Tag Archives: jazz

2016 on last.fm

lastfm-2016 Continue reading

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summer 2016 on last.fm

screen-shot-2016-08-31-at-12-07-22-pm

one band of four Brits, four American soloists.
seven men, one woman.
six white, two black.
all blues. Continue reading

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Jewel City

JEWEL CITY

airy, brazen invisible strings
vibrating, erratic, dimly squeezing
a constellation of city lights—
it’s San Francisco, the city
of bridges, visionary legions,
future-destined legends.

every day a moment
renewed by the pianoforte
fog creeping, sneaking—
a holy, wondrous, consecrated,
wet, beautiful thing
adhering to every home.

and the bass? bombastic and
silent and teeming, a mass crashing
against the cliff side, oceanic
connector of disparate worlds,
salty cell body binding wild lives,
eternal caution to us all:

today!
we are triple blessed in the Jewel City. Continue reading

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a new addition to the u-shaped universe

thoughtfulness to the point of thoughtlessness. Continue reading

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favorite singles of 2014

SINGLES
Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now — McFadden & Whitehead
All the Sun That Shines — Peaking Lights
Another Heartbreak— Peter Gordon
At Last I Am Free — Robert Wyatt
Blind — Frankie Knuckles
Coastin’ — Cities Aviv
Everybody Wants to Rule the World — Tears for Fears
Frontin’ — Pharell
Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! — ABBA
Got to Give It Up — Marvin Gaye
Guitars, Cadillacs — Dwight Yoakam
Happy — Pharrell
High Hopes — Mawkus
I Ain’t Got Nobody (And Nobody Cares for Me) — Louis Prima
Jack — Breach
Life Is Something Special — New York Citi Peech Boys
Lord of the Dance — The Dubliners
Never Catch Me — Flying Lotus
One in a Million — Aaliyah
One Two — Sister Nancy
Rapture — Blondie
Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand) — Diana Ross
Royals — Lorde
Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
Shake That — Eminem
Single Girl, Married Girl — The Haden Triplets
Situation — Yazoo
Spacer — Sheila & B. Devotion
Tell Me That I’m Dreaming — Was (Not Was)
Together — Disclosure

SOUNDTRACKS
American Beauty
Breaking Bad
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Godzilla: 50th Anniversary Edition — Akira Ifukube

CLASSICAL
blue danube
american in paris
appalachian spring
lux aeterna
also sprach Zarathustra
Má Vlast Continue reading

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honey, he’s a friend of mine

four Mexican beers down the hatch and not a single BART train left to catch.

on the long bus and walk home, stoned inspiration strikes my skull. it’s already 0300, but nothing can stop me. up and down the stairs, skulking through the hallways, dragging black monolith speakers, assembling the altar, feeding cables electricity, executing my addled genius silent as a mouse.

i jerk off and pass out.

in the morning, i check my phone in a bleary panic. 0900. i fall back asleep for a couple minutes and then check my phone again. 1100.

blended black tea dressed with a teaspoon of orange blossom honey and the slightest splash of half and half. that’s real fancy talk for a little drug called caffeine. my roommate partakes, and the music starts. breakfast consists of defrosted hash browns, fried eggs, and pork so good it must’ve come from the devil’s factory. Xanthe and i clink our mimosa flutes and chow down while watching Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise take turns playing Thalia and Melpomene.

Cameron arrives looking hungover or depressed or both. i think nothing of it. the music goes on, the champagne flows. Ted is dead.

i never met Ted. i hug Cameron. i hold him. i don’t know what to say. i never met Ted even though Cameron insisted a hundred times that it needed to happen. i don’t know what to say. i wait for Cameron to say something, but he is stunned. he is a cauldron of emotion. i turn the music down or let it stop or something. i don’t know what to do or say. there is nothing to do or say. we drink.

the music returns. Cameron requests a dirge, so i let Entrance sing them Grim Reaper Blues. but i’m left by myself, so i scream and jump and play air guitar oblivious to the fact and consequence of death. i am dust.

