Last Letters From The Land Of The Midnight Hour (1)

Darling Emma,


I found my way to the Windsor depot today and what a treat to receive your letter and parcel of girl scout cookies. The cookies were delicious and to answer your questions:


1) yes I think using your dwindling inheritance to open a poorly planned restaurant is an excellent idea.


2) no, my schedule does not allow I listen to the new or any Pink Floyd album.


3) ‘candor’ and a ‘can do attitude’ rarely sync.


4) no,  I have not heard from Bass Mike

I carry on here on the hinterland, steeling myself for the ticking down disasters that weigh on my pride and ever growing crop.

I have grown real wings. Then moved to an Undersea Kingdom. 

The skills I gained back on the farm (song structure,  salt-on-the-table lyrical imagery, good hook making and melody) go starving in this town of dance remixes and (shudder) jazz.

I came to share and communicate and be one with the people. But I am cursed cause I don’t know how to get the ladies on the floor.  Cause I can’t vamp a chicken dance if you spotted me a beak and feathers. Cause I don’t know the traditionals like ‘Mustang Sally’ and ‘Whose Makin’ To Your Old Lady (While You Were Out Making Love)’.

I came to provide that soundtrack to a thousand personal victories and horrors, freeze dried in time, awaiting an audience that relates to them. Maybe even needs them, requires them. But I fill my choruses with too many words,  I fear, I ignore natural rhythms for 6 more syllables. 

While the world goes about its business and gets on the dance floor for the repetitive verses of ‘In The Midnight Hour’. Which gets played morning,  noon and night, 365, 24/7.

Repetition is Hell, someone brighter once spoke.  It certainly wasn’t Wilson Pickett.

And I soldier on, my optimism dinged up but functioning.  I have one thing I was brought here to do. Too late to go back to school.

Emma….think on me, when time allows. See me here with my hands in the dirt trying to dig….something.  Panning for gold in dead river beds. 

Yours Truly
JpK

PS: No, I don’t use Twitter.  It sounds like an endless bazaar of bullshit.

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Last Letters From The Land Of The Midnight Hour (1)

Let’s Make A Concept Record! (says Nobody)

I have a story to tell and a need to tell it. It’s large and significant. Its not a blog.
 
Its a concept record. It’s an examination of how I have lived my life and how life has had its funny way with me. Its personal, deeply. And its coming to a store near you. Assuming winter ever ends.
 
The effect of having an admission and having to wait countless weeks to even cobble together the most basic frames of it was a complete freeze. Its easy to lay back in Winter and sink into the browned out frozen precip that is in every direction you look in. I liked it to living in the film ‘Fargo’ but its much closer to being hunted in ’30 Days Of Night’. Barrow time knows no real time.
 
I love concept records. I think I was fed a steady diet of them growing up (I remember when ‘The Wall’ came out as well as all those Yes records…) which bloomed into a real voyeurs desire to have an idea whats behind the songs, the words, the feelings on display.
 
My Faves include…but not limited too:
 
Richard and Linda Thompson ‘Shoot Out The Lights’: Maybe the real predecessor of what will come from me, where a divorce becomes the third member of this particular record. Songs like ‘Its Just The Motion’ and ‘Did She Jump Or Was She Pushed’ were thumbnail sketches of a machine coming apart.
 
Vic Chesnutt ‘In The Cut’: The most effecting record Ive bought in some time. Its a suicide note. From start to finish. With ‘Flirted With You All My Life’ with referees to the traditional ‘Oh Death’ just the most obvious tell. This story…Vic’s story….in particular moves beyond the coolness of concept into a real pain. Cause anyone out there who believes they have something to offer the World…and the World is less than interested….we are Legion. We are one.
 
