Wednesday, January 29, 2014

So cold. Sometimes it gets so cold.

Written by John Prine
performed twice by Bob Dylan, 
Rome, June 6, 1991 (above)
São Paulo Brazil, August 17,1991

People that are sad,
sometimes they wear a frown
People that are kings,
sometimes they wear a crown
But the people that don't fit
Get the only fun they get
[from] People puttin' people down
People puttin' people down

You may lose your life,
you may lose your family
You may lose your mind,
just to keep your sanity
But the people that don't fit,
the only fun they get:
People puttin' people down
People puttin' people down

So cold, sometimes it gets so cold

People that are glad,
sometimes they wear a smile
People without dreams
will walk an extra mile
But the people that don't fit,
the only fun they get:
People puttin' people down
People puttin' people down

So cold, sometimes it gets so cold

(Second verse, not sung by Dylan):

People without love,
sometimes build a fence around
The garden up above
that makes the whole world go 'round
But all the people that don't fit
Get the only fun they get
From people puttin' people down
People puttin' people down.

Thanks to Egil for posting the above video.  If not for you, I may never have known that Bob performed this John Prine song.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger, the American troubadour

You gotta walk that lonesome valley

Pete Seeger:

I usually do a little meditation and prayer every night before I go to sleep - Just part of the routine. Last night, I decided to go visit Pete Seeger for a while, just to spend a little time together, it was around 9 PM. So I was sitting in my home in Florida, having a lovely chat with Pete, who was in a hospital in New York City. That's the great thing about thoughts and prayers- You can go or be anywhere.

I simply wanted him to know that I loved him dearly, like a father in some ways, a mentor in others and just as a dear friend a lot of the time. I'd grown up that way - loving the Seegers - Pete & Toshi and all their family.

I let him know I was having trouble writing his obituary (as I'd been asked) but it seemed just so silly and I couldn't think of anything that didn't sound trite or plain stupid. "They'll say something appropriate in the news," we agreed. We laughed, we talked, and I took my leave about 9:30 last night. 

"Arlo" he said, sounding just like the man I've known all of my life, "I guess I'll see ya later." I've always loved the rising and falling inflections in his voice. "Pete," I said. "I guess we will."

I turned off the light and closed my eyes and fell asleep until very early this morning, about 3 AM when the texts and phone calls started coming in from friends telling me Pete had passed away.

"Well, of course he passed away!" I'm telling everyone this morning. "But that doesn't mean he's gone."

Arlo Guthrie - written on his Facebook page about 7am this morning

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I Ain't Gonna Go

to hell for anybody

 Dante And Virgil In Hell_
William-Adolphe_Bouguereau  (1850)

This was consistently performed in concert between April and December 1980, with two entirely different sets of lyrics, but was never recorded in the studio.

I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody

I can manipulate people as well as anybody
Force 'em and burn 'em, twist 'em and turn 'em
I can make believe I'm in love with almost anybody
Hold 'em and control 'em, squeeze 'em and tease 'em
All that satisfies the fleshy needs
I've been down that road, i know what it needs.

But I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
Not today, not tonight, not tomorrow, no never, no way!

I can persuade people as well as anybody
I got the vision but it caused division
I can twist the truth as well as anybody
I know how to do it, i've been all the way through it
But it don't suit my purpose and it ain't my goal
To gain the whole world, but give up my soul.

But I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
Not for father, not for mother,
not for sister, not for father, no way!

I can twist the truth around as well as anybody
Wine 'em and dine 'em, fool 'em and rule 'em
I can rob and steal from people as well as anybody
I know how to do it
But it don't suit my purpose and it ain't my goal
To gain the whole world but give up my soul.

But I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
Not for father, not for mother,
not for sister, not for father, no way!

Smoke arises for ever, on a one-way ticket to burn
A place reserved for the devil
And for all those that done evil
A place of darkness and shame, you can never return.

I can influence people as well as anybody
I can cause division, can cause division
I can mislead people as well as anybody
Burn 'em and roll 'em, rob 'em and hold 'em
Won't get my story in tricks or cards
I can see through man's delusions, i can see through his facades.

But I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
Not today, not tonight, not tomorrow, no never, no way!