Shannon. Lizz. Nico. Neko? Niko? Nico. Chris. Mark. Natalie. old friends, newer friends, lovers, sometime-lovers, one-time-lovers, all-time-lovers, all family, all drunk fucks.

my cousin hops on the decks and starts slinging cocaine funk delivered straight from the Rick James estate. it is 1980something, the snares reverberate, and disillusion is making itself incredibly comfortable. you can hear it in their voices. you can hear JoJo and Cheri and Candi and Maxi and Prince Rogers and Trent and Dave and Martin and Joshua and Charles, they all sound so coked up and dead. death. there’s that grim reaper again. where the fuck is Cameron? sobbing on the edge of my bed, locked up in my bedroom. on and off the phone. who is he talking to? margarita. big beer. drinking, so much drinking.

let the Golden Age begin. bleego hops on the decks and sonically programs artificial intelligence. it’s weird. on tv, Ziggy Stardust says good night mere moments before a bunch of space cadet apes wake up in the middle of bone-dry Africa. ladies and gentlemen we are floating in space.

how many pop culture references can i make before my writing becomes as worthless as the tobacco in a swisher sweet?

as the sun sets, i continue force-feeding everyone pop muzik, and then suddenly turn the music down low on a couple of whacked out loops to ask nobody in particular how long i could leave the loops loopingly looping looping looping looping looping looping looping looping until we all went crazy. somebody said something. something drinking something. and so i blast Kylie Minogue for a swan song.

power everything off! with tons of friends still partying, i say a thousand goodbyes and then fly away. best way to end a house party.

K to the Castro, two double illy espressos, and my love and i are back in the game. first up: dinner and drinks for her sister’s 21st birthday. Abigail rolls in wearing a sash like she’s in a beauty pageant and a face guaranteed to win it. radiant beauty of a birthday girl, she flutters around her long table of friends chatting about nothing and deflecting as many fireballs as she can.

sushi sake sushi sake sushi sake sushi sake sushi. that’s five sushi for every letter in the word “sushi” and four sake for every letter in the word “sake.” words words words words words.

the several hundred dollar bill settled, the crew bubbles around Kim “Abi” Kardashian as we make our way up Market toward extensive tracts of heavily eroded, uncultivable land with little vegetation. just kidding, we went to badlands. i withdrew $60 only to spend $50 instantly at the club on three entries (Abi, Natalie, me), three drinks (adios motherfucker for Abi and whiskey for Natalie and me), and then three more drinks (long island ice teas for the three of us). obviously we had not been drinking enough yet.

goodbye Castro, hello Cameron. he wanted love. Ted is dead. to Oakland then. goodbye Natalie. she storms off in a drunk, silent fit. i shrug.

down down Market.

stumbling drunk ass fuck into It’s Tops Coffee Shop, completely deserted except for the token pretty white girl waitress in her stupid 50s pink waitress dress. i drunkenly foam at the mouth some incoherence that amounts to “may i please just have a cup of coffee?” to which she responds by swinging ’round the counter and pouring out dregs of mud from both pitchers—the caffeinated and non caffeinated. in between drunken swallows, i murmur some philosophical question at her, but she’s tired and wants to go home, and that’s exactly how she answers. i understand, down the rest of the mud, and fly out the door.

down down Market.

i convince a cabbie to drive me to Civic Center so i can catch the last train east. so aware, so alive, i bolt out the doors onto 12th St. in Oakland, drunkenly rushing up the escalator and eating shit, scraping my stomach and foot (i discover later). i look around to see how embarrassed i should feel, but the lady behind me wears a face that says, “i’m just tired and want to go home,” so i shrug, pick myself up, and bolt anew. i race the two and whatever miles to Cameron’s house with cool Miles jazz billowing from the phone in my front pocket; i’m like a man on the run in a black & white French New Wave film from the 60s.

