Science Is My Game
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Jackson C. Frank - "Blues Run The Game"

In his childhood, Jackson C. Frank was one of the only survivors of a schoolhouse furnace explosion. His face was severely scarred by the fire and he was tormented by depression from that point on. Later in life he was institutionalized off and on for paranoid schizophrenia (misdiagnosed), lost his only child to cystic fibrosis, and was shot point-blank in the face, leaving him blind.

The depth of his sorrow and the extent of his suffering should be kept in mind as you listen to "Blues Run The Game," a song about the imperative importance of hope and perseverance in the face of whatever adversity.

As Frank himself wrote in the liner notes to his one and only album, Jackson C. Frank: "Living is a gamble . . . loving is much the same . . . There's always a chance to break even"

Though his words may leave something to be desired, his song is as clear a statement as there is.

But don't be sad...

Two fun facts about Jackson C. Frank:

1) He dated Sandy Denny for a while.
2) Paul Simon produced his album.


Cerberus Shoal - "Asphodel"

In Greek mythology the asphodel is the flower of Hades and death. If this song isn't underworldly, it certainly is otherworldly. I can not positively identify any (any!) of the instruments used in "Asphodel."

I guess this song was recorded sometime during the medieval period, but I can't be any more specific than that. Maybe it's something like what would happen if Boethius, Aquinas, Eno and Tiny Tim got together to write a funeral dirge.

Posted by Jordan at November 20, 2004 3:40 AM

Re: instrumentation of Asphodel/Cerberus Shoal. Sounds like acoustic guitars and/or banjos on the album, peppered with a bit of miscellaneous percussion (bells at the beginning). Some of the guitars are amplified, I think. Very pretty music. Why do you say the piece was recorded during the Medieval period? What do the notes say about the tune? Love the site! Thanks! --Meg

Posted by megc at November 20, 2004 12:42 PM

Jackson Frank is wonderful Jordan. good pick. i was thinking just yesterday about how he used to show up at folk shows in London driving luxury vehicles because he had that settlement cash and spent it quite freely.
Simon and Garfunkle do a cover of "Blues Run the Game" that appears on the S & G box set.

Posted by bmr at November 20, 2004 12:49 PM

lovely jackson frank track, thanks.

Posted by anne at November 20, 2004 6:16 PM

dig the cerberus shoal song. i just looked them up and apparently they started out as a punk band!

and jordan, i'm gonna be in ottawa for a couple of weeks at xmas, you interrested in jamming or something? email me if you are.,

Posted by gareth at November 20, 2004 6:29 PM

Wow -- the Jackson Frank song is beautiful. I've never heard of him, but this definitely makes me want to seek out more. Thanks.

Posted by Mindy at November 21, 2004 4:17 PM

Jackson Frank has a great voice, works well w/the style of the song...I'm gonna have to get this one...thanks!

Posted by guanoboy at November 21, 2004 10:56 PM

the similarities between jackson c. frank and freddy krueger are astounding!

Posted by george at November 22, 2004 5:57 PM

all caught up now. we've go you bookmarked!

Posted by damama at November 22, 2004 7:43 PM

really liked "asphodel" and the greek myth overtones. reminds me of adem. fits a blue mood. thanks! :)

Posted by janet at November 23, 2004 12:50 AM

wow that cerberus shoal track is pretty amazing

Posted by milap at November 23, 2004 8:44 AM

Both these tracks are quite great.... I'm assuming you mean "written" instead of "recorded," though. ^_^

Posted by tuwa at November 23, 2004 7:14 PM

Gareth - Check your email.

Tuwa - I meant recorded. It was supposed to be a joke, but I think I missed.

Posted by Jordan at November 24, 2004 12:35 AM

love hearing this - I'd heard the Counting Crows varsion of this and wanted the real version. Thanks! Great site!

Posted by the bandit at November 24, 2004 3:11 PM

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This is a daily sampler of really good songs. All tracks are posted out of love. Please go out and buy the records.

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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

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