I can write and steal from people as well as anybody
Know all the devices, paid a lot of prices
I can influence people as well as anybody
Go right up to 'em, i know how to do 'em
Don't need to depend on tricks or on cards
I can see through man's delusions, I can see through his facades

But I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
I ain't gonna go to hell for anybody
Not today, not tonight, not tomorrow, no never, no way!
(Bob Dylan)


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Who are all those friends, all scattered like dry leaves? — Woody Guthrie

Miguel Negrete Álvarez. Tomás Aviña de Gracia. Francisco Llamas Durán. Santiago García Elizondo. Rosalio Padilla Estrada. Tomás Padilla Márquez. Bernabé López Garcia. Salvador Sandoval Hernández. Severo Medina Lára. Elías Trujillo Macias. José Rodriguez Macias. Luis López Medina. Manuel Calderón Merino. Luis Cuevas Miranda. Martin Razo Navarro. Ignacio Pérez Navarro. Román Ochoa Ochoa. Ramón Paredes Gonzalez. Guadalupe Ramírez Lára. Apolonio Ramírez Placencia. Alberto Carlos Raygoza. Guadalupe Hernández Rodríguez. Maria Santana Rodríguez. Juan Valenzuela Ruiz. Wenceslao Flores Ruiz. José Valdívia Sánchez. Jesús Meza Santos. Baldomero Marcas Torres.

LA Times

Hughes Stadium
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado
23 May 1976

Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)

The crops are all in and the peaches are rott’ning,
The oranges piled in their creosote dumps;
They’re flying ‘em back to the Mexican border
To pay all their money to wade back again

Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
You won’t have your names when you ride the big airplane,
All they will call you will be “deportees”

My father’s own father, he waded that river,
They took all the money he made in his life;
My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees,
And they rode the truck till they took down and died.

Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contract’s out and we have to move on;
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,
We died in your valleys and died on your plains.
We died ‘neath your trees and we died in your bushes,
Both sides of the river, we died just the same.

The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
The radio says, “They are just deportees”

Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil
And be called by no name except “deportees”?

Bob Dylan (vocal & guitar)
Joan Baez (guitar and shared vocal)

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Philadelphia Museum of Art
January 2014
Photos by Philadelphia Photographer Hughe Dillon
Check out his excellent blog, Philly Chit Chat

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Happiness is ........

Yesterday, while editing one of my old posts, I somehow lost it (the post, not my mind).  Actually, I was attempting to cull portions of it to use in a "Why I Love Comic Books" slide show presentation.  So, what follows is the individual slides made up of the comic book poem that was once here, the explanation of how I came to write that poem, and some additional "stuff" I added to the slide show.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Not much to say except that I like this picture of Patti Smith.  I'm not terribly fond of her poetry, much of it is vulgar and with all of the words we have in the English language I see no reason to be vulgar in poetry or any form of artistic expression.  I guess it's her refusal to let anyone dictate what she can say or think or do, which is admirable to an extent, but taken too far it becomes trite, childish and annoying.  At the same time, I respect her for her ideas about feminine beauty and for resisting the pressure to fit and fall into the pit of societies definition of physical beauty.  I do see a superior type of beauty in Patti.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Dave Crognale (left), and Wayne Lytle
Learn more about what they do here

Animusic is an American company specializing in the 3D visualization of MIDI-based music. Founded in 1995 by Wayne Lytle, it is incorporated in New York and has offices in Texas and California. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Now This Is A Real Gift

A work of Mahmoud Farshchian
by Mahmoud Farshchian
Mahmoud Farshchian
A work of Mahmoud Farshchian

 Hafiz: Ghazal 388- The Sun and Holy Spirits (From Persian)
Translated by A.Z. Foreman

Listen to A.Z. Foreman recite this Ghazzal in Persian and English here

It's sunrise, wineboy. Pour my drink straightway
     For the turning of the sphere brooks no delay.
Ere our fleeting world has wasted away completely
     Get me completely wasted with Rosé!
From the east of the winebowl rose the wine's red sun.
     Want pleasure? Tell sleep to get out of your face today.
Fill the chalice of my skull with age-sweet ferment
     The day the Firmament's wheel makes jugs of my clay,
I'm no man for sufistry, cant or hermetic babble.
     If the wine is crystal-clear, then have your say.
          Hafiz! The worship of liquid spirits is proper.
          Get up, then, and vow to make it a proper day.