at the house, hugs and laughter and death and comfort and… guess what? more drinking! because, i must repeat myself, again, obviously: we had not been drinking enough. fernet and coke and tequila and non-vegetarian Chinese food and Courtney on guitar and sleep.

in the drunken haze of morning, i squeeze Courtney’s boob and immediately pull my hand back while apologizing. she laugh. i don’t feel too good about it. but then i wash a household of dishes and sweep the floor while Cameron details the stove. and when i fail to find a dustpan, i simply crouch down, scoop the pile of dust and kitchen debris with my hands, and throw it away. Cameron laughs, calling it the most humble thing he’s seen in years. i feel good about it.

a few moments later, we’re suspended like the helicopter string quartet between peace, humility, suffering, and passion.

“this is the worst one,” he says, “the worst death. i like nothing about this one.”

he wants to cry so badly but has already sobbed so much and the sobbing had solved nothing. i fight back laughter because the minute leading before we’d been saying some really silly, funny things and just roaring laughing. the giggles honor not even death. Continue reading

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white dudes on the left, black dudes on the right

Screen Shot 2014-12-20 at 17.10.53 Continue reading

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buncha dudes

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 12.59.38 Continue reading

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Wasted Cinders

we’re just doing, not being. Continue reading

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Bookends

1

spent the night fueling. drinking water. cooked a salmon w Xanthe’s guidance, raw segments of flesh lining the thicker bits. soft orzo mixed in w onion, garlic, and mushrooms on the side. very filling. tons of water. whiskey. laughter, a shower, and confidence.

walked to BART. into the Mission. above to the streets.

the drugged and the homeless on their wayward trips. a few blocks to Public Works, and there i was, for the first time in a year, encircled by youth, liquor, and deeply throbbing bass. church.

i ordered a whiskey ginger, which i sipped while swaying to the sultry beats alongside Mark and Marie. Mark disappeared but Marie and i continued dancing; the music like a phoenix burned into grey ashes and rose again within moments to thumping New York City leftfield disco, fat w bass, happy w horns, alive w love. perfect. dance. music. so we danced.

then we stepped outside for a brief smoke, awaiting the arrival of our much beloved Norwegian prince, Todd Terje. when we went back in, “Delorean Dynamite.”

Mark and Marie edged into an unfortunate section so i ditched them for something more suitable, sonically speaking. as i pushed in from the back left corner of the crowd, a pretty girl nudged me and, when i turned, said, “you have the most incredible aura.”

and so i danced.

2

worked all day, dressed so sharp. same blue levi’s but the deer print tee has been replaced by a blue pinstripe button down. hair ain’t down, it’s all the way up. dreadbun.

Cab Calloway’s big band’s banging away in my headphones as i step onto the BART car, as the pretty girl sitting there eyes me and smiles. i smile back, standing near her. she glances up at me (or tries not to) one too many times, so i pull an earphone off and ask, “should i remember your name?”

“no.. i just like your energy.”

“ah.. i see. well, thanks, but shouldn’t you be up in the desert with all those other energy-reading folk?”

she laughs, then asks, “what are you listening to?”

i laugh too, and hand her the headphones. 1930s jazz strikes her eardrums, and from the very first moment she’s surprised, but i’m not.

“wasn’t expecting that,” she says.

“i know,” i laugh.

some silence.

“you know,” i say, “this is really funny because it’s the second time it’s happened to me in the past few days.”

i tell her something about the girl at Public Works. i proceed to pontificate about how i’m more freaked out about someone commenting on aura because it implies that they’re literally seeing colors in the air around my body like i’m the bloody virgin mary, but then i think about Meryl and realize that it might not be so farfetched. i say all of this, minus mentioning Meryl, plus all the added doubting and philosophy. i also, during this time, notice her hairy armpits.

and she never stops smiling. i got on at Montgomery, she bounces at Civic Center, and that’s that. Continue reading

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