Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Smooth Voice

This is some good Country. I gotta write some songs like this.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

In Defense of Same-Sex Marriage

Oral Arguments on the constitutionality of Same-Sex marriage begin soon and since I have previous engagements I will submit my arguments in the form of an essay:

Documented, 'official', marriage has not, as Supreme Court Judge Anthony Kennedy would have you believe, "been with us for millennia". That's complete hyperbole and is conspicuous as it supports a twisted conclusion of designed inaction. There's NEVER been a time where documented marriage entitles people to so many privileges and benefits and freedoms known as civil rights. Marriage has been intentionally reduced to official paperwork comparable to registering for gifts at The Pottery Barn, by the very people who claim to be 'protecting' it's purity. Marriage has become the Santa Claus of religious ceremonies; you have to be good or the magic elves won't give you presents. If you want to talk about millennia then you'll enter a time period that predates anything but pagan rituals of fertility, so this 'historical tradition precedent' is a gross way for Kennedy to side-step recognizing how bureaucratic modern life has become. Shit, a mere 700 years ago English Barons could legally rape any Scottish bride on her wedding night. But Kennedy will stick his head in the sand of 1000 years ago to pretend nothing has changed.Well, things have changed, mainly the man-made link between marriage and civil rights that is very recent and was ignorantly designed by religious bigots. If anything, the institution of marriage should be abolished as it has been usurped by a Capitalist economic model. At the very least it should be defined as any form of human union people might design. See, it's not a divine union, because that would be the belief of a delusional person, it's man-made and can be altered like anything that is man-made. A giant shipping canal is being planned through the southern part of Nicaragua. YOU THINK MARRIAGE IS UNALTERABLE? If you believe in divinity then you have no place in political spheres because you've opted for a mystical viewpoint of life. Furthermore, if your God is so powerful then surely you can acquiesce to His post-mortem system of punishment and rewards and you can go back to burning premium goat fat and incense to please the ghost of Moses.

My main argument is that official Marriage was never sacred so it can not be less pure than it is today. It's as man-made as the designated hitter rule, and can be altered radically with no hesitation or damage. As the Pope said, marriage and abortion are tiny footnotes in the sacred world that have been magnified by the deceitful to claim leadership of religious sects. They are irrelevant to all except the hall of official records who keep track of tax status, yet as civil rights connected to marriage have expanded, with no Supreme Court intervention, the prevailing umbrella of marriage has remained the same. How is it that tax status was connected to marriage without a national debate? Was this not an equally abominable attack on the sanctity of marriage? Yes, it was, but it served the atheist Milton Friedman's economic model so was permitted with no debate. Since civil unions have not kept pace with the civic pleasures provided by marriage then a continued discrimination of persons wishing to claim their freedoms through marriage would be a violation of another non-divine document The Constitution. God did not bequeath inalienable rights on anyone because God is a spiritual hallucination created by clever fearful monkeys to justify their irrelevant existence. But that doesn't sound very inspiring so the original separatists in 1776 wrote something like, "blah blah blah...endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness...blah blah blah." 

If the creator had endowed this hairless ape species with unalienable Rights, don't you think He would've written them out ahead of time? Well, God didn't write down anything, so men wrote them down and men can USE A FUCKING ERASER FROM TIME TO TIME, and change the words he wrote. God hasn't interfered yet, so he probably won't start now. There's an old saying attributed to Mark Twain, "If God had meant for us to be naked we would've been born that way." I think the lesson to take from that quip is that whatever miracle happens before birth, ends with birth, and if you don't put some man-made clothes on quickly then you'll die of exposure. A larger point is that God indeed abandons all human affairs immediately upon your first breath. If it comforts you to believe angels watch over you, then go ahead, but linking state marriage to legal rights is a move that must apply to all conceivable marriages. If marriage was a purely private affair, as it was originally, then this wouldn't be an issue. When marriage status became a label the Government, Schools, IRS, Military, Insurance, Hospitals, Lawyers all require information about for certain rights, then that's when it becomes an issue.

