I shot this video out at Cambria recently.
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From my album Pop Down The Years.
For an account of the genesis and production of The Big Shimmer, click here.
2101 Franklin St.
May 13, 2016
NOTE new time: 8:00 p.m. sharp!
Rachel Efron, for whose work I cannot overstate my admiration, asked me to open for her this coming Friday, May 13, in downtown Oakland.
Rachel is songwriting chanteuse without peer: her songs are melodic, smart, haunting, perfectly crafted, hopelessly romantic. I fall in love with her every time I see her play. I am not alone.
The other person on the show, Mike Oliviero, hails from LA.
It will be a great show!
Suggested donation $10.
You can listen to and purchase (this is recommended!) the all-new remixed and remastered the seasons cd, an electronic/orchestral symphony for the new century at Bandcamp!
I’ve told the story before, but here it is again:
some years back, i was homeless in los angeles and I lucked out, briefly, when a friend offered me her apartment for a few weeks while she was traveling. my life had gone painfully awry. i was broke, living day to day, in a near-suicidal state of depression, no hope in sight.
so i did what i had done so many times before: i went down below to where the music is. whatever storms raged above the surface could not touch me down there. i can only assume other artists know of which i speak, or anyone who has perhaps submerged him/herself in meditation, or prayer, or focused labor, which, now that i think about it, comprise the sum total of my creative process. i had planned a four-song cycle, each about fifteen minutes long.
In the days that followed, these are the songs that flowed through, as i journeyed across a terrain of emotional devastation and spiritual desolation. as the pieces took shape, my spirit began to lift. it seemed as if i were channeling the music from someplace else, with the help of tiny deities, sprites and nymphs. the pieces defined a story, that of this very accidental journey, which had taken me out of my comfortable oakland home of ten years and plunged me into a world of uncertainty and
some distance, now, from the original composing of the seasons i must say that my understanding of the dire situation in which i found myself and the subsequent resolution and release through the act of creation abides, stronger than ever. i rightly intuited, as i neared its completion, that the arc of the seasons followed campbell’s archetypal hero’s journey in a most wonderful way. i would ascribe the elements of the story thusly:
summer of ‘68 ~ the call & crossing the threshold
autumnal sun ~ the road of trials, meeting with the goddess
& diving into the abyss
winter blue ~ death, rebirth, transformation & atonement
the forever spring ~ the magic flight, the crossing of the
return threshold & freedom to live.
may this music be an accompaniment to your own secret journey.
I went to a record release party recently, a record release as in an actual LP vinyl album, comprised of recordings made December 1, 1967 and January 28, 1968, of the band Haymarket Riot performing at the First Unitarian Church of Kensington, California, a small township just north of Berkeley.
I was handed a gatefold album cover and opened it and was very pleasantly surprised to see the poster I did for the show on the inside, based on a bottle of jug red wine. I was seventeen at the time. I have no idea why they asked me to do the poster: I don’t recall ever calling myself an artist, even though I was always making pictures or playing guitar and trying to write songs, but I don’t think I talked about it much. We were all kids at Berkeley High.
Then I looked on the back cover and there was an unattributed black-and-white drawing and I thought that looked like something I would have done. I looked closer and saw the legend,”BY THE VANISHING AVOCADO” and then I knew it was mine. I did not do the lettering for the date & time & address! I left those spots open.
I did add the phrase, “A Rebirth of Wonder,” from a Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem “I Am Waiting.” That would have eventually tipped me off I’m fairly certain, if I had left off the vanishing avocado!
This version will be included the re-release of Pop Down The Years.