Minstrel At Large

14 January 1963
External Services:
  • maugorn@livejournal.com
Hi. Welcome to my Live Journal. I'm a full time musician/singer in Cheverly MD.
I am very happily married to patches023. Our beautiful, cluttered home is also filled with snugglebunny love. We are also poly, so both of us date outside our marriage, sometimes with "hilarious" results.
From a previous relationship I have a lovely and very bright and talented daughter, sagesaria who lives with her mom nosebeepbear and her stepdad supremeherptile.

For my work, I specialize in modern versions of traditional songs and creative
covers of classic folk, rock, and pop.

But even that statement is oversimplifying things as I am very much a musical
slut. I have standards of what I like, but there is SO MUCH MUSIC that I
like to listen to and to play, that my current repertoire is now well over
1200 songs. No, of course I don't remember each and every one of those
songs all the time, so I've made a fakebook out of an old laptop which comes
with me to my gigs. Still, there's an awful lot of stuff that I *can* play
without "cheating"- so there!

You may have seen me play at Pennsic, in Old Town Alexandria, a small
smattering of DC (and suburban) bars and restaurants, bookstores, art galleries,
The Spoutwood Farm Fairie Festival, MD Renfest (some other smaller Ren-type
fests too!), MD Faerie Festival, a few East Coast Sci-Fi Conventions, and some
Neopagan gatherings.

My frequent attendance at Science Fiction Cons and playing music there often
gets me labelled a "Filker". I'm not chafing at the label as much as I used
to, but I find the connotations to be not only limiting but also very non-
descriptive of what it is I actually do musically. I admit, I *have*
sometimes indulged in writing alternate lyrics to an existing song- twice
(okay, more like 5 times). I also like collecting songs with Fantastic or
Science Fiction themes. But more often than not I'm mining these songs from
traditional sources or Rock music. My originals often have these fantastic
elements, but musically I approach the whole craft very very differently from
the vast majority of the "Filkers" I know. My musical role models are people
like the bands I mention in my "interests", and not necessarily Leslie Fish.
(Tho she plays a durn good ragtime guitar). Whatever portion of my repertoire
one could *possibly* consider to be "Filk", there is at least an order of magnitude
of other songs that are not. Pigeonholing me in the filk genre might be useful to
certain filk apologists trying to absorb other genres by association, but really,
that's not what I'm about, even though there exist filkers who may like what
I do. I look like Jerry Garcia and I play well over a dozen Grateful Dead
songs, but that doesn't make me a "One Man Dead Tribute Band" either.
Dang! That came out pompous, didn't it? Okay, if you MUST call me a filker, how
about we split the difference and I let you accuse me of occasionally dabbling in
filk, just as I occasionally dabble in Jazz or Country?

I've also played in a couple of groups.
Currently, there is:
- Three Left Feet. We do Rennaissance and English Country Dance, with musicians and dancers.
Naturally, I'm one of the musicians. I'm currently "blessed" with the title "Music Director"
(Tho sometimes I feel the job title should be "Cat Herder")

I've had some other collaborations in the past, most notably: The Sacred Chao,
Wild Oats, Good Company, Minor Mischief, & Rhianon. If you don't know me personally,
you've probably never heard of any of them.

My other current big project is the Maryland Faerie Festival. Inspired by the Mayday
Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm, ours will has a lot in common with them and we share
ideas and support, even as we're trying to find our own identity. The next one will be on the third weekend of May at the Patuxent 4H Camp in Upper Marlboro MD.
Aside from having been a sort of major instigator, my main role in the MDFF has been (but is not currently) that of Entertainment Coordinator. Right now, my official job title is "Chief Stage Tech" and I'm also on the Entertainment Committee. But that covers precious little of what I do and have done which has included (so far) doing publicity, design, engineering, dumpster diving for materials, set construction, painting painting painting, assisting in Admin & Logistics tasks, hosting work parties, and assisting patches023 in her capacity as Vendor Coordinator for years 1-3.

We have a website: MDFF!

When I was younger, before I started to play music, I wanted to be a "Mad
Scientist" when I grew up. I studied science and especially chemistry until
the Music took over my soul in college. But I still have those Mad Scientist
tendencies. I do alot of tinkering on my instruments. I cobble together
inventions to help me do stuff. My limited electronic knowledge is always
used to it's max in maintaining as much of my gear as I can myself. I have a
studio and a workroom in my basement which I refer to as my "underground
laboratory". I still laugh maniacally when one of my creations, physical,
musical or instrumental comes to life.

Sometimes I can be heard cursing "the fools" and vowing to "show them all..."

Hopefully I can use this blog more as a log and impetus to manage my projects
better and not just be a time trap.

I'm a neo-pagan, specifically an Erisian (or Discordian). Eris is the
Goddess of Chaos of the Ancient Greeks. I view her as my Goddess and
sometimes Muse. She is very real to me and often hands me life lessons
and Help in the form of Practical Jokes. I consider the animal spirit
Tiger to be my totem/power animal. I was born in the Year Of The Tiger, and have
always loved all things tigery.

