Purplelectric PassionRain & April WeepingSnow

Posted in music on May 3, 2016 by furious buddha

Every human being loves music; the way you can tell who the alien androids are is by their indifference to our rhythmic noises. We all love and appreciate it differently, however. My appreciation is for the singer, not the song, generally speaking. This is to say that I do not like a genre of music so much as I love an artist; that is, I’m not a fan of ‘jazz’ but I have every John Coltrane album. I don’t much like ‘country’ but I have all of Johnny Cash’s music. When I find an artist that resonates with me I cannot help but embrace them deeply and fully. Bowie was one of those artists that I followed completely, intrigued even by the turns and alleys the critics and public ignored or loathed; I haven’t written much about him because I put him onstage in my ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and that expressed my grief more eloquently than writing here could have. But I need to talk about this.

I’m listening to his last concert which is just him at a piano. It’s the tour I always wanted to see; my favorite part of any of his shows was when he would sit at the piano and play for twenty minutes to give the band a break before the big finale. Much of what has been said about him was his mastery of musicianship and ability to play all the instruments on his records but when you saw him live you realized that he was playing the whole band like an instrument. And just now I realized the reason he was finally doing this tour was because he couldn’t have fronted a band the way he had even six months earlier. He has just slipped from ‘Dirty Mind’ into an enthusiastic cover of Vince Guaraldi’s ‘Linus & Lucy’ that just broke into ‘Little Red Corvette’.

When he was twelve years old and basically homeless he stood outside of a McDonald’s to smell the food; he died forty five years later in the elevator of his mansion with an estate worth a minimum of $300 million dollars.

He’s doing ‘How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore’, a b-side from thirty four years ago and everyone in the audience is singing along. This recording is terrible, from someone’s phone in the crowd but I can hear the music and feel the show. And it’s such a great show. He actually just did ‘Girl’ earlier in the show (around 15:15 on the Soundcloud link above. Ahem.) and it blew me away. ‘Girl’ was the b-side to ‘America’, which was the last single from ‘Around the World in a Day’. I always loved it despite (or because) it sounded like a half finished demo track that escaped from the vault. But here, stripped down to its bright beautiful hook and his amazing vocal it sounds like a classic. Then ‘I Would Die 4 U’ starts and everyone in the place goes nuts.

The ten minute version of ‘I Would Die 4 U’ has been a near constant companion since I tracked down a German import of it on CD back when I worked at the Wrecka Stowe in the early 90’s. Back in those pre-internet days you had to put effort into getting music; it is difficult to explain to The Youth and even hard for The Olds to remember, but there was something very satisfying about tracking down music that you had only heard about as opposed to the empty ease of YouTube. When I found a copy of ‘The Black Album’ in a record store in Decatur, Illinois in the summer of 1988, I felt a little like Indiana Jones. I just spun it again on Saturday night at my little brother’s house at a rather terrific party. I had listened to ‘I Would Die 4 U’ on the way there. It’s a live studio performance of how he was doing the song as a closer on the Purple Rain tour; I’ve probably listened to it five thousand times and I always get chills from it.

He’s doing ‘If I Was Your Girlfriend’ with Marley’s ‘I Don’t Want to Wait in Vain’. It’s seamless, like they were written as a pair. Everyone is talking about his guitar playing but  when the crowd is quiet the piano sounds like water on diamonds.

I discovered him when I was in junior high and that was it. My mom confiscated my ‘Dirty Mind’ tape but I just learned how to go underground to find Uptown. My father worried I was gay because I had his posters up in my room. I bought every album, single, and bootleg I could get my hands on. I went to shows when I could catch him and regretted every one I missed. As so many people have said in the past few days, his music is incredibly important to me.

Oh Jesus, he’s doing Sometime It Snows In April. When I was sixteen years old playing the Parade album for the first time sitting alone in my bedroom I broke into tears when I heard this song. It’s a sad song, but I was mystified by my own tears. Then five years later my best friend was killed by a drunk driver on April 1st and my memory of that time was tattooed with this song. It’s a great song but I rarely let it play if I was listening to Parade or if it came up on the shuffle. Then when I heard the news it began playing in my head on a loop. And it’s turning out it’s one of the last songs he ever played.

And then the first few verses of Purple Rain with Computer Blue & Diamonds & Pearls in the break and then back to Purple Rain and then the music is over.

It’s been so long…

Posted in Uncategorized on April 13, 2016 by furious buddha

…since I’ve written you. I’m home sick from the Clown Factory today with a cold/flu that is kicking my ass.

I used to enjoy talking about politics. We used to be able to have interesting conversations and arguments, but not anymore in America. The idiots have been unleashed and empowered and are laughing while they set everything they can on fire. The GOP is going to choose between an authoritarian megalomaniac or a panty-sniffing-dildo-hunter and I am not in the least bit entertained by it. My God, they both make look Mitt Romney look Presidential as opposed to the CEO that downsized your job.

