Tag Archives: Humor

Jazz Musicians Look to Federal Budget for Bailout Support

Washington, D.C. (CNN)
In light of the recent downturn in the American economy, the nation’s jazz musicians have joined the long line of lobby groups looking to Washington for support as the economy slides into a deepening recession.

The jazz industry is asking Washington for a bailout package and major subsidies on par with that of the auto sector. As such, jazz musicians also want access to credit and tax breaks to stimulate investment and help the development of new recording and performance opportunities.

“This recession has really got me dragged, ya dig?” says Luther Hip Bones Jones III, a New York City saxophonist and a cornerstone of the little known Wall Street Avant-Garde jazz scene.

“I mean, now that gigs arent a flowin’ like they used, I actually have to get up before noon and find a way to make some coin!”

Similarly, Jones associate Willie Fat Cheeks Hughes comments that with the economy in near chaos, the demand for his jazz bagpipe skills has waned considerably. Hughes also comments that with a sluggish economic situation, he will soon have to find another girlfriend or else face certain homelessness.

While this crisis has been brewing for some time, a recent spike in the number of trombonists delivering pizzas in New Yorks Greenwich Village has recently brought this dire situation to the publics attention.

Last week, however, jazz advocate Wynton Marsalis met with President George W. Bush and the White House economic team to discuss the worsening situation for America’s jazz artists and a possible stimulus package.

Marsalis was quoted as saying: “I think its important for the government to understand that our musical recession has actually been worsening since the demise of New Yorks 52nd Street scene in the early 50s and thanks to the racket these kids call Hip Hop. They really should have seen this coming. Since Miles went electric, its all been down hill.” As Marsalis continued, “I think that a strong monetary stimulus package and a mandatory listening of Duke Ellington records should encourage a healthy economic recovery.”
President Bush responded to these comments by replying that: Mr. Margolis has a very good point here. “The country will be in dire straights if we lose our jazzy beats. I mean, personally, I always enjoy a little Kenny G in the evening while I try to woo the First Lady.”

Bush also commented that a global consensus on the state of the jazz economy will have to be reached. The way things stand, America’s jazz artists just can’t compete with the lower paid jazz artists currently flooding the market from China.

In related news: America’s Blues musicians report an increase in depressing lyrics. “[It] indicates a reflection of the times.” claims one downtrodden guitarist whose wife recently left him and whose dog has died.

Shure 58……Better Than A Towel?

Douglas Adam’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, the thing to have as a towel.
“A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

However, I think the Shure 58 might now rank higher than the Towel. This is NOT for the faint of heart.


akai-ewi-usb-600-2Suppose you want to play EWI. But you don’t want to play the Studebaker one. And you don’t particularly need nor want to visit the 70s and early 80s with the Analogue synth found in the EWI4000S.

Fear not, Akai has heard your pleas.
” Akai Professional, the name synonymous with music production, announces EWI USB, its latest wind controller, is now shipping.

EWI USB enables anyone, regardless of wind instrument-playing experience, to perform with the expressive capabilities of the wind instrument of their choice. The wind controller features a plug-and-play USB interface for use with the included Aria software with Garritan and Akai Professional samples as a sound source. EWI USB is Mac and PC compatible.”

They also have more detailed information on their website now. People who want to pretend they play Cello, or Oboe, or whatever will be delighted with the Garritan Aria player that comes with the EWI USB. List price is $299. Not a bad deal.

I somehow think Akai has good humor in announcing this on Halloween.

CMEA and Technology

I just was given, to look at, some technology thing from some guy named Wilson, who is in charge of CMEA (California Music Educators Association) technology or something. Anyhow, it was about Band in a Box. It read like this guy had just found the Holy Grail. And, he had really BAD rendered backgrounds done off the Macintosh version of it. Like Nintendo type backgrounds.
First off, I don’t know if I should be amused or saddened by this. On the one hand, it is great that this guy has found Band in a box, but at the same time, it has been out since….the Atari ST. Which would be 1988 or so. And CMEA is just now finding out about this? And they want tax payers to pay more money for the schools? What?
Band in a Box is a great program, but you should avoid the Macintosh version. It is 5 versions behind at my last count. It lacks a ton of features that the PC version does. If you want to run it on a Mac, get an Intel mac, and do the Boot Camp thing or run it with Parallels. It works fine.

Politically Correct Musicals

With all the bad stuff going on in the world, here is a little humor.

You may know that Rosie O’Donnell suggested that they change the
lyrics “I can shoot a partridge with a single cartridge” in the
revival of “Annie Get Your Gun”, to make them less violent. This
inspired writer Susan Brady Konig to suggest even more politically
correct changes in her article “A Rosie View Of Broadway Classics”:

WEST SIDE STORY: The Sharks and the Jets rumble. They’re
subsequently arrested by Officer Krupke and sentenced to a low-
security juvenile rehabilitation facility, where they are all
diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder and put on Ritalin and Prozac.

MY FAIR LADY: Professor Higgins attempts to transform street
urchin Eliza Doolittle into a society maiden. With the help of an
ACLU lawyer, Doolittle sues Higgins for violating her constitutional
right to live on the street. Perplexed, Higgins sings the gender-
neutral ‘Why Can’t A Person Be More Like A Person?”

GYPSY: Mama Rose pushes her daughter Gypsy Rose Lee into
vaudeville. Gypsy grows up and becomes a burlesque stripper. Show
ends abruptly, shortly into the second act, as all the strip clubs
have been shut down by the mayor. Gypsy takes a job as a clerk in the
Disney store on 42nd Street.

PORGY AND BESS: Songs include “Bess, You Is My Significant Other
Now” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So” (with all biblical references

HARVEY: Everywhere he goes, Elwood C. Dobbs sees a giant,
invisible rabbit. He undergoes therapy, is diagnosed with attention-
deficit disorder and is put on Ritalin and Prozac.

THE KING AND I: The king of Siam is unhappy with the plummeting
reading scores of his many children since the arrival of Anna,
teacher from the West. He tries to fire her. Unfortunately, she is
protected by a strong union and there’s nothing he can do about it.
She whistles a happy tune.

PETER PAN: Never-never land is forced to admit Lost Girls as
well as Lost Boys. Tiger Lily sues the government to recover tribal
lands and opens a casino. Mr. and Mrs. Darling are visited by Family
Services after leaving their children in the care of a dog.

WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?: George and Martha join a 12-
step recovery program and quit drinking. They calmly discuss their
relationship ‘issues.” Some colleagues stop by for a pleasant visit.
(Ok so not a Musical, yet….)

THE SOUND OF MUSIC: All references to Catholicism deleted.
Sister Maria is now a member of an order of the Sisters of the Non-
Denominational Multicultural Non-Judgmental ‘Church” of What’s
Happening Now.

OLIVER! The conniving but lovable Fagin is arrested on several
counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He agrees to a
plea bargain and, with the help of a court-appointed therapist, is
diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder and put on Ritalin and Prozac.

And, of course: ANNIE GET YOUR GUN gets properly registered,
after submitting to the required background checks and mandatory five-
day waiting period.