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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thinking . . .

. . . 'bout things. . . 
 
(from http://abclocal.go.com/)
". . .  Neil Heslin, a 50-year-old construction worker who said he grew up with guns and had been teaching his son, Jesse, about them. "I'm here because of my son.". . . Heslin said he supports sportsmen and the Second Amendment right for citizens to have firearms. But he said that amendment was written centuries before weapons as deadly as assault weapons were invented. . . ."


(from wikianswers.com)
". . . When were assault rifles first made?
Depending on the meaning of "assault rifle" they might have been made as early as the second world war. The Browning Automatic Rifle, or "BAR" fired a large caliber cartridge at a pretty rapid rate, but it was a very heavy weapon, and was assigned to the "weapons squad" in an infantry platoon. Later in the decade, a much lighter 45cal machine gun with an open metal stock was issued to the troops. It fired huge cartridges at a rate of about six rounds per second, making a noise that gave its name, the "burp gun." There were earlier rapid firing machine guns used in the first world war and as early as the late 19th century such as the "gatling gun," but none were anything that one man could carry onto the battlefield and fire "from the hip" or from the shoulder for that matter. . . "


(from http://brainshavings.com/the-right-to-keep-and-bear-what/)
". . . So does our Constitution recognize your neighbor’s right to park a brand new M-1 Abrams main battle tank in his driveway? Should we permit gun shops to hold tent sales offering great low prices on military-grade flamethrowers and nerve-gas-tipped artillery shells? Must the U.S. Government allow you to carry a “suitcase nuke” to avoid violating your fundamental Constitutional rights, even if you might trip while carrying it and level a city block? . . ."

(from http://columbiaacs.blogspot.com/2007/11/right-to-bear-ye-olde-arms.html)
". . . The Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms as such arms existed at the ratification.

    Arms in 1791
    Let's look at arms – specifically, guns – as they existed at the time of the ratification.
    Guns in 1791 WOULD
        ...be made by a gunsmith.
        ...have rudimentary rifling.
        ...be single-shot weapons.
        ...be loaded through the muzzle.
        ...fire by means of a flintlock.

    Guns in 1791 WOULD NOT
        ...have interchangeable parts. (Popularized in 1798)
        ...be revolvers. (Invented in 1835)
        ...be breachloaded. (Popularized in 1810)
        ...use smokeless powder. (Invented in 1885)
        ...use a percussion cap, necessary for modern cartridged bullets. (Invented in 1842)
        ...load bullets from a clip. (Invented in 1890)

Courts can't wish the Second Amendment away, but they can construe it in a manner that works in today's society. . ."






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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Why. . .

. . . do you always paint. . .
. . . yourself as a victim
When you should take
The bull by the horns
Don’t let it happen
Don’t let it happen to you

The situation’s well
Within your control
Your grip’s more firm
Than you thought it would be
You’ve got to grab it
You’ve got to grab it like the
Big brass ring
Big brass ring

Drama comes nat’rally to you
When you lose control
Drama comes nat’rally to you
When you lose control

It isn’t necessarily
Required to happen
Cards may seem stacked
But you still can overcome
With a commitment    
You’ve got to mean what you say

What benefit to you enjoy
From all these actions
Do you derive
Some pleasure    
From your place
Beneath that Cuban heel
So far below that lofty
Big brass ring
Big brass ring

You favor being far below the underdog
To hold distinct advantage in the game
But do you comprehend the gravity at hand
Any integrity you may possess is
Well hidden from view

It’s up to you
How it will be into the future
No matter what has taken
Place back in the past
Yes you can do it
It’s no impossible task

You can be sure though
That it’s never gonna happen
‘Til you wake up
And see the
Spotlight isn’t always
Meant for you
But you can always catch the
Big brass ring
Big brass ring


Victim
©2013 Raymond M. Jozwiak









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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Frivolous. . .

. . . use of the terminology?. . .

The captain (Beefheart, that is), was indeed a talented individual.  He was creative, eccentric and daring.  But genius is a very strong word. . .

ge·nius
noun \ˈjēn-yəs, ˈjē-nē-əs\
1 [count] a : a very smart or talented person : a person who has a level of talent or intelligence that is very rare or remarkable
▪ Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton were great scientific geniuses. ▪ a musical/artistic/creative genius ▪ You don't have to be a genius to see that this plan will never work.
b : a person who is very good at doing something
▪ He was a genius at handling the press.


(by By Rob Chalfen from http://blogs.laweekly.com/westcoastsound/2010/12/captain_beefheart_facts.php)[excerpted and inverted by me]
". . . 1. his 1970 & 1982 music videos, both rejected by tv as too far out, are both in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art.

2. In 1976 I interviewed Stiv Bators of the Dead Boys, who very enthusiastically claimed Don as a key influence. "A case of the punks!"

