It is true: there is one thing better than bringing a teacher a morning apple, and that is…for the right one…bringing vinyl. Records bring people together…something I have witnessed and understood all of my life.
We knew that we won the jackpot when our son Asher got into a preschool class led by Tim & Lisa Treadway. As far as preschool communities go, they were known in those circles as being some of the best teachers your kid could score. And shortly after Asher started school, I hinted around the question regarding their thoughts about….records. That is when Tim began to tell me his story of how he had gone down south another lifetime ago, in the 1970s, looking for lost bluesmen—-and there was even a film that was produced from the trip which included Sleepy John Estes, Furry Lewis, Bill Williams, Scott Dunbar and more.
Once Tim told me his story, I started hounding him to see the film. Relentlessly. He kept saying he needed to dig it out…it was somewhere…somewhere in a box in a corner of some storage area.
Flash forward to now: Tim and fellow traveler Ted Reed have a film they are releasing retracing their steps through bluesland from 50 years ago…featuring the incredible footage from back then with additional new footage that they took during their return to the South. And while they released it online a few months back, it is getting a theatrical release at the Balboa Theater next week, June 17th…and I will be interviewing Tim and Ted following the the viewing. You can find out more about it here and for more on the film itself, visit the website. The footage really is incredible and I am looking forward to seeing it on the big screen.
“What began in 1979 for David Greenberger as a D.I.Y. newsletter for the residents at a Boston nursing home became, over the decades, an international oasis called Duplex Planet. Intelligent life on this planet includes Robyn Hitchcock, Dave Alvin, XTC, Los Lobos, Peter Bagge, Drew Friedman, George Carlin, Penn & Teller, Lynda Barry and, if you’re lucky, you too.” Duplex Planet and Greenberger knew the secret: everyone has a story locked away.
Bond on Neiman? I mean…any rubbernecker needs to take a look.
For all you Bay Area folks, the Stern Grove season has been announced and it is a doozy. The oldest (non-classical) free music festival is BACK for this summer. Free live amazing music…one of the first opportunities now that the world is opening up. Looking forward to being at the Grove (I will be writing more about the mighty grove later…)
WEEKEND LISTEN: The Twilight Singers: BLACKBERRY BELLE
I am behind on finishing my notes for a mighty reissue of this record (sorry Greg) but the process has given me a chance to put my arms around a record that really means so much to me. One of the great rock records of the new century, Blackberry Belle finds (at the time ex-) Afgahn Whig frontman Greg Dulli channeling the darkness of life in twilight Los Angeles and the recent passing of his dear friend Ted Demme to create a set of recordings that are just stunning. From the beginning piano notes of Martin Eden (yes, Jack London reference and a fantastic song) to one of my favorite all time Dulli songs The Killer (with its guitar oblivion chorus) to the ending duet between the devil (Dulli) and the victim (Mark Lanegan) this record is a wonderful ride and one that tells a story that hits to the heart of the human experience. Black out the windows, it’s party time.
Sailing to Byzantium
By William Butler Yeats
That is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees,
—Those dying generations—at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.
An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.
O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.
Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.