Care and Feeding for your ‘The State Enforced Renaissance’

So you decided to purchase Cursive is Code’s debut record ‘The State Enforced Renaissance.’

Good for you! I like a person who buys records. Especially mine. I’m cheap that way.

Just as a primer I have decided to put a guide together to allow you get the most out of the Cursive is Code experience.

Parental Warning

Despite the cute cat videos and general goofy mayhem, this is not a record for kids. As noted, the themes of this record are Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll. In what order depends on the song. The sounds will make your kids dance about in arrhythmic patterns…maybe a bounce or two…but do not let them look at the liner notes (does anyone remember laughter…ummm…liner notes? That is a Classic Rock Joke squared). There are a few swears that will be bore out when we get to playing out live at which point, I will swear like a Redd Foxx record. Naughty stuff, bad stuff, likely about your mom.

Fact is, the powers that be (meaning the companies I paid to post this) already put that ‘E’ on the record based on the song ‘It Could Be The Drugs,’ which was why I changed that song’s title in the first place.

Legal: Cursive is Code does not accept responsibility for your kids turning into Rock Stars.

What do I feed it?

Nothing. It is a record. 

Where is the best place to listen?

This record was designed to create high energy, rollicking, and shimmying back and forth. Dance to it. Drive to it. Cook spaghetti to it. Fall into La Dance De La Fornicato with it, hopefully with a partner. This is NOT Sunday Morning Music, except maybe ‘Our Future Is California.’

Is there a narrative?

Excellent question. No.

What is it about?

The meat of the Cursive is Code sandwich is the history of being a local light on the scene far past one’s due date. But that is not exactly what ‘The State Enforced Renaissance’ is about.

The idea is to combine this and the next record into one big extravaganza. But then I read on Hypebot that extravaganzas are not in this year. I almost did it anyway as I am an artist. No one can tell me what to do with my art, including producing a record so dense that an average listener would fall right down with the weight of my pretension.

I did not do that. Look forward to my posthumous collection where I will unleash this particular Kraken.

No. For a change of pace for me this record is about…relationships. Yeah, I know. I have one note and I know how to whistle it.

But unlike the lovely and depressing Zen record, this one is about the good and the bad parts of lovin’.

It contains a rare actual love song to my band mate (and Mate) Julie in ‘Reward Animals.’ ‘We Kick Sparks’ is also a love song, but a bit more about adult lovin’.

The Wrong Playlist’ is the anthem to being in way over your head love wise and the results.

Our Future is California’ is the attempt to say the worst things possible in the sweetest voice I have.

The Deleted History Of Us’ is a modern love song…wait…. Did I put this and ‘Wrong Playlist’ on the same record? They are both about the same thing. Fine.

The Grand Libido’ speaks for itself, obviously.

OK, You have convinced me. Where can I find this record?

I will unleash the list in a moment. But send us emails at CursiveisCode@gmail.com and you can have such claptrappery as this popping up in your mailbox as the mood hits.

To everyone who already made a little space for this record….we deeply appreciate you. To those that haven’t: Click…buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

(jk)

Amazonhttps://music.amazon.com/albums/B08BPM7Z1M?ref=dm_sh_6dcf-baac-dmcp-9599-bcc78&musicTerritory=US&marketplaceId=ATVPDKIKX0DER

YouTubehttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCucQbyUI0JVbJ_6jD0IRYUg

Apple Musichttps://music.apple.com/us/album/the-state-enforced-renaissance/1520026802?uo=4&app=apple+music

ITuneshttps://music.apple.com/us/album/the-state-enforced-renaissance/1520026802?uo=4&app=itunes

Google Playhttps://play.google.com/store/music/album/Cursive_Is_Code_The_State_Enforced_Renaissance?id=Bwu2c2gchgh6tnp27shz52sebgu

IHearthttps://www.iheart.com/artist/cursive-is-code-34308964/albums/the-state-enforced-renaissance-105220567/

BandCamphttps://cursiveiscode.bandcamp.com/album/the-state-enforced-renaissance

Spotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/album/1zGZBOd7tko4WGk0dFE5HQ

Deezer: Your album is live on Deezer

MediaNet: Your album is live on MediaNet!

Cabal Corner: Embrace The Void

A gracious and salutary ….ummm.. salutation to you, Cursive Cabal.

