Feb. 10th, 2009

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Back online after moving to a new apartment this weekend. God, how I hate moving, but this time I got relatively smart and let the movers handle just about everything instead of moving everything but the heavy stuff myself. Best $300 I ever spent, I think. I need to deal with the walk-out inspection of the old place today and then I'll be shut of it. Mega thanks go to my love [livejournal.com profile] datalopez who assisted me in packing, fed me and kept me company all last week while I threw things in boxes, and cleaned and tidied behind me as rooms were emptied.

I'm taking the opportunity afforded by the move to rearrange things, toss out stuff I don't need or use anymore, and properly unpack this time. When I moved to Austin, I never really unpacked completely for some reason (none of my artwork was hung up, my books were never organized right, and so on). This made it handy for REPACKING purposes, but I don't want that to happen again this time. So: a little more each day, rearranging and organizing and tossing and making the place feel more like home.

Today's shared file is one of my favorite albums: Billy McLaughlin's Fingerdance, his first release for Narada Records. Billy was (and is) a very innovative guitarist, playing a unique style where one hand hammers the melody while the other one taps out bass notes on the fretboard. Billy had a successful career and was at the height of his popularity in 2001 when tragedy struck. He was diagnosed with focal dystonia, an incurable motor neuron disease that spasms and clenches muscles. The focal dystonia made it impossible for him to play his own music. By 2002 his career was over.

Billy's story didn't end there, though. In 2006 he began attempting a comeback, doing the utterly unthinkable: teaching himself to play his unique style left-handed. Other musicians have likened this to learning to speak backward phonetically. He had to rewire his entire way of thinking as well as all of the muscle memory he had learned over dozens of years as a guitarist. Still, he persevered, and in January 2007 he released Into the Light, his comeback performance with a string orchestra. Billy's a wonderful warm soul, whom I've had the pleasure of meeting several times. Unfailingly upbeat and very talented, he's a musician worth hearing. Fingerdance is 56MB in size, .M4A iTunes format, also playable by Windows Media Player or Winamp.

Oh, and one more thing: if you're interested in learning more about Billy or his music, hit up his website.


[[The Oracle would like to know what you're doing for Valentine's Day.]]


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Phil C.

April 2011


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