I'm also going to talk about stuff that I'm thinking about lately. I'm going
to try the experiment of making my life an even more open book thru this
forum. To that end, you can expect to read me talking openly and honestly
about my relationships, my musical work, my magickal life, my problems both
physical and metaphysical, food, tigers, and things that strike my fancy as
important. I'm not at this time putting any restrictions on who gets to read
or reply to my journal. I welcome the input of friends and strangers as it's
those random bits of knowledge and inspiration that I didn't think of, that keep
making my life interesting and my problems solvable. I also enjoy a good debate
and I like being challenged, as it helps keep me honest. That said, be warned
that I'm not going to take seriously the advice of proselytisers or others
whose agendas are transparently not in my interest. If you are one of those
people, please don't waste your time on me. Also, "anonymous" criticism
will probably not get you the results you desire. 3rd party anonymous
criticism, ie: "Some friends of yours who don't want you to know who they are
want me to tell you..." will get less than nowhere.

If you simply must reply anonymously, because you're not on LJ, at least let me
know who you are. Simply saying "Hey this is XXX" in your reply is fine.

But as I said, if you want to snipe at me from behind a mask, don't expect to
be taken seriously. You can say whatever you want, but be mature enough to own
your opinions in my journal. I do. It's not too much to ask.

In matters of Faith, I'm open to new ideas, but I'm also not afraid
to draw the line on things that I believe because I have chosen them and
they ring true for me. Your mileage, of course will vary, and that BTW is
fine with me too. What I'm saying is "Don't use LJ to proselytse me."
And I will append that to marketers. I've just found my very first thinly
disguised marketing attempt as an anonymous comment in my Journal. Don't do that.
Not only will I NEVER EVER buy a product or service advertised in this way, but
If you do, and I find out who you are, I WILL find a way to feed you to a tiger!

When reading my journal, there are a couple of important things to know:

1) I play a bunch of instruments professionally: Guitar (Mostly acoustic&
electric 12 string), Harmonica, Banjo, Mandolin, Recorder, & Bazouki.
I'm also starting to incorporate flute and hammered dulcimer.

2) Being very animistic in my outlook, I name my instruments.
Here is a not so brief glossary of the "usual" suspects in my musical family:

Melyanna: A Martin D12X1 Acoustic 12 string. My current "main squeeze"
Dulcinea: This guitar is My Most Prized Possession
She's A 1966 Rickenbacker solid body electric 12 string. I've always wanted a Rick for that trademark jangly folk/rock sound. I swore I would have one when I grew up. Imagine my delight that I didn't have to grow up to get her.
Damian: A Kay banjo, found in a thrift store for $20.
Smartest and most profitable $20 I ever spent.
Barbarella: Finally! A proper bouzouki. (my two previous were self-modified hybrids) She's got to be one of the best designed and solidly constructed instruments I've ever put my hands on. She was built by Tyler Mountain, and I've got to say, I already heavily endorse them. If you've liked my bouzouki playing on my kludges and substitutes, just you *wait* till you hear what I do with *this* gal!
Brandy: A gift to me and patches023 from a co-worker of hers who builds them as a hobby! Wow! She sounds and plays lovely!
Emily: A tenor banjo who came to me as a "musical foster child" Her original Mom wasn't going to finish learning to play her and was seeking to foster her to a place where she'll be useful. Musically, she fits into the edges of several of my musical milleux, which means that even tho you might not see her at alot of my gigs, there will be places where her sound and style are just the right thing. Look to see her on future recordings, as I already have plans in place to use her on several. Also look to see her occasionally at 3LF gigs and practices. Thanks, Columbine! I love her!!
Niniel: A homebuilt acoustic guitar/bazouki hybrid.
Darius: A homebuilt *electric* guitar/bazouki hybrid.
Nemesis: A black Telecaster copy. Don't know who made it, the brand got painted over before I got it.
Charlene: A "Chuck Berry Red" Squire stratocaster copy. She was a wedding gift from my friend Matt.
Kaylee: An Ol' Reliable Yamaha FG160 acoustic 6 string that hangs out in the living room or by the computer so I can have something easy and within reach to practice on.
Lynne: A "rescue" from eons back. A very cheap but functional classical guitar that I may work on to get rid of some "buzzing", but that is a low priority at the moment.
Penelope: An Alvarez Acoustic 12 string- currently hanging out as a spare. I play her outside on occasions that are inhospitable to Melyanna, but still mostly ok to play in.
Olympia: My current '2nd' string Mandolin. Still a bit of a work in progress, but playing better all the time!
Esther: The other current spare mandolin
Freya: She's a very basic but fully functional hammered dulcimer.
Rhonda: A mandola built by Surf City that was somewhat incorrectly sold to me as an "Octave Mandolin"(bouzouki). She *almost* worked in that capacity, but not quite. Now that I have a proper bouzouki, she can go back to being a mandola, which I won't be playing often, but there will be times, especially on recordings, where she will be just the right gal for the job!
Elenore Hu A hollowbody short scale bass, that is a copy of the Hofner
"violin base" that Paul McCartney played in the early days of The Beatles.
Hu, being chinese for "tiger" is part of her name as she arrived on Chinese New Year
for the Year of the Tiger.

My favorite tambourines have names: They are Greenie and Woodie II

I don't name the plastic recorders or the harmonicas. That would be too much
like naming guppies. There are too many of them and they don't live too long.

I may name my wooden recorders sometime, but they've never mentioned wanting
any, nor have my silver or my two 6hole flutes or any of the small collection of
pennywhistles mentioned wanting names.

There are always other instruments that are in "project stage" needing repair or
refurbishing before I get to play them. Some are new to me, some are not.
I'll mention them when they come up and update the glossary when they become
"current useable axes".

I name my vehicles as well. My great giant of a Chevy van is the cantankerous
but kindly "Mama Tiger". She takes good care of me and is so far one of the
most loyal vehicles I've ever owned.
(Tho she did spank me once- I deserved it)