Category Archives: Music

Happy Christmas to Every Typing Writer – and Everyone Else

I remember seeing Jerry Lewis perform this lovely little piece when I was a child. Who knows, it may have inspired me to become a writer, and if it didn’t, well, I’m claiming it now as an antecedent.

Enjoy and remember, if you want typewriter sounds on your PC or laptop a la your old Smith-Corona, Remington or Olivetti, go to Q10 and download their text editor – it’s small and takes up hardly any room on your hard drive, and you can play with its colors and fonts to your heart’s content. Every writer of a certain age will, I am almost entirely certain, love it. Anyway, on with the show:

Happy Christmas, Season’s Greetings, Yule Cool Greetings, and so on, etc, and then some, Grasshoppers.

A Successful Social Media Campaign that features Death and Destruction – Dumb Ways to Die

I couldn’t resist spreading the word about this fantastic video from Melbourne Metro.  It’s about how to stay safe around trains, train tracks and train stations, and it’s – yes – fabulous.  You don’t actually get to the train stuff until the end, so the audience has been warmed up appropriately – rather like a good suspense novel leading us all to the big finish.

It’s been viewed over 30 million times – not bad for a choo-choo company’s marketing crew.

With any luck, kids and adults who see it will remember the tune when they get to the station and are tempted to be just plain dumb.  Enjoy, and remember, grasshopper.

Dave Brubeck – An Author’s Best Friend

Dave Brubeck has died aged 91 on December 5, a day short of his 92nd birthday.  This is a brief tribute to one of the greats of jazz and an encouragement to all writers to buy at least one of Dave’s albums and incorporate it into your daily schedule.  It will do you nothing but good.Piano Keyboard

I can’t remember when I discovered Brubeck and his quartet – some years ago – but they’ve helped me through writing a PhD, a couple of novels, any number of poems, articles and short stories, and all the associated research that goes with making art, as Seth Godin might say.

Perhaps Dave and the gang can help you, too.

Feeling a lack of support in the dim dark hours of composition?  Need a pick-me-up after lunch?  Want a dance partner when everyone is out of reach?  A chill-out session with your breakfast cuppa and oats as you rewrite the night before and wonder what you could possibly have been thinking?  How about adding a little rhythm to the sweeping, washing, cooking, cleaning in between chapters?

Attach those mp3 earbuds, or crank up the boombox and try one of these albums: The Essential Dave Brubeck, (Columbia, 2CD set), The Dave Brubeck Quartet: Best of Brubeck (1979-2004) (Telarc, 2CD set), The Dave Brubeck Quartet: Their Last Time Out (Live Concert December 26, 1967) (Columbia/Sony, 2CD set), This is Jazz 3: Dave Brubeck (Columbia).  And if you want a taste of jazz generally – and who doesn’t? – try The Best of Ken Burns Jazz (Verve Music) – it’s a compilation from Burns’s TV series Jazz – The Definitive History of Jazz, and includes people like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Thelonious Monk, Sarah Vaughan, and of course, Dave, with arguably the quartet’s most famous piece, written by sax player, Paul Desmond, Take Five.  There’s a video of the group playing Take Five here on You Germany in 1966.  It’s great.  And if you want to learn more, go to the official Dave Brubeck site, where you can also listen to several tracks.   

I can vouch for all of the CDs since I’ve all but worn them out.  But there are plenty of others of equal quality that might be available where you happen to be.  You won’t regret it – and no, I’m not Dave Brubeck’s shilling niece, cousin, or love child, just a happy fan.

Engage with Dave and the Quartet – it will enhance your practice and your art and your life.  Just do it, grasshopper.

Bye, bye, Dave, and thanks for all the notes.


Cyndi Lauper’s Decisive Moment at Buenes Aires Airport

Why did she do it?  Because she could.  Cyndi Lauper, delayed with hundreds of other passengers at a Buenes Aires airport, took things, including the PA system, into her own hands, and did what she does best: she captured everyone with her decisive moment and defused frustration, anger, and impatience with a song.  And not just any song, but one of the best.  Enjoy.