Monday, January 28, 2013

Sixto Rodriguez

Inner City Blues

Going down a dirty inner city side road
I plotted
Madness passed me by, she smiled hi
I nodded
Looked up as the sky began to cry
She shot it

Met a girl from Dearborn, early six o'clock this morn
A cold fact
Asked about her bag, suburbia's such a drag
Won't go back
'Cos Papa don't allow no new ideas here
And now he sees the news, but the picture's not too clear
 Mama, Papa, stop
Treasure what you got
Soon you may be caught
Without it
The curfew's set for eight
Will it ever all be straight
I doubt it

 Seven jealous fools playing by her rules
Can't believe her
He feels so in between, can't break the scene
It would grieve her
And that's the reason why he must cry
He'll never leave her

 Mama, Papa, stop
Treasure what you got
Soon you may be caught
Without it
The curfew's set for eight
Will it ever all be straight
I doubt it

Going down a dusty, Georgian side road
I wonder
The wind splashed in my face
Can smell a trace
Of thunder

Sunday, January 27, 2013

1963 March On Washington

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez 1963 March on Washington 

Steel Bars - Back On My Feet Again

 The iron and steel bars are located in their correct position. Perhaps it is not deliberately 
made by somebody, but naturally positioned unknowingly by the shop owner over time.
 (© Noh Keun Park/National Geographic Photo Contest)

  Albrecht Durer - Feet of an Apostle

How did this unlikely collaboration come about? According to Olof Bjorner  Dylan Chords

Michael Bolton: “We're planning on writing some more songs together. He's kind of hungry to get back out there and wants to work with a few contemporary hit song writers. Someone who works with Dylan called me up and said 'Bob Dylan would like to write with you'. I was awed. I told him, 'I don't even know how I could write a lyric when working with you ... I'm too intimidated'. But then we started messing around with some chords and wrote Steel Bars, a song about obsession. It took us two sessions to write, and when I left, I was told, 'Bob likes you and he wants you to come back'.”

Steel Bars

Back On My Feet Again

"When I'm Back On My Feet Again"

Gonna break these chains around me
Gonna learn to fly again
May be hard, may be hard
But I'll do it
When I'm back on my feet again

Soon these tears will all be dryin'
Soon these eyes will see the sun
Might take time, might take time
But I'll see it
When I'm back on my feet again

When I'm back on my feet again
I'll walk proud down this street again
And they'll all look at me again
And they'll see that I'm strong

Gonna hear the children laughing
Gonna hear the voices sing
Won't be long, won't be long
Till I hear them
When I'm back on my feet again

Gonna feel the sweet light of heaven
Shining down its light on me
One sweet day, one sweet day
I will feel it
When I'm back on my feet again

When I'm back on my feet again
I'll walk proud down this street again
And they'll all look at me again
And they'll see that I'm strong

And I'm not gonna crawl again
I will learn to stand tall again
No I'm not gonna fall again
Cos I'll learn to be strong

Soon these tears will all be dryin'
Soon these eyes will see the sun
Won't be long, won't be long
Till I see it
When I'm back on my feet again
When I'm back on my feet again
I'll be back on my feet again

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Caminamos por el cielo & Julio Cortázar

 We walked through the sky


Estaba deambulando ciego por el Paseo Desolación.
Sujeté en mis hombros el firmamento, arrastrando una obsesión.
He llorado cada día pero el llanto terminó.
Ahora hay luz en mis tinieblas.
Caminamos por el cielo hasta llegar a Orión.

He vivido un tiempo solitario, mi mente no dejó de hablar.
Me asaltaron tantos miedos y olvidé lo que es amar.
Tantas veces recompuse el alma y otras tantas se quebró.
Ella me tendió la mano.
Caminamos, caminamos por el cielo hasta llegar a Orión.

Tanta gente en los andenes esperando un nuevo tren.
Puedo oír sus corazones aun latiendo, al amanecer.
Cuando crees que todo se acaba vuelve a brillar el sol.
Siempre queda una esperanza.
Y caminamos por el cielo hasta llegar a Orión.

Voy a dormir un poco, estoy cansado; mis sueños dejaré llegar.
Cierro los ojos y me pregunto si mi sueño es realidad.
Voy con la mujer de los regalos, sus ojos son mi dirección.
Desde la ciudad de azúcar y su calor.
Caminamos, caminamos por el cielo hasta llegar a Orión.