3. Zappa helped jumpstart his career, incorporating him into his touring ensemble, though complained Beefheart couldn't cut the arrangements. Several of Zappa's sidemen later defected to the Magic Band.

4. in the mid 70s he wandered in an aesthetic wilderness - his label dropped him, he fell in with some sharp operators connected with the band Bread (!) and tried to record 'safe' pop. His Magic band left him, and he toured with a pick up group. One older cat Ellis Horn had played clarinet with Lu Waters Jazz Band in the 40s and had a feature playing 'Sweet Georgia Brown" on an old albert-style clarinet, upturned at the bell. "He sucked up a cosmic particle into his horn," opined Don.

5. opening acts, in Boston at any rate, included Mississippi Fred McDowell, the NY Dolls, Larry Coryell, Bonnie Raitt/Dave Maxwell, Dr. John & a trained monkey vaudeville act. "Did you like the Dolls? Oh, balls!"

6. Zappa produced the Magic Band's masterpiece, Trout Mask Replica, in 1969, initially as a sort of Folkways-type anthropological field recording at the band's commune. Later Don insisted that it all be re-recorded in the studio, convinced that Zappa had been trying to do it on the cheap. (some of the home tapes made it onto the record anyway) . In the studio, he refused to wear phones, syncing his vocals with the band only via the faint leakage through the thick plate glass.

7. he composed implausibly complex solo guitar pieces like modern acid madrigals.

8. ran his band as a sort of hothouse commune/cult of domineering personality, one veteran later describing the experience as "my Vietnam". He communicated musical ideas via cassettes of his piano playing, singing and late night whistlings over the phone. The musicians were then expected to transcribe these fragments verbatim, and assemble them perfectly into intricate 4-dimensional musical constructions.

9. claimed shamanistic & supernatural abilities; on one occasion the drummer in my band, following around Don & Dr John, witnessed the glass panes of a hotel lobby mysteriously turn opaque as they passed. He was a life-long defender of the rights of animals & wildlife.

10. in the late 60s fused delta blues, beat poetics, Dada/Surrealist techniques, avant jazz, R&B & the kitchen sink into a metaphysics of the imagination that tore a giant hole in the ozone of pop-artistic possibility. Like an American Van Gogh he seemed to open up new landscapes of consciousness as much as of music. . . "


Are YOU convinced?





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Monday, February 25, 2013

Forthcoming. . .


My new release BLACK & WHITE then BACK will be available on April 2, 2013, for digital download only, at http://www.cdbaby.com

BLACK & WHITE then BACK was designed, conceived and performed to transport you to aural locales inhabited by emotions, sentiments, memories, hopes, joys and challenges we've all encountered. You may even hear a snippet of a song you remember from childhood, have flashes of your first date, recall aromas from the kitchen when you visited your grandmother, remember your favorite summer vacation or when you fell in love.

My music has been referred to as 'Fractured Jazz' laced with generous amounts of 'Improvisational Terror Tactics'.  I have been nominated for a WAMMIE Award in the Jazz Instrumentalist  category, named Baltimore Magazine's BEST LOUNGE PIANIST and was a finalist in the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest for the composition ALWAYS YOU. Performances in and around Baltimore include the 13th Floor Lounge-The Belvedere, The Kiss Cafe, Gardel's Supper Club, The Full Moon Saloon, The Baltimore Songwriters Association, The Baltimore Book Fair, Maggie Moore's, Ze Mean Bean, Border's Books and Music and GBMC. Ray's  music releases (CHROMATOSE, CRITIC'S CHOICE and PUT A FINGER ON IT and FOR THE RIDE) are available for purchase at http://www.cdbaby.com/all/rjozwiak  as well as a host of cyber-outlets for download (cdbaby has a list). I also joined with long-time musical friends Jay Graboski and David Reeve to complete the latest incarnation of OHO (now a trio) playing OHO's unique brand of prog/folk/jazz-rock originals and for parties, covering a number of sophisticated contemporary popular music.




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Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's Not Easy. . .

. . . being a creative artist on a budget.

Like this weekend, I have discovered that my Canon ELPH can be easily used to take videos (I knew it could but never thought it through for music promotion).  But the problem herewith is the audio.  You know how the old recordings on 78rpm records always sounded like they were recorded in a rainshower?  Well that's what the audio sounds like on my Canon videos.  So I got the brilliant (my word) idea that I could record the audio portion in glorious, high-quality digital format with my Zoom H2 portable digital recorder, then sync everything together in Garageband for a fine video.  Well, necessity is the mother of invention you know.  What I didn't take into account was the file trail (and file naming etc.) task that would be required to keep it all straight.  For example, if I flubbed a take and chose to plow forward without stopping either machine, I had to remember how many false starts were on each take.  Attempting to record more that one song only complicated matters.  Then I also learned that since Garageband is specifically designed for audio, I could not edit the beginning of a video the way I could stop it at the end anywhere I wanted.  At least I haven't figured out how to do it.  So I re-recorded several pieces and edited the beginning on the Canon before uploading it to my laptop.

