Weird Minds Think AL-ike?


July 17, 2014

Listening to Internet radio yesterday, I caught the tail end of a Weird Al Yankovic song, so I pulled up the playlist to see its title is “Word Crimes.” Went searching on the web to find out it was a brand new release on Tuesday, July 15th, a track on his “Mandatory Fun.” Then I sought out the video — which is delightfully done — and sat wide-eyed and smiling as I heard and saw the overlaps with my own original track, “Play on Words,” completed early June and posted at Bandcamp and Soundcloud on Father’s Day, June 15th. [ http://kat330.bandcamp.com/track/play-on-words-doo-wop-you-do-to-me ]

In addition to our synching on “cunning linguist” and “dangling participle,” I noted he made a pointed reference to some grammar bugaboos of mine, including the “its” vs. “it’s” issue, which I turned into this tagline decades ago and posted online at my former Posterous blog in April 2011: Weird how a lot of its usage has become “wierd how alot of it’s” usage.

Now I don’t know when Al finished writing up his “Word Crimes” parody, but clearly we were breathing some of the same ether in the noösphere and crossing brainwaves in the Zeitgeist at some point in preceding months. This grammar puss heartily approves of Al’s effort to educate the public using humor as effectively as he does here: http://www.weirdal.com/ or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Gv0H-vPoDc

Al, you don’t just have a “big dictionary,” you also have a Thicke dictionary.

July 11, 2014 The back story to creating this tale of woe — as in how I totally backed into it — is worth the price of admission alone. Recently I’d found myself with a long and sturdy thumbnail, rare enough given gardening, housework, etc., and took the opportunity to record a guitar part remembered from my youth. I adopted this self-taught playing style of plucking down the strings of a chord with my thumbnail when that and strumming were all I had in my teen trick bag. (A few years still until a fellow Chattertock at Brown U. showed me how to include my fingers in a rolling pick style.) For some of you I suspect it’s Child’s play to recognize the source tune here — which shall remain unnamed just to see who’s bothered to actually read these notes and also knows his/her traditional folk music ;) — but I could only recall the first lines of lyrics in 209’s refrain. This is not often the case with my old repertory, rarely having to look up lyrics except for a word or two here and there. I would like to say it’s because they were too morbid to remain in memory, but my own version below clearly belies that as any excuse! No, I think it’s that the original words didn’t speak to me well enough, as is usually the case when I encounter a problem with memorization. So I thought, why not pen my own story to the mournful melody? I’d already had “Lady-in-waiting” as a working title for something else original, but those words were present day, personal to me and didn’t fit the song structure. The title, however, led me to briefly looking up some background info on historical ladies-in-waiting, which led me to a glossary of heraldry terms, and so on. My imagination latched onto “mistress of the robes,” “lese majesty” and “jessant-de-lis” (cf. JT’s cover design), and therein this tragic tale was formed. I was tempted to write several more verses — to expose more fully notre dame’s betrayers and their plot to seize the throne — but unlike our Mistress of the Robes here, I kept my head about me. xxxooo LADY-IN-WAITING REFRAIN: [echo]A Lady-in-waiting is her lot in life, [A Lady-in-waiting]And likely all she’ll ever be, [and all she’ll ever be]Longing for an end to her strife.She is eager for delivery. Whilst the Queen’s loyal Mistress of the RobesShe’s falsely linked to treachery,A foiled plot against the throne,And stands accused of lese majesty. REFRAIN:[…]At the hands of wicked knavery. She knows not the villains who sealed her fateBut for a glimpsed escutcheonBlazoned with a leopard’s face As she’s led to the castle dungeon. REFRAIN:[…]By the knight who bears jessant-de-lis. Three days passed of pacing her cell,Not a morsel partaken she.Her only thought was “Why, pray tell,Has my dearest Queen forsaken me?” REFRAIN: [echo]A Lady-in-waiting no more in this life, [No longer waiting]Her execution has started. [She’s at the guillotine]It has come to the end of her strife.Head and soul from her heart have parted. Written, arranged, performed, recorded and produced by Kathleen MartinCover design by JT Lindroos



July 11, 2014

The back story to creating this tale of woe — as in how I totally backed into it — is worth the price of admission alone. Recently I’d found myself with a long and sturdy thumbnail, rare enough given gardening, housework, etc., and took the opportunity to record a guitar part remembered from my youth. I adopted this self-taught playing style of plucking down the strings of a chord with my thumbnail when that and strumming were all I had in my teen trick bag. (A few years still until a fellow Chattertock at Brown U. showed me how to include my fingers in a rolling pick style.)

