Posts for for November, 2006

On the Way to JFK…

Alloh, (that’s the french version of Holla-backwards), we’re on the highway to JFK, past the stone walls that awe us because farmers 300 years ago carried the rocks to the edge of the fields they were cultivating with their own hands. They are more beautiful than most art, and they are still standing, monuments of independence and self sufficiency.

We’ve been talking in the car about all the properties for sale, the great old barns with roofs caved in, what has happened to farming, to farms, to farmers that aren’t corporations. Through the maze of political discussions of electoral vs. Popular votes, the result of subsidizing farmers, Reaganomics, the recession in the 80’s, the only consistent beacon of capitalism being that corporate greed can be traced back from almost every ill, Dazza and I agreed that Philanthropy is the saving grace of this society. And the people who think and act for themselves.

The movie stars, say I, are the real political figures now, while politicians are just milking the broken system. Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, Oprah, Bill Gates, so many generous, conscious, incredibly caring people, doing all they do for the right reasons, there is nothing to be cynical about with these leaders. They change individuals, they change lives and yet, journalists have asked me the question time and time again, are these famous people really activists, what is the validity of their actions….it really begs the question; who else is getting good things done? See, I believe in humanity, and I think its because the government has become so untrustworthy and unprogressive that these individuals with Leverage have stepped up to the plate. It’s checks and balances, It’s true democracy, it’s what we were raised on and obviously it seeped in. Yay! And more and more I see why the general sovereignty of a state is crucial to the health of this country, because it’s the only way to rebel against the corporate government. It gives leverage to the people to vote on what’s good for them, like say New Hampshirians want to only buy local produce, keep their farmers alive and their community in tact, they could do that, as long as there are enough people in New Hampshire to buy the produce. I think the same thing could happen for alternate energy sources, California would be a big enough state to make it work, and yes the people of Cali didn’t vote on the alternate fuel prop this time, but allot voted for it, and next time, it could pass. Blah blah blah. It’s mired and slow but it’s still moving. Almost at the plane. Take care, S.

Good morning from the New Jersey Turnpike again

Good morning from the New Jersey Turnpike again, we had the best New York show I can remember. Thank you for bringing in that scintillating energy, my New York family. I felt I was celebrating being home with you.
Jason in Boston the night before asked why I named the Whaler album Whaler. It’s a strange answer.

At that time I had returned from living in London, and I had a big, stuffed Babar named Whaler. And the babar with the green vest I had bought myself sometime during the first album, Tongues and Tails, when I realized a great love was never to be mine.

The name Whaler was from my childhood, after the 200 year old whaling boats that docked in the Town of Sag Harbor, L.I., and also in Massachusetts where we took the ferry every summer.

I don’t know why the name Whaler comforts me, it’s a past life relationship to the world of whaling, the masts, the docks, the widow’s walks, the blubber pots, and now, in this time, the whale songs, the threatened extinction of the great, intelligent species, the decline of humanity from the brave living poetry to the killing machine. So there’s the weeping, the wailing, and the strong independence and sweet songs travelling through the shadowed sea.

Now, we’re leaving Philadelphia and we had a great time, I discovered a painter named Naswadba, a “new French impressionist”- I have decided I must study. A painting in the window of the Newman Gallery told me, the technique that is not brushes-the knife, I suppose. So I’m excited, cause at the Met in my city I bought a book that tells of drawing technique, I snatched it after the Americans in Paris exhibit. After tonight I’m off the road to dive into getting my next album sculpted and exploring painting on a deeper level. I hope.

My manager, Gigi, went into a meeting for her other act at Wind Up and came out with allot of new releases-they’re all great to listen to, but, are we in the 80’s again? First I saw the jeans and the hair 2 years ago, and now the 80’s has usurped the music scene. This gives me a chance to find the art in it, cause I ran from the 80’s in the 80’s. I took the AA train down town to 8th street and snuck into Pink Flamingos and Gimme Shelter in my army jacket, which I guess kids are still doing. So listen babies, I love to read your letters, I love meeting you for the first time, and seeing you again. The connection is so very real that I feel among the most blessed, because I love to take it in. Onward to the Berkshires, birthplace of W.E.Dubois. S.

Hellooooo. It’s starting again,

Hellooooo. It’s starting again, I’m at the airport with all the baggage, in the hot sun, waiting for the band, and a man sits behind me. He’s confident, healthy and humorous looking, he’s broad like a big animal. I sense he’s Australian. He asks me for a light, and my suspicion is confirmed.
How is everyone else? More later, S.

I should have said “he’s broad like a beach”, now that I’m standing in the cold slushes of Seattle. Sometimes when I get off a plane I wish I could be here, wherever the here is, on vacation, like to sleep and walk and draw and drink coffee and other private things, but I remind myself it’s like a working vacation. A vacation away from my life where the work I love is central, to the life where what I love is for two hours a night, and surprises in between, but the work to make it happen is blue collar, and that’s the gritty reality, which contains within it the stuff of romance.

Did I ever mention how often, when I’m heaving the drum case and guitars etc onto the cart at the baggage claim, a person comes up and says, ” I love your music, where are your roadies?” At first I felt defensive until I was told John Wayne always carried his own saddles.

I started by carrying my trap cases into the New York subways for all and sundry, at all hours, when I was much thinner and paler and totally alone, so this is really not a problem for me. In fact, when I flip on the lights in my storage and put my hands on my cases before I pack for a tour, I pause and a smile breaks in my guts, it’s the beginning of a physically demanding journey, but to where, and what will happen, and it’s pungently mine. Ah, and my fingers are stiff with cold..S