Archive for the ‘music’ Category

OVER 10,000 Apple Apps and Counting!
Did you know, that in the first 142 days since Apple first started accepting new iPhone/iPod Touch Apps, there have been over 10,000 Apps added to the iTunes App Store?

My grandson told me that he has downloaded five pages of Apps onto his new iPod Touch. My Touch holds twice as much as his and I have only five Apps in toto: Facebook, Crazy Candle (came in handy for a candle-less birthday), Stanza (love it for reading ebooks), Twitterific and DataCase. Actually I have only four, as DataCase, the most expensive of all of them, didn’t work, so I deleted it.

So, thanks to Grandson’s enthusiasm, I went to the Apple Apps Store and downloaded many of the recommended ones at this link: “Top 15 iPhone Apps of 2008,” except for the games, plus a few others I found. Games bore me. I only downloaded the “FREE” Apps, as I know from experience that the Apps that charge oftentimes do not work, and there is little if any chance of getting a refund. Then I went to bed and before falling off to sleep I tried figuring out what I had done. Imagine this – I now have 160,000 recipes on my iPod, the complete works of Shakespeare plus some that scholars are not sure he wrote, Pandora radio, Urbanspoons restaurants, and two more lights, in case I need to see where I’m going at night. Now I need to find time to sync these to my new iPhone.

I am here to report that the favorite of all that I downloaded has got to be Pandora. It works perfectly. I now have my own custom made radio on this little device. It is like the old “Bluegrass Country” at WAMU has come back to life. WAMU kicked “Bluegrass Country” over to HD radio and the Internet, so they could have more “BORING, BORING” talk on WAMU. I’ve not listened to them since. Who needs them anyway? I’ve got an iPod Touch with all my favorite music on it. But I do miss Ray Davis.

The Shakespeare App is incredible, except it is not easy to read. I am used to reading books on my iPod Touch with STANZA, and I feel certain that I can download Shakespeare’s plays from STANZA for reading. But this Shakespeare App is nice for impressing my friends with my “new found” erudition. See, I carry ALL of the Bard’s works in my purse. If there are any quotations that they cannot remember, I can find them all right here on my iPod.

One of the lights was really not worth the price – FREE. I am going to delete that as I cannot figure what it is suppose to do, except click off and on. I like the Flashlight, as it could come in handy at the theater or when trying to find something at the bottom of my black bag (my purse). I’ve not tried the WordPress App yet.

Most of these Apps need WiFI to work, which in the past would have been a problem for me, as the iPod Touch is not always connected. That is probably why I had not downloaded so many Apps to it. Like the Google Maps are great, but I don’t usually need them at home where I have computers and Internet. I need them when I’m away from home – like on the streets of DC where they don’t work on the iPod Touch. Now my iPod Touch stays home and I go abroad with my new iPhone, where I will always be 100% connected to the real world – the Internet.

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It works! I have been wanting this DVD, but it is from Scotland, and there did not seem to be any guarantee that it would work in an American DVD player. Well, it was a Christmas present for me, and it works. It works in my DVD player even though the DVD itself has “PAL” scribed upon it. When I ordered it at Amazon, it was listed as for NTSC. GADS, it is so difficult to figure out all the ins and outs of technology. I wrote about it here when I first ordered it: “Transatlantic Sessions 3, by Edna Barney.” This set of DVDs is a lovely musical creation – took a lot of musical and video-graphic talent to plan and create it. Of course, only those who love old time acoustic music will appreciate it.

This is a very great piece on the second DVD by Tim O’Brien – real old timey Bluegrass music. Here is a link that has more video of some of the pieces on the two DVDs: http://www.squidoo.com/transatlanticsessionsvideoshowcase.

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I am thinking about the DVD I ordered myself the other day and wondering if I am going to get what I expect. I have no idea if I got my order right. I have been wanting the “Transatlantic Sessions 3” folk music recording from Scotland, but it has been so difficult to figure it out. Is it a CD, a DVD, and which volume do I want? The Album Covers all look the same. I think I want Volume 2, but what I ordered has only one DVD. I ordered it at Amazon and it lists nothing about the tracks that are on it.

