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Thread: Random mandolin sightings

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Saw a mandolin on network TV last week in a most unexpected place - Matchbox Twenty on the Tonight Show 10/4, then the next night on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. (Yes, they've changed their name from Matchbox 20 after their hiatus.) The acoustic player switched back and forth from guitar, but took a decent cross-picking lead on the mandolin. Something like an A-40, A body w/ F-holes.

    Anyway, this got me to thinking about the seldom-occurring but usually thrilling experience of seeing a mandolin unexpectedly on TV or elsewhere, like in a movie. I was wondering if anyone else has had any simlar experiences (discounting country or bluegrass bands, as mandolins are more expected there) or related musings. By the latter I mean something like ... When REM's "Losing My Religion" went to #1 it was the first time that happened for a song featuring a mandolin since Rod Stewart's "Maggie May."

    I know I've seen mandolins showing up on TV occasionally, besides when it was a clue on Jeopardy a couple of months ago. There was the Paul McCartney commercial for ipod or whatever it was, of course - and wasn't it nice for a Beatle to play a mandolin finally! I'm blanking right now about other appearances, though I keep remembering that there was a prop mandolin in Norah Jones' video for "Sunrise." And it's been more than 2 1/2 years since the Ditty Bops had their brief fling with notoriety on TV. I'm all for elevating mandolin consciousness in any way possible, so I find this stuff fascinating.
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    Registered User adgefan's Avatar
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    Mandolin has been all over the BBC recently in a new trail:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/amazingmusic/brand.shtml

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    journeybear
    there are often mondolin sightings found here on the message board. some can be fun. a far as matchbox 20 goes at least they brought it into popular music.

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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    Well, I never thought I would see it but there it was. A mandolin on American Idol, held by a contestant. I listened hard but I never heard a note from it. Lilly Scott was the performer singing Patsi, I fall to pieces. I think it was a Gibson.

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    Registered User Greg H.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    I believe I saw a mandolin during a Roger Daltrey show last night. . . .if it is I've never seen one of these...it looked like an ES335 that had been through the laundry on hot. I was a way off so it could have been a bit larger (e.g. an octave or an electric mandola). Sounded good whichever it was.
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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    ( American Idol ) It was definitely a Gibson Fern..................preceded by Gibson Les Paul................preceded by a small Gibson acoustic guitar. Do we see a theme here? The Gibson guys sure now how to get stuff into the right hands to get attention.
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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    That was pretty bad singing, though. She might have done better to have played the song rather than sung it. Gee, that came out kind of snarky ... Oh well ...

    Oh, all right, better than nothing. Hopefully a sighting on a show with as big an audience as this gets will get a fair amount of people interested in the instrument.

    Hey - thanks for resurrecting this thread. Been a while ...
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    In The Van Ben Milne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    Here's a pretty random mando sighting... a pic of a reso-mando being played at the 1977 Port Fairy Folk festival. bonus points for the lagerphonic content i should think.
    I came across it in an email from a pro-Audio retailer.
    Hereby & forthwith, any instrument with an odd number of strings shall be considered broken. With regard to mix levels, usually the best approach is treating the mandolin the same as a cowbell.

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    Don't know whether to resurrect this thread or just post these things as has become customary at the Mandolins On TV - Advance Notice thread, so I'll do both.

    Josh Groban's new album has been out a couple of months, and he is making a whirlwind publicity tour (of New York, anyway), appearing on three TV shows in one day - Regis, Today, and Letterman - announcing a tour beginning in the spring. “Illuminations,’’ produced by Rick Rubin, recasts him as something of a singer/songwriter. On Regis, he sang an original song called “If I Walk Away,“ backed by a throng of string instruments, including a string quartet, two guitars, and - a mandolin. Didn't recognize the player, but it was an Epiphone A style with f-holes and a tuner clipped to the headstock (just in case an adjustment needed to be made during the 2 1/2 minutes the song lasted). It was mixed well enough to hear it, which was nice, and just seeing it perked me up a bit on this day after Valentine's Day. Hopefully the same musicians will be playing tonight on Letterman.
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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    Last Fall...2009...Barrage came to my area and I took a group of my students to the performance.

    I was excited when I saw a mandolin on stage...until I heard the girl play it...
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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    Here, here on elevating mandolin consciousness! You gotta love the gathering place here at the Cafe.
    I just got done with practicing my mando skills...I keep wondering when am I going stop sucking at this! Sip, sip...winding down with a cold one.
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    Not a sighting, per se, but an interesting mention. Today on Jeopardy, in the interview segment, the current champion talked about playing acoustic blues-rock in a band with his father-in-law (brave lad) at a bi-weekly gig at a restaurant in his home town of Denver. He plays viola, which he says he plays "like a fiddle in this band, kind of bluegrass style," and his father-in-law plays guitar and ... mandolin! I about let out a whoop when I heard that. Millions of people watch this show, and heard the name of our beloved instrument. Never mind that he ended up losing today; he had done his bit.
    Last edited by journeybear; May-31-2011 at 11:51pm.
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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    Well, I'll be! Another Jeopardy appearance within a week, this time as a clue: in the first round, the first category was "Stringed Instruments," and the third clue for $600 was: "This instrument heard here precedes "Rain" in a Bruce Hornsby title." An audio clip played of a bit of Irish music (I think), and a contestant answered correctly. For once it didnt draw a blank, which hopefully shows some improvement in public awareness.

