Friday, October 24, 2008
For every offered moment of bliss, there is someone who will complain about it. That, I suppose, is that. I'm posting this because it more accurately captures my current state of mind then anything else I could say. I suppose I felt the same way when I wrote it. Anyway...
WELL OF SLEEP
Excerpt from Tales & Verse from the Tower Room, by Lord David
Of which well that I might drink
to bring me to eternal sleep
to dip my cup into that stream
elixir of unending dream
escaping mundane daily dross
fashioned in a manner gross
wherein each & every blade
reflects how very stars were made
in vision passing, fancy pure,
that leaves me behind to endure
when in slumber I have known
lovers of no flesh and bone
but gossamer and wind and sky
of beauty such transcends the eye
where pleasures endless multiply.
Adventures of the strangest kind
challenge limits of my mind
scenic vistas shift and change
sea and mountain rearrange
ride on wing back, fall and fly,
breathe of color, feel with eye,
yet waken to this morbid shell
and leave behind what none can tell.
Now separation takes it's toll
passing faces grim and cold
contact at it's best so fleeting
each heart in a cage is beating
touch- a mere and hopeless taste
desire's greed has laid to waste
whatever comfort offered there
is soon dipped in rich despair
a feast on each and every plate
stuffed with solitary fate.
Me, I shun this bitter taste
rather a toast that I shall make;
bring me none for I shall wait
for wine steeped long with opiate
and dip my cup into that stream
to plunge me into endless dream
of that well that I might drink
to bring me to eternal sleep.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The Open Mind was awake. It was everywhere, and everything, all at once. It had either been there for ever & ever, or it had just started to be. It didn’t really matter which, since things like Time and Memory were all part of it, so any way you went about it, things all led back to the same place. I know that sounds a bit dicey, and there are very smart people who have formulas to prove one thing or another or a bunch of stuff in between, but they and their thoughts and mathematics and matter and measures and history were all part of it, too, so figuring it out was like herding cats. As pointless as it is impossible. So, anyway, the Open Mind was awake. And it was everything and everywhere all at once. Almost… Contained in the fabric of Everywhere were some impenetrable areas like little round ball bubbles. Some were quiet and smooth. Some were almost ethereal, as though they would become part of the Open Mind at anytime, dissolving in to the Entire Fabric with a refreshing breath of release, satisfying some certain longing that only the Open Mind could understand and appreciate. Of course, since Everything is part of the Open Mind, there was certainly enough refreshment to go around. Some of the little ball bubbles were hot beds of irritation, red and scratchy to look at or feel, and seemed almost to boil inside, like some festering thing, ready to explode. These were all part of the Open Mind, but separate somehow. While everything was part of the Open Mind, not all of it was under control by the same thought processes. The areas inside these little ball bubbles were special. They contained something called Free Will. The Open Mind could go and look around inside these ball bubbles by looking out through the eyes of any one of billions and billions of facets of itself that lived inside of many of these ball bubbles. It had to be careful doing this, because if it looked out the eyes of any one of these for more then what seemed like an instant, the others seemed to know, and act differently towards the one it looked through. The facet whose eyes it used would most certainly start acting funny. This could prove to be difficult and defeat the entire purpose of Free Will altogether, so the Open Mind would sort just peek around at specifics a little bit, from time to time, and occupy it self with being Everything All The Time, which is pretty much a full time job. Of course, any one of those billions and billions of facets could turn around and look out at the Open Mind, and watch Everything All The Time, too, but they hardly ever did. Go figure. Many of these ball bubbles grew like seeds, gestating at their own rate, developing according to their own basic guidelines, until they became one of those refreshing breaths of release, blending in to the Entire Fabric, further quenching the longing of the Open Mind, or they went the other