For some of you I suspect it’s Child’s play to recognize the source tune here — which shall remain unnamed just to see who’s bothered to actually read these notes and also knows his/her traditional folk music ;) — but I could only recall the first lines of lyrics in 209’s refrain. This is not often the case with my old repertory, rarely having to look up lyrics except for a word or two here and there. I would like to say it’s because they were too morbid to remain in memory, but my own version below clearly belies that as any excuse! No, I think it’s that the original words didn’t speak to me well enough, as is usually the case when I encounter a problem with memorization.

So I thought, why not pen my own story to the mournful melody? I’d already had “Lady-in-waiting” as a working title for something else original, but those words were present day, personal to me and didn’t fit the song structure. The title, however, led me to briefly looking up some background info on historical ladies-in-waiting, which led me to a glossary of heraldry terms, and so on. My imagination latched onto “mistress of the robes,” “lese majesty” and “jessant-de-lis” (cf. JT’s cover design), and therein this tragic tale was formed. I was tempted to write several more verses — to expose more fully notre dame’s betrayers and their plot to seize the throne — but unlike our Mistress of the Robes here, I kept my head about me. xxxooo

LADY-IN-WAITING

REFRAIN: [echo]
A Lady-in-waiting is her lot in life, [A Lady-in-waiting]
And likely all she’ll ever be, [and all she’ll ever be]
Longing for an end to her strife.
She is eager for delivery.

Whilst the Queen’s loyal Mistress of the Robes
She’s falsely linked to treachery,
A foiled plot against the throne,
And stands accused of lese majesty.

REFRAIN:
[…]
At the hands of wicked knavery.

She knows not the villains who sealed her fate
But for a glimpsed escutcheon
Blazoned with a leopard’s face
As she’s led to the castle dungeon.

REFRAIN:
[…]
By the knight who bears jessant-de-lis.

Three days passed of pacing her cell,
Not a morsel partaken she.
Her only thought was “Why, pray tell,
Has my dearest Queen forsaken me?”

REFRAIN: [echo]
A Lady-in-waiting no more in this life, [No longer waiting]

Her execution has started. [She’s at the guillotine]
It has come to the end of her strife.
Head and soul from her heart have parted.

Written, arranged, performed, recorded and produced by Kathleen Martin
Cover design by JT Lindroos

July 1, 2014 For my husband and my best friend, JT Lindroos. (Happy Birthday, hunaJuha!) Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows” and “Natural Woman” by King & Goffin are two favorite songs of mine from any era and any genre. Well aware I’m unworthy of covering either on its own, I thought I could at least make a wholly new song and sound from mixing up my performance bits of both together, much as I did in “From C to Sharpened C.” I think this experimix is more successful than that one though, at least I personally like to listen to it more than last month’s mash-up, and hope you do, too. This track was completed weeks ago (June 9th) before the news about Gerry Goffin (R.I.P.), and the first instrument part I recorded was the Finnish harp (kantele). Over the vocals and harp came bongos, and later I added the synth keyboard lines of piano, celesta, music box, cello, flute and French horn to fill out the arrangement. I’ve returned to the song structure of “Resolution #9” in using its “power of 3’s” scheme here by repeating a section twice again before the bridge bits. In total there are three to start followed by a bridge, then three more sections followed by a second bridge and then winding down with a final group of three. The sections differ slightly within any triad by either adding or subtracting instrument lines within them. Among the films, CDs and books on JT’s birthday wish list was this line item: “song.” Well, hunaja, this is your one unwrappable surprise and wish fulfilled! You so make me feel like a natural woman and, truly, God only knows what I’d be without you! ♥♥♥ [please ck. out his other b’day ditty at Kat330 – Birthday-song-to-be and Philo’s own wild SC sounds at philo-gristle] Arranged, performed, recorded and produced by Kathleen Martin



July 1, 2014

For my husband and my best friend, JT Lindroos. (Happy Birthday, hunaJuha!)

Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows” and “Natural Woman” by King & Goffin are two favorite songs of mine from any era and any genre. Well aware I’m unworthy of covering either on its own, I thought I could at least make a wholly new song and sound from mixing up my performance bits of both together, much as I did in “From C to Sharpened C.” I think this experimix is more successful than that one though, at least I personally like to listen to it more than last month’s mash-up, and hope you do, too.

This track was completed weeks ago (June 9th) before the news about Gerry Goffin (R.I.P.), and the first instrument part I recorded was the Finnish harp (kantele). Over the vocals and harp came bongos, and later I added the synth keyboard lines of piano, celesta, music box, cello, flute and French horn to fill out the arrangement. I’ve returned to the song structure of “Resolution #9” in using its “power of 3’s” scheme here by repeating a section twice again before the bridge bits. In total there are three to start followed by a bridge, then three more sections followed by a second bridge and then winding down with a final group of three. The sections differ slightly within any triad by either adding or subtracting instrument lines within them.

Among the films, CDs and books on JT’s birthday wish list was this line item: “song.” Well, hunaja, this is your one unwrappable surprise and wish fulfilled! You so make me feel like a natural woman and, truly, God only knows what I’d be without you! ♥♥♥ [please ck. out his other b’day ditty at Kat330 – Birthday-song-to-be and Philo’s own wild SC sounds at philo-gristle]

Arranged, performed, recorded and produced by Kathleen Martin

June 15, 2014 Happy Father’s Day to all you daddy-o’s out in SoundCloudland! Had it in mind a while to develop a song around a cool kitten copy editor, Grammar Puss, and the village wordsmithy, Wilder Witt III, her cool cat cunning linguist. I would jot down a lyric once in a while but couldn’t settle on a style to deliver the song. I was leaning toward Minnie’s “If You See My Rooster” or Simone’s “I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl,” but even if my suggestive lyrics are up their alleys, my pipes clearly are not. I was considering something more Eartha-ly coKitt-ish when, out of the blue, a notion of doo-wop style landed in my lap or thereabouts. Wasn’t certain if it would work well with my words, but in the end I actually appreciate the dissonance of double entendre lyrics set in a sweetly innocent musical genre.  My instrumentation includes the usual suspects but might mention I contributed the “bum-bum-bum-bum” vocal low notes. I tried using a REAPER effect to take it down another octave where I actually wanted it, but it just didn’t sound right. The shuffling drum track and closed-hat chorus beats are off of a Zoom RhythmTrak machine JT (Philo) got for me. Sure hope this brings a smile to all you super cool cats and kittens out there! xxxooo Play on Words (Doo-wop You Do to Me) You have a way with words, as well this kitten knows. You went from good to verse, perfected purple prose. You know that iamb ode beside your syncopated beat.  Tease me with your wordplay, you cunning linguist you. Take poetic license, show me all your quill can do. No syntax will be levied on our nothings whispered sweet.  BRIDGE: Your mighty pen is stirring Now your grammar puss is purring Hear my haiku-ing out in delight We’ll form a bona fide couplet tonight!  You’re just my typeface (comic sans), a font of fun The way you simile like a brightly burning sun. ☼ Your dangling participle is my favorite part of speech.  BRIDGE: Your mighty pen is stirring Now your grammar puss is purring  Hear my haiku-ing out in delight We formed a bona fide couplet tonight!  We doubled our entendres, and you rapped me in your rhyme. Your assonance so tight can parse me any time. Your irony is hot again, it’s time to steam the sheets…. …with our blended body heat.  Written, performed, recorded and produced by Kathleen Martin [June 14, 2014] Cover art/design by JT Lindroos



June 15, 2014

Happy Father’s Day to all you daddy-o’s out in SoundCloudland!

