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Posts Tagged ‘acoustic guitar’

Y’all know I am not a fan of The Grateful Dead and enough said about that.

But several years ago, I picked up a CD of Not For Kids Only, with Dave Grisman and Jerry Garcia. It was then that my classical-guitar playing friend said how much he liked the Grateful Dead. I was fairly shocked, WHY? He said Jerry’s playing and singing is soulful; and finally, I too found it to be so.

My kids grew up listening to this CD pretty frequently. Thinking about Freight Train of late inspired me to dig it up. Right away, my eldest started playing the CD over and over. I used to sing some of these songs as lullabies and I asked the girls if they remember them very well. Yes, of course.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, sometimes as a parent, you do something right.

CD or no, the music is in them.

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What I was going to write was “fuckin’ A, it’s the Silos on youtube after all these years”…but I felt like it would be bad form to have the word fuck in my blog title. The day may come that warrants the use of the word as such, but even with all of the crap that the Congress expects us to eat, chew, and swallow, I have not yet felt the need. I did have my day on Facebook using the word fuck in my status update, but that was not a first; even children, teens, and the elderly read that! Egads man.

Actually, since nobody seems to read my Facebook updates, the news feed flying by by the milisecond as it does, here is what I posted:

Fuck you Wayne LaPierre and all of your ilk. Between the gun irrationalists and the rest of the GOP trying to make the fact of my anatomy some reason to legislate the hell outta my constitutional rights, fuck you. Saying fuck you feels offensive to me, but I’m gonna use a liberal meme and say the offensive thing is the behavior and lack of reasoning of the GOP and TEA partiers. What I’m doing is using words, not legislative action to shut people down. Our nation is being held hostage by corporate interests and lunatic fringe fear-mongering cavemen and women. I’m so tired of it. No wonder we feel defeated. I know I don’t have a million bucks spare to pay off a congressperson.
Okay, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the raison d’etre of this post. THE SILOS! Relief….

If you liked that, I highly recommend listening to more of their stuff. Here’s another one of my favorites:

And another, prolly the only reason I have ever wanted to know Spanish. In the meantime, you can think of me as the girl who really knew how to use the word fuck, in English.

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a beautiful sunset at Coronado Beach 11/10/12

Back from California which feels good. To run on one’s own neighborhood’s sidewalk, to hike in one’s familiar woods, to cook one’s own food, to eat one’s own mother’s famous spaghetti sauce, to sleep in one’s own bed, to see one’s own children in the flesh.

It is my father’s birthday today. He would have been a whopping 91 years old. Yeesh. What does that make me? Still a girl who lost her father too young is what.

I liked La Jolla, somewhat, especially the ocean and the pretty architecture and being able to ride bikes around and the beautiful plants, flowers, and trees and the birds one doesn’t find in the Eastern US and the art outside the museum and the food, some of the food anyway. I loved our B and B and Margaret, the innkeeper and chef. I liked some of the food in San Diego. I did not like Coronado, but I did like the pretty beach. It was so windy, the sand whipped at our feet and the stainless steel public toilet made our ass skin very cold.

Who says ass skin? Nobody, nobody but me. Try it, though. It is not as easy as it seems. It is practically a tongue twister. And I’ll stop right there lest you get ideas and think of any double-entendres.

Long ago, I thought I would chronicle my travels, no matter how humble and close-to-home, by taking photos of myself in the facilities (the “loo” in other words) of places I visited. Probably due to my restless nature, I did not stick with the plan, though on occasion, I do remember to take a picture (if I’m lucky enough to have remembered my camera).

I do not have a photo of the stainless steel toilets from the public restrooms at either La Jolla or Coronado, but when I searched google images, I found a lot of photos of fancy, $1200 stainless steel toilets, presumably for the asses of Romney-type voters (Koch, Bush, Rove, but let’s watch those double-entendres, plz).

We had the pleasure of yet more friends coming to visit us from further north in California, this time a couple who we already know. You may recall we met Ms. Coldiron for the first time earlier in the week.

We went to a little park just a block from the sea and we sat on a bench and we sang songs to a guitar and a banjo. It had been a long, long time. Seven years maybe, gasp.