way. They became so involved in their own inner festering, that they just burned away until they were but a hard and crispy little crust, which of course, couldn’t flow with the Entire Fabric, so they eventually just disintegrated back in to the Open Mind to be redeveloped at a later time. The Open Mind was used to this, as Every Part of Everything That Would Ever Happen was part of it, too. It came with the territory. So, anyway, during one of these occasional specific peeks inside one of the more troubled ball bubbles, the Open Mind saw that there had developed a New Facet, just within the last moment or so. They called themselves people, and they lived on a tiny speck in remote corner of this particular ball bubble, which they called The Universe. They thought that Everything In Existence was right there inside their particular ball bubble, and that the inside of this ball was actually the outside of everything else. As ridiculous as that may seem, they believed it, for the most part, and these people weren’t very accepting about new ideas. They even thought that the Open Mind lived entirely inside this tiny little ball bubble, The Universe, which was really so small that the Open Mind didn’t really give it much thought, except in an Open Mind Everything All The Time sort of way. They also had given the Open Mind a series of pet names, in a wide variety of languages, some of them even claiming that the Open Mind had a beard and robes. Being well groomed in Everything and wearing whatever it imagined All The Time, the Open Mind paid little attention to such vivid descriptions, knowing that these people were only seeing the Open Mind in terms they could understand; as themselves. The Open Mind loved all parts of itself equally, which is considered healthy, even those parts with Free Will that became irritated by themselves, sometimes. So it had a look inside this particular ball bubble to see what these momentary people were up too. Peering way down into that distant corner, deep inside the space within this tiny fragment of a ball bubble, the Open Mind could focus on the little sliver they called a Galaxy. There, just about where you’d expect, was their little solar system, and spinning around really fast, was their tiny blue ball of a world. Now, these people, as they’ve decided to call themselves, were mostly limited to just a few languages, some of them only one, which was disappointing, but even worse, they had decided not to trust too many of each other who looked and talked differently then whoever was doing the looking and listening. They had, in fact, divided up their tiny blue ball in to areas which were restricted to certain groups alone, and others had to ask permission to go there at all. Why anyone would want to visit such a place is too big a question to deal with here. Most unpleasant was the fighting they did with each other. It seemed to go on and on and on, destroying huge portions of their Blue Ball, and killing off vast numbers of these strange beings who had only moments ago been created and crawled out of holes in the rocks. What was really unbelievable was why they were doing it. Their use of the gift of Free Will was to claim that certain people had windows through which they could look and see the Open Mind. They said they ‘talked to it’ and that it ‘had a plan for them’. This was just plain silly, of course, as the Open Mind had created all of this to exercise Free Will in the first place, and these people used Free Will to take it away. Free Will, that is. So anyway, these momentary people would point at their own windows, calling them by various names and in a multitude of languages, and claim them to be the Only Window. This seemed to be what a great deal of the fighting was about. There was also a lot of trouble over stuff. Some people wanted more than they needed, and they hid it away to rot, while others got none. Not being a very nice way to get along, the Open Mind would have frowned on this, as it spread itself pretty equally Everywhere Forever, but that’s what Free Will is all about. At the moment, the Open Mind is waiting to see if this particular ball bubble with the littlest galaxy and the tiny blue ball will turn it’s momentary people around and begin to nourish their fellow creatures, habitat and future, eventually becoming a refreshing breath of release, and joining the rest of the Open Mind, or if it will just irritate itself into a crispy little crust and fade back into the Open Mind, for redevelopment at another time. The word on this is not yet in….
