Friday, December 29, 2006

Uncle Warren's Attic #15: Podsafe heaven

My little attic studio is still under reconstruction, so nothing from my collection this time, but lots from the Podsafe Music Network!

"The Awful Green Things from Outer Space," Clouseaux

"Joy," Michael Lucklow

"Married a Magician," Dust Poets

"Betty," The Lascivious Biddies

"Loopy" (GarageBand experiment), w.p. bluhm

"Rocking Harder," Lee Rocker

"WNBC," Gentlemen's Gun Club

Back to something resembling normal next time - in the meantime, Happy New Year and see ya soon!

To download, click on the little "pod" icon above or here. To just listen, press the "play" button on the player.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The problem is not in your set

I was hoping to post Uncle Warren's Attic #15 tonight, but we're experiencing technical difficulties. The good news is the problem does not seem to be in my set - it's the usually reliable folks at We'll wait out their headache and be back, I imagine, sometime Friday.

This one will be a departure from previous episodes, in that it's comprised mostly of all fairly new music from the Podsafe Music Network. This is largely because I haven't finished re-assembling my studio, but partly because there's a lot of great podsafe music out there and I wanted to share some of the cool stuff I've found while browsing.

So, hang out, browse around the network, and we'll talk to ya real soon!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Those incessant carols ...

It seems there are only about 20 Christmas songs, and they get repeated in endless permutations for six weeks. "Oh Come All Ye Faithful," "Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and the other 16 songs seem to have been recorded by every artist on Earth, and several times each.

But still ...

Today in church "Silent Night" reminded me of the glisten in my mom's eyes when she heard it sung ... by anyone.

And "Glo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ria, in excelsis deo" brought me back 23 years to the time a children's choir, string quartet and the adult choir sent my heart soaring and converted "Angels We Have Heard On High" from an also-ran into my favorite Christmas carol.

When the aches and pains of the years have healed or at least faded, the sweet memories remain. The familiar carols carry us back to happier times, comfort food for the soul.

Merry Christmas and/or any other holiday greeting you prefer!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Uncle Warren's Attic #14: The Christmas Show

A new era begins in Uncle Warren's life as he produces his first GarageBand podcast. Bert, what do you know about that? Merrrrry Christmas!!!!

This is an odd one, because the musical selections are either from 78 rpm records or .mp3s - there's no in-between. Among the gems here:

"Joy to the World," Robert Shaw Chorale

"March" from "The Nutcracker Suite," Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy.

"Chiron Beta Prime," Jonathan Coulton

"The Cherry Tree Carol," Robert Shaw Chorale

"Twelve Days of Christmas," Robert Shaw Chorale

UW's Christmas memories, music "The First Noel," Mario Ajero
a nifty piece I found at the Podsafe Music Network

"Podsafe Christmas Song," Jonathan Coulton

UPDATE: Whoops! I forgot to mention Orson Welles and Lionel Barrymore from the 1939 radio performance of "A Christmas Carol"

"Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy," Philly Orchestra

As I say in the podcast, this show is to celebrate the holiday season. If you�re celebrating something besides Christmas, Happy Hannukah, or Merry Solstice, Awesome Kwanzaa - whatever greeting you prefer, consider yourself greeted. Pour out a glass of milk, grab some cookies, and settle in!

Download UWA 14 here.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Are you kidding me?

I started trying to figure out how to produce a podcast using the GarageBand and iTunes software on my new iMac - my Christmas present to myself - and as often happens when I work with Macintosh stuff, I am overwhelmed with how downright easy it is.

My original plan was to record the UWA Christmas show the same as the first 13: Tape it on my trusty old reel-to-reel recorder, dub it to CD, and convert it to .mp3 on the sturdy old Windows 98 machine. That was based on the thought that I probably couldn't figure out a new program (GarageBand) quickly enough to do the Christmas Show justice.

My new plan is to use my new toy. I just love it! Why doesn't everybody own a Mac?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Uncle Warry's new toy

Well, this site is now powered by a lovely new iMac. I thought about it and researched for a very long time before pulling the trigger the other day. I'm still in the process of transferring files from one place to t'other, taking the software for a test drive and such.

This means at some point I'll be able to record the show directly on GarageBand without the intermediate steps of assembling it on the old Pioneer RT-707 reel-to-reel recorder and dubbing it onto a CD-RW, then walking it over to the computer to transform it into an .mp3. Whether that will improve your appreciation of my ancient recordings, or suck the analog joy completely out of the equation, remains to be seen.

