Lonely Stage Hand

The Lonely Stage Hand – you know the type I’m talkin’ bout

You know the type
The one who keeps to himself
Smokes incessantly
Drinks bottom shelf

Got his first job
Aged fourteen
Never went to high school
Didn’t see the need

Votes party line
Pays Union Dues
Doesn’t give a shit
About the Evening News

Chorus
He pulls the curtain
An ace on the light board
He knows his stuff
But is always ignored

(My) Piano Appreciation Day

I have a newfound love of the piano

Although I’ve always liked the piano, lately I find myself re- listening to rock songs that feature piano parts where (while usually a short passage), the piano made the song.

One such song is “Seeing Other People” by Belle and Sebastian and the other is “Outdoor Miner” by Wire. The piano parts match or exceed any guitar hero rock god solo – and as much as I love guitar, in rock music I think it sometimes is over rated. I can’t stand over the top non melodic guitar solos or long winded “jam band” noodling. I’m talking about rock and pop – Jazz improvisation is another story altogether.

Its funny how YouTube suggestions are getting me to revisit music I’ve just been taking for granted for decades. Rock and Pop music might be “disposable” to some degree, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be great or even timeless. There are some rock songs that I think are as good as any other genre.

But whether its Rock, Jazz or Classical, I always love the piano parts. Ill probably end up saying this about every instrument I love playing, but for today, I’m having a Bohemian Love Jones with the piano.

Lumbering Melancholy

Lumbering Melancholy is the Opposite to how I feel today

It took me a few days to write this song because I tried to write a slow song. That lead to a “lumbering” pace to the song, and the parts sounded almost like a dirge at first – until I spiced it up after the first half. I probably should have introduced the more upbeat ending sooner (that’s when the song gets a lot more interesting) , but I’m chalking this song as a good learning experiment.

We got our first Covid shots and the Contra Costa Health officials were just stellar. That and President Biden, V.P Kamala Harris and their administration – and its so clear how governing and managing is done correctly. Its hard to believe what they have done in ONLY 2 months! Its downright amazing.

They have restored my faith in the USA. Yeah its that big a deal.

As I mentioned before – my life won’t change much – except being able to go to the gym – but this “Covid Cloud” will be gone.

Lumbering Melancholy does describe the work week though, but if that’s what prompted this song its either unintentional or subliminal.

Happy Ana Lemma Day!

I Love my Violin!

Today is another precious day, a day to rejoice in. A few posts ago, I showed my “Tiny Desk Studio”, and you might have noticed the Geochron 4K digital clock. That clock / map is the only thing left from my Ham Radio station – which turned into my music studio. On that map is a cool thing called an analemma – which shows the earth and sun position. Google it for details – its fascinating. The vernal equinox was yesterday, and I’ve been absolutely enthralled with seed pods this year. Freeman Patterson wrote a book challenging the photographer to just photograph your yard for a year. I highly second this recommendation. Its amazing what we miss that is right in front of our faces. And its quite funny, actually.

Today’s big project – a New outdoor workbench

I had to use my old outdoor redwood work bench wood as floor joists in my basement “art dungeon”. My hope that the plywood under layment would just relax and lie flat never happened after almost a month of putting heavy weights on each corner.

Its Sunday, (Christian Holy Day) and while I’ve completely dropped all religion from my life (due to Americans worship of a Fake Prophet) I still do remember to rejoice in the day. I think I’m now a pagan, but if I were religious I’d lean toward Buddhism or Hinduism or other eastern religion. These religions seem to have much less hype than Christianity, and maybe? less hypocrisy. Not sure, and it really doesn’t matter.

Because I wake up each day I rejoice in every day, and I think I give thanks to God, wherever or whomever he/she/it is. This is because the beauty of nature and the ability to create, make and dream seem like an other worldly magic.

The Beatles and other 60’s denizens as well as the Beats dabbled in such things, and now I totally understand where they were coming from. Jack Kerouac channeled the best in my mind – especially in his great book “The Dharma Bums”.

Play the Lap Steel Like a Fretless Bass

A little imagination goes a long way

Lately I’ve learned to play several instruments in ways that are not typical. For example – the Lap Steel sounds a lot like a fretless bass, and a mandolin sounds like a piano.

Play the lap steel
Like a fretless bass
Re-inventing new sound scapes
New ideas to chase

Play the violin
Like a lap steel
Make new sounds
Make it surreal

Play the mandolin
Like a piano
Hammered Dulcimer
Perhaps an Oboe?

Songs in the Key of A(rt)

Mexican Lilly Seed Pod Cluster

Bathed in the art of light
Heard in the Key of A
My life of art is waxing
Life of science is waning

40 years in the Trenches
Just about to shift my gears
Making music, making art
How Ill spend my final years

You don’t get older, only better
Never waste your precious time
Paint your pictures, sing your songs
Smell the roses, drink the wine

Chorus

Like a kid in candy store
Every day’s earthly delight
Time proceding, moving faster
At the speed of sound and light

Surreal Windows

Just a quick ditty for today . . .

Saved By The Bell

My “Tiny Desk” Studio

Today started out as a frustrating day at work – but in “The 11th Inning” I pulled a rabbit out of the hat – and I was saved by the bell. While I was tired – I still – and always do – have fun playing some music. Today I just wanted to play piano sounds and some synth sounds – with the usual very lazy use of one repeating drum box pattern.

Geez – I’m liking playing keyboards / piano almost more than anything else. What a wonderful instrument – you can play bass and other chorded rhythms or solo parts – its like an orchestra in one instrument.

The Secret Life of Seed Pods

Mexican Lilly Seed Pod
Swamp Maple Seed Pod

Now you see em’
Now you don’t
Yearly passing parade
You never see them

Time marches on
Spring Ahead
Turn time forward
Seed pods on parade

They steal forward
With seeds in their pods
Like tongue in cheek
They sneak past you

This year they were caught
Red handed
Glad handed
Lovingly so

The Freedom of Getting Older

Youth is Wasted on the Young

When I was young I had to spend a lot of time investing in my career, then young family. I also had my own one man consulting business.

In my 20’s, when just out of college, I’d say for 10 years being cool or hip was important. That was a very silly waste of time. That meant I had no time to actually do anything personal of any long lasting value (besides work).

Now, as I am quite a bit older, my career is doing fine and I’m the expert I always strived to be. I can do things so much quicker than when I struggled in my 20’s and 30’s. Experience, and dare I say wisdom are golden in life.

But the best thing personally is that I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, my music, my art, or any aspect of my self.

This has been unbelievably freeing. I don’t finish songs. I write just enough to bring a demo tape to an imaginary band. I sometimes don’t finish art projects or writing lyrics or poems. There are so many unfinished projects that never make it to this blog – they are buried deep in my many notebooks.

My virtual world is not online. Its offline. Its in my home recording studio just a tad bigger than a dining room table. Its in my art dungeon basement. Its on my backyard saw horse work bench. Last week a big beautiful brown butterfly with white rimming its wings landed on my work bench, and it hung out with me for quite a few minutes. I said nice things to it and thanked its visit. It was truly magical, and you’ll never, ever get that from the internet.

I’m having way more fun than I did in my yoot. Chalk one up for The Old Guy.