Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Sally Gardens


I am a lead guitar and electric mandocello player. I don't play rythym guitar much at all in my band, but I've been playing music with my nimble fingered buddy Bess, who knows her way around a violin fingerboard pretty damn well.
I get to play simple farmer chord rythym tunes with her, and I'm finding I like the semi-mindless repeating of chord patterns, it's a nice change from having to listen for places to play lead all the time in the Getaway Drivers.
Here's a little uptempo take on an old folk song. I love Bess's double stop fiddle playing.
She rocks.
The original has lyrics writtten by W.B. Yeats, a guy who would have been a kick ass rapper were he alive today, who also wrote The Second Coming, one of my favorite poems.
But we are doing the song as an instrumental. Click on the link above if you want to hear an MP3 of it.

William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Phone Booth, 1989 or 1990

West Virginia, sometime around 1990. New Years Eve, I think.
We were traveling from DC back to the wholesome and bland center of Wisconsin. The roads were a sheet of ice and rain.
Her Aunt had given her a fur coat, and she was midly mortified. Back in those days she was leaning into a hippie chick granola style, trying to be a vegetarian but not liking vegetables.
She was young, had a four hundred volt smile and I was madly in love. And a decade older, and rather obtuse about what the future held.
We pulled over at the phone booth, amazed that here, in a field miles and miles from nowhere, this relic of the 1960's still stood, and still worked. I took a few photos and we cruised on through the grey icy day, headed home.
She's gone from my life now, with twins and a long time girlfriend and a doctorate on the way. Now I make the granola, and I'm old enough to be somebody's hippie grandmother. Life's funny that way.
But I still miss that high voltage smile, and her friendship, even though we've both moved on. Like most things, it looks better in the rearview mirror. I saw her last summer for the first time in ten years. It made me realize how lucky I am to have the sweetie I do now.

Monday, October 16, 2006

How I spent the day after my fall vacation

The world starts to wrench sideways, like a boat being torn off rotten rope moorings. The steady hiss of the nitrous oxide and oxygen mix blend with the sounds of Joe Walsh singing "life's been good to me so far", an ironic tune to have running through your head when the novacaine needle slips right into a nerve, making you seem to hover instantly about 8 inches off the chair with a shock that would no doubt be like the one you send into a dead frog in science class. The man in the white coat stops for a moment, waiting for you to thud back down into the chair like a hog that's been hit with a sledge hammer, then reaches over and drills off most of a tooth you've been carrying around since Eisenhauer was president, all the time mumbling things you can barely hear over the stereo roaring and the odd disconnect from the gas. An hour and a half slide by in that chair, seeming like a slow motion accident, the sucking noises mixing with the grinding, the odd smell of glues and burnt enamel, the gritty spatter of old fillings bouncing off your teeth, finding their way over to the side of your face that doesn't feel like a frozen chicken breast, making you squirm. On the ride home, you realize that this constant removal of tooth material and money from your dwindling stash of cash can't keep up, mostly because you're running out of teeth to suck down money and offer these days of discomfort. And you pray that today's new temp crown stays on till the middle of January, when the new insurance kicks in, and that the tooth you're dropping a thousand bucks on won't decide it needs to finance the root canal dentist's new plasma TV. At least it's gray and raining. I hate walking out of the dentist office numb, drained and filled at the same time. I think I'll be a slacker the rest of the day.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Roadside Attraction, 1940 something

My mother, riding a dinosaur.
She's my rockstar mom. Great cook, world traveler, giver of unconditional love and adopted by hundreds of people with lesser quality mothers. I think this shot was from around 1947

What I drew at the Coffeeshop after four shots of espresso

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Roadside Attractions, 1980

Somewhere in New Mexico or Arizona, 1980.
The car died three days later. We traded it for forty bucks and a ride to the Greyhound Bus Depot. In fucking Gallup. Never did like that VW Squareback.

"Sometimes a scream is better than a thesis." Ralph Waldo Emerson