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Posts Tagged ‘Music’

Galleys of Give the Drummer Some Just Arrived!

Thursday, July 15, 2010 @ 03:07 PM  posted by Mark

Galley/review copies of my new novel Give the Drummer Some just arrived. We’re planning a release party in August when the novel becomes available for sale, and a tour in September and October!

Give the Drummer Some tells the story of Mouse Watkins, leader of the Bad Apples—the funkiest old school soul band in St. Louis. For twenty years, he’s been laying down smoking grooves, tasty rhythms and gutbucket funk in dance clubs up and down the Mississippi, always one break away from the Big Time. But Mouse is starting to wonder if his break will ever come.

Mouse’s best friend has disappeared with the Bad Apples’ last dollar, his tour van won’t start and a groupie stole his only warm coat at the band’s last show. Now, with no stomach for starting over (again) and a bleak winter on the horizon, Mouse washes up in East St. Louis, exactly where he started two decades ago. His dreams have come to nothing. Or have they?

Give the Drummer Some
is an odyssey into the heart of pop music and the soul of St. Louis, a book about the choices all artists, even great artists, have to make when the brilliant spotlight of stardom fails to shine on them.

I’ll announce details of the release party and tour when I know them. In the meantime, take a cue from the Godfather of Soul and Think (about the Funk!).

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Belles-Lettres: Grunt

Thursday, February 4, 2010 @ 08:02 PM  posted by Mark

Illustrator Sandra Boynton‘s perverse love letter to Gregorian Chant, Grunt, is a multimedia satire of Medieval earnestness and the only classical recording I know that offers rigorously arranged, beautifully performed songs in Pig Latin. The package includes a lovely hardcover book, generously and humorously illustrated, detailing the history and mission of the fictitious monastic community of Snouto Domoinko de Silo; and a lavishly produced CD of Gregorian Chants, performed by classically trained vocalists singing beautiful monophonies and polyphonies from the perspective of pigs. The Snouto Domoinko de Silo is a collective of humble, worshipful pigs and their “lesser” barnyard companions, chickens, cows and farmers, and the text of the chants (in Pig Latin, with English translation) chronicles the existential struggles and religious philosophies of domesticated beasts. For example, this Chant is a call and response at dinnertime between a Farmer and some hungry Chickens:

Vocatio Secunda (Second Call)

All songs are written by the author and performed by the Ad Hog Camerata, a joyful choir under the direction of Fenno Heath (former Director of the Yale Glee Club) and Choirmaster Bruce McInnes. Grunt is that rare novelty whose art is as accomplished as its satire. Play it at a gathering and classical music buffs will roll on the floor with laughter, while your less medievally hip friends will simply wonder what on earth possessed you to play such solemn religious music at a party.

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