Saturday, August 30, 2008

yes, this is quite premature...

...but manuel called & really liked the cover i made. so here it is. :) the other guys are john palmer of mac curtis, ronnie dawson, lisa finnie, cadillac angels & more fame, & leo valenzuela (i'm sorry, leo, i can't remember your western swing band's name). like john, leo plays in many bands. but both are very lucky to play with manuel, i think. :) and i shore am, too. :)
this record will not be available til fall. but it will be a fun one, i gear-ron-tee. enough dialect from me. happy eve!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

i'm depraved on account of i'm deprived

just sleep-deprived, that is (name the song & win a prize)... to balance my hypoxic "depravity," here's a nice graphic mark made. i kind of get a kick out of it! mark made this unsolicitedly, which is esp nice bc in the old band, i used to have an ongoing fight w/one fellow about this "jenny angel and the..." thing. not that i so much want to be in charge, but it does make it easier. and in 08, w/the rest of the band wanting me to be in charge, we've accomplished a lot i'm happy about!! i know they all are happy, too: there is enough spotlight to go around. it feels right for now, so i'm grateful for each day of it, & for them. :)
i'm just a-riffin' here, since ah'm so tahrd, as a countryboy beau used to say it... made a graphic last wk for manuel's xmas LP, too, but am not posting that here til he gives it or some spin on it the green light... we're gonna practice again next wkend. this wkend, i'm sleeping for THREE DAYS (excepting dd practice & family fiesta, that is)!! :) the HUGE dog & pony show's going on all wkend at safari sam's, set up by dave alvin to benefit musicians' medical coverage, specifically here for candye, drac, & chris gaffney's family. everyone from the knitters to the blasters will play. yes, it'll be rockabilly- roots royalty sat-mon, & for quite a good cause! (tho one that wouldn't be necessary, were the u.s. health system humane.) i've emailed/ talked w/about 10 folks who are going or've mentioned it; it's gonna be so great, what fun, wow! ...but i just can't go. but here's a link to all, so please go for me & tell me about it: ...
the lost rocker al hendrix won't be here after all next wkend, since his wife laraine's recovering from recent surgery. but you can listen to him here: - he's the dusk devils' musical grandpa, the 1st full-on rocknroller from bakersfield!!!! al will have a new cd out soon - he's sending bb & i a copy this wk. :)
a bunch of the dd's ep songs are live on myspace at /b2studio & /markallenpowell as well as /theduskdevils - & the funniest compliment i got was from st rebekka, the beautiful brainy gal i remember from jr high nerd classes (she wasn't a nerd, tho): "i love your growly munchkin voice." :) soon enough the cd will go live on itunes & a bunch of other places, thx to llewop kram. he da best!!! ... every day i drag home from work feeling like my feet are gonna explode: exhausted. i imagine it's just getting- back- to- work fatigue, plus bakingfield 103+ heat. yesterday i musta had 6 cups of joe, trying to get to respiratin'. rick & i caught skip heller's set at narducci's in the eve. it was fun to hang w/rick, tho i couldn't get my peepers opened all the way. skip injected this show w/moments of dry humor. he'd looked over at us, then play something like googoo muck, or mix recognizable melodies into other songs (tho not smarmily, which is something that bothers me at some rockabilly shows. even when being funny, sincerity is key, in my libro). there were some lovely moments, too, in the way skip, drummer dale, & elegant upright bassist paul would lock in. wish phil had been there to watch the lightning fingers, but he's been working long long hrs, too - outside!!! in broiling kern co, that's a brutal mission... after the show, i had to beat it quickly bc of being so tired, but of course, once home, the caffeine hit & i was vibrating off the bed all night long. so i say buzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, rock tonight, & i say buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, rock it right... well, gotta go to the salt mines now. happy weekend to all who read this. :) :) :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