Had it in mind a while to develop a song around a cool kitten copy editor, Grammar Puss, and the village wordsmithy, Wilder Witt III, her cool cat cunning linguist. I would jot down a lyric once in a while but couldn’t settle on a style to deliver the song. I was leaning toward Minnie’s “If You See My Rooster” or Simone’s “I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl,” but even if my suggestive lyrics are up their alleys, my pipes clearly are not. I was considering something more Eartha-ly coKitt-ish when, out of the blue, a notion of doo-wop style landed in my lap or thereabouts. Wasn’t certain if it would work well with my words, but in the end I actually appreciate the dissonance of double entendre lyrics set in a sweetly innocent musical genre.

My instrumentation includes the usual suspects but might mention I contributed the “bum-bum-bum-bum” vocal low notes. I tried using a REAPER effect to take it down another octave where I actually wanted it, but it just didn’t sound right. The shuffling drum track and closed-hat chorus beats are off of a Zoom RhythmTrak machine JT (Philo) got for me. Sure hope this brings a smile to all you super cool cats and kittens out there! xxxooo

Play on Words (Doo-wop You Do to Me)

You have a way with words, as well this kitten knows.
You went from good to verse, perfected purple prose.
You know that iamb ode beside your syncopated beat.

Tease me with your wordplay, you cunning linguist you.
Take poetic license, show me all your quill can do.
No syntax will be levied on our nothings whispered sweet.

BRIDGE: Your mighty pen is stirring
Now your grammar puss is purring
Hear my haiku-ing out in delight
We’ll form a bona fide couplet tonight!

You’re just my typeface (comic sans), a font of fun
The way you simile like a brightly burning sun. ☼
Your dangling participle is my favorite part of speech.

BRIDGE: Your mighty pen is stirring
Now your grammar puss is purring
Hear my haiku-ing out in delight
We formed a bona fide couplet tonight!

We doubled our entendres, and you rapped me in your rhyme.
Your assonance so tight can parse me any time.
Your irony is hot again, it’s time to steam the sheets….
…with our blended body heat.

Written, performed, recorded and produced by Kathleen Martin [June 14, 2014]
Cover art/design by JT Lindroos

 June 7, 2014 I still want to remix my Thompson + Dylan track but, in the meanwhile, here is another, more experimental mash-up of two songs where I’m providing all of the performance material. “What’ll I Do?” was written in 1923 by Irving Berlin, and 1930’s “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” is by lyricist E. Y. “Yip” Harburg and composer Jay Gorney, with a melody based on a Russian-Jewish lullaby. It was especially tricky mashing them up given the differing time signatures between the two. But they are both long-time favorite tunes of mine from the first third of the last century, and hope I haven’t done either one too much injustice in this experiment. Any listener unfamiliar with either song should find versions online to hear each in its entirety.
[Arranged, performed and produced by Kathleen Martin]



June 7, 2014

I still want to remix my Thompson + Dylan track but, in the meanwhile, here is another, more experimental mash-up of two songs where I’m providing all of the performance material. “What’ll I Do?” was written in 1923 by Irving Berlin, and 1930’s “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” is by lyricist E. Y. “Yip” Harburg and composer Jay Gorney, with a melody based on a Russian-Jewish lullaby. It was especially tricky mashing them up given the differing time signatures between the two. But they are both long-time favorite tunes of mine from the first third of the last century, and hope I haven’t done either one too much injustice in this experiment. Any listener unfamiliar with either song should find versions online to hear each in its entirety.

