Wax Wolf at Bushwick Book Club

Inspired by Dame Darcy’s Meat Cake Bible, “Wax Wolf” by Henry Tenney and your humble Spoon

Hank showed up with some lyrics and they fit surprisingly well with the music I had been flirting with just before he arrived

Video by Dame Darcy

Literature Inspiring Artists

Bushwick Book Club, the brainchild of the amazing Susan Hwang, features artists who create works after reading various pieces of literature.

Now taking place in cities from Seattle to Sweden, the local host chooses a different book for each show, and invites a select group of artists to read it and create music, or dance, or visual art inspired by it.

NoDame Darcy Meat Cake Bible Barbes Bushwick Book Club Wax Wolfrmally it is a novel, or play. But in this case it was the collective issues of Meat Cake, the macabre world created by post-feminist visionary cartoonist Dame Darcy.

A renaissance woman of many talents, Darcy’s 2016 tome Meat Cake Bible includes all 17 issues of Meat Cake (published by Fantagraphics from 1993 to 2008), and includes stories from the unpublished 18th issue.

An Idaho native and bi-coastal bi-continent performer, the author was in town for the Brooklyn Book Fair, and I was quite excited to find her waiting for us at Barbes, on 9th Street in Park Slope, where Bushwick Book Club was convening.

She performed some eerily beautiful music to close the evening. And she told me she recently had a screenplay based on Meat Cake optioned, and she was soon to leave for the Coast to begin the process of having it made into a movie.

The Return of Hanknspoon

TV writer Henry Tenney and I have worked together since our college days. He was one of my original roommates in this apartment building, back before the flood, a member of the Soho theater company I ran in the 1990s, and has been the front man for two bands I started, the Cheese Beads and the Highland Shatners.

And it was Hank who first started calling me Spoon, the name that eventually stuck when it comes to my musical persona.

This was our second collaboration writing a song for Bushwick Book Club, the previous song being created from Galápagos by Kurt Vonnegut. He also sang backing vocals on the tune I composed for the Book Club show based around Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

The next Bushwick Book Club performance will also take place at Barbes, October 10th. The book will be Light on Life, by B. K. S. Iyengar, the so-called Michelangelo of Yoga.

http://bushwickbookclub.com/

https://www.damedarcy.com/

http://barbesbrooklyn.com/

Astronomy Photos of the Year

Nothing on earth is as awesome as space

Nothing

But these photos are still pretty awesome

Astronomy therhoophiuchicloudsartemmironov

“Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year is the largest international competition of its kind, annually showcasing phenomenal photography of the night sky and the universe taken from a global community of talented astrophotographers.”

See more at http://www.rmg.co.uk/royal-observatory/insight-astronomy-photographer-year#5DmDgt2AZ2udSwLw.99

Walter Becker R.I.P.

A Giant from my youth has fallen, Walter Becker dies at 67

Like Paul McCartney, Steely Dan’s Walter Becker played bass for the good of the band, in the early days. But got to show off his competency as a guitarist later on.

The Dan was a major mile post in my post Beatles – Dylan wider awakening.

I learned via an insider that most of the thrust and songwriting was mainly all Fagen, but Becker was the one who was there to say, “Donald, don’t do that. Do this. Now, do it again.”

Few ever did what they did and no one will ever do it again.

Donald Fagen’s eulogy in Rolling Stone.

 

Life in a Blender at Joe’s Pub

After some 30 years, Life in a Blender keeps whirling

The new album Happy Enough is very good and very Blender

And their set at Joe’s Pub in the New York Public Theater was well attended and greatly received.

Granted they may be an acquired taste. And the shows may be a bit rough-edged when it comes to tightness and the vocals and strings all being in tune, over the years since front man Don Rauf moved to Seattle, so that they do not get much in the way rehearsal or gigging to stay honed and sharp.

But the current line up of Life in a Blender has been together over 20 years. And their many fans are more than happy enough to sing along to the old favorites and soak up the new songs imparted with gusto from the quirky, cathartic perspective from inside the Blender.

It was heck, recalls former child

Fredrick Cobb my great grandfather

My Maternal Great Grandfather – before and after

Born in Maine, educated at Harvard, Fredrick Cobb practiced law in Brooklyn Heights into his 90s.

He was well along in years when my grandmother was born, and she herself married late in life and my mother was her youngest. So a couple of generations reaches way back.

But it is nothing like the grandsons of Present John Tyler, who served in White House from 1841 to 1845. President Tyler was born in 1790 and two of his grandsons are still alive today. He was 63 when he had a child who then had a child when he was 75. Now that is reaching back!

 

The New Pound Coin No Laughing Matter?

“I’m not a fan of the new Pound coin. But then again, I hate all change”

That just won Best Joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

I did not even know about the new Pound coin, or that my small hoard of Pound coins will no longer be legal tender come October. But tis true.

https://www.thenewpoundcoin.com/

Give Humor a Chance

Humor has been hard to find in modern times

But Tina Fey allowed me to laugh again

I wrote this off the cuff at 1 AM in response to a Facebook post of the Playboy article deciding that Tina Fey’s comic editorial on SNL was some sort of reverse psychology ridiculing elite white Americans for binge eating rather than doing something about Trump and racism….
 
I disagree. I do not think she was mocking them or non-violence at all.
 
She was not mocking people who were not going out to empower the morons doing the racist rallies. AT ALL. (Did anyone bother to listen to what she was actually saying about and too Trump and Ann Coulter and Paul Ryan?)
 
I gained like 12 pounds between the election and New Years, drinking like a fish and eating comfort food. I related entirely to what she was saying as she stuffed her face with cake.
 
It was REAL. It IS how millions of people found ways to medicate themselves through things they had absolutely no power to confront or do anything about.
 
How exactly was her comic advocating of “sheet caking” any different than John and Yoko saying people should have sex for Peace or cut their hair for Peace? As if a bed-in or cutting hair could do anything to bring about Peace.
 
The point is to do ANYTHING that will help you cope with the insane horrific reality without resorting to violence or giving into the bait to give Trump or his supporters or the neo-nazi morons a platform to suggest their views and their agenda are in any way valid and worthy of spotlights and the center of attention.
 
People may find empowerment in what happened in Boston, since no one was killed. Well good for them. Everyone needs to find their own way to “resist.” Some will say change must be accomplished by any means necessary, others will not.
 
Tina Fey is far too intelligent and shrewd to condemn people for doing whatever it takes to keep sane during such insane times. It was one of the few pieces of comedy that actually allowed me to laugh at the circumstances – because I saw myself in them – since the election of that clueless putz that has turned our government over to the very people who want to destroy it from within. And that took some doing
.
~
Give Humor a Chance

Another Fabulous Martinfest

Debuting Fat’s Waller’s Brand New Suit at the 16th Martinfest

It was great fun to be back on stage with the Paul Ukena Trio in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, trying out new (for us) tunes


And I am looking forward to our returning to rehearsing and gigging in New York City this coming Autumn.

It was a new official hotel for the five nights that the Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum gather in Eastern PA to celebrate Martin guitars, made in Nazareth by one of America’s oldest family businesses, with new guest artists and many first time attendees. But there many of the old guard there to keep up traditions, even as they forged new ones.

You can read more about this very special event HERE in the article that I wrote after a previous Martinfest.