It's really a matter of how delusional are our Supreme Court Judges? Do they believe in the divinity of Marriage, which is nothing more than a Druid cult ritual with some modern blood tests and tax documents attached, or do they believe in Men deciding their own destiny like clever adult monkeys hurtling through space?

There's a greater debate here that perhaps the belief in the divine is what separates us from apes, and I can't find much fault with that. It's not that we are actually divine, but the delusional belief in divinity is enough to separate us from apes. And if that delusion includes a strict definition of marriage based on narrow-minded mystic traditionalism, then changing it, or recognizing the Sun doesn't revolve around the Earth, would cause too much distress to the delusional beliefs. So, it's really a question of if we prefer to be discriminatory, delusional mystical purists, determined to obey manufactured myths from our blighted past, or if we wish to determine our own future from each day to the next. It's an important choice and luckily we have a bunch of clear-thinking men and women dressed as Druids in black robes living in a stone temple to make it for us.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wolf Quest Part XI

Where was I? Muskrat Falls. Yes, I jumped ahead a little to the diversionary hike to Muskrat Falls. Those falls are between Churchill Falls and Goose Bay, and the reason I skipped ahead is because I was driving on a single dirt road and there is almost nothing to see since it is flat, and mosquitoes are voracious and it's raining, and the van has only three speeds: slow, faster, and highway speed....oh, that reminds me. I lost a speed in Fermont, Quebec on the day after I went on that night hike over the Hematite mine.

Then Came Oggy

It's fitting that my story about how I encountered this dated television show called Then Came Bronson should sound like an episode of Then Came Bronson.

Typical Day in Bronson's Life

Only the oldest among you will even know what this show was as it only ran for 26 episodes* in 1969 and I have no idea what the producers were thinking as the ethic or premise is purely counter-culture, yet the show itself is an hour long and was on network who the fuck was sitting around their house after 10 hours grinding metal at a factory to watch a guy wander around the West on a motorcycle, when you could watch the last season of Star Trek or Bewitched or the awesome Hawaii 5-O? And the counter-culture hippies who were possibly the target audience didn't have televisions. Just a terrible idea for a television series, but it had an even worse execution as the scenarios, such as in the 15th episode where I took this screenshot from, has a summary like this:  

Bronson is charmed by Sybil who fancies herself a hippie witch and is part of a band of occultists led by cult-leader Hermes. Bronson at first is entertained by her beliefs but later recoils at her lifestyle. Ultimately, Sybil has to determine the greater meaning of the supernatural, and in the process, life...and somehow gets her VW van running again.

There's a trace of interesting potential in that premise that even Scooby Doo fans might dig, but it quickly dissolves into dull insanity and tiresome lunacy and it seems that Bronson crashes his motorcycle in every episode and the directors were either aspiring to be the next Orson Welles, or they had never watched another television show. Extreme face close-ups follow extreme distance helicopter shots, there's no predicting what will happen next. It's like a cross between Valley of the Dolls and Lost in Space. Even a pop culture historical junkie could not tolerate watching all these episodes. I fast forwarded through most of the two episodes I watched and they both were very unsatisfying. Literally, my life is more interesting.

But there's a greater topic here that I want to explore and it involves many characters and true scenarios and some interesting coincidences. For instance, the series started in 1969, which is the year my van was manufactured. So this is the kind of television show people watched the year of Woodstock and LSD. Insane. You'd have to be drunk and asleep to leave the channel on Then Came Bronson. It's abysmal.

But television is entertainment and they can't choose to air a black screen, so they go with the best option at the moment and after 26 tiresome episodes, they cancel it, but Kurt Russell and Martin Sheen and others all paid their rent with appearances in this show so that's life.

Now, the interesting detail is not only was the show from 1969, but the first time I ever heard of this show was sitting around with my buddy Ron, in La Paz, Mexico, drinking beer, smoking pot, god knows what else and I was telling him of my recent history. Allow me to enter the conversation in progress....

