Greased Pole

I know we promised blog entries on a daily basis but this ROCKPILE trip is outrageous. I don’t know how people do it. I don’t know how they make a life of this kind of gigging (see Tales of a Sunburnt Country by Bob Malone) and I don’t know how they can keep up with daily blogs (see Tales of a Sunburnt Country by Bob Malone)…

I had something started for posting about our first DC gig at Writer’s Center but before I could polish it up we were done with our second DC event at Institute for Policy Studies. So I figured I would do one entry to cover those two DC events but couldn’t find the time or put my ideas together. Before I knew it we were at Busboys and Poets with Burnett Thompson and company and wow!! So, I decided I would write one blog entry about all three events in DC. But it never happened.

Packing and unpacking, traveling, eating, uploading, downloading, drinking…

How could we begin to absorb half the experience, half the lesson of these majestic DC events and then regurgitate them in some quick artistic bloggy thing?????

So we ended up in NYC, and BAM! a symposium at St. Mark’s, then another symposium at CUNY. (Terri and David really don’t like that word “symposium”). Here we go again. It’s showtime at the Gershwin.

Listen. It has all been great. DC was gorgeous. The people were kind and brilliant. I felt like I found a new home. Sarah Browning at Split This Rock, Sunil Freeman at Writer’s Center, Burnett Thompson and The New Columbia Orchestra Quartet, Carlo Parcelli, Buck Downs, Brian Gilmore, Jack Foley, all new friends now.

Burnett Thompson put together a brilliant program for Busboys, awesome musicians, Joe Cunliffe (multi-reed player a new cool friend), all of those players, and that great vocalist, Nicki Gonzalez, who sang in Portuguese. Bassist Don West, Guitarist Richard Miller. An enormous honor to perform with all these DC folks. Check out the videos!

And the ideas behind all this ROCKPILE stuff, just listen to the tapes from IPS program sponsored by Split This Rock. (And watch the footage from St. Mark’s and CUNY for more thoughts. Chicago will have a “symposium” too. All four of these discussions will be a starting point for more talks, jams, whatevers…everywhere!!)

There is a revolution taking place. We just need to start getting together and talking, jamming, dancing and all will be manifest…

And Monday night at the Gershwin. Sure, the band was awesome Marty Ehrlich, Michael Stephans, Bill Zavatsky, Lindsey Horner took the ROCKPILE experience to new realms. David was adorable and beautiful, so what’s new. Terri was beautiful, that platinum blonde wig strangely entrancing.

And Ira Cohen was there. Sooo sweet to see him. And Isabel, Manuel, Suzi and Allan, Elisabeth Hayes, Allan Graubard, Bonnie Finberg, Allan Graubard, Will Swofford, Tom Savage, Joel Lewis, Margo and Adam Kornfeld, Bill Kane, David Henderson, Vincent Katz, Ellen Geist and friend Page, friends from Australia we met in Spotted Cat in New Orleans who dropped by to catch the show while on the tour of this weird country, Martha and Baz, Jake Marmer, Jim Feast, and more, and loved.. How could it not have been a wonderful night?

And well…

I am okay. A little fatter everyday. My nerves are completely shot. I live for the ecstasy of the collaboration and the communion of ideas flowing all around us everywhere we go.

Hey, we’re in upstate NY now.

Yes, the NYC footage will go up soon. We are having some technical difficulties. Got in to Rochester and going to sleep. Tomorrow we’ll take another shot at flushing out the gremlins of documentary technology.

Did I tell you the people in DC were charming and real? Sure, Imperial Kingdom of America but…

5 comments

  1. David, Michael, Terri,

    Thanks for coming to DC and raising the bar. And how about Burnett Thompson, Joe Cunliffe, Nicki Gonzalez, Don West and Dick Miller. Thanks for two great performances. And if you return in March, you can bunk here at Casa Alphaville.

    Carlo

  2. Marina Lazzara says:

    Thank you dear Michael (& David & Terri) for giving me some juice for some work for some read, as I dibble dabble in my daily life and administer the disabled & shop the baby talk & domesticate the noise maker & feel the pulse of the moments in life (which come and go in historical complexity) when time stretches out and the Trickster rides to the surreal land of our daily lives with or without the muse(s).

