Tuesday, May 30, 2006

red blood, white bone, & a backbeat, you can't lose it

ain't nothin' shakin' but the leaves on the trees... the watermelon's lusciously sweet right now, the evenings are lengthening & hottening, soon it'll be time to go late sleeping & fig rustling, the kiddies & their teachers are about to burst out of school... ahhh, summer, hello there: you're unforgiving, punishing, blazing in these parts, but you've got such allure, still... well, my collage won't upload. the quote on it said, "we're all red blood and white bone underneath" - carl perkins...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

His voice could jar a corpse... Life without music ain't life

Bob Dylan wrote "Roy Orbison … kept you on your toes. … [He sang] his compositions in three or four octaves that made you want to drive your car over a cliff. … His voice could jar a corpse..." Phil Alvin says the purpose of music is to "bring forth the collective conscious of those who've come before us," but there's an emotional part, a spiritual part to being filled up with good music... "It's only rock and roll, but I like it, like it, yes, I do..."

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

rock hudson didn't deserve what he got.. and there's life in the old gal yet

distressing, depressing, disheartening... got some bad music news (minor compared to so, so much bad news a person could get), so instead of dealing with it, i watched movies. yesterday was "the savage eye" (1960), an early cinema-verite/dramatic fiction about a divorced woman's move from despair to hope, then today, john frankenheimer's "seconds" (1966), involving & shocking. in common: both lonely B&W pix are gorgeously filmed (james wong howe & haskell wexler, respectively) & are about "American hopelessness," the futility of chasing the empty dream of acquisitions bring happiness & desire for outside-in instant personal transformation. blind conformity kills! the first, quite dated in parts, still socks you in the gut with candid footage of sad empty-eyed "real" folks, & lines like "there are two kinds of people in this world: the living and the afraid," & a long scene of church healing with people speaking in tongues, & vintage strippers & queens, but in the end, it has hope-- our gal sees she's united with all in suffering this life & its trials, can have compassion & love for all. but the second,... wow! i felt instant sympathy for its sadsack protagonist (1st played by john randolph, then rock hudson, both with mournful, soulful eyes). he makes a faustian deal to change his identity/face/ life (that action film "face off" ripped that part from this flick & from the french "eyes w/o a face"), but even becoming gorgeous & loveable rock hudson doesn't make the guy happy, & in the end, he pays big time. the final scene took my breath away -- horrible!! horrible!! -- & now i have to type because i can't sleep, keep thinking of that terrible scene, & poor rock hudson, & all the people who try to fit in (like he did in real life) & end up lost, & on and on.......... expectations can kill one's soul: "if only i could be/have/do [fill in the blank], THEN i will be happy" or "if only [he/she/it] would be/have/do [fill in the blank], THEN everything will be ok..." or "if i do [fill in the blank], i will receive [fill in the blank]." oscar wilde said, "a man who does not think for himself does not think at all." the opposite of bravery isn't cowardice, it's conformity!! add to that action with expectations & you have one sad, angry, disappointed human. as spake the oracle at delphi, "to thine own self be true..." & as spake the cramps, "stay sick, turn blue..." that rhymed, which is why i put it there... as if anyone is reading, or gives a care... yes, virginia, life can be unfair... i don't know how to end this, so beware... each line stinks worse than its pred-e-sair...

Friday, May 12, 2006

you're a dirty robber, i said you're a dirty robber... well, you take my love, & then you run away

tonight at the speaker mtg, something wild happened - the mild-seeming, sort of casper milquetoast-looking speaker said he used to go to wailers shows in wash state... no, people, not the bob marley wailers, but the tacoma 60s garage-punk R&R band, the howling vocals, slamming piano, saxes, & guitars akin to the sonics & the mummies (all recorded "dirty robber," for instance)... it was like hearing your grandma say she used to party with jerry lee lewis!!! here's a wailers snippet (go down to "dirty robber"): http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=3896076 ; sonics version: http://www.101cd.com/detail.aspx?productid=56493 ; the mummies (go down a ways) http://www.101cd.com/detail.aspx?productid=56493/detail.aspx?productid=56493 ... these bands were/are rough, wild, alive, with production/studio quality/all that talk that makes me crazy second to the rock & roll... when you're in my (non)league of musicality, who cares what mike or monitor or whatever is used??? who cares what clothes you have on, or what you're "supposed" to play? (like phil alvin said, "i ain't never been nothing you call 'billy'!") you just want to wail... & there you go: there's the band's name... on topic of practiced players who don't need perfect gear to put on a dang good show, the other day at school we had a swell cinco de mayo assembly with local legends mento buru. the school orchestra played a few tunes & i plunked away on accompaniment at request of our upright music teacher (who can blow mean sax). on the mexican hat dance, each time we'd all chime in instrumentally on the "clap-clap" part, i'd hear los mentos over there, giggling... then matt was nice enough to read aloud with me "the story of cinco de mayo" so we'd have an educational excuse for it all, then the band began to wail, using our cruddy school PA (set up time for entire band: 15 minutes)... & it worked just fine!! the kids went nuts, whooping wildly; a high chorus of kiddie cheers erupted at the end of song one, & matt said, smiling widely, "that's the best applause we've ever gotten, kids!" near the end, i found out one of our teachers used to own a dance studio, so my god! why was she sitting? i asked her to go up & dance with a few of the kids, then a few more little hams ran out there & started shaking their stuff... it was wonderful! ......... i wish all local bands were as soulfully cheerful & rocking as mento buru, but i do remember My Teens & Twenties, when life was dark, dark, dark & verrrrrrrrrrry serious... well, my experience is, the teens & 20s must be endured... then life gets fun. :) ............a show i DO VERY MUCH want to see is this guy, playing at gigantic vintage on may 18: www.myspace.com/duckmandu ... an accordion punk rock one man band!!!! of course, on the same blasted night, my friend greg goodsell opens a poetry event. here in backwardsfield, CULTurally, it never rains, but when it does, it pours. i would like to reiterate:
it never ever, ever, ever rains here. but when it does, it pours.
my favorites tonight: 1) jogging til i'm lit with endorphins & yet feel like i have rigor mortis; 2) oatmeal with peanut butter, salt, & cinnamon; 3) mordantly witty, romantically violent song titles like your pretty face is going to hell (the stooges) & the world's a mess it's in my kiss (x); 4) limewire; 5) ricardo's coffee at tonight's meeting (it's ALWAYS horrible at drunk meetings, & this was a happy exception!); 6) orson welles' touch of evil, which i'm about to go watch for the 20th time or so ("the sleaziest good movie ever made" "a masterpiece of bad juju" http://www.austinchronicle.com/gbase/Calendar/Film?Film=oid%3a142768 ) ... happy mothers' day to all mamas... i hope everyone's mama is as smart & wonderful as mine & angie's is... in fact, it's funny - the older i get, the smarter my folks get.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