"No," I corrected, "I couldn't get on the ferry to Mazatlan because there was something wrong with my paperwork. I have no idea what it was."
"That sounds reasonable and predictable," said Ron.
"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked.
"It means you are like a stray dog who walks into a restaurant and barks and gets kicked out so he goes back into the alley and says, 'They say my reservation wasn't confirmed.' That's what I mean."

"I don't want to argue about that," I said through a haze of smoke. "So instead of going to Mazatlan and onward into the Mayan empire, I went to the beach and at the beach a car drove up with two flat tires. And this isn't the beach near town. It's the beach miles and miles over nothing, the end of the earth."
"So you fixed the tire?"
"I did. I had tire patches that you force into the hole and also my bike pump. They fed me fish."
"Then I drive to the other side of the peninsula and it was getting dark and a fucking cow is standing in the middle of the road."
"You hit a cow?"
"Almost. I swerved at the last second and ended up in a ditch. But I wisely drove further into the ditch and was able to find an old goat trail that the van could traverse and get back to the road."
"And the cow was watching the whole time."
"No, the cow was immediately struck and exploded by a huge semi truck driven by coked up Mexican drug smugglers."
"How do you know they were smuggling drugs?"
"I'm just speculating to give the story some detail."
"Did the cow really die?"
"Was there ever a cow?"
"So, you're in a ditch?"
"Actually, I'm on the beach, sleeping on the beach, trying to catch fish, eating cans of soup I brought from Los Angeles to trade for necklaces....and I meet a guy who wants to learn guitar, so I follow him for miles on this sandy beach road where there is nothing, and I'm sure he's going to kill me and when I get to his house I plug in and just lay waste to that guitar, like I'm possessed by Eric Clapton. And his girlfriend appears out of nowhere and she looks like she's been crying...and she stares at me as I play guitar and actually starts crying. And the guy vanishes and I'm there with this strange woman who is crying and she says, 'I was pretty once, but you probably think I'm fat and ugly now' and she lifts her shirt up and grabs her tits...'you wouldn't want me now.' And I'm fucking trapped in this dungeon miles and miles from anyone with dusty guitar amps and a drum set with this strange, half-naked woman who is crying and looks suicidal...."
"Did you fuck her?"
"No. She was appalling, grotesque. Some men rise to the occasion and take advantage of hysterical women. Not me."
"Some men try to reassure her."
"What are you talking about? It usually takes months for the women in my life to become hysterical and suicidal! This girl was crying the second I met her."
"Tell her everything'll be alright. Something tender."
"Whatever. I really tried to get away as fast as possible. I escaped through a broken window in the bathroom and fled into the night with no idea which direction I was going. I'm repulsed by hysteria."
"You're going to have a lonely life. All women get hysterical, even teenage hookers. Especially teenage hookers."
I sighed in poignant depression, "So I've noticed."
Ron tapped his joint ash on the floor. "And...does this story have a point? Those hookers I ordered will be here any minute and I need to shower."
"I thought you showered with the hooker first?"
"I do. But I like to be clean when I shower with a hooker. I'm not going to wash my ass crack with a hooker in the shower with me. What kind of impression would that make?"
"Jesus, did you lace this pot with mescaline? You are making no sense right now."
"Finish the fucking story so I can clean up before the hooker arrives."
"YES, the fucking story about you on the beach, the guitar dungeon, the hysterical woman, why you didn't go to Mazatlan. A week ago you were talking about some archeological dig in the Guatemalan jungle, 'Lost City of Gold', panthers, some insanity like that. And now you're sitting here and you look, frankly, like a speed junkie, rail thin, flesh hanging off your face, sun-burned, bleeding lips, ranting, talking a mile a minute, lying to me for no reason, babbling about half-naked hysterical women, if you steal anything from me I'll kick your ass. You know, a cocaine freak will steal your wallet and run away. A Meth head will steal your wallet and then try to help you find it...what's so fucking funny?"
"Ah, Ron, you think I'm doing speed?"
"I watched you buy cocaine to impress that hot little Mexican chick."
"But that's cocaine."
"Cocaine is speed. Don't you know your drug families?"
"I don't. Everything is so debauched. I want to scrub my soul clean. WHY IS EVERYTHING SO DIRTY AND DISGRACED?"
"Oggy, you have no idea what's going to happen to you every day, do you?"
"Does anyone?"
"You know who you remind me of?"
"Don't say Jim Morrison. Everyone says Jim Morrison and I really don't look like him. We're both brunettes, that's the only similarity.
 I look more like the Jesus on those Jehovah's Witness cartoon books they hand out."
"I'd say you look more like Gilligan, from Gilligan's Island," said Ron with deadpan bluntness.
Ron frowned as he scratched his balls, "But that's not what I'm referring to. You ever see that television show called Then Came Bronson?"
"God, no."
"It was this show on right before I went to Vietnam in 1970. It was only interesting if you had taken acid or were stoned."
"You could say that about a lot of media."
"Well, this guy wanders around the country on a motorcycle and there's no point to any of it. He meets people and gets into trouble, crashes his bike, helps people, then straightens everything out and leaves."
"Then Came Bronson?"
"Yes. It's your life. Now, it's time for you to get your hippie ass back to your van. Can you make it?"
"Does it matter?" I said as I wandered away.
Typical Day in Oggy's Life, circa 2009

