Kinderhook Is Rocking Again


Kinderhook Creek was a popular New Jersey country rock band in the 1970s and 80s. They kind of created a live bar band market for country rock music in the Jersey/NY club scene. They had a devoted fan base that literally followed them from gig to gig.

Kinderhook Creek (now shortened to just Kinderhook) was a band I knew well. Jerry Kopychuk (banjo, guitar, lead vocals) was a friend in high school and we both went to Rutgers College together. I recall acoustic sessions in our Tinsley dormitory with a rotating group of other students including Andy Fediw who would become the band's bass player.

They got serious enough about the music in 1973 to leave school for awhile and give the music business a chance.

The other founding members were Yuri Turchyn on guitar, violin and vocals and Stan Taylor on pedal steel guitar. Craig Barry came on later on the drums and when the rest of us were graduating a few years later, Joe Breittenbach was added on lead guitar.

They played a regular circuit of venues (most of which are now gone) including The Wooden Nickel, Widow Brown's, The Gypsy, The Final Exam, Dodds Crest, Dodds Orange, Creations, The Beach House, the famed Stone Pony, the Royal Manor, Baby-O's, and The Joint In The Woods.

They later opened for the The Flying Burrito Brothers, Conway Twitty, Pure Prairie League, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Outlaws, Richie Havens, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Commander Cody, Poco and others in larger venues.

Kinderhook might be the Dutch word for “children on a hill” but the core of the original band had Ukrainian roots, and Kinderhook Creek was a popular place for Ukrainian get-togethers in New York state (near Albany) and hence the band's name.

Though a record contract and national tour eluded them, they played six nights a week for almost nine years, and were arguably the top drawing band in the state.

Kinderhook was the only unrecorded act to play the Central Park Schaefer Music Festival (1975), opening for Poco before 25,000 people, including me.

There is some archive b&w video of the band playing at the Capitol Theater in Passaic, New Jersey on May 7, 1977.
 

Kinderhook 2010
They reunited in 2010 and started playing gigs, including at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park.



The reunited  Kinderhook performing March 2010 in NJ on a bill with the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Lineup: Yuri Turchyn, Craig Barry, Andy Fediw, Jerry Kopychuk, John Greenaway and John Korba.

A Kinderhook show contains a unique blend of original music mixed in with their own takes on country and rock classics.


              At The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ on September 20, 2013.

Today’s lineup includes original members Jerry Kopychuk (guitar and banjo), Andy Fediw (bass guitar) Craig Barry (drums), John Korba (keyboards and guitar) and longtime Cowtown member Jim Ryan (pedal steel and guitar). All the members are lead singers, giving the band its distinctive vocal presence.

Check out Kinderhook's official website.

Hidden Kafka Papers Found

Not to overdo the Franz Kafka connections the past week, but you know how it is - when you focus on something, suddenly you see it all over the place.

I wrote about Kafka last weekend and then I was listening online to the radio show The Takeaway and they spoke to the director of the Kafka Society of America. It turns out that there are unpublished papers by Franz Kafka that have been hidden away in safety deposit boxes in Zurich, Switzerland and Tel Aviv, Israel.

You may know that Kafka published only a few short stories during his life, and never finished any of his novels. He told his friend and literary executor Max Brod that his "last request" was that "Everything I leave behind me... in the way of diaries, manuscripts, letters (my own and others'), sketches, and so on, [is] to be burned unread."

Luckily, Brod did not obey. Kafka's girlfriend at the end of his life, Dora, also ignored Kafka's last request and had notebooks and letters. They were confiscated by the Gestapo in 1933 and were missing since then. It looks like they have been found.

Israel’s supreme court recently ordered that the boxes, which contain thousands of handwritten documents by one of the most influential novelists of the 20th century, be opened. However, there is still an ongoing legal dispute about who owns the collection of private papers.

Listen to the radio story...


