Friday, March 31, 2017

398


Oh man, such a pleasure to go through these treasures. So many good riffs and lines. A time and a place captured and kept fresh. 

Dance score: 8.3 (note, score only partially due to strength of album. Other factors, like coffee and MJ strength, attitude, etc, play in. But the album does more of the work than anything else.)

These lyrics cracked me up. Hits close to home though. Young punk calling me out. (But I have hundreds of dances still to go. And you're dead. So there! Love you though.)

Too Pooped to Pop

Casey is an old man who wants to be a teen
He goes to all the dances and they call him cha-cha King
He cha-cha's when the band is playin' rock and roll
He tries to keep in time but the beat leaves him cold
Because he's too pooped to pop, too old a soul
Hips gettin' weaker when he tries to do this stroll
And every time his feet get to go in one way
Here comes a new dance and it's goin' to stray
Chicks told Casey, you better move man
This is only a one night stand
Casey wasn't in time but he was dancin' awhile
Till a cramp caught his leg and he had to change his style
Because he's too pooped to pop, too old a soul
Hips gettin' weaker when he tries to do this stroll
And every time his feet get to go in one way
Here comes a new dance and it's goin' to stray
Casey finally learned to do the hoochie koo
This might have been fine back in '22
Now, I'm gonna give you fellows just a little tip
If you wanna keep your girl you better get hip
Or, you'll be too pooped to pop, too old a soul
You hips are gettin' weaker when you'll try to do the stroll
And every time your feet gettin' to go in one way
Here comes a new dance you'll be left to stray

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

397


It's 1959 now. Waited 2 years for this one to come out. (I'm imagining this.) But I've bought most of the singles. I love the cover. It is is one of the most delicious covers I've ever seen.

So many classic songs, even more than on the last two albums. Worth the wait. 

But I'm hurting. The woman I love needs more from me. So I sacrifice side two and clean house. Actually what I do is try to bring the music into the chores. I try to dance the chores. This is part of my goal of carrying the dance forward into the rest of the day. Let it shake through me like Berry's guitar, like Johnnie Johnson's piano. 

And one song leads me to it. One set of lyrics.

That's the other thing about listening to a record every morning. The lyrics so often lead you to where you need to be, like the voice of God. You find it in the lyrics.

This one from Queenie.

Meanwhile I was still thinking
If it's a slow one, we'll omit it
If it's a rocker, we'll get it
And if it's good, she'll admit it
C'mon Queenie, let's get with it

If it's good she'll admit it.
'
Time to clean the house. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

396


An album on a phone. Better than no album. Much better. But I'm fantasizing this was the original vinyl. That it is 1957 and this just came out. Just a few month's after After School Sessions. And I've already bought a few of the singles. Half the album I already know. But this is a Long Player. A full dance session. 45 minutes of raw guitar driven bliss. Even the throwaway moments are good. Jokes, attitude, freedom. Little 2 minute jolts of creative energy and verve propelling through my body. Johnnie Johnson's piano ringing through my arms and wiggling in my fingers, Berry's guitar making me duck walk.




Monday, March 27, 2017

395

So, a new series, already started really, but in full effect now. Using vinyl LP (Long Player) format to frame a daily dance. A new album every damn day. (with occasional DJ sets for inspiration.)

Today I was inspired by a New Yorker article on Chuck Berry to go back and listen to his discography. I listened to the first full record from 1957, After School Session.

What a greatg title. There's a sexual connatation to "session", and a musical one too. Now that school is over, let's party. But another connatation takes hold as the record goes on and you realize that the songs form a kind of moral narrative, and this is music that comes after learning your lessons.

The album announces its intention off the bat with School Days. It opens with 12 staccato strokes of a guitar that immitates a school bell and then, "Up in the morning and out to school" and off we go. I'm not sure if I've ever heard a more promising opening to an album.