That was the first time I ever heard of this television show. And after watching two episodes I can say Ron was very close in his comparison. Except for the fact Bronson was riding a Harley and I was riding a Vespa Ciao, we had similar experiences. And this is the tragedy of this show: they were actually trying to make a vaguely honest demonstration that A) riding off on a Harley is no picnic B) The world is fucked up on all sides. C) Real life is slow, vague, lacking resolution. It rains and you get wet. D) You'll probably only meet people who are loony, but that's life so accept it.

So, the producers decided to make an hour long program about what really happens if you leave everything behind for a carefree existence on a motorcycle in 1969, and they decided to be honest about it. Well, the show is an enigma because it's awful, slow, implausible, with moments of violence and unexplained fear that meld into undramatic melancholy and finally an unresolved departure. And that's what life has been like in the van. So, it's odd that I find the show at once awful and unwatchable, and yet a fair representation of life on the road.

*At 1 hour each, this is more like 50 episodes. But that's not saying much since in one episode about 10 minutes were used showing Bronson riding his motorcycle, drinking coffee, criticizing donuts, and pumping gas.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Epic Remodeling Project Finally Ends

The top photo looks like a Tenderloin district bar where I used to pick up tranny hookers, the bottom photo looks like a Hipster bar in Denver.

I remember when I bought the van in 2008 I looked at the seats and figured I'd get them reupholstered in Mexico, then the timing chain gasket blew out and the tire tread unraveled and wrapped around the axle and I noticed water poured into the windows seals when it rained and I also experienced how hot it was in the day and also a gallon of gas was priced at $4.89 and the 8 cylinders were engineered for $1.89/gallon so sort of concluded A) the van would never last, or B) I would never last. Either way, replacing the upholstery should be low on my priorities. But the van rode well back north and I failed to sell the van in San Francisco...and it survived the entire trip across the country, survived being buried in snow for two years, an epic trip around the northern horn of New Foundland and Labrador where gas costs $6 a gallon, then made it all the way to Texas before I had to rebuild the whole transmission...and then rebuilt all the brake system and replaced the window butyl tape gaskets, and bought new tires, and plunged into Mexico where I rebuilt the carburetor and finally everything major had been rebuilt. And I needed a place to park and the parqueo was also an upholstery shop. So I didn't need to do any extra labor or driving. That was the final piece of the puzzle. The stars had aligned for the first time in 46 years and the seats, engine cover, and dashboard all got attention with some special Oggy custom touches here and there.

If I had to do it all over again, I'd do the same thing. I never minded the seats being torn to shreds or the deteriorating dashboard, or the decrepit engine cover. I didn't really care about them as the priorities were the components that keep the van running and also my own fate and mental health. I didn't think an van repairs would make me a better person and I still don't think that. Now I've filled the holes in the exterior of my ego and the interior of the van. The windows don't leak. The opportunity finally presented itself and I seized it. For the past 6 weeks I've been focused on restoring the driver's cabin to something that looks not only newer, but customized, with character, and in keeping with the man in the van spirit: simple, human, inviting. This was also important because the van is my house and I can't hang pictures, so the actual van is my decor.