I hope this note finds you fat with money, free with love and a good meal awaiting you. With the Gods. Or your Dogs.


So today, as we slide from post apocalypse plagues to a newer (and yet far older) apocalypse, we are here to discuss voids.


Let’s call it March. 3 Months and change and everything went upside down. A world most of us never expected…and the ones who did expect are SUCH a drag to hang out with.


90 days. 2100 Hours.


Boom.


So what did you do with your void? Empty space fills the bowl that one held hilarity, kicks, communion … and we are on our own.


Did you gain weight? Knowledge? Has familiarity bred contempt? Catch any new shows?


I was getting busy when the quarantine hit. I lost Hogan and knew that if I did not get my head together quick…well, I had no idea what that result would be. After the ceremonies, Julie and I got down to it, building the beats, laying down tracks upon tracks, gittin’ all fancy. Guitars added, guitars subtracted, Julie building big brassy counterpoints and high infections of melody.


Because we can dream and we can build, it gives us control. We can spit frustration into a vocal, over-distort the guitar and then do it again, learn bass.


And when you’re done…. there is still the void.


My concept of how to make money making music was probably outdated before I picked up a guitar. The main thrust of it was ‘get out there!’ But that was never my …. desire. It all came back to the lifelong argument Dave and I would have.


He said that if you play everywhere, and are good, people will know you and you can build a following.


I said that you will burn out in the bars before you ever get heard and there has to be a better way. A better mousetrap.


The debate rages still, now more piquant as the venues are gone. As is D.H.


And everyone is experimenting with building better mousetraps game now.

Look beyond this day, this year, and know someday this will be regarded as a truly creative period for art.


A State Enforced Renaissance.


We reach out how we can. Social networking is just too convenient and too easy, which is why it is absolutely over-saturated with everyone everywhere.

It is also a true gut check for the times that you pour your heart into something and it gets overshadowed by a particularly cool cat pic

But Fuck. Life is hard all over. Especially these days. Let us not carry things without weight.

.

And if the Gods are kind and the cats are ugly, maybe you can be heard.

A bit.


So…what have Cursive is Code done with their Void?:

Songs: Follow the link to check out the available Cursive is Code songs on Soundcloud. This is 4 songs…and I think a few more will be added and this will be available for purchase. Like the songs if you like, love us if you like love (?):


https://soundcloud.com/jason-p-krug/sets/cursive-is-code

Dance: Cursive is Code is getting into the video biz. Wanna see a dancing cat marionette? Wanna see a number of innocuous girls revealing more than the author expected? See them here:


youtube.com/channel/UCy0lHa-Y95c88tHU7UO3jPQ

Seltzer In Pants: Wanna read about it? Go here:


jasonpkrug.com

Wanna send us dirty pictures of you celebrating the new Cursive is Code sexy sounds?:


cursiveiscode@gmail.com

Hey! Wanna Join A Cabal???

Hey You! Yes YOU! You in the glasses! (that was just for me)

Yes I have a great opportunity, big payouts, we finally take down ‘The Man’. Just you and Me and a couple hundred thousand friends. We’re gonna cabal the night away.

That’s why you don’t see this blog anywhere else. This is just for Us. Shhhhhh….. You may note from my usual method of screaming ‘PAY ATTENTION TO ME!’, this ain’t that. Sure, I will post on walls (even a bathroom walls but the number always gets wiped away…) feeds, pages… if I wasn’t so lazy I would post bills and hang flyers….but going out side is so 2019.

Nope, its just us now. So chilllll…relax…let me drop some knowledge. This is the birth of the Cursive Cabal.

So…if your reading this….you’re interested in what I have to say. And if you read any of my previous blogs, you will note I’m not exactly a deep thinker. This will continue that grand tradition. But…more honest. Cause I am among friends here.

So….Cursive is Code. This is the new band, this is my new Magnetic North, this could be the last band. Who knows, right? Cause not all the members of this band will make the record. If you read this before, you know exactly what I mean.

Here is the tale: So when Grimm kicked the bucket, I decided to follow my expected route of Singer Songwriter sensitive heartbreak route. And I brought in Grimm Cello player Julie Kay to help me. I never discussed this before, but she helped me beyond any expectation I had. It wasn’t simply the beautiful playing or the Astral Weeks style bass thing she brought (which ticked off one of my musical fantasies). She was playing hurt. She was scheduled for a surgery…and she came down to the basement and sat uncomfortably, in genuine pain…and would grin and bare it.

