We’re occupying the streets of Los Angeles; our demands: bring us stories…
“Pilgrim Land” (2005 / 0:43 excerpt) Tom Russell
“Old America” (3:32 excerpt)
“Bukowski #2 on the Hustle=” (2:08 excerpt)
“Honky Jazz” (4:14)
“Swap Meet Jesus” (4:21)
From the album Hotwalker: Charles Bukowski & A Ballad for Gone. An Americana ode to old L.A., the music, the culture, from beat outsiders to religious revivals to long gone radio sounds; with stuntman, circus midget, and actor Little Jack Horton.
“Hotwalker is the best Sam Peckinpah movie since Peckinpah died. It’s a ghostly jubilee, an audacious slab of Blue America. Narrated aby noir cowboy, Tom Russell, it is a singular recording, bound to be controversial — it’s not only going to ruffle feathers, but leave feathers scattered on the ground.”
—novelist-poet Luis Urrea
The legend is of a shadowy soul traveling the countryside as singer, preacher, outlaw, teacher, of a hard boozin’, brawlin’, womanizin’ Blues Man. Well, that man had a name: Charley Patton, born around 1890 in the heart of the delta.
David Greenberger meanders around America, lovingly collecting the life stories of old people like fireflies in a jar. On Cherry Picking Apple Blossom Time he visits Milwaukee which, as one elderly resident explains, has the same number of letters as Wisconsin. Over a smoky grid of blues-funk and acoustic guitar played by Paul Cebar and his band, David recites anecdotes and reflections from the Milwaukee senior citizens that he has interviewed on his recent visits there.
In an America that seems increasingly dominated by amnesia, and the erosion of its history, it’s very heartening — and poignant — to hear these fragments of lives as they draw to a close. The rootsy tone of the music — Ry Cooder, Tom Waits, David Byrne and even Beefheart’s Magic Band come to the mind’s ear — adds Americana to these tales of vanishing Midwestern life. Here are the man who cheated at tomato- growing by hanging a purchased one on a vine; the man who made peace with his artificial arm and hung shopping bags from it; and the man in a red shirt who feels like a king. There are exuberant moments, but the most moving pieces are the elegies: people who gently mourn their vanished partners — one speaks of his wife as his co-pilot, another of how he’s tried to replace his wife with crossword puzzles. The matter-of-fact tone that David uses in these vignettes is partly what makes them so emotional. In ‘No Rooms Here’ you can hear the life and memory of the elderly female narrator dissolving as she speaks. Just as certain as our death is the uncertainty of what follows — this ambiguity riddles the inhabitants of Cherry Picking Apple Blossom Time. More…
Based on a conversation with Edna Wofford about ESP, dreams and intuition. From the 2003 CD, Mayor of the Tennessee River. Artist David Greenberger of Duplex Planet has been collecting the thoughts, memories and stories from elderly Americans for more than a quarter century.
From birth, a young Native American has been bleeding from his chest. The government keeps him locked in a cell, refusing to heed his uncle’s warnings. A 3D ZBS adaptation of Cherokee writer Craig Strete’s short story from The Bleeding Man and Other Science Fiction Stories.
La Llorona — the weeping woman — is the Mexican equivalent of the bogeyman. The man she loved rejected her, in madness she drowned her children, then herself. Now she roams the night wailing “Aaay, Mis Hijos;” a scary story that keeps children from wandering at night: “La Llorona will get you.”
“I Want to Bite Your Hand” (2:03 excerpt) Gene Moss (MP3J mashup)
Gene Moss’s 1964 Beatles parody mixed w/ SFX by MP3J. Full vers at Mashuptown, “I Want to Bite Your Hand”” (2:50 mp3):
Featuring spoken word stories derived from Greenberger’s conversations with elderly residents of Milwaukee, backed by music composed by Paul Cebar that is seamlessly integrated with the mood of the words.
“A King in Milwaukee, part 1” from Cherry Picking Apple Blossom Time (2:23):
In 1984 people told producer about their dogs and their dog’s dreams, produced with Christina Eggloff for their series Animals and Other Stories, with funds from the New York State Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Grief and guts fill the work day of Aftermath,® Inc: Specialists in Crime Scene and Tragedy Cleanup, Trauma Cleanup, Accidental Death Cleanup. Interview with Tim Reifsteck by Laura Kwerel, produced by Nick van der Kolk; an excerpt from “Aftermath,” a Love and Radio podcast. (L & R’s slogan: “What Ira Glass might make if he showed up to work drunk.”) More…