August 5, 2010

Jim Burgess, 664 Smith Street, Providence, RI 02908-4327 USA, (401)351-0287, jfburgess of

E-MAIL/WEB ONLY ISSUE! PDF will be available on the website incorporating all subszines.

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This issue is dedicated with great affection and appreciation to Heather Taylor, Doug Kent's wife, who is celebrating her birthday this week. She also has just won the Deviant Dip II game "Black Licorice" in Doug's subszine Eternal Sunshine. Heather is a wonder, and not just because she puts up with Doug. I am pleased that she won the Deviant Dip game and pleased to be able to dedicate this issue to her. I also hereby make Doug lose any bets he made that this issue would not come out this week.

Some of you are still not on the E-Mail list for this szine, I keep trying to sign you up, please accept the offer! I am going ahead and finishing all the games here, and then we'll see what happens. I'm playing Dip all over the place, and although Andy Lischett is going to try tos catch me, there just isn't that much call for a large postal dipszine any more. Andy is pretty tiny and so is Alex Richardson and most of the others still hanging on postally. If you hadn't heard, John Boardman at least temporarily has stopped Graustark, the beast that puts us all to shame, but word is he wants to try to keep going.
Peter Sullivan's Octopus' Garden needs Railway Rivals players!!! He now has three names for the France map opening (Bill McKinley has joined Geoff Challinger and William Whyte). So we now have just two slots left to fill before we have ourselves a gamestart. Make Peter's day and E-Mail him at: peter of and say you'll play!!! Please, please, please!!!
We will have four subszines going forward, from Dave Partridge, Doug Kent, Andy York, and Peter Sullivan. Dave Partridge still is trying to finish Tinamou, Andy York is working on By the WAY, and Peter just needs those Railway Rivals players! Doug of course puts us all to shame.
For production, in addition to the HTML's of each separate product on the web page, I will also have a PDF that you can print of the entire szine (including my famous handdrawn maps!). You can just print the maps if you like, but remember maps are for pikers anyway, you don't need no steenkin' maps, keep them up in your head where they belong. I don't think there are very many people I owe money, but if you think I owe you money, just ask and I will pay. ONE GROUP that is definitely owed money is the players with NMR insurance. NMR insurance still continues, I will still call you for it, and when your game ends, I will refund the money.
I have now tried to sign up all the players, some multiple times, but please check. THIS IS A PROBLEM, sign up now if you're playing so you get proper notification!!! General information about the mailing list is at:
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((I want to go back to encouraging more letters again, right now I'm going to focus on just pumping issues out, but I hope to start writing more again too as the year progresses. We have something from Mike Barno this issue, plus the beginning of the announcement of the Annual Baseball Predictions.))