    I’ve been cross country on tour once, on North/South tours east and west sides several times, and although delirious and changed, how is it that a generation of people have picked that over corporate craziness and mundanity and global horror? The answers simple, isn’t it, but somehow masochistic to have to get to that place, that state, that non-time place. That constant multi-tasking of life, that over tasking, that high of creative control.

    I’ve attempted to stay off the grid for 25 years and now having a child has somehow brought me back on the grid.

    It is these chances that I witness that offer me the kind of history I want to help create the grid she lives on. In our cultural lose of synchronicity’s respect, sew the pocket to my jacket where I place things, where we make our own history.

    marina (laces 13)

  3. Marina Lazzara says:

    Thank you dear Michael (& David & Terri) for giving me some juice for some work for some read, as I dibble dabble in my daily life and administer the disabled & shop the baby talk & domesticate the noise maker & feel the pulse of the moments in life (which come and go in historical complexity) when time stretches out and the Trickster rides to the surreal land of our daily lives with or without the muse(s).

    I’ve been cross country on tour once, on North/South tours east and west sides several times, and although delirious and changed, how is it that a generation of people have picked that over corporate craziness and mundanity and global horror? The answers simple, isn’t it, but somehow masochistic to have to get to that place, that state, that non-time place. That constant multi-tasking of life, that over tasking, that high of creative control.

    I’ve attempted to stay off the grid for 25 years and now having a child has somehow brought me back on the grid.

    It is these chances that I witness that offer me the kind of history I want to help create the grid she lives on. In our cultural lose of synchronicity’s respect, sew the pocket to my jacket where I place things, where we make our own history.

    marina

  4. Scott from NOLA says:

    Daivid, Michael, and Terri,

    Greetings from New Orleans, where it is almost warm. Figured out how to \post comments\ on your blog this morning. I hope this message finds you at a bagel and coffee shop somewhere down the road. David, I have continued to research the history of the Kaufman family in the 7th Ward of New Orleans. I am just now beginning to put the information together. Are you still interested in having a Q & A over the website?

  5. Madgalene says:

    So where are the cheesecake pictures of Terri in the blonde wig? But, seriously (who’s not serious?), I was reading this great book “How The Beatles Destroyed Rock and Roll” (great book, bad title) and who’s listed in the bibliography but David “Jazz Thing” Meltzer? But what do I expect when you guys are nationwide? (What do you want I should expect?) Michael, Terri, and David, I know no matter how good the performances, the blog, and everything else, it could always be better. No matter how many people show up, there could always be more. Have you ever seen one of those interviews where Stephen King whines about his lack of readership? (Lack of readership? I should have lack of readership!) But, don’t be too hard on yourself (here especially I mean you, Michael)–the three of you envisioned an incredible vision. If it was a dream alone, no more than a dream, it would still be a beautiful thing, but you are manifesting this vision. And not just the fact that you are doing what most people wouldn’t even have the heart or soul to dream, but that you had the courage to try, and, in fact, do it! And the courage to record it and share it with the rest of the world (so it’s not perfect, it aint shabby)! And, you did this when? You did this during the Summer of Love when all the vibes were good? You did this during the Renaissance (San Francisco, Italian, Berkeley, take your pick)? You did this at the dawn of the Romantic Era, hanging tight with Wordsworth and Coleridge and the boys down at the Lake? Hell no, baby, hell no! Rockpile–that is David Meltzer, Michael Rothenberg, and Terri Carrion–went on the road early on during the Second Great Depression, not long after Bush and his cronies broke the Government, the War still going on, New Orleans still in pain, and long before Obama and/or anybody else could even begin to think of fixing it (as if any one man could), deep in the heart of New Dark Ages, call it American Medieval, when all the demoniac forces of darkness have gathered to conspire against Creativity and Poetry and Music and Live Performance in any form–some people are even trying to tell us the end is right around the corner, here we are in the beginning of the end days–you guys did it! Could you have done it better? Hell yeah! Do I wish more people could know about it so they could be in awe of you like I am? Hell yeah! But, despite whatever imperfections, you guys are riding down through the heart of darkness and YOU ARE DOING IT (This aint no computer graphic, baby!) and those of us in the know, hipsters or no, love the hell out of you for it!

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