Category Archives for
Wander on over to the Try 101 site to see what we’ve been up to:
- There’s the best thing Laura read about creativity last week…
- There’s cells — the biology kind, not the penitentiary kind — writing poems…
- There’s Leonard Cohen…
- There’s Sam’s reflections on living, being, making (and Henry David Thoreau)…
(1) Taylor Grocery in Taylor, MS. | (2) The Harrow and the Harvest by Gillian Welch (with Dave Rawlings). | (3) This Wheel’s on Fire: Levon Helm and the Story of the Band by Levon Helm (with Stephen Davis). | (4) The ticket stub I’m using as a bookmark in #3: “True West presents (all ages) Gillian Welch / Roseland Theater / 8 NW Sixth Avenue – Portland OR / Tues July 12 2011 8:00 PM / Gen Adm” | (5)Which is to say: confluence. | (6) Road trips. | (7) The Delta. | (8) The Delta Blues Museum. | (9) Muddy Waters: “When I was young I had the blues. I couldn’t pay my light bill. I couldn’t pay my rent. Now, I can pay my light bill. I can pay my rent. But I still have the blues…I guess I was born with them.” | (10) Hicks tamales in Clarksdale, MS. | (11) Cameras. | (12) Pictures. Moving ones, still ones. All points in between. | (13)Editing #12 above. Think I totally missed my calling. Or no: maybe my calling has come late. Or no: maybe my calling has been calling and calling and I’ve had my fingers in my ears. | (14) But really this attitude:
Think I totally missed my calling. Or no: maybe my calling has come late. Or no: maybe my calling has been calling and calling and I’ve had my fingers in my ears. Because that’s all just noise. It’s okay to love what you love when you love it. In fact, that’s the whole point. | (15) Which is to say: “Keep your heart where your feet are.” Still. Always. | (16) “Hard Times” on #2 above. | (17) Noticing. | (18) Documenting. | (19) Distortion. | (20) Ambient noise. Still. Always. | (21) Noticing, documenting a confluence (!) between #13-15 and #19-20. Sometimes noise is good, sometimes not. I’m not yet smart enough to always tell the difference. But I’m getting there. [Note-to-self: it has to do with portion control. A little goes a long way.] | (22) Notes-to-self. | (23) The Red Cat. | (24) Plan B. | (25) Collaborations. | (26) Friends [in order of appearance]… (27) Stuart… (28) Don… (29) Will… (30) Jason.
This is [Part II of] an Open Letter.
To: Eddie Vedder, Jay Farrar, Tom Waits, Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings, Dan Bern, David Byrne, Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Rob Bochnik, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Levon Helm, Mic Christopher, Mark Geary, Ezra Caldwell, Sam Amidon, Jolie Holland, Win Butler, Mike Cooley, Lisa Hannigan, Joe Henry, JohnSmithJohnSmith
Cc: Eddie Watson, Ben Gunsberg, Ryan Reardon, Rob Robertson, Jason Slatton
Bcc: K–, T–
Re: Finding One’s Voice
Part I of this open letter is where I tell about how I can’t play guitar but want to, have always wanted to. Also it is where I display my inability to play guitar (…plus also I sing. A, like, song. I, like, wrote. Or whatever…) to the world. Via YouTube. As some sort of hair shirt. Or something. For an unrequited love. (Lord. What a perfectly beautiful lady…) Etc.
Seriously, though. It’s quite a spectacle.
Click here to check it out. I’ll wait…
So without further ado, let’s proceed to Part II:
(1) Cabbage. | (2) Cabbage soup. | (3) The Low Anthem. | (4) Simplicity. (No. Seriously. I swear.) | (5) St. Augustine. | (6) John Berger. | (7) Sweet potatoes. | (8) Edamame. | (9) Cilantro. | (10) Chili powder. | (11) Sesame oil. | (12) #7-11, together: “People either love it or hate it.” –Barista Dude at Urban Standard. Verdict: love it. Obviously. | (13) iMovie. | (14) This realization: my creative, uh, Enterprise is not unlike #7-11, together. Disparate elements. Whole greater — or anyway: much different — than the sum of its parts. | (15) This realization: if that’s the case, I have to be prepared for people to either love it or hate it. | (16) David Byrne. | (17) David Letterman. | (18) This realization: my creative Enterprise is not unlike #16-17 together. Not always (not ever, really) in equal proportions. But still. Disparate elements. Etc. | (19) This actual, real-life, back-in-the-day exchange between #16 and #17: [#17] — “Now I was listening to this record and also reading along, following along the liner notes, and I spent the better part of the afternoon being confused. But what you’re saying is the words in this particular instance don’t mean anything, do they?” [#16] — “Well. They do, but not if you try and figure ‘em out.” (Laughter.) [#17] — “Well, that was my mistake, see.” (More laughter.) | (20) How it’s sometimes like that inside my own head. Lots, actually. Not surprising. Or bad. Often it’s good for a chuckle. Plus sometimes, when I’m lucky, I get to add 16 + 17 and get 18. | (21) Wait. What? | (22) Purple-stalked space alien plants. With green-to-purple space alien berries. On… (23) …my new walk. Or anyway: the new extension of my old walk. | (24) This realization: sometimes you’re (I’m) doing something for a long time and you (I) don’t know why you’re doing it but you (I) keep doing it. And then you (I) say holy shit: I’ve been doing [fill-in-the-blank] for years and I’ve been wishing for years that I’d been doing that, I just thought I didn’t know how, that maybe one of these days I’d randomly, magically figure out how to START doing that, but probably somebody else would have to show me what to do. And that would be hard and embarrassing and I would suck and it would take a long time. And, to really do it, I’d need, like, all this [expensive, unwieldy, heavy, scary, etc.] equipment or whatever. And maybe some/most of that’s still true or semi-true. But. Meanwhile I’d already started (small). On my own. A long time ago. Unbeknownst to, you know, myself (or — of course — anybody else). Which is to say: ‘the new extension[s] of my old walk.’ | (25) Josh Ritter’s So Runs the World Away. | (26) This recollection: you (I) have to be willing to be small. Forever. ["The littlest birds sing the prettiest songs..." –J. Holland.] | (27) Which is to say: “Basically you have to suppress your own ambitions in order to be who you need to be.” –B. Dylan. (That sounds way more martyr-y and hair-shirt-y than it really is.) | (28) ‘Hey, All You Hippies!’ by #3 above. | (29) My handy-dandy Sony ICD-BX700 Digital Audio Recorder. | (30) Starting the day with 30 Things. These ones, this day in particular.
