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My one holiday tune

A few days ago I posted my one and only Christmas song on my Bandcamp page, set the download price to "free" ... and then procrastinated on mentioning it. Now I'm going to actually tell readers that it's out there! "Christmas On the Road" was written in 1979, and I recorded this version in 2001.

Free downloads till Dec. 31, 2014. Free streaming forever.

If you've seen this mentioned on Twitter or Facebook already, it's the same thing. I'm just covering all the bases here. I wanted a cute little gadget or image here, but LJ and Bandcamp aren't on the same speaking terms as LJ and YouTube are. I should probably stop complaining and whinging, and just encourage you to enjoy the song, huh?

Perfect Songs day 5 and a statement

I didn't forget, I was just late. I went through a few choices, and then I came up with this as a result of the continued barrage of news of the world.

I'm not the only one with distress and disgust over life around me. I saw at least two other LJ posts saying so, not to mention my friends in real life who are so afflicted. Police exercise extreme powers and are unchecked and unaccountable. Most of the victims are African Americans, which reinforces the centuries-old racism of America, though not all victims are. Beloved figures go years assaulting women and only belatedly, if at all, pay the cost, and that's just a few of the men who victimize women; too many get away with it completely. My country, of which I am supposed to be uncommonly proud, just admitted it tortured people, illegally and pointlessly, yet some of its leaders and I'm sure their followers dispute the reports while saying they would do it again. Congress gives the store away to banks, oil companies, and other American oligarchs. Meanwhile, we continue to be involved in a Middle Eastern conflict we do not understand, with almost no possible chance of a positive outcome for anyone. But none of this matters, because soon millions of the planet's citizens will be killed or displaced due to climate changes that our leaders, corporate and political, refuse to make any commitments to mitigating.

Yeah. I am the backseat driver from America. I am not at the wheel of control. I am guilty, I am war, and I am the root of all evil. And I can't drive on the left side of the road.

Twenty-five years since Nanci Griffith wrote that song, and our kids still have no place to go.


Perfect Songs, Day 4


Day four came dangerously close to being the Allman Brothers Band's "Ramblin' Man." That song is one of the longest-lived residents of Charlie's Top Ten of All Time. But it's not as if I go around playing southern boogie rock for a career. Canadian folk songs, now, that's a different story. "If You Could Read My Mind" is one of the few favorites that's even longer-lived than "Ramblin' Man" as I actually remember IYCRMM from the year it was released in the States (1970-71). It's still great, 44 years later.

By the way, the image in the thumbnail is just a random shot from the video, which was compiled by another fan to give pictures to the soundtrack. I don't *think* it's the original Mrs. Lightfoot, at any rate.


Dec. 7th, 2014

I took the weekend off from the Five Perfect Songs challenge, so the next one will be tomorrow.

The show I played in at the Dovetail on Friday night went very well. I can pick apart my own performance, of course, but it overall went pretty well and people seemed to like it. The other three performers were excellent too. We had a small glitch when the last guy was running late, so I acted as impromptu emcee and ran a short open mic. It was a fun night.

I got two good things out of it: practice in performing live again, and practice being outgoing and interacting with the audience and the other performers. It had been a year and a half since my last show, and I had kind of slipped into a cave, metaphorically. I'm glad I came out of the cave this weekend.

With that behind me, now I have to deal with the holiday season. I'm totally flatfooted again, as with every other year: nothing done about decorating, shopping, greeting cards, or even digging up a couple of grains of holiday cheer to get myself going. Fortunately, my nephew and his family are hosting the Big Day this time, so I could severely minimize my activities if I wanted to. But I'd miss having lights and decorations up, and I have to shop anyway. We'll see. Unfortunately it's a relatively short season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so there isn't that much time. Maybe this year I'll actually order things through the Internet. Whoa, what a concept....

Perfect Songs, Day 3


It makes me sad that not everyone is aware just how great the Canadian band Blue Rodeo is. This is probably my favorite song of theirs. I'm not as familiar with the official video as with the song itself, and it's a bit darker than I would've expected. It's still a great song.


Perfect Songs, Day 2


Of COURSE R.E.M. was going to show up here. Another song with entwined vocals, what were the odds?


Five perfect songs, part 1

Here's something going around Facebook (I know, there's probably an ointment for that). One of my Louisville cousins (actually husband of a cousin but he's so cool, why split hairs?) challenged me to post 5-songs in 5-days that are as close to perfection as possible. Why not share them here too?

This one was going to be my day 2 post, but I haven't come up with day 1 yet, so ... It's from Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer's second CD, Tanglewood Tree the title track to be specific. The harmonies on this just kill me, they're so good.

Edit: Dang, there's no embed for that one. So this is one boring video link post. Oh well.


Charlie's playing a SHOW!

I'm pleased to announce that I will be part of a great night of music on Friday, December 6, 2014 at The Dovetail in Warren, Michigan. It's my first show in maybe a year and a half, not counting open mics.

On the bill are: I've checked out all the music and it's all going to sound good to you, I'm sure. The order we'll play in has not been set, yet, but you'll want to come for the whole night anyway.

The show runs from 8:00 to 11:00. Coffee, tea, and snacks are available. There'll probably be a tip jar in case we make you so happy you want to give us money. The Dovetail is on Hoover Rd. just north of 12 Mile Road — look for the big President Tuxedo sign, and the Dovetail is right there.


Week in Review

Been a quiet week here, for the most part. Dave came up on Thursday (leaving tomorrow) so we've been hanging out. The big event was a trip to John K. King Books in downtown Detroit. Books, books, and more books — four floors of books, old and older. Dave found a small treasure trove of aviation, automobile, and volcano books. I was a little less fortunate, two Damon Runyon collections and one was a Barnes & Noble edition of Guys and Dolls published in the 1990s; I wanted an edition from when it was originally published in the 1930s. I'm not really complaining, though. I just have fun looking through their stacks. Apparently we're not the only ones, for the place was full of customers yesterday.

We also had our usual cavalcade of ethnic dinner delights: Mexican, Chinese, Indian, and American (i.e., Chicken Shack). And naps, of course.

The rest of the week was not very remarkable, except I just realized I never mentioned that I'm having physical therapy to correct a pain in my arm and tingling in my hand which is ultimately due to a neck issue. It's going very well, and the symptoms are largely gone now. This would've made a good LJ post if I was making those last week, which apparently I wasn't. Maybe I'll go into more detail soon.

Late Sunday afternoon at Java Hutt

It's not as much fun to take selfies in a coffeehouse when you have to troubleshoot the webcam first. I only had to reboot the computer once. Anyway, hi! Dave and I saw this hat at Meijer last month and after I tried it on he convinced me I had to buy it. I hadn't gotten a new hat in years and it was not expensive, so what the heck. Fortunately, it's cold enough now that I can wear it a lot. You can perhaps also say "Unfortunately, it's cold enough now..." if you are so inclined.

It's my usual Sunday at Java Hutt in Ferndale, having their coffee even though I could actually make coffee at home. Today they had pumpkin pie, and they're playing an online radio mix cool enough to contain Fleet Foxes and other cool tunes. I brought my stack of bills and other mail, sorted them, paid what needed paying, looked at what needed looking at, and felt like something was accomplished in the end. That let me feel as though I could do something frivolous like take a selfie in my spiffy new beanie/touque/whatyacallit. (In southern Indiana, they call it a toboggan. I thought a toboggan was longer. And wooden.)

I'm supposed to go grocery shopping. But it's Sunday and I feel like procrastinating a little, as long as the music stays good.

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December 2014



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