The Original:
صبح است ساقیا قدحی پرشراب کن دور فلک درنگ ندارد شتاب کن
زان پیشتر که عالم فانی شود خراب ما را ز جام باده گلگون خراب کن
خورشید می ز مشرق ساغر طلوع کرد گر برگ عیش می‌طلبی ترک خواب کن
روزی که چرخ از گل ما کوزه‌ها کند زنهار کاسه سر ما پرشراب کن
ما مرد زهد و توبه و طامات نیستیم با ما به جام باده صافی خطاب کن
کار صواب باده پرستیست حافظا
برخیز و عزم جزم به کار صواب کن

Субҳ аст, Соқиё, қадаҳе пуршароб кун,
Даври фалак даранг надорад шитоб кун!
3-он пештар, ки олами фонӣ шавад хароб,
Моро зи ҷоми бодаи гулгун хароб кун!
Хуршеди май зи машриқи соғар тулӯъ кард,
Гар барги айш металабӣ, тарки хоб кун!
Рӯзе, ки чарх аз гили мо кӯзаҳо кунад,
Зинҳор косаи сари мо пуршароб кун!
Мо марди зӯҳду тавбаву томот нестем,
Бо мо ба ҷоми бодаи софӣ хитоб кун!
Кори савоб бодапарастист, Ҳофизо,
Бархезу азми ҷазм ба кори савоб кун!

Visit the amazing A.Z. Foreman  here

and see what he thinks about Daniel Ladinsky  here

A work of Mahmoud Farshchian

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Moon and Leo

Second-chance ISON shower. When comet ISON was approaching late last year, it passed within two million miles of Earth’s orbit. Now on January 15, the Earth orbits through the same spot where the comet passed, which may mean we might see some meteor activity from the former comet’s debris stream—if there is any left.

The predicted radiant, the point in the sky from which ISON’s particles might appear to fly out from, happens to lie within the constellation Leo, the Lion, which rises during the early evening hours in the northeast. Leo reaches its highest point in the southern sky near 2 a.m. local time. For where to look in the sky for possible meteors, check out these handy sky charts from the American Meteor Society.

Moon joins the Lion’s heart. On Saturday, January 18, look for the 78-light-years-distant Regulus, the lead star in the constellation Leo to brush past the moon. The two celestial objects will appear to pass within five degrees of each other. When looking up at Regulus tonight, it’s amazing to think that its starlight left on its journey in 1935, when radar was invented, the Moscow subway opened, and Mutiny on the Bounty starring Clark Gable won an Oscar for Best Actor.

Leo the Lion is one of the earliest recognized constellations. The Mesopotamians are known to have documented the “lion” constellation. The Persians called it Ser or Shir; the Turks, Artan; the Syrians, Aryo; the Jewish, Arye; the Indians, Simha.

Leo is a highly recognizable constellation, as it is one of the few constellations that resemble its namesake. It is fairly easy to find because the “pointer stars” of the Big Dipper point to Leo.
Leo lies between Cancer to the west and Virgo to the east.

The constellation can be found by looking for the "sickle" starting at the Regulus (Alpha Leonis) star. Regulus, Al Jabbah, and Algieba, together with the fainter stars ζ Leo (Adhafera), μ Leo (Ras Elased Borealis), and ε Leo (Ras Elased Australis), constitute the sickle.

Another star in the planet is Al Geiba, the brightest star in the curve of the sickle, means "the lion’s mane." In January 2001, a large object eight times the size of Jupiter was discovered orbiting Al Geiba.

A triangle of stars forms the lion’s haunches, with the brightest star of this trio being Denebola, which means "tail of the lion."
There are a number of luminous galaxies within Leo, including the Leo triplet of M66, M65 and NGC 3628. The Leo Ring, a cloud of hydrogen and helium gas, orbits of two dwarf galaxies.

Leo is the Nemean Lion, which was killed by Hercules on one of the 12 labors he had to perform for killing his family. According to Greek mythology, the lion that terrorized the citizens had a hide that could not be punctured by iron, bronze or stone. Having broken all of his weapons fighting the man-eating lion, Hercules finally strangled it to death and placed it in the heavens as one of his conquests.

Astrological Forcast for Leo:

Get ready to sink or swim! Another Full Moon means it's time to dive deep into emotional waters. But before you take the plunge, I have to warn you this one may require some extra navigation.