I Write Like

I don't what the voodoo algorithms are behind the I Write Like website. You paste in a sample of your writing and it "analyzes" the style and tells you what writer you write like.

I took a blog post that was pretty good and pasted it in. Rudyard Kipling. I cut all but a few sentences and did it again. Dan Brown. Then I used the middle section. Margaret Atwood. Section 4 got me Leo Tolstoy. On the fifth try, I pulled out the paragraph I liked and got Ernest Hemingway. That's where I stopped.

No one will object to having their writing compared to a famous author.



I write like
Ernest Hemingway
I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!


Doing a bit of clicking on the site's blog turns up this explanation:

“Actually, the algorithm is not a rocket science, and you can find it on every computer today. It’s a Bayesian classifier, which is widely used to fight spam on the Internet.

Take for example the “Mark as spam” button in Gmail or Outlook. When you receive a message that you think is spam, you click this button, and the internal database gets trained to recognize future messages similar to this one as spam. This is basically how “I Write Like” works on my side: I feed it with “Frankenstein” and tell it, “This is Mary Shelley. Recognize works similar to this as Mary Shelley.” Of course, the algorithm is slightly different from the one used to detect spam, because it takes into account more stylistic features of the text, such as the number of words in sentences, the number of commas, semicolons, and whether the sentence is a direct speech or a quotation.”

Is their a lesson in style hiding in here? Or is it all just an interpretation of probability can be seen as an extension of logic that enables reasoning with uncertain statements? Probably...

The Evening is Tranquil, and Dawn is a Thousand Miles Away

This poem came to me via a new contact on Facebook (so there can be poetry in social media) who saw it on The Writer's Almanac, and it seems to be an ideal Evenings poem.

It's by Charles Wright,from his 2009 book Sestet (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)


The Evening is Tranquil, and Dawn is a Thousand Miles Away


The mares go down for their evening feed
                                                              into the meadow grass.
Two pine trees sway the invisible wind—
                                                          some sway, some don't sway.
The heart of the world lies open, leached and ticking with sunlight
For just a minute or so.
The mares have their heads on the ground,
                                 the trees have their heads on the blue sky.
Two ravens circle and twist.
              On the borders of heaven, the river flows clear a bit longer.



Wright's poem "Looking West from Laguna Beach at Night" is one I thought of recently I was using an app on my iPad that allows you to look up at the sky above you and actually know what stars, planets and constellations you are seeing. A planetarium in your hands.


Later, I like to sit and look up
At the mythic history of Western civilization,
Pinpricked and clued through the zodiac.
I'd like to be able to name them, say what's what and how who got
where,
Curry the physics of metamorphosis and its endgame,
But I've spent my life knowing nothing.


I'm feeling like I know less and less every day. I suppose it's the old "the more you know, the more you realize that you don't know."

Back to School?

Wilson Jones 383 Line Basic D-Ring Binder, 3" Capacity, 8.5" x 11" Sheet Size with Label Holder and Label Insert, Black (W383-49NHB)

Okay, I know summer classes are in session. Kids are studying for college entrance exams. But Back to School sales already? That's just wrong!

Are parents, students or teachers really buying school supplies already? There would have to be some really good early sales.

You know that Staples commercial that comes in August with the parents smiling and the music is the Christmas tune "Most Wonderful Time of the Year?"  Must be. I have already sen 2 posts on Facebook from parents going crazy with their kids and it's just July 13th.

I was just ordering office supplies which is my version of back to school and I still like getting a new 3-ring binder, paper, Post-Its, pencils and pens.

JanSport Big Student Classics Series Backpack, Black

Greatest Debut Albums?

Freewheelin Bob Dylan (Reis)   Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. 


More reasons to argue about music (John, this means you...) Are these the 100 Greatest DEBUT Albums?

Now, is a great debut album one that leads to an even greater career (with better albums)?

What if the first album is the best he/she/they ever release? (One hit wonders exist in music, novels...)

