Category archive: Music

They were the dispossessed, reclaiming what was theirs

I've long loved John McCutcheon's 1991 rendition of Leon Rosselson's 1975 song “The World Turned Upside Down” (not to be... (More...)

Two business models

Two business models for selling CDs on Venice Beach: Hand a CD to a passing individual tourist in a way... (More...)

Pete Seeger on helping

Pete Seeger died three years ago yesterday, so my post about him came up in my Facebook history today. It... (More...)

Hamilton night!

I'M GOING TO SEE HAMILTON TONIGHT! I arranged a fair bit of my plans for the past few months around... (More...)

Revising a song: "Here I Am, Lord"

I'm not a Christian, but I really like some Christian songs. There's one such song that I quite like most... (More...)

Long Black Veil

Every time I hear the song “Long Black Veil,” I wonder the same thing: Is that outcome really preferable to... (More...)

Ordinary miracles: hymns for agnostics

The other day on Facebook, Kat said something about hymns for atheists, which reminded me of a playlist I put... (More...)

My review of Hamilton

A friend asked this morning what the deal is with this Hamilton thing. Here's what I posted in response: It's... (More...)

David and Goliath rhymes

I just realized this is one of the things that some of the rhyme-chains in Hamilton reminded me of: ”Now... (More...)

Hamilton cast album!

Back in May, I posted about Hamilton, the new hip-hop Broadway musical about Alexander Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Ever since... (More...)

Somebody Will, again

I'm having one of those everything-is-deeply-intertwingled moments. On the way home, Ada Palmer's haunting and lovely and sad-yet-hopeful song “Somebody... (More...)


Back in January 2014, I attended folksinger John McCutcheon's annual Santa Cruz concert, a benefit (as always) for the Resource... (More...)

Hamilton rap becomes a musical

In 2009, composer/lyricist/performer Lin-Manuel Miranda performed an amazing hip-hop piece about Alexander Hamilton (5-min video, with mostly-accurate captions) at the... (More...)

My emotional state

A couple weeks ago, I sat down to write a blog entry about how I was doing with regard to... (More...)

The Lonely Goatherd and the Bechdel test

I wrote this the other day for a discussion of (among other things) works that do and don't pass the... (More...)

Useful source of digital assets, including background music

I recently encountered two videos that contained background music that I liked, and learned that both pieces of music were... (More...)

Unreliable-narrator songs?

Started wondering yesterday about songs with unreliable narrators. I feel like there are a bunch of them; any suggestions? The... (More...)

Chatroulette Guy does Miley Cyrus and Mariah Carey

First there was Call Me Maybe (3-min video). This guy Stephen Kardynal went on Chatroulette (the site where you can... (More...)

R.I.P., Pete Seeger

I've been trying to figure out why Pete Seeger's death yesterday, at age 94, is hitting me so hard. Part... (More...)

Looking for a voice teacher

I think I may be looking for a voice teacher in the South Bay. Any recommendations? A month ago, I... (More...)

Mood swingy

(For anyone missing the context: Today is the 33rd anniversary of my mother's death, and it would've been my father's... (More...)

Cup game, cup song

I vaguely heard of the cup game years ago, but never tried it before, and I'm not sure I've ever... (More...)

Sea songs

The other day, Vardibidian mentioned putting together a playlist of sea shanties. Which reminded me that I put together a... (More...)

A song of hope: "Somebody Will"

Sumana told me last night about a lovely wistful-but-hopeful a cappella song about working in small increments toward a big... (More...)

Echo's Children albums: listen free online!

I'm delighted to see that all four Echo's Children albums are now available on Bandcamp, which means that you can... (More...)

Zombie breaths

I was driving back from Uvas Canyon County Park this evening and found myself behind an SUV that had a... (More...)

Star Trek + Gilbert & Sullivan

Went yesterday to see the Stanford Savoyards' ST:TNG-themed production of H.M.S. Pinafore. They wore Star Trek costumes, and mapped the... (More...)

Three orchestral flash mobs

The first of these videos I saw was the WDR Radio Orchestra showing up seemingly out of nowhere in the... (More...)

If I only had a brain lyrics mystery

I was listening to the extended version of “If I Only Had a Brain” the other day (it's the version... (More...)

New Cat Faber album!

