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.

 

 

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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 – its 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 scrapped 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!

Moonstruck

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Moonstruck

Excuse my randomness – I’m rebuilding.

A few days ago, in my weekly spin class (don’t judge), I had this vision of two lovers in a boat, a silent and beautiful embrace as they drifted toward the waterfall.

I thought I would sketch, then go for a digital painting – I promised myself I would post on Sunday with my progress. I need structure and accountability in my life — lucky for me, it’s been arriving in droves lately.

I’m working in photoshop and illustrator, bringing this thing to life —  I can only show the sketch this morning — so we post away.

This image is open for interpretation – Ironically, I don’t see it as death – I see it as being strapped in for the ride – once you go over the waterfall of love – you have no control of how it goes – where you hit – hard crashing destruction – or a cool refreshing wash of a tropical lagoon.

You give yourself away – and you find so much more — is it worth it? If it isn’t – then what is?

We also had an awesome full moon last night – And it is Easter – Happy Easter all! Spring, hope and all the rest.

Notes: I’m writing this as someone who is reflecting on the past – like if you go to Paris then you come home and write about Paris — I could not and would not do this post if I was walking down the Champs-Elysées —— maybe eating a fresh croissant and wishing I paid more attention in French 3 back in 11th grade.

We’ll always have Paris.

Acclamations de la grotte!

 

Ghost Ship

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The ghost ship blog

 

I’m afraid that’s me

 

Visitors only see the past

Adrift aimlessly though the cyber ocean

Sails worn and shredded –  at the mercy of the currents

Beached on a nameless archipelago

Sandy desolation with just a few crabs and a couple fallen coconut trees

I guess it’s where we are.

 

I’m not going to make any grand statements about keeping this going – or stopping.

 

This started as a graded project for a college graphics class – it continued through compulsion and some exhilaration …  became a place of solace as my life crumbled — and now?

 

Rebuilding and stronger we take a walk around the deck

 

Do we scuttle? …….or do we scrape off the barnacles and see what she’s got?

 

What’s the point of all this rambling anyway?

 

We bloggers write because we need to write – then when we don’t need to write – we stop.

Maybe no more complicated than that.

If you’ve stayed with me this long…. who knows?

Muted cheers from the cave on location.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Solstice, Lake George, NY

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Winter Solstice

I took a trip up to my favorite lake to take some shots  – simple symmetry, summer and winter in the same place. The longest day vs the shortest day. It felt correct.

The weather was not perfect – 15 degrees F (that’s really friggin’ cold for Celsius people!) And very, very windy. The cold was ok – it was the wind that messed up any lake reflections — add to that the absence of clouds to not help with color.

It got me to thinking about the rift between what we want a day to be and what a day really is. It got me thinking about what a life should be and what it is being. A mode of acceptance. Acceptance means happiness – that sounds way too simple. As an idea it is simple, as a practice, it is not.

I’m basically alone (save for a couple random joggers and dog walkers, hearty bunch in this weather), I’m at this beautiful place on the planet – no one is telling me what to do or where to go – no one is checking my ID at the gate – I’m free. Life is good. To get up and have capturing a scene at sunrise as your mission for the day – that’s a good day.

Beyond that I’m blessed – As I drove home – that fresh new bright solstice sun was bright in my face – lighting up my way ahead – exposing and igniting my future. I’m here and now – I’m feeling the soul of humanity – this was a big day for ancient peoples. This was their concert and their technicolor laser light show. The rhythm and pace of space and time. This was hope.

A big deal.

It’s still big deal.

At least for me, two joggers, three dog walkers, and a very tough pair of mallard ducks – (ducks are tough up here swimming in this weather).

Cheers from the cave!

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P.S: Summer Solstice from the same spot

Day of the Dead

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It’s been way too long since I fired up the imagination for a quick graphic sketch for pure fun. Of all the celebrations – this one seems to fire the flames correctly. Nothing against any other culture, but Mexico has such a morbidly colorful way to express this season. So I made a sugar skull.

Enjoy life and living.

Cheers from the cave!