((It's time for my annual baseball predictions. These also are being deposited with Doug Kent as part of what our Eternal Sunshine subszine is doing more broadly for the same purpose. Let's first discuss each division in turn. [I obviously wrote this a long time ago before the season started, I've edited nothing....]))
((American League East: Theo Epstein continues to build the Red Sox in such a manner as to win 95 games each year, this team is no exception. Some years, 95 wins is enough to win the AL East, other times it is not. This year, virtually all angles of the AL East are improving, so with so many teams vying for victories, the Red Sox 95 wins will be sufficient to win the division this year. Since I follow and know the most about the Sox, you get to read my thoughts here. As I write, the six starters that they have assembled are likely to be really good, the best starting staff in baseball. Since Daisuke Matsuzaka was the one having some early spring training injuries, he is the one who will start the season on the shelf. Daisuke was a real disaster last year after blowing himself out in the World Baseball Classic. Official digression, the World Baseball Classic is one of the biggest pieces of crap going. After all the injury problems it created last year (given that players are relatively clear of performance enhancing drugs), I expect a big ruckus and uproar the next time it comes around. I'm not sure the idea works at all, but if it does, it needs to be scheduled during the Winter League seasons and annoying them, rather than messing up spring training and make the unrelenting season too long for most players, especially pitchers. I think Matsuzaka WILL come back and pitch well before this season is over, but will ultimately lose more than a season over the WBC experience. Victor Martinez is arguably the best catcher in the game, I hope the Sox hang onto Mike Lowell in the twilight of his career, everyone who thinks the Sox have wrong people in the wrong places in the outfield will be proven dead wrong (Jacoby Ellsbury will have an All-Star season in left, everyone who thinks J.D. Drew is overrated in right is wrong again, and Mike Cameron will be one of the best if not the best centerfielder in the American League, plus Jeremy Hermida will be a great backup - flexibility, speed, defense, and more offense than everyone thinks is there), and the new infield also is possibly the best in the American League. I expect Big Papi to struggle some again, but I also expect Mike Lowell to DH a great deal. The relief corps is different from last year, but if anything even better, the Boof Bonzer experience so far is a failure though. I think any of the other four teams COULD be in any order whatsoever, but will one of them be the Wild Card or will they just beat each other up. I vote for beating each other up. The WS winning Yankees will fall the most, I don't believe their starting pitching is as good as they think it is, the new outfield will not jell, and the ageless Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada have to show their age some time and I say this is the year. Joba Chamberlain will be in the bullpen to take up some of that slack and could end up as the closer if Rivera completely falls apart. Robinson Cano moves up into the number five slot in the lineup, which seems too high for someone who hasn't proven to be a clutch RBI hitter. I see them in third with a bullet moving downward. In the second slot is a rebound by Tampa Bay and the Rays. Carl Crawford is going to be challenged by Ellsbury as the best LF in baseball, but Crawford is still it. The key for the Rays is B.J. Upton and I think he will be great. The Rays could beat out the Red Sox, but I think they will be the Wild Card. Toronto (Vernon Wells will make a comeback, but they don't have enough pitching) and Baltimore (Brian Matusz will break out as a hot young starter, but it won't be enough) round out the East, so the order is: Boston, Tampa Bay (WC), New York, Toronto, and Baltimore.))
((American League Central: Signing Mauer was the right thing to do for Minnesota going into the season and the best hitting catcher in perhaps baseball history will lead the Twins to the division title. Losing Joe Nathan for the season will be a big deal, but I think Francisco Liriano is underrated and could take over, and if not, the Twins will do what is needed to find someone. The White Sox are the hot choice, but I'm going to let Goz and others choose them and I'll predict that the White Sox fall just short. I was going to pick them as the Wild Card, but I think this division is going to be lots more competitive than everyone else thinks it is going to be, so that will leave the White Sox under 90 wins while Tampa Bay will have more than 90. The White Sox have lots of pinch hitters and others playing DH by committee. That will be interesting. Detroit will challenge the Twins and White Sox all year, making their rotation and a resurgeance of Magglio Ordonez the basis for a big run, but I don't think it will be enough. Somehow that Detroit pitching just doesn't hold up for an entire year and it basically is that same staff back for another go. Cleveland is intriguing. Kerry Wood is going to be the closer after he recovers. Fausto Carmona looks like he's back. I think this is enough to challenge with Detroit. Let's predict that Cleveland will surprise and finish third, with Detroit way back in fourth, but with a tight race all season, perhaps the tightest division in baseball. The Royals are still the Royals but they are improving substantially and could again scare the other four teams in the division. Can Luke Hochevar join Zack Greinke as the best one-two starting pitching duo in the league? It is possible, while the Royals still lose. The order, Minnesota, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, and Kansas City.))
((American League West: I am a huge Chone Figgins fan, and pretty much for that reason alone, my allegiance for this division switches from the Angels (who aren't really from Los Angeles anyway) to the Mariners, who really are a creature of downtown Seattle. I also think Ken Griffey, Jr. is one of the real good guys in the game and he deserves to see that great playoff run, and with Seattle. There is this board game guy that they have to worry about, and the pitching questions on Cliff Lee and Erik Bedard could generate a disaster of questions behind Felix, but I am still going with them. The Angels (that's all I'm going to call them) have more than you think, Joe Saunders and Jered Weaver are going to be a great 1-2 starting pitcher combo, and Howie Kendrick will be better without Chone Figgins rotating in behind him every once in a while, but second. Texas is better, but Ron Washington, the MANAGER, failed a drug test. I can't root for these guys, third place. And the A's are a young disaster waiting to happen, but they'll do it FAST and CLEAN. This is the clinical depression recovery team, with Coco Crisp and Justin Duchscherer. I wish them well, but they finish last in the division. That would be Seattle, the Angels, Texas, and Oakland.))
((National League East: When a team loses in the World Series, and makes a whole bunch of changes to get better, and everyone picks them to go BACK to the World Series, don't believe it. It doesn't happen. The Oakland Athletics did it in 1989 after losing to the Dodgers in 1988, but that required an EARTHQUAKE to get their Bay Area Series sweep over my Giants. I am going to bet against this. Who wins instead? Yes, Bobby Cox finishes off a great career by leading the Braves in there. I generally hate the Braves, I hate the fans, I hate the ballpark, I hate that stupid cheer, but this is a likable team. The rotation has fun loving Derek Lowe, a healthy Tim Hudson, and the coolest name in baseball, Jair Jurrjens. The offense will be anchored by the rookie Jason Heyward and the erratic Yunel Escobar, both of whom have been fighting nagging Spring Training injuries, but that's why I'm picking them. And I haven't even mentioned Chipper Jones and Troy Glaus who will anchor the corners, not the sexy choice, but the right choice. The Phillies will finish second with Roy Halladay and a NOT rebuilt Cole Hamels. The Mets are going to be the disaster again (Luis Castillo is horrible, Jason Bay is overrated even if he is a really nice guy, and Beltran is already injured again), but will be saved from the basement by the horrendous Nationals, who can't even play in Spring Training. The Marlins, about whom I have no strong feelings, get stuck in the middle of this division, but I'll probably be wrong about that one. So, that will be Atlanta, Philadelphia, Florida, New York, and Washington.))
((National League Central: I like the Cardinals, you like the Cardinals, everyone likes the Cardinals, well, they are just going to win the division going away, in baseball's only bloated six team division. Carpenter and Wainwright are great starting pitchers; Pujols, Holliday, and Ludwick great hitters, and Colby Rasmus is going to blossom into a great CF this year. They're the pick. Behind that is a host of questions. Randy Wolf is not the solution for the Brewers, just getting rid of Milton Bradley doesn't help the Cubs, the Reds still have no hitting even if Chapman is a pitching wizard which he probably won't be until next year, Brandon Lyon is the big addition for the Astros, and there is still just a rookie test kitchen going on in Pittsburgh. I think the Pirates actually beat out the Astros. I hate evaluating this division after St. Louis, but here we go, order is St. Louis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Houston.))
((National League West: Yes, no wild card yet, the wild card WILL come from this division, I think. This means the Phillies don't even make the playoffs. I like four teams here, all but the Padres who will fall back into the basement after they trade Adrian Gonzalez to someone mid season (not that it matters, I think Gonzalez is overrated anyway). Eeenie, meenie, miney, moe, the Rockies are the trendy pick, so I'll go with them to repeat as the Wild Card, I think the Giants will surprise everyone and take the division (of course, this is my self serving pick since they're one of my favorite teams!). I know Spring Training success is not a predictor of future performance, but they've been tearing up the Arizona division of Spring Training. Bengie Molina will be helped by having rookie sensation Buster Posey spelling him (Molina played way, way too much last year and hit cleanup, he's now hitting seventh). Tim Lincecum isn't the only pitcher here, I think this is Barry Zito's comeback year, Jonathan Sanchez can be more consistent and Matt Cain will not falter late this time. Plus they have this new guy Todd Wellemeyer who looks pretty darn good. The Rockies are solid and have a good humidor tested rotation for the clouds up there in Denver. Los Angeles is a mess, you can have Manny! So Arizona will beat them out. That leaves us with: San Francisco, Colorado (WC), Arizona, Los Angeles, and San Diego.))
((American League Playoffs: I do not think the Twins will do well here, but any of the other three teams can go to the World Series. I'm picking the Red Sox to go though, since, well, I have to! I really think that the Seattle Mariners have a great shot though, and I'll be rooting for them if the Red Sox falter. But Boston Red Sox are the pick, their rotation will be the best and the deepest at that point in the season.))
((National League Playoffs: Atlanta is my pick to win the division, but again they are the easy odd team out for advancing. I like the Giants to win the first round against the Braves, but then the Cardinals will beat them to go to the World Series, I think it is their year, the Giants will improve after they make a few more changes and let these players settle in. Colorado already had their surprise WS run. St. Louis Cardinals are the pick to get a rematch of an earlier World Series you might recall.))
((World Series: The Red Sox swept the Cardinals that year, they probably won't quite do that again, but they will win easily. Red Sox to win, yes, yet again Jim-Bob plays the homer card.))
((OK, well, I have to add SOMETHING today. So, the Red Sox have been setting records for injuries and are still hanging in there. Does anyone doubt that my prediction might have made more sense if the team that Theo had put together was actually playing this year? It never was. Daisuke didn't start the season, by the time he was back, Ellsbury was out, and now Youkilis is out for the season too. I still haven't given up, we true fans NEVER give up. And baseball is still fun, it goes on and on and on like an Energizer Bunny.))

