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(To borrow cliches from two of my childhood influences at once.)
Things I thought were important at some point in the past (which means they are possibly more important than whatever I'm saying now, but also probably anachronistic and the links may be broken...)

Above: Neighborhood Event (litho, 1984)

(20 years? 20 YEARS???!!??)

Older Rants and Reccomendations

Recent Developments, Rants and Reccomendations

June, 2004 See above for link to the CD. Between February and May, between periods of upheaval and trial, 'twixt midnight and day, I squeezed out versions of a few songs. Among them are some of my major compositions and re-compositions from over the decades. This is the first real documentation of the audible side of my explorations, more to follow if we live. Next time maybe there will be more orchestration, but playing the guitar and singing is the essence of what has moved me in American recordings, after all.
Dec 6, 2003 Good Load, did I really let another year go by without further comment? Well, updating the web page hasn't exactly been the biggest lapse. Hard to make it a top priority when there is still so much trouble getting the music and art moving again, not to mention paying the bills which is a whole other issue. Although, if someone would buy some of the old art after looking at the web page, it would all start making sense as a whole. But, perhaps not in my lifetime. However, there is still time to get the great art of the late 20th century direct from the source.

I should have popped in here at least long enough to mention that there has been some cracks in the cement, a little light glowing through again. At times, I no longer hate life itself. I know, we must take responsibility for our own freedon. It is so hard to remember day to day that the pain is a gift.

Very excited about this next one. haven't seen it yet, but Dick Waterman is a fine photographer, and was there when many of the early blues greats were rediscovered. His photos and reminiscences should be revelatory. This calendar I do have, and I'd say you must also. Amazon doesn't have this listed, so I can't do one of those self-interested affiliate links, so I'll direct you directly to the publisher's website: Blues Images

Dec 25, 2002 Harvey Cristobal and Natty Grimble, as Bob Steinberg alsways said. Adding a new shopping link today so you wouldn't think I was doing it last month to get in on the Xmas marketing frenzy. Or, because I'm just late as usual.

cover Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?: The... It occurred to me I forgot to mention the book that got me going on this latest Carter Family binge. This is a better-than-usual biography, with an amazing amount of detail for a traditional music mountain background, and told as an engrossing story.

October 21, 2002 The Carter Family: 1927-1934 - I haven't got this one yet, but it looks like a great bargain. JSP label, 5 CD's (something like 25 tracks each) for under $30. (Click title above for Amazon link.) And, I've heard good things about the quality of JSP 78 transfers. I've got mine on order, can't wait. Obviously not as complete as the Bear Family box (the Original Carter Family was releasing records until 1941, and recording until '43 if you count radio transcriptions.) But, this sure is a big chunk. (Later - okay, I have got it , listened to it all, and it is indeed quite wonderful and Indispensable.)
Oh yeah, there's music associated with the above books, too (once again, refresh to shuffle titles):
September 18, 2002 Scheduling Problems, Site Updates

Well, that's what comes of using calendars, don't believe everything you read. The one 'religious' event I observe, and I blew right past it because somebody put it the wrong place on the calendar. (A year is not necessarily a year, there were different measurements in the past, just like there were different scales and pitches, folks.) Anyway, since time has not been working for me anyway, and I have been late or never my entire life, I will work up to Atonement on my own schedule this year, I guess. If I have not shown any improvement by first snowfall, somebody wake me up and tell me it's time to hibernate.

As for my back, I have not been totally immobile for more than a few days at a time for awhile. So, when will I stop complaining? Ha. Shut up. My current line is, I'm still constantly hitting the wall, but at a greater speed. (And of course, as soon as I say anything about feeling better I hurt myself again.)

Video Special on the Music Page: Peter Stampfel guests at my Disaster Songs workshop a couple years ago at the local "Folk Festival". QuickTime video, hi-res or modem version depending on how you set your QT prefs. Don't miss this! It was that moment of greatest bliss that comes before the worst of tragc turns in all stories.

Links Page gradual revision/revival. Okay, I woke up years later and all the old places were gone. As always. I've relinked and refreshed some of the info, it's ongoing.

Also ongoing is the attempt to improve the views of the art. Keep looking. I may not make clear what has been updated, but even the ones I haven't worked on should seem more revelatory with repeated viewing.

March 31, 2002 Good Pesach and Easter and Barry's 52nd b-day.

