To Prince With Love, Cindy

Yeah, not my Cindy, but a Cindy Richgels none the less.

Brook from work brought this to my attention and I simply had to include it here in my blog. It seems Brook was perusing a Vogue article about Prince and the places he had lived in and around Minneapolis, and something caught his eye about one of the pictures in the article.

It’s quite an interesting article. Give it a look.

The highlight though had nothing to do with houses of Paisley Park or any other location.

In the article there were some shots of notes and letters left for Prince in the time after his death. One was written by a Cindy Richgels. My wife’s Cindy’s maiden name! She claims she it NOT the author. Too bad. She could have been in Vogue.

Even MY Cindy had to admit that the handwriting is very similar to hers.

And she has been to Minnesota a bit in the past year…

Just saying…


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(Perhaps) The World’s Oldest Musical Instrument

At least that’s what it says on the pamphlet included in the box.

So… some back story.

This all started with a blog I was checking out called “Stuff To Blow Your Mind” and the episode was called “Ig Nobels 2017: Liquid Cats, Didgeridoos & More”. The Ig Nobels are a series of oddball awards for crazy out there research projects or papers in the scientific community. In this episode, about 36 minutes in, the paper “Didgeridoo playing as alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in a randomized control trial” was reviewed. The gist of it was that playing the didgeridoo was helpful in controlling sleep apnea and snoring.

You can listen to the podcast if you want to hear the details, but the point of it was that on a whim I went to Spotify to see if there were any didgeridoo albums to check out.

There was!

The first one I came to was called, you guessed it, “Didgeridoo” by Phillip Glass. Honestly, it blew my mind. It was tribal and mesmerizing and I really loved it. It was perfect as background music and soothing and I found myself searching out more and more. There are traditional and very simple albums, like the Phillip Glass album and more “modern” almost rock albums like those by Ganga Giri.

After listening to this music off and on for several weeks, I ventured into the YouTube world and discovered what I consider to be the perfect demo video for didgeridoo. I was fascinated with how the sounds are produced and the circular breathing and the simplicity and rhythm and tone. It is of David Hudson, sitting in the woods, stream running in the background, demonstrating how to play and giving some history. It seems to be a problem putting in a link here so if you are interested, search YouTube for “Playing a Didgeridoo (David Hudson)”.

From this video I ended up watching many different channels that are about didgeridoo and circular breathing. One in particular that I enjoy is David Yates channel Breathwood. He makes it seem so effortless and I like his style and attitude.

It so happens that he also plays several different kinds of didgeridoo, including “travel” size didgeridoos that are rectangular or round. That led me to wonder how much one cost.

Immediately I discovered you can pay a ridiculous amount to get real a didgeridoo directly from termite hollowed trees from Australia… check out THIS site:

they are beautiful and authentic and very expensive

or, get one from Guitar Center.

Then I discovered that you can buy one on Amazon. They have real wooden didgeridoos and synthetic ones also. I found one synthetic that was 48″ and came with a bag and instructional video, and after much hemming and hawing… ordered it.

Could I play this thing? Was this a crazy thing to buy? I don’t know.

At dinner several nights later, I “confessed” to my wife that I had bought a didgeridoo. I don’t know what I expected but she was cool about it. I told her it was a cheap synthetic didg, but that it would be a chance to see if I had any didg chops or a real interest. She said, “well, it’s not a real didgeridoo, but it will didgeridoo”.  Thanks Cyn.

At any rate, it arrived a few days later, ironically on the same day that I had a tooth extracted. In essence putting a few week delay on even trying it, but it is here.

I have checked out a few YouTube videos on drills to run on prepping your breathing and diaphragm that I can do in the meantime and after a respectable amount of time (per my maxillofacial surgeon) and the removal of my 1 stitch… I’ll try to make my first noise with it.

also there is the DVD to digest in the meantime.

Not sure David Yates would approve of this synthetic job, but if it takes off for me, I might invest in a real wooden didg.

Wish me luck!

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Dentist Office Nirvana

As I sit here waiting for Joe to get his appointment taken care of, while holding an ice pack on MY face due to my tooth extraction on Monday…

I am soothed by Nirvana doing “The Man Who Sold The World” from their Unplugged release.

Not the kind of tune that I would expect as easy listening waiting room music, but I’ll take it.

Next up was Closing Time by Semisonic.

It could be way worse.

Alice Cooper “Unfinished Sweet” ?

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Kalamazoo Rocks (Cement?)

At least the Kalamazoo State Theater does!

This picture was from our trip there in March to check out Abbey’s new house, which is awesome by the way. That evening we checked out the “downtown” area of the Kalamazoo megalopolis and I spotted the above marquee there.

Robin Trower!