The punch pin embroidery was the least of the work. It's sewn into the material with a piece of clear vinyl covering it for protection.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hello, I Love You

I have always had my suspicions that the first song I recognized and understood as something my mother didn't custom deliver to me was a song by The Doors: Hello, I Love You.

This song was on their 1968 record Waiting For The Sun. Yes, the bio pic by Oliver Stone would have you believe Morrison was having a mental breakdown through 1968 into 1970, but The Doors released The Soft Parade, then Morrison Hotel and finally L.A. Woman* sequentially from 1969 to 1971, when Morrison died soon after I was born.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)

Easy on the piano, but hard to sing

I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except Sometimes)
Music by Hoagy Carmichael
Words by J.B. ?
Key Bb Major

Another song of the "I'm not in love" variety. Country songs have tested this approach and found it flawless. A narrator explains that he has gotten over his recent love. He doesn't love her anymore. He's healed. He only looks at her picture on the wall because he's wondering what he should replace it with. He only thinks about her because he's hoping she's doing well. He's totally and completely over the heartbreak...but if she wants to get back together then he'd consider it. Under certain conditions. I should gather a list of this kind of song.**

It's a pretty funny approach because the listener understands that the whole premise of the song, the affirmation that the narrator is not heartbroken, is false, so the song becomes a confession of how he's trying but has failed to stop loving the person who has stopped loving him. He actually loves her more than ever.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Shoeless Child Becomes Gypsy

To commemorate my 2000th blog post I'll return to early Oggy when my bike was my van and I still had no shoes but at least my socks were clean. 

Classic banana seat Schwinn circa 1976. My van was 7 years old when this photo was taken. We would meet in about 30 years.

A Red Sox patch and Salem Village patch too. The Miami Dolphins patch is because my grandparents were in Florida.
I think there's a psychological profile that could trace my preference for plaid bell bottom pants back to these days of innocence. So, that would mean my bell bottom pants are my 'Rosebud"
Interesting, today I would assert that because everyone has become obese, lard ass, heart disease aspirants that modern clothes do not fit my skinny ass, that clothes from 1977 were made for disco cocaine freaks who looked more like I do today, but a counter argument could be made that I am trying to regain the security I felt for my intact family by wearing the same clothes that I wore then. I don't actually like polyester disco shirts, but I admit they fit far better than any pret-a-porter fashion. But that might be obfuscation on my part to disguise my pining for the simplicity of youth. 
the answer is so obviously hidden under our noses

This would also mean that even if C.F.Kane was not diverted from his quest to the storage facility that held his wooden sled, that he would've found the sled and still not been satisfied. Because I have abundant plaid bell bottom pants now and still my heart aches like a lost bird in false spring. So, do I want those specific pants? No, the pants are a substitute for something lost forever, that can never be regained. Or do we merely bury the past under snow and junk of a lifetime, run from our roots, grow up, die, scratch on our coffins?

Body Work

No patience for body filler work

The problem is having so many imperfections that a few more don't matter.
Discarding the foam dashboard cover meant dealing with these 6 holes from the retaining bolts. I could leave them open, which would be understandable, or I could fill them with some body filler and then hunt for a good paint match.This paint hasn't ever seen the sun so I simply tried to get a color match. But the van is parked where I can barely move it and I didn't want to drive it to the paint store to compare swatches and they wouldn't let me take the swatches to the van, so I took a sample piece off the steering shaft, which looked identical, but there are about 20 different shades of this color. They were all very close and I had no idea which to choose, so we picked a close on and it's close, but my half-assed filler sanding makes this look bad. I think I'm going to paint little landscapes and stuff on the dash so eventually it will all blend in. Or I'll get some Mayan fabric and drape it over. I understand the principles and accept that you get what you deserve with body work, but I have bigger fish to fry with the fuel filler hose, the oil pan gasket, etc.