The song propels you through a school day, learning the Golden Rule, history, etc, working hard, and then, with steam from all that hard work building up (in the music) you are finally released to dance with the one you love. And then there it is, the last lines of that great first song on the first Chuck Berry record, hailing the new great freedom of rock and roll, "Hail, hail rock and roll. Deliver us from days of old" (Days of old? This could merely mean school, but it also hints at "history," i.e. slavery and oppression: the two become conflated in this line.) Then there's a plea, a prayer for a long life to this newfound freedom: "Long live Rock and Roll". This is a freedom that hearkens back to African drums and sex: "The beat of the drums, loud and bold/ Rock, rock rock and roll. The feeling is there, body and soul." And there it is, the secret; the body and soul (traditionally seen in opposition to one another) united in freedom, the great unleashing of absolute freedom that lead to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and everything in between. It's revolutionary stuff and built of pure steam that needs somewhere to go and finds its outlet, miraculously, in music and dancing.

And that's leads to the next track, "Deep Feeling." And that's what it is too, just instrumental bliss, a twangy guitar heading into outerspace, a cosmic dance with Johnnie Johnson who asserts himself into the mix.

Then right back into the jittery swing of rock of roll with "Too Much Monkey Business." You could probably site Chuck Berry as a precursor of hip hop as well, because he frequently raps the verses, funny and brilliant lines that start fast and then uses double time and spring rhythm to propel the verses forward, (Gerard Manly Hopkins meets Lightning Hopkins meets hip hop.)

I just looked up the lyrics online to help me follow them. One verse is listed as, "Take home, something wrong, dime gone, will hold/ order suit, hoppered up for telling me a tale, ahh! Too much monkey business..." I was like what? So I listened to the song again and, though it is hard to parse, it is actually, "Pay phone, something wrong, dime gone, will mail/ Oughta sue, operator telling me a tale, ahh!" Wow, Metro Lyrics really got it wrong. just shows how hard it is to follow lyrics like this. But it also shows the roots of Berry's famous paranoia about getting screwed out of his dime. (And he did like to sue for his dime. Years later he would sue The Beach Boys for ripping off his music.) In this capitalistic society even the phone company is trying to screw you. And also, in song order; your job at the mill, salesmen, blonds, the phone company, the army, and then your next job at the gas station. This is basically a protest song. You dance off your frustrations.

Then come the real frustrations, love sickness, in "The Wee Wee Hours," a 12 bar blues that works because of the bleeding piano of Johnie Johnson. The middle section where Berry's crying guitar and Johnson's piano snake around each other is cathartic.

Soon comes a car song, of course, because you are motoring now! You are burning up the dance floor and fast cars come in tandom with rock and roll. The sarcastic title of the song is "No Money Down," and it's a masterpiece of wish fulfillment, how a wry commentary on how desire is exploited by those insidious monkey business salesmen. But check out these great lyrics,

 "Well Mister I want a yellow convertible
Four-door de Ville
With a Continental spare
And a wide chrome wheel
I want power steering
And power brakes
I want a powerful motor
With a jet off-take
I want air condition
I want automatic heat
And I want a full Murphy bed
In my back seat
I want short-wave radio
I want TV and a phone
You know I gotta talk to my baby
When I'm ridin' alone"

Yes I'm gonna get that car
And I'm gonna head on down the road
Yeah, then I won't have to worry
About that broken-down, raggedy Ford

"I want four carburetors
And two straight exhausts
I'm burnin' aviation fuel
No matter what the cost
I want railroad air horns
And a military spark
And I want a five-year guarantee
On everything I got
I want ten-dollar deductible
I want twenty dollar notes
I want thirty thousand liability"
That's all she wrote


Downbound Train is another morality tale that fits the form of its music. The music is the train, and if you chug-a-long too fast in booze and rock and roll you will find yourself in hell. It's a fun ride while it lasts, but eventually the stranger learns his lesson and never gets on that train again. Until the next record anyway.

The final song is Drifting Heart. When I'm dancing to a ballad, I pretend like there is someone there dancing with me. How lame does that sound? But it's wonderful nonetheless.

A great dance record. It was a privilege. Thanks for the music, Chuck!


This original rambling was all pared down to a more essential take on a FB post. Here's the cleaned up version:

Today I was inspired by a New Yorker article on Chuck Berry to go back and listen to his discography. I listened to the first full record from 1957, After School Session. What a great title. Now that school is over, let's party. But another connotation takes hold as the record goes on and you realize that the songs also form a kind of moral narrative. The album announces its intention off the bat with "School Days." It opens with 12 staccato strokes of a guitar that immitates a school bell and then, "Up in the morning and out to school," and off we go. I'm not sure if I've ever heard a more promising opening to an album. The song propels you through a school day, learning the Golden Rule, history, etc, and then, with the steam from all that hard work building up (in the music) you are finally released to dance with the one you love. And then there it is, the last lines of that great first song on the first Chuck Berry record, hailing the new-found freedom of rock and roll, "Hail, hail rock and roll," leading to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and everything in between, a revolution built out of frustrated energy finding its outlet in music and dance.

