Saturday, January 28, 2012


Here's one more selection from the poetry I've been reading over the last year or so: Charles Bukowski (1920-1994). At least a year ago I'd seen a documentary entitled Bukowski: Born into This. Shortly after that I picked up The Last Night of the Earth Poems. I had heard of the man. The things that are said of him are true. To say that he is outrageously rough around the edges would fall very short. Much of what he said and did and wrote hold great potential for blushes and offended feelings. However, reading poems like the bluebird, and having a sense of his backround, I find him endearing despite his many faults. For all his crass, drunken sputterings, he is a very good writer. He had a simple cleverness and made readers of more hard-livin' blue collar folk than probably any poet ever did. His poetry is direct and very prose oriented. The below poem is in fact unlike much of his stuff in that it makes use of literary devices much more liberally. Enjoy

Gonna Find Me a Bluebird - Skeeter Davis & Porter Wagoner
the bluebird

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to let anybody see

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
in there.

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
you want to blow my book sales in

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be

then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
and we sleep together like
with our
secret pact
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
weep, do


Friday, January 20, 2012


Been meaning to get this up for weeks now. This post is the result of unfortunate news, but please do the right thing and enjoy the content - he's worthy of it. If you don't know already, Sam Rivers died the day after Christmas at the age of 88. If you don't know who Sam Rivers is, you're not alone, but it would do you good to familiarize yourself with the man. Hopefully this post will serve as a decent introduction. I will not go into any depth here. There is just way too much area to cover, and many others who are better qualified have written great articles in the last 3 or 4 weeks since his passing for those interested. The ever rewarding destination:OUT put up an excellent post here, and you can listen to a great hour-long audio biography here. Bottom line: there's more to this guy than meets the eye. His influence on the progression and preservation of jazz music is huge and his output was diverse and original. His pioneering in the nyc loft jazz scene of the 1970's alone speaks volumes (here). Both Josh & I seem to gravitate toward multi-instrumentalists in the realm of jazz (don cherry, eric dolphy, yusef lateef, etc...) and in my humble opinion, Sam Rivers is a monster in this regard. He played soprano and tenor sax, bass clarinet, flute, harmonica and piano as well as others played less frequently. To my ears, saxophone & flute playing was where he thrived most. I have included a handful of my favorite cuts below. They contain original compositions as well as contributions made as a sideman. Session leaders took Rivers on for his traditional slash outward inventiveness. Along these lines, I have ordered the songs to move from a some what traditional tone into a more outward direction. Notice the diversity in his playing. All of these songs represent Sam's original voice. His freedom was boundless. By the way, did I mention that this guy was known as a gentle spirited fellow and a one woman man. He and his wife Beatrice were married 56 years until she died in 2005, and she was his partner and greatest supporter. Classy. Dig in.
Beatrice - Sam Rivers (from Fuchsia Swing Song - 1964)

Love Song - Anthony Williams (from Spring - 1965)

Conference of the Birds - Dave Holland Quartet (from Conference of the Birds - 1972)

Euterpe - Sam Rivers (from Contours - 1965)

Two Pieces of One: Red - Anthony Williams (from Life Time - 1964)

Paean - Sam Rivers (from Dimensions & Extensions - 1967)

Violence [Alternate Take] - Andrew Hill (from Change - 1966)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

...A Mix of BlackForrestry: End of Summer 2011...

I had plans to post this mix much earlier than this, but I just didn't have the steam to do it. I received the motivation I needed by watching the Richard Hugo video that Doug posted (see previous post). A flood of images and feelings swamped my mind as I watched it...images like the ones from the documentary Harlan County USA (a film that Doug turned me on to...if you haven't figured it out, Mr. Cooper is a constant source of inspiring ideas), and the same emotions that fill me when I hear the music of Blaze Foley. Anyway, it's these same sort of thoughts that birthed this mix. A lot of these songs also put me in that same head space...some more than others. Regardless of the effect that they have on me, hopefully they will have an enjoyable one on you.

01 The Band- Crossing The Great Divide 2:01
02 Buffalo Springfield- Kind Woman 4:08
03 Steve Young- That's How Strong My Love Is 3:34
04 Freddie Scott- I Shall Be Released 2:39
05 Bodies Of Water- Open Rhythms 4:15
06 Damien Jurado- Cloudy Shoes 3:58
07 Holy Sons- Reckless Liberation 3:58
08 Arian Calandra- Track 10 4:25
09 Bart Davenport- A Young One 3:06
10 Jim Sullivan- Highways 2:39
11 Delaney And Bonnie- We Can Love 2:18
12 Ron Cornelius- I've Lost My Faith In Everything But You 3:17
13 Tony Joe White- Aspen Colorado 2:39
14 Jonathan Wilson- Gentle Spirit 5:42
15 Bonnie Prince Billy- New Wonder 4:06
16 Blaze Foley- Picture Cards Can't Picture You 4:00
17 The Bees- Sky Holds The Sun 1:00
18 Cotton Jones- I Don't Suppose 3:04
19 Justin Stens and The Get Real Gang- Lonely Lonely Night 4:22
20 Conspiracy Of Owls- A Silver Song 3:59
21 Seth Kauffman- Absolute Sway 3:30
22 Joel Alme- You Will Only Get It Once 1:53
*mediafire link in the comments

Monday, January 9, 2012

<{(Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg)}>

Been reading loads of poetry lately. I recieved a mound of it for Christmas Hallelujah! One of the books given is called The Triggering Town by Richard Hugo (1923-1982). This is not a book of poetry but rather a book of instruction, lectures & essays on poetry that a professor recommended to me. It's excellent. Nearly done with it. I intend to put up "Triggering Town Tips" from time to time along with a poem for those interested in experimenting with their approach. For now I just wanted to introduce you to the poet who wrote the book. Enjoy.

Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg

You might come here Sunday on a whim.
Say your life broke down. The last good kiss
you had was years ago. You walk these streets
laid out by the insane, past hotels
that didn’t last, bars that did, the tortured try
of local drivers to accelerate their lives.
Only churches are kept up. The jail
turned 70 this year. The only prisoner
is always in, not knowing what he’s done.

The principal supporting business now
is rage. Hatred of the various grays
the mountain sends, hatred of the mill,
The Silver Bill repeal, the best liked girls
who leave each year for Butte. One good
restaurant and bars can’t wipe the boredom out.
The 1907 boom, eight going silver mines,
a dance floor built on springs—
all memory resolves itself in gaze,
in panoramic green you know the cattle eat
or two stacks high above the town,
two dead kilns, the huge mill in collapse
for fifty years that won’t fall finally down.

Isn’t this your life? That ancient kiss
still burning out your eyes? Isn’t this defeat
so accurate, the church bell simply seems
a pure announcement: ring and no one comes?
Don’t empty houses ring? Are magnesium
and scorn sufficient to support a town,
not just Philipsburg, but towns
of towering blondes, good jazz and booze
the world will never let you have
until the town you came from dies inside?

Say no to yourself. The old man, twenty
when the jail was built, still laughs
although his lips collapse. Someday soon,
he says, I’ll go to sleep and not wake up.
You tell him no. You’re talking to yourself.
The car that brought you here still runs.
The money you buy lunch with,
no matter where it’s mined, is silver
and the girl who serves your food
is slender and her red hair lights the wall.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012