Okay, okay, it's not always so bad. Sometimes the angel of death passes over, but then you get lost in the desert. Just as always, sometimes you can rise from the dead. Spring comes, if I'm lucky somehow I find myself out of the house in spite of myself. Walking is all that matters. I still can do that to varying degrees. The life and death of others, vaguely glimpsed, makes me want to renew my allegiance to the planet some moments..

It was about a week ago I had the one serious walk. In the first block I saw a dead squirrel on the sidewalk, lying curled up on its side as though it had just peacefully stopped for a nap. Much later, and a bit further than my back wanted to be, a little tiny girl and her mom were walking up the street toward me. The girl was going "Yay! Yeeaayy!" over and over, with a few encouraging but not as totally invested "yay"s from mom. She was throwing up her arms, and smiling as big as could fit on a little head. I don't know when I've seen anyone so totally happy as she was about something at that moment.

February 24, 2002

Something else you need:

Just as collections of historical recordings finally convinced me to get a CD player, it was these collections of cartoons that made me get a DVD player. I discovered these 5 VHS tapes worth of Ub Iwerks cartoons on two DVDs! It is very likely that you have not seen many of these cartoons, and may not even know the name. But, you know the man's influence for sure. He single-handedly drew the first Mickey Mouse cartoons, and it was his drawing ability that helped Disney get started in Kansas City when they were a couple kids. These cartoons were all done during the brief period after Ub spit from Walt in 1930 and tried running his own studio. THey could perhaps be viewed as a kind of missing link, more of a precursor of the Looney Tunes sensibilities (Carl Stalling did the music, as he had when he and Ub created the Silly Symphonies at Disney; Chuck Jones was starting out here as an apprentice.)

February 15, 2002

My True Story

If there is anyone out there who has ever considered buying a Chern lithograph, now would be a heck of a good time. I am in a state of economic and physical ruin, and it would be nice if the work that had a major part in putting me in this condition could rise from the dead and give me a little bit of a hand in this time of (increased) crisis. I've always been told that my art would be worth something after I was dead, and I am effectively dead now as far as my life as an artist goes.

Well, as of the 15th it's been a solid year since I decided I had officially herniated my disk badly enough that I couldn't go n (though I had been struggling with it again for a year and a half before that) and I am still struggling with recovery. Gave up sitting almost entirely at some point, so I stand here at the computer with my feet swelling and changing color on me.

I had a major lithograph almost ready to print two years ago when I got kicked out of my last house, and I never got back to working on it. Two or three years of drawing sitting there on the stone deteriorating. I realised recently that it has abeen five years since I finished my last lithograph. Twenty years of work sitting in flat-file drawers (not in the flat-file, I never got the drawers put back in after the move) and as far as exhibitions, grants and galleries go anything more than two years old is not even worth a passing glance. I might as well never have started. I know my attitude is bad, I'll try to do better.

January 28, 2002 1.Two Years, Down the Tubes

2. Something (sort of) Worth Living For:

Screamin' and Hollerin' the Blues: The Worlds of Charley Patton... cover Here we have an object of almost indescribable beauty, which you all need in your libraries. Let's not hear talk about expense at a time like this. Sell your television if you can't hack massive debt like a good American.
THE PAST And so on, and so back.

August 1, 1999

The Appalachian String Band Festival

Just about time to head out to Clifftop. If you have any interest in old time music, you might as well come and join everyone else. Maybe the woods can hold one more.

June 22, 1999 Hi, what's new? Not much here. 6:07 A.M. and I can't sleep againnn. And, my "n" key is sticking worse than ever.

Oh, well, while I'm up I might as well tell you about something else we all need. It's already possible to pre-order the new Holy Modal Rounders cd, Too Much Fun. that's how close to reality it is. Many who have heard it already firmly believe that it exists.

Pre-order from cdNow or Amazon. (Or, get off yer butt and go down to your local store if you have one that's worth the shoe-strain.)

Click picture for larger version. UpDate: Long past "pre-order" status, this is "Still Available!!!)

May 19, 1999 Cronopios and Famas finally republished! Unfortunately, not with the painting on the cover that made it jump out at me in 1967. Someone had mistakenly filed this as Science Fiction at the library, fortunately for me. It started me off on my long involvement with the writing (or at least translations of the writing) of Julio Cortazar. This work, however, is different from all the rest. In a category of its own. Very short pieces, prose getting down close to the neighborhood of poetry, in three thematic/formal sections.

Anyway, you need this. It includes instructions. There are sources of more info on Julio on my links page.

