Monday, 24 November 2008

Folkstreams » The Best of American Folklore Films

Folkstreams » The Best of American Folklore Films

is really interesting. There's so much to discover on this site! You can see films about culture, folk music, traditions, people and history. It is practically bursting at the seams with amazing content!

I have been visiting this website quite a bit, and I have seen some really interesting films. It mostly centres around music history and the preservation of culture. Folkstreams is not about everyday music and history. The emphasis seems to be on preserving and highlighting music and communities that have been forgotten -- it is important work! Transcripts and biographies can also be viewed. It is vital that attempts are made to archive, and also highlight, these human stories. They are part of our collective history.

I have found many interesting musicians, there. Although the emphasis is on America, everyone can find something that is worth seeing. Movies about everything; from medicine shows, to communities living in the Appalachian Mountian country.

An important point: it is possible to actually view the films, in streaming format; which is a huge plus! Although, they are not intended for personal use (which is understandable).

In short, check it out! I think you will be glad you did.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Mitch's Playlist: Edition 0.0

I thought it would be fun, every so often, to take some time to talk about the music that I have been listening to. I'll try to comment on each entry, as well.

It is a study, unto itself but it's also an interesting way to talk about newly-discovered CDs, or old favourites. It's almost always in CD format; but I have been using iTunes more often, lately.

So, the first edition of Mitch's Playlist:
  • The Essential Leonard Cohen -- Leonard Cohen. From what I can gather, it was supposed to be a double-disc set. It was loaned to me by a friend. I found out later that there may have been a second disc. It doesn't matter; Cohen is great!
  • 03 -- Son of Dave. I have reported on this album, before. It is so much fun! It is always interesting to hear musicians, who combine such diverse elements.
  • King Biscuit Time -- Sonny Boy Williamson II. The album has its roots in radio show, on which Williamson and his band were regular guests. I think they even did the advertisements! The second 'Sonny Boy' (aka Aleck Miller) was an harmonica legend.
See you next time.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Some reasons to love Mitch Mitchell

I have been thinking about this, since yesterday's post. Invariably, he will be billed as 'Hendrix's drummer'. Many other articles that covered the story, speak about Mitch, as though he were only some kind of skilled side man. Although playing with Jimi Hendrix is an incredible accomplishment, I think it is only fair to consider Mitchell as a talent on his own terms.

Here are some reasons, to love John 'Mitch' Mitchell:
  • His apparent ability to hit everything on his drum kit -- at once; whilst being soulful.
  • He played Woodstock.
  • His commitment to keeping Hendrix's legacy alive.
  • The drum part on 'Manic Depression'.
  • He played on each of Jimi's studio albums.
  • For being considered as a potential member of The Who (before Moon).
  • For never trying to exploit his resume.
  • His drumming (in general)!
  • For using my given name!
If you think of more, always comment!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Drummer Mitch Mitchell found dead

Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell found dead -

It is my sad duty to report the news that John 'Mitch' Mitchell, the pioneering drummer for The Jimi Hendrix Experience, has passed away. As the name of the group suggests, The Experience was a huge part of Hendrix's initial explosion onto the music scene. He was also a child-actor.

Some have suggested that the musicians with whom Hendrix surrounded himself provided only a backdrop for his musical creativity, that is a dubious statement to make. Jimi had an ability to surround himself with fantastic musicians. Mitch was no exception! He was jazz-influenced drummer, inspired by Elvin Jones with an aggressive, poly-rhythmic style. they think I am correct in saying, that Mitch played with Hendrix more consistently than any other musician. from the formation of the Experience in 1966, until the original lineup parted company in 1969; then, with the reformation of The Experience (with bassist Billy Cox) in 1970.

Of course, Hendrix died in September of 1970. You may notice that I speak about Hendrix's career, and those around him, with relative ease. I write about this because I want to.

Mitch played in an extended lineup with Hendrix, at the Woodstock festival. He had a really intense approach to his instrument and contributed a jazz flavour to the music of Hendrix, and others.

Following Hendrix's death, Mitch has been keeping a much lower profile. Although, he has worked with numerous other musicians, after 1970. Mitchell sometimes worked in production capacity, as well. He had done much to keep the legacy of his friend, Jimi, alive. He participated in many tours, along with other musicians who had worked with Hendrix, during his lifetime. In fact, that's what he had been doing, around the time of his death. He was found dead in his hotel room, at the age of 62.

Mitchell was the last surviving member of the original Jimi Hendrix Experience; bassist Noel Redding died in 2003. The second lineup is sometimes referred to as the 'Cry of Love' band.

There is much that could be said about Mitch, and his contribution to music... but the music speaks for itself. You will be sorely missed, Mitch!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Looking into Wolfgang's Vault

The link below leads to a site that is known as 'Wolfgang's Vault':

Free streaming live music, Live concert recordings, Live music downloads, Classic rock concerts

So, what is so special about it? It offers rare and interesting concert recordings, for just about every influential musician you can think of. What's more, it's legal (and that is the real revelation). For once, it is possible to register for a free account and listen to your fill of hard-to-come-by music; without having to worry about going to jail for copyright infringement!

It seems far too good to be true! The website works because the artists are paid or compensated, every time the music is streamed. Also, I think the website buys the legal rights to use the music. Still more of the content can be bought by individuals and used.

The music that is offered not the usual mainstream, popular stuff, either. These were significant and historic (or just plain good) gigs. Everyone, from Jimi Hendrix to The Grateful Dead; to Van Morrison to Muddy Waters, to Neil Young; is listed. Each artist seems to have several shows to their name, at least.

I can only hope that it is, indeed, as good as it seems to be.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Follow by E-mail

I am happy to say that some of you have shown interest in what I am doing, with this blog. If that's the case, thank you.

So, I want to make it as easy as possible for you to follow what I'm doing. In that vein, I have come across some innovations. They serve to increase my readership, and to make it generally easier for my readers. Recently, I installed 'subscribe' buttons, and some services to do with StumbleUpon. Today, I have improved things just a little bit more. Now, anyone can enter their e-mail address, directly into the field to the right of the post -- and they will be notified of new content, via e-mail. Some of you are already receiving notifications, so this feature will work for those of you who aren't. There will be no more need to fiddle around with feeds and readers, if you do not want to.

There might be more that I have forgotten about; so stay tuned.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Barack Obama: elected!

I made this video, after the election of Barack Obama. I am very pleased. He will soon be the 44th President of The United States.

Change has arrived, in a most eloquent form. One of the things that strikes me, is that Mr Obama does not speak to the public as if they were children.