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301: “Lost In The Light” by Bahamas

Handsome is as handsome does.This one is gorgeous. And sad.

Nothing beautiful is perfect.

Bahamas is the moniker of Afie Jurvanen, a Canadian singer-songwriter, and his latest album is Barchords (2012). It contains some marvelously cracked jewels like “Lost in the Light.” And the picture to the right does not capture the illustrative depth of character and emotion rendered by Afie in the aforementioned tune. I just thought the moustache was 110% black angus solid beef-out style and ought to be shared.

In the same spirit, here is a beautiful and nearly perfect poem, from Braided Creek by Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser (Copper Canyon Press, 2003):

Straining on the toilet
we learn how
the lightning bug feels.

Don’t strain too hard. Just relax, and enjoy the light.

Song: Lost In The Light
Artist: Bahamas
Album: Barchords
Label: Brushfire Records/Universal
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes
Listen: MOG | Spotify
Watch: YouTube

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177: “Galaxy” by Eddie Henderson

A flugel without a cause.When you really wanna get funky, you gots to gets some flugelhorn.

Eddie Henderson played with Herbie Hancock’s Mwandishi band for 3 years in the early 70’s, and you can sure hear that influence in this song and Eddie’s entire 1975 album, Sunburst.

Related topic… Everything is related… If you’re standing in just the right light, here’s a poem that can knock you on your ass:

Moment of Inertia
by Debra Spencer, from Pomegranate.
© Hummingbird Press.

It’s what makes the pancake hold still
while you slip the spatula under it
so fast it doesn’t move, my father said
standing by the stove.
All motion stopped when he died.
With his last breath the earth
lurched to a halt and hung still on its axis,
the atoms in the air
coming to rest within their molecules,
and in that moment
something slid beneath me
so fast I couldn’t move.

Song: Galaxy
Artist: Eddie Henderson
Album: Sunburst
Label: Blue Note
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

161: “The Creator” by Santigold

She doesn't even have to lean on anything. She can do this in mid-air.New sounds.  Creating new sounds can be hard.  To some, it comes easy.

Santigold‘s stage name was formerly “Santogold,” but that was totally stupid so she changed it.

Anyway, this lady is definitely a creator.  The intro to this song is mesmerizing from the first time you hear it.  Maybe in the future it will sound passé but only because Santigold did it way back in 2008.

And now, a poem, by W.B. Yeats, from The Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats. © Macmillan. Reprinted without permission, but with hopefulness.

A Drinking Song
Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That’s all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.

Enjoy.

Song: The Creator
Artist: Santigold
Album: Santogold
Label: Downtown Recordings
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes

142: “Summertime” by Gene Harris

Hey, you, don't make me pose real good for this camera, like this!Gene Harris plays a memorable version of Gershwin’s “Summertime” here.

And a poem…

“The Goose” by Muriel Spark, from All the Poems of Muriel Spark. © New Directions. Reprinted without permission, but with a wry smile?

The Goose
Do you want to know why I am alive today?
I will tell you.
Early on, during the food-shortage,
Some of us were miraculously presented
Each with a goose that laid a golden egg.
Myself, I killed the cackling thing and I ate it.
Alas, many and many of the other recipients
Died of gold-dust poisoning.

The best things in life aren’t things!  Enjoy.

Song: Summertime
Artist: Gene Harris

128: “Think” by Bill Frisell

This is not your standard band photo. Bill should be wearing a Bill Cosby sweater, though.Here’s a spooky tune from a guy who has played as wide a range of styles as any musician.  “Think” is by guitarist Bill Frisell, from Disfarmer (2009).

And here is a good poem to read whilst you listen, presented completely without permission, but with good intention. It was written by Ted Kooser, former U.S. Poet Laureate.

Enjoy.

“Abandoned Farmhouse” by Ted Kooser from Flying at Night: Poems 1965-1985.
© University of Pittsburgh Press.

Abandoned Farmhouse

He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
a tall man too, says the length of the bed
in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
but not a man for farming, say the fields
cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.

A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
papered with lilacs and the kitchen shelves
covered with oilcloth, and they had a child,
says the sandbox made from a tractor tire.
Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves
and canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole.
And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames.
It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.

Something went wrong, says the empty house
in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields
say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars
in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.
And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard
like branches after a storm-a rubber cow,
a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say.

Song: Think
Artist: Bill Frisell
Album: Disfarmer
Label: Nonesuch
Buy from: Amazon | iTunes