I'm all for Dylan's Freewheelin' and Springsteen's first making the list.

I really liked Steely Dan's Can't Buy A Thrill album when it came out. Still do. But I like other albums of their even better.

Same thing with Fountains of Wayne, U2, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor and a lot of others.

The list...  Illmatic by Nas versus Elvis Presley by Elvis Presley - really? Is their any doubt?


Ah, but what is your criteria for a great debut?  I'm thinking it's just that - your first album was really good. No matter what came after that.


Can't Buy a Thrill   Fountains of Wayne



Of course, this is Amazon's take on the 100 Greatest Debut Albums and they're out to sell product.

Amazon also has a forum where folks can complain about their choices - that way the social web gets buzzing, which probably helps sales too.

The forum has people nominating the Doors (which is on the list), Boston, Dire Straits, Chicago Transit Authority and some albums that were not even debut albums which leads to even more arguing.

Here's the list - post a comment here if you don't want to post at Amazon's site.

Argue amongst yourselves.




1. Boy by U2
2. Birth Of The Cool (Rudy Van Geld… by Miles Davis
3. The Velvet Underground & Nico by The Velvet Underground
4. Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin
5. Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division
6. The Piper At The Gates of Dawn by Pink Floyd
7. Bleach by Nirvana
8. Bob Dylan by Bob Dylan
9. Kill 'Em All by Metallica
10. Funeral by Arcade Fire
11. Reasonable Doubt by Jay-Z
12. The Smiths by The Smiths
13. Grace by Jeff Buckley
14. My Aim Is True by Elvis Costello
15. Horses by Patti Smith
16. Here Come The Warm Jets by Brian Eno
17. Elvis Presley by Elvis Presley
18. Appetite For Destruction by Guns N' Roses
19. The Who Sings My Generation by The Who
20. Movement by New Order
21. Slanted & Enchanted by Pavement
22. Catch A Fire by Bob Marley
23. The College Dropout by Kanye West
24. Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J. by Bruce Springsteen
25. England's Newest Hitmakers by The Rolling Stones
26. Pablo Honey by Radiohead
27. Murmur by R.E.M.
28. Talking Heads 77 by Talking Heads
29. Coltrane by John Coltrane
30. Ten by Pearl Jam
31. Paid In Full by Eric B. & Rakim
32. The Doors by The Doors
33. Are You Experienced by Jimi Hendrix
34. Ready To Die The Remaster by The Notorious B.I.G.
35. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill
36. Van Halen by Van Halen
37. The Chirping Crickets by Buddy Holly
38. The Clash by The Clash
39. Enter The Wu-Tang by Wu-Tang Clan
40. Licensed To Ill by Beastie Boys
41. Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's … by Sex Pistols
42. Madonna by Madonna
43. The Chronic by Dr. Dre
44. Doggystyle by Snoop Doggy Dogg
45. A Pesar De Todo by Vicente Fernandez
46. Peoples' Instinctive Travels by A Tribe Called Quest
47. Illmatic by Nas
48. Marquee Moon by Television
49. Pink Flag by Wire
50. Exile In Guyville by Liz Phair
51. The Modern Lovers by The Modern Lovers
52. Five Leaves Left by Nick Drake
53. Parachutes by Coldplay
54. Entertainment! by Gang Of Four
55. Come Away With Me by Norah Jones
56. Dummy by Portishead
57. Gish by The Smashing Pumpkins
58. Music From Big Pink by The Band
59. The Stooges by The Stooges
60. Pretenders by The Pretenders
61. Santana by Santana
62. Creedence Clearwater Revival by Creedence Clearwater Revival
63. Dreamboat Annie by Heart
64. New York Dolls by The New York Dolls
65. Outlandos D'Amour by Police
66. Tom Petty &The Heartbreakers by Tom Petty & The Heart Breakers
67. Rage Against The Machine by Rage Against The Machine
68. Brown Sugar by D'Angelo
69. Funkadelic by Funkadelic
70. RUN-DMC by RUN-DMC
71. Fleet Foxes by Fleet Foxes
72. Give Up by The Postal Service
73. Incognegro by Ludacris
74. Calle 13 by Calle 13
75. Alejandro Fernandez by Alejandro Fernandez
76. Get Rich Or Die Tryin by 50 Cent
77. Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. by Dwight Yoakam
78. Superfuzz Bigmuff by Mudhoney
79. Falta amor by Maná
80. Lee Ann Womack by Lee Ann Womack
81. Takin' Off by Herbie Hancock
82. Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers by Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers
83. Is This It by The Strokes
84. Weezer by Weezer
85. Little Earthquakes by Tori Amos
86. Violent Femmes: Deluxe Edition by Violent Femmes
87. Blue Lines by Massive Attack
88. The B-52's by The B-52's
89. Monster Movie by Can
90. Confusion Is Sex by Sonic Youth
91. Debut by Bjork
92. Storms Of Life by Randy Travis
93. Viva Hate by Morrissey
94. (Pronounced 'Leh-'Nérd 'Skin-'Nérd) by Lynyrd Skynyrd
95. Oh, Inverted World by The Shins
96. Roxy Music by Roxy Music
97. Homework by Daft Punk
98. Diamond Life by Sade
99. CooleyHighHarmony by Boyz II Men
100. #1 Record/Radio City by Big Star