Cat Faber (formerly of Echo's Children) has released her first album in some time: The King's Lute. If you follow... (More...)

Favorite songs redux

Way back in 2004, I posted a list of my favorite music. There've been some additions to the list since... (More...)

Patriotic and home songs

This evening, I was listening to an iPhone playlist on shuffle while driving, as I usually do these days, and... (More...)

Darkness into light

Sometimes around this time of year, we need a little hope to carry us through to brighter days. Here are... (More...)

Typewriter percussion

I've coincidentally heard a couple of songs in my iTunes rotation lately that have used typewriters as percussion, which made... (More...)


Got any suggestions for good songs for two people to sing with each other (in a casual, non-performance context)? Mary... (More...)

Jeanette Isabella

Mary Anne decided to learn “Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella,” and it's one of my favorite Christmas songs (though I... (More...)

Two songs, plus a bunch more

Lately, instead of listening to the radio while I drive various places, I've mostly been listening to my own music... (More...)

More Lost

As I've mentioned here before, Kam and I have been watching Lost, which we didn't see when it was airing.... (More...)

Music you both like

Here's an idea for a piece of software that could come in handy (perhaps it already exists). Background: iTunes lets... (More...)

Talking Union

In the version of “Talking Union” that's on Pete Seeger's Greatest Hits, Seeger explains the origin of the song. I... (More...)


The NY Philharmonic recently did a production of Sondheim's Company starring Neil Patrick Harris (also featuring Stephen Colbert, Jon Cryer,... (More...)

Upcoming events and other stuff

Suddenly it seems like there are many Things going on around here: This weekend in Vallejo: NorCal Pirate Festival. Entertainers,... (More...)

Great storytelling recordings, super-cheap!

Info about a bunch of excellent albums of the stories of Willy Claflin and/or Maynard Moose—and how you can buy some of them for $2 apiece. (More...)

I flip my latkes in the air sometimes

At the latke party tonight, I was wondering why they were playing “Dynamite,” by Taio Cruz, a popular song with... (More...)

Video roundup

It's that time again: my browser's getting slow from all the videos in open windows. So here's a bunch of... (More...)

Rain on Me

Just found this in a note file from January: Some- Times in our lives We all have rain We all... (More...)


This evening, I went to see Stomp. I've been hearing about it for years, and it was one of the... (More...)

If you're looking for a miracle

Peter Mayer's song “Holy Now” just came up on iTunes, the Kallet/Epstein/Cicone rendition. Lovely song. The words, of course, don't... (More...)

Disney-songs deathmatch, day 22

Miggy's Disney-songs tournament proceeds apace. Do you care which Disney song gets declared the best of all time? Then go... (More...)

Twitterquoting iTunes, part 2

Continuing from the previous entry: Monday brought my favorite Si Kahn song: From this love, the space to grow in;... (More...)

Twitterquoting iTunes

Been listening to music while doing other stuff lately, and when lines I especially like come up in the songs,... (More...)


Just heard Bernice Johnson Reagon on NPR, talking about, among other things, her experience (as part of the Civil Rights... (More...)

All shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well

On my way to bed, half asleep; occurred to me that I could use an optimistic song, and "Julian of... (More...)

Latest earworm

A couple weeks ago, the webcomic Darths & Droids had an episode that quoted two songs from Les Misérables. In... (More...)

John McCutcheon concert tonight in Santa Cruz

Keep forgetting to post this: singer/songwriter John McCutcheon is doing his annual Santa Cruz concerts this weekend. As usual, he'll... (More...)

Tolkien songs

SarahP asked if there's a way to hear how the songs in Lord of the Rings are meant to be... (More...)

To hear your voices lifted up in radiant song

I've been intermittently working on putting together another CD of songs I like to sing along with in the car... (More...)

Hallelujah Choruses

A few days ago, Amy S linked to a video of a fabulous performance: silent monks performing the Hallelujah Chorus.... (More...)

In the morning

Only two more days 'til Winter Solstice. Here in California, it'll happen Monday morning at 9:47 a.m. I'm really really... (More...)

Rounds: recorded, printed, and animated

Am continuing to try to check things off my to-do list. Latest item on list was to buy Sol Weber's... (More...)

