Saturday, January 20, 2007

Salvation in a Little Black Box

Not too terribly long ago I was sounding the alarm--Beware The Techno Rage, it's the death of culture, of society, certainly of trad.

But today, I was saved, and my salvation lies under my mother's old dry sink.

It's a DSL modem.

Do I hear AMEN?!

Further, I saw the light of wireless, and am now streaming from the desktop across the room while I sit here at my table working on this post. And even better, playing now is Darrell Scott's Memory Like Mine, perfect for this utterly stupid ongoing conflict in Iraq.

This transition from the old way to an entirely different way does not come easy for me. But I have already realized the value, between the music and the ability to manipulate programs virtually at the speed of bluegrass. I know I'm in the last two dozen to sign up for the 21st century, but I'm glad I finally came around.

There is a wealth out there, a knowledge base that will be so much easier to access because of this technology. It's also, as I've mentioned before, been a great benefit to communities that are less fortunate and perhaps not able to access a whole lot of anything due to their location, particularly in rural parts of the world.

It's a way of connecting us all.

Everyday I stop to see who has visited this blog. This past week saw lengthy visits from China, Poland, Germany, and many other places. This technology does bring us closer, as far apart as we may be geographically.

But while new and emerging technologies may make things easier in some parts of our lives, there is no equivalent to the human side of life. I wish there were a speedier way to heal, or to share joy, or solve a problem. On a human level, some of these techno wonders only extend the work and the time required to shorten the distance between you, and me. Between you, and someone you fought with last week.

As much as I am converted by the Gospel of Wireless, I hope I don't get so lost in the extra work I can now accomplish that I forget why I'm doing the work, who I'm doing it with, who I'm doing it for, and especially the practice of playing.

Please step on over to and sign up if you haven't already. The music kept us company all afternoon. And in a few weeks, you'll be able to enjoy the show I caught last night at The Beachland Ballroom. Iris Dement was such a joy. There isn't a single song she sang that I'm not convinced I absolutely have to have.

So remember to appreciate the speed and all the options it brings, but not so much that you forget to slow down and enjoy what's real.

If you get on over and register at Folk Alley, you should be able to hear a beautiful hymnlike tune, Turn Me Tender, performed by a folk singer named Martyn Joseph from Southern Wales. It's so poignant, beautiful. It gets right at the isolation that begs to be healed after all the rest of life is unplugged. Serenity kisses that soothe and repair....

Even better, if you purchase this song through iTunes, FolkAlley gets a little itty bitty share to help it keep going.

Turn me tender again,
Fold me into you
Turn me tender again
And mold me to new
Faith lost its promise
And bruised me deep blue
Turn me tender again
Through union with you

Have a good night, y'all.


At January 25, 2007 8:56 AM, Blogger MichaelBains said...

Is SO cool, isn't it. Just cuz we enjoy the present's tech, it doesn't mean we have to lose the past's folkiness.

I can't imagine not being able to listen to Metal just cuz I love Progressive-Electro, or giving up Sarah McLaughlin just cuz I also totally groove on Slip Knot or Curve or The Pogues.

Variety, she is spicy, no? :)

At January 25, 2007 7:31 PM, Blogger Mando Mama said...

Indeed,you silly human. In fact I need a bit more variety in my life, musically anyway. Exposed to every variety of music as a child, now I have to make a conscious effort to get outside the bluegrass box. My new techie toys will help.

Aw, the Pogues. I miss them.



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