And that leads to the next track, "Deep Feeling." That's what it is too, just instrumental bliss, a twangy guitar heading into outerspace, a cosmic dance with Berry's genius piano player Johnnie Johnson who asserts himself into the mix.

Then right back into the jittery swing of rock of roll with "Too Much Monkey Business." You could site Chuck Berry as a precursor of hip hop as well since he frequently raps the verses, funny and brilliant lines that start fast and then use double time and spring rhythm to propel the verses forward, (Gerard Manly Hopkins meets Lightning Hopkins meets hip hop.) In order, his job at the mill is trying to screw him, then salesmen, blonds, the phone company, the army, and finally his next job at the gas station. This is basically a protest song. You dance off your frustrations.

Then comes more frustration, love sickness, in "The Wee Wee Hours," a 12 bar blues that works its magic because of the bleeding piano of Johnnie Johnson. The middle section where Berry's crying guitar and Johnson's piano snake around each other is cathartic.

Soon comes a car song, of course, because you are motoring now! You are burning up the dance floor. The sarcastic title of the song is "No Money Down." It's a wish fulfillment, and a wry commentary on how desire is exploited by those insidious monkey business salesmen. I love these lyrics:

"Well Mister I want a yellow convertible
Four-door de Ville
With a Continental spare
And a wide chrome wheel
I want power steering
And power brakes
I want a powerful motor
With a jet off-take
I want air condition
I want automatic heat
And I want a full Murphy bed
In my back seat
I want short-wave radio
I want TV and a phone
You know I gotta talk to my baby
When I'm ridin' alone

I want four carburetors
And two straight exhausts
I'm burnin' aviation fuel
No matter what the cost
I want railroad air horns
And a military spark
And I want a five-year guarantee
On everything I got
I want ten-dollar deductible
I want twenty dollar notes
I want thirty thousand liability"
That's all she wrote

A great dance record.

394

In the basement again trying hard on a Sunday afternoon to get back into Joel's Afternoon Sound Alternative again, to explore it deeper. And a few times I succeeded. Worth the effort for sure. A maintenance dance. Shout out to Mierle Ukeles' Maintenance Art.

(And this article I wrote on Ukeles on Fanzine: http://thefanzine.com/mierle-laderman-ukeless-maintenance-art/)

l

Friday, March 24, 2017

393

393 Dances. Funny how I kind of want them to tick by, to reach a goal, and I kind of want them to slow down, so I never reach my goal.

This morning so many ideas flowed through me. Weird ideas. Like to make a tack that appears to be a rusty railroad tie. (So I could tack up posters with old railroad ties, that's why.)

But one idea took hold and that's this. May it be so, even if only in ones and zeros. (As Lucia said yesterday, there is only one thing you need to know. Zero plus one is one. Actually there's only two things you need to know. One minus one is zero.)

Have a silent disco style Sunday morning rave on the regular, hosted by Conduit. Maybe in Doughboy park. Maybe in Calvary Cemetery. Maybe in the perfect dance floor next to the unisphere in Flushing. That would be dope!

7-9pm on Sunday mornings. Or maybe it's not silent? Would it be better with a giant boombox? I could try it both ways.

First dance would be what I listened to this morning, Joel Davis' Afternoon Sound Alternative from January 12, 2017.

It was a religious experience. Thinking about Reza Aslan on Marc Maron this morning. And TJ Miller on Crashing, "being a comedian is like being a preacher, except you aren't lying."

Being a dancer is like being a comedian. But with even less lying.

After a couple of ecstatic hours of dancing there's a Heart of Glass that shattered my heart of glass, a remix by Crabtree. I've always loved that song, the mystery in the melody, and here it was stripped and given a string quartet arrangement. So beautiful & personal.

Joel is such a good dance host, the best really.

Here's the playlist. 

