Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

liz shaw

this one is about a local music instructor. truly keeping the music of appalachia alive.  growing up in north carolina, liz has been playing traditional clawhammer banjo and fiddle music since she was child.  this includes touring with her family as a young girl, as well as touring and collecting traditional folk songs of the region with her husband.  
liz does us all a favor by continuing the tradition as a teacher in athens, ohio. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Bubo virginianus

  appalachian yard art #3 (everything is dying):

  and that photo is sam, the great horned owl.

some video and photo stuffs: gary

i figured i'd put up some video pieces from a project i did last spring.  it was all about the traditional music of the appalachian region.  i'm not super crazy about most of the photos, but oh well.  if you ask me, the audio is much more important here.

i was originally hoping to the whole project on the manner in which the music is passed from generation to generation, often within families.  unfortunately, it kind of got away from that, but i was lucky enough to meet some awesome people and here some damn good music.  this is the first of a few.

anywho, i figured i'd start it off with the person that got me started off. gary puckett (not the one with the union gap) is the man that taught me how to play banjo and whathaveyou.  he's rad.

here's the band he's currently playing with: R.U Bound. check 'em out.

--oh, i'm working on putting some not-shitty quality video up here. so hopefully that will be taken care of soon.

Monday, November 1, 2010

new song

a new demo for one of the projects i'm working on.

personally, this reminds me of watching with excitement as a thunder storm slowly approaches.

american hollow (let it go):

Saturday, October 30, 2010

songs for friends

recorded for a friend on a simple, crappy, little tape recorder.
some covers, some traditional songs

track list:
1. whatever (elliott smith)
2. friend of the devil (robert hunter/jerry garcia)
3. down here in the still
4. wayfaring stranger (traditional)
5. i know you rider
6. down in the hollow
7. when the ship comes in (bob dylan)
8. this town is empty now
9. from congress st., with love
10. dink's song (traditional)
11. it's hard to be blind (traditional)
12. the jackson hole

down in the hollow:

the jackson hole:

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

lo-fi demos

a few [very] lo-fi samples of what kept me somewhat busy for a week or two once i moved to washington.  this isn't a part of "from congress st., with love", which was mentioned earlier. in fact these aren't really a part of anything, but i had gotten a new 4-track and decided to plug into that. these happened.

i get it now #2:

i know you rider:

in the shade:

i thought you were alone

folk songs in C

how about something with words and vocals too? it even has banjo.

no? tough.

the dead's "friend of the devil":

bob dylan's "when the ship comes in":

from congress st., with love:

i'm not sure where that last one will end up in the big scheme of things.  i feel like i'm constantly somewhat-working on multiple albums/records/whatever-you-wanna-call-em.  one of which that i am working on right now is "from congress st., with love" so it'd make sense to include that song.  but all the songs for that project were written in athens, oh over the past year or two.  i try to keep each little collection of tunes concise in some way, and all the songs for that album were written around the same time, in the same little house, with the same thoughts about the same things. primarily simple little folk songs. so i'm not sure if that song, which was not written around the same time, same place, etc., will be included on that or another project i'm working on. 
we'll see.

cassette tape #1

this is the first thing i ever recorded. it was recorded with a small cassette tape recorder and a radio.  the majority of it was recorded on joyce's farm several years ago (there's another post about joyce somewhere on here; she's awesome). basically a sort of noise collage.  i think i had been listening to a lot of the music tapes around the time probably. fuzzy-banjo-on-a-porch-with-dogs-around kinda stuff. oh and the tape recorder gives it an extra boost of twang.

seattle's first song

the first thing i recorded after moving to washington. this one's built on a loop. it was recorded in my bedroom just like everything else.

seattle's first song:

more coming very soon.

Monday, October 25, 2010


in school i studied photojournalism. we'll see if it pays off. i figured i'd put some of that sort of stuff up here too.

here's one of my favorite people.
meet joyce.


resonator heart

i'll start this all off with an older one.  "resonator heart" was a sound collage-type project i did a few years ago.  primarily banjo and organ, all instrumental.  i started off with an idea in my head, but naturally got distracted and strayed from that.

to me, this was [supposed to be] a rustic, american recording. i have an obsession with the american west. not that this is really the american west. it was just something i had in mind when i was recording it.  the instrumentation also isn't quite that of the american west, but i have limited access to sound-makers.

the first one

so after recording lo-fi music for about 5 years, i have finally decided to make some sort of attempt to put it out there.  i've been recording this stuff under a few names, "appalachian yard art" (the shit people in appalachia put in their front yard), "zebra" (i wanted something stored at the end of the alphabet so people around me would be less likely to notice it), as well as my given name.  chances are, if anyone does ever end up downloading any of this stuff, it will be stored under zebra.

anywho, a bit about it.

i was born and raised in ohio, living in the appalachian foothills in southern ohio for the past several years.  i loved it.  however, now i am in seattle, wa for whatever reasons.  still, the appalachian region means a lot to me.

began playing the banjo around 10 years ago.  i suppose the music is mainly leans towards a lo-fi americana, folksy sound.  simple is a good way to put it.  i don't know. if you care, you can listen.