If I had…if I was better at being human….would I suggest she not come, not put herself through excess pain? I can say we don’t know…I can also say it made no difference at all cause she was going to come anyway. She believed in what we were doing. She believed in Me. She would work her way down the stairs to sit in my bachelor pad (which looked a lot like a 13 year old’s basement except more cheesy keyboards…I think that was captured in a video somewhere….) or take a trip out to Collinsville to work on some songs with old music mate Adam Hagymasi, who did about half of everything on that record. If it wasn’t an E Bow (That’s Hogan) or fumbly acoustic (Moi), everything else was Adam. But Julie would take these trips with us while we worked out the basic tracks.

The record turned out good. I still have some free downloads if you want one.

This was….or wasn’t…I cant be sure…when I fell in love with Julie Kay. We did not connect till about a year later. And…Wow. We grew much closer. And live happily.

Anyway….yes, this is more honest…more deep .. than I expected to go…

So, a Misery Monkey like myself, now all flush on new love… time for my next record. I mean…I live with my band! (Julie) It was a test of my theory that writers write best when mostly miserable. And I was right! Unfortunately…

I was blocked. New happiness made no songs. And I somehow wised up to the fact that forced unhappiness is just dumb, dumb, dumb. Look around now. You just never know.

So I lived happily…and even the anguish of not creating abated a bit. We formed a band based on the acoustic sound, played some shows, had some fun. I was writing new songs but I just could not get motivated to do something with them.

Meanwhile….a bit of history. Dave Hogan and I started together in our first band….and played together from project to project the entre time I knew him. Our musical tastes were different…and always had been since age 20….but we came together on a mutual love of vintage guitar rock and British Glam. So Humble Pie….Mott The Hoople…Black Sabbath….BOC…..despite the time and tides of projects and bands, the friendship was based on these fundamentals. I don’t mean that to sound tribute or light…sure we came together on a few bands and differed in so many ways…but the way we loved these bands was zealous. Religious.

And we had an often discussed plan, a goal. One more BIG rock band with me and him. He always wanted to just be a musical director in some project…and I wanted to re-use the voice I cam up singing with, less croon, more rock.

So I took this to heart and started writing again. It was not easy. It was Karma. I was always fortunate that I could write on a dime. It was my Super Power. Sure not every song was ‘It’s Alright Ma I’m Only Bleeding’ but I could attach a half formed thought with a half formed melody and shake some shit up. Not this time.

I had my concept. I wanted to write a series of songs reflecting Dave’s and my coming up through the local music ranks. Targeting specific gigs, specific experiences. The significance of this to me was that all these tales turn quaint when balanced against the entire industries apple cart getting upset by the Internet. All the old plans, the old expected results, the long time argument tween Dave and I if excessive gigging helps or hurts…. I had my concept. And dug into it.

It was rough. I will say that I had to return to rhyming dictionaries. I had to try every trick suggested on every writing site. In time…it came. It did not break out like a dam; it trickled like a stream but still filled the record.

It was not just the band concept I was working with…I also had the excitement of being happy and in love…so those songs were written right along.

So I bought an electric guitar and Julie played keyboards. Did I know Julie could play Keyboards? Not at all. Can she play? Like a MotherFucker.

Then a year in the desert looking for musicians. I had not done this…actually my only experience doing this was Grimm…. And CC and I muse that we still don’t know how we got so many people involved, taking trips out to Windsor  and making something beautiful. This time was less successful, more anguish and wholly disappointing. EXCEPT….We found Dan. Dan plays bass, as well as banjo, classical guitar….and most important, was good fun to play with.

But the record was not getting made. No drummer. I worked on it with my vintage Korg Dr Rhythm Drum Machine (favored on RUN DMC’S biggest hits) and made a few tracks’, but others were beyond my rhythmic imagination.

Enter Julie, with yet another unknown talent on display: beat maker. After we upgraded the keyboard, out of frustration more than a plan, she started coming up with beats and we started recording properly. And it worked.

With unexpected results. The songs were danceable. I never created anything danceable unless you count bouncing uncontrollably as dance. Also….after working exclusively with acoustic for years…I was really digging the Electro Sound. It sounded vintage to a scene I never listened too. This was Julie influence. She opened me up to sound and brought those sounds right home to Deep River.