That's because this Full Moon is happening in hyper-sensitive Cancer. Navigating your emotions may be difficult now, and even simple situations could turn into dramatic nightmares. Full Moons are short-lived, but their impact can be powerful and lasting. Luckily,

Monday, January 13, 2014

Brace Yourself Bridget


or The Night John Lynch Didn't Lose His Glasses 


 From LocalTVIreland:  John Lynch is a blues singer/shouter from Cork City. John makes impromptu guest appearances on any given Monday at Charlies Bar, Union Quay, Cork. He also performs as lead vocalist of The Medication Blues Band. John hasn't made any formal recordings (as yet), but some videos of his live performances exist on Youtube.  Cork band Princes Street named one of their albums in his honour "The Night John Lynch Lost His Glasses". 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Gift or Nada Gift

Daniel Ladinsky, author of  "The Gift"  is a Sufi who doesn't read, write or speak Farsi, but claims  he heard the poems from Hafiz himself in a dream. 
 "I feel my relationship to Hafiz defies all reason" he says in the book's introduction. "It is really an attempt to do the impossible, to translate light into words... About six months into this work I had an astounding dream in which I saw Hafiz as a never-ending, boundless sun (God), who sang hundreds of verses of his poetry to me in English, asking me to give his message to 'my fellow artists and art seekers' ".

In a blog he wrote for the Huffington Post  in 2009 he says:
"The words guru, swami, super swami, master,
teacher, yogi, murshid, priest -- most of those
sporting such a title are just peacocks.

The litmus test is to hold them upside down
over a cliff for a few hours. If they don't wet
their pants ... maybe you found a real one."

Following is one of the poems supposedly spoken to Ladinsky by Hafiz:

Tired of Speaking Sweetly

Love wants to reach out and manhandle us,
Break all our teacup talk of God.

If you had the courage and could give the Beloved His choice,
Some nights He would just drag you around the room by your hair,
Ripping from your grip all those toys in the world
That bring you no joy.

Love sometimes gets tired of speaking sweetly
And wants to rip to shreds all your erroneous notions of truth
That make you fight within yourself, dear one,
And with others,
Causing the world to weep on too many fine days.

God wants to manhandle us,
Lock us up in a tiny room with Himself
And practice His dropkick.
The Beloved sometimes wants to do us a great favor:
Hold us upside down and shake all the nonsense out.

But when we hear He is in such a "playful drunken mood"
Most everyone I know quickly packs their bags
And hightails it out of town.

Shams al-Din Muhammad Hafiz
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

A lot of critics accuse Ladinsky of out-right fraud and deception. Murat Nemet Nejat, a modern Turkish essayist and poet, asserts: 
"Ladinsky's book is an original poem masquerading as a translation... As God talked to Moses in Hebrew, to Mohammad in Arabic, Hafiz spoke to Daniel Ladinsky in English. Mr. Ladinsky is translating a dream, not a 14th century Persian text.  As such, the book is worse than a failure; it is a deception, a marketing rip-off of his name.  There are no original Farsi versions of this poem which actually comes from an American Sufi and his interpretation of  'light'".
"Why does the title of the book say, "Poems by Hafiz," and not "based on" or something in that vein? The charitable answer would be that Mr. Ladinsky did not know any better, that he truly believes he is translating Hafiz and The Gift is a visionary labor of love. He told me as much in a telephone conversation, pointing to how well the book is doing, when I asked him to refer me to one or two specific Hafiz Gazels in the book, which he could not. The second answer is that "Hafiz" is a marketable brand name. Would Arkana have published this book if its author was merely Daniel Ladinsky? I am also curious if Penguin has ever vetted the nature of these translations."

