Song Poems

A friend just tuned me into Song Poems. I’d like to have a poem set to music and sung for me someday. There’s a documentary called Off The Charts: The Song-Poem Story that I must find and watch.  Here’s a song poem by the “mozart” of song poems for your Friday…

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Atomic Bomb! The Music of William Onyeabor

I had the pleasure of seeing David Byrne and many other well-noted musicians perform the music of the elusive Nigerian synth-funk William Onyeabor at the Warfield. I felt the music. Who is William Onyeabor you say? A Fantastic Man…

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Jim Jarmusch – Only Lovers Left Alive

A vampire film of substance and swagger infused with elements of past Jarmusch genius. I like his take on being a vampire in the 21st century.

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Woody Guthrie- Mermaid Ave. Reissues

One of my musical heros is dust bowl traveler, folk song father, Woody Guthrie. When he died at the young age of 55, he left behind him lyrics to songs that were never recorded, most of which he had written while living on Mermaid Avenue on Coney Island. When they were discovered years later by his daughter, fortunately she wanted to share with the world. Billy Bragg and Wilco gladly accepted of task of putting the lyrics to music and recorded Mermaid Avenue. They were released on vinyl in the 90’s but due to the height of the compact disc, they have been very hard (and $$$) to find until now. Nonesuch Records reissued these special recordings in 3 vinyl volumes. I was lucky enough to see many of the songs performed live by Jeff Tweedy at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival free of charge. It was a magical day in Golden Gate Park. One of my favorite songs lyrically and performed by Jeff Tweedy is Do You Remember the Mountain Bed. He was a special one, indeed.

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Dominant Legs On Repeat

After a quick stint to Los Angeles to go to the L.A. Art Book Fair and see a dear friend, I can’t stop listening to this…

Somehow it reflects my weekend emotions music wise completely.

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The Ghost of Gram Parsons

I couldn’t help but feel the ghost of Gram Parsons while in Joshua Tree and listening to country rock at Pappy & Harriets. There is a make shift memorial where his body was left at Cap Rock in Joshua Tree. We ventured out to find it but there was nothing there expect a light scribble of his name on a rock. I brought imaginary flowers, and played his songs in my head. When returning home, I listened to my many Gram records and then watched Fallen Angel: Gram Parsons, the documentary about his life and tragic death. I couldn’t help but wonder where his music would have taken him if he was still alive today but took refuge in his songs of yesterday.

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Gram and Keith
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The Flying Burrito Brothers Gilded Palace of Sin cover shoot.

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Pioneertown

Many of my favorite musicians have rolled through Pioneertown to play at the infamous Pappy & Harriets. The Pioneertown Motel (right behind it) was a great place to lay our heads after a day in Joshua Tree and a night listening to local musicians at P&H. The old western downtown, complete with a livery, is just a short walk back to the wild west.

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Joshua Tree Adventure

Somehow, I had never experienced the magic of Joshua Tree until now. Each high-desert Yucca Palm has their own alien-like persona, giving passersby the feeling of intergalactic space travel. This feeling is compounded at night with stars cluttering the open sky. I now understand the fascination amongst artists and musicians alike. I must someday return.

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Listening to: Songs From Woody Allen Films

I stumbled upon this mix of Woody Allen film soundtracks while packing up a crate of records from our record sale. I’ve always appreciated his love of old-timey music like ragtime jazz. It makes me feel like I’m strolling through central park or sitting on a lower Manhattan bench marveling at the Brooklyn bridge in the moonlight. Must find some of these tunes on record!

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I Need You Bad- SF Garage Rock Compilation

I Need You Bad – a compilation of the Bay Area and beyond garage rock scene comes out tomorrow on Polyvinyl. It features some of my favorite local bands playing sweet tunes and is curated by the one and only Sonny Smith (of Sonny and the Sunsets). Can’t wait to see it performed live at the Chapel! You can listen to the album in it’s entirety here.

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Album art by Shannon and The Clams!

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