Monthly Archives: March 2014

Captured Sound: Processional Hymn on Uilleann Pipes

I rarely do things like this. But I attended a funeral/celebration of life today–and I noticed there were going to be bagpipes played for the processional hymn.

I contacted a friend who was not there (before the service began) and offered to tape it for him. Here it is. Out of respect for the family, I am opting not to identify them on the blog. My friend noted when he listened to my recording that the bagpipes were uilleann pipes (the national bagpipe of Ireland, apparently). Apt for two days before St. Patrick’s Day.

I must emphasize it is an amateur recording effort on my part. Enjoy.

New Johnny Carson-Related Podcast Well Worth Your Time


As a late night talk show junkie it was a delight to find out from Pop Candy that podcaster Mark Malkoff is tracking down contemporaries of Johnny Carson for a new show called The Carson Podcast.

In addition to sharing their memories of Carson, the subjects often (and understandably) delve into their own careers, which makes for a whole even more enjoyable layer of entertainment than I ever expected.

Continue reading New Johnny Carson-Related Podcast Well Worth Your Time

Kudos to Amtrak for Supporting the Arts


I am sure some folks will be annoyed that a struggling government enterprise  like Amtrak has announced its plans to host an expanded #AmtrakResidency for writers. (Thanks to Tom Feister for making me aware of this.) For my taxpayer money, I love to see it used in this nontraditional manner.

To quote Amtrak:

#AmtrakResidency was designed to allow creative professionals who are passionate about train travel and writing to work on their craft in an inspiring environment. Round-trip train travel will be provided on an Amtrak long-distance route. Each resident will be given a private sleeper car, equipped with a desk, a bed and a window to watch the American countryside roll by for inspiration. Routes will be determined based on availability.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed by a panel. Up to 24 writers will be selected for the program starting March 17, 2014 through March 31, 2015.  A passion for writing and an aspiration to travel with Amtrak for inspiration are the sole criteria for selection. Both emerging and established writers will be considered.

Residencies will be anywhere from 2-5 days, with exceptions for special projects.”

Here’s hoping it is so successful that, as my pal Feister has suggested, they offer a similar program for artists.

I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down: Different Versions

When I was a kid in the 1980s, I was introduced to I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down through Paul Young’s cover of it. Back then I had no idea it was originally performed by Ann Peebles.

So for your consideration, here is the original (well a 1989 performance by Peebles of her 1970s song); a cover by Graham Parker and the Rumour; and finally Paul Young’s version (a horrible Top of the Pops lip synch performance).

As she co-wrote it, I think Peebles is the default winner–but I have always been partial to Young’s version. As I get older, my appreciation of Graham Parker’s version increases however; particularly as the 1980s Young version becomes increasingly dated with every passing year.