The Delta Snake Review

The Delta Snake Review


Thursday, March 31, 2016

Handa-McGraw International American primitive music field recording tour: day 39

Today's entry: Hobo Spoons are better than survival knives, and bring plenty of quarters...

I described buying a Bear Grier survival knife in a previous entry, and so far, other than using it to cut a cheese package open, it's still in pristine shape.

I won't go as far as saying it's useless, as next item I describe, I owned for almost 3 years before finally using it.

I believe it's called a hobo spoon, although it's really sort of a Swiss Army knife for eating utensils. 

The reason I never used it for three years was because, as a general rule, it's seems easier to carry a supply of plastic eating utensils (or grab a bunch at the local condiment counter at a fast food joint).

However, it was evitable that I would run out of plastic forks. So I took out the hobo spoon for the first time, and frankly was hooked. Plastic utensils are fine, but you can't really beat a metal fork and spoon for eating.

The only complaint I have is that I would rather have a good can opener on it than a corkscrew. Though I imagine that the majority of people would find a low brow way to open a wine bottle handier.

Quarters Are King:

I hear a lot of talk about bitcoins being the new universal currency, but on the road the true universal cash are quarters.

For anything from vending machines to laundromats, you need quarters. Sure, many vending machines take dollar bills but often those devices aren't working or won't take the bill you're offering.

Also, quarters are the perfect emergency money. If you keep bills as your stash, you're going to spend it. The nice thing about quarters is that making any kind of a large purchase, like for gas, is often embarrassing to do with change, so any of those coins put away for a rainy day is likely to stay there until you really need it.

Hard to believe that 39 days have passed since announcing the periscope live broadcasts, though there was a two week delay due to breaking my nails during the move (women and fingerpicking guitarists will understand how debilitating that is). 

The main thing was that when playing for recording, you're only playing a number until you get a good take. It didn't take long to realize that knowing a number well enough to do it live was a whole different thing, and changed my original choice of instrument to perform with. 

I'd say I'm about a week from finally starting the periscope broadcasts, give or take a month...

Hobo Spoon set, the two halves assemble into one unit.

Ivy seen here taking a break from her laundry sorting duties...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Handa-McGraw International American primitive music field recording tour: day whatever

Roommate Issues With A Small Cute White Fluffy Dog:

A long string of rainy days has delayed the live Periscope broadcasts in the wild (though indoors is being considered), but has also driven the Handa-McGraw International Field Recording Broadcast Team indoors.

While the first days of the road trip were all fun and games, the later days have brutally exposed the challenges of living on the road with a little white fluffy diva.

The snoring I can live with, I'm used to wearing ear plugs when sleeping.

Ivy's preference for sleeping in various locations of the bed (including on any pillow that doesn't have a human head in it at that moment) and the noise and shaking from her preparing the spot to feel just right at 3am is pushing the envelope of universal brotherhood, but tolerable.

But I prefer to sleep using a light cover, and my little white fluffy bed hog has decided that while I do have certain rights as her master and as the one whose paid for the room, my favorite down comforter has now become a scene of territorial conflict.

Her attitude is that I can have the comforter when in legitimate use, otherwise it's fair game for her rapacious appetite for territory.

Getting angry with her isn't an option. No human being can get stern with a tiny little white fluffy dog who knows how to act stricken with fear and not feel like a callous bully and animal hater.

Those who know Shih tzu's also understand that Ivy wouldn't obey any direct order anyway, no matter how often it's repeated or how many times I carry her to the dog bathroom area or try to bribe her with extra meals.

Thus, like most post moderns, my angst finds expression in social networks and my blog. At least humans will listen...

I believe the first song on the periscope broadcast will be a blues...

Ivy seen here enjoying the soft luxury of my down comforter and jeans.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Handa-McGraw International American primitive music field recording tour: day 11

Using Vintage Instruments In The Field:

One of the earliest technical questions dealt with was, what kind of instruments will we use for these upcoming field recordings on Periscope next week?

That is to say, do we use our actual instruments or buy cheaper guitars for outdoor road tour use.

Instrument theft and damage is a big enough problem that many artists, particularly in the rock genre, rent instruments to take on tour and leave their rare and expensive stuff home.

I decided to take one or two of my personal instruments into the field at a time, and not buy/rent cheapies. The main reason being that there's a difference between relaxing by the campfire with a guitar and doing a live video segment in the field. Sound quality will be an issue, and there's no point in exacerbating the problem with instruments I don't enjoy playing.

I figure playing live into my iPhone will be difficult enough without getting used to new instruments, and in the case of my old Gibson six string acoustic, it's the only guitar of that type I've kept around (as a rule, I've preferred to use 12 strings). 

The risk of theft or damage should be minimal as the video segments will be from various locations in the wild away from large groups of people, and the obvious types of live shots like busking on street corners have been ruled out for safety reasons. 

I might do an entry on that in the future, as busking is an interesting subject and has realities that aren't always in line with it's low rent glamorous image.

It goes without saying that doing things like playing in the rain is something football players do, not musicians.

The main reason I'm using my instruments in the field is simple; I bought the things to play and record with, not keep in a glass case. 

The old Gibson, for example, has survived 83 years of use and abuse because it was obviously loved and played. If it finally meets it's end on my watch, it'll go out doing what it was intended to do, create music.

Besides, anyone who wants to get at my old Gibson will have to get past my savage and merciless guard dog...

Ivy seen here on duty as my guitar tech and guard dog.