I have had so much difficulty, as I could not find a DVD recording that would play on American DVD players. Finally this week, I found one labeled “NTSC.” However, it is also labeled Video-DVD. If “Video-DVD” means that new-fangled DVD that has video on one side and CD on the other, that will be a problem for my Bose Theater system, as it does not recognize those, and goes bezerk. I guess I will play it on my laptop first to see what it is exactly.

Would not most music afficianadoes say that “Transatlantic Sessions 3,” “Transatlantic Sessions 3, Volume 1” and “Transatlantic Sessions 3, Volume 2” are really weird names for folk music albums? Who would have thunk that’s what they are? Maybe they aren’t after all, and I am about to find that out. I will really be disappointed. Then I will have to download RealPlayer onto my computer so I can listen to the album on the Internet here: RTÉ Television.

You can see a wonderful performance here in this video of “Saint Anne’s Reel,” at the bottom of the page, and know why I am wanting this album: Aly Bain and Jerry Douglas.

This will be my Christmas present from Captain Cliff even though he does not know it. Last year he gave me a DVD of Pavarotti singing at the Cathedral in Montreal. It was a difficult album of music to find, so I had to do it myself, as Captain Cliff would not have had the patience.

I already ordered the wrong CD of Irish music this week. I wanted the album with “Grace” on it, and the search engine took me to “Amazing Grace,” and I got confused. There were no audio clips, so how could I be sure? Perhaps I will like the wrong album that I ordered. Anyway, I found that the Irish Tenor album I want is out of production and has to be purchased “used,” and for triple bucks.

Here is my collection of YouTube Videos of: Transatlantic Sessions 3. See … you could spend the rest of your life right hear at this post listening to my music, if you were crazy too.

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I found this musical creation so beautiful that I had to learn more about it and its meaning. I found it as a CD album at Amazon, which I just ordered: The Irish Tenors / McNamara, McDermott, Kearns, TynanThe Three Tenors. The following is what I discovered about the song entitled Grace. Give a listen HERE.

“As we gather in the chapel here in old Kilmainham jail,
I think about these past few weeks; Oh, will they say we failed?
From our school days they have told us we must yearn for liberty,
Yet all I want in this dark place is to have you here with me.

Oh Grace just hold me in your arms, and let this moment linger,
They’ll take me out at dawn and I will die.
With all my love I’ll place this wedding ring upon your finger,
There won’t be time to share our love for we must say goodbye.

Now I know it’s hard for you my love to ever understand,
The love I bear for these brave men, my love for this dear land,
But when Padraic called me to his side down in the G.P.O.
I had to leave my own sick bed, to him I had to go.

Now as the dawn is breaking, my heart is breaking too,
On this May morn, as I walk out, my thoughts will be of you.
And I’ll write some words upon the wall, so everyone will know,
I loved so much that I could see His blood upon the rose.”

Joseph Mary Plunkett was an Irish nationalist, poet and leader and planner of the 1916 Easter rising. It was largely his plan that was followed in 1916, which ended in military disaster. Plunkett was held in Kilmainham Jail and faced court martial. Hours before his excecution by firing squad, at age 28, he was married in the prison chapel on 4 May 1916, to his sweetheart, a Protestant convert to Catholicism, Grace Gifford.

Grace remained loyal to the republican movement while earning a living as a commerical artist. She voted against the treaty which divided Ireland and during the civil war she was imprisoned in Kilmainham jail for three months. She died in 1955.

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Let the Mystery Be

“Let the Mystery Be” as sung by Iris Dement (music)

Everybody is a’wonderin’ what
And where they all came from.
Everybody is a’worryin’ ’bout where
They’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done.
But no one knows for certain
And so it’s all the same to me.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

Some say once you’re gone, you’re gone forever,
And some say you’re gonna come back.
Some say you rest in the arms of the Saviour,
If in sinful ways you lack.
Some say that they’re comin’ back in a garden –
Bunch of carrots and little sweet peas.
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.

