Category: Ears

Blogger’s Block: On Writing Against The Noise
(plus coverfolk of and by musicians with tinnitus)

January 12th, 2009 — 12:08 am

Apologies for the eleventh-hour entry, folks. I waited all weekend, hoping that my ear troubles would dissipate, but alas, it seems I am doomed to suffer the double distraction of deafness and tinnitus for a while longer.

Happily, my ability to hear and appreciate live music was not as compromised as I feared. I spent a practically ecstatic Saturday afternoon at this year’s Boston Celtic Music Festival, and I’m still glowing from both the music and the experience of folk-as-communion which was so prevalent at the festival. But though I am eager to share my thoughts about it, and report on some truly wonderful developments in the Boston-based neotraditional folk scene which we first wrote about here this summer, tonight I’m truly not up to the task.

Distraction is the right word; it’s not just the noise, or the lack of it, that bothers me. The ringing keeps me from being able to stay focused enough to write and think; the lack of sleep which loud ringing has caused has taken its toll on my mind as well. My ability to develop the coherent, cohesive piece which the young, talented musicians at the core of the scene truly deserve is corrupted. And, as you can see from the overutilization of the word “truly” in the last two paragraphs, I am already almost out of words.

Wednesdays will be a Birthday post, as I will be turning one year older this week; the excuse to write about myself will, conveniently, allow us to postpone the need to hear and listen to the self. From there, it is my hope to return to my usual competence, and to the subject of the New England post-traditional folk scene, by next weekend.

Until then, we apologize for technical difficulties. Here’s a simple set of folkcovers of and by musicians who also reportedly suffer from tinnitis, including four stunningly lovely Neil Young covers, Sara McLachlan’s famous folkpop cover of XTC radio classic Dear God (songwriter Andy Partridge suffers tinnitus in both ears), a hilariously tongue-in-cheek folk take on the Pete Townshend-penned Pinball Wizard paired with a surprisingly folky acoustic turn from Townshend himself, and two great recent tracks from genre-bending jazzman bassist and ear-ringer Charlie Haden, whose wonderful new tradfolk and bluegrass release Charlie Haden Family & Friends: Ramblin’ Boy has been making the blogrounds. At least I’m in good company, eh?

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