Monday, July 31, 2006

people take pictures

the time freight train
speeding down the rails
barreling towards me
it makes no sound
the sound is deafening
i'm tied to the tracks
it can't hear me screaming

we looked through some photos albums today
saw some children we used to be
someone saw my son in me
i take a good look at him
i guess they might be right
pictures of my parent's as kids
their wedding day
my grandparent's glum faces
that worn out cliche
days that seem so close
yet so far away
richard at the grand canyon
he's been gone since the eighties
i still remember my mom's sobbing when she heard the news
G turns three this friday
pictures of his operation
all kinds of wires n cables running to and from him
i have to go hug him
kiss the back of his head
tell him how much i love him
we forget too quickly
how lucky we are
have to plough forward
charge onward
already into another day
another dollar
gotta survive
keep on rolling
like that freight train

have a seat
kick up your feet
open a photo album
take a peek at your past
it's right there in front of you
in black and white
and technicolor
it follows us around
everywhere we go
a shadow
of places we used to go
people we used to know
who we used to be

Sunday, July 30, 2006

i thirty five

for the millionth time
this weekend
a truly charmless highway
tailgating party at 80mph
lots of diesel trucks
pickup trucks
cops with cowboy hats
dairy queens
video sex shops
rest stops
car wrecks
traffic jams in the middle of nowhere
i've seen a lazee boy fall out of the back of a pickup
and wipe out a family on this road
have you ever been to waco?
where the christ kids party like animals
no surprise david k. sprang up there
i think something must be in the water
I-35 is littered with a slew of forgettable texas towns
all with apparently forgettable names
'cause i've driven past
and pumped gas in every one of them
for 15 years
and i can't even remember most of them
who cares
all waiting and baking under the texas sun
like they're just begging to be put out of their misery

if i clear my head
go back in time
back to times i don't wanna really go back to
i've got a lot of memories revolving around this shitty highway
the moon festival's many failed trips up and down I-35 in the nineties
san marcos '92
upstaged by a Quinceañera
threatened in the bathroom by 13 year old boys
in tight pants
who wanted to dance to michael jackson
not to a rock band from dallas
a club owner
who looked like santa claus
wrote us a hot check for $500
found out later he'd done the same to reo speedwagon
and a host of other washed up seventies bands that had tried to pave
the san marcos rock'n'roll superhighway before us
san marcos '93
after loading our gear up 3 flights of stairs
we were asked how much it would cost for us
to turn around and go back home
without playing a single note
back down the stairs
back to wonderful denton
home at 2am
a 10 hour round trip
$300 for our efforts
waco '93
the hospital white ford van full of us long hairs
state trooper with a big ole cowboy hat thought
he'd scored a good one
this bunch of long haired rock'n'roll sissies surely had some
or dope
or crank or crack
heroin at the very least
pulled every piece of equipment out of our van at 3am
only thing he found was cooler of soft drinks
hanging out with drummer c. gavito
in the lobby of holiday inn
faris upstairs nice and comfy in his girlfriend's room
who walks in at 8am?
gavito's bedraggled father
off they go
back to dallas
i didn't have a clue he had even placed the desperate collect call at 4am
for daddy to come fetch him
he was no kid either - in his mid twenties
so i drove the super-size mf van back to big d
stop at that stupid outlet mall and buy a white shirt
to make me feel better
i don't even like outlet malls
they're horrible
i never even wore the white shirt
thank f****** god those days are gone

these last couple of good years
have almost completely erased the many bad ones
even though those are the ones on my mind today
and the ones i've shared with you here
i promise
the good has overtaken the bad
but sometimes
when i think about traveling and playing music in this part of the country
my mind goes dark
oklahoma and arkansas
the twin towers of white trash to the north
louisiana to the east
even worse unless you like playing the blues
i think the blues were invented there
because it's so damn humid and depressing
the super-sized sn bubble i've carefully designed
seems to be working well
i play the granada
(a beautiful experience every time)
bend studio
(the best acoustic venue i've ever been to - LA doesn't even have one like it)
sons of hermann
(hosted by mike snider who is kinder than the real santa)
and it always feels good playing those places
the kind of music aficionados i wanna be around
we go see L and L every couple of months in austin
stay in their cozy library of a house
hang out with old friends
take it easy
roll in some good times
out with the bad
i'm never going back to kansas dorothy
sorry you can spin your toto records instead
i'm never going back to fayetteville
or norman
or tulsa
or shreveport
or ruston
or nacogdoches
or whichita falls
lubbock amarillo el paso
been there done that
lost a brother over it
he's still twitching somewhere from all the bad experiences
what about never say never?
i just did...