Lay Down Your Weary Tune

Learn more about Jim & Jean here

Lay down your weary tune, lay down
Lay down the song you strum
And rest yourself ’neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum

Struck by the sounds before the sun
I knew the night had gone
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn

Lay down your weary tune, lay down
Lay down the song you strum
And rest yourself ’neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum

The ocean wild like an organ played
The seaweed’s wove its strands
The crashin’ waves like cymbals clashed
Against the rocks and sands

Lay down your weary tune, lay down
Lay down the song you strum
And rest yourself ’neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum

I stood unwound beneath the skies
And clouds unbound by laws
The cryin’ rain like a trumpet sang
And asked for no applause

Lay down your weary tune, lay down
Lay down the song you strum
And rest yourself ’neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum

The last of leaves fell from the trees
And clung to a new love’s breast
The branches bare like a banjo played
To the winds that listened best

I gazed down in the river’s mirror
And watched its winding strum
The water smooth ran like a hymn
And like a harp did hum

Lay down your weary tune, lay down
Lay down the song you strum
And rest yourself ’neath the strength of strings
No voice can hope to hum

music and lyrics by Bob Dylan
Copyright © 1964, 1965 by Warner Bros. Inc.; 
renewed 1992, 1993 by Special Rider Music 

A Simple Man

1991 Grammy Life Time Achievement Award

“Well, my daddy, he didn’t leave me much, you know he was a very simple man, but what he did tell me was this, he did say, son, he said ….. (long pause) .... he said so many things  .....  (laughter from the audience) ...... he say, you know it’s possible to become so defiled in this world that your own father and mother will abandon you and if that happens, God will always believe in your ability to mend your ways.”

Paradox: something that is made up of two opposite things and that seems impossible but is actually true or possible

I accept chaos
I've given up making any attempt at perfection
I'm called a songwriter
A poem is a naked person 
Some people say I'm a poet
All I'm doing is saying what's on my mind
the best way I know how
and whatever else you say about me
everything I do or say or write
comes out of me

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ring Them Bells

Christ in the House of Mary and Martha, 1620
Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez 

I'm reposting this.  Just because I can. Actually, I'm house-cleaning my blog, checking links, reviving old posts that were saved as drafts, dusting the nic-nacks, getting rid of cobwebs and sweeping up. the floors.  In the process of all this I came across this wonderful video of Bob singing Ring Them Bells and noticed it no longer had the option to share and embed.  When I was in the "compose" mode on my blog page the video was not visible so I switched to HTML mode.  I'm not a whiz with HTML code and since the page was then entirely in code it was hard to discern where the other page content ended and the video code began.  I had to operate and slice out the piece of code that was for the video, it was a guessing game and I guess I guessed right because I was able to embed that portion and post it here and it worked. 

Arthur and George

"How can you make sense of the beginning unless you know the ending?"

I loved this book. It weaves the lives of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and George Edalji into a spellbinding mystery.  These two very different Englishmen become known to each other somewhere in the middle of the book when it becomes clear to them, and the reader, how intricately their lives have been entwined from the beginning when each at a very young age were assaulted with the concept and meaninglessness of Death.  This is my abbreviated take on this wonderful book. Below is a professional and more detailed review.

Arthur and George  N Y Times review

The Light of the World

The Light of the World (1853–54)
by William Holman Hunt 

 Revelation 3:20: 
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me". 

According to Hunt:
 "I painted the picture with what I thought, unworthy though I was, to be by Divine command, and not simply as a good Subject." The door in the painting has no handle, and can therefore be opened only from the inside, representing "the obstinately shut mind". Hunt, 50 years after painting it, felt he had to explain the symbolism

Self Portrait
William Holman Hunt (2 April 1827 – 7 September 1910)

 I'm very fond of Hunt's work and will be posting more of it in the near future. 

The Doors of Perception

Life Between Pages 
by Dianna Dihaze
Dihaze is a photographer and digital artist from Odessa, Ukraine.
Her dark photo-manipulation based work is part fantasy and part erotic.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Album Cover Homage

World Gone Wrong

Wonderland Gone Wrong

World Gone Wrong
Liner Notes by Bob Dylan
About the Songs
(what they're about)

BROKE DOWN ENGINE is a Blind Willie Mctell masterpiece. it's about trains, mystery on the rails -- the train of love, the train that carried my girl from town -- The Southern Pacific, Baltimore & Ohio whatever -- it's about variations of human longing -- the low hum in meter & syllables. it's about dupes of commerce & politics colliding on tracks, not being pushed around by ordinary standards. it's about revival, getting a new lease on life, not just posing there -- paint chipped & flaked, mattress bare, single bulb swinging above the bed. it's about Ambiguity, the fortunes of the privilege elite, flood control -- watching the red dawn not bothering to dress.

