OK peculiar food confessions? Sometimes I really love V8. I mean over top freakout obsess love savor and gulp V8. Also, cottage cheese with pineapple. Lo-fat cottage cheese with pineapple chunks from a can. Instant summer and takes me to childhood back in the innocent days of Nixon and Viet Nam when things were normal. Wait. Wow, I totally digressed there. No matter. One of my sweet cats is dying, Chris Cornell just died, a David Brooks column just made sense to me (!!??) so, why pretend to be organized in my thoughts? It’s mayhem, chaos. The age of too much information has caught up with me. Remember the Police song, Too Much Information? Sting singing about being overwhelmed with info in like, 1981? How quaint! There’s no need for research anymore, or paragraphs. Make up your own facts, it’s easy! I myself am a ten foot tall lizard alien sent to make contact with William Shatner. Believe me. Everything is on blast, our little devices cue us to say “talk later” or “can’t talk now” or “fuck you and the horse you rode in on” and it’s so easy to mistakenly hit the wrong one. You could end a marriage or start WW3 with a butt-tweet and the machines will be none the wiser. Artificial intelligence? We have artificial stupidity and it’s congealed into a ridiculous orange zeppelin, crashing and burning in slow motion while an ancient radio voice cries, “oh the humanity.” It gets top ratings and ad revenues are brisk. I also like sourdough. Sourdough with gluten. Sourdough and Brie and white wine in California in springtime. Still there are birds.
Well here is a first, in my foray into self-releasing self-made stuff — I’m putting my EP out in (gasp) the regular channels!
I decided to try Distrokid to distribute my EP to the streaming services – Pandora, Spotify, Apple and a few others.
I just uploaded Peace and Love and Rock and Roll part 1. So now it has a UPC code and ISRC codes and it’ll be in those entertainment gizmos shortly.
You can still get the EP directly from me of course, click the record cover, 4 clams for 4 songs –
Thanks! Hope you enjoy.
And in order to keep this post focused and concise, here are some bears, playing in a hammock.
Things have become so ridiculous politically, it’s basically impossible to keep track of appalling developments. But I was happy to read an article this morning by a Republican former judge and rational conservative, Mark P. Painter. The headline is plain, It’s time to impeach Trump. His points are unassailable and he says “Horsefeathers.” No opportunity to say “Horsefeathers” should be missed but I digress.
There’s something comical about Russia sabotaging our election to their liking, in much the same way the USA has done to other countries around the world over the years. The GOP’s greatest 20th century hero, Ronald Reagan, “won” the cold war, so the GOP narrative goes, and now, 30-some years later, Russia’s favorite oaf slouches in Reagan’s chair.
As a lifelong leftie liberal democratic socialist environmentalist hippie ska-punkin’ tree-huggin’ critter-lovin’ peacenik and registered Democrat, I am fascinated by the collapse of the GOP. Grand old party. It’s not looking grand. It’s certainly old.
I had a grand old great-uncle who was a conservative. He took me fishing and gave me beer when I was like, 9 or something. Totes loved the dude. He voted Republican mostly and he was a WW2 vet and successful attorney. I remember him to be a reasonable man. A funny and clever man. He regretted voting for Nixon and applauded his impeachment. I can’t begin to imagine what he would think, now.
We argued once about legalizing pot. I smoked it at the time, when it was still illegal. “Why are your bourbon and cigar legal, and pot is not?” I pestered. I encouraged him to listen to reggae and bongload, also to no avail. It was almost a non-event in November of 2016, when marijuana became officially legal in California and elsewhere. The law is just catching up with long-established reality. But I wonder if my conservative lawyer great-uncle would try it now. I like to think of him giggling uncontrollably like a teenager before earnestly ordering pizza and listening to Led Zeppelin 1 over and over again.
My grand old great-uncle would be dismayed by current events, but it wouldn’t stop him fishing. It wouldn’t stop him arguing his case in or out of court. He would say “Horsefeathers.” He used to say things like that. And “bag of worms.” Yes, he said “bag of worms,” and on one occasion I distinctly remember him saying “Poppycock.”
Here is some music.
Here is a cat.