Monday, October 20, 2008
New Orleans is, and has always been, a city that calls out to artists of all types. Writers, actors, painters, and especially musicians, come here and are reborn in the image of those who were born here in reality; not by imitation, but by the sense of freedom and self discovery that prevails in such a lush Caribbean climate, steeped in all night drinking establishments, a history of cultures, wide and deep, and a sense that life is for living in the moment at hand. This makes New Orleans the perfect venue for music, not only at festivals such as Voodoo & Jazz Fest, but also in the dive bars, tiny clubs of Frenchman street and for the street performers of Jackson Square. Thousands come every year to see & hear their favorite artists, acts too big to play together in smaller arenas, or in one night only situations. Twice a year we are host to a stellar group of performers and luminaries, a seemingly unending parade of talent, going on for days. In the background of these nationally noticed events is a much smaller phenomenon. A small part of downtown New Orleans, just east of the French Quarter, is known as the Marigny/Bywater. These two communities, joined back to back at the Press Street railroad tracks, are an amazing burgeoning art community. Having lived in this part of town for almost fifteen years, I suppose I got used to seeing artists on bicycles, carrying their tools and canvases under an arm as they peddle down the streets, musicians carrying instruments on backs and baskets, as they head to & from their gigs, rehearsals or street performances. This small community has grown dramatically over the last decade, spawning a series of galleries, some in reconditioned buildings, previously long out of use, such as the Candle Factory, a huge warehouse and art/performance space, hidden under the Claiborne Street bridge, and L’Art Noir, created in an old store front on St. Claude Avenue. Then there are the home galleries, like the Side Arm Gallery on St. Roch Avenue, or my own loft gallery, The Skull Club, mere blocks away. This development has led to the creation of the St. Claude Art District, (http://www.scadnola.com/) an online co-operative of the art spaces and galleries, now garnishing national attention from the likes of Derek Hess & the Andy Warhol Society, as well as international attention created by this Fall’s New Orleans Fringe Festival (http://www.nofringe.org/). At the same time, local musicians have been plying their trade, supporting local recording studio spaces, from the well known Piety Street studio, home of the latest Andre Williams recording, to one of the newer additions, The Rookery Studio, a digital and multi track tape recording facility hidden deep in the Bywater. I recently produced a short session at the Rookery for a friend, Stix duh Clown, of My Graveyard Jaw, who was joined by his illustrious pal, Ratty Scurvics, of Ratty Scurvics’ Singularity. I met these two wildly creative guys when they played together in Strekin Hobo, some time ago, when I was bartending at the Hi Ho, another St. Claude institution of outsider music and art. In the years that have followed, they’ve worked together and separately in a slew of projects, ranging from My Graveyard Jaw & Singularity, to Ratty’s musical backup of theater productions, written by him & performed live at the Back Yard Ballroom shows. This is but the tip of the iceberg, however. The new music coming from this community reaches far & wide in terms of influence, method and instrumentation. From the dreamlike poetic musings of Illusion Fields to the house & dance hall reggae & ska of DJ Proppa bear, there is as far flung an approach to this local music scene as any art community has seen. Local college radio station WTUL often gives voice to new music, and the local Jazz & Heritage station WWOZ prides itself on promoting local talent. It is still difficult, at the best of times, for New American Bands to get themselves heard. College radio has a particularly different trend in musical listening tastes because, unlike other genres where the fans grow with the music they enjoy, the college listening market constantly turns over as that particular age group arrives and eventually moves on. This makes for a fascinating array of new interests, but can be very challenging for a new band or artist to establish themselves in. Local Jazz & Heritage Radio, WWOZ, sticks closer to its roots in blues, jazz, R&B and the music that gave New Orleans its name. While there is a wealth of talent, new & old, in this genre, it’s hardly the place for bands like Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship to create a fan base. Aside from smaller experimental venues, and playing backup at local galleries, only the internet, with its dizzying compilation of independent talent, offers itself as ongoing fertile ground for these artists. Therein lies the rub. Until now. Enter Dan Sheridan, or as we call him in the neighborhood, Dan the Man. I met Dan when he arrived in New Orleans to stay, about the same time that Strekin Hobo was rocking the Hi Ho. In fact, we met at that very club. A long time outsider entrepreneur, Dan the Man was marketing a thoughtfully freaky brand of clothing, particularly tribal designed screen printed wear, under the name Noomoon. Those who helped out with these endeavors, taking part in an organic growth of neighborly family, became known as the Noomoon Tribe, back in the beginning of the creation of this crew of freaks. But that was only the beginning. As Dan would tell