Thursday, March 23, 2017

Blood From A Stone - The Song Sampler

This album was recorded at the live-in studio of the Skull Club, in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Working outside of record company or producer influence, the project was allowed to develop naturally, over time. While the songs were mostly written just prior to recording, much of the development was done as they evolved during that process.

'Siren', as an example, began as a short acoustic piece, and was rewritten in the studio.
"It's Just Me", however, was a first take recording of the first time the song was played though.

With the exception of drums and the invited contributions of friends, all of the instrumental parts on these recordings were written and played by yours truly. It was my intent that there be little outside influence, no label, no producer.
I wanted this to be personal, between just you and me.

While each song stands on it's own, the album was also designed to be heard as a continuing piece, taking the listener on a journey of imagination.

It is my sincerest hope that you enjoy the ride.

Lord David
Skull Club
New Orleans

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lord David - CD Release

Well, after what seems like a lifetime of waiting, the CD, Blood From A Stone, is mastered, printed and in my hands. I'm pretty happy with the final result.

I feel I would be remiss if I didn't give shout out to local sound engineer and magician, David Farrel for his mastering wizardry and calm, Yoda-like presence & endless knowledge.

He was originally recommended by another ex-local music luminary, Mark Bingham, of the former Piety Street Studios. I was not sent astray.
A brief look at David's collection of gold records and Grammy awards dissolved any doubts that may have been building. Once we sat down to work, it was an effortless road of discovery, getting the best sound possible from the format at hand. Somehow, the chore became a very pleasurable experience.

I would also like to thank my friends in the local music ranks who came by to contribute some appearances, making this recording a much better listening experience, and taking the time to see my vision of where it was going, adding their talents along the way.

Dave Easley - pedal steel guitar
Tom Chute - drums
Keith Hajjar - drums
Ratty Scurvics - Drums
Francene Machetto - backing vocals and bass guitar
Irene Sage - backing vocals
Katy & Shanece - backing vocals
Tommy Giblin - harmonica
Hubie Vigreux - chimes

The digital download & music sampler are HERE.

Further announcements will be on this blog, and here, on the Lord David Music Facebook page

This recording was done at the Skull Club, in downtown New Orleans, without the input of any label, producer or outside entity. The idea was to create an homage to rock & roll, rock, blues and ballads, even a sort of sea-shanty, in a personal way. It was my intention to create for, and share with, listeners directly. I hope this offers some small glimpse into those various styles.

Finally, I am often told how much music fans miss 'the old stuff', made during that heady time when songs stood on their own, as they do now, but the collection of them also worked in it's entirety.
I would ask that one take 45 minutes out of their busy day and join me on this trip through imagination & song. 

I look forward to hearing feedback from any & all of you.

Mad love,

Lord David
Skull Club
New Orleans

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Thing That Wouldn't Die.

Last Monday I went and saw a cardiologist, because I had what is called 'calcium score' done. It determines the amount of calcium (ie: blockage) currently in your heart. Normal is 100 or less. Anything over 300 is bad, anything over 400 means you're headed for a heart attack. Mine was 422.

After a couple of EKG's (to be sure of results) and a sonogram of my heart, my Cardiologist told me I had had at least one minor heart attack already, probably two. (I was busy living and didn't notice). I was scheduled for an angiogram on the 25th of this month. That procedure is done with a catheter inserted into your heart via artery from your wrist or thigh. Dye is shot in and x-rayed to show any blockage.

I'd been experiencing mild but regular chest tightness, and was anxious to have this done. However...last Thursday, I experienced light headedness, confusion, a spreading ache down my left arm and up into my neck. It became hard to draw a breath and I thought I would faint. I knew I was going to lose consciousness sooner than later.

Luckily, my friend and business associate, Jenny Bender, was here and insisted I call 911, walked me down the stairs and stayed to make sure I was awake until the EMTs arrived. I now have no doubt that this saved my life. (Thanks Jenny!)

The EMT's worked on me during the ride, keeping my vacillating blood pressure stabilized, and continued to do so as I was checked into the ER, where the ER staff took over. It took a couple of hours, but they got my heartbeat and pressure under control, and I was admitted overnight.

The angiogram was performed the next morning (by my own cardiologist who has rounds there, lucky for me), and it was determined that, besides that damage done to my heart by previous heart attacks (I wish they'd left a note), one of the four arteries in my heart was 90% blocked. They applied angioplasty and a stent on the spot. (Angioplasty is the insertion and filling of a balloon to open closed arterial passages. A stent is a tiny cage inserted to keep it open.)

This was all done through a catheter inserted into the artery in my right wrist, requiring only a band-aid for recovery. I was kept over night again, and released Saturday afternoon, feeling much better than I have in a year. My prognosis is that I could easily live another decade or more ( I am now 60), if I take the proper medications and stay away from drugs and alcohol, something I've done pretty much for the last ten years. The staying away, that is.