Why end the arguing here - try out the 100 greatest jazz albums list, or argue with your loved one about the greatest romantic albums.

Plymouth Rock




Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
I am reading Nathaniel Philbrick's book Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War and I have to agree with him that the Rock is the most disappointing piece of American tourism I have encountered.

I saw it on a road trip I made back in 1971 and it was truly underwhelming.

Now that I read the story behind that hunk of Dedham granodiorite glacial erratic, it makes more sense that I felt that way.

That doesn't mean the rock is unimportant though.

It was pretty much legend from the start that said that the rock at the foot of Cole's Hill was the one where the Pilgrims landed in 1620.

There were plans to build a wharf at the Pilgrim's landing site in 1741, and a Thomas Faunce (94 years old and the town record keeper) identified the rock that his father said was the first solid land the Pilgrims set foot upon.

Actually, the Pilgrims first landed near the site of modern Provincetown in November 1620 and then moved on to Plymouth).

That initial settlement was built on nearby Leyden Street leading up toward Burial Hill.
In 1774, they decided to move the rock and in transporting it in a wagon, it fell off and split into two.

They left the bottom half behind at the wharf and relocated the top to the town's meeting-house.

Over the years, they built a structure to house Plymouth Rock (well, part of it) and eventually added a gate to stop souvenir hunters who had been hacking off parts of it. The upper portion of the rock was also brought back to the wharf and the date "1620" was carved into the rock.

In 1920, the rock was relocated again and the waterfront rebuilt with a waterfront promenade behind a low seawall, in such a way that when the rock was returned to its original site, it would be at water level so that you could see the tide-washed rock.

Parts of the Rock were taken, bought and sold over the years and about one-third of the top portion remains. Today there are pieces in Pilgrim Hall Museum as well as in the Patent Building in the Smithsonian.

Alexis De Tocqueville, a Frenchman traveling throughout the United States, wrote in 1835:
"This Rock has become an object of veneration in the United States. I have seen bits of it carefully preserved in several towns in the Union. Does this sufficiently show that all human power and greatness is in the soul of man? Here is a stone which the feet of a few outcasts pressed for an instant; and the stone becomes famous; it is treasured by a great nation; its very dust is shared as a relic."
Philbrick's book is also good about describing what that first Thanksgiving was really like and why the Pilgrims never called themselves pilgrims.

Napoleon Bonaparte said that “History is a set of lies agreed upon.” I agree.

http://www.nathanielphilbrick.com

Other Books by Philbrick