just a hunka-hunka-burnin' love

...our friend woody told us elvis didn't like that song. woody used to go out with elvis's ex, linda, & she told him it was so. "burning love"'s in our repertoire now, & i guess i could see why elvis didn't like it, his personality being so much part of american myth & culture now that we (well, i) can feel we (i) know the king well enough to guess his inner workings... gorgeous, hammy, gifted elvis was still shy & pious in his way, & maybe didn't like the song's boastful conceit, one that goes back to john donne, an ecstatic prayer about sexual fireworks... we just had our benefit show & the band actually matched! everyone showed up in white, black, & red... we actually looked like a cohesive unit, i thought. more importantly, we played well. i think coming in "uniformly" started things off right! people walking their cancer laps came bopping & hopping & dancing by as we hammered & slashed away. i saw lots of smiling faces, some what-the-eff looks, but overwhelmingly it was a good good thing. in the distant crowd i spied our first drummer, handsome mark, grinning away, & he's not one to blow smoke up your skirt, so i figured we sounded just fine. at the end of burning love, my mom smiled & my shy dad gave a big thumbs up, so then i sang him happy birthday & my dad, 65 tomorrow, hopped up & down with happiness. that alone would've made the whole thing for me! eric snapped pictures, the excellent soundman gave me a congratulatory hug, i got to ask downtown school parent jim scott (tv talking head) if he'd named his son after rockabilly singer jack scott (i've been wanting to ask him since i first saw the child. jim said no, but in that context, it was welcome news for him. maybe little jack'll turn out to be an american-music freak someday now!), brian p dedicated a tune to his granddaughter, who was sacked out on lisa's shoulder, i played through the tough part on roll 'em pete so that we could end the set with a resoundingly successful crash, then my brian whisked tired-looking sean to the free hamburger tent so he could get some nourishment... the coming down after the show part's always tough, so it's good this was a day-timer -- so hard to come home in the wee hours of morn with head a-buzz with music & monitors & drunks & chatter & blurry smiling faces & cheers and... and... then the house is quiet & dark & still, and what to do, what to do? so this is good. :) ... today i recommend the video "the blues vol. 7: piano blues." i got it off greencine (alternative netflicks), am only halfway through the show, but already they've shown cleo brown, dorothy donegan, art tatum (amazing!), ray charles, doctor john, marcia ball, the wonderful wonderful fats domino and .... MY FAVORITE!!!!... professor longhair. fess talks about rolling junk pianos off the new orleans streets & into the house & in that way learning to fix them... he'd take a hammer off this one, a string off that one, & make one working beast. talk about low-tech and D.I.Y.! then he played and sang "tipitina," distorting the mike as he howled, and it was a died-and-gone-to-heaven thing. :) hubby brian's in the garage with his beloved motorcycle(s) & dog, the chicago blues section of the video awaits me, tonight we have basque feast in celebration of papa's 65th, & so it's another good day in backwardsfield paradise, & i hope it is for you, as well, kind reader.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


i was digging through old band pix & found this one... we used to play these street fairs downtown, which the city insanely holds in the middle of summer, so we're melting here, brian and i, with our first drummer mark in the background... then here's heidi & lisa from when we played relay for life few yrs back... the heavens erupted & dumped great waves upon the stage as a gigantic wind came up & i was forced to duct tape my skirt down... we played through, wondering if we'd be electrocuted, & when the set ended, the grand old sun reappeared warmly & i thought, "well, of course," & we snapped this picture... more details on this saturday's benefit set are below... it's free, so hope all will come on out. :)