Still here

Rebirth turning to the toddler stage – we are through crawling in the new life – now taking some steps and walking.

I guess it feels good – sort of like Madonna reinventing herself – minus all the hype and gay dancers – minus the .0035% body fat and divorce and weird kid names.

New jobs – new life – new friends – new ambitions [more accurately]  ambitions for the first time in my life. I like my work and want to get better at it.

I like playing music and painting and want to get better.

I don’t see the long term future – working hard to get to my own studio space – have that space sustain itself —- keep growing and evolving.

Good life is possible – dreams do allow you to grasp them – you just have to reach.

 

 

 

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Good bye Florence

aahudson-florence

I was up on the Hudson river  on a perfect early fall afternoon … the remnants of Florence reflected in the water. She played very nice up here – I know she didn’t play so nice in the Carolinas. Storms come and storms pass.

Joan – once more

aaaaaajoan

Summer in Saratoga at Café Lena for round 2 with Joan Osborne

I fell out of love and into reality with this goddess of soulful sweet elocution. The words become charged messages of hope, despair, love and loss — pain and joy –……  you know —– life

 

More specifically:

Adult  ….  grown up life.

No young person angst — this is vintage, weathered acceptance of what is and what was.

I’m not calling anyone old here —– I know the track of years – I know the shared fight of quiet despair as we plunge through to new layers of time.

Inevitable

not calling it good, bad or indifferent — got plenty of all three.

And that’s what I got with another dose of Dylan Music.

 

One song destroyed me (again)


Tryin’ to Get to Heaven

 

The air is getting hotter
There’s a rumbling in the skies
I’ve been wading through the high muddy water
With the heat rising in my eyes
Every day your memory grows dimmer
It doesn’t haunt me like it did before
I’ve been walking through the middle of nowhere
Trying to get to heaven before they close the door

 

When I was in Missouri
They would not let me be
I had to leave there in a hurry
I only saw what they let me see
You broke a heart that loved you
Now you can seal up the book and not write anymore
I’ve been walking that lonesome valley
Trying to get to heaven before they close the door

 

People on the platforms
Waiting for the trains
I can hear their hearts a-beatin’
Like pendulums swinging on chains
When you think that you lost everything
You find out you can always lose a little more
I’m just going down the road feeling bad
Trying to get to heaven before they close the door

 

I’m going down the river
Down to New Orleans
They tell me everything is gonna be all right
But I don’t know what “all right” even means
I was riding in a buggy with Miss Mary-Jane
Miss Mary-Jane got a house in Baltimore
I been all around the world, boys
Now I’m trying to get to heaven before they close the door

 

Gonna sleep down in the parlor
And relive my dreams
I’ll close my eyes and I wonder
If everything is as hollow as it seems
Some trains don’t pull no gamblers
No midnight ramblers, like they did before
I been to Sugar Town, I shook the sugar down
Now I’m trying to get to heaven before they close the door

 

Bob Dylan


She came out between shows to sell merchandise – I know its part of the job — but still – an honor to share a few words and have her sign my record. This song probably not written about grief; and the resulting complete annihilation of the soul. — but this night it was — but also healing in a way —- yeah  –

Music is like that.

Again, cheers from the cave!

 

 

 

 

Joan Osborne: A review of sorts

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Like the daughter in “Taken” – I was pulled from comfort and confusion and placed in a shipping crate on my way to China (Sorry, didn’t exactly watch the movie, I’m guessing).

A night of Joan Osborne singing Bob Dylan songs.

She had me from the first G cord in “Spanish Harlem Incident” – She was singing for me — and maybe a few others at Troy Savings Bank Music Hall.

But mostly me.

Acoustic guitar – words of lavender and steel —– very intimate – it pulls you in – takes you away.

I was taken.

“Surround me so I can tell if I’m really real”    It resonated – with power — the glory of being.

It’s just music — ok — if that’s all it is —- sometimes music is the background and sometimes the universe itself.

This was the second kind –  spellbound –  transfixed and transmitted — I was gone.

 

 

A little back story: My old music friend texted me to see if I like Joan Osborne –  “she’s ok” I texted back [that opinion is vastly upgraded!]  – I only knew the “one of us” song – which I like — I always feel like a stranger on the bus.

