Tuesday, July 24, 2007


You can't travel with Booklogged without some new music. It's a great idea. Then when you listen to it later, memroies come flooding back, of the sights, sounds, smells and tastes that it accompanied as we traveled. I can't listen to Roger Miller without thinking of driving across Kentucky at night, hurrying to meet Aly at the Atlanta airport. I can't listen to IZ without thinking of the Oregon Coast. I can't listen to Gorge Inti without dreaming of Vancover Island. I love to put on our Willow of the Wilderness CD so I can wander back to Concord and Walden Pond.

The Maritimes are big on music. With a Celtic style all their own, their jigs, reels, shanty's and ballads are wonderful and tell stories of these wonderful people and places. We have a few wonderful CDs that will always bring these beautiful folks and their delightful land to our recollection.

I wish there was a way to share a Ceilidh with you. There is something very special in just regular folks singing and dancing together. No formality, just good fun, where everyone participates. I think the loss of this kind of entertainment is one of the worst things TV has done to us. That and the homogenization of North America. Even in Newfoundland the young people talk the same as anywhere else from sea to shining sea. It's sad to see the old manners of speach and the old cultures disappear. We're all becoming the same old boring people we see every day on the television.

Still, many Maritimers are trying to hang on, if only for the sake of the tourist dollar.

One of my favorite oddities in the Newfoundland music scene is an instrument called the Ugly Stick. It's just any old broom or mop handle with washers and bottle caps and maybe a cheap pot or a tin can or two attached. Any noise maker you like will do. We saw one for sale that was so elaborate they wanted $200.00 for it! I plan on making my own. Any way it is played by pounding it on the floor while rapping on the side or attached objects with a drum stick. It is amazingly fun and versatile. Depending on the imagination and talent of the player of course.
The band on the Caribou had a name for this third member of the band and expressed their love for his willingness to play for free.
To me the Ugly Stick speaks of the common gift of music. We've come to think that only the gifted professional performer is worthy of making music for us. Here I've learned that music and dance belong to everyone and are not just spectator sports. Here, even if it's just tapping a foot, everyone participates, everyone performs. Anyone can play an ugly stick. Even me.


Kristi Weber said...

Mom do you still want to move to Washington? Any of these places look pretty nice. I love you guys!! And we miss you!

Framed said...

Aaaah. I miss you too. Thanks for the postcard. I'm glad you're having so much fun. Is Myke bringing that ugly stick to the Xmas party??

Booklogged said...

Kristi, We love and miss you, too. I think we'll have to just live where we are because our hearts are split between two coasts. It is truly lovely in both places.

Framed, I think he'll have to bring me instead!

Lotus Reads said...

Wow, the "Ugly Stick" sounds like so much fun! I hope you will send us a picture when you make yours Candleman.