Sunday, November 24, 2013

Revisiting The World of Lou Reed Under the open guidance of Jeffrey Lewis November 21st, 2013 at Jalopy...almost all my favorite current songwriters were in that room last night
From my notes:  Random order opened with
They're taking her children away.  I am the Waterboy.
then another song ultimately embedded into the Berlin Album:  Stephanie says.  It's so cold in Alaska
Then the cancer cure, "Her life was saved by Rock and Roll"
Black Ocean Ashes
Black Angel's Death
Czechoslovakians, to get to know you, invite you up for tea.  When visiting leave a gift.  Open House.
(Songs for Drella, because that's what we called him?)
Last Great American Wailing Whale.
Run run run.  Take a drag or two, on 5th Avenue.
Jeff's cover of The original wrapper rapper (political song from the 80's).
Satellite of Love.
Steve sang Who Loves the Sun...
I sang "You're right and I'm wrong.... " for piano please credit Allan Macmillan and Rick Wakeman. I never inquired before and found an italian site: that explained it all.  "Berlin" was on the  first Lou Reed solo album!  Eins Zwei Drei Zugabe!  oh, and then later instead of "Don't forget to hire the vet," he came right out and said it... don't forget to Marry The Vet.  he hasn't had that much fun yet...but if he marries you he will... fun... hey baby I like your iggy pop david bowie Fun...  

A low level sarcasm rings out in his poetry and harmonically radical pop gestures... There is some great groundbreaking music, in a low budget music sort of way (especially from alternate guitar tuning), and that's what attracts me, as well as the misleading spirit of entropy and dissolution. In my performance I felt there was so much more to say at the piano... I gave suggestions and want to do more!

Jeff's brilliant structure:  from his email:
THE PERFORMERS!  (Not listed in order… the performance order will be random, and we'll do two rounds of one song each to make sure everybody gets on at least once!)

Add:  Jim Flynn! 

1) Turner Cody 
2) Preston Spurlock 
3) Cal Folger Day 
4) Phoebe Novak 
5) Jeffrey Lewis 
6) Lee Feldman 
7) Pete Galub 
8) Dawn Landes
9) Peter Dizozza 
10) Kristin Andreasson 
11) Peter Stampfel 
12) Pizza Underground 
13) Steve Salett 
14) Steve Espinola 
15) Cannonball Statman
16) The Purple Organ 
17) Common Prayer

I'd love to hear the song most inspired by Lou Reed from each of them!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I recently played ping pong with my agile aging father.  He is not one for passing me "20's" and getting parking tickets, but I dreamed last night that I was playing ping pong with a man named Mohammed and before the game he kept passing me "20s," while pulling parking tickets off his car.  

I don't know how yesterday's pope-resignation headlines affect me, but somehow in my recent real and imagined excursions through manhood I arrived at grandiose thoughts resonating from La Ricotta, a short movie by Pier Paolo Pasolini whose cruelly comic atmosphere sits like a cloud over the purity of communism.

Communism as a reaction to tyranny prolongs tyranny.  (I say this because my condition is a product of my own reflexive anger.)   Maybe Emma Goldman could purely express communist principles (I don't know), but something muddies the rebel causes for both Pier Paolo Pasolini and Marc Blitzstein.

Consider the voice of the great composer Marc Blitzstein; his political preaching to the choir seems sadistic because he advocated a class condition distant from his own.  While condemning people of privilege, Pasolini and Blitzstein each welcomed individuals from all walks of life.

La Ricotta displays the comic death of a passion-play movie extra.  He dies on the cross.  The callousness and cruelty of his supper and crucifixion call to mind a father/son relationship between God and the man on the cross.  Pasolini, having suffered from the childhood domain of a stringent father, became that father.  In a more conjectural way I suggest that Pasolini rebelled against his nasty/sadistic father.  He re-enacts the ritual against his own sons, as they appear in his movies, his other 1962 son appearing in Mama Roma.   The script calls for a crucifixion of  Mamma Roma's boy, too.  Callous authority repeatedly, ritualistically kills its rebel sons.

Ever resonating from the"facts" of Pasolini's passing is that his own life ended in violence.  Political conspiracies aside, Mr. Blitzstein met with a similar end while also embracing the world by welcoming its strangers.  I then conjecture that both artists were interactive in orchestrating the chaotic scene of their own demise.

I put my general realization in the form of a lyric I added to a Bob Dylan song, "God stopped Abraham but no one stopped God from killing his son on highway sixty-one."

Whether or not it is done to save the world, my ridiculous point is that there is a pattern of fathers killing sons.  As sons rebelling against our fathers we prolong the pattern.  

In general, Pasolini's poetic audio visual legacy is a treasure.  Existing as her own force of nature within his world (and around the same time in the world of Luchino Visconti) is Anna Magnani.

To find signs of Pasolini's personal salvation look to the dance lesson in another room, in the last minutes of his last movie, Salo.  Excluded from the De Sade family assembly, these sons are unaffected, independent and free.  

Sunday, January 27, 2013

If you've ever wondered whether the medium is the message, consider the following:  In the Christian Bible there is another Genesis contained in the introductory lines to the Gospel of John.   

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ... and the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us."  

The liturgical service commemorating the events reported in this gospel places within a central tabernacle behind an altar, where once an ark held scrolls inscribed with God's words, bread that by a miracle becomes the flesh of the son of God.  (Eating replaces reading ...  Sensuality replaces intellect...)

While it is God's words inscribed in the scrolls, John's gospel also announces that "the Word was God." 

If words define our consciousness then no truer words were ever written,  

Conflict over religion in Western Civilization can end because, despite the many sects, we're all a product of only one religion.