Mike Barno, 3/8/2010
Dear Jim-Bob,
It's time to carry on this zine's decades-old tradition of best-music-of-the-year articles. For me, 2009 brought almost no national big-name bands, but it was still one of my best years for music. That's because I got quite a lot of enjoyment from local bands and smaller regional bands visiting places that I could easily reach.
Last year, I had a few big themes about my 2008 music. None for 2009 except what the first paragraph says. Just some fun with a few festivals, and a bunch of shows by the half-dozen bands I followed, and a bunch of shows by bands I've enjoyed in past years enough to hear again, and a few shows by bands someone recommended, and a few shows listening to whomever happened to be playing wherever I was. But that added up to at least thirty full gigs, parts of at least twenty others, and at least fifty sets of 40-60 minutes at festivals. So that's collectively a lot of music, and since I enjoyed most of it enough to be quite glad I'd been there, it added up to a lot of good times for the year.
I'll start with the best recorded music I bought, because it is all by local or regional bands who also played in the counties where I live, work, and weekend. The best recorded music I bought is all independent, not the mass-market stuff from RIAA member companies. (I still despise their attempts to enforce their old business through filesharer lawsuits and nasty DRM.) In fact I picked up no corporate-owned music in 2009. I got good value. My first pick is Rally Day by the band Driftwood. (They're on MySpace as slash driftwoodgroove.) I barely mentioned them in my best-of-2008 article, among the bands I enjoyed at that year's West Fest. Since then, they added a genuinely fine fiddler, developed some original songs to release-worthiness, and developed collaborations with various talented friends. They bill their category as "shanty rock". It's a variety, and sometimes a fusion, of bluegrass, "old-time", and various rock flavors such as blues-rock and groove. Most of the live stuff, except some of the songs off this CD, are either lively, up-tempo originals that make me bounce, or creative rearrangements of old (sometimes very old) songs that make me bounce whether I last heard them a week ago or thirty years ago. But this CD is mostly downbeat-feeling songs. All ten are originals by Dan Forsyth and Joe Kollar, who have been playing together in different kinds of bands for years and years. Most of the music here, even some faster songs like "Cigarette Addiction", have bitterness (a relationship likened to that title), or plaintiveness, or resignation in their feel and lyrics. The obvious exception is "Walking into the Sun", which gets the hippies and pagans grooving every show; the Binghamton newspaper's reviewer called it "shimmering". "Talkin' Walmart" carries on the folk tradition (think Woody Guthrie) of social commentary via gospel-tinged spoken-word storytelling. "Tin Pan Momma" closes the album with a middle finger of defiance to the big record companies: "I'm gonna play what I want to play, I'm gonna sing what I want to sing," rather than "they want to wrap you in plastic and pretend that you're somebody else". All these songs show a lot of songwriting and performing skill. Most have complex interplay that makes a four-piece band (four on the CD, various counts at live shows) sound like an octet's worth of stuff going on. The core of the band is Forsyth (on acoustic guitar or mandolin or harmonica or kazoo, and a lot of the lead vocals); Kollar, who usually plays banjo with a strange but effective clawhammer style instead of fingerpicks (but sometimes plays guitar, or hand drums or a snare drum or a chipboard box, and some lead vocals); and Claire Byrne, who plays some kick-ass, stomping-and-hollering fiddling when it's time for that, subtle and emotive when it's time for that. Jon Doll plays stand-up bass on the album and at many live shows. Some shows feature other skilled friends such as Chris Merkley (harmonica, guitar), Taze Yanick (acoustic or electric guitar), JimmyJohn McCabe (guitar), or Nate Marshall (guitar, harmonica). Since Joe and Claire practiced at a backyard bonfire I was attending, I've heard them at least a dozen times, and I've been impressed and cheered every time. I might have actually heard the detail best when they played inside a barn at an old-time-days fair. This was their first CD but they're working on another; I'll probably like it even more than the first, based on the other originals I've heard them play, including fiddle tunes. They provided me more truly new listening pleasure (not stuff I'd already heard the same or similar) than anyone else this year. They're from the Binghamton area but are traveling regionally; one December weekend included a Friday night cafe gig in Massachusetts, a Saturday morning live radio show spot in Connecticut, a Saturday night show at a tavern elsewhere in Connecticut, and their then-frequent Sunday night show squeezed into an eight-by-eight space in the front of the Belmar bar in Binghamton.
Another all-original CD I liked, from another band that I picked up on in '09, is Backhills by the band Panhandle. "Country Music for People who Don't Like Country Music", and that's me. The first time I heard this band, I called it "way too stereotypical country for me" and chitchatted until the next band took the stage. Then I actually listened to them at West Fest 7 and liked several of their songs. So I tried this CD (their first) and it grew on me as I played it more. The first impression I had of most songs was "they wrote eight or twelve bars of good music, and cycled through it a couple dozen times." Oh well, they're tight performances, and they end up being catchy stuff. "Our Ways" is a great song that could easily be taken by a hardcore punk band or a bluegrass outfit or a groove band or a ska band and used as an anthem: "Let us live this day / Let us live, let us live our ways!", c'mon, who won't get up for that? "Coming Down", about the consequences of partying too hard, is perhaps my favorite Panhandle original, but it's not on this album. "Maple Grove" is a traditional-style haunted-place-story-telling song: "No one knew that man that night or what he was out for, but he left that town bloody and he left them girls sore..." And you've got to love a band with a song titled "Field Car". They're from Oxford NY, which (like Spencer where I've been for twelve years) saw its best days in the nineteenth century.
My next pick is another CD from a type of music that doesn't usually move me: plain old singer-songwriter folk music. Fame by Frame is the first album attributed to "Nate and Kate", but Nate Marshall and wife Kate have indie releases separately or with others. (See nateandkatemusic dot com, or their MySpace page as slash nateandkatemusic.) Usually just an acoustic guitar (Nate) and cello (Kate) live, with other instruments swapped in such as harmonica, resonator guitar, mandolin, tambourine, or whatever, but various friends collaborated on various instruments for the CD. My favorite here is "Freight Train Play that Chord"; I've been a sucker for train songs since I was about four years old. Nate and Kate provided my most interesting musical experience of the year when they played “Four Ball Blues” at West Fest. The four balls of the title are blue juggling balls, which Nate kept aloft between (and sometimes during) verses of a good old rolling harmonica blues number. It's not on the album because audio wouldn't capture the feel, but it worked well on WSKG-TV's live show "Expressions". Of course my mother liked the televised part where Nate tossed Kate a ball, she caught it and played with it a moment, and she tossed it back timed to fit back into Nate's cycle.
There's one more local album I want to call out as one of my real favorites of 2009. It's Working the Soil by the band Dirt Farm (dirtfarm dot org). 2 electric and/or acoustic guitars (and/or other string implements like mandolin and dobro), standup bass, rock drumkit. Redneck rock, bluegrass, Irish, even ballads. Spirited, often funny. All twelve are originals, most by brothers Jeff or Rob Stachyra except one song by the bassman Scott Harrington, one song written by an old buddy, and one song written by drummer Larry Ricciardi's old band long ago. "Biofuel" has been used in ads for Willie Nelson's biodiesel enterprise. "Larry's Chili" is made special by something I won't say here (but it barks). "Celtic Mud" is one of the finest Irish-flavored instrumentals that I've ever heard. "Granny Hit the Jug" tells the Beverly Hillbillies story, from a sound clip of Granny's "Would you like a nice dirt farmer?" to “rheumatism medicine” to "Jethro and Hathaway gettin' it on". Steve DiRiancho from The String Band adds a fine banjo lead on this song. Also guesting from The String Band is Carol Simek, who adds excellent fiddle to four of these tunes. A few other friends also sat in to help enhance various songs.
