adventures in dysthymia

Sunday, September 30, 2007

DEPOSIT

God returned my deposit,
canceled my reservation;
I'll find no lodging tonight

nor shall I dine upon
moon pie and frosted stars.
Shall we be homeless together,

dancers in the darkened
alleyways of time?
Wear the red dress for me

once more; dawn will open
its doors soon enough.
You shall shine like the sun

of my new morning.

Stephen Brooke ©2007

NO BEER BLUES

Bought me an ice-cold six-pack of beer
Just bought me an ice-cold six-pack of beer
Now it's all gone, how did it disappear?

Put it away in my refrigerator
Put that beer away in my refrigerator
Put it away so I could drink it later

Someone went and stole all of my cold brew
Some thief went an stole all my ice-cold brew
Now I'm clean out and your know I'm mighty blue

Don't know who it was took my last six-pack
Don't know who it was took my very last six-pack
If he knows what's good for him, he's gonna put it back

I got the no beer blues, not a bottle, not a can
Got those no beer blues, not a bottle, not a can
Oh, have mercy, have mercy on this thirsty man!

Stephen Brooke ©2007

A somewhat silly blues that came to me as I was on the road yesterday.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I'm about to take off for Steinhatchee and Perry for the day, so I'll just drop a couple of news items -- as if my life is news.

1) I wasn't on Cafe Americana this week (Channel 19, Nashville). I was supposed to be on CA but the folks at the station accidentally ran the wrong show. So it will be next week, Tues and Thurs evenings, and occasional reruns thereafter.

2) Ms Garcia is very probably going to cancel her concert in November so maybe I'll make it to the Fla Folk Festival after all. She's in the process of buying her house and piano practice time has to be sacrificed. We'll see....she might always change her mind again.

3) I've come to an arrangement with my 'sister studio' in Tennessee and it looks like I'm going to use the Artists and Vagrants name for my place. A&V South, recording and maybe video down the line. Hey, until I typed that out I never realized that A&V could stand for both 'Artists and Vagrants' and 'audio and video.' Well gosh all golly!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

MAGAZINE UPDATE

I'm working (rather slowly, perhaps) toward the launch of Peripheral Vision Magazine. At least we have a domain name now and a one-page website (a page on my Insolent Lad site, where I intend to host the magazine indefinitely). That would be peripheralvisionmag.com .

In the meantime, doing the nuts-n-bolts-behind-the-scenes stuff; mainly, writing up the policies and intents. I've been visiting other magazines to get some ideas of how they do things. Some are quite slick and some seem terribly amateurish. Reckon I want to fit into the first category -- often, there is only one chance to make a good impression on those who drop by.

I'm thinking I might try to implement a chapbook competition eventually. I definitely want to publish some more of them anyway, and not just my own stuff! We'll see about that whole world of print publication in a while.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ouch! A dilemma just moseyed up and gored me pretty good. Turns out that Fri Nov 9, the opening day of the rescheduled Florida Folk Festival, will also be the day Ms Lynda K Garcia has her annual piano recital. If I hadn't expected to camp over at White Springs with the kids (i.e. Mean Mary and Frank) this wouldn't be such a problem.

Oh well, if it comes to a choice between catching the first day of the festival or going up to Tuskegee to support and record Lynda, obviously I'm going to choose the latter. Steve knows his priorities! I don't know if I'll camp at all, then, or just drive over for one day at White Springs.

LG is considering doing an all-jazz concert this year. When I've recorded her the last four years, it's been mostly classical with a couple jazz numbers thrown in. Even got a couple of her own in the one time.

Btw, I see there will be no opportunity to apply for a performance slot at the 2008 festival, due to the rescheduling and all. That kind of sucks and not just for me. If it were up to me, in all my wisdom, I would move the event to November permanently...but for some reason, no one has asked my opinion!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What's in a name?

Okay, I removed the poll I put up yesterday and the entry concerning it, so if you blinked you missed the whole darn thing. The poll was, um, inconclusive...three different votes for three different names but offline friends have convinced me which way to go. The question was what name I should use for my recording studio and I am going to go with Peanut Road Studios. I guess it was really pretty much a no-brainer, huh?

