I’m a nomad. A Jewish road warrior. I do not have a concept of home. I wish I did. But I live with the idea that we have to get out of town before dawn.Abbie Hoffman
They say silence is music’s original alternative. And when I say “they”, I mean me and Todd Snider.
Vagabonds | New Model Army
We are old, we are young, we are in this together Vagabonds and children, prisoners forever With pulses a-raging and eyes full of wonder Kicking out behind us again
At work on a Saturday, putting out multiple dumpster fires… Sigh.
At least I have music.
Coming into Los Angeles | Arlo Guthrie
©2023 michael raven
Hip woman walkin' on the movin' floor Trippin' on the escalator There's a man in the line and she's blowin' his mind Thinkin' that he's already made her
My bit last night about “radical kindness” in the manner of Alice’s Restaurant got me thinking about Arlo Guthrie and I had to give a couple songs a spin on the streaming service just for smiles.Continue reading “Coming into Los Angeles | Arlo Guthrie”
©2023 michael raven
My fingers are raw.
Yesterday I got it into my head I needed to do some music, but the day got away from me as I set to work getting caught up with work (I am still behind, but only about six hours instead of fifteen or twenty). Determined to have a break on Sunday and make it so I can try to keep up with treading water in terms of work, I sacrificed a day for the stress relief it gave.
When I was not working, I was playing cab-driver for the kids.
But… Today I sat down to do some music.Continue reading “Raw fingers”
Pajamarama || Roxy Music
Couldn't sleep a wink last night Oh how I'd love to hold you tight They say you have a secret life Made sacrifice your key to paradise
You’d be surprised at just how many local goth women I knew back in the day loved everything Brian Ferry. And, contrariwise, just how nearly all local goth men I knew hated him. I was the anomaly, having loved Roxy music only slightly less a period of time as I had loved Electric Light Orchestra.
I needed somat boppy this morning to get me through the impending snowpacolypse about to crash down on our fair cities, not to mention to combat the toasty-burnout I am feeling this morning (WRT work).
Soldier on, dear reader. Soldier on.
Siamese Twins//The Cure
I chose an eternity of this Like falling angels The world disappeared Laughing into the fire Is it always like this? Flesh and blood and the first kiss The first colors, the first kiss
Skyway || The Replacements
Frigid weather here in the Upper Midwest. Breaking 0°F today might require a miracle of epic proportions, although the weather app says we’ll be flirting with that possibility at -1°F for the predicted high temp. Forget about what the air feels like when you factor in the wind. Razors and pins, I tell you… Knives and needles. Skies are steel and something they swear is snow, but feels like ice pellets, is supposed to blow around and fall on us. Winter is here, the spirits seem to want to make us realize.
And, as always, they overdo it a little bit.
It’s all very melancholy when you get down to it, which is why it probably reminds me of The Replacements ode to the cold and something Minnesota has in spades: Skyways.
I know other places have skyways, but they are late to the party — we had them well before anyplace else. To be fair, the state university in Bemidji, Minnesota relies more on tunnels than on skyways to get around this time of year, but that’s a different kind of mood than the melancholy of roaming downtown, always looking down onto the street unless you are down there, freezing off your ass waiting for a transit bus. What makes it even more so is, when you are down on the streets, the snow has lost any magical charm it might have had when falling, and becomes a grey, dirty, slushy, shitty mess.
So — melancholic is the word for days like today.
You take the skyway High above the busy little one-way In my stupid hat and gloves, at night, I lie awake Wonderin' if I'll sleep Wonderin' if we'll meet out in the street
Sometimes life feels like I am people-watching from the street and you (whomever you are) are one of the people I am watching from below, one of those beautiful people passing through the skyway on your way someplace interesting and entertaining while I, being of a practical nature, am in my second-hand military surplus woolen cap and gloves, waiting to catch a ride. And, for weeks, I watch you go by above me at the same time every day, being the beautiful person (whomever) you are.
Then I say, Screw this, very loudly in my head and decide to take some decisive action, go introduce myself to whomever you are, and let you know in no uncertain terms that I find you interesting (and beautiful) for all those times I watched you walk high above me with all the other beautiful people. So I go up to the skyway, just another bum, wildly looking for you to make your daily traversal and…
Oh, then one day I saw you walkin' down that little one-way the place I'd catch my ride most every day There wasn't a damn thing I could do or say Up in the skyway
hAppy whEn it RaiNs || J&MC
Step back and watch the sweet thing Breaking everything she sees She can take my darkest feeling Tear it up, till I'm on me knees
Warping the loom was not the right thing for my evening. This attempt went very wrong, then worse — so I manned-up and admitted I needed to come back to it in a different state of mind (I blame my state on this one: a bit crusty around the rough edges).
I sat there, trying to grasp the tiger’s tail of something, a faint wisp of thought, maybe a bit of spirit from one of the foxes in the tangled copse behind a neighbor’s house, maybe the ghost of a Ghost. Maybe I just ate too much for dinner.
Then I had a bit of flashback to a neverwhen.
Or, I don’t recall it being a when that was part of this waking, so perhaps it was dream, and may have actually been a when on that side of sleep.
I needed this song from my past this evening, and the unmoored memories that came with letting it into my soul. There was a never-her like this and I miss having not-her around although we never-were together. It reminded me that disaster-warps are not everything, and there is a lovely kind power to be able to recall something of that what this song evoked — even if it was based on nothing at all.
I went from thinking moments before that amor vincit omnia is a pile of horse turds to — well, maybe it sometimes conquers when you allow phantom dreams to pass through you on their journey to wherever inmachinations drift to when they long for another dream.
Then it sometimes rains. Or, in Minnesota, it dumps a shit-tonne of snow as it did today.
Lucky for me, I’m happy when it rains.
Heilung | Anoana
This song’s “chorus” has been earworming me for weeks now.
I figure someone (or my brain) is trying to tell me something. I honestly cannot shake it from my head. Bedtime. Cooking meals. Showers. Work. What have you.
Aelwao anoana tuwatuwa Tau liiu anoana tuwatuwa
The song is composed of runic inscriptions carved on protective amulets, or bracteates, according to several sources (including Heilung’s Bandcamp page). Other sites say that the above is likely untranslatable. The argument is that the phrases from the amulets are probably encoded spells.
The video is a new find for me: I wasn’t aware one had been made for the song until this morning. It is in the vein of videos I like far more than most that have been produced in recent years — it has an actual story tied into it, which is what (to me) music videos are meant to be — not clean-copy concert footage or people milling about doing things unrelated to the lyrics.
Anyway, perhaps my earworm will become yours.
Almost absurdimentally. And workplace.
©2022 Michael Raven
Long day. A shift, fluid, around me.
As I put it earlier today: a week ago, I was invited to vacate my personal office in the company’s leased space by no later than November 30th of this year. I had the audacity to elect to continue to work from home when given a choice about the matter. Who would want to do such things?Continue reading “Almost absurdimentally. And workplace.”
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