That would be a great show. I am heartened that he is still touring and when we got home from that trip I listened to “Bridge of Sighs” and “Live” back to back. SO good.

During that trip I also picked up an album from Green Light Records for my Hipgnosis collection, which by the way I have given up on. I went into a full explanation in my latest YouTube video, which in an ironic twist features an album that Abbey turned me on to. Full circle.

However, the most mind-blowing thing from the trip was the mental trip I took when I saw this simple turtle sculpture.

I stopped dead in my tracks and my mind spun out to when I was a kid and played in the school playground that was just down the road from my grandparents trailer that I would stay at during the summer. This playground featured 2 types of equipment. The first was metal. I’m talking death-defying slides that were sometimes obscured by low clouds, a row of teeter totters that no doubt caused at least several children injury, and ridiculously tall climbing structures made of metal poles that I would NEVER let any kid of mine play on, but remember this was the 70’s. The other type of equipment was this weird surreal landscape made of cement. There were climbing structures and shapes to play on. THIS was one of them.

I was so stoked about seeing this I made Joe get on it.

and then Cyn and I got on it.

What an incredible blast from the past!

AND… as I sat down to write this I looked for a picture of what I called the “moon base” when I played on and around it. I found it!

I played on this thing for hours. I pretended I was in a shoot out and stuck my pistol hand out the little holes, or pretended this was a base on the moon, or a jungle tree house.

Turns out it was all designed by the same guy!

Full article and memory blow out here:

I wonder if this turtle is a “repress” or an original sculpture.

See how I brought it back to music there to justify including it!?

Hey. I write this. It only has to the flimsiest excuse.

Thank you Jim Miller-Melburg. You rock!

See… I did it again.

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The Good, The Bad and The Dubby

Unbeknownst to me, as we walked out of the recent English Beat show, Cindy was handed a flier for a movie premiere that was happening here in Madison. Too bad I didn’t notice.

This would have been amazing. You can check out the trailer here:

I have been into Dub music for quite a while now, AND, these old spaghetti westerns are engrained in my psyche from when my father let me stay up ludicrously late on nights I shouldn’t have to watch them with him. All of the Clint Eastwood movies… For A Few Dollars More, The Good The Bad and The Ugly and For A Few Dollars More were favorites. The music was entrancing and distinct, and later I came to know from Ennio Morricine.

The grit and grandeur of such movies was epic, with Clint becoming THE archetypal gunslinger.

As for Dub music, there has been a long history of dub producers taking on films and video games and even other bands for fodder for releases. For instance Lee Perry and The Upsetters “Kung Fu Meets The Dragon” and Scientist “Space Invaders”. Sure they are gimmicky, but I find myself going for those because of that. So no slight.

This movie would be awesome. It says it is coming out Spring 2018.

I hope I didn’t miss my chance to see it.

Not sure it would play at Marcus Point Cinemas.

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Thinking Of You Today My Friend

Today is 3 years since my friend Dalton passed. I couldn’t let the day go by without acknowledging him.

I think of this dude daily, as I listen to music, and I say to myself… Dalton would have loved this!!!… wishing I could make an old school tape and share it with him. We shared so much with over the years. We made tapes together on random afternoons when there was nothing better to do and then played them as we played hacky in the garage, or drove around with no destination in mind. He was into music as deeply as I was and we communicated through it.

We were friends through thick and thin and I miss him.

Mystery tune!

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1 Dollar Nostalgia Sealed With A Kiss

Yes, the CD is becoming a nostalgia item. I often attempt to NOT look at them when I enter my local St. Vinnie’s, but often I fail.

Yesterday I walked out with 10. I got some Cranberries, a local album by Caravan that was recorded at The Brink (I’ve seen shows there!) and a fully sealed brand new album by The Specials, a Steve Martin bluegrass album signed by all the band members (not Steve, oh well) and an MIA album I have been wanting and a couple of others.

The highlight of the batch however was a CD single.

I had this music back in the day when it came out. Pretty certain I had it as a cassette single, but the format makes little difference. I laughed when I pulled it out of the shelf lineup, but after my laugh I found myself singing it in my head and not putting it back. When I left, it was in my pile.

Anyone remember this one?

Right Said Fred.

Wow, what a one hit wonder. It was so catchy you couldn’t not like it. My cassingle had lots of versions of the song. This CD? You bet.

One thing I don’t remember from my cassingle is the “All Thanks To Jimi Hendrix For His Supreme Inspiration” part. Hendrix? Interesting.

At any rate, the song and some of the remixes are a real nostalgia trip. I even remember the video for this song and the music and flashed of the video are permanently merged in my brain.

Sheer indulgence, but it was a buck. You would probably pay the same to download the song from Amazon, and now I have every version (including instrumental and Spanish version).

I believe my Right Said Fred collection is complete, and I couldn’t be happier.

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