dusk devils downloads available for a short spell

we had a really fun rehearsal tonight (learned THREE songs i've written recently!! & the guys make the songs sound great!!), after b & i spent day visiting cody in smellay (carney's, petersen museum RV exhibit). we dusk devils've got some fun shows coming up, listed above & at bottom of this post. woo-hoo! to all who read this. :) sorta strapped for time lately (to put it mildly), i'm pasting below my blurb from myspace. hope you'll copy/paste & listen to the songs, & that you'll like them!!
-> sharon marie at B2 studios here in bakersfield just put up a song from the EP we recently recorded. it will be available for one week (til next saturday), & here it is (look for "tearin' my hair out' the dusk devils " on the player):
-> our bass player mark also has some songs on his player. go to & look for songs by the dusk devils (mark plays in about 28 bands)... :)
-> if you like the songs, please spread the word. we hope to get everything straightened out & have CDs available w/in the month. we thank you for your kind comments & support, & thank you a bunch. :)
jenny, phil, mark, rick, the dusk devils,
upcoming music shows:
sept 27 - b.rider's, 9pm-1am, bakersfield, come down & sit in, have a drink, etc
oct 7 - ronnie mack's barn dance, 8:30, el cid, hollywood, ca
oct 18 - opening for the one & only candye kane, tio leo's, 9 pm, san diego, ca
oct 31 - halloween extravaganza, narducci's, 9 pm, bakersfield, ca

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

i don't care about history, cause that's not where i wanna be, i just wanna get some kicks, ...

i love that song. i love rocknroll. i love teaching. they seem exclusive sometimes. yes, at times it's hard to be "the man" - that is, the teacher. two days in, & yesterday was quite a looloo. no class list. no classroom key. so of course the class was wild. two of my three classes are intensive (lowest level). the poor dears don't read. some can't, some can't or won't concentrate long enough to try. one group's so loud & "easily distracted" (as is said in eddication), it's lion-taming right now. herding cats, some say. i'm hustling from one room to another to sub for the librarian (job i'm applying for) while trying to on-the-spur mentor the sub who has my class. not sure what materials i can/can't use in the other classroom that is not mine. have to copy 110 5-page tests (pared down from 12). the copier is out of paper. someone wants to talk. why would i say no? the person is nice. a parent wants to talk. we want to talk to parents. always.
all of this is time-consuming. the campus is big. my feet hurt. wah wah wah. teacher comes in & says the kids saw someone messing w/my car... a few hours ago. i go out & see that thieves have removed my catalytic converter. over $1000 to replace. i want to use four-letter words, but i'm a teacher. thank god i'm a teacher.
my folks drive me home. b & dad go get the car, which now sounds like a rocket (a beat-up one). call the insurance. call the repair place. take the thing over. borrow another car for tomorrow. thank goodness for family & support. thank goodness for nice & supportive boss. file police report. go talk to the campus supervisor. two other teachers say they saw someone under my car. i want to sock them both.
many people would be completely ruined by this, dad reminds me. they wouldn't have insurance, be able to afford the repair, get to work, get the kids to daycare. ruined. this would be it for them. no one was hurt, mom says; it's just stuff. who cares in the long run? redistribution of wealth, dad says. this is the price of poverty. people are desperate. the economy is in shambles. it's just a car. things will get better.
they are right. if i have to get hit, & we all have to get hit here & there, i guess i was lucky this time.
the kids are cute. most of them are well-behaved. two-thirds want to learn. :) this, too, shall pass. :) i am fortunate.
tho the lyrics to "rock & roll high school" are more realistic of students' attitudes, i prefer right now the following more optimistic ones. probably because i'm the teacher. :) this song also has the most rockin' & thrilling concluding guitar/piano surge. wow.
i wish i could know that all my students, all kids, have a fun & safe place to go after school, be it home or soda fountain, but i know it's not the case...
more important, then, that we are there for them. bless you, my fellow teachers. bless you, students. and your parents, too. we are in this together.
Hail Hail Rock & Roll
Up in the mornin and out to school / The teacher is teachin the golden rule / American history and practical math / You studyin hard and hopin to pass / Workin your fingers right down to the bone
And the guy behind you wont leave you alone
Ring, ring goes the bell / The cook in the lunch room's ready to sell / Youre lucky if you can find a seat / Youre fortunate if you have time to eat / Back in the classroom, open your books / Even the teacher dont know how mean she looks
Soon as three oclock rolls around / You finally lay your burden down / Close up your books, get out of your seat / Down the halls and into the street / Up to the corner and round the bend / Right to the juke joint, you go in
Drop the coin right into the slot / Youve gotta hear somethin thats really hot / With the one you love, youre makin romance / All day long you been wantin to dance, / Feeling the music from head to toe / Round and round and round we go
Hail, hail rock and roll / Deliver me from the days of old / Long live rock and roll / The beat of the drums, loud and bold / Rock, rock, rock and roll / The feelin is there, body and soul.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

big manny & the corn man; crazy clancy rocks the house; dusk devils por vida :)

