Archive for May, 2009

Music in the moment

A month ago I thought I’d be in Sacramento, CA this weekend for my second trip to the Jazz Jubilee. Part of me is there dancing to the merry music of the Firecrackers as well as the other amazing artists like Allan Vache, Bria Skonberg, and John Sheridan that I encountered live for the first time out there.

Instead I’m in Asheville, which is a good thing too. I caught the tropical sounds of Kon Tiki after work at the The Wedge Brewery down on the tracks by the New French Broad river on Wednesday when the sun finally decided to shine on all the greenery and flowers from the rain. I left there with the CD With Benny in Mind so that I can listen to Allan Vache this weekend on this side of the continent.

The evening then continued with live music dancing to the Screaming J’s. I’m always amazed at how Jason Krekel & Jake Hollifield maintain a consistently rocking fun time as band members slip in and out to hit the road with other projects. It’s always surprising and always new. This week there were a couple of particularly avant garde medley transitions that proved that they are not just another rock and roll band.

Last night I was Moogified at the 75th Birthday Bash to celebrate the life of Bob Moog and raise funds for the Moogseum in Asheville. Drummer David put together a stellar line up of local musicians to record live tracks while patrons wandered through the exhibits. Molly & Jenny were like gems playing with vocals. The jam between Jay Sanders, Jonathan Scales, Andy Pond, and Mike Rhodes was sonic joy. Chris Stack was kind enough to walk me through the intricacies of the difference between the various Moogerfoogers that I would love to hook up to my clarinet and make crazy fun sound. The keyboard lounge was a treat to wander through and experiment with all the options the knobs and buttons provide. The only thing missing for me was the touch sensitive keyboard Chris developed with Moog, but apparently I’m not the only music geek who couldn’t afford to buy a crazy toy like that and the production was so limited they didn’t have one to share.

But wait, there’s more. After all that pitch bending, oscillating wonder I treated my ears & feet to the sweet sounds of acoustic gypsy jazz with the Space Heaters in the cozy little BoBo Gallery. I arrived just in time to catch a couple of my favorite leaders on the dance floor and visit with a few more players who were enjoying a night off to listen while someone else did the work. Whew!

Now it’s time to organize travel for the Poetry Alive! adventure next week and then I’ll get my down & dirty blues rock fix with Abe Reid & the Spikedrivers tonight. It may not be the musical feast I had planned, but I’m certainly not starving this weekend. Happy Memorial Day weekend to you and may you find the music that soothes your soul is brought to you live.

May 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm Leave a comment

Starting Fresh

As I peel off the layers of you
The elements are harsher
nausea swells in sunlight
rain soaks to the bone
through new skin too porous.

As I untangle the knot
the trailing ends trip my feet
the rope burns my fingers
as you grip tighter to the lifeline
that has been cutting off my breath.

I am too tired for kisses
followed by a punch in the arm,
sweet nothings whispered in private
that turn to bitter ridicule in public,
the layers of lies that provide no rest.

You say you did more for me
than anyone else in your life,
but I gave you everything.
Now there’s only love
that won’t feed your lust.

From nothing
I’m starting fresh
raw with spit fire & tears
fighting to take care of myself
for the first time in years.

May 11, 2009 at 4:06 pm 1 comment


Blair Martin's Studio

Blair Martin's Studio

Today I woke to the sound of tin roof rain downpour and the dim light of thunderous weather. Part of me wanted to hide from the wet world in my tree house and just enjoy the cozy warmth of my room looking out at the storm. I did for a bit while I sorted email & voice messages on my phone trying to coax myself out of the house. The past week has brought such a variety of new inspiration that I felt like I needed time to process it all.

I found that serendipitously the rain stopped as soon as I was ready to leave the house. Though the sun still refused to shine, I discovered the brightness and warmth of Blair Martin’s Studio in Tryon as I arrived to interview her about her work for the local paper. It made me realize just how heavy and dark my own home is on a gray day. When I returned there I tried practicing the piano and finally, feeling uninspired, returned to the house in Asheville where the tree asks “Y” in the back yard and the living room is sunshine yellow.  It’s amazing how much environment can impact mood.

I know I was never meant to live my days in a little gray box staring at a screen under fluorescent lights. I find that I cringe at the thought of even checking email these days.  I don’t want to waste away without being present for real life and real adventures. So, with that, I’ll sign off for a bit to find food, friends, and good music as refreshment before getting back to the editing task at hand.

Night Rider

Night Rider

I’ll leave you with this last little image of how even a grey night holds some unexpected sparkle for the keen observer.

May 6, 2009 at 9:05 pm Leave a comment

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