About Me

The Ayn Rand Song -- My new song to celebrate the Election of 2012

[Since Paul Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential nominee, is an Ayn Rand groupie, I thought it was appropriate to point out how much of an a-ho' any disciple of Ayn Rand has to be.  I played all the instruments as well as doing the vocals.]

The Ayn Rand Song.mp3

Happy Daze -- a song I wrote back when I was ten years old.

[Bouncy ragtime number, good for piano students not yet up to playing original Scott Joplin rags.  Pretty damn good for a ten-year-old, if I do say so myself.]

Happy Daze.mp3

Gimme an Old-Fashioned Girl -- a song I wrote back when I was sixteen.

[I never wrote it down, so it's sort of amazing I can still remember it.  It never had a title until just a few months ago; now I need to try to think up some lyrics . . . .]

Gimme an Old-Fashioned Girl.mp3

Some of my original piano blues numbers:

The Loud-Mouth Woman Blues

[Dedicated to all the women in my life.  Some people, especially loud-mouthed women, may find the lyrics annoying (only a really pathetically politically correct sort of person should be able to find them "offensive"; they're really not).  If so, feel free to listen to the purely instrumental version.  Or, of course, you can always not listen to it at all.]

Loud-Mouth Woman Blues-Instrumental.mp3

Loud-Mouth Woman Blues-with Vocals.mp3

The Change Your Life Blues

Change Your Life Blues-Instrumental.mp3

Some More  Bottle Flute Christmas Carols:

Because you just can never have too many Bottle Flute Christmas Carols!   :)

[Although "O Come, O Come Emmanuel," below, is probably still the best one.]



01 Bring_a_Torch_Jeanette_Isabella_bottle_flutes.mp3

Svidan'je (The Meeting)--some recordings of what may be my all-time favorite Russian folk song.  [I did a piano arrangement of the song, then did a translation of the lyrics into English.  I also tried singing it in Russian.  I don't even know how bad my Russian version came out, because I don't speak Russian--I just tried to closely follow Dmitri Hvorostovsky's classic recording from 1992.  Maybe, with a little luck, I'll never find out--unless some Russian-speaker lets me know at some point: "That was TERRIBLE! "  Or however they say that in Russian.  :)  ]


Svidan'je for Video.mp3

In English:

Svidan'je-Piano with Vocals in English.mp3

In Russian:



The Neocon Blues, 2008--a comic song about a tragic situation

A funny, lively, bouncy blues-rock number that made fun of the miserable failures of the Bush administration and the Congressional Republicans over the eight long years from 2001-2008--the crash of the whole national economy, the unfinished wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the countless scandals, the unprecedented incompetence and corruption--and urged everybody to dump McCain and vote for Obama!

I played and recorded all the instruments myself--about eight different ones--and did the vocals.  Considering all that, it came out PRETTY DAMN GOOD, if I do say so myself!  And if it sounds a little amateurish at certain points, well, it's FOLK ART, and folk art is supposed to sound that way.  [Think of Woody Guthrie.]  So there.

Enjoy!  [Or if you're a committed Republican, change your wicked ways!  ;-)  ]

Indian Nickel Live at Club Fais Do Do, Los Angeles, May 2007

I used to be the bassist in a top-notch performing blues band out in LA.  One of the best shows we did was our night at a local blues club, Club Fais Do Do.  These tracks were recorded on a simple hand-held recording device that lost most of the treble and made the bass and drums sort of sludgy, so I used ProTools audio editing software to try to bring the songs back better.  Although there are still, shall we say, some anomalies especially up in the treble register, I like the way these turned out--they successfully capture the spirit of the evening.

"Third Degree" / "Statesboro Blues" / "St. Louis Blues" / "Key to the Highway"





And our last big show was at B.B. King's at UniversalCitywalk, which was appropriate--we played one of his classics there: "Thrill Is Gone."

"Leavin' Trunk" / "Red House" / "Cherry Red Wine" / "My Baby Says She's Gonna Leave Me" / "Thrill Is Gone"






Yes, this is sort of ridiculous, but it was fun--I decided to record "Hey Jude" on bottle flutes (glass bottles filled with different amounts of water to raise the pitch and make a scale--two different sets of bottles, one for the melody, the other for the harmony).  This was a truly major sound-editing job, and I didn't tweak it as much as it probably needed, but hey--it's folk art.


More bottle flutes.

Why bottle flutes?

It's the challenge.

To take the world's most cumbersome musical instrument(s) and try to get something listenable out of them.  It's a man's job.

Anyway, in keeping with the holiday spirit (because it's now the morning of December 10, 2010), here is a little yuletide cheer.  Although I am not now and never have been particularly religious and am not a member of any denomination, I have always liked classic Christmas carols a lot, especially the early, traditional ones with roots dating back to the Middle Ages.  Great songs, whatever they're selling.  And I've always had a special place in my heart for "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" because it so clearly shows its roots in Gregorian chant.

So here's "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" on bottle flutes.

Ya won't find it anywhere else!  :)


Here's an unedited piano version of "Route 66" with vocals that I did a year or two ago.

I've always liked "Route 66," a swing-era standard that successfully made the jump to the rock 'n' roll age.  I also spent a lot of time on Interstate 40, which mostly follows the route of old Route 66, between California and Texas (though a lot more time on the route farther south, Interstate 10).  This version is patterned on the Rolling Stones' version from one of their earliest albums back in 1964.

[Yes, I know it needed some editing . . . you don't need to tell me that . . . . ]


More to come!  [If I ever get some time to do any recording!]