Cheer Up

You think You had a bad day?
This dog scared the shit out of me as I was walking along the sidewalk. But it didn't bark at me or do anything. But the fact I looked up and a big dog face was about 3 inches from my whiskers wasn't what I expected. I suspect the maid puts the dog on the window ledge when she's cleaning. Notice the glass shards embedded into the top of the window molding. It's like Gotham here in Latin America.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Wolf Quest Part X: Muskrat Falls

This video isn't really in complete chronological order, so my future biographers will have to keep that in mind. Muskrat Falls is East of Churchill Falls, which is East of Labrador City, but they are all West of Goose Bay and far south of Ellesmere Island. It's simply a video of some footage on my wolf quest using James Taylor recording without permission, but is it really needed when the man does a cover version of a public domain American folk song? I could record this song too, but he's got a better voice. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

Wolf Quest: Part IX

Welcome to the Big Land. Wet, but notice the flags. this was a weather system that acted like it wasn't ever going to leave.

You might wonder why the top window is open in the turtle top. That's because the exhaust had broken in half at the muffler and fumes were pouring through the holes in the floor and up into the driving compartment. So I was ventilating the van to avoid passing out on my last bit of driving North through Quebec into Labrador on my quest to Ellesmere Island to raise awareness about Arctic Wolves.

The picture is proof I made it at least to Labrador with the dead battery and the broken exhaust. I thought I was doing pretty good but the wolf, the object of the whole trip, was far from my thoughts.  I passed a tailing pond that was bright red but research tells me it was rust being washed out of the rock. It's all on the video no one will ever see.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Santa Semana

They push a portable generator behind each float to provide lighting.

This looks more planned than it actually was. I can't wait to put it on my dashboard.

crazy. An econoline older than El Conquistador. Here in Xela. I'm almost willing to accept this as a resurrection of Christ because it's about as rare and unexpected.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Memories of You

Memories of You
Music by: Eubie Blake
Lyrics by Andy Razaf

This song was not in my dusty sheet music box but I can only assume that the person who collected the music simply wanted to be buried with this particular song. Errol Garner, Duke Ellington, Eubie Blake are three big names but I hadn't really heard of Eubie for some reason. The Ink Spots recorded When The Swallows Come Back to Capistrano, and they also recorded Memories of You and then I remembered it was in the Gene Krupa Story film, and I have a few covers of it but didn't know the writer of the music itself was a vaudeville pianist, son of former slaves, who had an 80 year career playing piano and even a Broadway musical based on his life and music...and pounded the ivory keys with authority. So you see how the dusty music project has yielded fruit.

I think Eubie's in the musical family tree of Ray Bryant because his solo blues/ragtime recitals are exceptional. I found myself inspired by Eubie watching him play his own song in a video. There is a level of risk with improvisational piano and it takes a long time to develop the skills to do something that looks unrehearsed, but really it's a trick of instinct and it was rehearsed but not in that context. I like how jazz players will surprise themselves because they have dueling personalities, the one sitting and the one controlling their hands. And suddenly a note will pop out that is from another world, maybe a third dimension that can only be accessed once all self-awareness is surrendered. This is the mental bravery I'm trying to reach, mentally liberated so the muse plays and I'm merely a lightning rod of musical truth. But the fingers have to have some grasp of reality. I think I got a little carried away with this performance but the version I did when I was practicing for the video was sublime.

I really had to hunt for this song and fortunately I had brought so many songbooks with me that it was buried in the Jazz fake book. I must've looked at it a hundred times and didn't think to play it. But watching Eubie was an inspiration and now it's part of my repertoire.

Punch Pin Van

Step 1: Trace photo off computer screen

Step 2: transfer to fabric: Words should be done in reverse, except when you want a flat stitch. Then you should spend three hours tracing the same words on the front.