The only blockage has been dealt with, although the issue of low action to my left ventricle, due largely to being a wild ass druggie and booze hound for 30 years, (Bolivia owes me a statue, I think. You, too, Kentucky bourbon country.) may or may not correct itself in time. In either case, I am on these medications anyway, so I'm taking it day by day, doing my diligence, and hoping for the best.

In short, I'm back, stronger and mentally sharper than I have been for a year, infused with a new desire to wring every moment out of life, and, having spent a night, alone, contemplating that it may be my last, find myself unafraid of what comes next. I am convinced this epic journey we experience does not end.

When the time comes, I intend to ride that final flush of DMT into my dying brain right on through to the other side. In the meantime, there is no longer any fear of death in me. Only a desire to get a few certain things done, and continue to monitor this amazing thing we call life, the science behind it, and those who would attempt to control it in the rest of us.

For the time being, I am still here, still creating, still watching.
The moral of this story is simple:

You are who you are and nobody can take that from you unless you allow it.
Be free, experience love and life whenever possible.
Nurture compassion and acceptance in yourself and others.
Contribute to your community, in terms of personal effort, your own creative vision, and the monitoring of those who steal these things from all of us.

Be unafraid, my friends.
We Will All Die.

It's how you choose to live that really matters.
Do it now.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Mindfulness and Walking The Walk.

There is a term frequently used in modern Buddhism, called 'mindfulness', which among other things, focuses on being aware of one's own thoughts and actions, as well as their effect, in the moment.
It is often used and developed during meditation.

An expansion of this process is the awareness of one's self as part of a larger whole, community or society. Unless one lives in complete hermitude, it is impossible to NOT have an effect on those around you, at least on some level.

With that in mind, I'd like to offer some observations.

I've recently posted a segment from the documentary, Soul Food, linked here.

The opening line lays it all out....

"There is no better example of racism in the 21st century than the relationship of black people and access to healthy foods."

This is a symptom of a larger picture. Black neighborhoods often remain under developed, becoming home to liquor stores, pawn shops and bodegas, clearly demonstrating that the goal is for inhabitants there to become alcoholics, pawn their possessions, and live off of expensive and unhealthy food choices.

Sure, those communities have a history of liking many of those foods, but white communities have fresh grocery stores competing with fast food, pizza and po-boy shops, rarely relying on gas station munchies for nutrition, and having big box stores for non-food items, where black neighborhoods are more likely limited to Dollar Store crap.

As these 'minority' neighborhoods develop beyond that scope, it is often because monied, whiter parties have followed poorer whites into them, discover the lower housing costs, and move in for the kill, displacing the traditional, generational families who live there, and jacking up housing prices to drive them out. This is the process we call 'gentrification'.

There are, of course, places where these issues are more economic that racial, but the effect is still the same.

As the neighborhoods begin to gentrify, the new developers open more high end outlets, whether it's Whole Foods, high end food courts, or bistro specialty shops, designed for higher income citizens.
Sometimes, these new 'developments' are made using government grants, designed to improve the neighborhoods of poorer Americans, with those grants being manipulated to allow developers to increase the housing value and drive them out (Pres Kabacoff is a master of this).

So when I see white, self declared 'progressives' sitting at the St Roch Market, which was built with money predominantly (2.3 million out of 3.2 spent) ear marked for redeveloping under privileged neighborhoods, decimated by the Federal Flood, and toasting themselves for their 'open mindedness' and ability to be 'color blind', I wonder if they know how full of shit they really are.

It's a parade of mindless white privilege at the very site of black exclusion.

And yes, I've heard the "But black people work there" excuse. How many black people work for New Orleans Building Corporation, who rents that place out at astronomical rates?

It is was most recently run by deputy Mayor Cedric Grant, who, while African American, is also behind the fencing off of areas under the expressway to displace the homeless. Nice.

Before him? "Developer Sean Cummings replaced Ford as executive director under Nagin."

In short, before you praise yourself on your modern progressive attitude, how about a little mindfulness? You may be cheering yourself on the grave of those you claim to protect.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Visions in a Salad Bowl

I decided to escape the terrible fucking news that has been bombarding me with fascist political hyperbole and runaway gun violence.

"Fuck this" I says to myself I says.
"I'm going to breathe, long and deep, for a few minutes and then do something good."
"For me."

Because I know I'm not any good to anyone like this.

So, big fresh spinach salad for me. Organic cold pressed olive oil, balsamic vinegar, the whole bit.
It was wonderful.

I always find that eating a large portion of fresh greens, spinach being my favorite, is an immediate mood booster. Perhaps the massive dose of B complex vitamins, known to fight depression, release something into our brains. I'm not quite sure. I just know that it works.