[Arranged, performed and produced by Kathleen Martin]

In Memoriam

In Memoriam


May 17, 2014 If you dismiss my field recording, Blue Angels vs. Red Birds (and I do), it’s been two months since I’ve done any new creative recording. Neighborhood noise is certainly a factor, but also there has been a matter of a claims case filed against a real lyin’, deceivin’, cheatin’ and a-thievin’ company across the river. It involves one of my late mother’s major legacies left to me, so the stress and sadness surrounding it all have absorbed my time and energy since March 17th. Yet despite having all that ugliness Spring on me, and then now my great displeasure for Soundcloud’s “enhanced” software with its seriously skewed algorithms and persistent Stream issues, it’s long past high time to dance on a moonlit cloud with you all again! :) And with a little luck, this track may actually make it into the Stream of each Follower, but I’ll back it up with mail notices. Hopefully my baroque jazz version here will prove there still can be something new under the moon! ☼ [Arranged, performed and produced by Kathleen Martin]

May 17, 2014

If you dismiss my field recording, Blue Angels vs. Red Birds (and I do), it’s been two months since I’ve done any new creative recording. Neighborhood noise is certainly a factor, but also there has been a matter of a claims case filed against a real lyin’, deceivin’, cheatin’ and a-thievin’ company across the river. It involves one of my late mother’s major legacies left to me, so the stress and sadness surrounding it all have absorbed my time and energy since March 17th.

Yet despite having all that ugliness Spring on me, and then now my great displeasure for Soundcloud’s “enhanced” software with its seriously skewed algorithms and persistent Stream issues, it’s long past high time to dance on a moonlit cloud with you all again! :) And with a little luck, this track may actually make it into the Stream of each Follower, but I’ll back it up with mail notices. Hopefully my baroque jazz version here will prove there still can be something new under the moon! ☼

[Arranged, performed and produced by Kathleen Martin]

Will (Still) Shortz Women?


May 9, 2014

This past Sunday(May 4, 2014) on NPR’s Sunday Puzzle, Mr. Shortz
announced a creative challenge once again, which was to define /
describe a six-letter word wherein the word’s letters are found in exact
sequence. (As usual, winners selected subjectively on elegance of
wordplay, rules of grammar, syntax, etc.) Now, I may have missed one,
but I believe this is the first of his “subjectively determined winner”
sorts of challenge he’s proposed to listeners in many, many months. [cf.
http://kat330.tumblr.com/post/16424412555/puzzling-why-will-shortz-women
and http://kat330.tumblr.com/post/16778983910/shortz-cuts-spoonerisms ]

I indicated in those past posts I would not submit entries to these
creative posers any longer, which were the only Sunday puzzles I had any interest in entering in any event, but would post them here instead. I
noted I’d rather do it like this than submitting under gender-neutral or
obviously male aliases to prove my “women never win — nor ever are read on air even as runners-up” observation.

Because it’s been such a long interim, however, I decided to test the waters again this go-round by submitting under male /gender-neutral pseudonyms to Shortz’ current creative challenge. The three entries I sent under aliases are included among those below and were entered at the WESUN site on May 6th.

I realize there is scant chance my “under cover” effort will bear out the empirical evidence of Shortz’ sexism across the years, especially since I was emailed this info-nugget back in 2012, paraphrasing: “Winners and runners-up in these Will-fully decided creative challenges are exclusively picked from a wide circle of puzzlers/ friends whose names are already familiar to him in some capacity.” Thus, I anticipate aliases of any gender remain outside the Shortz list of entrants and can expect equal opportunity of being overlooked and ignored.


SEANCE: A way to raise ancestor. <— sent as only a 2-word description — Raise ancestor — under alias “Samuel Flot.” While my entry of WESUN record is a nice economy of words, this version has admittedly superior syntax.

MONDAY: A common day to hate. <— sent from JT’s email on my behalf.

RUEFUL: Showing true, full-blown regret.

FULMAR: Graceful marine bird.

TRASHY: Style unsuited for extra shy person.

STRIFE: A time most rife with struggle.

FINALE: The final element of a musical play.

TRAVEL: Activity where extra velocity comes in handy.

CATSUP: Never chic at supper condiment.  <— entered aka “Ken Martin”

SHRIVE: Attempt to wash river of sins away.

SHOVER: Person that will push over another.

SHTICK: A bit for providing brash tickle of the funnybone.

EDITOR: Final edit ordainer.

Com Promise


If only you’d man up, I’d woman down to meet you halfway.

                                                                 © KAM

© a MarLin collab
His train of thought led to a conscious uncoupling.

© a MarLin collab

His train of thought led to a conscious uncoupling.