(J. Castro)
Mars and Orion Over Monument Valley
Credit & Copyright: Wally Pacholka (

I was blind and wandering along the Desolation Row.
I held on my shoulders the sky, dragging an obsession.
I cried every day but the weeping ended.
Now there is light in my darkness.
We walked up through the sky to arrive to Orion.

I spent time alone, my mind did not stop talking.
I raided many fears and I forgot what it is to love.
I recomposed the soul many times and many times it's broke.
She held me her hand.
We walked, walked up through the sky to arrive to Orion

So many people on the platform waiting for the next train.
I can hear their hearts beating at dawn.
When you think everything is lost, the sun shines again.
There is always hope.
And we walked up through the sky to arrived to Orion.

I'll get some sleep, I'm tired, I will reach my dreams.
I close my eyes and wonder if my dream is reality.
I'm with the woman of gifts, her eyes are my direction.
From the Sugar Town and his heat.
We walked, walked up through the sky to arrived to Orion.

(by J. Castro)

"I spent my childhood in a haze full of goblins and elves, with a sense of space and time that was different from everybody else's."

 “I sometimes longed for someone who, like me, had not adjusted perfectly with his age, and such a person was hard to find; but I soon discovered cats, in which I could imagine a condition like mine, and books, where I found it quite often.”
Julio Cortázar, Around the Day in Eighty Worlds

To Dress A Shadow
The hardest thing is to surround it, to fix its limit where it fades into the penumbra along its edge. To choose it from among the others, to separate it from the light that all shadows secretly, dangerously, breathe. To begin to dress it casually, not moving too much, not frightening or dissolving it: this is the initial operation where nothingness lies in every move. The inner garments, the transparent corset, the stockings that compose a silky ascent up the thighs. To all these it will consent in momentary ignorance, as if imagining it is playing with another shadow, but suddenly it will become troubled, when the skirt girds its waist and it feels the fingers that button the blouse between its breasts, brushing the neck that rises to disappear in dark flowing water. It will repulse the gesture that seems to crown it with a long blonde wig (that trembling halo around a nonexistent face! And you must work quickly to draw its mouth with cigarette embers, slip on the rings and bracelets that define its hands, as it indecisively resists, its newborn lips murmuring the immemorial lament of one awakening to the world. It will need eyes, which must be made from tears, the shadow completing itself to better resist and negate itself. Hopeless excitement when the same impulse that dressed it, the same thirst that saw it take shape from confused space, to envelop it in a thicket of caresses, begins to undress it, to discover for the first time the shape it vainly strives to conceal with hands and supplications, slowly yielding, to fall with a flash of rings that fills the night with glittering fireflies.

By Julio Cortázar, from Around the Day in Eighty Worlds,
copyright © 1966, 1967, 1974, 1975, 1984 by Julio Cortázar
Translation copyright © 1986 by Thomas Christensen 

INTERVIEWERthe paris review
So you are discovering the story while you are writing it?

That’s right. It’s like improvising in jazz. You don’t ask a jazz musician, “But what are you going to play?” He’ll laugh at you. He has a theme, a series of chords he has to respect, and then he takes up his trumpet or his saxophone and he begins. It’s not a question of idea. He performs through a series of different internal pulsations. Sometimes it comes out well, sometimes it doesn’t. It’s the same with me. I’m a bit embarrassed to sign my stories sometimes. The novels, no, because the novels I work on a lot; there’s a whole architecture. But my stories, it’s as if they were dictated to me by something that is in me, but it’s not me who’s responsible. Well, since it does appear they are mine even so, I guess I should accept them!

