Author Archives: ken

Signing Off On Madam Medusa

Following the death of Margaret Thatcher, I found myself thinking frequently of UB40’s great song about her, “Madam Medusa,” from their first and best album, 1980’s Signing Off. Their later pop successes with “Red Red Wine” and “I Got You … Continue reading

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Lofty Disregard: More Flying Metal at One Hanson Place

If the construction scaffolding around your very expensive apartment building had blown apart in medium winds a week ago, and you knew that a tremendous hurricane was on the way, wouldn’t you make sure the scaffolding was properly secured before … Continue reading

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Delay: Watching the Music Flow

I’m sitting in the Winter Garden as Steve Reich’s Six Pianos fills the space around me. No delay or reverb effect can match the sound of a piano note traveling 500 feet, hitting glass or stone, and returning. Reich’s pieces … Continue reading

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The Three-Boro Bike Tour

I rode in the Five Boro Bike Tour for the second (and last) time today. The 5BBT is the bicycling equivalent of St. Patrick’s Day, but it does have one unique feature: you can ride over the Verrazano Bridge. The … Continue reading

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There were barricades on Prince Street I thought it was a movie at first (Unexepected Elegy for Etan)

Thursday night I went into Soho for my weekly rehearsal with the Antelope Dance Project and Prince Street was full of news vans and police trucks and barricades. And for once, it was something real — not a movie, not … Continue reading

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Brutalizing Brutalism

The New York Times today has an article on an endangered building, a landmark example of a classic school of architecture that some people want to tear down. But the style of building represented by the Orange County Government Center … Continue reading

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Paper Clip and Soda Straw Save My Pedalboard

I had one of those awful moments earlier today. I had left my microphone plugged into my pedalboard last night (never a good idea), and since I use an XLR-to-quarter-inch impedance transformer, that means about four inches of solid connector … Continue reading

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Chromatic Harmonica Repair

I was about to start work on another song for February Album Writing Month when I noticed that my chromatic harmonica was buzzing badly on one hole. When this happens on a regular blues harmonica, it’s usually just a tiny … Continue reading

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Pianos and Rock Doves

My two newest FAWM songs are “Leaving Again” and “Flight Of the Rock Doves,” and each introduces an instrument I hadn’t used before in this FAWM cycle.

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18 Hours as an iPhone Owner: iYiYi

iPhoned for about 18 hours the other day. iT was iRritating and iHated it, so iReturned it. iWill never do that again. Some background. Over the Christmas break I lost my iPod Touch, which is more or less an iPhone … Continue reading

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