I was able to attend a lot of good music festivals in 2009. Trying to pick a "best", downtown Binghamton's annual Blues on the Bridge contends for the award on sheer volume. There were close to thirty bands' sets squeezed into one day (some years it's been a two-day show). I heard all but a couple of the bands. Headlining was the only national act I saw all year: the Billy Hector Band, same as this event the previous year. They put out a lot of rock, flavored by blues and funk, for a three-piece. I really like their song "Buck Naked" which was on a CD released a few years back. One or two of the other bands came a couple hundred miles, the rest were from the surrounding counties. Lots of different sounds on a sunny end-of-summer day, mostly in genres strongly influenced by historical blues. The big stage was split into two setups so one band's gear could be torn down and another's could be rigged and checked while the band in-between played. This reduced turnaround downtime. More full bands got fit into a one-day schedule, but the solo and duo acoustic musicians mostly got squeezed out by the two-stage arrangement; in recent years they've played short sets during turnarounds. Local favorites the Parlor Cats played two or three fairly small sets, sort of like a featured longer spot. I thought the Terry Walker Project gave a strong performance in the evening, horns and guitars and keyboards, a big enough and skilled enough group to handle blues, funk, jazz, rock, and more with feeling and precision every time I've heard them. Badweather Blues and Randy McStine and some others I've mentioned in past years gave good shows. Most of the few bands that were new to me proved satisfying. The other bands I'd heard before all did at least okay, although mayor Matt Ryan played "Stormy Monday" again. And I didn't need to hear three versions of "Loverboy" from different bands, nor three "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" 's, no matter how good the songs are.
My other contender for "best festival of 2009", prioritizing quality over quantity, was West Fest 7, two days out in the lot behind Cyber Cafe West in Binghamton. Most sets were around an hour, rather than thirty to forty minutes like the Bridge, so each band got to stretch out a little more, find a groove, bring the crowd into it. You get a little more feel for a band's breadth, rather than just a few standards or the last eight songs they wrote which might all sound the same. When you can buy wondrous microbrew beers and ales inside, sit on the back porch with a friend, return the glass, and go kick hackysack to original jazz electric piano, life seems good for a weekend, no matter how inevitable Monday might be.
Although I didn't travel to big-time festivals even in New York State, I still heard a lot of good musical events such as fundraisers and fairs. The "Sam Jam for Diabetes" was organized by a diabetic friend of mine, to raise awareness and to support research. It turned into a big party at the Country Pines in Union Center, north of Endicott, with about a dozen bands and hundreds of people there most of the day. Great music. The multi-band Zooney Fest benefit in summer was fun. Labor Day brought the Johnson City Field Days. The last weekend of August had music for the first time at the Chris Thater Memorial, a cycling race in the streets of Binghamton. It's not quite as star-studded as the first Thater, which paid appearance money to world-class riders to get the event on the map, but there still were a lot of good teams including one which lined up, charged forward on the last lap, and with drafting pulled their sprinter up where he won in the last quarter-lap. The Blues on the Bridge organizers put on the Thater's music with about three bands each day, generally providing a good show, but there wasn't much crossover between the music crowd (small) and the cyclists and runners (lots of locals had run or ridden in supporting events before the main event). A church in the hamlet of Maine had its annual big-tent event with several bands. Like the previous year, I had a lot of fun at The String Band's portion of that event, not the least deterred by the heavy rains.
One "special event" deserves a place on my best-of-2009 list. The last couple of summers, the "Cooperstown Blues Express" has run Friday- and Saturday-evening party trains on a nineteenth-century rail line (the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad, restored by the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society) from Milford NY to Cooperstown and back, with a blues band playing in an open (weather permitting) gondola car. Different band each time; I don't think their '09 schedule showed anyone playing more than two or three dates. I went one summer evening because it sounded like a fun way to hear my friends the Parlor Cats (theparlorcats dot com). Classic harmonica-and-electric-guitar Chicago blues, and originals that stand with the best old stuff. Well, yeah, that stuff works fine on a slow train, because that's where a lot of it was composed in the first place. The captive audience doesn't mind five-dollar drinks.
I want to say good words about the other people who helped me enjoy so much live music last year. Cyber Cafe West remained my most-visited venue, maybe fifteen shows. The Hideout, on the edge of Binghamton, opened for "blues, brews, and barbecues", and it's my favorite new venue. I also had a bunch of excellent evenings including excellent meals at Dino's in Conklin. Besides Panhandle and Nate & Kate, some of the best musicians I first heard in 2009 were Dr. E.F. and the Rudimentals of Sound (usually about six people, all originals that sound like they might be B-sides I didn't know by Phish or somebody); Hypnotic Clambake (veterans of the infamous Rooney Fest where most people got wasteder and muddier than they ever had in their lives), which has at times over decades been a klezmer band, a groove band, and things too strange for classification; and JimmyJohn McCabe (solo guitar/vocal originals). Some bands that I reconnected with, or just kept on following, included The String Band, who I heard most: at least ten bar shows and at least three festival sets; the other groups mentioned earlier in this article; String of Pearls (four-piece electric blues, I admire Doc's guitar work); Bohemian Sunrise (from Philly/Jersey, rock/funk/jazz/Caribbean/etc, my "Collaboration of the Year" for 2008 with three guys from the Terry Walker Project, BoSu brought a couple of friends from home to play fiddle and clarinet and didgeridoo on their '09 visits); Hooch (three old guys playing classic rock, they'd play more old blues if bar owners would hire them for that); Half Baked (with a description like Hooch's); Monkeys Typing (house band of the Cyber Cafe West, mostly Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan and a couple of Steve Strauss originals); Hi-Way Fruit Market (five-piece rock and blues, mainstream, fun); and GoGone (original rock). All these people, and a bunch more who I heard once somewhere sometime in 2009, busted hump to carry heavy gear around, and made music even when the crowd was talking or when there was no crowd but me, and did it for less than their gas and beer costs, and got up the next day when they needed hours more sleep. All so they and I could share music and feel good. What a deal. The only thing I'll change for 2010: in August I'll attend the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, just north of the eastern end of Catskill State Park. About forty string bands, from legends like Del McCoury to up-and-comers like the Steel Drivers. Hundreds of other string bands around campfires in the campground all night. I might never come back.
Mike, mpbarno of