 Letter To A Young Lady In Paris by Julio Cortázar (excerpt):

Andrea, I didn’t want to come live in your apartment in the calle Suipacha. Not so much because of the bunnies, but rather that it offends me to intrude on a compact order, built even to the finest nets of air, networks that in your environment conserve the music in the lavender, the heavy fluff of the powder puff in the talcum, the play between the violin and the viola in Ravel’s quartet. It hurts me to come into an ambience where someone who lives beautifully has arranged everything like a visible affirmation of her soul, here the books (Spanish on one side, French and English on the other), the large green cushions there, the crystal ashtray that looks like a soap-bubble that’s been cut open on this exact spot on the little table, and always a perfume, a sound, a sprouting of plants, a photograph of the dead friend, the ritual of tea trays and sugar tongs … Ah, dear Andrea, how difficult it is to stand counter to, yet to accept with perfect submission of one’s whole being, the elaborate order that a woman establishes in her own gracious flat. How much at fault one feels taking a small metal tray and putting it at the far end of the table, setting it there simply because one has brought one’s English dictionaries and it’s at this end, within easy reach of the hand, that they ought to be. To move that tray is the equivalent of an unexpected horrible crimson in the middle of one of Ozenfant’s painterly cadences, as if suddenly the strings of all the double basses snapped at the same time with the same dreadful whiplash at the most hushed instant in a Mozart symphony. Moving that tray alters the play of relationships in the whole house, of each object with another, of each moment of their soul with the soul of the house and its absent inhabitant. And I cannot bring my fingers close to a book, hardly change a lamp’s cone of light, open the piano bench, without feeling a rivalry and offense swinging before my eyes like a flock of sparrows.  Letter To A Young Lady In Paris

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Paul Barbarin

Adolphe Paul Barbarin (May 5, 1899 – February 17, 1969)

Paul Barbarin was a New Orleans jazz drummer, usually regarded (along with Baby Dodds) as one of the very best of the pre-Big Band era jazz drummers. He studied under the famed drummer, Louis Cottrell, Sr.  Barbarin's year of birth is often given as 1901, but his brother Louis Barbarin (born 1902) said he was quite sure that Paul was several years older than he was, and Paul Barbarin simply refused to answer the year of his birth in an interview at Tulane's Jazz Archives.

Paul Barbarin was from a musical family.  His father Isidore was the leader of The Onward Brass Band, and all of his brothers were very involved in the music of New Orleans. Unlike most of the other famous musicians from the city, Barbarin never cut his ties with the city, but returned again and again throughout his career. As a teenager, he started drumming with bands like Buddy Petit'sYoung Olympians. He left the Crescent City in 1917 and found work in the Armour and Company stockyards in Chicago, while still managing to play music by night. 

By 1920 he was touring with bands, working with Freddie Keppard and his brother-in-lawJimmie Noone.  He returned to New Orleans to play with Luis Russell  and other bands in the city, but left again in 1924 to play with King Oliver's Dixie Syncopators in Chicago. He stayed with Oliver until 1927, and then once again returned home. In 1928 he moved to New York to play with Luis Russell's Orchestra.  He played in various bands in New York before returning once again to New Orleans in 1932. In 1935 he rejoined the Luis Russell Orchestra which was fronted by Louis Armstrong at the time, and remained with them until 1938. 

Then it was back to New Orleans again until he rejoined Armstrong briefly in 1941 and then went on to play with Red Allen and led his own band. In 1944 he played with Sidney Bechet.  After World War Two he stayed in New Orleans, leading his own bands and marching in brass bands. In 1960 he re-formed his father's Onward Brass Band and played at Preservation Hall and also made several recordings.

Barbarin was an accomplished and knowledgeable musician, a member of ASCAP, and the composer of a number of pop tunes and Dixieland standards, including "Come Back Sweet Papa", "Don't Forget to Mess Around (When You're Doing the Charleston)", "Bourbon Street Parade", and "(Paul Barbarin's) Second Line".
He died on February 17, 1969 while playing a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade.

New Orleans Jazz Party

'Tribute to Buddy Bolden': George Lewis (clarinet), Paul Barbarin (drums), Punch Miller (trumpet), Sweet Emma Barrett (piano), Peter Bocage (violin), etc. - Air Date: December 25, 1958

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cat Meditation @ 4am

Are you blind when you're born? 
Can you see in the dark?
Can you look at a king?
Would you sit on his throne?
Can you say of your bite that it's worse than your bark?
Are you cock of the walk
When you're walking alone?

Because jellicles are and jellicles do
Jellicles do and jellicles would
Jellicles would and jellicles can
Jellicles can and jellicles do

When you fall on your head, do you land on your feet?
Are you tense when you sense there's a storm in the air?
Can you find your way blind when you're lost in the street?
Do you know how to go to the heaviside layer?

