this big ol' house appears to be not going anywhere, so we are. it's time to make another trek across this big ol' country to carry a big ol' load of records and other various sundries down south. i have no problem with driving the 1200 miles, i just hate flying back. we were gonna hold on until the house sold, but that ain't exactly going as planned. so we make a run, come back and probably leave for good before winter, sold or not.
did i say i hate to fly? i really hate it... i just may stay in metry this time, tell s.a. that i'll watch 'casa de wreck' until we sell this monolith... yeah, right. it's not that reno is bad, in fact it is quite nice when you're not 5 feet under snow (winter here can be a real bitch). there's lots to do and see the rest of the year tho, but it just ain't home.
i do love to drive across this country. it is so many things in the course of a few days, a lot more if ya linger to look around and soak it in. growing up in a travelin' jazz band afforded very few opportunities to linger. my dad would take advantage of off days like clark griswald, always searching out the largest frying pan in the world, the solar system's biggest ball of foil, or some side-road freak show consisting of a trailer, a thick-faced, stumpy barker and some fool buried in a clear box filled with snakes. anything within a days drive.
but god forbid if we had to pee and he was on a deadline. mom would just pass the pee jar while dad growled 'we pee when the car needs gas', and we'd just keep truckin' on down the road. but we sure saw some cool shit in the weirdest places, just don't have the time today tho... ahhhh, the good ol' days...
s.a. and i got to know each other very well while driving from new jersey to reno (via new orleans) after not seeing each other for a few decades. we had so much fun we've hit the road to the easy nearly every 6 months for the last five years. yep, a long road trip will break hardy men, make enemies out of lifetime friends, or make friends out of complete strangers.
s.a. is as fired up about getting back to metry as i am. she has a beautiful new $20.000 kitchen to do what she wants with. and i couldn't be happier for her, cuz i get a new improved, expanded wreckroom in which to carry out my sound and vision experiments free of hinderence from the outside world.
well, i still gotta make a few more cd's for the road, pack a book and my dobro and then we are outta here, happy trails ya'll!
another one of the road cd's, in mp3, that'll be around here almost til we get back to reno:
last weekend s.a. and i went to tahoe to decompress for a few days... and to see crosby, stills, nash and young. the only reason i really wanted to go was to see neil young, s.a. just wanted to go. i was blown away by how good these guys still are. of course, there were some missed high-notes and the boys look a lil worse for wear, but they sure can rock. and they still make a point...
during the course of the two-set, three hour show almost everything important that this band, and it's members, has done in the past 40 years was played. neil's new record, 'living with war' seemed to highlight the festivities with the cut 'flags of freedom' kicking it all off and the rest of the album scattered through the sets. that was quite fitting seeing as neil's scathing sonic indictment against bush and company is keeping up their fight against injustice and the 'man'. only the new stuff is dark and saddeningly nasty in it's delivery. none of the passion was lost in translation with the others joining in. it may have tempered it, made it easier on the ears with 4-part harmony, but it was a bush bashing kinda evening overall.
i knew that going in, as should of the rest of the crowd. as usual a few couldn't, got mad during 'let's impeach the president', and showered the stage with assorted debris... to show their love of king and country i suppose (what part of 'csny' spells neo-con, right-wing, stem-cell savin', war-monger bigot?). the band just played on as clips of king george's blunders flickered across the massive backdrop. so much for the 'freedom of speech' as the name of the tour.
other than that the band put on an amazing show. the bit where neil and stephen gigged on 'treetop flyer', or when graham jumped on the beat-up pianny while the other three stood along side singing 'our house' and the unreal guitar shoot-out between neil and stephen for 'de ja vu'. david was even up and about, laughing and singing like an angel. it warms my heart to know this man is america's most famous sperm donor. all in all a great time was had by the majority. enuff sed...
oh yeah, there was this bit where they left the stage and the star spangled banner by hendix played, loud. almost everyone stood and was singing along, i think that was my favorite part, next to the rest of it.
July 22, 2006 Stateline, NV: Harvey's Outdoor Amphitheatre
Set 1 1. FLAGS OF FREEDOM 2. CARRY ON 3. WOODEN SHIPS 4. LONG TIME GONE 5. MILITARY MADNESS 6. AFTER THE GARDEN 7. LIVING WITH WAR 8. RESTLESS CONSUMER 9. SHOCK AND AWE 10. WOUNDED WORLD 11. ALMOST CUT MY HAIR 12. IMMIGRATION MAN 13. FAMILIES 14. DEJA VU
Set 2 15. HELPLESSLY HOPING 16. OUR HOUSE 17. ONLY LOVE 18. GUINIVERE 19. MILKY WAY 20. TREETOP FLYER 21. ROGER AND OUT 22. SOUTHBOUND TRAIN 23. OLD MAN TROUBLE 24. CARRY ME 25. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN 26. SOUTHERN CROSS 27. FIND THE COST 28. HENDRIX 29. LET’S IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT 30. FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH 31. CHICAGO 32. OHIO 33. WHAT ARE THEIR NAMES 34. ROCKIN IN THE FREE WORLD
Encore 1 35. LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH
a few all-american songs for america in these good ol' days, by the all-american band (the beach boys don't count) in mp3 on a limited time offer:
pink floyd founder and lasting musical inspiration syd barrett has reportedly died. the man is seen as single-handedly starting the psychedelic movement in pop music with the release of floyd's 'the piper at the gates of dawn', hot on the heels of the beatles' 'sgt. pepper' at the start of the summer of love in 1967. the lp, almost solely written by barrett, is laced with songs about fairy tales and space travel. it is whimsical and menacing, light and dark, full of imagery, fantasy and sonic de-construction, and to this day remains a true cornerstone of psychedelia in pop rock culture... that, plus a few really great singles, were the only thing he really ever did, well all that, and being a beacon of inspiration for millions for the last 40 years.
