June 8, 2012
GQ calls Great British banjo star #6 worst dressed man of 2012LONDON — As the premier international banjo rockstar, Winston Marshall (a k a Country Winston of Mumford and Sons) now finds himself subject to the capricious public scrutiny typically aimed at tabloid icons and scandalized politicians.
In a truly startling decision, British GQ Magazine has named Winston the sixth worst dressed man of 2012.
“Which is awfully unfair because they’re talking about the whole entire world,” said Emma Beaton, a fashion consultant and Mumford and Sons fan.
“I don’t even think he’s the worst dressed man in England,” said Beaton, who is mostly Scottish.
American rapper Chris Brown took home the full notoriety of GQ’s #1 Worst Dressed Man in The World award, defeating Winston and various other Brits for obvious reasons.
“No doubt,” said Sam Leslie, an American guitarist.
In recent private ceremonies in California, legendary mandolinist David Grisman reportedly commemorated the changing of the musical guard by issuing forth a real flaming torch that he symbolically passed to various budding stars.
“It just seemed like a good time to pass this torch, man,” said Grisman.
Chris Eldridge, an impressive guitarist, described the recent rite of passage.
“I kinda couldn’t believe my eyes. I had never seen anything quite that big on fire before,” said Eldridge, who is not from the West Coast.
Space to move around, access to enrichments earn livestock superior marks
BOSTON, MA —Whole Foods has recently adopted an animal welfare rating system for its beef, pork, and chicken products, and the national chain is touting what it calls a new level of transparency in how farm animals are raised.
As many folk musicians know, meat sold in Whole Foods stores is now labeled with color-coded stickers indicating the source farm’s score on a five-tiered animal agriculture scale.
According to the Global Animal Partnership, the independent auditing agency that assigns the grades, even achieving the lowest rating of 1 still requires that an animal be raised on a strict vegetarian diet devoid of antibiotics and additional chemicals.
“It’s really important to note that getting to Step 1 is a huge accomplishment in the [meat] industry!” wrote an enthusiastic Theo Weening of the Whole Foods blog.
“In the music industry, very few, if any, human touring professionals make it to Step 1,” noted T. Galpin, a recent music school graduate.
“I’d be disqualified for exposure to large amounts of caffeine, penicillin, pesticidal bug spray, automobile exhaust, very questionable keg beer, secondhand smoke, firsthand smoke, methyl anthrinilate, Early Times, so much processed meat, generic suntan lotion from China, Diet Mountain Dew, that kind of thing. And of course, the occasional psychedelic,” said Galpin.
OAKLAND, CA — Rushad Eggleston, the exceptionally flamboyant cellist and front man of the one-of-a-kind cello rock band Tornado Rider, intends to expand his group with the addition of celebrity bad boy and former basketball star Dennis Rodman.
Rodman will join Graham Terry, electric bass and Scott Manke, drums.
“We were looking for someone who could bring a lot of hustle, energy and stage presence to the Tornado Rider team,” said the band’s manager.
“Rodman brings all those things plus an unparalleled experience with public antics, cross-dressing, tattoos, and sexually transmitted infections,” he added.
Rock critics have hailed Tornado Rider as “the most astonishing expression of pure id ever achieved with a cello.”
Binges of hard fiddling sicken record numbers
MT. AIRY, NC— Public health officials, who only recently classified fiddle music as a bona fide intoxicant, now warn of a possible epidemic of fiddle abuse threatening American youths and young adults.
Alarmingly, the annual number of Americans seeking hospitalization for fiddle poisoning has more than doubled since 2003, increasing from 1,239 to 2,805.
Fleck, Washburn promise male heir, Holy Banjo Emperor
NASHVILLE — After lengthy negotiations between their two camps, banjoists Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have agreed to marry one another, advancing their long campaign to unify the progressive and old-time banjo empires under a single sovereign ruler.
The carefully calculated union aims to create one insurmountable banjo juggernaut whose historic domain will span old-time, bluegrass, jazz, fusion, European classical, African and Chinese styles.
While strategic considerations were clearly primary, sources close to Fleck and Ms. Washburn also indicate that the future bride and groom “barely detest each other at all,” which may have facilitated the negotiations somewhat.
WASHINGTON, DC — The Roberts Court today ruled against former Kentucky Thunder guitarist Bryan Sutton, declaring his extended solo on “Get Up, John” from Merlefest 1998 to be obscene and gratuitous to an extent not protected by constitutional First Amendment free speech provisions.
The 6-3 decision ended a bitter and very prolonged legal battle between Sutton and the United States Justice Department. It also marked an important step in the high court’s efforts to more broadly define pornographic expression, a historically vague and problematic legal issue.
Rises from flames, sings encore on flying broom
ESSEX COUNTY, MA — An otherwise lovely Crooked Still concert in New England came to an unexpectedly violent end when a mob of angry local men accused lead vocalist Aoife O’Donovan of witchcraft and proceeded to burn her at the stake following a very brief ad hoc trial.
Pandemonium ensued when Ms. O’Donovan rose from her still-burning pyre and flew through the air on a broom, singing a chilling rendition of “Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down” as what remained of the terrified audience ran for the exits.
The indictment against Ms. O’Donovan charged her with the capital felony crimes of “enchanting and destroying Christian men in vast multitudes,” “afflicting them with witchcraft,” and “willfully, nefariously, and repeatedly casting songlike spells of devastating consequence.” Read more
Revolutionary social resource to go online soon
CAMBRIDGE, MA — The enterprising young musicians behind the Internet startup called Daterbasix now report that their company is close to launching its first online database, an ambitious venture to systematically catalog every romantic relationship from the world of bluegrass and acoustic music between 1981 and the present day.
This flagship project, called the Americana Daterbase, aims to provide its information free to the public in a highly useful, well-organized format.
Users will be able to query the database with an individual name, email address, phone number, or band name. For each search, the web server will return all known relationship data for the search subject, including names of partners, date and duration of each liason, and a very brief classification of each encounter.
“And from there you can link to the full history of any of the partners listed on the page,” said Laura Cortese, a staff member and co-founder of Daterbasix, Inc.
WEST NEWTON, MA — Gabe Hirshfeld, a highly promising teenage banjo prodigy from Massachusetts, has returned home to be with his family as he recovers from a severe, acute loss of vision suffered during a recent late night jam.
The jam, which took place in West Newton, MA, at local band Crooked Still’s afterparty, started out very well but soon grew beyond a controllable size, beginning a steady descent into musical decadence and depravity.
Hirshfeld, who is known for his sweet banjo tone, flawless technique, and a very refined sense of taste, also has a well-deserved reputation as a restrained and considerate human being.
But even he was powerless to resist the party’s musical temptations, and as the jam slowly but inevitably devolved into an amoral orgy of self-indulgence the hesitant boy gradually succumbed.