it (or at least as he told it to me), so many people from those days assumed that Noomoon Tribe was a band, that one was eventually started, as the promotional machine seemed already in motion. Bringing that momentum from Detroit to New Orleans, Noomoon quickly found a home base, right here in the Marigny, and an ongoing group of willing constituents. These endeavors grew right along side of the music & art community renaissance that was taking place in these same small neighborhoods. Dan’s Noomoon promotional machine once more came into play. While music and art fans from around the world know they can come and enjoy the second Saturday of the month gallery openings of the St. Claude Art District, or come to town in mid November for the New Orleans Fringe Festival, it’s only just becoming common knowledge that the Voodoo Music Experience is no longer for name acts only. This year is the 10th Voodoo Experience Music Ritual, and the 9th for Noomoon. Running it’s own stage, The Land of Nod, Noomoon brings to a huge public audience those underground and outsider musical entities the rest of the world is only just now about to discover. Located just inside the front gates, aptly placed immediately to the right of the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Noomoon Land of Nod stage provides an alternative reality, with two stages, a variety of bands and performers, fire breathers and dancers, tribal style body piercing and suspension, vendors and costumers all quite a bit different than the usual Voodoo fare, last year even including a voodoo ritual to protect New Orleans from hurricane damage, that although may be a leap of faith, may actually have worked to some degree. You’ll have to decide for yourself. The point is this: New Orleans is a magic city of new tastes and old, of mixed blood and history, of pirates and politicians, churches and vampires, writers and drinkers, many of whom are all one and the same. It is a spicy gumbo of creativity, where musicians & artists of many types and cultures experiment with their canvases and sounds, their processes, their lives. While that may not be for everybody, it’s an amazing thing to watch. The 10th annual Voodoo Music Experience and Ritual provides that opportunity. Noomoon’s 9th annual Land of Nod stage takes it the extra mile, loosing local creative madness in a public forum. While many cities have their own music scene, art venues, culture & style, few challenge New Orleans for sheer volume of these things, and so many talents that challenge the perspective we have come to know and accept. Enjoy Voodoo this year. Take the walk down to the Land of Nod. Stay a while. Make some new friends, enjoy the music, join the Tribe for an afternoon or an evening or both. Find something new to explore. Find something new inside yourself. Who knows, you may find yourself on the Land of Nod stage, too, one day. It’s a place where anything can, and often does, happen. Lord David Pirate & Artist Skull Club New Orleans For details on Noomoon, and the Land of Nod stage, go to: http://www.noomoonlandofnod.com/ This year’s performers from the Marigny/BYwater area include: Ratty Scurvics Singularity My Graveyard Jaw Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship? Illusion Fields NOOMOON Tribe Worms Union American Disaster Party Pain Tribe DJ Proppa Bear Hurray for the Riff Raff Wooden Teeth White Bitch's Prey Drive sHellShock!!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I just heard from Joe the Plumber. At first I thought he said it was Louie Palumbo, a character from my youth who was probably a plumber for Nixon at the Watergate Hotel. Anyway, through his mumblings, I caught some headlines, like ‘McCain endoreses Sarah Palin for President’ and ‘McCain complains about how negative Obama’s campaign was and demands an apology, saying his feelings were hurt’. Then there was some ranting about Bill Ayers and The Never Ending Story, followed by a claim Senator McClain made about being a careful steward of America’s Economy, (trading/as Charles Keating) and I drifted off into the boxing report on CNN, where they talked about Which Candidate Was Agressive, and Who Growled With His Eyes Open, and The Defenders of Their Image. I realized that Joe the Plumber wasn’t really mumbling. He was crying alligator tears of joy. And he was thanking John McCain, rascal that he is, for mentioning his name on the air. He got so excited hearing it that he proposed to his live-in lover and was accepted. Thanks Senator John McCain. And you’re invited, sir, to the joyful and legal wedding of Joe The Plumber and Joe Six Pack! They’re hanging your picture over their bed. Lord David Pirate & Artist Skull Club New Orleans
Friday, October 3, 2008
I will Create in the face of Demise. I will Refuse to Give In. I will not Go Quietly. I will make Something Beautiful in a World Full of Ugly. Every Life has a Death, and every Light a Shadow. I will Dance in the Light and let the Shadow fall where it may.
Sarah Palin is an idiotic cheerleader hand puppet, spouting memorized talking points and lies she learned this week while cramming for the second highest position in our Nation. As Americans, we should be ashamed that such a completely unqualified bozo is standing up to represent us in front of the entire world, even as an also-ran. It's seriously embarrassing that such a thing could even happen. If someone like you or me can catch all of her mistakes and 'untruths', how will any other world leader ever take her, or McCain, also a big fat liar, seriously at all?