Then I began to think about people who don't have access to quality foods, the things that literally rebuild our bodies, that fuel our brains and create our hormones & pheromones, effecting our mood and rational behavior to a serious extent. They don't get that boost. They get fast food, and GMO frozen entrees. They get refined sugar and bleached flour. They get generic pharmaceuticals and they get alcohol.

And I began to wonder, is this a thing?
Is this actually the plan I heard about at Conspiracy Nutjob Incorporated, all those years ago?

A vast conspiracy to have giant corporations supply the worlds food, stripped of value, just empty nutritional waste, to reduce the populations' ability to think clearly, to live with an underlying anger or anxiety, to treat that anxiety with mind numbing drugs, building an army of office slaves?

The ones who don't have the technical skills don't get insured and get pills just keep getting angrier, feeding corporate prisons or joining the military out of desperation, both scenarios building more perfect soldiers, more True Believers of the Corporate Religion, in who's house women are only breeding mares.

Then they funnel guns into the party, as fast as possible. The smart will complain and be killed off. The stupid, drugged, and assimilated will become the New National Front, and ride herd over the populous, as they work like drones, or are sent out to become fodder in oil wars, against whatever 'terrorist' nation falls next under the greedy eye of The Republic. 

Is this really a thing?
Is that what's happening?

Are we being programmed to bow to the sheer terror we've allowed our country to exhibit?
Is that why there's no end to the hate speech and mass shootings and people running for office with the Nazi playbook?

Maybe not.
But maybe it is.
And even a tiny bit of maybe is enough to take heed.

Because they know we're not any good to anyone like this.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rebuttal to a Carpetblogger

I have to say I'm laughing out loud over Carpetblogger (thnx fo dat, Mr Zombie!) Bob Freilich's attempt to paint the ongoing noise complaints against Cafe Istanbul as a Race War.
After suggesting I'm only comfortable in 'White Space' I really wanna tell him that I go visit my wife every month, in a place where There Are NO White People. And I like it better than here, thanks for asking.
But I digress.

The real joke of assigning racism to this disagreement is this:

The real man in charge of this operation is Pres Kabacoff.

He and Sallie Glassman co-chair the Healing Center and stood in for Chuck Perkins at almost every community meeting leading up to it's opening. He spoke then as though he were the boss of the entire operation, and spoke for Perkins with Chuck sitting right there.

Not only is Kabacoff white, but he's the whole trifecta, rich, white & Republican (to the tune of $25K in donations to David Vitter in 2014).

In an interview with Gawker of February 2015, Kabacoff made some surprising remarks about dealing with the poor of New Orleans, who are predominantly black.

While I suggest reading the entire interview, please note that first, he says he talked the feds into raising the amount an 'affordable housing' recipient could earn, to allow young white hipsters to qualify.

""I tried to influence the federal government to increase the tax incentive for affordable housing so it so it wasn't just for people making 60 percent of median income but 120 percent. That worked. Now, instead of making $20,000 you could make $40,000 to $50,000 in affordable housing, just to have a broader group, so when you did use subsidies you'd not only be dealing with the very poor but the working and middle classes."

Then, after dividing the recipients of affordable housing into three groups, this:

"On the affordable side, probably a third of those people you would love to have as your neighbor, another third—the kind of people who if their refrigerator stops working their life falls apart—if you can get them stable, you want them, and a third you just don't have the social staff to deal with the issues they're bringing to the table."

It doesn't take a crystal ball to know that last third is the poorest of the poor, and who they are in New Orleans, does it? Of course not.

But, having caught some serious flack for these remarks, Kabacoff was interviewed again by City Lab, to explain it all away, saying:

"Either I was being very inarticulate or they misquoted me. When you deal with [that] one third of former public-housing residents, you have to be very cautious about not bringing in a criminal element that you can’t handle. if you interpret that to mean that you want to get poor people out of public housing, well that’s not what I meant. It just means you have to do careful screening, you may have to do some evictions, mainly making sure that you don’t have that criminal element living next to the market rate, because the market rate will [leave the housing development]—as will many public-housing residents."

Think about this:

"When you deal with [that] one third of former public-housing residents, you have to be very cautious about not bringing in a criminal element that you can’t handle."

That third, the poor & black, are more likely to be a 'criminal element' than white people with money? I guess AirBnb crimes and phony crime camera schemes don't count.

Then there's this:

"It just means you have to do careful screening, you may have to do some evictions, mainly making sure that you don’t have that criminal element living next to the market rate."

The sad truth is now evident.

The Front Man is being used to carry the race card, by a Big Boss Man who doesn't want poor black people in affordable housing; because he thinks they'll steal.