Some say they’re goin’ to a place called Glory,
And I ain’t saying it ain’t a fact.
But I’ve heard that I’m on the road to purgatory,
And I don’t like the sound of that.
I believe in love, and I live my life accordingly.
But I choose to let the mystery be.

As Sung By Iris Dement (music)

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I have been creating playlists of “My Vanishing Music” that I can listen to whilst travelling along that Route 66 to somewhere. These mp3 tunes can be played as playlists on the Internet without downloading. It is also possible to play them on the iPhone and iPod Touch, however, I have not yet figured out how to do that. I can play individual songs, but not the entire playlists, which is not at all convenient for listening on the iTouch. But this is fun on the computer, and I am sure that I will eventually discover the trick to using this on my iPod Touch.

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Lobbying at the Willard

A Picture from Edna

Here I am in the lobby of the Willard Hotel, as we were “Christmas lobbying”, which means listening to music. We heard the Washington Chorus Outreach Singers. They were wonderful, however, I had made a mistake in the date, as I thought I was going to hear Children’s Chorus of Washington. They perform tonight, and I have doubts I can convince Cliff to return. We walked the two long blocks from the Metro to the Willard in cold and blustery winds. And back of course. The Willard’s website promised refreshments, as in “Complimentary hot-spiced cider and gingerbread sweets will provide the perfect accompaniment.” We stayed more than an hour and we never found them nor saw evidence of “complimentary” goodies.  However, Cliff snapped this nice picture of me in front of their “complimentary” Christmas tree.

The image, Edna at the Willard, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

Visit Neddy’s Archives for more of Edna’s writings.

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Beautiful Christmas Music

This day begins the month of beautiful music. This year we will feel the loss of Luciano Pavarotti. Here are some YouTube videos of my favorites from his incredible performance in 1975, at the Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal: Luciano Pavarotti.

Play All Videos

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Happy Birthday Jamey. 

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young. ~~Bob Dylan

My youngest child will turn thirty-nine on Saturday of this week. I told him that this will be his “Jack Benny Birthday”, however, he had never heard of Jack Benny. As it happens, he will really be “Forever Thirty-eight”, as he will be crossing the International Date Line in his travels to the Far East, and will completely miss his thirty-ninth birthday. There will be no October 13th this year for him.

I am happy that he will stay thirty-eight for the rest of “my” life, as he must stay forever young as long as I am living, for he is my baby. And what a child he has already been for his father and me, as he has accomplished all the wishes, hopes and dreams that Bob Dylan sang about in this song “Forever Young.”

Jamey, 1971

The image, Happy Birthday, Jamey, was originally uploaded by barneykin. It is posted here from Barneykin’s flickr account.

The “real” Bob Dylan may be viewed on YouTube in a brilliant performance unenhanced by choreography, fashion designers, or lighting and audio engineers, in the way it was, once upon a time, back in 1993.

Bob Dylan on The Tonight Show, 1993

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Lead Belly Blues

Lead Belly, son of the South and an American original is one of my favorite roots-music musicians.

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Lead Belly was born Huddie Ledbetter, either in Texas or Louisiana, sometime around 1887 or 1888. He was one powerful “musicianer”, but he was too a powerful mean man with a knife. His second stint in prison was for killing a relative in a fight. After serving seven years for that crime, he was able to convince the governor of Texas to set him free by singing him a song:

Please, Governor Neff, Be good ‘n’ kind
Have mercy on my great long time…
I don’t see to save my soul
If I don’t get a pardon, try me on a parole…
If I had you, Governor Neff, like you got me
I’d wake up in the mornin’ and I’d set you free

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However, by 1930, Lead Belly was back in prison, this time in the Louisiana State Penitentiary for attempted homicide. It was there that he was aided by American folklorists Alan and John Lomax. It was they who suggested that he try his song writing abilities on the Louisiana governor. They recorded his petition on the back of his popular ballad “Goodnight Irene,” and, once again, it worked like a charm.

The Lomaxes took him north where they recorded hundreds of his songs and Lead Belly became a musical sensation. Their relationship ended when Lead Belly threatened to use his knife on them, but by that time he had established his musical talents and was befriended by local musicians such as Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie.

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