Tag Archives: Music

Have some music: Three Nights Live

Here on the blog I don’t talk much about the Husband’s career. But he’s not just an Internet wizard, or a musician, or a spy, or my arm candy. He’s the co-owner of a record company, Goose Creek Music. It’s an independent label that features Americana artists. It specializes in capturing live performances.

Three Nights Live is Goose Creek’s brand new album. It was recorded over — yeah, three nights — at roadhouses in Houston, Austin, and Oklahoma City. The Husband co-executive produced with his partner Mike Pugh. He worked as a roadie. He put 1,200 miles on our Toyota in a couple of days, and shlepped the gear, and set up the sound system, and put the album together.

Here’s one of the songs from the album: “Act of God” by Raina Rose. She’s singing, along with Rebecca Loebe and Bernice Hembree. (Fans of The Voice might remember Rebecca from Season 1.)


Anybody who wants to support these musicians can get the album from iTunes, CDBaby, or Amazon.

Off to London. Start talking.

Today I’m traveling from Austin to London. So consider this an open thread. What’s everybody listening to? Watching? Reading?

To entertain you while you talk amongst yourselves, here’s some music from The Love Ways.

Why yes, the drummer is indeed my kid. Why else do you think I’m posting the video?

Read, watch, listen?

This week’s going to be head-down time, as I dig into my novel in progress. So help me out. What are you reading, watching, listening to?

I’ll start:


  • The Rest is Noise, Alex Ross
  • Star Island, Carl Hiaasen


  • Rise of the Planet of the Apes
  • Super 8


  • Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 2
  • Florence and the Machine: Lungs

Library memories… sexy, scary?

GalleyCat writes:

At one point in their lives, everybody in the GalleyCat audience had a crush on a librarian. To help literary types cope with these feelings, Flavorwire compiled a list of “10 Best Songs About Libraries and Librarians” The list contains some great tunes, from “There She Goes, My Beautiful World” by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds to “Fun Fun Fun” by The Beach Boys to “Swinging London” by The Magnetic Fields (quoted in our headline). What are your favorites?

“Fun Fun Fun” is my favorite from the list, and I’d add “Marion” From The Music Man. But I’ve never had a crush on a librarian. My most vivid library experiences have been more dramatic and confrontational. I’m thinking of the time in college when I looked up from a book in the underground stacks in Green Library, and saw a bat fly past. Chased, a second later, by a librarian with a crazed glare and a broom in her hands.

But mostly I’m thinking of the time in high school when a certain table of kids wouldn’t quiet down. The librarian stalked over to scold us them. Standing directly behind a friend of mine, she began berating the miscreants — pointing and growling and leaning so far over to drive home her point that my friend ended up with her face nearly pressed to the table. Everybody else at the table was either shamefaced or trying not to laugh out loud. And then a bold and lunatic classmate stood, hooked his thumbs under his armpits, flapped his arms, and shouted at the librarian, “Caw! Caw! Caw!”

It felt like we were watching Braveheart challenge the English on the battlefield: five seconds of dumbfounded exhilaration. Then we all got kicked out.

Yes, my teens really were as wild as I’ve just portrayed.

Fun fun fun.

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Merry, Merry

More Christmas music! Here’s “Come, Join in Praise.” Written by the Husband. Vocals: Dan Hiatt, Jane Maurer. Flute: Dave Tolegian. Keyboards: David Potter. Guitar: Paul Shreve.

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Merry Christmas

Christmas needs music. Here’s Handel’s “Praise The Lord,” sung by St. Barbara’s Parish Choir, with Ronald Thompson on trumpet. Recorded at the Old Mission, Santa Barbara, in 1984. The organist on this recording is my father, Frank Gardiner.

Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel, Frohe Weihnachten, Buon Natale!

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When organists go off the rails

Handel’s Messiah suffers a train wreck.

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Favorite cover songs

The Guardian’s music blog asks readers for their favorite “unlikely” cover versions of famous songs, and gets hundreds of fabulous suggestions, from the David Bowie/Bing Crosby version of “The Little Drummer Boy” to William Shatner singing “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.”

What are some of your favorite cover songs – unlikely or not?

I’ll start:

Johnny Cash, “Hurt” (Nine Inch Nails)

Jimi Hendrix, “All Along the Watchtower” (Bob Dylan)

k.d. lang, “Hallelujah” (Leonard Cohen)

Which, because it’s Friday, and it never hurts to hear some great music, I’m posting below.

(Thanks to Sheila Crowley for the k.d. lang link.)

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How about some Christmas carols?

Since I’m in the mood for lists… what are your favorite Yule tunes? And are there any that you hate?

On which subject, Books, Inq. posts what may be the world’s worst recording of O Holy Night.

In contrast, here’s my favorite version of O Come, All Ye Faithful. Sung by the choir of the Stanford Catholic Community, directed by Teresa Pleins. Playing the flute (of course!) is my daughter, Kate. The organist is James Welch.

Does he want to join the choir?

The Husband saw this video and said, “God help me if this guy turns up at church on Christmas Eve.”

How to drive a church musician nuts

I snark about things that drive writers nuts. Here’s a virtual snark on behalf of the Husband.

To irk a church musician:

1. Introduce yourself to the music director at church. Tell him your son lives across the country but visits occasionally. You think it would do your son good to get involved with church, and want him to play piano at Mass when he visits. When the music director points out that the church already has a professional pianist, say, “Well, maybe you could come an hour early when my son’s here and teach him how to play.” Look befuddled when he demurs.

2. Two weeks before Christmas, introduce yourself to the music director. Tell him your young daughter takes harp lessons. She has learned how to play “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.” Tell him you’d like her to play the carol as a solo at all Christmas services. Splutter with outrage when he demurs.

3. Surprise your friend the music director. Tell him you’ve found the violin on which you took lessons as a child… and that you’ve decided to join him at Christmas and play it! Assure him that “It’ll all come back to me sooner or later.” When he gently — oh, so gently — points out that for Christmas, all the musicians must be able to read music, and that the ensemble has been practicing for two months, roll your eyes and grumble, “Sheet music? Parts? Oh, for Pete’s sake — Christmas music is supposed to be fun.”

4. On Christmas Eve, turn up for Midnight Mass with three grumpy children — who are carrying a tambourine, an accordian, and a trumpet. Shove them at the music director, saying, “The only way I could get these brats to come to church was to tell them they could play their instruments.”

5. Before Mass, while the congregation is singing carols, project a slide show on the church wall about “Our broken world.” Display photos showing the horrors of war, including a Bosnian Serb militiaman brandishing an enemy’s severed head. Project the image directly above the manger, like a bloody star of Bethlehem. That way, children in the pews will focus on it and understand how wretched humanity truly is, and what really makes Baby Jesus cry.

5. In the middle of a service, while the choir is singing, walk up to the conductor. Announce that you’re in charge of the toddlers’ group. Put a piece of sheet music on the music stand, covering up the piece he is conducting. Tell him, “I want you to play this song next.” Look perplexed when he knocks you to the floor with a spinning crescent kick.

6. If you’re the music director, assemble the Barbie Corvette that Santa’s bringing your little girl before you go to Midnight Mass. Superglue your fingers together. Cut them apart with X-acto knife. Play guitar with hands swaddled in gauze and medical tape.

7. Pray that these events don’t all take place in a single year.

I always knew country music was deadly

“Song Climbs To Top of Country Music Charts, Throws Itself Off.”