I got a message request from Mariana Funes

Want to do new bumper for 106 spell starting Sept 6 can you record “Under the #106spell on a sunny Sunday on ” for us when you have a moment?

with a link to the song by The Kinks.

She is referring to the DS106 Good Spell, a weekly podcast/live ds106 radio broadcast she and John Johnston have been doing since… since… for a long time. If I remember correctly, it started with a summary of 106 things about ds106 or, DS106 in 106 posts and 106 bullets published at 1:06 by Mariana. It was 106 bullet points, and I guess with the “Good Spell” they steered away from the ballistic connotations of bullets. John may have suggested running it as a series, and they’ve done 36 already, usually on Sunday night in the UK which is Sunday afternoon over here in the US.

My first response was “I do not take requests” and also “I think you have my talents way confused with those of David Kernohan.”

But a challenge is a challenge, and I aimed last night to give it a trie to add to a series of re-written Ed Tech cover songs I started this year. Just the thought that I would play and sing music, publish it for others on the internet, would be quite impossible to believe a few years ago (or as I say that part of my life that was “Pre-ds106”).

It’s my iteration of what Alec Couros and Dean Shareski have done with their students as a “Learning Project” — take something you say “I cannot do” or “I always wanted to do” and do it, in public, on your blog.

I was not sure I could do this Kinks song. I do not just improvise them on the pot as I have seen David Kernohan do often. The Kinks are one of those bands I knew as a teen mostly from their popular FM radio songs, Lola, the cover of You Really Got Me. But when I dive in deeper to their music, I find myself in awe of the song writing craft of Ray Davies.

My first approach is to seek out published guitar tabs/chords for a song. As usual, you find variations in chords, even keys, and amounts of detail. I generally do not look for one I can just mimic, but one that gives me a enough of a base of the song to play it my own way (meaning simplify the stuff I cannot play). usually just wanting to get the chords I can play.

But then I found a lesson in Youtube for this song by JustinGuitar. I’ve watched a fair bit of guitar lessons, and it’s a bit over the map how well they can do more than show you how they play it versus showing you how you can figure it out. I am really hooked in the way Justin explains the techniques and also shows tight closeups of the chords. I’ll be back to his channel often.

I could get most of what he played, a lot of 7th chords, on my acoustic. The whole Dm down chord riff is interesting, but I was not hitting it good enough, so I opted like many of the tabs show to play that falling bass line as notes.

And I decided to try my first recorded song with the new Telecaster Deluxe I got in June with the Vox amp sent to me by Adam Croom.

Again when I do these, I run through it maybe 5 times or so to make sure I can play most of it, then rewrite the lyrics, and nearly always do a recording in one take. I am not trying to make it perfect, but good enough. I surprise myself when I get that one take done, because when I turn on record, I am not that confident I got it.

Okay enough blabbing, here is the song cover I made for Mariana and John as a bumper for their show

And the lyrics

Stay tuned for the return of the Good Spell on September 6 (look for tweets via #ds106radio). This bumper may be there too.

On a Sunday afternoon.

Top / featured image credit: My remix of a cover of the 45/7inch record for the Kinks Sunny Afternoon done as a parody. This is most likely a violation of copyright and I do so in protest of such things that prevent me from being creative with artifacts of pop culture w/o any intent to profit. As artists have done for centuries. Suck it, copyright lawyers.

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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as @cogdog@cosocial.ca


  1. What you did not remember is that the sentence I asked you to record was a tweet you sent us one sunday when you were listening to us 😉

    The song came to me as I read it. I had no idea what was involved in the request in terms of hard fun. Thank you so much!

  2. Yeah indeed!
    All this music stuff zooms over my head, but love the lyrics and the Rayesque inflection on the vocal.
    Coming to a #ds106 radio show near you very soon.

  3. Cool! I Love the clear chord sequences of the bumper and the picture of the piece. I should not miss the next good spell either.

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