LOVE HENRY is a "traditionalist" ballad. Tom Paley used to do it. a perverse tale. Henry -- modern corporate man off some foreign boat, unable to handle his "psychosis" responsible for organizing the Intelligentsia, disarming the people, an infantile sensualist -- white teeth, wide smile, lotza money, kowtow to fairy queen exploiters & corrupt religious establishments, career minded, limousine double parked, imposing his will & dishonest garbage in popular magazines. he lays his head on a pillow of down & falls asleep. he shoulda known better, he must've had a hearing problem.

STACK A LEE is Frank Hutchinson's version. what does the song say exactly? it says no man gains immortality thru public acclaim. truth is shadowy. in the pre-postindustrial age, victims of violence were allowed (in fact it was their duty) to be judges over their offenders -- parents were punished for their children's crimes (we've come a long way since then) the song says that a man's hat is his crown. futurologists would insist it's a matter of taste. they say "let's sleep on it" but theory already living in the sanitarium. No Rights Without Duty is the name of the game & fame is a trick. playing for time is only horsing around. Stack's in a cell, no wall phone. he is not some egotistical degraded existentialist dionysian idiot, neither does he represent any alternative lifestyle scam (give me a thousand acres of tractable land & all the gang members that exist & you'll see the Authentic alternative lifestyle, the Agrarian one) Billy didn't have an insurance plan, didn't get airsick yet his ghost is more real & genuine than all the dead souls on the boob tube -- a monumental epic of blunder & misunderstanding. a romance tale without the cupidity.

BLOOD IN MY EYES is one of two songs done by the Mississippi Sheiks, a little known de facto group whom in their former glory must've been something to behold. rebellion against routine seems to be their strong theme. all their songs are raw to the bone & are faultlessly made for these modern times (the New Dark Ages) nothing effete about the Mississippi Sheiks.

WORLD GONE WRONG is also by them & goes against cultural policy. "strange things are happening like never before" strange things alright -- strange things like courage becoming befuddled & nonfundamental. evil charlatans masquerading in pullover vests & tuxedos talking gobbledygook, monstrous pompous superficial pageantry parading down lonely streets on limited access highways. strange things indeed -- irrationalist bimbos & bozos, the stuff of legend, coming in from left field -- infamy on the landscape -- "pray to the Good Lord" hit the light switch!

JACK-A-ROE is another Tom Paley ballad (Tom, one of the original New Lost City Ramblers) the young virgin follows her heart (which can't be confined) & in it the secrets of the universe. "there was a wealthy merchant" wealthy & philosophically influential perhaps with an odd penchant for young folk. the song cannot be categorized -- is worlds away from reality but "gets inside" reality anyway & strips it of its steel and concrete. inverted symmetry, legally stateless, traveling under a false passport. "before you step on board, sir..." are you any good at what you do? submerge you personality.

DELIA is one sad tale-two or more versions mixed into one. the song has no middle range, comes whipping around the corner, seems to be about counterfeit loyalty. Delia herself, no Queen Gertrude, Elizabeth 1 or even Evita Peron, doesn't ride a Harley Davidson across the desert highway, doesn't need a blood change & would never go on a shopping spree. the guy in the courthouse sounds like a pimp in primary colors. he's not interested in mosques on the temple mount, armageddon or world war 111, doesn't put his face in his knees & weep & wears no dunce hat, makes no apology & is doomed to obscurity. does this song have rectitude? you bet. toleration of the unacceptable leads to the last round-up. the singer's not talking from a head full of booze.

Jerry Garcia showed me TWO SOLDIERS (Hazel & Alice do it pretty similar) a battle song extraordinaire, some dragoon officer's epaulettes laying liquid in the mud, physical plunge into Limitationville, war dominated by finance (lending money for interest being a nauseating & revolting thing) love is not collateral. hittin' em where they ain't (in the imperfect state that they're in) America when Mother was the queen of Her heart, before Charlie Chaplin, before the Wild One, before the Children of the Sun -- before the celestial grunge, before the insane world of entertainment exploded in our faces -- before all the ancient & honorable artillery had been taken out of the city, learning to go forward by turning back the clock, stopping the mind from thinking in hours, firing a few random shots at the face of time.