  Step 3: Recreating the original

Step 4: A work in progress. Destined for my updated dashboard.
Step 5: The warning says "Consumption of this product will cause serious damage to your health" It's pure poison. The difference between Venado and paint thinner is that paint thinner is only available from paint stores...and it's slightly more expensive.
The final embroidery part, before I have it installed on the dashboard.
Then I put the Zia Indian sun symbol directly onto my denim shirt because people don't have enough reasons to laugh at me.

Keep Buying Tech Gadgets

At least read this article before you buy a tech watch. Then you'll be fully informed on why you'll get brain cancer and everyone around you will die early death with selfie bouquets on their grave.

"From where I'm standing, the city-sized Baogang Steel and Rare Earth complex dominates the horizon, its endless cooling towers and chimneys reaching up into grey, washed-out sky. Between it and me, stretching into the distance, lies an artificial lake filled with a black, barely-liquid, toxic sludge."

Reasons To Be Happy

A few discoveries have kept a smile on my face lately. Cole Porter and Clifford Brown and The Ink Spots. Cole Porter is songwriter with a ridiculous number of huge hits. His style and lyrics and cohesion would make Elton John and Bernie Taupin jealous. I especially like Let's Do It, which I heard in the movie Midnight in Paris because Owen Wilson's character goes back in time each night to 1928 when Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Stein and Picasso and Porter were all in Paris. Anything Goes is pretty good too. I knew he was a big name but his output was incredible because it seems he was writing a complete stage musical every few weeks and all these big hits are songs from those stage musicals.

I've been listening to Clifford Brown, jazz trumpeter from mid '50s. one of the fathers of cool jazz. If I'm going to listen to trumpet Jazz then it's going to be Clifford Brown.

And The Ink Spots are a quartet who performed When The Swallows Come Back to Capistrano in 1940. I don't think it gets any better than this. Cole Porter is equally as good but they are both at the top of the scale.

Lastly, I'm into Eubie Blake. He wrote the music for Memories of You. His parents were former slaves and he plays piano like he invented it.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano

When The Swallows Come Back to Capistrano
Written by: Leon Rene
Key F Major

I left the lyrics alone for this one because it's got a melody in the Pat Boone range that I don't want to destroy. The melody is enough to get the idea of the song. A girl left a guy and the guy is comparing her to the birds.
I first picked this out because it was WWII era tune that I want to compare to modern music that will be listened to when people want to talk about WWIII era music. I should point out that this specific piece of sheet music is from around 1940. It is not a reissue when Pat Boone made it famous 17 years later, but I can't isolate the exact year Russ Morgan and his Orchestra "The Morgan Manner" recorded or performed this. Morgan was popular along with Guy Lombardo at this time but he didn't score a notable hit with this song. Many artists recorded it and all the sheet music used the same blue background with the cave swallow on the front. Only the inset was changed which makes me wonder if the arrangement inside was different. This arrangement involves this upper register melancholy piano introduction. Do all the arrangements look like this? I wonder if other sheet music had different arrangements of if they all had identical music but the picture changed. That would be an interesting research project. I can count about 8 different reissues of this song with different artists and I know they didn't all record it in 1940. So Russ Morgan, Dinah Shore, The Ink Spots, Bobby Byrne, Shep Fields, Gray Gordon, Frankie Masters...I don't think they all performed this song in a single year. No. So, this song was released as sheet music every time someone else recorded it. They aren't going to change the copyright because that can stay the same but one artist might record it in 1941 and another in 1942 and they simply put a different picture on the cover. I would be surprised if there was a different arrangement too. Very surprised but I can't find a recording or a date for any of the artists. I know Glenn Miller recorded this in 1940 but he's not featured on any of the sheet music samples. And all these other artists don't have a recording, which makes sense because only Glenn Miller had the dough to record a big band. I don't know. It must be in the general area of WWII but I don't know exactly when this sheet music was printed.

Great melody here with easy on the fingers chords. F Bb, Eb, C7. And there's one little passage in A major so the flavor changes. I messed that part up the first time so I had to sweeten the tempo get another chance at it, but it really belongs in the 'lonesome me' tempo range. This song and Once in A While are all I need to know. I can fake the shit out of these songs.


Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.