I haven't started putting the Christmas show together yet, but I'd better get started before next Monday, hadn't I? Stay tuned! And/or stay subscribed!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Uncle Warren's Attic #13: The War Prayer

Toss out the script and grab that guitar - it's Uncle Warren unplugged to start the night with (once more) "Seems Like Old Times."

After a word from our sponsor, we make a quick visit to the Evil Genius Chronicles to talk about podcasting for a spell.

Our first musical guests are Josh White, singing "Take a Gal Like You," and Josh White Jr. with "If I Knew Then."

Then let's gather around for a reading of Mark Twain's famous story "The War Prayer," written in 1905 but not printed until 1923.

While we're in the '20s, it's Paul Whiteman with the slightly naughty "Last Night on the Back Porch."

And after an important word from Johnson Wax, Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra, with help from the Pied Pipers, Connie Haines and a young man named Sinatra, bring us our musical finale, "Snootie Little Cutie."

Download the episode here. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The switch is made

Being conservative by nature, I waited until now to respond to those invitations to "upgrade" to the "new, improved" Blogger. We'll see how much "better" it is - but nothing exploded as far as I can tell, so ...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Evil Genius Chronicles

I've just discovered what, to me, is a new podcast - the Evil Genius Chronicles. Dave Slusher has actually done 191 episodes of his show, and while I can't yet speak for the first 190, I was extremely impressed by #191, which you can download here.

In addition to great tunes from Sufjan Stevens and Michelle Malone, the show has a number of interesting clips from other podcasts tied together with musings by Slusher about new media and the nature of art and creativity. How interesting? It influenced the way I think about Uncle Warren's Attic, in ways that likely will become apparent almost immediately.

I can't recommend the Evil Genius Chronicles highly enough - at least #191.

UPDATE: Whoops! I was sending you to the wrong link when you clicked on "Evil Genius Chronicles." Try it now. Sorry!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Uncle Warren's Attic #12: What a world

What it is:

Excerpt from radio dramatization of It's A Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed

Theme: "Seems Like Old Times," w.p. bluhm

A plug for the new Uncle Warren's Attic a-store

"Tip Toe Through the Tulips," Johnny Marvin (pictured)

A collage from the CD A Guitar's Carol by Keith L. Cooper

"Toastin' Marshmallows," Judy, Johnny & Billy (1959)

Vintage radio ad: Spry

"Melting," w.p. bluhm

"There Goes Robin" by "the Batman band." On the show I say this is the song that taught me the words pugilist and philanthropist, but when I listened again I misremembered. The mighty Robin is not described as a philanthropist in the song.

Coming soon: The "first annual" Uncle Warren Christmas Show.

Download UWA#12 by clicking on the "Pod" icon or here.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Soft opening

So that you can browse and shop in time for Christmas, here's the work in progress known as the Uncle Warren's Attic astore.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Uncle Warren's Attic #11: Spigot lines

Odd that DVD troubles would delay an audio podcast, but that's what happened - I finally decided to go on with the show despite a pesky machine that only played half of the movie clips I wanted to use to explain "spigot lines," those miraculous movie moments when someone turns the spigot on your tear ducts. Musical moments:

New theme: "Seems Like Old Times," w.p. bluhm

"The Christmas Song," King Cole Trio, off an authentic 78 rpm record.

"Riders in the Sky," Spike Jones

"The Day John Glenn Came Home," Fifi Barton

Watch for "Uncle Warren's Attic," the astore, coming to a Web site near you, hopefully in time for Christmas!

download UWA#11

Monday, December 04, 2006

A new Christmas voice

I played you a piece by guitarist Keith Cooper back in Uncle Warren's Attic #3. Now he's put together a CD called "A Guitar's Carol," which has 11 wonderful tracks, ranging from amazing solo efforts on "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" and "We Three Kings of Orient Are" to festive arrangements of "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" and "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" to an atmospheric rendering of "Carol of the Birds."

It's the best new Christmas music I've heard in a long time. It's only available now in "pre-release" form, as an insert to a Christmas card that's available only at Keith's concerts (we saw him over the weekend) and over the Web. You absolutely should check it out.

Friday, December 01, 2006

La de da, la de da, talk amongst yourselves ...

It figures, after I bragged about my amazingly retro equipment last week, that my amazingly retro equipment would start rebelling as I attempt to throw together UWA #11. I believe it's in the category of temporary setbacks, but it's a tad irritating nonetheless. But never fear, the problem is not in your set, we'll be up and at 'em in no time ...