Sunday, January 28, 2007

what a weird & wacky world this is

while many places suffer dissolution, desolation, despair, here, we live by distraction: internet, hollywood, fast food, ipod, iphone, myspace, youtube, a world of fantasy & division: "my people [are] forced to live in mobile homes on reservations. Your people... wear cardigans and drink highballs. We... sell our bracelets by the road sides, and you... play golf and eat hot h'ors d'oeuvres. My people... have pain and degradation. Your people... have stick shifts" (wednesday playing a noramerican native in addams family values). ferinstance, on the butt-end of a mighty cruddy wkend in which i returned from the lone star state to miss the figurative sf bus to school, i felt bummed out, but then noticed that on my little phone i could record stuff (crudely, which is how i do it, anyhow). the doom lifted as i sat at piano with phonelet on record, bashing a serving tray with foot to keep time... it was a release!, & what a crazy, superfluous wonder, to be able to do it. i sent a few friends the results via audio msg, & awesome bloodshot bill msged back for me to send more!, so i made another one...
this helps the world not one iota except that maybe someone reading this will try the site below - you can upload phone msgs to your blog, so i did. my gosh, i felt just swell after all that nonsense. the distractions i have nowadays enable me to live in a near-constant heightened, fantastic, virtual state, by techno proxy, were i not tied to respiration, sustenance, & elimination... oh well. pounding music & the ridiculous giddiness of uploading the scratchy, terrible recordings to this blog (what a lotta work figuring THAT out) distracted me from my own pity-party for a bit, & in that, enable me to go out tomorrow & do something worth a darn. maybe... quoth pogo, "i have met the enemy and he are us." happy week to all who read this.

Gabcast! luddite in the 21st century #4 - Count the Days - Piano Red & #3 - This is It - The Blasters

recorded thru cell phone - keys, voice, foot-stomp

Friday, January 26, 2007

elvis show slide show, whisk away them texas blues

these are some unedited photos by ron jones,, from the recent elvis show in hollywood (including my protruding undershirt in shots with blasters, & all of our ddevils double chins) ... email ron at his site to see all 300+ photos (& read his fitness tips). thanks to ron for being there & to art fein for having us. go to & search Dusk Devils for a partial-sound representation of our set, as well as of others who played... wise words for the day: what does not kill us makes us stronger... and thank the good lord for that g*d*m rock&roll, which along with doggies & a few other things makes this life tolerable.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

his favorite song was "precious lord"

yesterday, my union invited me to a breakfast to celebrate dr MLK jr's birthday. the mlk center here was packed with people of many backgrounds, good hearty food, politicians playing nice with each other, & several tall, tall men in good suits who were honored. i saw a friend i'd lost touch with whose dad wrote beach boys songs - she was happy & obviously doing just fine, filming for local tv with a camera the size of a morris mini... a certain pretty young assemblywoman with flashy smile, asked to speak about dr king's legacy, talked about herself. dolores huerta commented that we're all here to celebrate, but what can each of us do in our own lives to make change? it's nice to sit here and remember, but what can you do personally? : "si, se puede." dolores huerta did not draw attention to herself gratuitously, for her message, which she carried humbly, was what was important. others, redolent of american idol contestants heady with the thought, "it's all about me," would do well to take note...
the high pt was when a small, smartly-dressed, dark brown woman with close-cropped hair came out & began to sing: from her mouth came startling, powerful, effortless, & moving song on par (i thought) with any of the best gospel singers i've heard on records... i was proud to find out she used to be a teacher at a school i used to work at, in the same overgrown, underfunded, maddeningly top-heavy district. her name is wanetta crenshaw. tellingly, there's not one word online about wanetta crenshaw if you google her, whereas there are many pages about fools such as i... again, great people don't need to grandstand; they're just great. i'd do well to pay attention, but monkey-mind & flying keyboard fingers prohibit me from exhibiting much composure a lot of the time... oh well. that doesn't mean i can't continue to look for heroes, & finding them, be inspired by people like sra huerta & mizz crenshaw.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

"just the thought of her lips sets me afire, i reminisce & i'm filled with desire..." such a night at elvis show