The Mountain Goats ‘Tallahassee’: My favorite record in sound, concept and musical dynamic. A story that was long coming, from when John Darnielle first started penning / sending tales of the mystical Alpha couple. They’re fate was writ in rough, crazy demos and in the tale telling of between song banter. Its depressing. There are no survivors. (note: ‘The Sunset Tree’ album is right close…)
 
Bob Dylan ‘Blood On The Tracks’: The Dylan divorce record. Specifically what cuts in this collection is the anger, the resignation, the highs and low of love and hope. One of the great F.U. songs sleeps in these selections, being ‘Idiot Wind’. If your not effected by the voice, the passion, the anger of the ‘blood on his saddle line’, you need stop listening to music and take up more television. This World is lost on you.
 
David Bowie ‘Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars’: I learned (stole) more from this record than all the others combined. In sound and creation and story. Ronson Forever.
 
Lou Reed & John Cale ‘Songs For Drella’: This factored in early on my alternate band set up obsession. Being not the MOST huge Velvet fan, I wouldn’t think this would appeal to me. But I find myself still singing it all the time. Plus a view of Andy Warhol from dudes who actually knew Andy Warhol. Its a strange record, a lot of space within the tracks….but something beautiful within these oddities.
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Let’s Make A Concept Record! (says Nobody)

Do The Fix/Destroy

A night of tumbling cylinders spring the psychic locks of head and heart. Certain rooms are finally opened, others walled away using the most delicate craftsmanship. Questions asked and answered. Knowledge where there was only a skid mark of sense. 

 
And the tumblers keep tumbling, the doors swing open and the windows shatter and allow years of ghosts to finally be free, be well, sayo-fucking-nara. 

 
And it allows us to finally orbit the real issue, the not available option, grayed out on the screen. 
 
Do The Fix/Destroy. 2-3-4. 
 
Do The Fix/Destroy…and kick.
 
Its a new dance craze. A new cuisine fusion-ed from inedible elements. 
 
Its a new form of literature that can’t be read or a beautiful new sun discovered that is bearing down on us, will surely kill us, growing daily. 
 
2-3-4.
 
Now….and option is a choice. And we don’t have any. That’s the magic of this new viral sensation The Fix/Destroy. It has a set standard within the linguistics of the phrasery:
 
You cant fix one thing without dismantling another. 
 
We can’t fix us without destroying them. 
 
And kick.
 
There is no choice’s within these choices 
 
2-3-4.
 
So take my hand, my friend, and twirl with me. They’re calling this one just for us.
 
And kick.
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Do The Fix/Destroy

The Mind Is A Terrible Thing.

Consider….(dramatic pause…..still…..) that every bit of magic, every grand mythology, every Alien generated space, every ghost, every Yeti, every religion (all of them) every bit of every Extra Sensory Perception, ever coincidence, every deja vu, every haunted hotel and ghost heavy ghost town, every wonder, every secret society, every spook story ever told everywhere were all just tricks of the mind. Rumors that have been retold millions upon million till the science develops around the myth of it.
 
Does this seem so impossible? Then you don’t have enough respect for your mind.
 
Consider Love. Where against all logic and odds, against the science and stats of the idea of everlasting being proven ‘unlikely’ you set yourself up hand and hand and ride into the sunset. But the sun never sets after the credits, the film never stops and the real adventure begins. Its unwatchable.
 
Consider Hate. Not the hate of an enemy, someone you know who done don’ you wrong. I’m speaking on the racism, imperialism, nationalism tip (yo’). Do you believe your team is any better, smarter, more genetically reliable than their team? Really? C’Mon, really? No. We are all the same, planet wide: good dudes and assholes.  That’s not related to the duskiness of ones skin or beard-i-ness of ones God.
 
And speaking of God…c’mon. Seriously? Are you going to Heaven? White wings and old dogs? Really? Or perhaps Hell. Eternal fire.
 
We make the magic, people. We are the magic. These brains combine and make great things.
 
Take credit for it. Give yourselves a round of applause. God Bless The Mind. (see what I did there? I’m awesome)
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The Mind Is A Terrible Thing.

