So, yeah… I have been absent for a very long time and I want to apologize. Not that folks have been wearing out the "refresh" buttons waiting for a new "A Beautiful, Ugly Noise" entry to show up, but none-the-less, I feel like the kid who hasn’t been coming to practice and can’t figure out why he is always sitting on the bench during all the games. I promise to do better, coach.
Where have I been? Well here, there, ultimately nowhere. I will shamelessly plug Waxflight, an albums-worth of songs I have recorded with lots of help from musician friends who are much more talented than myself and who I love dearly. I hope to have it all cleaned up and shiny by the time the Mayan Calendar cycles us out of existence, so I have a good 6 years left, right? Anyways, stop by the take a listen and be my friend.
Last Sunday I went to La Fonda on Wilshire Blvd for the first time since I moved to LA in 1997. Good Lord that was some slammin’ Mariachi. I want to go back when the Mariachi Divas are playing. How in the world could you possibly go wrong with an all female Mariachi Band?
Well, I am back, this is a promise. It’s been so long this is almost like another introduction. I have lots of records that I want to write about and those will be coming up soon, soon, soon.
Put me back in the game, coach.
About 10 years ago I lived in a sweaty attic in Athens, GA with my good friend Michael Tully. Mike brought few possessions down from his home state of Maryland: A suitcase filled with indie rock tees, a pair of Jack Purcells and a very large box of video tapes filled to the brim with every essential film to watch before you die. I think I got a heavy dose of an indie film education from that box. Before his arrival we were forced to watch a borrowed video cassette containing 6 episodes of the sit-com "Friends." Those were dark times.
On Mike’s birthday his sister express-shipped a large container of Maryland crabs for us to enjoy. I remember a steady pile of empty PBR bottles and crab carcasses scattered on newspaper all around the living room while Altman’s Nashville played in the background. I remember thinking that a grand gesture of sending seafood to your little brother on his birthday, not just for him, but enough for 10 people to enjoy was something special and showed the power of having family members that were also your best friends.
Mike also does an amazing impression of his Irish father drinking a beer. He raises his pint, says "Gud luck" in the thickest of brogues and drinks it down in one, long swallow. It is hilarious to see.
This long introduction is meant to show you how golden the Tully family is to each other and to those around them. This brings me to jt songs. Jt songs is the musical product of John Tully, my friend Mike’s Irish cousin. I don’t really know John, only through his music and a few messages back and forth on that other site with the teens and the music…you know the one I am referring to. John’s songs have that dusty reel-to-reel, buried in the back of the closet "how did this stay hidden for so long" feel. When I first heard "song from limbo" I was floored. It is so haunting, so rocking and so, well Irish, I had a hard time believing this guy was just making these dirges to fill an artistic need until he finished Med School. Yeah, I feel lazy and ashamed in comparison.
Apparently the legend goes like this. Mike’s sister Carol passed John’s songs to Mr. David Berman, the Silver Jew. Out of politeness to his friend Carol, Mr. Berman gave the disc a spin and was so smitten that he arranged for jt songs to come to the States and play some shows with the Silver Jews. The rest will soon be history. the jt songs website isn’t up and running yet, but you can find and download a few tracks from that other site…until the real record drops.
And Mike? Right now he is burning up the festival circuit with his beautifully tragic directorial debut, Cocaine Angel.
Please support the good Tully folks and check out their offerings. I am all the better for it.
This is Craig and I am going to try my best to write as much as possible about music I like and love. Does the world need another voice about the subjective noise that we are all so very fixated on?
Yes, I think so.
Reviewing records is really a new charge for me. I have been treading on it with a soft foot, as initially I really had no idea how to approach someone else’s labor of love with a critical eye without either gushing over it senselessly or tearing into it with sadistic pleasure. Neither responses are really interesting to read nor ultimately to write for that matter. So this has become an excercise in detailed description and appreciation.
As the records keep coming, I have come to the realization (which really has been there all long) that there is so much good music in the world right now that is hardly noticed (yeah, that reads like a revelation – my next entry will shed light on the growing popularity of “television”). It is exciting that music will never reach peak use.
So I think everyone has a place when it comes to talking about music (or film, or theatre, or interpretive dance…you get the idea).
Ok. No real content today…I just thought I would write my name in my trapper keeper and sharpen my pencils for the coming school year.
Carry on until next time.