    I want to vent a bit about the $200 clue: "The OED says this word for a violin is "only in familiar or contemptuous use."" I may be willing to let the (assumedly) British writers/editors slide on this, but those of us in the know - including UK residents - know there is a stylistic distinction in the term, irrespective of attitude. If anyone wishes to tilt at that windmill, please be my guest!

    BTW, the correct answers were, in order: fiddle, viola, mandolin, harp, cello. No guitar or banjo.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    I saw that same ES-335 inspired mando in '06 on The Who's Wire and Glass tour. It was Pete's brother Simon playing it then, though I don't know about whether it's still the remaining members of the Who now that Pete's retired due to hearing loss.
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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    Amandolin shows up on Celtic Thunder Heritage. They are one talented bunch!!!
    Last edited by brianf; Jun-09-2011 at 9:36pm. Reason: spelling
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    Just saw Pirates Of The Caribbean IV, and was surprised to hear and see something mandolinesque in the movie. First in the tavern scene about ten minutes in, then later on board the ship, about 53 minutes in, during what passes for a romantic scene. It is larger than a mandolin, not as long as an octave I don't think, so my guess is it is a mandola with a deep bowlback, and a pegboard like a classical guitar - but definitely four double courses. I waited until the credits to see who played it but I did not see any mandolin-type instrument mentioned.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    I was watching The Voice tonight, and was rather surprised to see a mandolin during the show. I believe it was during Dia Frampton's performance. Hard to tell what it was besides an F-style with a sunburst, as it was out of focus during the practice scene, then too dark to see during the actual performance, but you could hear it throughout most of the song.

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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    Not a sighting but I believe on a Jack Daniels whisky commercial the music has a mandolin taking the lead....Also many years ago in the movie, "20,000 Leagues Under The Sea" didn`t Kirk Douglas play a type on mandolin in some of the scenes?

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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    Hi Willie

    He plays a 4 string something or other and a turtle shell one at 2:08
    http://youtu.be/NXRWdySrjDc
    Eoin



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    fretboard roamer Paul Merlo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    I saw a mandolin being played last night on "The Voice" during Dia Frampton's version of Losing My Religion. They showed some studio rehearsals and the picker had a F5 (couldn't tell what maker). Then, it was an Ovation being played during the performance by the same guy. I immediately thought of this thread ;-)
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    Here is an enormous bit of PR material for "Pirates Of The Caribbean IV." In it we see the list of songs, but no mandolinists listed in the credits. However, later on in the blah-de-blah, the following:

    The Queen Anne’s Revenge was not only the setting for numerous scenes of action and supernatural mayhem, but also for a moonlit dance of romance, deception and double-dealing between Captain Jack and Angelica, choreographed by Executive Producer John DeLuca to mandola music played by Stephen Graham as Scrum. (Graham actually learned how to play the mandola for his role with several preproduction lessons.)

    So those of us who guessed mandola get to pat ourselves on the back.

    Here are the songs featured in the movie; the first two feature the mandola:

    MUSIC/SONGS
    “Tripping Up the Stairs”
    Traditional
    “Jolly Sailor Bold”
    Arranged by John DeLuca, Dave Giuli and Matt Sullivan
    “Mermaids”
    Written by Hans Zimmer and Eric Whitacre
    “Tango”
    Written by Eduardo Cruz

    BTW, trivia note: Hans Zimmer, the film's composer, was in The Buggles, known for the song ”Video Killed The Radio Star,” the first video played on MTV.
    Last edited by journeybear; Jun-22-2011 at 9:25pm.
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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    On "America's Got Talent," in the Atlanta auditions that aired a couple of weeks ago, a bluegrass band called The Fiddleheads did a credible rendition of Cee Lo Green's recent hit, the clean version, "Forget You." It runs from :40 to 1:40 in this clip of three auditions. Host Nick Cannon's reaction is priceless: "Rockin' out - on a mandolin!"

    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
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    Watching Letterman last night, the actor Tim Robbins performed as Tim Robbins and the Rogues Gallery Band - pleasant enough, notable here because there was a mandolin player, on an A model oval hole with no name on the headstock. He is in the back and not on screen much; up front with Tim are violin and flute players. It all sounds pretty pleasant, and the mandolin (rhythm only) is down in the mix but audible. They were also on The View this morning. In the interview segment this morning they showed some old photos on the screen, including one of Tim as a kid holding a mandolin. It looks like it's in a bar - glasses on the wall behind him - probably The Gaslight Cafe. In case you didn't know, his father, Gil Robbins, was a member of the 60s folk quartet The Highwaymen, and then became manager of The Gaslight Cafe, where Tim surely saw and heard a lot of music and musicians. His mother, Mary, was also a singer. Sadly, they both died in April, twelve days apart.
    Last edited by journeybear; Jul-26-2011 at 11:42am. Reason: corrections
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    In The Van Ben Milne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    Hereby & forthwith, any instrument with an odd number of strings shall be considered broken. With regard to mix levels, usually the best approach is treating the mandolin the same as a cowbell.

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    Registered User Bill Bradshaw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Random mandolin sightings

    Hope this isn't old news and that I really saw it, but I'm pretty sure there was a guy with a mandolin case flailing around in the scene in King Kong where he stops the subway train while searching for Jessica Lange (1976 version of the movie). Judging from the case it was probably a missing Loar, so now we know what happend to at least one of them.

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