Sunday, June 7, 2009

Duelling 'Spillers - or, How I Learned To Love The Banjo


Following on from some (let's face it) slightly disturbing comments over on the Mothership (I may not be playing but I'm still keeping an eye on you all) I thought it might prove an interesting diversion for us to put together a collective celebration of the role of the banjo in pop music.

As a way of introducing the subject we need to look at the masters of the genre, starting (where else?) with this epoch-making scene in which our heroes tincanman (banjo) and nilpferd (acoustic guitar) do what they do best, while the rest of the 'Spill community look on in awe (or possibly abject horror - it's a fine line). Abahachi turns out to be surprisingly tall, don't you think? - but, boy, can he dance! It's a shame that we only get a brief glimpse of frog princess in the first story window, but I suppose you can't have everything in life.



I've created a dropbox folder* wherein it is desirous that you place your own banjo-centric choices - I've put three of my own in there to start things off. By a strange coincidence the same three songs can be heard in this small, but perfectly proportioned, podbeany-type thingumabob ...

* I know you all know where to find it but could SKS please tell me how to place a link to it here?

42 comments:

tincanman said...

Earl Scruggs

tincanman said...

And did you know that the origins of the banjo are in African music, not American?

tincanman said...

And that comedian Steve Martin is actually a quite accomplished player.

tincanman said...

starting to get worried yet?

ejaydee said...

Indeed, I learned a lot about the banjo's history in a museum in Long Island, I can;t remember which town exactly, but it's close to the carriage museum in the same town.

Abahachi said...

Well, it's less evil than the ukulele.

goneforeign said...

Well I know I don't need to remind you all that I've posted several times in the past the banjo led reggae band Kali, from their album FrancoFaune, specifically their cut dedicated to BM, 'Brother Bob'. They're foreigners, come from Martinique and sing in some foreign language. Banjo's unusual in that setting.

ToffeeBoy said...

tincanman - thanks for all the Earl Scruggs and for the reminder of Steve Martin's genius. Watch it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AI8NuFAETMQ

nilpferd said...

Sure, pick on the guy with glasses, why don't you..

ejaydee said...

Hope you don't mind if I take of my jacket to reveal my leather vest.

For now I did a simple banjo word search, but I have this clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcYVfcZkwYk

ToffeeBoy said...

Ha - 'pick' - that's a good 'un!

ejaydee said...

Oh I just realised this was supposed to be about the banjo in pop music, and most of what I've put isn't really. Still, enjoy.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ ejd - pop music - schmop music - if it's got a banjo in it, let's hear it.

AliMunday said...

Tried to put on some Stanley Brothers but they're all .aiff files for some reason and won't load. Shame 'cos you're missing a treat.

tincanman said...

And of course REM's Peter Buck plays banjo.

tincanman said...

@ ali
dropbox em and I'll see if I can convert them for you


---
Did you have the TV show Hee Haw over here? Roy Clarke (county banjo) and Buck Owens hosted, with country music and wholesome skits of grade school humor level (without the swearing lol).

saneshane said...

Had to add James Yorkston Banjo #1
and off topic but - the Ukulele Orchestra doing Le Freak (even if uke players are evil - thanks Aba, I learnt 3 notes on thursday) has to be heard!

tincanman said...

thebanjoman.com

Need I say more. We could be treading on dangerous toes. These people have guns and come from states where DNA testing is redundant.

ToffeeBoy said...

@ tincanman - wot, no Sufjan Stevens?

BalearicBeat said...

A seldom-seen example of the banjo in dance music:

The Grid - Swamp Thing
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7pXID3v1Mw

(The Grid were Richard Norris and Dave Ball, formerly of Soft Cell)

tincanman said...

I don't do Stevens. no Cat, no Sufjan, no Connie

ToffeeBoy said...

@ How about Ray - banjo and all?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIPv9AtZ2zE

ToffeeBoy said...

And moving quickly from the ridiculous to the sublime, we can also have this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRifvUWJHNw

In fact it's so good, I'll dropbox it ...

DaddyPig said...

I'm afraid I uninstalled Dropbox as part of a 'purge' to help my computer run.....more..... (make a cup of tea, read some Tolstoy...)...quickly. But "Man of Constant Sorrow" from the 'O Brother Where Art Thou' soundtrack has some irresistible banjo rhythms; and (not completely flippantly but a bit) the full-length version of The Teletubbies theme (which is little Emma's choice of bedtime CD at the moment) is pretty toe-tapping too !

tincanman said...

I dropboxed some stuff too.
Guess this makes us even ste... sorry

Shoegazer said...

See I was beaten to Banjo Or Freakout, but it's more Freakout than banjo, dropped a couple of Roebuck's, if you don't know him your jaws will be the next to drop.

Chris said...

I'm sure I could point y'all to some fine banjo pickin' from Mr Jerome John Garcia...

Anyone see Bill Bailey on TV doing Duelling Banjos with a bunch of Indian musicians? The guy playing the sitar-like instrument was phenomenal.

Shoegazer said...

Toffee: 1 last try:

1. Copy the following code into the html tab of your blogger post, wherever you want the tune to appear:

First link

2. Go to your public folder in dropbox, right click on the mp3 you want. Scroll down to "dropbox" and select "copy public link".

3. Go back to the line of code you pasted in Blogger. Select the text between the quotation marks (http...3). Rightclick & paste your dropbox link.

4. Select the text "First Link" between the >< marks. Overwrite with whatever you want to call the track.

5. Hit publish, celebrate & throw away Podbean.

Shoegazer said...

Bugger, the line of code posted as a link (duh!). Go here instead for the code:

http://mediaplayer.yahoo.com/

& copy the first line of code in Box A into your Blogger post (html tab) & continue from there

ToffeeBoy said...

@ shoey - thanks - I know how to post a link to an individual mp3 - what I wanted to know was how to post a link to the folder. Perhaps you can't...

ejaydee said...

Hey,it looks like I finally have access to the yahoo media code (which I've never used). SO that's how everybody else does it....

steenbeck said...

I missed the Ho down!! I have some Stanley Brothers I could dropbox. Did Ali/Tin already do their thing or should I put them in?

steenbeck said...

And I recently discovered Cannon's Jug Stompers...kazoo, harmonica, jugs, banjos...what's not to love?

http://www.last.fm/music/Cannon%27s+Jug+Stompers/_/Minglewood+Blues?autostart

ToffeeBoy said...

@ steenbeck - drop 'em ...

saneshane said...

It's getting spooky.. this album turned up in the post today, from Germany - so it would have already been travelling when the banjo post went up.. they don't do RR.. but here is College town boy:


Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele
College Town Boy

and who is academic and loves the ukulele?
At the Academic Conference

treefrogdemon said...

Banjo? Maggie Holland. Black Crow. In the box.

ejaydee said...

A banjo and accordion version of the Persuaders theme anyone? It's in the dropbox, called Amicalement Votre because that's the title of the show in French

tincanman said...

Clearly, the first Spillharmonic release should be banjo-based.
A Stairway to Heaven cover?

goneforeign said...

I'm waiting for someone to mention Bela Fleck, possibly the world's greatest banjo player in almost every genre, if you don't know of him check spotty, there's ton's there.

AliMunday said...

Tincanman - I can't even get them to upload to Dropbox. They're on a CD that someone recorded for me so that might have something to do with it. Shame, though.

tincanman said...

@ali
oh well

tincanman said...

Interesting that Cape Cod kwassa makes both the A list and the B(anjo) list in the same week. We must ask Marconius if this has ever happened before.