Organ Restoration Part 1

Yesterday my dad and I started restoring my antique Estey reed organ. Mine is a portable model which folds up into a crate with a handle on top. From what I’ve read, they were often used by army chaplains in World War I and missionaries. They could play hymns for a service, then pack it up and move it easily when the time came.

Mine started out in pretty bad shape when I first bought it, and when I moved from New York back to Florida it got pretty well destroyed. (If you want something broken, ship it on a Greyhound bus.) Anyway, the first thing we’re doing is rebuilding the box that holds the organ up when it’s unfolded. We started by scraping off copious amounts of cheap glue that I suspect was put there by another amateur restorer. Then we glued up a few pieces and let them dry overnight. Also glued some splits closed, and glued some chipped pieces back in (using good glue, Titebond II) More to come!

You can see some of the glue I mentioned in the above picture, at the bottom of the boards on the right. Amateur hour.


The Bees – Silver Line
ceo – Come With Me
Salem – King Night
Woods – Suffering Season

Especially that Salem one; it’s my new favorite Christmas song.

Otters Are Cute

This video got me thinking…

All an otter has to do is learn how to be an otter. His entire goal in life is to be an otter.

Maybe I just need to learn how to be a human?

Yeah, I know. Not really what you were expecting, huh?

But still awesome. You didn’t even know your day was missing that, I bet.

Julian Lynch

Julian Lynch’s new album just got the Best New Music honors over at Pitchfork, and that’s probably a pretty good description of said album.

He makes collages out of sound, just like a lot of other people, but he one ups them by adding architectonic structure to them, giving them mountains and valleys. The whole album has a very laid-back feel, kind of like a jam session directed by an ethnomusicologist (which Lynch is). Vocals are especially haunting (think Justin Vernon with more effects), though unintelligible. The whole thing sounds very much like what the 2010’s think the 1960’s must have sounded like. Psych folk at its best, in short.

You can hear the whole thing at (one of our favorite internet startups) Bandcamp.

93% of all blog posts are apologies for prior inactivity by the blogger. I will not fall into this error.

I don’t really know why Ralph Vaughan Williams is my favorite composer. I know there are greater or more historically significant ones out there, but for whatever ineffable reason, his music does to me things that cannot be matched by any other music. Possibly it is because I’m acquainted with his life, and I know his music didn’t come as easily or naturally as Mozart’s, as is the case with me. Maybe it’s his obvious Britishness, anchoring his music to a country and way of life so effectively. I strongly suspect it has something to do with his brilliant use of modal tonalities, which always sound so complete. Maybe I can add another sentence to round out this paragraph in grand music journalism style.

Joanna Newsom

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard an exceptionally bland artist described as “unique” or “unclassifiable”, I would have some nickels. However, even had this unlikely financial arrangement been realized, I would have made no money on Joanna Newsom.