RAGGED & DIRTY one of the Willie Browns did this -- schmaltz & pickled herring, stuffed cabbage, heavy moral vocabulary -- sweetness & sentiment, house rocking, superior beauty, not just standing there -- the seductive magic of the thumbs up salute, carefully thought out overtones & stepping sideways, the idols of human worship paying thru the nose, lords of the illogical in smoking jackets, sufferers from a weak education, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle -- taking stupid chances -- being mistreated only just so far.

LONE PILGRIM is from an old Doc Watson record. what attracts me to the song is how the lunacy of trying to fool the self is set aside at some given point. salvation & the needs of mankind are prominent & hegemony takes a breathing spell. "my soul flew to mansions on high" what's essentially true is virtual reality. technology to wipe out truth is now available. not everybody can afford it but it's available. when the cost comes down look out! there wont be songs like these anymore. factually there aren't any now.

by the way, don't be bewildered by the Never Ending Tour chatter. there was a Never Ending Tour but it ended in '91 with the departure of guitarist G.E. Smith. that one's long gone but there have been many others since then. The Money Never Runs Out Tour (fall of '91) Southern Sympathizer Tour (early '92) Why Do You Look At Me So Strangley Tour (European '92) The One Sad Cry of Pity Tour (Australia & West Coast America '92) Principles Of Action Tour (Mexico -- South American '92) Outburst Of Consciousness Tour ('92) Don't Let Your Deal Go Down Tour('93) & others too many to mention each with their own character & design. to know which was which consult the playlists.
-- Bob Dylan

Produced by Bob Dylan
Recorded and mixed by Micajah Ryan
Guitar, Vocals and harmonica performed by Bob Dylan
Mastered by Stephen Marcussen at Precision Mastering, LA

Design -- Nancy Donald
Photos by Ana Maria Velez
Back cover photo by Randee St. Nicholas

All songs traditional, arranged by Bob Dylan
(ASCAP), published by Special Rider Music
except "Lone Pilgrim" written by B.F. White & Adger M. Pace

Someone Get Me A Ladder

EPL - Keith Emerson, Carl Palmer & Greg Lake
(Out of their ordinary ELP lineup)

It's a rare privilege to see pure genius at work. The first concert I ever attended was Emerson, Lake and Palmer in Philadelphia, 1974. It shook me to the core.  Nothing can reduplicate or compare to  that experience,  but this is a close second.

"Knire Edge" (at about 44:45) is based on the first movement of  Leoš Janáček's Sinfonietta (1926) with an instrumental middle section that includes and extended quotation from the Allemande of Johann Sebastian Bach's first French Suite in D minor but played on an organ rather than clavichord or piano.

Knife Edge

Just a step, cried the sad man,
Take a look down at the madman
Bearded kings on silver wings
Fly beyond reason
From the flight of the seagull,
Come the spread claws of the eagle
Only fear breaks the silence,
As we all kneel, pray for guidance
Tread the room, cross the abyss,
Take a look down at the madness
On the streets of the city,
Only spectres still have pity
Patient queues for the gallows,
Sing the praises of the hallows
Our machines feed the furnace,
If they take us, they will burn us
Will you still know who you are
When you come to who you are?
When the flames have their season
Will you hold to your reason?
Will you die with your chance?
Can you still keep your balance?
Can you wake from the nightmare?

Compare the following 2 versions of Knife Edge and see if you come to the conclusion I do.


This 2nd version is FANTASTIC, but it seems odd to me that Keith is dressed to the hilt in blue glitter-wear, while Greg and Carl are wearing their same old- same old everyday wear.  I'm wondering if this video was 're-masterd" or edited with 1974 footage of Keith introduced (cut/spliced & inserted/pasted) into the 1970 Live in Switzerland version.  If so it was a masterful edit.  In the Swedish performance Greg and Carl are wearing the same clothes and Keith is wearing everyday ordinary clothes too.  When I saw them in Philadelphia in 1974 they were all dressed in stage or costume clothing. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My love she's like some Raven at my window with a broken wing.

Edgar Allan Poe House in Philadelphia.  

The house on 7th Street in Philadelphia is where Poe, his wife Virginia, and his beloved mother-in-law, Muddy, lived for a stretch during their six years in the city.   I've never been there and I don't intend to, especially after reading the review below.
The Poe house is very much a B-List place in the world of the NPS and when you see where it is and how small the house is that will become apparent very quickly.

