Just Put Your Lips Together and … Y’know

The summer after high-school I played drums in a band called Vladband with two guys named Aaron (bass) and Vlad (guitar, vocals). The name was not a result of ego on the guitarist’s part, almost the opposite — Aaron and I thought it was funny and Vlad couldn’t think up something better. We rehearsed in Vlad’s basement, as his dad was a multi-instrumentalist and had all the necessary equipment, so none of us had to bring anything. For a drummer, that is a beautiful thing. Playing in the band was a good time that resulted in a studio recording of a song called “When I Come Over” which sounded better than something 17-year-olds would normally produce.

Vlad’s family was (and still is, presumably) Ukrainian, which I discovered one day when I was absentmindedly whistling while setting up for rehearsal. A lot of the time, I’ll start whistling whatever tune is in my head without even realizing it. I’m pretty sure I look ridiculous when doing it, but I’m a better whistler than I am a singer (somehow, I don’t understand how these things work), so it works out pretty well.

“Hey, don’t do that,” he said, explaining that there’s a Ukrainian superstition about whistling. Something about upsetting the spirits of the house or building wherever you are. At least once a week, I’d catch myself whistling sometime during band practice and feel kinda bad about it.

So now you know that. Don’t ever say hahamusic never taught you anything!

This is one of the songs I was whistling this week:

The Stanley Brothers – Angel Band (Buy It)

And this song has whistling of the recorded variety:

Otis Redding – Sitting on the Dock of the Bay (Buy It)

posted by Adam


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