So now….Hogan. Weapon X (he would appreciate the comparison). And I sent him the tracks with a note on the envelope that exclaimed ‘Our Mott The Hoople Dreams contained within’.

And I was too late. And I will never forgive myself.

But Hogan was more than a friend and a stunt guitar player. He was a Saint. I never would have conceived of that when we were kids. But going to his funeral…the pure Love of all of his friends, the real heartbreak of losing a cat before his time. This record became important. Cause these songs were written with him in mind, his style, his background vocals. Based on experiences he and I both lived through…and lived with.

We often had discussion of we were just both legitimately crazy still chasing this same dream when every conceivable outlet turned against us. We always reached the same conclusion: We were.

I miss him every day.

Anyway….so back to Julie and Me and the record. We dug in….I played more guitar, more than I ever thought I was capable of….Julie brought out the strings and horns from the Juno….and we started crafting what would be and currently is Cursive is Code. The name came from a late night conversation tween Julie and Me of how generation of kids no longer recognize, much less can write, Cursive. That made it feel like a secret language, something shared among those who know.

Like You.

We put out our first song, The Grand Libido, found here: https://soundcloud.com/jason-p-krug/the-grand-libido-cursive-is-code

If you want to get ion on the secret action, follow this blog.

If you want to join the Cabal Mailing list, send me your email at jpkrug@gmail.com

We will be sharing a new song every few weeks. When such a thing is conceivable, we will be taking this show on the road and playing your town. Or the next town over.

Be One With The Cursive Cabal. And together we can…… (add impossible dream here)

The Nu Spiritualism: Indie Music Marketing

The thought came to mind while watching the apple music commercial. Clarity. I am being marketed too as a creative artist with something to say, even in this glut of like minded folks.

Like you. And you.

And why shouldn’t I be marketed too? I spend money (or consider at least ) on books and websites to connect me to the largest audience possible to hear my songs.

And I realize that my decision making on where to put myself virtually is knitted together texts of faith and angle, something that gives a small advantage. Cause it’s the wild west out there. No one has a clue and the maze reconfigures monthly.

And it brings me to the spiritualist movement of the late 1800s all of knocking tables and ectoplasm. People went crazy for trying to reach across the veil and commune with the dead. And for every request, new technologies of bad science and melodrama were devised to refine ones access to the beyond.

I won’t be so cynical as to use the idea 9f snake oil salesmen. I do believe every new online music platform or least starts with real belief. It’s simply were cynical creatures. When some one sees a need, someone else needs profit from it.

Consider how we got here. The desire to share music among friends via Napster. In it’s design, it wasn’t created to upset the apple cart. It just did.

So pick your poison: seance or EPK? Spirit photos or the dream of going viral on YouTube? Tarot cards or download cards? Ancient texts or Twitter?

Whatever your choices, pack an extra thing in your ole’ kit bag: Belief.

Belief confounds the Improbable.

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The Zen Menu – The JK’s at Klekolo World Coffee

I’ve made much hulla and some baloo about my love and appreciation of Klekolo World Coffee (https://jasonpkrug.com/2015/03/26/when-klekolo-was-the-center-of-the-universe-2/), the home of my spiritual rebirth and purveyors of fine bean. So it seems only right that one of our rare gigs (Julie Kay and Myself, of course) is at this very place. And yes , on this very day.

And we’re bringing something special tonight. A taste of a harvest meal upcoming.

Since The Grimm Generation went on super secret hiatus, I started crafting songs about loss. Conceptual. Very real. And a record was born. Still cooking with our top scientists working on it (Hi Adam!). So what we have here is a preview of whats to come. Played live in one set. Acoustic voice and stompy foot. Cello sensuality in pluck and box. Lyric driven, image laden. We’re coming from and for the heart.

So as a delectable aperitif, the set, as it will be played tonight at 7:00 PM at Klekolo World Coffee, Court St in the grand old dame of Middletown.