-> we were in manuel's front room in, practicing a christmas rocknroll tune, when he stopped mid-song & cocked his head, like a kid who's heard the ice cream truck. from behind the screen (not green) door, i heard a clown-horn honking & a shout: "elote! elote!" so i ran out & stopped the corn man, his cart loaded w/all kinds of goodies. we all feasted on gigantic corns on the cob dripping w/butter, salt, & chile. "watch out, jenny," manuel joked. "if you hang out with us, you WILL gain some weight." we also had apricots, fresh limeade, & his wife terri's delicious, fried, smashed meat-bean-papas tacos w/fresh pico de gallo & more... manuel is a lovely & loving man w/melodic talent & heart to match his king-sized frame. i'm doing what i can to help him w/his wish to tour texas these holidays w/"the big manny christmas band." :)
-> brian & i just helped along the "fatten jenny up" path by hogging out at the newest chain bbq joint, which was a surprisingly fun experience! very charming plump server w/beautiful espresso skin & flashing white smile; more-than-decent music; so so much sauce; that lovely drunken feeling that comes as blood rushes from the brain to aid the glutted gut... i'm gonna lay off on the big meals for a while now, tho - i know it's better if i pig out on music than on food, & also that i can go overboard on most anything pleasureable, if i'm not watchful. (not to mention that if i do these things too much, guilt kicks in & ruins everything...)
-> "just kill me!!! just kill me now!!!!!" lovely lunatic speaker, friend clancy, exhalted to the heavens last night about a particularly wonderful moment he'd experienced... i could say the same. the love was palpable, the joy everyplace, the excitement, well, wow! there were about 200 people stuffed into the club & we all sweated together like stuck pigs (a terrible but convenient simile), smiling dripping happy dancing pigs... yes, dancing!! clancy's a swing dancer, so from the podium he many times enthused, "let's have a dance!! jen & the dusk devils're playin' after this!! let's have some fun!!" so when he was done & i thought the place would clear out, everyone stayed, & more came in, & we started up, boom! & folks started dancing!! the kindly snakecharmer vibe slithered up my spine: quiet song, everyone danced small; big fast song, bodies flew all over the room! i loved seeing the surprise & happiness in my many friends' eyes, the ones who didn't have a clue i "do this"... :) the fellows rocked everyone's socks off, & phil & mark BOTH debuted their songs. it was great to hand the show over to each of them, & the generous & enthusiastic applause that they each got. early on, someone flipped all the lights off in the middle of a song, & i thought, well, i can't see what i'm doing, but cool; it's kinda like a high school dance! so i said this, adding, "except i never went to one," and everyone laughed. :) having the lights out swelled my heart up w/this huge feeling that performer & audience were one, that it was truly a "we" thing, & i've never had that feeling so fully while performing; it was certainly a spirited & spiritual deal. :)
-> i announced our cd, & our hopes to send it to austin for sxsw, & everyone cheered. :) at one pt, i was having so much fun singing hard, something in my throat went sideways & suddenly i sounded like eartha kitt! or maybe etta james! or maybe a munchkinlander on a bender! it hurt a bit, but i went with it cause it sounded cool! but then we had to stop early when i felt my voice totally blowing out. "i sound like madam," i croaked, thinking of the drag-queen puppet, & then announced the last song. people sitting down jumped up to dance, too, & there were my folks' & brian's beaming faces in the crowd as they all hopped up & down in a genial snoopy kind of dance... afterwards, people came up wanting the cd, & their insistence flattered & surprised me. :) a beautiful newcomer gave such a sincere compliment, about happiness & really being able to smile for the 1st time, that my tender-hearted bud jani burst into tears. i was so very touched, too, but was too beat to blubber. it all let me know, tho, that my instinct to do the show was right: it really was a "we" deal thru & thru, & my many fellowship friends, as well as others who came out to see us, had a great time.
-> a little more bragging (cause if i don't write it down, i'll forget it immediately): "i haven't seen that much dancing at one of our events in years!" jani said. "total success," mark m smiled. :)
-> it was even fun breaking down, joking around, w/everyone so sweaty, it was comical. i'm so pleased & fortunate to play with phil, mark, & rick. the dusk devils are what i've hoped for. :) now we just need a few saxamaphones & we'll be really styling, tho not as styling as "the phil" was last night in his cowboy-rockabilly dude garb. :)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Home is the sailor from the sea, The hunter from the hill.