((Thanks, Mike, let me chime in with my own musical comments of more recent vintage. The Ossipee Valley Music Festival is held every year at the end of July, one town over from the town where my lake camp is in Maine. They hold the New England Flatpicking, Banjo, and Songwriting Championships there and it has a reputation as a really cool festival.... but I never made it there, until this year. And boy, was I missing a lot!! This year, I went for the day on Saturday (it's a four day festival with all the usual camping and such if anyone is moved to come next year) with my brother-in-law Bill (who is a quite mean picker himself) and we left the women back at the camp swimming. It worked out well for everyone. Bill knows way more about banjos, guitars, dobros etc. than I do, so he's great to go to a concert with. The atmosphere at Ossipee Valley was laid back and they had a great little "Stage Too!" where we spent almost the entire day. The main stage had a whole host of people with their chairs set up, but on Saturday afternoon most all of them where empty. People were just wandering all about. We saw a bit of the Packway Handle band from Athens there on the main stage, and they were OK, but the acts we saw on Stage Too! were more fun and we got to sit only ten feet from the stage. We also stopped by part of the Flatpicking Championships, and disappointingly almost all of the competitors were kids with almost zero stage presence or personality. There was one guy who seemed to be a teacher and brought his "star student", but seven minutes (the requisite time) listening to someone noodle around really just was not that interesting. I'd rather listen to people with some years and some calluses on them who might not have the lightning quick chops, but they understand that all of the magic in music is in "the spaces", the spaces between notes and around notes and between harmonies. So what did I see that really grabbed me. Just walking around the grounds, lots of people hung out just playing in small groups around tent sites all over the place. There was music everywhere! Bill has been taking lessons on and off from Bobby St. Pierre, who I know from his recorded work as part of North Star. Bits and Pieces is one of those "well of course they are" band names formed from some of what is left of North Star, including Bobby, and various other bands and people put together. Lead vocalist Ted DeMille had huge amounts of personality and I really liked Dan Burke's understated dobro playing. I've played around with the dobro in the past, and one of those someday retirement projects for me would be sitting around and playing dobro, such a brilliant "space" instrument! Bobby hardly moves on stage, but especially his mandolin playing and compositions really wowed me, not run-of-the-mill stuff, but plaintive cries with the instruments, and just messing around having fun with music, the best thing about these festivals. We talked to Bobby some afterward, he makes instruments, works way too much in machine work, and needs to take better care of himself. He's a soft-spoken guy, but his finger picking speaks incredibly loudly.))
((Another band I saw on that stage was Wide Open Spaces and wow were they wide open. I'd never heard of them before, and they certainly all had done a lot of things before, but songwriter and mandolin/fiddle player Pete Anick had a really droll sense of humor and impish stage presence. They had two leads, Mud Demers seemed to be known to lots of the audience from some of her other incarnations and she had a clear gorgeous voice while Matt Carlen was more of the guy who comes in and flips all the tables over partly intentionally and partly by accident. With Pete Anick also joining in, they could do anything from surfer harmonies, to bluegrass, to something almost reggae. They did almost anything you could think of, quiet, loud, up tempo, adagio, and even what my granddaughter Emily calls "crab", which is faster than presto (I'm not sure why). I don't think they have anything out recorded, they are from Worcester way, I think, but they sounded like something might come out soon. They sort of reminded me in a weird way of Human Sexual Response, the great old 1980's Boston punk band, more for the way the band interacted with each other. No one would call them a "pretty band" but they were more fun than they looked.))
((And then the surprise highlight for me, since I really didn't plan in advance to go to this, I just went, so I didn't know what bands were going to be there. Back in August of 2008, I heard a band on the NPR program out of Boston, "On Point". Host Tom Ashbrook does a great job of knocking me over occasionally with his music shows and this one really did it for me. But I never really followed up on it. Crooked Still is one of those hodge podge assemblies that you think can't quite possibly work the way it seems. They have cello and fiddle and a fascinating and hard to describe sound. Yes, its anchored from Appalachian roots, but it doesn't sound like it's from there, and sounds fresh and alive. And Crooked Still were doing this Stage Too! show as a build up to a late night show on the main stage later (which we didn't stay for). So here we were, sitting ten feet from the stage listening to Wide Open Spaces, and I asked Bill, "who's next over here", and he said, "Crooked Still" and I said, hmmm sounds familiar. Even as they came out, I wasn't sure since I'd only heard them on radio, so I didn't recognize faces. And then they started playing and singing and we were wowed. Very quickly the crowd gathered from all over the festival grounds, but we had great second row seats already! After this show, I need to go get some of the recordings. Lead vocalist Aoife O'Donovan of course has a gorgeous voice, but she's also just such a down-to-earth freshfaced sweetheart. Like all good band fiddlers, Brittany Haas is sort of shy and the quieter one in the group, but a beautiful winding style that seamlessly went into each song. She and cellist Tristan Clarridge traded leads in such incredible ways that they fooled the ears, you weren't sure sometimes which was playing which notes - and that's not from someone who doesn't know how to listen to string music. One of the highlights, that I also remember very clearly from the NPR On Point show, was a hauntingly beautiful sing along song "Wind and Rain". Unlike most singalong songs it is NOT a big anthem, and it's stunning how well it works live. The sing along parts are just the repetitive chorus parts "Oh, the wind and rain" and "Cryin', oh the dreadful wind and rain". This song I believe was originally written by Gillian Welch and David Rawlins, but I've heard their version too and Crooked Still's version is just SO much better. Anyway, I may say more about them after I go out and get some of the CDs. Really tremendous show and we didn't even stay for that night's main show.))
((So anyway, the organizers of this event had lots more women playing than you sometimes see (kudos to them, it seemed like every band we saw had at least one female member!) and just a real simple downhome feel to the whole event. The Ossipee Valley Fairgrounds are a perfect location, the Banjo/Flatpicking contests were held in the cattle ring, sort of fitting? Stage Too! had a tent over the AUDIENCE, so you could go sit in the sun in front of the main stage if you wanted, but you also could sit in shade at the other stage. That's for me, I'm afraid, the weather was really hot and really sunny and we were so comfortable sitting there! And there were loads of people around, but so much going on, all at the same time, that you could get close to anything you were looking at. Be inside, outside, whatever. I had an absolutely wonderful time and I'm definitely going back next year, possibly bringing more people (any takers?). I know I can attract Charlotte back with the idea of a Stage Too! that is under a tent, she REALLY isn't, and I'm not either that excited about prospects of sitting out under a hot sun all day for a musical concert. I know some people love it, and I do like being outside, but not baking in the sun.))
I am continuing to note cut or failed support orders with a small "s" instead of a capital "S". This will make it easier on the E-Mailed version of the szine to see what happened, since the italics don't show there. The italics DO show on the web page just fine.
Standby lists:
Mike Barno, Dick Martin, Brad Wilson, Jack McHugh, Glenn Petroski, Steve Emmert, Mark Kinney, Vince Lutterbie, Eric Brosius, Paul Rauterberg, Bob Osuch, Doug Kent, Sean O'Donnell, Jeff O'Donnell, Heath Gardner, Paul Kenny, and Jeff O'Donnell stand by for regular Diplomacy. Let me know if you want on or off these lists, especially OFF given the new policies.