For your consideration…

‘Push Play’ – ‘…whats so special about you?’
‘Twin Twisters’ – ‘…As good an epitath as any for us…’
‘Hidden Lake Smells Like Gunpowder’ – ‘There’s not enough medicine to make me feel. And EVERYTHING is medicine…’
‘Determined To Fail’ – ‘…past the cracked cross of the Evangelical warehouse’
‘Last Leaves To Fall’ – ‘… These nights, they expire. All hope. All desire…’
‘Your Body Betrays You’ – ‘… have I got your attention?’
‘Lush’ – ‘… As we wind together like vines, we bear fruit in this unbearable heat…’
‘Last Days Of Rome’ – ‘… And we squandered what we were given. It wasn’t healthy, but it was Home…’
‘Ring It Out’ – ‘I’m a bad liar. I won’t hide it. You fill me up and I get drunk with it…’
‘Believe In Me’ – ‘astral are just pricks in the dark’
‘Nu Constellations’ – ‘… aren’t we done with all the gravity of old reputations?’
‘Cut Down The Moon’ – ‘…a war was fought. No one knew….’
‘Outloud’ – ‘If you want to love me, you can love me.’
‘The Boy King’ – ‘the allure of the utter wreck, The Boy King takes another sip…’
‘Saving Grace’ – ‘…It’s intimate. But a different kind…’
‘I’ve Never Been Here Before’ – ‘I kicked some friends when they were down. I kicked up dust till I cracked the ground’
‘The End Of Mystery’ – ‘… Regards unopened, ghosts in the wire. The songs stay unwritten, nasty looks from the choir…’

And plus, paying respects to where we came from…

‘Bigger Than’ (The Grimm Generation) – ‘All my sad songs are about you now.’
‘St Joan (Of Rt 495)’ – ‘Cops are scary’

Please join us for a live viewing of the upcoming album ‘The Zen Of Losing’ as performed by Jason P. Krug (vocals, guitar) and Julie Kay (cello) at Klekolo World Coffee, Court St in Middletown, 7:00 pm sharp.

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Brush Your Death 100 Times A Day

After a brief period of death and resurrection (I should note that I neither died nor was resurrected. I do tend to be dramatic ) I have come out the other side of this mortality wormhole with knowledge. Well….not knowledge. ….let’s call them paranoia based lessons to live by. Or die by. Whatevs.

1) when we get sick, we go into Safe Mode. All higher functions miss the Start menu and you lose all ability to color your world or place your self in the frame. It’s hard to consider the Great American Novel when your your thoughts go into rogue survival mode. It’s ok.

2) freedom of choice drives everybody crazy…..to paraphrase X. And without the ability to appropriately focus on my entertainment choices, I let go and listened to satellite radio. That’s my version of giving up. And though I understand the appeal of new music discovery, I found the content was too light, too repetitive. It was good for my distracted state, but what does that say? Is the fear that if we get overly engaged we will drive into the ocean over and over?

3) life is precious. But precious things are by their nature dull. Live agressive.

4) if you survive, show off. Go public. Maybe plan a date to show off how alive you are with a dear cello playing friend. (Klekolo, August 18th @ 7:00 pm)

jason164805gph

See The Boss Pedal, Be The Boss Pedal: An Argument For Digital Effects In Normal Conversation

As a clear sign that I have been driven mad, I have permanently effected the affects of this particular medulla oblogata with my recording within Dante’s digital pit, I have come to the realization that digital effects are not just for music.

Furthermore, I need to make a miracle machine (which is tricky as the dog ate my engineering degree) that puts digital effects where they belong: conversations. This may require we all walk around with permanent earphones on to get the effect (big and fat), but what are words worth? They are worthless unless you can EQ them to a listenable form and then blast them through BIG reverbs.

Effects will be the new punctuation. They will say. When I create the machine. I will be hailed as yet another distraction (like iphones and Instagram and insulin) that is keeping us from becoming the species we should be, in our most perfect and docile form.

Dull. Dullllllll. Im So Bored with your plain, simply heard speeches. Do me a favor…ask me that in Flanger. Phase me, baby.

Consider how it can really emphasize the conversations you are already having?

Don’t you feel cheated when you are angry and yell at someone and it simply dissipates? Try that with a big hall reverb. Now THATS angry and impossible to ignore.

What about ordinary dull conversations with people in the grocery line? Slip in some Digital Delay…and slowly build it, so your words leave your mouth and are suddenly bouncing, bouncing everywhere, every direction, every corner and crevice of the subconcious till theres no option for anyone but to turn away and look at the Star or People Magazine.