Because jellicles can and jellicles do
Jellicles do and jellicles can
Jellicles can and jellicles do
Jellicles do and jellicles can
Jellicles can and jellicles do

Can you ride on a broomstick to places far distant?
Familiar with candle,
with book, and with bell?
Were you Whittington's friend?
The Pied Piper's assistant?
Have you been an alumnus of heaven and hell?
Are you mean like a minx?
Are you lean like a lynx?
Are you keen to be seen when you're smelling a rat?
Were you there when the pharaohs commissioned the Sphinx?

If you were, and you are, you're a jellicle cat
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
We can dive through the air like a flying trapeze
We can turn double somersaults, bounce on a tire
We can run up a wall, we can swing through the trees
We can balance on bars, we can walk on a wire
Jellicles can and jellicles do
Jellicles can and jellicles do
Jellicles can and jellicles do
Jellicles can and jellicles do
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats

Can you sing at the same time in more than one key?
Duets by Rossini

and waltzes by Strauss?
And can you (as cats do) begin with a 'C'?

That always triumphantly brings down the house?
Jellicle cats are queens of the nights
Singing at astronomical heights
Handling pieces from The Messiah
Hallelujah, angelical Choir
Jellicle cats are queens of the nights
Singing at astronomical heights
Handling pieces from The Messiah
Hallelujah, angelical Choir
The mystical divinity of unashamed felinity
Round the cathedral rang 'Vivat'
Life to the everlasting cat!
Feline, fearless, faithful and true
To others who do-what
Jellicles do and jellicles can
Jellicles can and jellicles do
Jellicle cats sing jellicle chants
Jellicles old and jellicles new
Jellicle song and jellicle dance
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
Practical cats, dramatical cats
Pragmatical cats, fanatical cats
Oratorical cats, Delphicoracle cats
Skeptical cats, Dispeptical cats
Romantical cats, Pedantical cats
Critical and parasitical cats
Allegorical cats, metaphorical cats
Statistical cats and mystical cats
Political cats, hypocritical cats
Clerical cats, hysterical cats
Cynical cats, rabbinical cats
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats
Jellicle songs for jellicle cats

The Naming of Cats
The naming of cats is a difficult matter
It isn't just one of your holiday games
You may think at first I'm mad as a hatter
When I tell you a cat must have three different names
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey
All of them are sensible, everyday names
But I tell you a cat needs a name that's particular
A name that's peculiar and more dignified
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular?
Or spread out his whiskers or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo or Coricopat
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum
Names that never belong to more than one cat
But above and beyond there's still one name left over
And that is the name that you will never guess
The name that no human research can discover
But the cat himself knows and will never confess
When you notice a cat in profound meditation
The reason, I tell you, is always the same
His mind is engaged in rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name
His ineffable, effable, effanineffable
Deep and inscrutable singular name
Name, name, name, name, name, name

The young and innocent white cat Victoria performs a solo dance. Munkustrap, a large grey tabby who serves as the show's narrator, explains that the Jellicle Cats meet once a year to rejoice! He also explains that they are waiting for their leader, the wise Old Deuteronomy, who will choose which one of the Jellicle Cats will this year journey to the Heavyside Layer to be reborn to a new life!

The Invitation To The Jellicle Ball
Jellicle cats come out tonight
Jellicle cats come one, come all
The jellicle moon is shining bright
Jellicles come to the jellicle ball
Jellicle cats come out tonight
Jellicles come to the jellicle ball

Jellicle cats meet once a year
At the jellicle ball where we all rejoice
And the jellicle leader will soon appear
And make what is known as the jellicle choice
When Old Deuteronomy just before dawn
Through a silence you feel you could cut with a knife
Announces the cat who can now be reborn
And come back to different jellicle life
Because waiting up there is the heaviside layer
Full of wonders one jellicle only will see
Jellicles ask because jellicles dare
Who will it be?

The evening takes a somber turn when the outcast figure "Grizabella, The Glamour Cat" appears. Although she is a Jellicle Cat, the rest of the tribe shun her. She had left the tribe years ago to explore the outside world. The outside world has been hard on her, however, and she who was once a beautiful and glamorous feline is now tattered and torn. Although she wants to return, the other cats are cruel, clawing and hissing at her. But Grizabella is proud, and she vows to return.

