Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's Halloween


Hello to my friend Brian Cooper, grandson of Ben Cooper. Sorry Brian, that I couldn't make your party tonight. Prior obligations and shit.

And shit.

Happy Birthday, you Halloween baby, you!

If you don't know who Brian's Grandfather was, just Google "Ben Cooper costumes" - and, yeah.

I had The Devil, Frankenstein, and Woody Woodpecker...

I hate Halloween.

Exactly one year ago, or maybe two, or maybe two in a row, I left this exact same song on this here blog.

Cover Star: Sarah, Egyptian Princess, who graced me with her presence tonight.
Headlining Band: The Dream Syndicate

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Ain't Got No Money And I Ain't Got No Hair


"Right before he left, for some reason, he did not want to go. He had talked about it for years, and specifically for the last two months, but something, something nagging at him, scared him. The fear of the unknown? No, that never scared him before. Perhaps it was being by himself. Alone.

Right before he left for some reason, he fell down twelve times as if he had suffered a stroke, fucked up his hat, clothes and his body and barely made it home. Then a couple of days later, he fell off of a barstool, then again on the sidewalk, but this time in the comfort of very good, and documentary-minded friends.

But once he got there, everything was okay. Eventually. At least when the city started to make sense. When things started to calm down. When the people around him started making sense.

He missed that now. Far away and fading, but not too far away."

The go-go bars in Jersey are harder and harder to tolerate. It's the shake your booty for four seconds and then expect a dollar deal. In a bikini. And the Corona is still six bucks. This makes you end up at a joint where the dancers can actually disrobe, and you have your choice of Becks Clean or O'Douls, which makes you want to brush your teeth. It might be a dive on 2nd Avenue in Brooklyn, where there's no hope. And it doesn't matter if you tell them you want to buy the joint, unless they believe you, which none of them do. Even if you tell them your name is Slim. Even if you are sort of serious. There's no hope there. And it's not for sale.

What's happened to this country? That state? This borough?

We've lost our good old Mama and must have whiskey or you know why...

Fun Fact: The second largest city in Germany is Hamburg. Port town. Red light district. The Beatles became The Beatles there...

Cover Star: Candle
Headlining Band: Ever Feel Like You've Been Cheated?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

All I See Is All I Know


"And you, you can be mean...
And I, I'll drink all the time."

I can't stand another sound.

Cover Star: Nat
Headlining Band: Sam Therapy and King Dice

Monday, October 26, 2009

Is There Life After Marriage?


This means nothing.
This means everything.
This means EXACTLY what YOU want it to mean.
This don't mean shit to me.
Well, it does, but that's between me and - me.

"She began to wail, jealousy scream, waiting at the lights, know what I mean?"

That's Carlos Alomar on guitar.

Cover Star: HayDee
Headlining Band: Scary Monsters Demos, 1980.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"Be My Wife" - Dissected



Sunday morning, wine and cigarettes for breakfast.

"Be My Wife" from Bowie's first of the three "Berlin Trilogy" albums, "Low", is one of my favorite songs in the world.

Since he was living in West Berlin with Iggy at the time, I have no idea who this song is about, if anyone - perhaps Iggy.

The "promotional film" (pre "music video") is a gem.

A couple of things:

The white cyclorama with the long guitar cord is the nazz. With god-given ass...

I digress.

Bowie played all of the guitar on "Diamond Dogs" after parting ways with Mick Ronson (RIP). However, he is not known as a guitarist, per se.

The guitarist on this song is a strange genius named Ricky Gardiner. He also played on Iggy's "Lust For Life" and composed the music for Iggy's "The Passenger."

Note: Bowie DID NOT play guitar on "Be My Wife".

A frame by frame dissection, with commentary:

0:00 - 0:28 - Great lipstick, questionable clothing.
0:28 - 1:11 - One shot close-up of Bowie's face while he's playing the first guitar solo. We see him making the "jam face" but we don't see his fingers on the guitar. Hmmm...
1:11 - 1:15 - Abandons playing guitar altogether.
1:15 - 1:21 - In a long shot, you can't tell if he can play or not. Suspend disbelief.
1:21 - 1:38 - Abandons playing guitar altogether. Also does cool Bowie hand gestures. Really cool ones that you and I cannot get away with.
1:38 - 1:48 - Approximates guitar notes.
1:48 - 1:57 - Abandons playing guitar altogether. And what the fuck is up with that close-up of his hand doing nothing? Genius.
1:57 - 2:27 - Approximates guitar notes, but not really.
2:27 - 2:34 - Acceptable cut-away to close-up on face whilst making "jam face."
2:34 - 2:55 - Approximates guitar notes, but not really.
2:55 - 3:12 - Abandons playing guitar altogether. Does cool Bowie shit with his body. The last close-up of his face looking at the camera is priceless. And then Duran Duran and Japan were born, amongst countless others...

I ordered the Berlitz CD-ROM Learn German Thingy.

Ja mein Herr.

If You Had To...


