Archive for August, 2012

Subway #1

Sardines at 5:45
The collection of humanity on the subway
One guy is narrating his thoughts
Like an asshole.
I can’t concentrate on my book
Earlier I watched someone pouring out what seemed to be the complete depths of her soul
without noticing that the other person was basically elsewhere
Holy shit, I’ve never heard a beggar quite like this groveling woman
as she makes her way down the aisle
weeping and drooling, asking for money
asking for what?
The day started well
I met an artist on the subway
It descended after that.
Women all around me talking, talking
about what?
A headache on the way to rehearsal
what is real fun, though?
I wonder again
on the train

Appreciation (No Beginning)

I don’t know where it began. I couldn’t possibly.
Before college
before Exile on Main St.
before Boston
before high school
before songwriting
before Kubrick, and Bukowski
before Blade Runner
before comics
before Labyrinth
before VHS
before walks after school with my buddy Ev,
under the leaf shadows of suburban NJ
talking about it

they say a life without drama creates drama
It seems that all life has drama
I’ve witnessed the deepest, heaviest dramas of all
unfold without any actual cause, per se
Life is not blasé as long as we’re thankful
And what are we fortunate for?
The people in it? Any degree of predictability?
And what’s so good about appreciation anyway?

(I will pause momentarily, because,
serendipitously,
the Sticky Fingers version of Wild Horses just came on where I’m writing this.
Truly amazing.
One of the too many songs that strikes me with the painful realization
that there will only be a finite number of times I’ll ever hear it.

Which segues back nicely)

What’s so good about appreciation?
Is it mainly because it takes you out of yourself? Release?
Like how we say it’s actually selfish to give? Because you’re the one who receives the good feeling?
Personally, I think it goes a lot deeper.
But I can’t explain it logically.
I think it just is good. And good is good. So it feels good (but not the other way around).

And finally, appreciation is connection – the heart of the matter.
It’s reaching upwards, backwards, forwards, next to you – and acknowledging that connection,
And realizing, truly feeling, that your being the beneficiary of the many good things that existence gives us
(via people or via radio stations) is the natural way of things, is as it’s supposed to be.
It should be a foregone conclusion.
And yet the appreciation is still there, naturally.
And we don’t give to others only to make ourselves feel good, but also to make them feel good.
At the same time.

And maybe appreciation is also acknowledging that there is not, and never could be, a real end,
or a real separation
No cessation
of movement
of attempt
of love
of life

So, happily, I say
thank you.

(To all that’s good, but mainly to my loving parents)

The Living – live

The Bitter End – May 18, 2012

It’s an old kind of story I tell you
Not so different than others before
Something there brought us here
but we’re still sort of there
and we’re trying so hard to have more

You look hard, but there’s nothing around you
There’s no reason
You’re a thing just for yourself
You can tear it apart, it takes you back to the start
leaves you helpless and cursing yourself

Like a river cut hard through a mountain
All those bends and those turns now behind
It was they brought us here
though we tried hard to steer
Now just to clear off the weight of old time

It’s a thing
A whole thing
and it needs no reason
It’s a thing just for itself
You can tear it apart, it takes you back to the start
leaves you helpless and cursing yourself

And as time takes it time we move forward
Try our hardest to not waste a day
But as the tides rise and fall
unaware of us all
and the masters of time hold their sway

So when the time comes to move a thing forward
and it’s different than all those before
Something parts, or it lifts
the most natural gift
Nothing stands in your way anymore

It begins unlike all of the others
comes a reason you’re not by yourself
When a thing feels like that
leave it on, let it last
and watch the whole thing become something else

The whole thing
Your own thing
Your whole reason
and the reason for the rest
Let it last, let it lift
all good things come from this
It’s the living, the end of your test

When all the moments are there for their own selves
and your days become like so many friends
No more life up ahead, it’s right with us instead
it’s the living, the most worthwhile end

The Long Lost is:
Jordan Shapiro – piano
Jeremy Bronson – drums
Robbie ‘Seahag’ Mangano – bass
Maria Neckam – vocals & keyboard

Camera by Evan Cohen

Live In Your Living Room NYC Festival 2012

Live In Your Living Room

I’m very thrilled to have been invited to perform at Live In Your Living Room’s 2012 NYC Festival on Sept 21st. This is an amazing organization based in Europe that puts on house concerts across the world. You can read about them here.

To read about this year’s NYC Festival go here.

And for the schedule go here.

Art is a reminder

Art’s primary role, in fact it’s only real role, is to connect us (or re-connect us) to all of the things that make us most human. And, if it’s truly art, it does this in a way that brings to us the realization, consciously or not, that we are an integral part of everything, that life is the only truly sacred thing (of which every other thing is a subset), and that, as such, it warrants celebration.

All that art is, at its deepest level, is a celebration of life. It is a reminder of the most fundamental parts of ourselves. Which is why it is unquestionably worth doing. This is also why we are instinctively drawn to it, and why it is among the most valuable and necessary elements of human society and culture.

Always acting in our best interests?

Aren’t you acting in your best interests? Doesn’t everyone, always, think that they’re acting in their best interests? Obviously this isn’t the case, but shouldn’t it be? Doesn’t it make sense, and wouldn’t it be the only natural manner of existence, if this were true?

Do you think that you are acting in your best interests while you are in the middle of acting? (And isn’t it interesting how the meaning of that word shifts around when referring to the things that we do outside of our heads every day?) While we are in the middle of doing something, anything, don’t we think or feel on some level that what we are doing will in some way, ultimately, benefit us?

Well, here’s a question: do you feel that you are, right now as you read this, acting in your best interests? Am I? Do I think that sitting here, writing this is in my best interests? Yes, somewhere inside of myself I obviously believe that doing this is a good thing, that my resources, which are limited, are literally worth spending on this. But are all of our actions so logically governed? When we stay out all night drinking, or run back into the arms of a person who has repeatedly hurt us, or eat candy, or watch most of what’s on tv, are we really, honestly believing that somewhere, in some way these activities will ultimately pan out in our favor?

And if the answer is no, then why do we do them?

Party @ Ariel’s

David Bronson by Eric Hathaway

photo by Eric Hathaway

It was a blast of a day of great music, great people, great drinks at the CyberPR headquarters yesterday.

Thank you very much to Ariel and her amazing staff (esp. Jason Loomis, Jon Ostrow, Chris Hacker, Lexa, Shayna, Nick, and the wonderful Ashley Potenza) for everything!

P.S. one of the great people I had the pleasure of speaking with was Eric Hathaway – for a great local music blog, check out his Sometime in Long Island City

Ariel Publicity

Ariel and her wonderful team