Earworm: "I'm Yours"

Seems like I keep running into Jason Mraz's song "I'm Yours" lately, and every time I do, it runs through... (More...)

How to Write Your Own Gilbert & Sullivan Opera

While I was driving yesterday, Anna Russell's "How to Write Your Own Gilbert & Sullivan Opera" came up on my... (More...)

Libana: A Circle Is Cast (rounds and chants) in iTunes Store

Libana is a world music ensemble focused on "the traditional and contemporary music and dance of the world's women." I... (More...)

Seaside song

I like the seagulls I like the harbor bells I like the ocean I like the rolling swells Sitting... (More...)

Video roundup

Some more unthemed videos for your delectation and amusement: The South Pasadena Unified Grade "A" Jug Band, consisting of students... (More...)

Roundsing at Swarthmore in 11+ hours

I'm on my way to sleep, but it just occurred to me that I ought to mention here that we'll... (More...)

Cheering-up music?

Yesterday in the car, I was a little grumpy, and I thought to myself: "I have a choice here: I... (More...)


Three interesting and really cool art projects from this morning's Facebook, all combining multiple related elements into one work: At... (More...)

Great harmonies and catchy melodies

I just put together my first iMix. One of my favorite musical trios--Cindy Kallet, Ellen Epstein, and Michael Cicone--does gorgeous... (More...)

Monday morning video entertainment

Naomi just pointed me to a fun and charming animated video of the song "The Log Driver's Waltz." Remember, a... (More...)

Never give up

I've been kinda off-kilter lately. Weird mood swings--cheerful and happy, then suddenly grumpy and stressed for no clear reason. Having... (More...)

The season

Whenever a Vienna Teng song I haven't heard yet comes up in the iTunes rotation, I have to stop and... (More...)

Items: assorted videos

Some videos with no connecting theme: Drawdio: Turn Almost Anything Into a Theremin. Make electronic music by drawing on a... (More...)

Ocarina gets even cooler

I've blogged before about how amazingly cool the Ocarina iPhone app is. In the latest release, it gets even cooler.... (More...)

Carols vs action movies

Heard an instrumental orchestral rendition of "Carol of the Bells" on the radio the other day that had a prominent... (More...)

Still alive

Had dinner with Pam & Arthur & Ray & Robbie (who's about to turn 2); got home, decided to give... (More...)


I was sitting here doing some SH database stuff, and I put on my iTunes playlist, and along came Lui... (More...)

South Bay events: a cappella concert, movie outing

Tough choice between things to do in the South Bay Area next Friday evening (nine days from now): Talisman A... (More...)

Magical music identifier

A tune has been running through my head. I was pretty sure I had been told it was a hymn,... (More...)

For a rainy day

It's not raining, but I'm sure it will be again sooner or later, and I've apparently never posted this. To... (More...)

Amazing iPhone musical instrument

Ocarina really is one of the coolest things ever. If you have an iPhone and even the slightest interest in... (More...)

Peter's birthday, Marcy's death-day

It snuck up on me. On Sunday, I glanced at my calendar for the coming week, and was surprised to... (More...)

Hilly seaside town

On the way home from the East Bay today, I turned on the radio in time to hear the end... (More...)

For lands afar and mine

Way back in early 2003, I wrote about hearing the Indigo Girls perform "Finlandia" with Joan Baez at a concert... (More...)

Beaker sings "Ode to Joy"

For the past couple years, this guy wzauscher has been posting videos of himself singing various classical works in multiple... (More...)

Tom Lehrer videos!

A whole collection of rare footage of Tom Lehrer on YouTube, apparently with his permission. Thanks, BDan! As I noted... (More...)

New-to-me music: David Mallett

I installed the Pandora app on my iPhone a month or so ago, and have been listening to it occasionally.... (More...)

R.I.P., Alexander Courage (+ Trek theme lyrics)

Alexander Courage died last month. For those who don't know, he was a composer and arranger for TV and movies,... (More...)

New Kallet/Epstein/Cicone album! (and concert to come)

Back in 2003, I posted about attending a lovely Kallet/Epstein/Cicone concert, filled with their magnificent harmonies. Among other things, that... (More...)

Music coincidence

I'm listening to music while entering stories into the SH database. Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer's "Farewell to Bitterroot Valley"... (More...)