Cheapedits - Blacktel - Katakana Edits Vol. 28
Thievery Corporation - Letter To The Editor (feat. Racquel Jones) - The Temple Of I & I
Matthew Squires - Unwholesome Health - Tambaleo
Eric B. & Rakim - Don't Sweat The Technique (ATCR Remix) - A Tribe Called Red Presents Moombah Hip Moombah Hop Ep
- voicebreak -
Visioneers - Rocket Man (Afrolatin Joint) - Hipology
BADBADNOTGOOD - Time Moves Slow (feat. Sam Herring) - IV
Mop Mop - Totem (feat. Anthony Joseph) [Nicola Cruz Remix] - Lunar Love Remixed
Thornato - Chapinero - Things Will Change EP
Department Of Eagles - Origin Of Love - The Cold Nose
- voicebreak -
Multicast - Faster And Faster - Multicaster
Kid Koala - Fallaway (feat. Emilíana Torrini) - Music To Draw To: Satellite (feat. Emilíana Torrini)
Kutiman - She's A Revolution (feat. Adam Scheflan & Karolina) - 6AM
Gaye Su Akyol - Eski Tüfek - Hologram Imparatorlugu
Rev. Sekou & The Holy Ghost - Hell No - The Revolution Has Come
Wax Tailor - The Road Is Ruff (feat. Lee Fields) - By Any Beats Necessary
- voicebreak -
Lettuce - Ransome - Mt. Crushmore
Baloji - Unité Et Litre (Remix) [feat. Saul Williams, Well$, Alec Lomani] - 64 Bits & Malachite (Remixes) - EP
Lascivio Bohemia - Sacudela (Andres Digital Remix) - Global Barrio Vol. 1
Calexico - Cumbia De Donde - Edge Of The Sun
Tasseomancy - 29 Palms - Do Easy
Jon Armstrong - Apricot - Burnt Hibiscus
Pavo Pavo - Ruby (Let's Buy The Bike) - Young Narrator In The Breakers
- voicebreak -
Kabanjak - Turn It Up - The Dooza Tapes, Vol. 1
Various Artists - Stone Cold Boners - Lesson One - Everything Is Going To The Beat
Handsome Boy Modeling School - The Projects (PJays) [feat. Dave & Del Tha Funkee Homosapien] - So.. Hows Your Girl?
FIREHOSE - Under The Influence Of Meat Puppets - Ragin', Full-On
Meat Puppets - Lost - Ii
The Bones Of J.R. Jones - 13 Kinds - Spirit's Furnace
- voicebreak -
David Immergluck - Joe Kirby Blues - I Am The Resurrection: A Tribute To John Fahey
Dani Nega E Craca - Froschleich - Hystereofonica Vol. 1
Chancha Via Circuito - Camino De Posguerra (Reptilian Commander Remix) [feat. Sara Hebe] - Amansara Remixed
- voicebreak -
Baba Zula - Nobey Dub (feat. Arastaman) - XX
Blondie - Heart Of Glass (Crabtree Remix) - Heart Of Glass (Crabtree Remix)
Daymé Arocena - Mambo Na' Mà - Cubafonía
T.L. Barrett & Youth For Christ Choir - Like A Ship - Shanghai'd Soul
Various Artists - Mahlalela - Gilles Peterson In Africa - The Soul
- voicebreak -
Bob Marley & The Wailers - Jamming (version) - In Dub Vol. 1
Dubmatix - Show Down (feat. Tenor Fly) - 15 Years Of Balanced Records
EarthRise SoundSystem - Earth To The Sun [Srikalogy To The Earth Remix] (feat. Vishal Vaid & Max ZT) - Rising: EarthRise SoundSystem Remix Project
Chance The Rapper - All Night (feat. Knox Fortune) - Coloring Book
Saib. - Come With Me - Dreamland
Bill Frisell - Rob Roy - Where In The World?
Robert Palmer - Every Kinda People (Joey Negro Multicultural Multitrack Mix) - Remixed With Love By Joey Negro, Vol. 2 (Bonus Track Version)
- voicebreak -
Rival Consoles - Helios - Sonne - EP

That's what I want to do every Sunday morning. Dance for a couple hours, with a couple hundred friends and strangers. Church of Dance.