Delighted to see a nice write-up of my EP at OpenSourceMusic.com. Sez Matthew King Kaufman:
Right after I got used to fact that this sounds nothing like The Uptones, I loved this recording. It’s a solid rock record!! The songs are magnificent!
Here’s the whole post with audio of one song.
Thanks Matt! Cheers all, hope you enjoy.
“A Top-Notch Enjoyable Listen!”
On the second February 5 since my dad’s passing, I figured I’d wish him a happy birthday here, with a few pictures.
Here’s John Putnam Dinwiddie with John Cage, in 1967..
..complete with reflection from the glass in the frame, in my snapshot. I think the incidental graininess and chaos would agree with both of these gents’ appreciation for chance events in music, art and life.
Here’s dad, a half-century later playing Charmian London’s piano at Jack London State Historic Park, where he often volunteered on weekends to play for visitors to the museum.
I noticed that John’s presence seems so similar in these two photos, even though they were taken about 50 years apart. He played piano his own way. Took photographs his own way. Lived and loved his own way. I miss him a lot.
A year ago today, I made this post with some recordings of John’s compositions from the KPFA archive:
John Dinwiddie Original Music, Recorded 1971 and 1973
– have a read and a listen if you like.
Here’s a fallen oak tree branch, balanced on a rock, with two red reflectors which my dad affixed to it in this way. Those of you who knew him will likely say, “of course he did.”
Thinking of you today, Dadunit. Whatever you’re doing now, I’m sure it’s not boring! Love you always,
As the rain continues to pour on our thirsty California, I’m reflecting on the last year a bit, and considering what to do next. While the debacles of 2016 played out, I spent some time writing and recording new music. I released four new songs as “Peace and Love and Rock and Roll part 1” as the new year arrived. Nearly everything about it is a first for me. I’ve never done a solo record before, I’ve always worked with bands. Never self-released anything before, or self-produced.
I’m glad I did it, and I have decided to do more. I made a new website to host my records, and after thinking very hard about it for almost two seconds, decided to call it peaceandloveandrockandroll.com. You can pick the EP up there instantly in download/digital form, or even order a physical CD if you like, from the very small batch I made.
Wishing you all a good start to this strange new year. I am going to go swim in the rain now.
Peace and Love and Rock and Roll to you and yours,
As this horrible election lurches to a shuddering death I decided it’s time to post some quality content to counter the vast tsunamis of ugliness and bile. Here are the great Lucy and Burley, starring in The Burley and Lucy Show. The episodes don’t happen in any particular order, nor do the stars of the show exist in linear time. They occupy a free-floating space-time warp fueled by catnip and excessive naps. They often exist in several places at once. Scientific studies have proven their spontaneous generation in open guitar cases. Here they are in their natural element, secretly documented by yours truly the monkey.
Bill McKibben calls it a “War On Climate Change” now, in this age of “War On” every little thing. I guess that might get more attention to this single most important subject in the history of everything. From Democracy Now! this morning:
Here’s an excerpt of the part I find most important in RE: how we vote in November:
Bernie refused to concede. He didn’t back down. He didn’t do what everyone told him he should do. He kept in the race through the final meeting about the platform in Orlando two weeks before the convention. And he did that in order to ensure that he’d have leverage in those discussions..
..And as a result, by staring them down, the platform, at the last-minute, turned markedly more progressive. Among other things, there’s a call in there for an emergency climate summit within the first hundred days of a new administration, designed to — and it says this in the platform — mobilize us for something like a World War II approach to climate change. We’ll see if we can hold them to it.
– Bill McKibben
That is one reason I am following through with my support for Bernie Sanders, by voting for the Democratic Party ticket in 2016. And then this year can be over please, thank you.
There is a certain sick entertainment value to having a presidential candidate tweet at 3AM that Miss America is fat. And that many Americans seem determined to elect a boy with no qualifications and every horrible trait a person can have. Charles M. Blow in his NYT column articulates this perfectly. There’s a certain hilarity to the fact that grown persons want to provide a maladjusted toddler with nuclear weapons.
In the race also, are two other candidates. The Libertarian doesn’t know the name of a single foreign leader and he’s a right-wing nut. Yet he’ll pull some votes from right and left, and this too is good for an uneasy chuckle. We also have a Green Party candidate who will pull a significant number of votes away from the sole qualified candidate in the race, Hillary Clinton.