 Grizabella, the Glamour Cat
Remark the cat who hesitates toward you
In the light of the door which opens on her like a grin
You see the border of her coat is torn and stained with sand
And you see the corner of her eye twist like a crooked pin

She haunted many a low resort
Near the grimy road of Tottenham Court
She flitted about the No Man's Land
From The Rising Sun to The Friend at Hand
And the postman sighed as he scratched his head
"You'd really had thought she ought to be dead"
And who would ever suppose that
That was Grizabella, the glamour cat
Grizabella, the glamour cat
Grizabella, the glamour cat

And who would ever suppose that
That was Grizabella, the glamour cat

Grizabella intrudes once more, wanting to rejoin her family and be a part of the celebration. The cats again scorn her. She is left to contemplate her "Memory" of the time before she left the tribe, when she was once young, beautiful and happy.

Silence-not a sound from the pavement
Has the moon lost her memory? She is smiling alone
In the lamplight the withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan
Every street lamp seems to beat a fatalistic warning
Someone mutters and the streetlamp gutters
And soon it will be morning
Memory-all alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days, I was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

Excerpts from Cats, the musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot.

Full script here:  Cats Lyrics

Monday, January 14, 2013

“I went to bed and woke in the middle of the night thinking I heard someone cry, thinking I myself was weeping, and I felt my face and it was dry. Then I looked at the window and thought: Why, yes, it's just the rain, the rain, always the rain, and turned over, sadder still, and fumbled about for my dripping sleep and tried to slip it back on.” Ray Bradbury

Bobby and his band
The Globe Arena
Stockholm, Sweden
April 5, 2002

Seeing this performance first thing this morning makes me want to seize the day.  If  I do or not remains to be seen.  For now, at this moment, it's enough that it makes me want to.  I love watching Bob's leg action while performing; it's a peculiar and, to me, pleasing, quirk.  I haven't been able to find any information as to whether or not he needs, or at one time needed a cane to help him walk.  It is a fact though, that musicians often develop lower back problems.  Certainly, with Dylan's almost 50 years of nightly stage performances and touring, there would be a high probability of his developing problems that would necessitate the use of a cane.  Add to that equation the injuries he sustained due to a motorcycle accident on July 29, 1966.

The account of the accident he gave to the playwright Sam Shepard, who published it in Esquire as part of a one-act play called "A Short Life Of Trouble aka 'True Dylan".
  “It was real early in the morning on top of a hill near Woodstock,” he told Shepard. “I can’t even remember how it happened. I was blinded by the sun for a second. . . . I just happened to look up right smack into the sun with both eyes and, sure enough, I went blind for a second and I kind of panicked or something. I stomped down on the brake and the rear wheel locked up on me and I went flyin’."


Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Walk in the WIld Life

I've decided to lift the ban on color for a while.  After posting my previous entry of Offerings to the Sun, and since it was such a wonderfully bright, sunny and warm day (49 degrees) we decided to take a walk through the wildlife refuge.  I took these pictures with my sweet little cheapo Canon Power Shot.   We weren't supposed to buy gifts for each other this year, but  I broke that deal by making a secret trip to Best Buy where I purchased two identical cameras (mine blue, his silver) then wrapped them, tagged them "from Santa" and put them in our stockings.  It's nice having a camera small and slim enough to slip into my coat pocket.  So far it's been keeping a great charge too.  That's important to me; I hate having to charge a camera each time I want to use it.  The idea for a walk was mutual and spontaneous, 'let's not waste this sunshine' being the motivating factor to get me away from the computer and him away from the television.  On my way out the door I remembered my camera which had been sitting on the mantle, ran back and grabbed it hoping it didn't need a charge.  It didn't. 

These pictures are arranged according to the order in which they were taken on our walk along the trails and paths of the refuge.  Initially, in trying to keep with my new no-color scheme - theme,  I ran the photos through an editing process on an image hosting site to remove the color and replace it with black, white and shades thereof.  But somehow, even though I liked the look, it bothered my conscience to take the color out of such a beautiful day,  it seemed an arrogant and ungrateful thing to do.