The Confessional JpK 1

I make a patchwork of my present days. Reflective threads (for the dark bits) and ties that bind get stronger. I find myself thankful within this unforgiving frost. Not exactly blessed but leagues from cursed.

I take on the coming Spring with a voracious appetite and plan a feast for Kings and Commoners alike. I will not break as the ice collects around me. I will not bring down the power lines with my weight. I sweep and I evaporate into spirit and then regain composure and drink deep of the flesh, of the benefits skin and matter offer.

I’ve been hibernating / surviving. Ive been cursing the ice while simultaneously becoming the very stuff. Ive been asleep while my body has kept my appointments. Very German of my body.

But now. The everlasting now. The incomprehensible now. I’m cracking. I can move first in tremors and then in thought and then walk, sprint, run. I feel the ground start to soften into an unknown April. I’m ahead of the game. My florid brothers and sisters still sleep below but I have been below to long.

Now. I gather my armies around me. Now. I take the high ground, in geography if not always in thought.

Today’s the Day, Dave. Today.

The Confessional JpK 1

Bob Dylan: Genius or Drug Gobbler?

Dylan is a genius. Right? Yes…..well….right. Right?

The answer is ‘right’. He is. He has written lyrics now part of our nations canon. He invented not only the singer songwriter style, but most of indie too. He wrote ‘Just Like A Rolling Stone’. Right.

There are perceptions about our American truculent troubadour. He was caught being a protest singer in the 60’s and dodged the rap immediately claiming he was no generation’s spokesman. And he really wasn’t. He wasnt political, just played rallies and wrote some beautiful protest music (Hattie Carroll) but he wasnt Woody Guthrie or Phil Ochs. He was no Billy Bragg. 

I dont say these things to damn St Zimmerman. I say them to praise him.

Cause what Dylan did do was create a language, a style, painted pictures in fractured images and odd lyrical left turns. He challenged the people to follow him, while creating impossible word trails.  

He created small little dramas within a song. Each verse, syllable by syllable, strum by strum, lines catch you and knit into the next…  

Ain’t it just like the night to play tricks when you’re tryin’ to be so quiet?

We sit here stranded, though we’re all doin’ our best to deny it
And Louise holds a handful of rain, temptin’ you to defy it
Lights flicker from the opposite loft
In this room the heat pipes just cough
The country music station plays soft
But there’s nothing, really nothing to turn off…

Right? Just a perfect slice of perfect scene and color, to me bathed in dim amber noir. You get the sweet recall and the certain dread. I find myself getting lost in these words and rethink them while the record plays. Its a use of language that needs to be considered deeper. An opening of consciousness within the song. The track continues and you are elsewhere. 

And it reminds me of something. Of being high. Which has happened.

And I focus on how fun it must have been being Bob Fucking Dylan and to play with the language, knowing that whatever he put out would be considered genius, by the fact that a genius is doing it. I have no idea if Dylan smoked pot but when you look deeper at the continuing ‘Visions Of Johanna’, I consider at what point he was just having a laugh. If youve ever heard Dylan bootlegs where the room busts up laughing, he has a boisterous laugh. He was probably fun to get high with. Assuming.

 

See the primitive wallflower freeze
When the jelly-faced women all sneeze
Hear the one with the mustache say, “Jeeze
I can’t find my knees”

 

And Madonna, she still has not showed
We see this empty cage now corrode
Where her cape of the stage once had flowed
The fiddler, he now steps to the road
He writes ev’rything’s been returned which was owed
On the back of the fish truck that loads
While my conscience explodes

Lines that are consciously off meter chock full of weird words that confound.  Religion-a-cana. . Fish truck? 

I put forth this: Bob Dylan was a genius.

Who may have smoked pot.

But defintely invented an entire new alphabet for people who smoke pot to write with.

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Bob Dylan: Genius or Drug Gobbler?