Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pyewackett & Bill Bryson

Yesterday I spent much of the time making a new lens. It was another case of taking off with inspiration to do something. I was making coffee when the theme for the Looney Tunes cartoons started going through my head. Except in this case it wasn't exactly the Looney Tunes theme. That theme is based on the tune "The Merry-go-round Broke Down," written in 1937. The British folk band Pyewackett recorded it on their best known album The Man in the Moon Drinks Claret, released in 1982. That's the version that was in my head.

So I decided to start a lens. I'd considered it before, but the band only released four albums, and they all went out of print. Only The Man in the Moon Drinks Claret has been re-released. That means there's limited opportunity to get people to click on an Amazon link. But yesterday I decided I like the band enough to go ahead and make a lens anyway.

In the course of my wanderings to find out more about Pyewackett, I came across a Facebook group called the Pyewackett Appreciation Society, started by a woman from London. It's not a hugely active group, but three people, two of the musicians plus the guy who called for their dances (and also got the band interested in tunes from John Playford's English Dancing Master published in 1651) are group members. I also found a MySpace page for the band under "pyewacketmusic." That page is apparently run by Ian Blake, one of the band members who now lives in Australia. There's another page related to the name, but it's for a young woman who seems oblivious to the horrible look she has created with a very strong background and purple text which is rendered almost unreadable against the background.

I was suprised to find there is no Wikipedia page for Pyewackett, although there is one for a short-lived Pittsburgh rock band from the '70s that spells the name with one "t". I did manage to find a site that deals in obscure music, and it had cover art with links, so it's OK for me to use the art because it links to the site. That works, since the site is useful. The three other albums are Pyewackett, 7 to Midnight and This Crazy Paradise. The site I linked to is probably the best bet for a collector wanting the LPs (TMitMDC is the only one available on CD).

So, I'd appreciate it if you'd check out my Pyewackett Squidoo lens.

Today I've updated my lens about author Bill Bryson. Bill has written some very funny travel books as well as some very interesting books about the English language, William Shakespeare and a short history about nearly everything called A Short History of Nearly Everything. This update was to make the lens look better and switch the Amazon links from going through Squidoo to linking through my Amazon Associate ID. I've gotten very attached to using text boxes with colored backgrounds and rounded corners for lenses with Amazon books. On this one, I stuck with one color scheme for all the book modules.

Why this particular lens? I noticed in today's lensranking that it's almost but not quite in the top 10,000 lenses. Squidoo has three tiers for sharing their ad revenues with lensmasters. Tier 1 is 1 to 2,000; Tier 2 is 2,001 to 10,000; Tier 3 is 10,001 to somewhere around 100,000. The sharing isn't huge; about $10.00, $2.00 and $.08 respectively. It takes a lot of work to get a lens into Tier 1, certainly more than the payout is worth, but it is nice to have a well-ranked lens.

Which reminds me - Celtic Music: Lenses, which was named Lens of the Day for March 16 and remained listed as such through yesterday, really shot up in the rankings. It was at 106 on Tuesday, got to number 17 yesterday, and is at number 12 today. It's the first time I've had a lens in the top 100. My Spoonerisms lens topped out at 114 back in November. The Celtic Music lens has gotten a ton of comments and has now been rated by 105 people.

I don't think the Celtic Music lens will be in the top 100 all that long, though. There's already been another Lens of the Day named. For a while, they weren't being named that often and I was kind of hoping mine would be in that slot for a week or so. But three days isn't bad when you consider it's called "Lens of the Day."

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