we're on an island here in dallas
we really are
we're surrounded by a vast musical wasteland
so much great music here but we're cut off from the coasts real good
josh b. of fanatic
who stole WV's money and buried BN in america
gave me some really good bad advice last year
"tour tour tour ...touring is the answer baby...that's how you make it"
that's the lazy
not so guilty promoters best friend of an excuse
it's golden
tailor made for 'em
"so sad...great record those guys (blah blah so and so) made...
but our hands were tied...they didn't want it bad enough...didn't support it"
josh b. you're full of shit
what about the honeydogs from minnesota
toured their asses off for years
never made it
the damnwells
the figgs
same story there
all friends of mine in GREAT bands
got zippity do-da to show for all the years of criss-crossing america
i could go on and on but now i'm on a music biz rant
what happened
i got derailed
my point
once you've finally found a life you're happy with
it doesn't make much sense to toura torra tour
america's too big to conca
especially when your name is nourallah
you may sing like a butterfly
float like a bee
but you ain't never gonna end up on MTV
there's a music I.V. jammed into miss america's right arm
it's full of mediocre crappy bands
that keep the big mac masses fat and happy
so i'm thanking god for the lovely europeans
and you guys
for your open minds and open arms
i'll put on my clown suit and come play for you any time i can

Saturday, July 29, 2006

austin bound

feeling really good this morning
even though i was up too late
so keyed up i had trouble sleeping too
austin bound today
playing jovita's tonight
gonna go see lisa and lee
and yeadon
i miss them all so much
can't wait to hang out
looking forward to blowing town
i needed to get out even if only for a day
it's gonna be nice to have another night "off"
sunday i get to work some more on my record
so all this = a nice weekend of music for me
last night with the church was special
they played 2 hours and 45 minutes
couldn't believe it
i don't think i've ever played that long
don't know if i'd have it in me
kilbey was so kind and gracious all night
i got a nice feeling
it was important to me
i'll carry last night with me for a very long time
seeing musicians like that
still doing it after all these years outta love
with style and class
something to aspire to
you should of been there
maybe you were?
anyway it was the most fun i've had at a show in a very long time
see you in austin tonight
it's gonna be good!!!
i promise

Thursday, July 27, 2006

go to church on friday night

18 years ago
i can't believe it
was it really 18 years ago
when i first moved to this place
from el paso
18 years ago
i'm getting old
i saw the church at starplex
can it really be 2006 now
where'd all that time vanish to
where were you in 1988
da da da
da da da
i wish all of that time i burned up had been as good as it is now
oh well
gotta waste it to appreicate it
it could still be bad
i'm pretty lucky
i guess
most bands that were hacking away at it in '88 are either
dead and gone
or complete rubish by now
not the church
older now
hard to believe when you look at their pretty album covers
from yesteryear
but wiser now
and remarkably
still musically relevant
hard to achieve when you've been at it 26 years
and they're gonna play the granada theater tomorrow night
this isn't gonna be a ray davies show
no gold's gym backing band
no bad new album to cram down our throats
i love you ray but it was so disappointing
this is going to be "how to age gracefully 101"
most of you probably only know under the milky way
or the starfish record
but they were (are) one of the all-time greats
in my book that is
heyday 1986
a classic
go buy it
buy a paisley shirt while you're at it
shimmering 12-string guitars
words that take you to far off exotic places
when i was a kid i was obsessed with this record
i still love it
it aged well
blurred crusade
priest = aura
go buy them next
a hard band to pigeonhole
it's called originality
i think
so i get a friday night off
i wanted to play this one but i'm kinda glad i'm not
i can actually hang out and enjoy a night
at my favorite rock'n'roll venue
i'm planning on having some fun
can you tell
i made a lifelong friend once
over a tantalized 12" single
14 records in denton
big bucks burnett
got me my first record deal he did
started it all really
thanks bucks!
he's gonna be there tomorrow night
barley too
maybe even you
they say music is a soundtrack to our lives
this band was such a big part of the sn "early years" soundtrack
they've got a place in my heart
texas sure is a long way from australia
i hope we make it worth their while