Late night and early morning? Need to talk to people but your too wasted to form words? Compression. Everything you say will have more impact, even if that statement is ‘I’m sorry I dropped the ball on the Perkins account.’. Your manager can only admire your honesty, forthrightness and deep sonorous tones. And this is how you get a promotion.

Tryin to explain away a prior bad act? Speak clearly through a Heavy Metal distortion. Raise the gain. Speak slowly and stare directly into their eyes and watch as they get confused, a little sad and go away.

Need a lil pickup in the bedroom? Ladies love a good Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, brother. Get all Issac Hayes and shit and lay it down.

My point being that we short change ourselves in terms of appropriate dramatics. Sometimes it takes a bit o’ science.

The REAL point being this record is killing me.

(dictated but not read in Vibrato)

BOSS-Pedal-Wall

High Five My Ghost, Ya’all! (Clap!)

OK, Here I am. But I’m not really here. I hear a mystery ‘click clack’ of keyboards, so I know I exist somewhere. But I’m not here.

This is my state lately. I’m a ghost in this world. I keep my obligations. I show up for appointed work schedules. This week I’ve even performed before a lovely crowd of New Haven eccentrics and held my eccentric own. All of those folks saw me live in technicolor.

But I wasn’t really there. I’m always elsewhere these days. Even as I type this, my real desire is to go find a cheap, build able sound baffle.

I’m making a record. It will be out come spring…
OK, not spring…a hot summer release….
OK, maybe not.
Fall. Definitely fall.

Writing songs, capturing moments of angst or joy, in a slow hymnal or quick yip jump fashion is my calling. And good fortune gave me a voice to sell them with and a rudimentary understanding of guitar that allows the songs to get writ.

What I wasn’t provided with was the technical way of thinking that engineers use to wring out the full potential of simple songs into hushed or clattery moments of beauty. A sense of appropriate miking techniques. A subsonic sense of hearing squeaks and bumps as they happen so they don’t haunt come the mastering. I’ve decided at this point to not only learn all this stuff, but create what I believe will be a proper representation of myself in sound, lyric and style. And one I will die defending.

If its listenable. At all.

So as you see me, shake my hand, write me and get written back, know that beneath every word is a distraction. As I provide valuable customer service at my job, I’m really trying to remember the myths associated with ‘Pet Sounds’ and doing the math to see if there is anything in them I can use.

As I drive to said job, I now travel with a coffin sized bag of Cd’s basically encompassing the history of 20th century recorded music trying to note the subtleties / similarities tween Howling Wolf and The Hold Steady.

If you see me shopping and stop me, I will appear completely corporal and present, but I’m really trying to figure out what the fuck lo-fi really means? Is it a reduction of instruments used…or using the standard set up and recording it poorly? Cause one is called ‘folk’ and the other is called ‘garbage’.

Which raises the important question: what is a quality recording?

I grew up listening to the classic 70’s records, as I was force fed classic rock via the radio. This was, in my opinion, the beginning of the Big Record Fetish. Huge monster drums and rumbly bass, cutting guitar and multitudes, many, choirs of virtual angels mixed in with church bells and congas and Moogs by the mouthful.

And this casts my memory back to the days when something called ‘Behind The Music’ was on (kids, ask yer parents) and how castles and haunted mansions, scores of weirdo hanger on’s grabbed a shaker and contributed, and how the record company paid for it all.

Till the bottom fell out mainly based on some crazy culture’s feeling that music should be free. And they freed it.

Not my point….my point is what is a good recording? The BIG records….the Zeppelin’s and Electric Ladyland’s…..the wispy drug fueled progressive records…. are not what I listen too now. And I haven’t for a long while.

What I listen to is best described as stark and minimalist. My Holy Grail, The Mountain Goats. My conscience, Vic Chesnutt. Old Leonard Cohen records. Muddy Waters on Chess. Sparklehorse

What matters to me is purity, subtlety, and this is where I’m drawn. I have no issues with the quality of the recording, the click clank of tape recorders, the shouted out ‘1,2,3,4’, the misplayed chord on a single tracked guitar. It thrills me, to fall in so deep to music, and it doesn’t matter if anyone else understands it.

So then….why do I feel the need to make a BIG record which is clearly beyond my ability and interest?

Whose approval am I subconsciously seeking? Griel Marcus? Yours?

