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Appreciating Javanese Music

Posted on in Music

I will not try and define this music. All I can say is that it is so beautiful and I connect on a spiritual level. Maybe you'll take some time and listen.

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On The Fly Word Creation by Gerald W. Yarbrough

Posted on in Family and Friends

We all lead a life of seriousness and reality,
But we also live a life of fun and goofiness.


My awesome father was a Master at making up words on the fly.

Out of nowhere he would let go and out would fly a silly and highly creative word that would suit his thought.

Jay Yarbrough 2010It always fit what he was saying.
It always made us laugh,
'cept I would focus in on it and digest its creative weight.

I would see it's artistry.
I would remember it.

The thing was, was.., I also prided myself on being able to make up words on the fly. The apple falling.., the tree.., you know.., that old chestnut.

Yet here he was ~ in his element ~
Lettin' 'em fly.


Speaking to his wife:
"Honey.., can I get a new glass? This has some makawkis in it..."

We laughed!

It did have some kind of crap on the inside of the glass.

CCN Makawkis - Chief MakawkisI immediately threw it back at him:
"Are you sure that's makawkis or is it narwhallness?"

He was like.., "huh?".

We laughed and he saw I was appreciating his new word and we laughed.

At that moment I decided I would create some kind of Photoshop to take the joke/art a bit farther.

A spoof CNN story about the Makawkis Tribe preserving their heritage and Chief Makawkis being interviewed.




Those who focus on art see these little gems while those who don't, yet who create.., don't often see the brilliance.

See the brilliance around you.





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Performing Music in a 3D Virtual World ~ What to Keep In Mind

Posted on in Live Performance

On April 18, 2014 I officially began performing in Second Life.

Jay Yarbrough Guthries Folk Club b 4-18-14The venue was Guthrie's Folk Club and the turn-out was better than I expected (thanks to my good friend Kiesta Aljon). Also, keep in mind that I've been a member of Second Life for 10 years and have been planning on performing all that time so.., it was long overdue!

Performing original songs in front of people has always been challenging for me as I do struggle a bit with stage fright (*gulp*). In the past I've struggled with live performance but that was with a crowd directly in front of me. In a virtual world I am in my own studio - alone - playing for people all over the world who can hear me but can't actually see me.

So ~ there should be no stage fright, right? Wrong.

I was surprised at how much adrenaline coursed through my veins as I was getting close to going live. Ten minutes before show time I was way more nervous than I thought I would be and had to do a few jumping jacks and slap myself a few times to say "knock it off!!". It worked. Sure I was still nervous as the show began but I was good enough ~ mind over matter won the battle.

After performing two separate hour long shows last weekend, I've learned a few things and thought I would share.

First ~ don't take it too lightly.

My attitude going in was that I was playing in my studio and would be able to just plow through it, no biggie. The reality is, a show is a show and must be rehearsed and figured out beforehand. You must be ready to knock 'em out from the start. Coming across like an amateur is not acceptable.

Secondly, there are many aspects of an online live performance to be ready for.

Is your musical equipment functioning properly? Is your audio stream ready to broadcast? Do you have the proper virtual world software interfaces open to efficiently interact with the crowd? Do you have water/tea at your side? What happens if you break a string? Do you have a backup guitar setup and ready to go? Are you in the right frame of mind and ready to schmooze the crowd and work on building your fan base? Do you have your set-list visible?

Finally, a virtual world performer should be ready to interact with people after the show ends.

Shaking hands (so to speak) and chit-chatting post-performance is a powerful way to establish connections with those who enjoyed your music. Going viral in a virtual world happens through word-of-mouth so, even though I tend to want to run off after a show, I realize it's important to do the PR work while the crowd is buzzing. Some people will want to tell you how they feel about your music and you should be ready to listen. Remember that you never know who is behind an avatar. Maybe an A&R rep from Capital? Maybe it's a music producer from Nashville? Who knows, it might even be your next ex (grins).

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The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll ~ An Appreciation

Posted on in Music

Bob DylanAs of late I've been haunted by the amazing song 'The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll' by Bob Dylan and, after reading about it in depth today, thought I'd write an appreciation.

With a dry, sparse, heart-felt 1964 folk energy, Bob Dylan sings about a wealthy white jerk who, while in a drunken stupor, physically and verbally attacked a 51 year old black woman who subsequently died later that night. The song/recording is haunting and relentless, forcing the story into the listeners consciousness.

After hearing it yesterday for the first time in a long time, the song won't leave me. It's chorus rings in my mind ~ the lyrics put together in such a poetic and inspired manner, Dylan's magic resounds.

hattie carroll headstoneWikipedia says, ""The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll" is a topical song written by the American musician Bob Dylan. Recorded on October 23, 1963, the song was released on Dylan's 1964 album The Times They Are a-Changin' and gives a generally factual account of the killing of 51-year-old barmaid Hattie Carroll by William Devereux "Billy" Zantzinger (whom the song calls "William Zanzinger"), a wealthy young tobacco farmer from Charles County, Maryland, and his subsequent sentence to six months in a county jail."

zantzingerTake a few minutes and have a listen. Think about his melody, think about how the lyrics are written, how he repeats certain phrases, how his voice and guitar create such a unique sound. Read the lyrics below and go on the journey as he unravels the injustice and makes it plain how complex the tragedy truly is.







William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll
With a cane that he twirled around his diamond ring finger
At a Baltimore hotel society gath’rin’
And the cops were called in and his weapon took from him
As they rode him in custody down to the station
And booked William Zanzinger for first-degree murder
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain’t the time for your tears

William Zanzinger, who at twenty-four years
Owns a tobacco farm of six hundred acres
With rich wealthy parents who provide and protect him
And high office relations in the politics of Maryland
Reacted to his deed with a shrug of his shoulders
And swear words and sneering, and his tongue it was snarling
In a matter of minutes on bail was out walking
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain’t the time for your tears

Hattie Carroll was a maid of the kitchen
She was fifty-one years old and gave birth to ten children
Who carried the dishes and took out the garbage
And never sat once at the head of the table
And didn’t even talk to the people at the table
Who just cleaned up all the food from the table
And emptied the ashtrays on a whole other level
Got killed by a blow, lay slain by a cane
That sailed through the air and came down through the room
Doomed and determined to destroy all the gentle
And she never done nothing to William Zanzinger
But you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Take the rag away from your face
Now ain’t the time for your tears

In the courtroom of honor, the judge pounded his gavel
To show that all’s equal and that the courts are on the level
And that the strings in the books ain’t pulled and persuaded
And that even the nobles get properly handled
Once that the cops have chased after and caught ’em
And that the ladder of law has no top and no bottom
Stared at the person who killed for no reason
Who just happened to be feelin’ that way without warnin’
And he spoke through his cloak, most deep and distinguished
And handed out strongly, for penalty and repentance
William Zanzinger with a six-month sentence
Oh, but you who philosophize disgrace and criticize all fears
Bury the rag deep in your face
For now’s the time for your tears

Copyright © 1964, 1966 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1992 by Special Rider Music


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A Gavin "Gig" Wilson Memory

Posted on in Family and Friends

It was a Saturday morning in 2001 and I was living in Hollywood, CA. Noticing my cat Lexie was out of food, I ran out to the small boutique pet food store at the foot of the Hollywood Hills.

After gathering Lexie's favorite food, I was walking around a corner aisle, trying not to drop any cans when I clumsily bumped into a man walking in the opposite direction...

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