When we were singing in the little park, freezing our buns off, a little wedding was going on. Sometimes I sang a little bit loud, what one might describe as enthusiastically, I think, and when we all realized a wedding going on (because we weren’t quite sure at first), we tried to be a little quieter. The amazing thing is that the wedding people never asked us to stop. It was all so groovy, but it didn’t really feel hippy groovy or California groovy like you’d think, but it was groovy nonetheless.

The song I most remember grooving to was this one. We sounded pretty good, but I think Susan and George’s fingers must have been about frozen. Amen.

Here is a photo of the handle in the bathroom on the Star of India at the Maritime Museum in San Diego

Of course it is not me peeing, but it is what I was looking at as I sat. The ship originally did not have modern toilets as it was an old ship, but even these “modern” pieces of hardware are more beautiful and solid than most of what one finds nowadays.

One thinks of other things one can describe as solid brass.

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…I used to do Music Mondays? This is like that, only it’s just past midnight on a Saturday.

I used to sing this to my babies at bedtime.

and if you think that’s the definitive version, you still gotta admit that Bonnie Raitt kills with it, too

and I can’t let it go without this

Basically, you can’t go wrong with a song like Angel From Montgomery is really my point. Even I sound FABULOUS when I sing it.

Don’t forget to say your rabbit rabbit for good luck before you speak any other words when you wake up tomorrow.

Maybe one of these days I’ll even write a poem.

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In honor and preparation of the upcoming Wilco show in VT. Inspired by all things Top 10, including our 2010 Christmas card.

If I do nothing else right as a mother, taking my kids to 2 Wilco shows in one week should carry them to unknown places full of heart anyway. And the week after that? GOGOL BORDELLO BABY!!! I’m hoping Eugene’s pants are a bit looser than the last time we saw them.

1. Misunderstood (how long can Jeff hold an unresolved chord?) Here’s a recent live version, the opening number from a concert down in Alabammy this May

2. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

3. Handshake Drugs (best-ever version was pulled from the youtubes, copyright infringement being what it is)

4. Radio Cure*

5. Airline to Heaven

6. Passenger Side

7. Born Alone

8. One Sunday Morning

9. A Shot in the Arm (you might also like to look up the live version in which Tweedy dons the Gram Parsons tribute suit)

10. California Stars

*Radio Cure

Cheer up, honey, I hope you can
There is something wrong with me
My mind is filled with silvery stuff
Honey, kisses, clouds of fluff
Shoulders shrugging off

Cheer up, honey, I hope you can
There is something wrong wit h me
My mind is filled with radio cures
Electronic surgical words

Picking apples for kings and queens of things I have never seen
Oh, distance has no way of making love understandable

Cheer up, honey, I hope you can
There is something wrong with me
My mind is filled with silvery stars
Honey, kisses, clouds of love

Picking apples for the kings and queens of things I’ve never seen
Oh, distance has no way of making love understandable
Oh, distance has no way of making love understandable
Oh, distance has no way of making love understandable
Oh, distance the way of making love understandable
Oh, distance the way of making love understandable

Cheer up honey, I hope you can

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Just bought tickets for Gogol Bordello in Boston, June 1, me, Hubby, and the big kid (the younger one will be sailing in Camden, Maine)

Here’s my GB post from last year.

They’ll also be in VT in August.

Call me. We’ll caravan.

*not exactly, but this will kick off the summer festival season for my family. Who else will we see? Wilco, likely. David Sedaris? Wait, that’s not a concert and he’s not here ’til fall. It all works. Trust me.

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Nothing major to play today, I am uninspired. No post-Christmas blues, no Boxing Day celebrations.

Somehow, I missed Mazzy Star when they were around. I don’t know much about them (in spite of wiki), nor do I really care. This song has all the makings of a song I’d normally hate, the self-conscious, almost-droning vocals, the slow tempo which could turn disastrous in the hands of less careful singer. I tend to have a visceral reaction to voices that are pushed down and self-conscious; too many layers of effort. This can also manifest itself in over-reaching and over-modulating, so common in a lot of popular singing nowadays.

Somehow, Hope Sandoval manages to squeak in under the tendency to over-emotionalize her voice: she almost doesn’t enunciate, but she does enunciate. She is breathy, but just short of what would be pretentiously breathy.

I am familiar with only 3 of Mazzy Star’s songs–Into Dust, Halah, and the better-known Fade Into You, all of which I like very much. I like that this song is reminiscent of the VU–it’s retro, it’s trippy. It makes me want to turn the snowflakes on on my blog, but they’d be psychedelic swirling snowflakes, acid green and purple.