Album-only songs

There are certain albums on the iTunes Store that contain one or two particular songs that everyone wants, plus a... (More...)

Song chorus progression

One of the things I like about some country songs is the way the choruses work. For example, there seems... (More...)

Folk music and leaky eyes

My reactions to John McCutcheon's annual Santa Cruz concerts have been mixed; sometimes I've loved them, sometimes they haven't done... (More...)

John McCutcheon in CA next week

Folksinger John McCutcheon will be performing several shows in the Greater Bay Area next week; people with folk-music-inclined kids in... (More...)

Melancholy travelers

James Keelaghan's Somewhere Ahead just came up on the iTunes rotation. Simple, brief, and lovely. First verse: Somewhere ahead, when... (More...)

Talisman concert update

Made it to the Talisman concert this afternoon. Was a short concert (only an hour), but good. Lovely voices, lovely... (More...)

Talisman concert today (Sunday)

As I mentioned in passing a couple months ago, I first encountered Talisman A Cappella [link updated in 2015] when... (More...)

Here Comes Another Bubble

Cute and entertaining music video: "Here Comes Another Bubble" (as in tech bubble), by the a cappella group The Richter... (More...)

'80s hits in iTunes Store

A while back, I mentioned that the famous video of "Take on Me" (possibly the first music video I ever... (More...)

Video roundup, part 2

Here's the promised second set of videos. If you're short on time, skip down to the cute pet videos at... (More...)

Video roundup, part 1

It's been a while since I've posted a collection of videos, and the links keep rolling in. So here's a... (More...)

Cowboys Are Frequently Secretly

Back around the end of March, I bought Willie Nelson's recording of the catchy gay cowboy song "Cowboys Are Frequently... (More...)

Earworm: Somewhere That's Green

The other day the song "Somewhere That's Green" (from Little Shop of Horrors, though I have the movie soundtrack rather... (More...)

R.I.P., Cynthia McQuillin

Just discovered that filksinger-songwriter Cynthia McQuillin died two weeks ago, on January 14, of renal and respiratory failure, at age... (More...)

More on McCutcheon

When I tell people about John McCutcheon, I always forget to mention the one song that people who aren't parents... (More...)

John McCutcheon tonight in Santa Cruz

Folksinger/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist John McCutcheon is having his annual concert in Santa Cruz tonight, at the First Congregational Church, at 900 High... (More...)

California Winter: The Album

It occurred to me Sunday morning, after being awakened by a windstorm that was related to the flooding that's happening... (More...)

Bouncy ball-droppy soundy pingy thing

Scott introduced me to a nifty software toy: BallDroppings, available for Mac, Windows, and mobile phones, plus a Java version.... (More...)

Review: Rent

It's been Jed's movie week. Narnia last weekend; Æon Flux Monday night; Brokeback Mountain last night (review to come later).... (More...)

Guilty pleasures

I admit it: I occasionally listen to Delilah. When I'm driving somewhere at night, alone in my car, it can... (More...)

Items: Physics, astronomy, space, math, illusion

Buncha cool stuff here, including some videos and music, on various geeky topics. Physics of Oobleck (that is, of corn... (More...)

Sophomoric but funny

I doubt I'll be posting anything substantive in the next few days. Things still pretty rough around here. But to... (More...)

Persistence of memory

Today was, of course, the fourth anniversary of the September 11th attacks; I saw surprisingly little commentary about that... (More...)

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all of you who are fathers. May your children bring you happiness, joy, and the occasional... (More...)

A few good things

Some good things that've happened recently: Had lunch with Susan G, whom I hadn't seen in much too long. Had... (More...)

Favorite music

I've been using the iTunes rating system (0 to 5 stars) for all my music ever since I started using... (More...)

Concert etc.

I skipped tonight's story reading to go see Kallet/Epstein/Cicone perform in Medford. The only previous time I saw them live,... (More...)

Brief but happy

Went to the Lui Collins house concert in Palo Alto tonight. I was a bit concerned about attending two concerts... (More...)

Hold the last note out

When Lui Collins sent me the CDs I'd ordered a couple weeks back, she included a postcard showing her upcoming... (More...)

Billy Ray who?

My co-workers had another of their semiannual-or-so karaoke nights last night, and it reminded me of what happened the one... (More...)