Saturday, February 14, 2009

Musical Questions Anyone?

Hey everybody, another Musical Questions installment tomorrow, this time around from a wonderful musician whose main instrument these days is not as familiar as it might be. The musician is Scott Houston, someone I’ve known since my Bay Area days, & someone whose musicianship I’ve long respected. In addition to being an excellent bassist, Scott these days usually holds forth on the lap steel guitar. The lap steel is instrument that has fascinated both Eberle & I for a long time; we have a lap steel ourselves, a 6-string Gretsch, & we do play around with it quite happily from time to time. For those who’d like to learn more about this instrument, you can get some good general information at Wikipedia here, or a bit more in depth at the excellent site, Brad’s Page of Steel.

Scott Houston is much more than an occasional noodler on the lap steel, however. He’s the real deal, able to provide the instruments characteristically haunting melodies & riffs as an integral part of his current band, Oakland’s The Mighty Lynch Pins (that’s the band in the pic), & also from time to time in Chris Leone’s loose confederation (of which Eberle & I are also members, at least in the band's occasional Great Northwest configuration), the Spurs of the Moment. Be sure to check in for Scott’s insightful & entertaining Musical Questions tomorrow; as a sneak preview of Scott’s music making, check out the video of Mr Houston qua rock bassist in Carrie Bradley’s fantastic band, 100 Watt Smile. The video was recorded at one of my all-time favorite Baghdad by the Bay nightclubs, the Bottom of the Hill, in 2000. Tomorrow, you’ll get to check out Scott’s current (& decidedly more laid-back) incarnation in a video of the Mighty Lynch Pins.

In other blog news, I’ve run across three new blogs (both new to me & relatively new overall) that are well worth checking out. Don Parker, Ink is a hilarious new blog (with a tip of the hat to mouse medicine’s eponymous Mouse & to Citizen K. for pointing him out) that specializes in political/cultural satire & is a fun & refreshing read. Tho Don Parker, Ink is very much “fresh off the presses,” this is one blogger who really hit the ground running.

I’ve also very much enjoyed a recent find (actually, someone who found this spot first), The Butler and the Bagman Chronicles. This also is a relatively new blog, & also one that’s quite droll & novel—but in an interesting way, not just novelty for its own sake. Butler and Bagman mostly consists of episodic tales involving the two title characters who, per the masthead, are personifications of the author’s ego & id. The writing is humorous & delightful, & there are also some engaging “real” stories of the blogger’s family life interspersed. Both these blogs are well worth checking out.

& don’t miss Blueflint, a Scottish female banjo bluegrass duo. Their blog is brand new, but it has links to some great YouTube videos from their performances. Also, don’t let the bluegrass moniker fool you: these folks aren’t recycling clichéd versions of “Banks of the Ohio” for the kabillionth time: their sound is refreshingly new—geez, 2 banjoists, a fiddle, a drum kit, an upright bass (bowed on one number!). Who can ask for more than that? Their blog says they’re working on a cd & hoping to release this in the spring; I for one would be very interested in hearing that. Please give them a listen.

& finally, grateful thanks to Poetikat’s Kat for her “Ewe Rock” emblem, & thanks to all the readers who’ve being showing so much support, especially for the Women’s Art is Women’s Work series; Eberle & I appreciate it so much.

Hope you enjoy 100 Watt Smile, & be sure to check in tomorrow for Scott Houston’s Musical Questions!

Pic of the Mighty Lynch Pins is by Niana Liu; love the photo, & thanks for making it available.


  1. Thanks for these new blogger links. I know Kat and Butler/Bagman, but the others are new to me. I must go pay them a visit.

  2. Hope you enjoy them Willow-- the Blueflint folks' Youtube videos are really good.

  3. Superb post - and, yes, thanks for the links.

  4. Thanks Dave: hope you enjoy those sites as well.

  5. I'm delighted to read the banjo recommend parker's blog - parker's been cracking me up for almost 35 years! I was so pleased when he finally decided to bring his wit to the blogosphere....

    and thanks for the head's up on the other blogs - oh gosh, like I need more blogs to read!!! no seriously I do appreciate it! I just need to learn to read faster or sleep less.....

  6. Hi Mouse:

    I know the feeling-- the Blueflint folks are especially worth seeing on their YouTube videos.


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