I'm going to start the game opening list over. Under the new regime, who wants to play? First off, another regular Diplomacy game is open. Doug Kent, Fred Wiedemeyer, Brad Wilson, and Shaun Thompson were interested, but they have to let me know they're still interested (with reserved slots if they do).

THE PHIL REYNOLDS MEMORIAL: 2006B, Regular Diplomacy
Fall 1904
AUSTRIA (Burgess): a tri-TYO, a VIE S a tri-tyo, a VEN S a tri-tyo, f ion-NAP,
a SMY S RUSSIAN f bla-ank, a ALB h, f eas-ION.
ENGLAND (James): f ENG S f nao-mid, f NAO-mid, a BEL h, f IRI S f nao-mid, f NWY h.
FRANCE (Williams): f MID h, a BRE S a pic, f por-SPA(NC), a PIC S ITALIAN a bur,
a MUN s ITALIAN a sil-ber.
GERMANY (Ellinger): a KIE S a ruh-mun, a RUH-mun, a BER s a ruh-mun,
f HOL S ENGLISH a bel, a FIN-gob (imp).
ITALY (Crow): a tyo s a mun (d r:pie,otb), f WES S f mid, a SIL-ber,
a BUR S a mun, f NAF S f mid.
RUSSIA (Barno): f bla-ANK, a LVN S f stp(sc), f bul(ec)-CON,
a ARM-syr, f STP(SC) h.
TURKEY (Wiedemeyer): a ank h (d ann), a SYR h.