Music is practically free. But now, so is the musician. We need not fit the suit that will make us a Superstar (Johnny Bravo style). Odds were always long and have now gone astronomical. We are free to be what we wanna be, Marlo.

I sound convincing, don’t I? Yeah.

Meanwhile …. there is beauty in creating. Even alone, confused at what to do with my Send’s and BUS’s. Hopelessly lost in my effects. I add a guide vocal for cello recording Sunday (shout out to Julie Kay! Hi Julie, see you tomorrow!) and get lost in a moment, the guitar in my headphones, I sing a sad song and connect with the lyrics I barely remember writing. It all came back to me in a flash and I remembered every injury, every wound that made this record important to me.

Make the record you want to make. Don’t over complicate it. Keep it pure and simple.

And send half your tracks to a legitimate scientist to record.

And if you see me this summer (which you likely won’t. I’m making a record), forgive my distraction, my 1000 yard stare. Pretend I’m there.

But I’m not. See you come fall.free2be

Heartbreak in Three Acts (The Vineyard Trip)

1

It was me and you (then)
And The Vineyard
Week before Valentine’s Day

I waited for this since late November…though honestly, much longer than that. You were worth waiting for (then).

On the ferry from Falmouth, I held you against the icy winds
You kept me from the rocking waves.

When we were close to each other there was always heat, though seldom warmth.

When we hit the Island, we drove to all four points, giddy, giggling

We hit Tisbury, stopped by the beach….you wrapped your scarf around my eyes
When it was revealed, the blue, blue water crashed into my soul.

I loved you at that moment…though honestly, much longer than that.

And back to the room.
Come dark, we went out for supplies
And I drove to the water….moon illuminated the rolling waves, rocks, the horizon that showed the sensual curve of the earth

And I asked you to dance with me in the sand. You laughed.
But I meant it.

And we did, radio up loud, headlights shining on us, we spun and laughed and kissed….

We said things we could never live up to (well, one of us did)

We were in love (then)

2.

My screen saver watches over me.
While I rest. While I play.
My screensaver watches over me.
A slideshow, filled with the digital pictures from this trailing year, all post Collinsville.

Pictures I receive, of anything, ultimately pop up in random order and strange juxtapositions align: a picture of four drunk girls in Mexican hats doing the can-can next to a smoky picture of myself, haggard looking, lighting a cigarette with the Meriden sky behind….hot red writers and the cool blue water of the New England Coast….assorted nude pix of a hot blonde mixed with measured, precise pictures of a dilapidated tower in East Hampton…pix of Mary Lou Lord melt into my dog, Wyatt, who met a young couple and moved to the country (the dog American Dream)…

But even random things have themes, at least in my definition of random.

It’s ivory and deep blue (waters and skies), green soft cotton lingerie, sand and muted reds. It’s all her; It’s always her. Damn it. Damn it.
Knowing her for a bit, I was shocked when she told me she had a tattoo. Actually, she didn’t tell me, it was one of those online surveys that asked a million small questions to divine the larger answers…and the question was: ‘Do You Have A Tattoo?’

‘Can I see it?!?’
‘Eventually….’ And the way she said it, I believed her.

And when I did, when I slid her jeans down for the first time, her hip wore a flower, faded, of many colors, each petal a mood in her, each petal a soft place to fall or jagged rock to throw myself on. I followed her jeans down to the floor and kissed it, stared at it, tasted it, ran my fingers across…

That was the first time I saw it, but not the last. I saw it in many ways, many angles, I rested my head there some nights.

And once, in the bed with an ivory cover and steel frame, with the soft noon light falling in the skylight, I took a picture….

Blue petals, red petals (all faded)…impossible to tell what it is, without the knowledge of it.

Impossible to forget.

My Screensaver Is My God. But it’s a cruel God sometimes.

3.

I look outside today, this 28th of May, the lush greens, the blues, the air sensual to the taste, and remember 9 years ago to the day.

Nine Years.

I bought you the perfect present (at a time I could scarcely afford food, but priorities…); I plucked it from my soul: Van Morrison ‘Astral Weeks’. I sent a note flirting with the idea of whether this was a romantic gift (this was not a romance, you reminded me, you always reminded me….but the way you smiled as you said it, it was a lovely contradiction. And one that came close to breaking me).

