Friday, January 29, 2010

"People Never Believe You"


"I am a kind of paranoiac in reverse...
I suspect people of plotting to make me happy."

J.D. Salinger
Rest In Peace

"J.D. Salinger, who was thought at one time to be the most important American writer to emerge since World War II but who then turned his back on success and adulation, becoming the Garbo of letters, famous for not wanting to be famous, died on Wednesday at his home in Cornish, N.H., where he had lived in seclusion for more than 50 years." ... Story continues here: J.D. Salinger, Literary Recluse, Dies At 91 (NY Times)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Guitar

The weeping of the guitar
begins.
The goblets of dawn
are smashed.
The weeping of the guitar
begins.
Useless
to silence it.
Impossible
to silence it.
It weeps monotonously
as water weeps
as the wind weeps
over snowfields.
Impossible
to silence it.
It weeps for distant
things.
Hot southern sands
yearning for white camellias.
Weeps arrow without target
evening without morning
and the first dead bird
on the branch.
Oh, guitar!
Heart mortally wounded
by five swords.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Security

The twins strut proudly down the avenue, in plain view of all. It's obvious that they have not a care in the world, with their hoods pulled tight on their aging skulls, scratched-up goggles strapped even tighter around the back of their necks. They carry tattered shopping bags, rumored to be filled with decades of newspaper clippings — headlines to be specific. They seem... Protected.

No one seems to know how long they've worn those goggles, why, or where the two of them live. They've been around forever. Rumor had it that one of them died. But no, there they are, walking lock-step, with a determination that's inspiring. Never a smile, but you can sense their contentment — they radiate it. They seem... Free.

The street has changed over the years. Stores open and close. The old charmed faces fade into younger, colder ones and the sense of community folds into a heartless nod of the head. The twins never left, despite their scarcity at times... One day, I'm going to miss the twins — and I don't even know their names.

© 2009 Lee Greenfeld

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Other Sidewalk



The Superfine Dandelion's obscure self-titled 1967 album is an odd hybrid of country-rock, folk-rock, and psychedelia, with a hint of jug-band sounds a la The Lovin' Spoonful — straight out of Arizona, of all places! The real knock-outs are psychedelic tunes, like the trippy, sitar drone-filled "Ferris Wheel," the harder-edged "The Other Sidewalk" (both of which wouldn't sound that out of place on a volume of the British psychedelic compilation series Rubble), and "Crazy Town," which is in more of San Francisco, hippie/psych-vein. And then there are the country-rock/folk-rock numbers, like the Gene Clark/Byrds-y "My Place" and "Don't Try To Call Me," and the wonderful, must-hear "Shameful Lady," a song that could've been performed by the Flying Burrito Bros. Included on the now out-of-print, Sundazed CD reissue of the Mainstream album, is the previously unissued "Mr. And Mrs. Potato Head," a monster acid-rock ditty that is reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane highlighted with ripping guitar-work and punky vocals; alternate versions of two album cuts, and four songs — including a Pretty Things cover —by pre-SD band, The Mile Ends. All in all a challenging, eclectic, and ultimately rewarding album. [Trainspotting Note: Superfine Dandelion's Rick Anderson went onto to form The Tubes, of "She's A Beauty" fame!]

Download: "Shameful Lady"

Monday, January 18, 2010

Quote Of The Week

"In spite of illness, in spite even of the archenemy sorrow, one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Correspondences

In Nature's temple living pillars rise,
And words are murmured none have understood,
And man must wander through a tangled wood
Of symbols watching him with friendly eyes.

As long-drawn echoes heard far-off and dim
Mingle to one deep sound and fade away;
Vast as the night and brilliant as the day,
Colour and sound and perfume speak to him.

Some perfumes are as fragrant as a child,
Sweet as the sound of hautboys, meadow-green;
Others, corrupted, rich, exultant, wild,

Have all the expansion of things infinite:
As amber, incense, musk, and benzoin,
Which sing the sense's and the soul's delight.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fading All Away





Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr.
Rest In Peace

"Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr., a prolific songwriter who, under the stage name Jay Reatard, was a force in the worlds of punk and garage rock, was found dead in his home in Memphis early on Wednesday." ... Story continues here: Jay Reatard, 29, A Force In Punk Rock, Is Dead (NY Times)

(Unreleased Reatards 45)

Download: "You Fell In"
(Angry Angles EP track)

Download: "An Ugly Death"
(Jay Reatard 45 track)

Photography © 2009 Lee Greenfeld

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Farewell Conquering Lion





Vivian "Yabby You" Jackson
Rest In Peace

One of seven children, Vivian Jackson left home at the age of twelve to find work at a furnace in Waterhouse. At seventeen, the effects of malnutrition had left him hospitalized, and on his release he was left with severe arthritis which had partially crippled his legs. His physical condition meant that he was unable to return to his previous work, and he was forced into hustling a living on the streets of Kingston.

His Christian beliefs were markedly different from that of his Rastafarian comtemporaries, which often prompted debate on religio-philosophical matters, and it was after one of these discussions that Jackson first headed towards a recording studio, having heard music "like a strange ting, inside a my thoughts — like an angel a sing."

Another spell in hospital meant that finding money for recording was difficult, but eventually the "Conquering Lion" single was released late in 1972, credited to Vivian Jackson and the Ralph Brothers. Cut for King Tubby, the popularity of the song and its distinctive introduction (the chant of "Be-you, yabby-yabby-you") earned Jackson the nickname "Yabby You," which has remained with him during his entire career.

The next few months saw the recording of several more singles, released under different names on various record labels (although usually credited to Vivian Jackson And The Prophets, and often featuring a King Tubby 'version' on the b-side); culminating in the release of the Conquering Lion album. A King Tubby mixed dub set, King Tubby's Prophesy of Dub, was also issued, albeit on a limited run of 500 copies, helping to establish Jackson as a roots artist.

Yabby's success allowed him to branch out as a producer, and he began working with both upcoming and more established artists including Wayne Wade, Michael Rose, Tommy McCook, Michael Prophet, Big Youth, Trinity, Dillinger and Tapper Zukie, while continuing to release his own material.

Jackson continued to record, produce and perform (often with the aid of crutches) until the mid 1980s. He re-emerged in the early 1990s, issuing both new and old material, and his recordings have been the subject of several high quality reissues in recent years. [Wikipedia]

Monday, January 11, 2010

Quote Of The Week

"It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age Of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Fireman And The Beggar

"Some days I feel like a warmonger Catholic,
and others, a Zen Buddhist."

"Still paying your dues in the house of god;
running your mouth in computer school?
Walking the fine line between song and dance;
strutting down the crossroads of prayer and sanity?"

"You're opening the door to your own personal scorn."

"Yeah... And tripping the long road home."
© 2009 Lee Greenfeld

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Winter Twilight

On a clear winter's evening
The crescent moon

And the round squirrels' nest
In the bare oak

Are equal planets.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Teenage Dreams So Hard To Beat


"Young people are in a condition like permanent
intoxication, because youth is sweet and they are growing."

Download: "Teenage Fever" by The Dogs *
Download: "Teenage Treats" by The Wasps *
Download: "Teenage Hate" by Reatards

* Downloads removed

Monday, January 4, 2010

Quote Of The Week

"You fools and idiots of time, which is nowhere but in your heads! I ask you, what have you done? If you want to be and have what you hope for, what you await... do it."