He had an extra ticket because his wife had a dog show/agility thing. So here I am, in the front row, — all awestruck and stuff – Thinking:  how did I miss this artist? – how come my knowledge of Dylan music is so weak? – this is amazing.

 

I didn’t want to wait in line to get a record signed — I regret that – I didn’t buy any merchandise — I regret it because a week later this night of music still has a hold on me — not letting go.  It won’t let go — it’s in my soul stirring things around – rearranging the furniture.

Joan Osborne was a bit upset with all the phones coming out to record and tweet – she asked people to just stop and enjoy a moment of connection – a moment in time that isn’t coming back —— she is right – we can experience a moment or we can destroy making it look like we are in the moment, pretending a better moment than all our friends – I didn’t take my phone out – nobody enjoyed the show more than me.

It’s not possible.

Thank you Joan Osborne, and thanks to scheduling conflicts with dog shows.

 

Martin Sexton was the headliner on this bill – the talent and technical ability completely off the charts — imagine Jimi Hendrix with a ukulele trapped in a Norman Rockwell painting. Dripping with nostalgia and finding salvation in the ordinary. Which I should love — but instead, couldn’t understand – I couldn’t come back to earth  — Joan ruined me – I was ripped apart, I couldn’t put myself back together for coffee and peach pie (sorry, don’t remember if peach was one of the pie references – seemed like there were a few, with ice cream  and all the other down home fixin’s). People ate this stuff up – it was a triumph of a performance – for all the rest of the place — but not me.

Like I don’t get Martin Sexton, I also don’t understand dog agility shows —- but I get passion for living – I get following your bliss to wherever it goes. Chasing a dog through a tube or singing about finding glory through perfectly toasted flapjacks — I respect the passion – And somehow, they played a part in a confluence of events the lead me to my own “Spanish Harlem Incident “.

 

Notes:
In defense of my tepid review of Marin Sexton —- his opening rendition of “America the Beautiful” (no mic)  —- absolutely killer – and there were moments that he almost pulled me back to the ground – – a force of Americana ~ “Captain Americana?”

Cheers from the front row! — A new respect for Dylan and a Joan Osborne fan is born.

 

 

Talent not required

 

zopenmic2Driving to my open mic – doubt, fear, dread and all their little cousins are creeping in——– The stark realization that I may indeed suck – I may crash and burn – I may be a pathetic individual.

And then resolve.

That may all be true – in fact….it  may be worse – but, I will not wake the morrow having not done this!!!

On we go.

Like Hannibal with his war elephants heading over the alps — so what, it’s snowing — so what, its not possible —- Rome is waiting-= Let’s go!

I did not expect a few friends to be there,….. waiting on me – very uplifting – I only gave a two hour notice.  It was heartening.

I was #7 on the list – there would be an hour and half wait — I slowly drank a beer.

We talked – we joked – it was a good night .

Then I was on stage playing a couple songs – “Man of constant Sorrow” went well— except I could not hear my guitar – it was strangely other worldly – like I was watching myself  — I was out of myself.

I changed up my plans and played the Clash’s  “Should I Stay” for the second song.

It started to flow – I felt in a grove – like surfing or skating – it was wildly terrifying and relaxing.

The response was positive – I did it – I’m not ready for American Idol –  That’s not the point.

I’m not ready to lay down and give up – I’m still striving and pushing — still barking at the moon — still flailing against the dying of the light.

 

That is the point.

 

Cheers from the cave!

 

Lost Love and Open Mics

loveflows124Living is the “doing of life” – it would be magical if every picture – every song – every word was pure inspiration — It’s not like that.

This is as good as it gets – I’m sending anyway – its important I post what I got on Sunday morning. Not thrilled with it – digital painting is difficult because it’s so unlimited, tough to keep on track. I wanted a nighttime scene with cliffs, flowers and flowing angry beauty (don’t we all?)  – I ended up with this – if I hadn’t promised myself I would just post where I am and get on with it — I would not – I would have trashed it and maybe even stopped painting for a while —- no more of that – we got what we got, and we move forward.

Wednesday night – I will do an open mic — I’m going to play “Man of Constant Sorrow” and “Little Black Submarines” – just my cheap-ass Epiphone – and my weathered and fumbling voice.

Why am I putting myself through this? Because this is what living is all about. The splash of the cold ocean water against your face as you walk out onto the beach of discovery.

 

I may make a complete fool of myself – I’m going anyway.

 

Cheers from the cave!