- refuse to answer inane, self-serving, one-sided questions.
- better yourself.
- stop defending yourself against anything. Everything.
- leave and disappear.
- be famous.
- realize your dreams.
- figure out what your dreams were.
- stop being so...

What would you do?

Better question:

If you had to pick one musician/band that "defines" you, who would it be?

I'm trying to pick through eleven right now...

Here's one:

"It's raining hammers, it's raining nails..."

Cover Star: The FDR on a Saturday Night
Headlining Band: My beloved Mr. Waits

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Consensus


"Consensus in the English language is defined firstly as unanimous or general agreement; and secondly group solidarity of belief or sentiment. Ideally, achieving consensus requires serious treatment of every group member's considered opinion. Those who wish to take up some action want to hear those who oppose it, because they count on the fact that the ensuing debate will improve the consensus. Action without resolution of considered opposition will be rare and done with attention to minimize damage to relationships."

They're people I know - people I love. And they say. Go.
So, after a lot of independent thought, here I go...

..dredging the oceans, lost in my circles.

Cover Star: A Station
Headlining Band: My beloved Swans

Friday, October 23, 2009

Baby Sing With Me Somehow



I was surprised by a lot of things, but especially how much I loved the sound of your voice, singing...

Cover Star: Aleks (unretouched)
Headlining Band: Neil, circa 1971

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I'm Home, Lost My Job, and Incurably Ill...



You think this is easy? Realism - I got a girl out there I suppose...

Berlin Love Affair


Just like New York, at first,
A city that never smiles.
A city that seldom speaks.
A city that intimidates at the touch of boot on cobblestone.

Standing at the intersection, so many of them, wondering.
Where to go, what to do
And suddenly it all made sense.

And then:
You said, come over here, James Graham, I need a hug.
Suddenly everything smelled like cotton candy.
For days...

And then:
On the last day, you said, I don't know when I will see you again
And that makes me sad.
And I said goodbye...

I had no idea you would steal a little piece of my heart.
But you did.

I want to be in you as often as possible.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Life Stands Still And Stares


"I feel a bit roughed up, feel a bit frightened
Nearly pin it down some time
Red sail action wake up in the wrong town
Boy, I really get around

Do you remember we another person
Green and black and red and so scared
Graffiti on the wall kept us all in tune
Bringing us all back home."

- David Robert Jones

Cover Star: HayDee
Headlining Band: Mick, Keef, etc...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"When people look at my pictures...


...I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice."

- Robert Frank, LIFE Magazine, 26 November 1951

A hundred thousand more, please?

Cover Star: Meagan, far from Berlin
Headlining Band: The Dandys. Sound like "Ashes To Ashes"? That's 'cause it is...

Monday, October 19, 2009

It Was Cold and It Rained So I Felt Like an Actor


Cover Star: Ms. Dietrich
Headlining Band: Ziggy w/ The Arcade Fire, Radio City, NYC 2005

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Seems Like A Place


Where artists flock to, where artists try their best "to define." For the moment.

It really is a city without definition.

Sure, there's strata level to "Berlin" that one can talk about - hell, I'm talking about it now, but Bowie, Iggy, Lou, The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Einst├╝rzende Neubauten, Nick Cave, and even Bob Fosse, channeling Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey, attempted to do so as well. To define it.

This is a city without definition. Just like any city. Just like my beloved NYC.

Artists have always tried to define my city in the moment. The Ramones. Jasper Johns. John Cage. Philip Glass. Deborah Harry. Dorothy Parker, Jack Kerouac...

And all of them did.

I'm conflicted.

I don't know where home is anymore.

It might be at your house.

Really.

Cover Star: Tessa
Headlining Band: Blixa and Co.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

With Kilometers From The Red Light


I was always looking left and right...

Cover Star: Last Night
Headlining Band: Mr. Bowie in Berlin, reminiscing...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Rain Gray Town...



...known for it's sound.

I've been awake since last night at 1:00am.
21 hours and going strong.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Friday, October 02, 2009

I Don't Wanna Go!


I wanna go.

"Before you go
Do me a favour
Give me a number
Of a girl almost like you
With legs almost like you
I'm buried deep in mass production
You're not nothing new
I like to drive along the freeways
See the smokestacks belching
Breasts turn brown
So warm and so brown
Though I try to die
You put me back on the line
Oh damn it to hell
Back on the line - hell
Back on the line
Again and again
I'm back on the line
Again and again
And I see my face here
And it's there in the mirror
And it's up in the air
And I'm down on the ground
By the way
I'm going for cigarettes
And since you've gotta go
Won't you do me that favour
Won't you give me that number
Won't you get me that girl
Yeah, she's almost like you
Yes, she's almost like you
And I'm almost like him
Yes, I'm almost like him
Yes, I'm almost like him
Yeah, I'm almost like him"

Happy birthday, Sarah.

I want to take photographs like this song.

There's gonna be a silence, here. For a while.

Cover Star: Feedback
Headlining Band: Mr. Osterberg in Berlin, reminiscing...