Supply Center Chart
AUSTRIA (Burgess): TRI,VIE,BUD,ser,gre,bul,smy,nap, (has 7, bld 2)
ENGLAND (James): EDI,LVP,LON,nwy,bel (has 5, even)
FRANCE (Williams): PAR,BRE,spa,por,mun (has 5, even)
GERMANY (Ellinger): KIE,BER,den,hol,swe (has 5, even)
ITALY (Crow): ROM,tun,mar (has 4 or 5, rem 1(r:otb) or 2)
RUSSIA (Barno): WAR,STP,SEV,MOS,rum,con,ank (has 6, rem 1)
TURKEY (Wiedemeyer): none (out!)
Neutral: none (Total=34)

Addresses of the Participants
AUSTRIA: David Burgess, 101 Laurel Lane, Queensbury, NY 12804
(518) 761-6687, burgesscd of or dburgess of
ENGLAND: Drew James, 3644 Whispering Woods Terrace, Baldwinsville, NY 13027
(315) 652-1956, kjames01 of
FRANCE: Don Williams, 27505 Artine Drive, Saugus, CA 91350, (661) 297-3947,
wllmsfmly of or dwilliams of ($5)
GERMANY: Marc Ellinger, 751 Turnberry Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109
mellinger of
ITALY: John Crow, 946 S. Medalist Circle Plano, TX 75023-2851,
(214) 532-1418, johnny.crow of
RUSSIA: Mike Barno, 634 Dawson Hill Road, Spencer, NY 14883, (607) 589-4906
mpbarno of
TURKEY: Fred Wiedemeyer, Box 92010-Meadowbrook RPO, Edmonton, ALBERTA
CANADA T6T 1N1, (780) 465-6432, wiedem of or wiedem of

Game Notes:
1) Thanks to Fred, he did go out with a bit of a whimper. I hope everyone else sticks with us here.

(MINSK): At last, some development. For a while this game seemed as dead as Phil.

SPIRALS OF PARANOIA: 2005A, Regular Diplomacy
Summer 1908
AUSTRIA (Rauterberg): has a NAP, f WES.
ENGLAND (Wiedemeyer): has f POR.
FRANCE (Tretick): has a BRE, f SPA(SC), a GAS, f GOL, f MID, a MAR, f IRI.
GERMANY (Ozog for Tallman): has a MUN, a PIE, a BUD, a VIE,
a TYO, a ROM, f SKA, a TUS, a BEL, f NAO.
ITALY (Kent): has a APU, a SER, a GRE.
RUSSIA (Sundstrom): has f RUM, a UKR, a BUL, a SYR, a SEV.
TURKEY (Biehl): has a ANK, f SMY, f BLA, f TYH.

Addresses of the Participants
AUSTRIA: Paul Rauterberg, 3116 W. American Dr., Greenfield, WI 53221,
(414) 281-2339 (E-Mail) paul.rauterberg of
ENGLAND: Fred Wiedemeyer, Box 92010-Meadowbrook RPO, Edmonton, ALBERTA CANADA T6T 1N1,
(780) 465-6432, wiedem of or wiedem of
FRANCE: Buddy Tretick, 5023 Sewell's Pointe Way, Fredericksburg, VA 22407,
cell (540) 226-5571 (E-Mail) berniebuddy33 of
GERMANY: Terry Tallman, PO Box 782, Clinton, WA 98236, (360) 331-5698 ($2)
terryt of
GERMANY: Temporary Standby is Eric Ozog, PO Box 1138, Granite Falls, WA 98252-1138,
(360) 691-4264, ElfEric of
ITALY: Doug Kent, 11111 Woodmeadow Pkwy #2327, Dallas, TX 75228
dougray30 of
RUSSIA: Matt Sundstrom, 1760 Robincrest Lane South, Glenview, IL 60025, (847) 729-1882,
Matt.Sundstrom of or mattandzoe of
TURKEY: John Biehl, #8 - 11530 84th Avenue, Delta, BRITISH COLUMBIA, V4C 2M1 CANADA,
(604) 816-0460 (cell) ($7); jrb of

Game Notes:
1) The FGR draw proposal is rejected.


FLIP FLOP: 2003G, Regular Diplomacy
Winter 1911
AUSTRIA (Wilson): rem a tyo; has a BUD, a WAR, a MOS, a VIE.
ENGLAND (Kent): bld f edi; has f EDI, f IRI, f NWY, a DEN, a KIE,
f ENG, f SWE, f HEL.
FRANCE (McHugh): bld f bre; has f BRE, f MID, f MAR, a MUN, a BUR, f SPA(SC), a GAS.
GERMANY (Sundstrom): rem f gob, a ber; has f BAL, a STP.
TURKEY (Levinson): bld f smy; has f SMY, a SEV, a VEN, f ION, a UKR,
f WES, a PIE, f ADR, f GOL, a TRI, f TUS, a RUM, a SER.

Addresses of the Participants
AUSTRIA: Brad Wilson, 713 Tasker St. #1, Philadelphia, PA 19148-1237
bwdolphin146 of
ENGLAND: Doug Kent, 11111 Woodmeadow Pkwy #2327, Dallas, TX 75228
dougray30 of
FRANCE: Jack McHugh, 810 School Lane, Folcroft, PA 19032, (856) 456-5984,
jwmchughjr of
GERMANY: Matt Sundstrom, 1760 Robincrest Lane South, Glenview, IL 60025, (847) 729-1882,
Matt.Sundstrom of or mattandzoe of
ITALY: Don Williams, 27505 Artine Drive, Saugus, CA 91350, (661) 297-3947,
wllmsfmly of or dwilliams of
RUSSIA: Sean O'Donnell, 1044 Wellfleet Drive, Grafton, OH 44044, (440) 926-0230,
sean_o_donnell of
TURKEY: Alexandre Levinson, Beeklaan 504, 2562BP Den Haag THE NETHERLANDS, don't need phone,
al of ($5)

Game Notes:
1) There is a proposal for an AEF draw. Please vote with your Spring orders. If you fail to vote, the draw cannot pass.