It is such a strange irony that Hillary Clinton is the most truly conservative candidate by any reasonable measure in the sense that she is certainly the Establishment candidate and that she wants to keep the status quo as much as possible. Conservatives hate her with a purple passion yet she has taken positions farther to the right than any Democratic politician in decades; she has demonstrated repeatedly that she is eager to use military force and takes a hard line on most international situations (this is why the Republicans have spent so much time and effort trying to make the Benghazi incident so much more than it was, because otherwise there is very little for them to object to in her tenure as Secretary of State which included the capture of Osama bin Laden among other achievements.) and her husband’s administration passed a tough crime law that led to mass incarcerations as well as eliminated welfare as it had existed for generations. She is by far the best Republican in this race; there’s a few smart Republicans who know it.

I have a friend who read that above paragraph with disgust and I can’t help but smile; she is a Republican who loathes Hillary viscerally even as it is objectively obvious that another Clinton Presidency would be the best thing for her professionally as well as from a personal standpoint-both of the GOP frontrunners have views on women that would be laughably absurd if they weren’t so terrifyingly serious in their implications and Clinton’s intention of carrying on Obama’s policies is just being a smart technocrat. I like Bernie. I worry that a Sanders Presidency would resemble Carter’s term far too much. There is a lot of idealism there that I worry might be more concerned with its own purity than practicality and as I get older I haven’t gotten more conservative but I don’t let idealism get in the way of thinking. In any case, either Hillary or Bernie will get my vote in November; any other is being cast for madness and flames.

I actually have dozens of things I could write to you about now; that’s one of the nice things about not posting here for a while. I’ve seen movies and read books and had adventures and a few stories to tell. I’m getting ready to direct Macbeth later this year and I’m very excited. I get little butterflies just thinking about it.

I’m going to try and get some sleep and make it to work tomorrow; I actually hate not being there.

As always, more later and my unlimited love to y’all,

WD  .

 

the hot circuit

Posted in poetry on March 8, 2016 by furious buddha

dull grey flat
tungsten filament
FLASH!
the arc connects
the invisible forces
made incandescent
consuming steel
better than rust

How to Be Funny.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 11, 2016 by furious buddha

Initiate
a punctuation
of the equilibrium
surface tension
contained within
a situation
amusing the observer
seeking cathartic
release from
existential
monotony.

notes & Days in the Life

Posted in days in the life on February 10, 2016 by furious buddha

I’m in one of those moments where life is whirling around me. My fledgling theater company of which I am the artistic director is about to stage our first production; we open on Friday. Julia’s father has been lingering near death in the ICU, his liver and kidneys failed and requiring a ventilator and heart pump while his body fought off septic shock for two weeks. He has however, regained consciousness and is off of the ventilator and is no longer in shock. She has been staying overnights at the hospital by his bedside. I’ve been waking up and getting Little Tony and myself off to Pre-K and the Clown Factory respectively. Also, we got a beautiful little Rottweiler puppy about three weeks ago just before her dad went in the hospital.

And really, there is so much more to the story about poor Carl that I am not getting into here and I don’t even know if I should.

Julia got in wreck with a UPS truck. Her and Little Tony were fine. The Civic did its job and absorbed the energy of the impact, protecting its precious passengers by sacrificing itself. The transmission went out on our other car.

And Julia just got back to work after having been off since her knee surgery before Christmas.

But things are beautiful.

The Clown Factory is actually not at all a bad place to work despite the demented management and frequent pie fights. Wendy and I have a morning book club where we lead the Palookas  through great work of literature. Currently, to my great delight, we are reading 1984. The Palookas love it as I knew they would but I constantly worry about being accused of being a fomenter of class consciousness by the Harlequins that run the place. In any case, their general disapproval of my work only confirms its importance to me.

I haven’t nearly enough face time with Little Tony, though, and that certainly does suck.

But our puppy is wonderful.

And I have to run to run a dress rehearsal.

the blackstar passes/#trulymadlydeeply

Posted in art, current events, days in the life, film, music, poetry with tags , on January 14, 2016 by furious buddha

I had been worried about David Bowie for months, since I saw Blackstar, the profound and haunting music video he released in anticipation of his album that came out last Friday.

Juliette@ElusiveJ actually sums up how I feel about it best: We don’t cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves.

I began rehearsal with a moment of silence on Monday. I was already going to base Oberon on Jareth but I’m going to be much more explicit about it now. Maybe I will base all the fairies on a different Bowie .

******************************************************

It’s a few days later. I based all the fairies on different Bowie personas.The costume and makeup people are besides themselves with joy.

You should buy the new Bowie record. It’s amazingly good but I am not an objective critic and in any case I’ve only listened to the song ‘Blackstar’ repeatedly this week. I started to watch the ‘Lazarus’ video but I turned it off. I wasn’t ready for it yet. I’m going to dole out the new songs over the course of the year.

Tonight I held a long moment of silence for Alan Rickman.

