Archive for Music

Transposing guitar chords

One of the issues that I have with playing some of the songs in Rise Up Singing on guitar is that I feel like the chords are often written for someone with a slightly higher voice than mine. (My vocal range is mostly somewhere in the bass/baritone area; a voice teacher once told me that […]

Pachelbel’s chord progression

The other day, Simply Piano added a chords-only version of Maroon 5’s song “Memories.” So I played the chords along with their recording of the song, and something sounded really familiar about that sequence of chords. I thought about it for a while, and hummed it, and then realized: it’s the same chord progression as […]

One Man Shall Mow My Meadow

I’m going through Rise Again, the sequel to Rise Up Singing, and in the “Ballads & Old Songs” section I came across a song I was unfamiliar with. The first line goes: One man shall mow my meadow …so I assumed it was going to be one of those old bawdy-euphemism songs. But then the […]

Last night’s Vienna Teng concert

Last night’s Vienna Teng concert at the Freight & Salvage, which I watched on livestream, was lovely. The opening act was a singer/songwriter named Alex Wong, a friend and collaborator of Teng’s. I completely forgot about the concert until 45 minutes after the start time, so I missed most of his performance, but I liked […]

Guitar-teaching app: Justin Guitar

About six months ago, I started to learn how to play guitar using the Simply Guitar iOS app, made by the same people who make the excellent Simply Piano app for piano learning. I’ve been using Simply Piano for a couple years now, and I mostly love it. Unfortunately, I don’t love Simply Guitar. My […]


I think I’ve had a couple of dreams in which I’ve tried but failed to look up info about the folksong “Oleanna.” In last night’s dream, I finally managed to do a web search on that term, but got no relevant results. But when I woke up, I did a real-world web search, and got […]

Some vids

I enjoyed the vid party at WisCONline last week. Here are half a dozen of my favorites—some sweet, some thoughtful, some angry. “Come ’Round for Tea” (2014), by Garrideb Showing female friendships in Marvel comics, with all the words in word balloons replaced by hearts. (song: “Baltic Sea,” by The Social Services) (2 min) “Pipeline” […]

Piano update

I noticed last night that it’s been nearly six months since I bought my electric piano and started learning more about playing it. Figured that makes this a good time for a checkin. Short version: I’m still enjoying it a lot. I’m still practicing about 20 minutes a day, with the iOS app Simply Piano. […]

More free books!

Books! Free to a good home. Let me know if you want any of these. Also some CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes. (All at the end of this post.) This list contains 100+ more books than the previous list I posted (a couple months ago), so even if you’ve already looked at the other one, […]

14 years

Today is the 14th anniversary of my father’s death. I’ve been mostly okay the past few days, but kind of fragile and mood-swingy. Have gotten some important overdue stuff done at work this week, but have also had multiple instances of getting too anxious to read specific emails and thus ending up being later than […]