It's a lot of boring information granted.  But it's how I spent most of my weekend.  I did learn a lot about the process and now know how to avoid some of the earlier pitfalls.  I'm not too ashamed of the outcome though. . .







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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Beer. . .

. . . and other stuff. . . 
. . . at Brewer's Alley. . .

This week I'll be there at 7:30 to open another great  show of talented, local and regional singer/songwriter and creative musicians and poets on a late winter evening in lovely, historical Frederick, MD.

Monday Night Songwriters' Showcase (now in its eighth year!) is held on Monday evenings upstairs at Brewer's Alley, 124 N. Market St., in beautiful downtown Frederick, MD, except during December (when we are closed after the first Monday). The program starts at 7:30 pm with a piano prelude, followed by three or four songwriters doing three songs each (lots of variety). The featured songwriter for the evening goes on around 9 pm for around 45 minutes, followed by two or three more three-song performers. Somewhere in the mix we throw in some poetry from our resident poet, John Holly. Our MCs are Ron Goad, Todd C. Walker and Tomy Wright, frequently interrupted by Rod Deacey on sound. Most of you know all this, but this mailing is going out to some people who may be unfamiliar with our format, so please bear with me.... Our shows are FREE – we collect tips for the featured songwriter, but there is no door charge, so come and support LIVE MUSIC! Our featured songwriters are a mix of national and regional touring performers, with many award winners from all genres.






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Ray Jozwiak: Ambience & Wine
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Friday, February 22, 2013

American. . .

. . . dream. . .

"You're throwing away your money," she would sometimes say.  "Buy a house."  In her eyes, paying rent was throwing away money.  It was the prevailing logic of her generation, the children of immigrants who arrived in this country with very little, worked hard and carved out a well-deserved place in the American landscape.

I, unlike most of my, and successive generations, left my parents' home when I got married, and did live in a rented apartment at that time.  It was a wonderful place in a lush, wooded area within the city itself and within minutes downtown.

To my simple mind, it was the ideal living situation.  We put furniture in the place, hung pictures and lived.  If anything broke, leaked, stopped heating or cooling, made too much noise, cracked or otherwise caused a problem within our 'home', we called maintenance.  When we got home from work the next day, the problem was solved.  All we had to do was pay our rent, preferably on time.
And we did.

But oh how Mom thought that 'owning' a place was what young adults were supposed to do.  It meant staking out one's own turf.  It was putting money into something that was your own;  and investment in the future.  And of course she was correct.

Only now. . . there is no 'maintenance' to call.





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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Bread, Circuses & Gonzo Piano. . .


Bread
Aish MerahrahMade - with fenugreek seeds and maize; dough allowed to ferment overnight, then flattened and baked

Ajdov Kruh - made with buckwheat flour and potato

Babka - Traditional types usually contain some sort of fruit filling, and are glazed with fruit flavored icing; some contain chocolate or cheese filling

Bagel - ring shaped, usually with a dense, chewy interior; usually topped with sesame or poppy seeds baked into the surface

Baguette - Thin elongated loaf, made of water, flour, yeast, salt, instantly recognizable by slits cut in top surface before baking to allow gas expansion

Barbari bread - invented by Barbar tribes of Iran and Northern Afghanistan

Bazlama - Flat and circular, average thickness of 2 cm, usually eaten fresh

Bofrot - Round, comes in various sizes, made with white flour


Circuses
There is no proof that Phineas Taylor Barnum ever said, "there's a sucker born every minute." He did, however, say that "every crowd has a silver lining," and acknowledged that "the public is wiser than many imagine."

Big Apple Circus' four-legged performers are all horses and small dogs. This not-for-profit circus began 32 years ago in Battery Park, New York City. This year’s show, “Bello is Back!” features Bello Nock, the playful clown with gravity-defying hair.

25 years ago Cirque du Soleil began its modern interpretations of the circus, minus rings and animals. With unique artistic flair, Cirque du Soleil featured state-of-the-art costumes, sets and acrobatics set to music.

Zumanity, an adult-themed circus, features contortionists, acrobats and aerialists. The host of the show, the Mistress of Seduction, says there are no bad seats in the 1,261-seat theater. “It is the only Cirque du Soleil show that talks to the audience. They are very much a part of the show,” says the Mistress.


Gonzo Piano
by Ray Jozwiak
Friday February 22nd at 6:00PM
Bread & Circuses Bistro
27 E. Chesapeake Avenue
Towson, MD  21286
410-337-5282
http://bandcbistro.com/





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AMBIENCE & WINE
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