Alan Rickman was a tremendous actor.
He played the sort of villain you wanted to root for, which is a real trick, and he embodied Severus Snape with the sort of humanity that made him the most interesting character in a series full of very interesting characters. He was an actor’s actor; an original.
One of my favorite films is ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’; if you want to understand the difference between Hollywood films and independent film, watch it along with ‘Ghost’. They were made around the same time with a very similar premise but could not be more different films. Watch it this weekend.

 

 

R. Batty’s Incept Date Jamboree Mix Tape

Posted in current events, days in the life, music on January 11, 2016 by furious buddha

Kenny,

I left you a voicemail. I’m sorry.
I’m also sorry that I write personal letters to you on a blog that horrible people occasionally lurk at.

I’m babbling. I’ve erased and rewritten so many paragraphs.

I want to comfort you and make you feel better. I love you, plain and simple, and I know how you love your Mom and how much it must hurt for her to be gone, regardless of how she finally passed.

She was a wonderful lady. Julia watched me weep tonight describing her and that’s when she told me that I should be down there next Saturday morning. So, I can’t promise yet but I’m figuring it out.

I started to tell you about my week on the phone and I’m so fucking sorry that I’m such an idiot. I’m sorry I tried to tell you about how fucking terrible my Wednesday was, when the stomach flu Little Dude brought home from Pre K hit me during the midday shift at the Clown Factory. I had skipped breakfast and while swinging through the cafeteria, had downed a bowl of beef barley soup around ten thirty in the morning. This was a tremendous mistake as I explosively vomited it at a toilet three hours and ten minutes later completely undigested, just as the fever aches and shivering chills set upon me. I was soaked with sweat and was whirling with nausea. I managed to get home and collapse into a lumpy futon in the toy/guest room (so as to not infect Julia or re-infect Tony) for more or less two days. Julia called me a big baby. Friday night after I had showered, shaved  and re-conquered solid food Julia vomited dinner at our toilet.

She has this weird thing about sickness that reminds me of Lily where she thinks illness is almost like a matter of willpower or morality or something; she refused to admit that she had the stomach flu because she had barely acknowledged that I had it. She had insisted that I had eaten something that hadn’t agreed with me and thrown up my meds and that’s what had messed me up and that I was probably just being a baby about having thrown up anyway. This afternoon as she laid in the dark bedroom shivering in a pool of feversweat that I mopped from her brow she acknowledged that perhaps there had been a communicable agent involved.

I don’t know  why I’m telling you this.

The TV just turned itself on.  Weird.
I’m basically alone in the house. Julia is sleeping deeply and Tony is having a sleepover with his cousins. This was supposed to be a date night tonight for us but she’s sick and besides I’m days behind in work; I missed the readthrough and had to cancel the first rehearsal of the show I’m doing.

I loved your Mom, she hugged me like I was her own and made me feel at home.

I remember one of first if not the first time we had a good cup of tea together and watched a movie it was 1988 and the movie was ‘Blade Runner’. Years later we’d fall asleep to it when we were living at the Castle, but we watched it at the first place I had lived at with Shosh, the top two stories of that huge corner house. God that place was amazing. We were in the attic, digging the movie. Wulf and Gargunza and maybe Handsome Paulie were there. Or maybe it was Indianna Brad. This wasn’t the same night you had sprayed red vomit over the upstairs bathroom when you became a Viking. Netheria would have been the only girl there, naturally. But we watched ‘Blade Runner’ together on the upholstered sofa in the attic with the cool windows on the small TV in a violet haze of cooling tea in 1988, and it was a perfect moment twenty seven years ago.

I still love that movie. Rutger Hauer plays Roy Batty, the android or ‘replicant’ that Harrison Ford hunts. One of the things Batty wants to find out is how old he is (they have false implanted memories which give them the illusion of adult maturity and ‘experience’), which he does, and it turns out he’s four years old and his ‘incept date’ was January 8th, 2016, which was yesterday as I write this on Saturday night. We are living in the future of our childhoods.

Mortality and Identity are all tied up together. It is not my mortality I fear, but loss of my identity, and by that I mean that which I am attached to by love; my family, friends, collaborators, and teachers for example. While art and literature are certainly important to who I consider myself to be my attachment to them is trivial before that of my attachment to my son.

Now, in the bright light of Sunday morning as I resume this, my four year old son is playing, rampaging through our sunny nest full of joys and toys in the quiet corner lot. I am a full blown domestic suburban daydream daddy these days…

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
My God, David Bowie has died.

I do not even know how to begin talking about that right now. I mean, yes, I was just going on about mortality & identity but… …that is a different post.

I am so glad, however, Kenny, that you just made the joke to me and Gargunza about death trilogies and how that you thought it was weird that your ma would be in one with Lemmy and Bowie; it makes a certain amount of cosmic sense to me because that’s how cool your ma was, Kenny.

I am so sorry. I will try to be there Saturday.

My unlimited love to y’all,

Winston

 

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