Tag Archives: Buster Keaton

“SEARCH ENGINE TERMS”

search engineIt’s possible that only bloggers will recognize my title, which refers to one of those activities that takes place behind the scenes, where a b logger can see a daily list of those words or phrases someone has entered into a search engine, usually Google, to find him or herself at my blog. 

Many of these terms are straightforward and relevant.  Luckily for JAZZ LIVES, many people find it by typing in “louis armstrong,” which is as it should be.  But I’ve been collecting the oddities and present several dozen below.  I hope you find them amusing, perplexing, or simply weird. 

“fast waller”     a) an incredibly dextrous stride pianist, or b) a quick jump into the pond?

“art titan-tiger rug”     Who knew that Art Tatum was so famous as a big-game hunter?

“yukalaylee lady liky you”     Phonetic spelling triumphs.

“don’t swat a fly song”     Could it be NEVER SWAT A FLY?  Close enough.

“lapse in training young army officers”     This person found my blog because I had written about Lester Young in the army.

“hot barbara”     This suggests hormonal pursuits, and led the searcher to Barbara Rosene, both sweet and hot.

“hot girls named cangelosi”     More of the same.  The Cangelosi Cards, of course.

“buster keaton cobb salad”     Search me.  Did I write about eating a salad in one of my posts? 

“vince giordano play dates”     Of course I’ve celebrated Maestro Giordano; this search suggests that he’s a pre-schooler looking for fun.

“naughty pickle productions”     I like pickles, and have used “naughty” in this blog, which I hope is productive.  Beyond that . . . ?

More to come on an irregular basis!

FOUR STRINGS IN MY FUTURE?

Two days ago on Maui, we wandered into a second-hand store in Wailuku and I saw a beautiful ukulele hanging on the wall.  In the grip of musical hubris and hopefulness, I asked to see it and improvised a simple Thirties single-note riff, impressing the Beloved, who said, “I didn’t know you could play!”  “I didn’t either,” I replied.

mele-curly-kpa-tenor-2-holeSince I was quite young, I have made half-hearted attempts at learning a number of musical instruments.  Some of those nstruments ornament my apartment, although I am cautious lest it turn into a one-bedroom version of a music store / pawnshop. 

The ukulele has appealed to me for a long time, because I had the notion that it might be fairly simple to play — four strings rather than some more intimidating number, and not a great deal of aesthetic ambition attached to it (unlike, say, the violin).  It also has a Jazz Age history — on all the Twenties and Thirties sheet music I collect, the line above the treble clef has chord diagrams for imagined ukulele players to read off the page — and the diagrams are just my speed, a diagram of the four strings with a dot on each string to show where the novice should place his or her fingers. 

I haven’t bought the ukulele yet, although we visited the Mele store, where Peter (the resident self-taught virtuouso) tried to teach me to play YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE, with middling results. (I am a recalcitrant, stubborn pupil.)   The second-hand store was closed today, and I refuse to pay full price unless I am compelled to by circumstances.  I also don’t plan to turn into Arthur Godfrey, Don Ho, or Tiny Tim, never fear.  My aesthetic model is Cliff Edwards. I don’t aspire to starring in Technicolor, being the voice of a Disney character, or dying penniless, but his swinging insouciance is immensely appealing.

There are many wonderful Ukulele Ike clips on YouTube — too many to up or download, so you might want to investigate them on your own.  I’ll report back about the results of my four-string quest.

(On YouTube, you can also see a brief clip of Buster Keaton at home in 1965, happily croaking his way through “June Night,” accompanying himself on a tenor guitar with a fair deal of skill.  Who knew?)