"Grey day, Cronopio, Cronopio." "Grade A, Fama, Fama"

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April 2, 1999

Barry's Birthday Session goes Worldwide!:

A bunch of old sots playing fiddle tunes on my birthday. Rough mix in QuickTime 3 format, for those who might like that sort of thing. Big file, but should play while you download if you have a relatively fast connection. Give it a little head start, then click the "play" triangle, and see if the shaded part can keep ahead. Warning. This goes on and on. Turn it on and forget it. Then be amazed when you realize they're still downloading them tunes.

The 1999 Birthday High-D Medley

December 30, 1998

Okay, forget Dylan. The real teen idol of roots music fans in the 60's has just released his first album in ages. I'm speaking, of course, of the most soulful voice and knowledgeable arranger in the great Kweskin Jug Band. And, he's accompanied by his longtime partner in crime (post jug band) Amos Garrett, an underground legend on the eelectreet guitar, even though he's all thumbs. You still don't know what I'm talking about, do you? Here's a link to order it from CDNow, and they have some sound clips: Geoff Muldaur: The Secret Handshake
December 11, 1998 With the demise of Monolith ( and their dynDNS project, I guess my experiments with home web-serving through my cable-modem connection are over for the moment. Nothing any of you would really notice. But, if you hear of another similar ip forwarding project, please let me know.
October 11, 1998
Well, if you were 16 in 1966, I'm sure you're anxious to hear about this. As has long been rumored, the Dylan and "The Hawks" (The Band) concert from Manchester, long bootlegged as "The Albert Hall Concert", is being officially released on Tuesday. Here's a link to order it from CDNow: Bob Dylan: Live, 1966.
Usual disclaimer: if you purchase via this link, I'll get a minute bit of credit with the store. (Subliminal subversion: so, do it, already)
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October 7, 1998
October? What? Anyway, general housecleaning with some formatting work and reattached the links to the QuickTime soundclips which were inexplicably broken. Next day addendum: I moved the QT and ShockWave files to a different server. Geocities couldn't serve 'em up to speed, apparently. Coming tinkering: I plan to try out QuickTime's ability to serve alternate versions of a movie for different connection speeds.
Aug 16, 1998 Burnt Man section undergoing redesign to ease narrative flow.
July 20, 1998
Primitive first appearance of a links page. Heroes of music and literature who you may or may not have heard of, and printmaking resources.
July 5, 1998
There was a CDNow sale, but June is over and so is January for that matter, so what does any of it matter. Here are some links you should still find useful:

Michael Hurley   Dock Boggs  
Chelsea Sessions - unreleased Incredible String Band from '67
A Treasury of Library of Congress Field Recordings
(I just got the above collection, and I think it's one of the greatest single discs I've ever heard. Goodbye, Old Paint, I'm a-leavin' Cheyenne.)
The Hammons Family - West Virginia Traditions

(See also April 30 note below.)

May 30, 1998 The music page is revised, now featuring two complete songs in three streaming audio formats.
May 1, 1998 People are supposed to sell stuff? Now, that's news! Okay, I'm workin' on a products page ...but not too hard yet!
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April 30, 1998 Yer Link to Great Music (or: "gimme a little credit, will ya?")
I've found CDNow to be a pretty good web source for finding disks and getting 'em fast, sometimes at a good discount. If you go there from this link, I'll get some minute portion of your purchases assigned to me as credit. Since I have to buy discs constantly to maintain my voracious ears, this would be a great service to the cause. I don't have any extra discounts to offer at the moment, but stay tuned. I can also make direct links to items of interest, and hope to do more of that in the future. For now, the following link ought to take you to whatever they have available at the moment by Michael Hurley, one of the greatest living. Three CD's, all on sale, two with RealAudio sound clips!. Also I'm putting a couple of their ads for current specials at the bottom of the Music Page.
March 21, 1998 Speaking of whom...My story about bringing one of my favorite songwriters to Ohio for the first time is online in the February issue of george jr. (Even though it's March now.) update - still there in July!
Feb 23, 1997 If you haven't had enough of my digital doodles, here's an annex page of them.
Sep 17, 1996 larger view of "Human Flight" finally linked on Art page

- First half of story now complete! As of the beginning of September I have uploaded images of the pages through the centerfold of my book Burnt Man - A True Dream, completing part one. This was a major project, and I have provided a generous selection of views: distant, actual size, and details. I know it can be daunting to download big graphics, but I promise that there is enough visual content here to reward your patience. I devoted years of my life to bringing you this vision. View a page each visit, at least.

Content of all B. Chern pages is Copyright ©1998 by Barry Chern, all rights reserved