The lyrics are pure poetry as paired with the music, if you can stand the slow pace.

Sorry about the sappy visuals even though I kind of like the Man Ray-like eyelash with a tear suspended and the snowy lane. There’s a more tolerable live version, but I chose this for some reason.

Warning: this song not recommended for long winter road trips in the dark

Into Dust

Still falling
Breathless and on again
Inside today
Beside me today
A round broken in two
’til your eyes shed into dust
Like two strangers turning into dust
’til my hand shook the way I fear

I could possibly be fading
Or have something more to gain
I could feel myself growing colder
I could feel myself under your face
Under…your face

It was you
breathless and torn
I could feel my eyes turning into dust
And two strangers turning into dust
Turning into dust.

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Butternut squash is an old staple crop here in the Valley, but in attempting to research it on the web, I couldn’t get a clear history (time to ply Farmer Dan for answers). Squash was part of a traditional Three Sisters garden. When my kids were each in 3rd Grade at their school, they planted a Three Sisters garden. Awesome.

You see field after field of butternut all along the Connecticut River. I know the pumpkin crop in New England was heavily damaged due to Hurricane Irene; I’m not as sure about the butternut squash. You see truckloads piled high traveling hither, thither, and yon on the roads around here. I haven’t really noticed this year.

It’s been damp and cloudy for days. I feel like I’m in Ohio except for those wild animals that were running around over there last week. Hubby and I discussed our memories, from about 20 years ago, of living in Kent and reading for weeks about someone in Rootstown who had a wild-animal farm where some little kid got attacked by a tiger. Claims of safety ensued, lawsuits and debates followed. At least I think it was Rootstown. Anybody else remember this?

In this week’s Thankful Thursday, I wrote about homemade veggie stock. I’m simply too lazy to write up a veggie stock prescription right now, but it would make logical sense to have your veggie stock ready before you cook this. Also, in keeping with being NON-CANDY-ASS, you’ll want to have soaked about a cup (or slightly less) of white beans the night before so they’re ready to go for adding to this soup.

Here comes a recipe for one of my favorite soups of all time. FAVORITE OF ALL TIME! That’s a bold statement:

Kale, Butternut Squash, and White Bean Soup                                                                                                                                     from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin

1/3 C olive oil
2 large onions, diced
10 C vegetable stock
1 C finely diced canned tomatoes, with liquid
2 tsp fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced, appx 2 C
2 C cooked or canned white beans, well rinsed
1/2 lb. kale, shredded
grated parmagiano-reggiano

1. Heat oil in stockpot. Add onions and cook until tender.
2. Stir in stock, tomatoes, rosemary, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil. Add squash and simmer. Cook 30 minutes until squash is tender.
3. Add beans and kale, cook 15 minutes and serve with cheese.

NOTES: I make this soup in all manner of batches and sizes, usually doubling it or more. The quantities of ingredients are very forgiving. Sometimes I use fresh tomatoes to no detriment, or of course (NOT CANDY-ASS ALERT) the ones I’ve roasted and frozen from the summer crop. I also sometimes use spinach over kale. Just a softer texture, not so much for the flavor. It freezes well and is a great fall soup when the crops are all in. If I use fresh rosemary, I add it toward the end of cooking. I always use my own veggie stock which I highly recommend over store-bought or bouillon.

The recipe was given to me by an old Kent friend, Abby Greer. She made it at a Play Group Christmas Party in 1998. Warm memories and post-partum depression.

For musical accompaniment, you could play “Beautiful Soup” from some manifestation of Alice in Wonderland, the best one being Gene Wilder singing it from a somewhat charming 1990’s TV movie. Or you could listen to this which seems to fit my mood today and the weather we’ve had of late, even though the video was shot in the spring.

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Brookfield Farm carrots–the best carrots I’ve ever eaten in my life.

Maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal, but as a child, carrots were the only vegetable I’d eat (okay, potatoes, too). It’s also the only vegetable one of my daughters eats on a regular basis, so knowing that the carrots we get in our CSA are out-of-this-world good-tasting and organic to boot is a deep satisfaction. Farmer Dan said the carrots got too much water in late summer so they would be small, but this week, I assure you, they were completely normal-sized, if not even larger, than a couple of weeks ago. The flavor is earthy and robust when they are at their best. I want you to know I just held back from making any length-in-inches carrot jokes, too. Like seven of them.