But it was a romantic gift, even without the oversized valentine style heart attached…it was the distillation of my heart and soul in that record….it was more personal than anything else I could give.

And I gave it to you willingly, happily…because I wanted you to know me. I wanted you to know when my heart beat and skipped, when my body creaked and moaned. Where my soul took its summer residency. I wrapped it with paper and a bow (something I never do).

And met you at the picnic tables, a brief 10 minutes before the show began. It was a beautiful Yankee spring day, before the humidity started to dot our clothes, before the sun turned much green to brown. The tables were in the shade, and I got there first, looked at the scene, and posed my self appropriately.

I didn’t think you would come, which says more about me than you.

But you did, work clothes on, and beaming. You always were a dark little character. When I made you smile, I felt like I was moving mountains, drinking oceans.

And you opened it, confused, but smiled just the same. And looked me deep into my eyes…and we kissed for the first time: sweet and yielding, hot…I felt every emotion in me flame up at your touch. I felt the day collaborating with my heart, painting perfection in only the way love and good New England weather could do.

I wrapped my arms around you; I felt your body advance into mine, hungry…

That was before that terrible summer. That was before we brought in November together. That was before the weekend in Tisbury.

And now, nine years later….a note sent: ‘Happy Birthday ______, I hope it turned out like you wanted’

I don’t expect a reply. Which says more about you than me.

AR-304300320

How To Write A Love Letter To A Bastard.

There is something particularly intimate in songs b an artist and their industry. People who create music are generally passionate about it, and the evidence of this passion is bearing constant small and large rejections, taking mega doses of Optimism X and smiling as everybody dances around you to terrible music.

I would say its almost romantic the relation tween musician and Industry, but it’s closer to God like worship and Devil fueled fears. It’s like being in love with the most popular, coldest, cruelest bastard that ever sprouted legs and walked. You are always left wanting, every day you are Last Years Model.
And we’re all dating the same chick. And one day you are in her favor. And the next day she denies your name.
So to find people kicking against the pricks in song is tradition, even if ‘song’ is the particular prick.
And of course, I love this type of song deeply. Even if you believe a singer comes off as less authentic while singing about love, when singing a bitter tribute to a record label who screwed them.
This is a big subject, worthy of a book…..but I got work in a few, so a random well loved sampling:

Pavement ‘Cut Your Hair’ – a timely guide to getting played on 120 Minutes in the early 90’s. But as relevant today as ever. And if this entire blog can be summed up in to two syllables, it is Malkmus’s sneering of the word ‘career’. He makes it sound like a joke. Which…it is, innit?

Van Morrison ‘Showbusiness’ – As far as I know, not released on anything except ‘The Philosophers Stone’ compilation, but a long, nasty, genius meditation of The Music Business cut with the perfect tone of Irish cynicism.

The Kinks ‘Rock and Roll Fantasy’ – From the Grand Statesman Hisself. This song gives me pause every time I hear it. Not simply cause its beautiful. And full of hope. But the core belief (so core its the actual title) that to dream this dream is to predict this will end poorly. Even if your the fucking Kinks.

Mott The Hoople ‘The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople’ – Mott The Hoople was on the skids when Bowie offered them ‘All The Young Dudes’. And that changed their fate considerably. After touring incessant, then a big Pop hit and endless touring, dressed like 20 year olds, being 40 year olds, feeling 100 years old. In this, lyrically the pulling apart (and simultaneously recreating) The Mott legend member by member, the real point is Ian’s voice, which sounds as weary as weary gets. It doesn’t make having a big hit record sound like that much fun.

The Replacements ‘Left Of The Dial’ – A fine slice of 1985 birth of Alternative history, but slung with enough real rock and roll and subtle lyrical imagery (Paul speaks like a Dead End Kid and it comes off like a modern James Joyce) and unhinged enthusiasm that clearly proclaims ‘We Mean It. Maaaaaaaaaaan.’

Bob Dylan ‘Positively Fourth Street’ – Which gets special notice due to the opportunity that Dylan uses the Music Industry to attack his fans. On the AM radio, even. After Dylan went electric and created an entire new form of this Rock and Roll, his folky fans turned on him. And being Dylan, it wouldn’t do to let that stand. Its viscous and totally on point.
I missed many here. I count on you, dear reader, to write my wrongs and share good F.U. songs to The Music Business.

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