Three poems and two songs…Continue reading “Lessons and Carols”
You say caduceus, I say Asclepius
Wings and serpents reign in hospitals and clinics and even the U.S. Army. Tonight they soared and slithered atop an article about trans* medical care—denial thereof—in Florida, colors coordinated in white, pink, and Egyptian blue.Continue reading “You say caduceus, I say Asclepius”
It’s been three months since I’ve posted here. My wife Andrea Carney and I have separated; she’s in Minnesota near her son Alex and his family while I remain in Denver, moving next month from Central Park to the neighborhood named after Sloan’s Lake, the city’s largest body of water, at its western border. Like many places here, its working-class roots show while the peroxide of gentrification blandly bleaches.1 Gentrification can be seen as rejuvenation, giving youth to the old. But it’s a kind of death.Continue reading “Deaths”
There are Redactions and… Redactions
Today the Department of Justice will submit proposed redactions to the affidavit in support of the search warrant issued for the, well…, search of Donald Trump’s Florida estate in, well…, search of documents that should have been deposited with the National Archives upon Trump’s departure from the White House in early 2021. What could those redactions conceal or reveal? is the question on everyone’s mind.Continue reading “There are Redactions and… Redactions”
Finlandia, Insania, Tasmania
At about the time that Finland and Sweden were welcomed into the NATO follies, YouTube pushed my way a tune by Canadian band Martha and the Muffins, their hit “Echo Beach.” I in turn recalled getting Martha Ladly’s first solo single in 1981, “Finlandia.” It was anthemic, the sleeve graphics imperial.
Oh Lordy.Continue reading “Finlandia, Insania, Tasmania”
Jim Morphesis: Conversations in Isolation
The sun will never disappear
But the world may not have many years
— John Lennon, “Isolation”
In the summer of 2020 I contacted visual artist Jim Morphesis to ask his permission to reprint his private reply to Rudy Perez in response to Part 2 of my Portrait of Rudy Perez series. Jim had reminded Rudy of how the two had met on July 24, 1981, when Rudy appeared on Rona Barrett’s television show.Continue reading “Jim Morphesis: Conversations in Isolation”
Came In from the Cold: Mitchell @ Newport
I often am disappointed viewing pop concert videos shot from the audience. Bad sound, bad visuals, bad time. So when my old friend David Moreno asked if I’d heard that Joni Mitchell played Woodst—er—Newport on Sunday I was happy for her, but after hearing audio at the tail end of an NPR segment on Monday I thought I’d wait for the movie. Tonight YouTube as usual pushed Mitchell my way and I bit.
The following playlist is out of order; the artist enters on Brandi Carlile’s stage on track 3, with “Carey’s” original twang: dulcimer, my instrument in high school. I was snagged. The, mm…, videographer can be forgiven any less-than-perfections as can the somewhat ad hoc feel. There are some treats.
I’m not ready to make nice
Just shy of twenty years ago the then-named Dixie Chicks were pilloried for daring to criticize W for his impending Iraq invasion. They responded with their masterpiece of resistance, “Not Ready to Make Nice.” I bought that album for my wife Andrea Carney, who liked the now-named Chicks. She converted me. Rick Rubin’s impeccable production was akin to what he’d done with Donovan’s Sutras and Johnny Cash’s several American Recordings: let the people play!Continue reading “I’m not ready to make nice”
A Taste of Honeycombs
Five years ago this month I posted a lengthy review of Martin Aston’s encyclopedic Breaking Down the Walls of Heartache: How Music Came Out.1 Last week one of Aston’s subjects came to life as it was pushed my way courtesy of YouTube: 1964’s “Have I the Right?” by the Honeycombs. Lyrically it’s reminiscent of Sixties songs that became gay and lesbian bar hymns. Think Sinatra’s “Strangers In the Night” (1966), Bobby Darin’s version of “My Buddy” (1962), Connie Francis’s “Where the Boys Are” (1961). Such songs were appropriated by this social set, but its membership included a few of the hymnists as well.Continue reading “A Taste of Honeycombs”
The Mother and the Whore
Last Thursday my wife Andrea Carney and I visited the Denver Art Museum to see the homegrown exhibition on the theme of La Malinche, nearly twenty years in the making.1 This was our first door-darkening since Covid-19 hit. During that time, and for three years before, the museum had undergone a major renovation. A little history…Continue reading “The Mother and the Whore”