I had the idea to try this, and see if anyone enjoyed. Music plays a big role in what I create, and I pick my working music to match my mood and the direction I want the work itself to go in. I will try to update this page frequently, adding new items at the top, to post just what I’m listening to in the workshop at any given moment. Note that the link to this page is now over on the right under “American Pipemaker in Brittany“, so it will be easy to check this entry on any visit to the site.

Today’s Music:

Voices from the Edge, audiobook by Harlan Ellison, interspersed with The Truth (with Jokes), audiobook by Al Franken – My brain isn’t strong enough for the full unabridged force of “Voices from the Edge”, a collection of some of the best of Harlan Ellison’s stories, so I’ve mixed in alternating chapters of Al Franken’s “The Truth” to lighten the intensity level. Which is especially cranked up, considering that Ellison is doing his own reading, and frequently gets so wound up in it that he sounds like he’s pacing in fast circles and screaming into the mic. I grew into Harlan Ellison. When I was younger, I found his work too depressing and acidic, and the man himself seemed rabid. With time and years, though, I have become more depressing and acidic, and I now enjoy his stories a good bit, and appreciate his outlook on his job, life, and art a hell of a lot more. His recent interview with Stanley Wiater on the Horror Channel’s “Dark Dreamers” was so hilarious that I recorded it for posterity.

Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way, audiobook by Bruce Campbell – “Groovy” He even has a pipe in the front cover photo. What more could anyone want? Note – This is not a self-help book, parody self-help book, or anything biographical. It’s an actual fiction novel written by Bruce Campbell, that happens to star Bruce Campbell.

The Stupidest Angel, audiobook by Christopher Moore – “ Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing, dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom” I have settled into the long hours of stem detailing and am currently enjoying this “seasonal” audiobook – another Christopher Moore classic – about a clumsy Christmas angel who accidentally raises the dead of a small town in response to a child’s Christmas wish. The result is a horde of brain-munching, Ikea-craving zombies on Christmas Eve.

TWiTcasts, by Leo Laporte and crew – Now that the pipe-roughing is done, it’s time to settle in and spend days in stem shaping, sanding, and general finishing work. I usually listen to music through the design and shaping, and switch to podcasts and audiobooks for all the repetitive detail work. The TWiTcasts are the only podcast I follow regularly (though I also enjoy Catholic Insider). I rely on Leo and the TWiTs, and also on Ars Technica, to keep myself current on everything that is happening in the world of computers, operating systems, gadgets and tech stuff.

The Triumph of Steel, by Manowar – I’ve been fairly surly for the past week and heavy applications of Yes and “feel good” music haven’t helped, so I figured it was time to revel in being pissed-off and crank up the Manowar. My favorite heavy metal band by far, though I enjoy Rhapsody and Iron Maiden too. This was their closest brush to “art metal” – half concept-album telling the story of Achilles. I realize that many folks may consider pipemaking to be too high-brow of a craft to be associated with metal music, but to this I can only say, Manowar is the favorite metal band of none other than Christopher Lee!

Fighting the World, by Manowar – Fun, loud, and aggressive, made back when the band seemed to be at the tipping point between the early raw sound and the later, more polished work.

Louder than Hell, by Manowar – My favorite for a while, until they released “Warriors of the World”, my current favorite by far. The opening track on this, plus “The Gods made Heavy Metal”, are unbeatable as the perfect music to kick off an energized day of pipemaking.

Categories: Pipe Blog


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