The laughing stops when you realize that most of the unworthy brat’s followers will vote for him, no matter what he says or does. And that many rational people seem to be missing this point, as they prepare to make protest votes for candidates who are not only unqualified, but also have exactly no chance of winning a single state. Thus, the unworthy brat can win. It is not funny.
There was one other qualified candidate in the race, his name is Bernie Sanders. He has endorsed and is campaigning for Hillary Clinton. I agree with him, and I am voting Dem even here in sunny “Blue State” California. Because this election is weird. It’s so weird it makes weird look normal. Anything could happen, and it’s an emergency situation. We must not allow our nation to be led and represented by its most horrible specimen.
To abandon the Democratic Party nominee in the general election would be to render all the efforts we made behind Bernie Sanders a complete waste. Please don’t do that. Please vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton, support her campaign in whatever ways you can, and encourage others to do so. After that business is done, we can address everything else, but first we must put a grown-up in the White House. And hopefully bury the GOP down the entire ticket for ever subjecting us to this shameful display.
New Matt Jaffe video is just up –
I played guitar on that recording, along with young Matt and his fabulous Distractions. He’s a helluva songwriter and musician, and it’s been a pleasure to work with him and watch him go from open-mic wiz-kid to budding rock star. I’ve been by turns, a session player, coach, and even tour manager for this band, when they supported Blues Traveler on their US tour last fall.
“Holding On” is one of my faves in their live set, and I dig the “rollercoaster” metaphor in the vid. Occurred to me also, that “holding on” is like attachment in the Buddhist sense, the cause of suffering, and that gives the chorus its power. But I think too much. “Holding on, cos I don’t know what’s true.” Amen, brother.
Recently I’ve been making some new recordings of my own, and young Matt actually co-wrote and played guitar on one of them. So the circle is complete! More on that later. Cheers all!
As a guitar player, I’ve rarely used anything but standard tuning. I don’t even like capos. So it was a new challenge to learn three custom tunings to accompany the amazing and beautiful Pollyana Bush, on three Joni Mitchell songs. This is part of her concert series, “Full Circle, musings on Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, and Carole King.” We’ve done the gig once in the East Bay, and tomorrow we’re doing it in San Rafael.
One of the songs, “Case Of You” was challenging for another reason – I couldn’t not cry when we were doing it. Ridiculous, no? But seriously, once I got the song down, every time we’d play it and Pollyana started singing, my eyes would be raining. This leveled out after a while and I was composed during the performance. I can’t recall another song/singer ever affecting me in that particular way. Why am I sharing this? Oh, I don’t know, why not.
We’re doing “Case Of You” in an open-G# tuning, and I needed to figure out how to make it sound something like a dulcimer doubling a guitar. Luckily, Pollyana has a Taylor acoustic with a cutaway, which is perfect for this. Another song I’m playing on is “Help Me,” which is open-tuned to C Major 7th. Who does that!? It’s been a great experience learning these songs, and to sort of get a glimpse into Joni Mitchell’s creative process. You couldn’t play these songs in standard tuning, it’s physically impossible. I found myself wondering – does Joni play with the tuning and THEN write a song, or hear a song in her head, and then tune the instrument to fit? Both approaches maybe? She uses so many tunings, and they are wildly different. Now I’m fascinated enough to find some interviews with her, and see if she talks about this. Tackling this was made much easier by the wealth of info provided by Joni Mitchell herself, on her own website.
I’m thrilled to be on this gig, with some amazing cats, including the great Raz Kennedy. Raz called me asking if I knew anyone who could do this kind of guitar playing, a few weeks before the earlier concert. I recommended a few players but none were available, so I started learning the odd tunings to see if I could even get there. It turned out to be a really fun and rewarding guitar lesson, and now, as a consequence of this, I wrote a song in open-G! A good friend told me years ago the day you stop learning is the day you die. I guess I’m still alive.
Here’s the concert info, I think some tickets are still available if you are interested.
Oh, and Pollyana, this happened to your guitar case. But don’t worry, Lucy is very neat and does not have fleas.