All Ages Record takes dose of high art, Tall Leslie makes recorded debut, also please stop sharing that “the bee is declared the most important creature” article

Last week, my old friend and Boston’s hardest-working soprano Shannon Rose McAuliffe JetBlew into Tinseltown to lend her trained larynx to the digital wax of the All Ages Record (still as yet unnamed). Since the rest of the album will be performed by a bunch of “far out” ne’er-do-well rock and rollers on the hep “mod scene,” having a true classical musician on board adds a whole different dimension to the project that I could only otherwise dream of. It’s been a long time since I crapped out a Bach Invention at the West Tisbury Congregational Church. On one track, her voice serves as the counterpoint to that of coquettish crooner and known oaf Sean George, whom I’ve been writing and performing music with since before iPods.* His barrel-chested bellow contrasted with her lilting melisma is just a delight, if I do say. This record will have everything: insistent groove, cerebral weirdness, electric disco, folky-dolky sensibility, operatic moments, tender balladry.

That same track features the tall Leslie 31H in its recorded debut since its restoration, even though the restoration isn’t done yet. It’s fully rebuilt electronically however, and I robbed Peter (the Gonzo Leslie) to pay tall Paul so it could at least have a set of motors on the upper rotor. No animation on the bass yet. Playing the 1951 C-2 road organ through it, particularly with the rotors stopped and the organ’s vibrato on, evoked a strong mid-century radio soap opera/theatre organ feeling, very different from the usual Hammond organ timbres that most of us are used to in this age of wankery, white-boy funk and contrived authenticity. And the grind was positively to die for. Once it’s all put together, this thing will be just lethal. You know what? Here’s a brief sample of this track.

Speaking of lethal, please stop sharing that article from whatever that ultra-reliable and editorially reviewed ad-cesspit Blogspot site is, entitled something like “The Bee Was Just Declared The Most Important Species On The Planet.” I’m not going to link it because they don’t deserve the vanishingly minimal traffic from this site. The authors present the declaration as if it were a UN resolution or an international accord brokered at Yalta. In fact, it was from some group called “The Earthwatch Institute,” which, who the hell is that? The article doesn’t explain or link to this entity. They also, through the very professional AP-standard usage of boldface type, claim that “scientists” say bees are heading toward extinction. Bees, as a clade comprising about 20,000 different species according to the BBC, aren’t going extinct. Seven species–again, of 20,000–have been added to the endangered list, and none of them are the common honeybee that we all know and need. If you’re getting your news from some moron’s Blogspot, you’re doing the wrong thing. So please, before you smash out another knee-jerk salvo of online activism using sites with URLs like or littered with misspellings and Russian-funded ads and malware, just do a modicum of due diligence.

*You can find some of this music here, under any of the titles with “Vostok 4” in them. Sean wrote the lyrics to and sang on those.

Author: Bunny Butler

I'm the last of the good old-fashioned steam-powered trains.

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