Monday, July 24, 2006


billy harvey came up from austin for the day
if you don't own his last record
go own it
oh it might be hard to find as it never actually got properly released
so go to his website
it makes no sense to me
how a record this good has no home
i sent it to germany a couple of weeks ago
along with some other great homeless cds
i know how it feels believe me
spent years and years with no outlet
and just when i let go
it came
a miracle
a bolt from the blue
it changed everything
i'm so thankful and i always will be
if i can help someone else somehow
i'll try
we spend our whole lives making music
depressing when it feels like it's all in vain
other than j and g i'd have felt my life had been a waste
if not for the miracle of travelling in sound
up over and beyond dallas
i've been so lucky
there are so many good records coming out of texas
records that deserve to be heard
it makes my heart hurt
today i was pretty keyed up
it was good to have my songs scrutinized by someone i respect
i think billy's a genius
he writes great songs and plays everything really well
i was even nervous
he played some drums
i played some bass
we took our time
i made popcorn
he ate it
he stuck a mic in the piano
we ran it into a silvertone
i learned a new trick
what a great sound
i wish we'd had more time
i'm always wishing i had more time
days over now
i'm beyond tired
gotta get some sleep now
in 6 hours
get up
go out
do it again
back where you started
here we go round again
what a great rdd song
sorry i didn't like your show ray
i feel bad but i still love ya
DL bought village green upon my recommend
good job DL
i knew you'd love it
it's a klassic
nice melltron huh?
i hope billy and i get a chance to record again
we might not
this might be it friends
i forgot to take his polaroid though
didn't realize until after he'd left
i know
i suck
screwed up a time honored pleasantry lane tradition
a polaroid of everyone who has ever come to play over hear
so i hope BH comes back someday
at least for that

Sunday, July 23, 2006

captain karrang & the twilight cannonsong symphony

captain karang eventually
led the twilight cannonsong symphony
fractured melody
in multiple keys
they played under the mulberry tree

fashioned such notes with fiddles and bows
an old piano and a slide trombone
fat tuba joe
sat in the front row
his cheeks a puffing as he tried to blow

the birds cried
"give us peace in our time!"
but the captain cloyingly declined
"dears don't mistake your so-called earache
is just the twilight cannonsong symphony!"

invisible bats and bumblebees
were dancing round the captain's niece
she drank champagne
and lunged at the rain
sang along with k's masterpiece

lost in the verse was the captain immersed
his arms a waving as his head bobbed on
as they played until dawn
their wondrous song
the cymbals crashing like a big alarm

cried the trees
"won't you give us some peace!"
but the captain never heard their plea
drown in a sea of cacophony
mad and happy
the captain quite lost
never noticed the clocks
that's the twilight cannonsong symphony

Friday, July 21, 2006

raymond douglas davies

a free ticket out of the blue
from holt
gonna go see ray tonight
a songwriting hero of mine
but it's been so long since he touched me
well i bet it's still gonna be worth the price of admission

why wasn't i going anyway
well you see
i've been a bit tough on poor ray and some of the other fallen genius'
it's hard for me to get excited about seeing someone when they're not
currently relevant anymore
not making good records anymore
haven't made a good one in ages
maybe 20 years
i don't like his new one or the one before that or...
i can't remember the last good one actually
you get the idea
it's hard to explain
it comes with the trappings of fame i guess
almost impossible for any of the greats to keep up they're greatness
eventually they all end up in a glorified cover band of themselves
no one wants to hear the new so-so record
roll out the old hits please!!!
tonight we'll all be waiting for "waterloo sunset"
talking sleeping doing the crosswords
while the new songs about america are unveiled
once the greatest living englishman
now writing about america
change is good but c'mon!

ray please pardon fussy sn
what a life tucked away in your mind
i can only imagine all the things you must've seen and done
in your lifetime
enough to fill 100 lives
so many songs and records and tours and wives
there in '64
top of the pops
you really got me
dedicated follower of fashion
set me free
tired of waiting
london in the swinging sixties
right there with the beatles
the who
the stones
the kinks made some of the best rock'n'roll records ever
you're a living legend
part of history
maybe i can tell g someday
yeah i saw him once
he was an old man by the time i got to him but still
it was pretty cool

so if you don't own any kinks records
lemme recommend
"village green"
then "arthur" and "face to face"
this man was one of the very best of all-time
in his youth surpassed by none
even after his heyday he still managed to write a few gems
so do yourself a favor
if you don't own it already
go buy yourself a copy of
"the kinks are: the village green preservation society"
right now

