Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Whoever said all kinds of crazy things

Whoever said life was simple?  Yes, in fact, he did.  "He" being James Whoever.  A total ditz, if you ask me.  He's said all kinds of nonsense.

I have no idea what I just typed, but that's to be expected, because I'm nursing bronchitis.  The culprit is the combination of high tree pollen plus high humidity.  I called the VA for a doc's appt. and the lady on the phone reported that "lots of people are sick."  Despite that fact, hopefully I can get in tomorrow.  Our local VA is incredibly efficient--so is our huge, big-city VA.  I'm lucky to live in central Ohio, I guess.

Being an old hand at respiratory infections, I can easily explain the connection between high pollen and bronchitis.  Bad allergies=extreme congestion.  Which easily leads to a sinus infection.  Which can progress into chest issues.  Been there, done that.  The great thing is that I'm NOT in the hospital.  I credit my not being in the hospital to the asthma-management meds I've been prescribed.  I like not being in the hospital.  I prefer it, in fact.

Perhaps the strangest thing about me, medically, is the way I can have a raging infection turning into bronchitis without registering an elevated temperature.  It's spooky.  I don't know how many times I've heard, "Well, you don't have a temperature."  My standard reply?  "I never do."

Which isn't true--every once in a while, I'll register a slight fever.  If I'm at 99 or 100, I'm waaay sick.  Trust me.  The better response, therefore, would be a qualified one, such as, "Typically, I don't (have a temperature)."  Or, "I hardly ever do."  Or, "If I had a dime for every time I've heard, 'Well, you don't have a temperature,' I'd have huge piles of dimes."

And what good are huge piles of dimes?  No one uses pay phones any more, and the days of dime phone calls are long gone.  I remember those days, though.  My Mom gave me and my brother an "emergency dime" in case we needed to call home.  In those days, young kids were allowed to ride buses by themselves in the big city, play in parks all day, and so on.  No one called the cops because your children were on the playground without adult escort.

Don't mind me--I'm just rambling.  Maybe I do have a temp.  Better check.

Update: Yes, I had a temp.  VA prescribed me Prednisone and antibiotics, and I got all better.


Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Europe's Society Orchestra, from 1914: "The Castles in Europe," a.k.a. "Castle House Rag"

Above: A Victor record sleeve I forgot I owned.  It features Irene and Vernon Castle, the Castles of "The Castles in Europe."

So, guess what?  SoundCloud reinstated The Castles in Europe after deleting it for copyright reasons!  I explained that the recording is question is a 101-year-old Victor label 78, and they wrote back and said:

"Good news! We’ve reinstated this track to your account.

We're constantly working on making our copyright processes better, but mistakes do sometimes occur. Thank you for your patience as we looked into things, and apologies for any inconvenience caused.


The SoundCloud team"

How cool is that?  So, of course, I'm glad I disputed the deletion.

And... here is the track.  It's an absolutely amazing ragtime-to-jazz performance composed and arranged by James Reese Europe, music director for Irene and Vernon Castle (see sleeve scan above).  The restoration is mine.  I tried to do justice to the incredible percussion on this track.

Actually, I decided to link you to the entire set of 78s I posted, 16 in all, starting out with the 1914 masterpiece in question:

Dance and Jazz 78s, Part 1--Late 1910s to early 1920s


Tuesday, April 07, 2015

It takes the "popular" out of "popular culture"

I was going to let it go, but Bev said, "Why don't you?"  So I filed a copyright dispute with SoundCloud, a process that involves jumping through multiple hoops and ends with me giving them permission to yank my account if my dispute is in error.  You get the impression they're trying to discourage people from taking that route?

Anyway, I had just posted sixteen 78s dating from the late 1910s to early 1920s.  "The Castles in Europe" (a.k.a. "Castle House Rag") was yanked--its owned by SMCMG, says the notice I received.  How can Sony Music Entertainment own a 101-year-old Victor label recording?  This is what I asked them.

Who'd have dreamed there would be any problem in 2015 with sharing a 78 made before WWI was over?  Then again, last year I got burned for posting a Merv Griffin Christmas single recorded when my late grandfather was younger (much younger) than me.

Oh, well.  We'll see what happens.  If my account doesn't get yanked, I'll be linking to my shellac uploads.


Sunday, April 05, 2015

Happy Easter!

Cats in suits never look happy.  And I have no idea how anyone managed the poses in the above image.  Must be trickery involved.  Please tell me none of the creatures are stuffed.

For today's post, some Easter music, all of it religious.  (Religious music on Easter???).  Christ the Lord is Risen Today (a.k.a. Jesus Christ is Risen Today) starts things out.  It's me on my Casio WK-3800, overdubbing two organ tones, plus a third organ track, plus tubas in octaves.  "Tubas in Octaves" could have been the same of a rock band in 1986 or so.  They could have been the opening act for the Oil-Wrestling Arc Welders from Hell.  Such band names are no more--nowadays, band names resemble isotope designations.

Christ the Lord is Risen Today--Lee Hartsfeld, Casio WK-3800

Next, from 1902, Sweet and Clear the Birds are Singing, with music by Frederick Bullard.  I've been using this on and off as extra Easter music for more than 20 years.  Such as at this morning's service.  Here, I've added Casio bells.  I used five or so tracks:

Sweet and Clear the Birds are Singing (Bullard, 1902)--Me, on Casio WK-3800.

Last, possibly my all-time favorite hymn (and an all-purpose one; no pun intended): God Is Working His Purpose Out, composed in 1894 by Millicent D. Kingham.  I added echo to an earlier recording.  I piled up eight or nine tracks here:

God Is Working His Purpose Out (Kingham, 1894)--Me, on Casio WK-3800.

Coming up soon: Really old dance and jazz 78s from my overflowing collection.  Well, digital rips thereof, to be precise.

Hoppy Easter!!!