syd barrett, he of the promise of the future, the leader of a new sound and movement, was one troubled individual. within less than a year of the summer of love syd was a complete wreck. probably the product of too much fame, drugs and his own demons. he became a babbling idiot during interviews and almost catatonic at gigs. syd thought of bringing in a banjo and sax players but the band nixed that and allowed syd's school-mate, dave gilmour, to take his spot. the idea was to let syd become a sort of 'brian wilson' for the band. to just write and be the creative force, while the band carried on in person. it was apparent that not even anything remotely short of psycotic intervention would make that possible, so that idea was soon abandoned...
the members of pink floyd recall: "So we were teaching Dave Gilmour the numbers," Nick Mason told Zigzag, "but Syd came in with some new material. The song went `Have You Got It Yet?' and he kept changing it so no one could learn it." "It was a real act of mad genius," added Roger Waters. "I didn't suss it out at all. I stood there for an hour while he was singing… trying to explain that he was changing it all the time so I couldn't follow it. He'd sing 'Have you got it yet?' and I'd sing `No, no!'"...
yep, a fuckin' mad genius alright...
he went on to move into his mother's basement during the summer of 1968, from which it is said he never left. he made two critically acclaimed, but commercially ignored albums in 1970 using the floyd, friends and such, but the sessions were the same mess that ended his stint with floyd and it showed in the scattered-brained songs that made it to the records. but inside of those two lp's are some real jewels of pop schizophrenia, songs that tread the line between have you got it and yeah that's it. he set the bar for every other tourtured genius for the duration of rock and roll (cobain couldn't deal, knocked himself and left others, at least syd took care of his mum).
and of course pink floyd went on to conquer the world (singing about syd), and the rest is what legends are made of...
pink floyd - 'arnold layne'
here are some mp3 samples of the wackiness and genius that was syd barrett, via yousendit for about as long as it takes to make 15 minutes of fame last a lifetime, or less:
pop chameleon elvis costello and new orleans' musical powerhouse allen toussaint recently released one hell of a collaborated effort in 'the river in reverse'. the two had worked together before (on elvis' wildly ecclectic 'spike'), so when allen fled to new york right after katrina they started working together immediately, doing shows for the hurricane victims around new york during sept last year. then, the initial idea was for elvis to cut a record of allen's tunes. things changed, they started writing together and by the end of november elvis and the imposters, allen, big easy guitarist anthony 'ab' brown, and the crescent city horns (all whom had lost everything in the flood) began recording in hollywood and new orleans. they finished the sessions in about 2 weeks.
the album is a wonderful showcase of toussaint's immense talent and costello's resolve to do right by his roots. highlighted by the urgency and helplessness fueled by the disaster, the album is a celebration of the city that care forgot and an indictment against the powers that failed that city. even the covered standards of toussaint reflect the desperate conditions that new orleans faces. the powerful 'who's gonna help a brother get further', a song written by allen long ago about all mankind, becomes a tale for all that is wrong with america today ('what happened to the liberty bell? did it really ding-dong? it must have dinged wrong... it didn't ding long')... i guess it's all the way you look at things ... the tunes written by elvis reflect his feelings about the whole ugly affair, his love for the doomed city and the music it produced. some of the songs they work on together, like 'broken promised land', are true to the sentiment felt all along the gulfcoast. 'ascension day' is a haunting re-write of professor longhair's 'tipitina' (actually similar to allen's 'tipitina and me') with elvis' lyrics and plaintive drawl summing up the aftermath like he actually had been thru it. 'international echo', an ode to growing up in england listening to the crescent city sound, rollicks along to toussaint's barrell-house pianny and funky horn swells.
the album really flows just like a river, nice and smooth, then you run into these eddys that whip you around. a wonderful, yet heartbreaking ride.
the cd we got surprised us with an extra dvd included. a fairly slick little film about the making of the record that shows the pair traveling the battered streets of new orleans and recording in hollywood and the easy. it's really great to see allen getting all this attention.quite a bargain indeed, as we got it on sale at tower for less than a good bottle of wine. this is just a very nice surprise from two of our musical heroes.
what toussaint's official bio at nyno records sez... Some of the best known hits penned by Toussaint include: Ernie K-Doe’s "Mother-in-Law;" "Fortune Teller," recorded by both Benny Spellman and The Rolling Stones; the Lee Dorsey hit "Working in the Coal Mine", also recorded by Devo and The Judds; and the Grammy-nominated "Southern Nights," recorded by Glen Campbell, which received BMI’s "The Most Performed Song of the Year" in 1977 and won the Country Music Association’s "Song of the Year." The master has produced such artists as Etta James, Albert King, Chocolate Milk, The Meters, LaBelle, Ramsey Lewis, John Mayall and Dr. John, and has been covered by and/or performed with the Pointer Sisters, Bonnie Raitt, The Judds, Robert Palmer, Otis Redding, The O’Jays, Boz Scaggs, Johnny Winter, Ringo Starr, Paul Simon, Chet Atkins, Lenny Kravitz and Elvis Costello, among others.
all that, and a lot more... and it fails to mention working with paul mccartney (which was somewhat of an epiphany back in '75 when paul and linda came to new orleans for mardi gras and record parts of 'venus and mars' at seasaint studios.)
elvis and allen perform 'who's gonna help a brother...'