Then after 3 months of build up I want to throw a party for Conduit, to get the word about them, help Joel launch in a big way. Maybe July 4 weekend. Fly out Joel. Give Conduit the shot in the arm it needs in return for the beauty Joel brought to your dance this morning (and many others too, just flip back through this blog.)

First step go to Flushing Meadows next Sunday and check out the scene. .

Thursday, March 23, 2017

392

Dance in basement to Joel Davis' latest Morning Sound Alternative on AfterFM.com

Sometimes I feel like the radio is preaching to me.

"Be here now, feel your body move to the music."

"You can be a star, but it's gonna be tough going."

And then I am dancing with Joanne Kyger, doing the mambo. Joanne died yesterday, so it was emotional to dance with her today. She moved through me.  

391

combining 2 solid but short dances here. First upstairs to first half dozen songs of SXSW hip hop playlist on Spotify.

Second with girls at Lucia's Kindergarten Winter Wonderland Dance. That one was crazy because I had about 10 kids wanting me to pick them up and twirl them like I did Lucia, but I didn't really feel comfortable picking up other people's kids. But I could hardly dance because of those little hands reaching up and around me from all sides. "Shut Up And Dance With Me" is such a popular song with this set that the DJ played it twice.


Monday, March 13, 2017

388


I was craving rock and roll after yesterday's Modern Lovers, but when I went to Spotify for the likes I saw the last thing playing was Bach's Aria played by Glenn Gould, which was sent to me by Truck Darling (Jeni Olin get up!) who tagged me in a FB post, but it turned out to be perfect, thank you Henry James for the endless sentence variations, with bare intuitive transitions depending on who's paying attention, and the piece ws the best, the Bach, because my grandmother-in-law whom I have never met is dying, and I am thinking of her, but especially her son, and his daughter and her daughters, all whom I love and see clearly, all coming from her, and am so am feeling her loss, as well as her gain, I'm in bittersweet mourning,  and the Aria, especially as interpreted by the clairvoyant Glenn Gould, is such balm and salve for the mourning heart. The music accompanies the grief like...a mother. 

Thinking of her, and how beautiful she must be knowing as I do her children and her children's children and her ever more beautiful children's children's children. 

So there it was this morning and I wondered if I could dance to it. I thought I'd give it a prelude and a fugue, so I started there on the Spotify playlist. (Have I mentioned I love Spotify?) And holy wow, did I dance. I've never noticed just how propulsive Bach could be, especially, again especially in the forward pushing hands and swing of Gould, who plays with and emphasized the rhythms to great effect, so that you feel them in your body as you emulate the sounds. I used to prefer the jazz improvization over the writ recital, but in the hands of someone like Gould it is the exact write music of Bach itself is being improvised upon with both far reaching innovation and the deepest sympathy for the source. In other words, they both rock and in rocking rocked me. 

The super subtle but absolutely most essential thing, is that the music itself drives the beat, so that the body always knows which direction to go in, relatively, but the way both Bach, and afterward, 
Gould play, endlessly, with the basic rhythms, weaving melodic patterns of infinite plasticity and nuance, keep the dance always exciting, never monotanous. Your body can listen to music and respond as if going on nerve. 

And you will sweat hard. Then the Aria will come back on. You bow low. You see the image of Granny in front of you, smiling (which you recognize by looking at your own children's smile and following them backwards through the generations, such broad and beaming smiles. As bright as  anything else I've ever known.) You stand back up, smile and sweep your arm as if to say welcome, Granny. And when you feel the tears on your face you know she's there.





Friday, March 10, 2017

387

Been awhile since I had a full-heart-throated dance, but this morning I did and a documentary about Danny Fields led me back to listen to Jonathon Richman, and so I listed to albums from the 80's and went wild. When you get to that point you are floating, and everything petty falls away, "it's magic, no not at random," gone with the wind.

Then put on his album from 2008, "Because Her Beauty is Raw and Wild"

And I found the lyrics to be some of the most beautiful I've ever heard, like a great rock and roll sermon, a real "secret-of-life" kind of album.

386

Whatching the end of Sean The Sheep movie with the girls and I start dancing, partly out of the joy of the brilliance of the film. Then put on The Beach Boys "Surfs Up," pick up the girls one after the other and have a kind of ballet carnival dance around the room with them to the strains of Brian Wilson's sonic pop brilliance. What music! What dance partners! What life!