But with that said, if you can use your imagination a bit it can still be a winner as the displays are very well put together and Poe the man and his life were such oddities that the more you find out the less you understand.

A few noteworthy tips if you go:

The area around the house is shady at best and if you do walk from CC or make the walk from the Market-Frankfurt Blue Line just simply watch your back as the locals are "interesting" at best.  As other reviewers already remarked, there is zero in the neighborhood to do except for maybe get shot or stabbed.

You can't just enter the house.  There is a sign on the door that tells you to knock first.
They do this because if you come first thing when they open apparently there is only one ranger there and if they are in another part of the house they won't be at the door to greet you.  (And it probably has something to do with the locals as well.)

If you do show up when only one ranger is on duty they will not offer the guided house tour.

The house is free but the 1st floor has a well done short movie and various displays explaining Poe's life and all of his struggles and the strange circumstances surrounding his death.

Floors two and three are unfurnished and simply show where the members of the house likely lived while the basement does it's best at being creepy.

Overall the price is right and if you can break away from the more well worn touristy path of history in/around Independence Hall you can definitely find something that is very different and very well put together at the Poe House.

Hours:  Wednesday - Sunday 9am - 5pm
(The house will be closed from  March 1, 2013 through June 30, 2013 for restoration work.)
Writer/director Peter Bradley brings Edgar Allan Poe's classic horror poem,THE RAVEN, to chilling life in a faithful, word-for-word adaption. Seen in numerous festivals in seven countries, and used as a teaching aid in Drama and English programs in the U.S., Canada, and the UK, THE RAVEN is greatly inspired by German expressionist cinema of the 1920's. Based not completely in reality, but not completely in fantasy, one man's self-induced torture over the loss of his lover manifests itself and pushes him over the edge of sanity. This stylized piece captures the twisted, tortured world of Poe in a simple, yet highly detailed way that has to be seen and heard to be believed.

Winners and Losers

Katie Walsh

My granddaughter Kelsy Rae
A Winner
I can't get over the resemblance that Kesy has to Katie.  A raw and brave natural beauty. When I first stumbled upon Spencer Murphy's winning photograph of Katie Walsh I thought immediately of Kelsy.

Spencer Murphy has won the £12,000 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2013 with a photograph of  Katie Walsh, an Irish jockey who came third in the Grand National 2012 and is probably one of the best, if not the best, female jump jockeys currently riding in the UK.
Taken at Kempton Park Racecourse the winning portrait of Katie Walsh was photographed whilst shooting a series of jump jockeys' portraits for Channel Four's The Original Extreme Sport campaign. ‘I was keen to include Katie,’ says Murphy: ‘I wanted to show both her femininity and the toughness of spirit she requires to compete against the best riders in one of the most demanding disciplines in horse racing. I chose to shoot the series on large format film, to give the images a depth and timelessness that I think would have been hard to achieve on a digital camera’. 

Katie Walsh rides Seabass to third place the highest ever finish for a female rider in the Grand National 
Photo: Getty Images

Grand National 2012: Katie Walsh breaks new ground for women coming third on Seabass.  Ted Walsh insisted that “one day a woman will win the Grand National” after the trainer saw his daughter, Katie, partner Seabass to finish third at Aintree – the best placing ever achieved by a woman in the race. 

By a nose: Neptune Collonges pips Sunnyhillboy at the post to win the closest-run Grand National in history

And then there's the down side:
 Carnage: Horses jump Beechers Brook at the start of the race. There were two confirmed fatalities.  Only 15 out of the 40 horses that started the race, finished. 

The problem is compounded by the uniquely arduous nature of the Aintree course, which is four-and-a-half miles long, having been extended by half-a-mile in 1975. The horses have to jump over 30 fences, which themselves are larger than those on any other course in Britain.

According to Pete ridden by Harry Haynes, left, falls after jumping Becher's Brook. The horse later had to be put down

Synchronised (circled in red) starts to fall after jumping the notoriously difficult Becher's Brook during the Grand National
In one of the most dramatic of the 165 Nationals, Synchronised’s bid to become the first horse to complete the Gold Cup-Grand National same season double since Golden Miller in 1934 ended dreadfully when he fell at Becher’s on the first circuit, unseating champion jockey AP McCoy, and then suffered a fatal injury as he continued riderless over the next few fences.