SECRETS: 1999D, Regular Diplomacy
Autumn and Winter 1925
FRANCE (Sasseville): R f gas-SPA(NC); has f SPA(NC), f EAS.
GERMANY (Barno): has a BUL.
RUSSIA (Osuch): bld a stp; has a STP, f BAL, a WAR, f NAO, a LON, f WAL,
f IRI, a SEV, a KIE, a BEL, f ENG, a HOL, a BER.
TURKEY (Linsey): has a ARM, f BLA, a RUM, a GAL, f TYH, a SER, a PAR, a SIL,
f MID, a MUN, f WES, a BRE, a TYO, f GAS, a MAR, f POR, a PIC.

Addresses of the Participants
ENGLAND: Doug Kent, 11111 Woodmeadow Pkwy #2327, Dallas, TX 75228
dougray30 of
FRANCE: Roland Sasseville, Jr., 38 Bucklin Street, Pawtucket, RI 02861, (401) 481-4280 ($0)
rolands6 of
GERMANY: Mike Barno, 634 Dawson Hill Road, Spencer, NY 14883-9712, (607) 589-4906
mpbarno of
RUSSIA: Bob Osuch, 19137 Midland Avenue, Mokena, IL 60448, (708) 478-3885
ROsuch4082 of
TURKEY: Bruce Linsey, PO Box 234, Kinderhook, NY 12106
GonzoHQ of

Game Notes:
1) There currently are no game ending proposals.

CAST NO SHADOWS: Breaking Away, Designer's Rules
Rules at:
Before Turn 12
83 (replenish with a 3) Rincewind (10 points)
82 (no replenishment) Empty
81 (no replenishment) Empty
-S-P-R-I-N-T- -F-I-N-I-S-H- -L-I-N-E-
80 (no replenishment) Empty
79 (replenish with a 3) Gloria
78 (replenish with a 4) Mideast, Zorro
77 (replenish with a 6) Agnus
76 (no replenishment) Empty
75 (replenish with a 3) Kyoto
74 (replenish with a 4) Drugs, Sanctus, Kyrie
73 (replenish with a 7) Water
72 (no replenishment) Empty
71 (replenish with a 3) Xavier, Krstajic
70 (replenish with a 5) Vidic, Granny, Wally
69 (no replenishment) Empty
68 (replenish with a 3) Dragutinovic
67 (replenish with a 4) Travis
66 (replenish with a 5) Bowie, Carrot
65 (no replenishment) Empty
64 (replenish with a 3) Gavrancic, Crockett
63 (replenish with a 5) Bonham
62 (no replenishment) Empty
61 (replenish with a 3) Yorick, Death

Addresses of the Participants - Their Team and Their Cards
TEAM 1 (Rick Desper): rick_desper of (15 points)
Team Name: The Turtle Moves; Captained by Cut-My-Own-Throat Dibbler
A: Rincewind the Wizzard 8 8 9 3 (3)
B: Granny Weatherwax 11 10 5 (9)
C: Captain Carrot 15 9 5 (4)
D: Death 3 3 3 (3)
(Rincewind with the Luggage, Granny on Her Broom, Carrot of the City Watch, and Death is just DEATH!)
Total Replenishments: 12+58+18+15+33+33+18+28+19+31+16 = 281
TEAM 2 (Tom Howell): off-the-shelf of (4 points)
Team Name: Never Ending Worry Source; Manager: Rumour; Team Captain: Ye Olde Manager
A: Water 15 4 5 7 (10)
B: Kyoto 3 3 3 (17)
C: Mideast 6 10 4 (17)
D: Drugs 13 5 4 (11)
Total Replenishments: 12+35+37+44+30+22+16+30+24+23+18 = 291
TEAM 3 ((David Partridge): rebhuhn of (0 points)
Team Name: Famous Four
A: Krstajic 16 3 8 3 (15)
B: Vidic 3 6 5 (13)
C: Gavrancic 3 5 3 (9)
D: Dragutinovic 7 6 3 (11)
Total Replenishments: 12+35+40+28+13+18+16+28+20+29+14 = 253
TEAM 4 (Brendan Whyte): obiwonfive of (3 points)
Team Name: The Reverse Alphabeticists
A: Zorro 6 4 3 4 (7)
B: Yorick 3 3 3 (3)
C: Xavier 5 7 3 (10)
D: Wally 3 3 5 (3)
Total Replenishments: 12+26+24+28+28+38+17+18+16+19+15 = 241
TEAM 5 (Alexander Woo): aswoo of (10 points)
Team Name: Just Ordinary; Manager: Credo
A: Agnus 7 5 3 6 (12)
B: Sanctus 4 4 4 (10)
C: Kyrie 7 14 4 (14)
D: Gloria 3 5 3 (16)
Total Replenishments: 12+44+22+17+22+42+28+25+27+26+17 = 282
TEAM 6 (Andy York): wandrew88 of (17 points)
Team Name: Alamo
A: Crockett 15 4 5 3 (9)
B: Travis 4 5 4 (4)
C: Bowie 3 10 5 (5)
D: Bonham 3 14 5 (3)
Total Replenishments: 12+12+12+60+20+22+21+19+16+38+17 = 249

Game Notes:
1) The rules are on the TAP website in the Tinamou section. Ask if you have any questions. Up above in parentheses is the card you played to get to where you are in the field. The replenishment card is the last card in your list. Be careful to note that the card you played (the one in parentheses) is not available for you, for next turn. Just for fun, I'm going to keep track of total replenishment, by turn, which is a rough measure of how the teams are doing. Of course, it is lining up to get across the sprint and final lines in the right places that really counts. We can calculate an "efficiency score" later, which will be the ratio of scoring points per replenishment. If I'm predicting how the future of this will come out, a 10% score will be really tremendous for this measure.
2) I decided to hold up this game, since I don't have all the orders and Breaking Away isn't fun if everyone is just playing lowest card. I'll let you all know who I need orders from and we should keep going next issue.


LAST WORD: I know some of you around the US are baking this summer, but it has been a gorgeous summer for the most part in New England, the first in many, many years. It's now when I really appreciate having a Maine lake camp. Be well everyone!

File translated from TEX by TTH, version 3.85.
On 19 Aug 2010, 11:36.