(1) A crowded cafe. (This crowded cafe.) | (2) Rudimentary recording devices. | (3) “The Weight” by The Band. | (4) “Little Bird” (still) by L. Hannigan. The words. (Which are) “…dug from the rubble, cut from the kill.” | (5) Rush! (Still. But/and rediscovered.) | (6) “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats. | (7) Seasons within seasons. | (8) This bit of wisdom: keep your heart where your feet are. | (9) Grape leaves. | (10) I’ve said this before but: walking. Everywhere. (“Keep your heart where your feet are.”) | (11) Complicated and somewhat misleading thing to say but: being unattached. More unattached. Less attached? Something. | (12) Gray skies, cool temps. | (13) Reintegrating. | (14) I’ve said this before but: my dog. | (15) Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. (From this crowded cafe.) | (16) The next 30 Things I write will be from/in Alabama. | (17) Surfaces. Textures. Distressed ones, especially. | (18) Repetition. | (19) Time. | (20) A good bucket. | (21) A good mop. | (22) The Lures. | (23) Sign(al)s. Physical. Metaphysical. “The heart is built for both, it seems.” (Thank heavens.) | (24) Ambient sound. | (25) Making choices: what I will carry with me and what I won’t. | (26) Moving pictures. | (27) Matinees. | (28) Influences that you (I) didn’t remember but that are undeniable, indelible. | (29) Sailing into destiny… | (30) Closer to the heart.
(1) A/C | (2) Air, period. Between my aging body and the hardwood floor. | (3) Ginger slaw. | (4) Serendipity. (I think.) | (5) Escape velocity. | (6) That part in Jaws where Chief Brody’s slinging chum into the water and he’s bored and pissed and feels put out, but then The Great Fish reveals itself and he drops the ladle and backs away muttering, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” | (7) This realization: I’m gonna need a bigger boat. | (8) My charmed friend Ben, who told me it means (a) I’m on the right track and (b) now I have to go to Ireland. With a one-way ticket. And he was totally serious. And he’s charmed, so he must know. | (9) Levon Helm. | (10) The acoustics in my empty summer apartment. | (11) The sound of my own voice. | (12) The Misfit Pilgrimage queue (in no particular order): Le Poisson Rouge. Grand Canyon. Christ of the Ozarks. Clarksdale. Woodstock. Big Pink. Galway. Dublin. Belfast. Derry. | (13) “I don’t use the accident because I deny the accident.” J. Pollock. | (14) Heady conversation. Overheard. | (15) So I guess it’s official: I’ve done turned into Ricky Fitts: “…That’s the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video’s a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember… I need to remember… Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can’t take it, and my heart is just going to cave in.” R. Fitts. | (16) Which is to say: the beautiful young family that is, as I type, reflected in my laptop screen, their equitable arrangement: papoose, sippy cup, intermittent traded bites of croissant, sips of coffee, juice, etc. | (17) Which is to say: etc. etc. etc. “…there’s so much beauty in the world…” | (18) Investing, but not in the way that grows money. | (19) Silky jazz. The coffee. | (20) The mean coffee shop lady who’s not really mean, per se. | (21) Rest. | (22) Some new lines on my face. | (23) Faces generally. | (24) Slow, steady(ish) progress on my guitar. | (25) Slow, steady(ish) progress in coming to terms with the ways I’m a little bit crazy. | (26) Making my sister watch the fireworks show on TV with me. | (27) Taking the time to enumerate. | (28) That there’s an Ulster Co. NY and that Woodstock and Big Pink are in it. (Please see #4 and #12 above.) | (29) Rabbit holes. | (30) Music people. The rabbit hole of that idea.