A call from Germany and a death in the family. Knowing one has happened and knowing one will. Knowing at all. A month is a collection of air and spare tongs, and waiting in the wings will not spare you. Waiting wings tear and gather, flare and drift. We are in the midst of mortal care, where calls and diagnoses lurk in breeze. Let’s have a cup of coffee and a pear, and stare the fatal mare right in the eye.
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ANNOUNCE :: It’s a rare occurance, but I’ll actually have an art show this month, on January 19 in San Francisco. They venue might be open a few times over the ensuing month, but no guarantees, so if you’re at all interested, catch it then. I’ll be displaying some of my Blinklists (see the Visual Art page for a few examples), both older and brand new pieces as well. They’ll be on display along with figurative work by Tom Stolmar, throughout an evening of performance. Tom and I will both read, or speak, or whatever it is that we do, and there’ll be three musical interludes of very eclectic natures. We’ll have a classical duet by violinist Eisaku Tokuyama and pianist Steve Arntson (who also does poetry, though not this eve). We’ll be graced with some improv keyboards over textured music and sound by Michael S. Johnson. And we’ll cap the night with the debut performance of the brand spankin’ jazz sextet One Ton Sun. Though it’s the first time that any of us will hear OTS live, they’ve been holed up for a freakin’ year composing pieces, and being that the ensemble is a fine mix of master musicians, you are in for a TREAT. (I’ve heard a couple rehearsal recordings, and let me tell you.) Check this out: their lineup is Tim White (from the Glenn Spearman/Marco Ennedi Creative Music Orchestra, Naked Ball Crunch, Hazy Loper, and Cyclub – on clarinets), Andy Digiovanni (on trumpet & trombone), J. Fitzsimmons (from Septic Renaissance, Conspiracy of Beards, and Cyclub – on tenor sax), Jesse Jackson (from Condorosa and Go Van Gogh – on guitar), Andrew Ross Kushin (from Live Human and Closer to Carbon – on acoustic bass), and Sage Baggot (from Orquesta La Moderna Tradición and Latropa Son – on drums & percussion).
So come on down for an evening of art and wildly excellent sounds, get your mind blown and your dna rearranged (or vice versa), and start your year off right.
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Slam banger in the wham-blam b’dam! Innocutia redumpa hump bump. Rid-ranger? Wranglor? Adore the tootamore ump randaram ho. How we go. Do we stow. Rim rambler to the shoop-a-wop doo. Revista you inna roota roo, shang the dang floo. It’s all uppa shoo, tard hardly for a rump. And take a jump.
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REVIEW :: THE HALLFLOWERS @ The Rite Spot, San Francisco, December 7, 2012
Few things please me more than beautiful voices, and few voices please me more than those of The Hallflowers. This family trio has been a San Francisco live music tradition for more than 18 years, and for good, good reason, mainly that sisters Laurie and Jennifer and mom Phyllis Hall have been singing together for far longer than that, and it’s apparent. These three are angels with throats and mouths, swelling melodies and twining harmonies with instinctive sense of each other’s intentions and energies. There, I’ve said it. Add to that their fourth member Doug Hilsinger, veteran guitarist of the SF punk-and-everything-else scene, who occasionally chimes in with mellow vocals and writes some of their songs as well. Yeah, I do think of them as a 4-person trio, which is not to suggest that Doug is in any way an extra wheel, rather an essential satellite that keeps this earthwomanplanet in it’s own orbit. He kicks the key while they tune the tone into total timely gorgeousness.
This show saw (heard?) the debut of three new songs: the multi-rhythmed “Tiger”, Doug’s new piece “Realm of Souls”, which was beyond lilting, and “What’ll I Do”, which capped the first set with Phyllis in glory. In the second set they waxed sentimental, doing an amusing a capella version of “Georgie Porgie”, which, it turns out, was the first piece they sung together publicly way back when, for a show at Laurie’s daughter’s grade school. They also thrilled everyone with an ungodly lovely version of “Make Love Not War”, and charmed me in particular with a dedicated song, “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To”, which is, of course true. Ha ha. All in all a thoroughly joyous evening, which was really all I’d expected. And to be carried, for that they do, they carry you like a silk siren into true human rooms.
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We think of days past and of days to come, and fill them with flashes of faces and hands, with yearning and doubts and allays. We think. And the static builds, and the flesh replies, until nigh on a charge from the world we are shocked. Do we need to wait for the shock to relieve the rub, or can we snap the spark ourselves and dive into charge with a worldward glee? Do we need all that thinking to hail and proceed? They say a nice long shower is the great deionizer, and gives the mind the time to find itself again. I think I’ll take one.
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COMMENT :: It’s neigh on a year since I started this site and this anti-blog, and boy is there still a lot to build and a lot to write. I’ll continue post here every month, nearabout the 1st, both tidbits to let folks know what I’ve been up to, and smidgens of funsy prose that spark my whim. And though I do maintain the purpose of the posts is praxis (O my swineherd!), I do occasionally wonder if anyone does check in to tip a pint or two o’ text. So to sate my curiosity (and likely kill the cat), if you are reading this, would you mind dropping me a note to let me know? No comments required, no critique, just an ever-so-brief Yes I glanced yer frickin’ site. I would be much obliged, and I am.
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It’s just a random day and still the world is changed. As if it wouldn’t. Bricks fall, seams split, a loved one leaves the room. So often we have drank our cockeyed full and yelled at sky, Leave, O Dismal Past! How about this: Let’s celebrate tides, a winsome breeze, new leaves in the spring, a song you’ve never heard. Leave static to the fearful ones and give the night to joy. Sure flesh will sting, and heart may plod upon the hour, but that doesn’t mean I won’t wish you splendid many months and many days. And I do. Eat ginseng. Arise and play.