here's a collage of the motorcycle vacation. we've taken this trip & others like it so many times, we no longer take pix of stuff like the grand canyon, grand tetons, utah's national parks, indian country, etc. the picture never captures the experience, anyhow. these are what remain.
tomorrow i get to mix our little LP with sharon marie. whoopee! i'm so excited! then monday i get to go practice christmas songs with manuel. again, whoopee! so excited! then friday night's our little alano club show for friends. whoopee! so excited! (hey, marcus aurelius, may i get the flyer from you? thank you so mucho.) :)
this wk, too, it's back to work, & tho i cry, in my heart, i know back to teaching i must go. i love thrills; get to do way more fun things than many; & tend to float away like a delirious helium balloon -- therefore even more crucially do i need to have my feet firmly replanted on the ground each fall when school begins & i resume the important role of educator. it's quite a responsibility & privilege. for although i fervently lament & dislike the legislation that's turned our schools into impoverished, embattled-yet-neglected test-prep factories, i still love the kiddies. :) (a.e. housman poems:

Friday, August 01, 2008

thee good ghosts of cedar edge & estrogen-huffing mosquitos must die

i'm sitting here on a rock & boy, the dang bugs really like me (i read, to my chagrin & cynical satisfaction, that they love estrogen) & boy, is my can getting sore, outside the library here near the grand mesa in colorado & it's dusk (like dussssssk devils, yes). friends from the clean & sober run are walking/riding by, eyeing me quizzically, but all smiling because clean/sober people who work a program are generally happy & grateful types, rescued from a common despair by a common solution, & i had to post this because it is simply amazing to not just be here (there go two more motorcycles, two more guys from the run smiling a little funny, oh, there's that girl who wears all that makeup & look she's sitting there on that rock & is she on the internet??)... ok, to be online like this is pretty amazing, but to be HERE for the 11th time is more amazing. there are good ghosts here: san jose jack, mike day's dad, redneck, stacy's dad, & stacy herself. it's "sacred ground," woody said, right before he whipped out a "instant redneck" doll that you add water to & watch blow up to "life size" (before we left to eat, he whispered into the water cup, "ok, redneck, we're going to eat, you gonna go? no? you wanna stay here?" because sacred & silly go together like peas & mashed potatoes, to woody)... two summers ago we put some of dear dear stacy's ashes on the cactus where the others' ashes are. at that time, the cactus was doing terrible, but this yr when we came back, it was blooming heartily, flowering pinkly even, & i thought, of course it is, cause that's how stacy was. she lost her way & had to leave this earthly place in such a tragic manner, but back at the serenity run, where she & we all have had such amazing times, she has blossomed again & we all can remember her smile & spirit, warm & wide & wild as texas, beautiful stacy forever stamped in our memories & hearts...
well, my butt's sore, so i'd better go walk back & meet the others.
on the music front, i still have no cell phone (left it in a coffee house in twin falls, id) so have no idea about big manny band practice upcoming, but getting online here, i got a good tip on the LA derby girls from my stepson (thank you, cody!!) & see that skip heller, "very pro-bakersfield these days" (he doesn't know bakersfield yet, i half-jokingly say), is back at narducci's on aug 7, & if the heavens line up & the great pumpkin wills it, i'll be home to see him play, home to my family, piano, & doggie dears.
well, i typed long enough that b has just pulled up to ride us back to the no-tell motel, where friends are, & now he's joking mordantly to friends riding by about being an "email widower," so better vaminos for now.
...being here at the international serenity run has remedied my homesickness for the most part. so many familiar faces, all converging in this beautiful spot to celebrate living w/o drugs & booze, just still LIVING: so many people i'm happy to see & who say the same to me.
as i heard today, better to be seen than to be viewed. amen, brothers & sisters. ah-men.