Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Eye of Sauron

I remember the morning of 9/11. I was in Eugene working on my 3rd album. The impression I got on that day was that the attack was going to awaken the right, and focus its attention on the West Coast. It would give the right an excuse to come after us and everything we hold dear. I imagined something like the Eye of Sauron from Lord of the Rings, gazing balefully on the Bay Area and resolving to take our progressive enclave from us.

And sure enough last night, House Republicans rejected a Democratic resolution to name a post office in Berkeley, Calif., after a longtime local activist and city councilwoman. Usually it's routine for post offices to get named after local luminaries, and these renamings get approved without incident. But those Republicans said Berkeley couldn't have a post office named after 94-year-old Maudelle Shirek. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, led the opposition and said Shirek's background "sets her apart from, I will say, the most consistent of American values."

The SF Chronicle says King gave no details in a speech on the House floor beyond citing Shirek's support for freeing Mumia Abu-Jamal, convicted for the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia police officer. In an interview later he said Shirek had an "affiliation with the Communist Party," citing her sponsorship of a Marxist library.

Shirek is actually an advocate for civil rights, seniors and peace and served eight terms on the Berkeley City Council before losing a write-in bid for a ninth term in November.

This is the first I've heard of it, even though Barbara Lee has been trying to rename the downtown post office after Ms. Shirek since 2003, each time getting shut down by Republicans who've kept the resolution from coming to a vote.

So are Republicans going to tell us what we can do out here? Wouldn't it be strange for Californians to start bombasting about "states' rights?"

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Back into the studio

I'm excited about my upcoming sessions in November. The Company will come together for another studio stint in Eugene.

Dan the pianist and I have been rehearsing piano parts. Dan will be emailed up there as data once more. Jim is making the trip out from Kentucky to play bass, which I'm REALLY excited about. Will Grant will be there as .wav files. Jeff will supply drums and engineering wizardry. I'll be handling the flute, bass flute, vocals and acoustic guitar.

The tunes that will be recorded are "The Jaguar", "The Great Highway", "Not Made of Stone", and "Suspension". All the lyrics to those can be found here.

Before the sessions start though, I'll get to spend some time visiting K in Portland and FocalAxis in Salem. I'm also hoping I'll get to hang out with Sharon Floyd a bit while I'm in Portland. She rocks. We are thinking of maybe collaborating on a performance art piece about salmon.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Gaia is annoyed.

Just as I am currently taking vitamin C megadoses in an attempt to fight off a cold, Gaia's immune system has kicked into high gear fighting off the oil industry and its threat to her well-being. Katrina, Rita, and the rest of her hurricanes are big, cleansing sneezes. Let's set up those solar panels, and brew that biodiesel, and not annoy the Lady any further!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Katrina Commission

It seems likely that there will be a Katrina Commission of some type that will hold hearings on the debacle that we see unfolding right now. I sure hope there will be, and that they will be as thorough and meticulous as the 9/11 commission was, and that they will make their report public like the 9/11 commission did. I have a copy of the 9/11 Report. I would buy a Katrina Report too.

It also seems likely that such a Katrina Commission will stop short of assigning blame to the U.S. government, just as the 9/11 commission did. Or maybe they will have an inescapable conclusion to draw, by the time they're done investigating.

Or maybe we will have a partisan regime change in 2008 partly as a result of this disgrace? Or maybe those 50 million people who voted for the current administration will cover their eyes and plug their ears again and vote for the next Republican? Or maybe the Democrats will continue their incompetent messaging and/or continue their march toward the right. And then there will be no one to defend my right to choose or anyone's civil rights...

Everyone has to act, or Katrina-scale loss of life and degradation will continue. Those in power aren't going anywhere, and they will continue to be indifferent to our rights and safety, unless every one of us takes action.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I Dream of Ronnie

Last night I had a dream about Ronnie Cramer. This happens to me a lot. Dreaming about my new music colleagues I mean. I've had dreams about Matt Davignon and Ferrara Brain Pan too...those are just the ones that come to mind.

So anyway, in this dream, I found myself in a huge parking lot out back of a similarly huge warehouse store. The parking lot faded toward the road with tall weeds growing between the pavement cracks. In the parking lot were dozens of motorcycles and their people. This included Ronnie and his bike. I met up with him and he said he had been trying to get in touch with me, because he'd been appointed the director of the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, and he wanted me to come to Denver and work for him full-time.

I was stunned and excited but then I realized that this was the outcome from a tarot reading I'd done (while awake) quite some time back. I told Ronnie that I had read the cards to say that I was going to be offered something that was going to seem like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but that it was going to be something that would leave me destitute and alone. I told him I could tell that this was the opportunity the cards had foretold and that I had to turn it down. But if he wanted me to come out there for a week and play a gig, or do some contract work, I could do that. He was disappointed.

I don't know if the card reading is fulfilled or not. I tend to think not. I'll still pay close attention to any other once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that come my way while I'm awake.