"such a night, oh what a night it was, it really was such a night"...(me and phil alvin - photo by jerry adonis angel)... i think my expression here might be called a "s**t-eating grin," and the makeup's definitely melted... but look who i'm standing with!! who cares??? ... we visited cody in hollywood and dined on kombucha and curry at a vegetarian spot, then it was on to art fein's 21st elvis birthday show at the henry fonda/musicbox on hollywood blvd... here's the line-up (if no comment, i was in the john or wandering): Harry Orlove (bearish, awesome house guitarist); Neil Morrow; Fleagles (friendly 60s garage rock); Truly Lover Trio (uptempo rockabilly); Billy Sheets (powerful, natural, southern-gentleman mien); Dawn Shipley (slender, lovely, girlishly winning singer); Crash Justice ("circus-big" basso-voiced rockacat in good suit); Justin Curtis (awesome honky-tonk set-let with wonderful houseband, including fantastic skip edwards, marty rifkin, dave raven); Del Casher (told charming elvis story); Dusk Devils (not many flubs, great audience reaction, huge fun playing with bassist phil!); Count Smokula (and the smokulettes: me, roobie breastnut, and charmaine - an impromptu lark!); Rod and The Tonemasters; Crown City Bombers; Fur and Steve (pretty country vocalizing); Fred Willard - (the king! he did the cape thing and all); Russell Scott (he dresses like heehaw, & what soul! sang in his light voice, didn't play); Carlos Guitarlos (awesome! i just loved his heartfelt shout singing and woolly chuck berry guitar); Lisa Finnie; Patty Booker (in the ghetto!); Lori Dewitt (this was the showstopper! i was in the can, dang it); Rip Masters (rip -appropriately named - just kills on those 88s! good god!); Candye Kane (SHE WASN'T THERE!!!!!!!!); Sheiks of Shake; Barry Holdship (art says he's a surgeon by day! this guy has the nicest stage presence, very appealing); Glen Glenn; Alan Clark; Tommy Sands (these were the historical high points of the show); Danny Blitz (fast, loud); Blasters (they get their own paragraph)... the blasters closed out the show with three tunes. "i know we are here because this is the birthday of elvis presley," proclaimed phil. "however, there are other things that are important. and sometimes you have to do what you have to do..." (or something like that) and then he lunged into "please please please"! i was standing with paul body (stoutly elegant in mariachi formal-wear) and we started jumping up and down and laughing, "that is one confident S.O.B.!!" : the whitest fellow in the room screaming and sobbing out, with entire conviction and success, a james brown classic at an elvis birthday show... it was wonderful, needless to say (but i said it :) ). next was "tiger man" (rufus thomas), which they have done the last three years, and finally, "such a night," originally done by the drifters. so like what we 1/2 did, the blasters did elvis songs not originally done by elvis... "down in the alley" was hank ballard and the midnighters - a nice fellow who declared "i'm your fan" told me originally the clovers.
such a night! exciting, fun, and, as you can see, educational. :) late-late night at denny's on the grapevine, dishing pancakes, the waitress suddenly was talking jazz pianists and live music, then we were back on the road and in a groggy blur were home, heads on pillows by 4 am. thanks again, art! i know you don't do it for me, but i get to be part, and it was wonderful, once again. :)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

deficit omne quod nasciture

rest in peace, my childhood friend, a bright, big-eyed girl who in her adult life became, i believe, defeated; and rest in peace, my favorite childhood teacher, a talented musician, a noble soul, a vietnam veteran, a drunk. marcus aurelius kept a journal of thoughts on life & death ("meditations"):
1. Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart.
2. Despise not death, but welcome it, for nature wills it like all else.
3. Everything that exists is in a manner the seed of that which will be.
4. Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. 5. Forward, as occasion offers. Never look round to see whether any shall note it... Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter, and think that even such a result is no trifle.
6. It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.
7. Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig.
8. Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature's delight.
9. Such as are your habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of your mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts.
10. The act of dying is one of the acts of life.
11. When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
12. Where a man can live, he can also live well.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

elvis show next mon 1-8-07 in hollywood

the line-up is at left - from legends to sorta-knowns to peons like us! the music'll be uniformly good to terrific, however, with performances full of heart and skill (well, in my case, mostly heart)...
and candye kane will be there! she is just beautiful, a great, expressive singer; a thoughtful writer; a talented songwriter; a human-rights activist; a warm-hearted soul ... and "has mondo cleavage," says brian p... she has something for everyone, in other words. :) read about her and buy her music here -- and (the link to her blog, also, is at right)... it will be a fun event, & we hope to do a fairly obscure song with bassist phil. welcome, phil! :) i hope to be able to watch my favorite band, the blasters, as well as other acts i've come to very much anticipate each year. thanks, art, for having us! :)