It’s been my habit twice a year to run some sort of quiz. One is a general bluegrass knowledge quiz, which runs around the 1st of the year, while the other is a quiz related to subjects covered by this column, which usually runs around the middle of the year. The weather is warm to unbearably hot, depending on your location, and the baseball all-star break is approaching, so this feels pretty mid-year-like to me. I suppose I could always consult a calendar to be more precise, but I seem to have left mine on a flight to Houston.
In any case, here is the 2017 Bluegrass Today Chris Jones Column Quiz (or BTCJCQ) for 2016-17. It’s designed to test how many of these you’ve been reading, and whether you’ve been reading them right to the end, or whether you’re just reading half of the first sentence, then quickly moving on in a state of boredom and disgust. An answer key, and your ranking is below:
1. Where do the following lines come from?
why am I a fox?
I don’t understand this song
now the banjo break
A. A haiku version of Fox on the Run
B. A haiku version of the YLVIS song What Does The Fox Say?
C. Something a fox was overheard saying in the Cincinnati zoo in 1971
D. Something Charlie Waller was overheard saying on stage in 1971
2. What is this sentence a part of?
“Well, I’m ready. I will utmost find requesting positive signals and vote to be placed in categories stated in earlier language. For consideration of safety, all IBMA voting is guaranteed some secret ballot and will leave no mark, so as not to cause undue harm and misunderstanding with me, yourself, or any surviving ratio.”
A. An appeal for IBMA votes, translated (badly) from the original Swahili
B. A typical bluegrass press release, translated from the original English
C. An appeal for IBMA votes, written in the style of a “bank scam” email
D. The second-to-last paragraph of a recent IBMA keynote address
3. What is Recovering Bluegrass
A. A new reality TV show in which archeologists dig through areas of western Kentucky, searching for Bill Monroe artifacts like tie clips, and old discarded mandolin strings
B. A band made up of bluegrass musicians all just released from a Las Vegas rehab clinic
C. IBMA’s new marketing slogan. The runner-up choice was “Bluegrass: Still Breathing!”
D. The name of a tribute band that performs nothing but covers of other band’s covers of other band’s material
4. How would someone have come up with the bluegrass stage name “Allen Wheeling”?
A. By free association
B. By using the bluegrass stage name formula of taking the last name of your favorite bluegrass artist (in this case, Red Allen), using it as your first name, then adding the town where you were born (in this case, Wheeling, WV) as a last name
C. By using the bluegrass stage name formula of taking the name of a type of wrench, then adding the name of any town in West Virginia (this is also how the name “Crescent Jolo” was arrived at)
D. By drinking a lot of alcohol and saying, “Hey, I think I need a stage name.”
5. Which of the following is not a Bluegrass Rule:
A. If you still have cell service, you haven’t yet arrived at the festival
B. In modern bluegrass songwriting, “Grandpa” is the new “Mother”
C. For an aspiring professional musician, bluegrass music will always be the fastest path to fame, groupies, and a lavish lifestyle
D. There are fewer than five appropriate bluegrass songs for a wedding, and most bands hired to play weddings do 12 to 25 songs
Well done! Okay, I don’t know if it was really “well done” or not, but it seemed like an encouraging thing to say. You can grade yourself using the answer key at the bottom of the page.
If you scored a perfect 5:
You’re clearly a loyal and regular reader of this column, and I thank you, but you may have too much time on your hands. You might consider other hobbies like needlepoint, or car theft.
If you scored 3 or 4:
You read this column fairly regularly, though you don’t always make it to the bottom of the page. Sometimes it’s hard to find the time, what with all the needlepoint projects left to finish, plus your fence keeps texting you about your stolen car parts.
If you scored 2:
This column is low on your priority list of Bluegrass Today reading. You only read it on slow news days, when there are no stories about bluegrass artists’ medical procedures, and no bands “going on hiatus.”
If you scored 1:
I tested a few people I don’t even know (a substitute mail carrier, a Jehovah’s Witness who stopped by, and an exterminator) and they also managed to score at least 1, so I really don’t know what this says about you.