Corkscrew Carrot

Toothpaste tubes, lotion: I can squeeze toothpaste from a toothpaste tube for up to 3 weeks after all of the other members of my family are ready to discard it. I LOVE this. It makes for more counter-top clutter in our shared bathroom because the rest of my family has moved on to their shiny new toothpaste tubes, but the knowledge that I am using the very last bits of a product makes me very happy.

I also cut near-empty lotion tubes in half and use those for a couple of extra days. Good stuff! This model of using up the very last drop can be applied to all manner of consumer products in your household. Unless you go rogue and make your own toothpaste, hand cream, laundry detergent, dish soap….

All righty, then….It’s time for a rare mention of something political on twinklysparkles:

OCCUPY WALL STREET people!!!

Is this the jammin’est thing going in our country today?

This morning, the first headline that caught my eye was an urging of the OWS movement to get THE PEOPLE, as in WE, to move our money to small, local banks and/or credit unions. While this can be complicated and may not work for some businesses with international banking needs, it also can be quite simple and if the free market works, open up more options for all of us, including businesses with international banking needs.

You think the oligarchs are scared? You bet your sweet bippies! Read on, my friends.

Concrete change, change in which an individual can make a choice with what matters most to the political world, may be simpler than we’ve all thought. What matters most? I think this says it rather well:

In a related vein–if I haven’t been completely clear about it before, you should also know that I love Sharon Jones. When I found this this morning, I loved her even more.

If you are PETA or a particularly sensitive vegetarian, you may want to forward through the first 38 seconds or so of the video. But people, you must listen after that. Woody Guthrie turned R and B and interpreted so there’s no doubt about its message. Can I get a witness?

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Dear Readers,

I don’t have an iPod (RIP Steve Jobs) and even if I did, I couldn’t play it through my 2000 Toyota mini-van’s stereo system (see, I used the phrase stereo system, so you know the dinosaur part about me is true).

I bought the new Wilco CD yesterday and I played it in the car on the way to the high school open house I attended last night. I listened to this track twice, once on the way to the school, once on the way home. Wilco played this live when we saw them in Boston last month and it stuck with me…I kept wondering which song was that?

During our 15-minute Geometry “class” at the open house, I tried sneaking reading the lyrics, but no worries, my daughter will probably get an A, unlike me who flunked high school Geometry (or was that Alg II?). Sneaking lyrics wasn’t the only thing I did in high school to get into trouble and I can only hope my amazing, intense, creative, energetic, artistic daughter goes a better way than I did back then.

This song, I don’t know what it’s about, but I think this is the true gem of the album, the one for the ages. There are a couple of lines that kill the hell outta me:

Outside I look lived in/like the bones in a shrine–it’s immediate, sharp and soft at the same time, and reminds me of churches in Prague and I am cold for my father/frozen underground

I’ve lived without my father for so long, lived without knowing him for so much of my life, but I was missing him and picturing him yesterday. I pulled out a bin of old photos.

I forget the damage, you know, the damage of losing a parent when you’re still pretty young. I don’t grieve for him any more, but I am today. How death defines us, underneath all of the geometry and the words and anything else we layer on top.

One Sunday Morning

This is how I tell it
Oh, but it’s long
One Sunday morning
Oh, one son is gone

I can see where they’re dawning
Over the sea
My father said what I had become
No-one should be

Outside I look lived in
Like the bones in a shrine
How am I forgiven?
Oh, I’ll give it time

This, I learned without warning
Holding my brow
In time he thought I would kill him
Oh, but I didn’t know how

I said it’s your god I don’t believe in
No, your Bible can’t be true
Knocked down by the long life
He cried, ‘I fear what waits for you’

I can hear those bells
Spoken and gone
I feel relief, I feel well
Now he knows he was wrong

I am cold for my father
Frozen underground
Jesus, I wouldn’t bother
He belongs to me now

Something sad keeps moving
So I wandered around
I fell in love with the burden
Holding me down

Bless my mind, I miss
Being told how to live
What I learned without knowing
How much more that I owe that I can give

This is how I tell it
Oh, but it’s long
One Sunday morning
One son is gone

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