Unless someone wants to do an informal session in the living room, the studio is not really in operation. Of course, I continue to be available for mobile recording -- never stopped doing that. I'll get the studio (and the PR website) up and running soon(er or later).

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

MARCHES

I have walked the empty marches,
fading light on one horizon
blessed darkness at the other,
welcoming the wanderer.

Crossed again these misted borders,
where desire sings to dream
of my each forgotten hunger;
left the burning lands of life,

gazed upon an endless sea,
vast and black, devoid of promise
save that of eternal peace.
Ah, to sleep in those cold waves,

lulled by wordless, timeless song,
never waking, never waking.
Others drop their burdens here,
ever lost on this lost shore,

slip into oblivion.
No, not yet. I'll walk my dark
only to find light once more;
I can not deny the sun.

It will rise to find me traveling
on the marches of the day.

Stephen Brooke ©2007

maybe shoulda been longer...or shorter...

Monday, September 10, 2007

PHIL AND I went down to that Saint James Infirmary. Having a somewhat sheltered childhood, I first heard the song St James Infirmary in the late 60s, as recorded by the Animals. I'd say that's still one of the best versions out there, especially as a more bluesy take on the piece. Of course, the seminal jazz-tinged versions by Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway still hold up just fine. More locally and recently, I've heard Charlie Groth and his band do a pretty darn good job with the song. Anyway, I learned it from listening to the Animals back then. I'm a long-time Eric Burdon imitator.

So, about Phil -- that would be Phil Harris. Yeah, Baloo the Bear from The Jungle Book. But a singer and big-band leader earlier on, and a definite favorite of mine. Harris recorded a version of SJI too; some of the lyrics are different from any I've ever heard elsewhere. Perhaps they were rewritten specifically for him or maybe they're just variants I've not come across elsewhere. I like Phil's take on the song in pretty much every respect and sat down and wrote out his version of the lyrics last night:

SAINT JAMES INFIRMARY

When will I ever stop moanin'?
When will I ever smile?
My baby went and left me
She'll be gone a long, long while.

I feel so blue and heart-broken
What am I livin' for?
My baby went and left me
Never to come back no more.

So I went down to that St James Infirmary
I heard my baby groan
I felt so broken-hearted
Baby used to be my own.

I tried to keep from cryin'
My heart felt just like lead
She was all I had to live for
I wish that it was me instead.

I went down to old St James Infirmary
All was still as night
My gal stretched out on a cold white table
So cold, so pale, so white.

Though she treated me mean and low-down
Some how I didn't care
My soul is sick and weary
I hope we meet again up there.

Let her go, let her go, God bless her
Wherever she may be
She cold look this wide world over
But she'll never find a sweet man like me.

When I die I want you to dress me in straight-lace shoes
A box-back coat with a Stetson hat
Put a twenty dollar gold-piece on my watch-chain
So the boys will know I died standin' pat.

Maybe I'll attempt learning it...or relearning it. Now if only I had a big-band to back me up! :)

* * *

STRAYS: Steve has a habit of taking in strays. Any sort. So it looks like I've added to my cat herd here. I've seen this fellow ever since I moved in (ten months ago now) but only lately has he been willing to come close and eat (and nap in the carport). Won't let me touch him yet, though! A long lean bushy gray tom cat, a bit the worse for wear. I've been calling him 'Bones' but the name might not stick. Lisa is not overjoyed about having him around...

CAFE AMERICANA: It looks like my segment on the CA television show will air next week, Tues and Thurs. That's Channel 19 in Nashville. I'm told it looks good...how I sound is a whole nuther question. There was so much wind, I couldn't whistle! I need that for my rendition of Winchester Cathedral. I had to sing 'pee-oh-dee-oh-doe' instead.

MYSPACE: Yeah, I'm back on MySpace with two accounts now. One for the magazine, one for my music. I'm not really very big on the 'community' aspect of places like that but I guess I needed a presence. Thats www.myspace.com/pvmagazine and www.myspace.com/stephenbrookemusic .