Friday, April 1, 2016

Musicians : Time Saving Hack For Facebook Events

As a musician, I spend a lot of time on social media promoting my shows. More time than I would like truth be told. One of the biggest time sucking online tasks is inviting people to Facebook events. Anyone who has invited friends to a Facebook event knows this. You have to click on each person individually and scroll through to find friends to invite. For the touring musician, generally you want to invite only friends that are in the geographic location where the event is taking place. This can be a very long process. At one time I believe you could a plug-in on Chrome that would batch invite all of your friends (something I never did personally), but now Facebook has a limit on the number of friends you can invite ( probably because they want you to buy ads for the event instead).

I found this process very boring and frustrating, so I set out to find a way to streamline the process. And I found it!!

It turns out that back in the day, FB allowed users to search by geographic location, gender, age, and interests. Those options have since disappeared from the site( unless you are targeting an ad). Through my internet search efforts, I found a website that has recreated these search parameters for everyone to use. It's called Search is Back , and man I tell you, it is great! Saves me so much time!

You create your event, go to Search is Back, and type the city/province/state you want to target, and all of your friends pop up that live in that area. Done!

I'm so pleased to have found this site. It has opened up more time for me to create and rehearse my music. Which is what it is all about in the first place. Share this with your musician friends! They will thank you for it!

Monday, December 28, 2015

John Fahey : Yesterday's Wine (The Holiday Edition)

     Yet apologies to the readers.  I had to run off on short notice after hearing of the terrible fortunes of the city of Paris.  As you know, I am first a Frenchman.  And so, naturally, I have relatives scattered about France...some being in Paris.   Matter of fact - I am writing this from the other side of the Atlantic, and should return in the New some point.

     What a holiday it has been!  As I look at a crackling fire here within the comforts of a chateau, I feel a familiar warmth.  That unique temperature provided by those, whom to....we are closest.  So puzzling to realize in the same instant, why I am in fact here at home..... and therefore, what realities lie beyond a few wooden doors.  Why should darkness be visited upon me and mine when I try to walk this earth in grace?
Ahhh,....Christmas is a good time for reflection, non?
What?  Perhaps New Year's then?
Regardless of the season, these are the cards we've been dealt mes amis...
Ahhhh,...aces and and cart....chicken and egg......old wine in new bottles...
....................  ....  ...  .. . 
.....I just want a ticket for the bus to Hot Town...that's right....where the sand is hot, the music is hot, the women are warm, and the beer is cold....and the public hibachi runs on natural gas.....
Ahhhh, see how long I've been away....only a few short years ago I would have dreamt of fine wine and cheese, a loaf of bread, and the laughter of children.....should not something significant come from this time as it slides under our feet?
.....Perhaps the only person at the airport who understands where we are going  is the man playing music over the speakers... wait, there is no music in airports...but if there were...I'd like to hear some records by John Fahey - the american modern primitive.  Player of American Primitive Guitar, and assorted jigs and benders.
     Anyone who enjoys folk musics, should find pleasure here.  It is a kind of re-hash of some of the earliest recorded american popular music, mixed with "high art" ideals imported from Europe along with it's modern orchestral workings...along with a sitar...and maybe some dust from Tasmania.
     Regardless of the definition, it feels good to my ears and can be listened to under a variety of situations.          There is simplicity here.  Mastery of the steel-string guitar.  And poetic composition, mixed with meditative rhythm and structure. 

     John Fahey is yet another musician's musician who ended up with a rather short hand at the end of his relatively short life.  Coming of age after the end of WWII, and living in the suburbs of Washington D.C, John Fahey discovered and pursued his music there on the east coast. John was his own Allan Lomax you might say - collecting and learning from old recordings.  Imagine a white boy driving through the backroads of a southern U.S county during a time of turbulent racial relations, and knocking on doors of very humble homes to inquire whether they have any old records for sale.  A man could get shot under such circumstances.  Not surprisingly, John Fahey crossed paths with kindred spirits such as Mr. Joe Bussard.  This fellow was/is a serious collector of '78's.  Maybe the best.  Besides record collecting, Bussard also had a recording studio and made some of the first recordings of Fahey in 1958.  By 1959 though, John had founded his own label, Takoma records.

     Eventually, John ended up at Berkley and then at UCLA in California when the sixties unfolded.  There, he seems to have absorbed what he wanted  from the culture around him, yet struck out on his own to examine music on his terms.  It was during this period that, in addition to recording himself, John spent time searching for, and sometimes finding, long forgotten "recording artists", such as Bukka White, that he had heard via old '78's.... Once found, he would offer to record them once again.

     Fahey's discography is vast, spanning clear up to the year 2000.  As a fair introduction, may I recommend 1965's "The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death". 

  Divorce, drinking problems, health problems, medication, eventual poverty, living in a hotel.....
Pawn guitars, sell rare records...then death.

     This is American Primitive Guitar played by a spiritual detective.  In addition to the many albums John recorded, he wrote several books, and was even taken seriously as he tried his hand at painting.  Not surprisingly, Fahey also became the subject of other creative types, with a documentary film having been made of his life. 

   What more can be said?  Gitcha some.

- Rich

"The young man who had been listening, opened his eyes
and wondered at the dust and took up the guitar to try and find the old man who had disappeared.  
But nowhere was he to be found.  
"The wolves", he said, looking out the door before the stranger came in, "are gone now."