playing brass bands with inexcusable emroidery and pheasant feathers on their heads, maybe you'd better click on this one instead.

edit: it gets worse (arguably): "Glory, glory Hallelujah" as a light-hearted dance tune. With a conga line. "Eva @ Vašek" do not wear pheasant feathers, but they do adapt American country music in inexplicable ways.
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Here is a link to some of that hypnotic Hungarian string music.  The video is an hour and a half long.
edit: have another one -- a whole raft of violinists paying tribute to one who just died.  Catch the cute kid with a stick and pretend bow at the beginning.

On another front, I have total laryngitis -- no voice at all, and no real warning: I was suddenly hoarse in the afternoon yesterday, but not extremely, and then I woke up with nothing. I can't really work with no voice, so here I have been all day, messing around with an embarrassing little Sims project -- trying to make the art nouveaulicious build set not suck.  It is clearly not finished: the edges are much rougher than EA's artists usually do, and the texture is nothing at all.  Obviously, it was a concept sketch and when EA decided they were done with the SIms 2, they yanked the project away from the people who were working on it and slapped the thing on the store page and people paid good money for it.  It's promising.  I don't have the skills to smooth out the mesh but I can retexture the things so they actually look like more than a jigsaw stencil.  maybe.  If you could see my desktop now, you would see this garish rectangle of awkward swirls of lime green, magenta, periwinkle blue, red, and ashes of roses -- justfive colors that would be distinct enough that I could use the magic wand selection tool and always get the right field.  This is a template for a layer that will have different colors of inlaid woods or paints, depending.  I traced the general outline from the object texture, but that was not immediately successful as the original texture had very little actual molding or shading to it.  It was like a flat piece of plywood, really.  Which means that the swirlies I put into the texture will look like crap if I don't figure out how to sculpt it all.  I think I have a trick to do that, involving the find-edges thing and then using the edges to make highlights and shadows on a different layer from the color part of the texture. But I also think there will be a lot of intermediate stages of suck.
For one thing, I can't smooth the blobs of color for the template, so therefore the curves are really difficult and tend to be hideous.  And not in the good way. 

Another thing is that there are five pieces to this: one-tile door and arch, two-tile door and arch, and a one-tile window.  I have started with the one-tile door. They do not share a common texture, and the swrily bits behave differently on each piece, so they will be happy if they go together at all by the time they are finished.

Also, the young doctor's go-to-city-hall marriage has turned into a Disney princess wedding with oranges.  Prague has a way of doing that to you, I guess.  At least the young folk are having fun.
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today's thousand words will probably be pared down to five hundred or less later since the conversation between Sasha and Yanek leads away from the conflict instead of towards it like I planned.
I don't know. I have a story conflict of my own: Sasha cares more and more for Yanek, while Yanek doesn't particularly notice Sasha. I thought I'd have Sasha, as he gets older, trying to make things better for Yanek and being frustrated because Yanek is never grateful or even all that friendly. But it's hard to have Sasha do things for Yanek without them interacting, and whenever they interact, they either have a premature meltdown that I have to go back and prune, or they have too much of a reconciliation, and I have to go back and prune that. It was easier when Sasha was still a child(he's only a young teen now, but he has more agency because he's the oldest son of an autocrat) and when the two of them spent less time together and Yanek could thoughtlessly snub Sasha more effectively.

I have reached the stage in the project where I have to stop and outline things. Jo Walton was saying that she doesn't outline, except when it's required, in which case she outlines after she writes. Other people write an outline and stick to it. Me, I usually have what looks like an abortive novella to work from, and then sometime after the halfway point everything goes wild and I have to stop and outline the last half of the book, bit by bit.

Continuity is becoming a problem too, as I have Better Ideas for the later story that demand Different Things in the earlier story. I have a great big revision note I added to the chapter before this, which changes a number of prominent things in the chapter and possibly in earlier chapters. I put it at the beginning of the file, in maroon letters, yellow highlighting, all caps, and bolded. Yeah, I was that afraid of disturbing continuity glitches arising from this chapter I'm working on now.

Anyway. I am on the way to work today: tonight I am to give a guest appearance at somebody else's parenting class for parents in drug and alcohol recovery. I'm supposed to spend a half houjr showing them stuff about music with babies. Next week it's infant massage.
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I cannot reconstruct the path that led me to Laura Lavric and Mioara Velicu. I don't understand even a shred of Moldovan, so I have no idea if there's an ideological or moral land mine hiding in this stuff, but I love the way they sound and the energy of their performances.

edit: I just figured out that the male singer on a couple of the records that we dance to Friday nights is actually Mioara Velicu after all.
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Used chemnitzer concertinas run upwards of a thousand dollars. Anyway, the least complicated of them are 52-key ones, and my toy one has seven buttons (of which the top doesn't work) and I'm still a bit overwhelmed by it, only playing made-up tunes on it because I haven't mastered either getting a string of notes in without changing direction too soon (that's what the air button is for but it needs to be mastered, it's not an automatic thing) and because I haven't mastered the scale. It's not that complicated, you'd think I'd be able to get a feel for which notes are where, but there's just something about it that makes it difficult to land on the correct note and not the one above it or below it. So what ends up happening is that I invent tunes that fit the easiest trail up and down the buttons. Which probably does not help me learn how to play "real" tunes.

One reason I have been looking at used concertinas (and other accordion-like instruments, I'm not really getting the hang of the very complicated terminology either)is that I believe my toy one is already showing signs of the reeds wearing. The bellows are fine, but the sound is not as nice as it was when I bought it. It is a toy, I spent next to nothing on it, so I am not too put out, but I am beginning to think about replacing it.

It turns out there are a lot of toy concertinas out there. I was really intrigued by Vintage Soviet Toy Accordion 'Malish' on eBay but it's a piano-style one and while that is probably a lot easier to play (I have never been a piano player but who hasn't tinked around on one? Its layout is utterly intuitive) it isn';t as appealing to me. Because of the Lawrence Welk show?

How come everything I read says that the chemnitzer is the most common instrument in the Midwest when all I've ever seen before this on tv or whatever have been those huge piano-style accordions? I know next to nothing about the Midwest and its folklife. But now I'm sort of intrigued. I want to know more about Midwestern accordions. And now with Wisconsion and Michigan and Ohio actually kind of bearing the brunt of and leading the fight back against the tea party/ koch brothers fascism, the Midwest becomes a more and more interesting place to know about. That sounded shallow -- "you're boring until you have a uniques musical instrument and you're breaking the chains of oppression."

I didn't mean boring before, only just interesting now.
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(maybe not named after us, but named after the same town we're named after, anyway)

I thought that Chemnitzer was a mere brand name of accordions. But Wikipedia says we are a particular type of concertina, "most closely related to the Bandoneon." And, apparently, when you see a concetina in a folk or polka band, especially in the American Midwest, chances are, it's a Chemnitzer.

It's really weird to be googling this, and see quotes like I know, I know… we already have enough accordions around the house, but I've always been attracted to the chemnitzer ...

I mean, I've always been attracted to the chemnitzer! Speaking as the resident Kemnitzer hereabouts, I thank you.

(I wanted to include an accordion in a scene I was writing)

edit: Also, the decorative style of a bandoneon is usually more subdued, while chemnitzers often tend toward flashiness.

well, I don't know about that.

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