Thursday, July 20, 2006


a soft lazy dusk
the kind that makes me wish these days could last forever
up to the video store for a french rental
i highly recommend it
over to lefler's house
saw matt p. and had a nice chat
g money in a great mood
singing songs in the car
very seriously
"avenue paaleese"
a nice family walk around the balock
gavin sporting his red cowboy hat
slo-mo sprinklers bathing the parched grass
sun easing down ever so slowly
these are the times i love
domestic peace
and tranquility
thank you Maker for giving us this life

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

pass the bavaria please

not a lot of sleep going down around my house these days
jayme's still in a lot of pain
wondering today if it'll ever end
i tell her it will
i don't know though
maybe it won't
we hope for the best
we've been hoping for awhile
things can always get worse
but it'd be really nice if they got a little better
i feel helpless
today it was 106 outside but it was snowing in my heart
i realized 10 minutes ago
that's gonna be the title of my next record
it's so obvious
yet i didn't get it until just now
all these songs about fighting depression
snowing in my heart sums 'em all up perfectly
and so it is written

today was rough
the crushing heat didn't help
everything dying outside our house
our greek flowers
all of 'em shrivelling up under the vicious texas sun
can't water them enough to save them
i feel like a serial plant murderer
at least it's finally night time again
maybe some sleep tonight
let's roll the lucky sleep dice
come on
give us a lucky number 9
please give us a 9
when was the last time i slept 9
can't even remember
i must've been 20
i'd take a 7 tonight
even a good sound 6

jayme's been studying up on germany
reading her tour book right now
cozied up in bed with the heating pack on her neck
it's a distraction from the pain
imagine our euro adventure
it's almost like going to another planet
she just came in to read me this
"no part of the pig is safe from bavarian chefs"
also an example of a meal we must avoid
liver cheese
which apparently has nothing to do with liver or cheese
she's got it all mapped out already
travel times each day
where we need to be
what we're gonna try to do and see
a list of things we need to buy
it's a pretty long list
she's more organized than any tour manager out there
and a lot cuter too

so now that the 40 ton piano called the pleasantry lane cd
has been lifted off my back
i can turn my attention to some other things
like working on snowing in my heart with billy harvey
on monday
or finishing the salim vs. shibboleth seventies covers record
i temporarily feel relieved
i'd better celebrate
try and make it last at least a couple of days
with this fast fleeting feeling of accomplishment
can we pull out all the stops and order a pizza tomorrow
bavarian style
hoof and liver cheese

sweet dreams

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

the aftermath

pleasantry lane cd is finished
TKO in the fifteenth round
i've got the paper cuts to prove it
i've got the chewed up finger nails too
up 'til 3
who was sitting in the honda SUV as i came up the drive
sped off like they were up to something
and that kept me tossing and turning
a horrible sleepness night
i'm a worrier you know
lack of sleep has sent me into another dimension today
us texans still being tortured by the elements for something
you know i have my theories
i almost lost my nerve once or twice
nervous and sweaty
almost called for a re-mix at 2pm
j calmed me down
perfection is an illusion
you know better
nothing is perfect
but i never wanna sign off on anything until i'm completely satisfied
are you ever?
but i can get pretty damn close can't i?
after lot's of agonizing torture
so that's where i am now
i'm fine with it
it's ok
i won't be ashamed of this one
i'm not gonna toss it out on its ear
hopefully i'll still feel the same way in a couple of years
i'm so sick of hearing myself sing the tunes though
i could scream
but i'm happy too
i like this cd a lot
and i hope you're gonna like it too
i think it has a special vibe
steve meri john jason the polaroids
all playing really well together back when it was fresh
model brothers
missing funerals
a lot of the songs don't sound anything remotely like the "studio" versions
it's interesting to hear them brought to life by this great band
so where were you in 1978
had an appointment i had to keep
shaking hips and wearing grins

Monday, July 17, 2006

planning a rumba rumble

i'm getting serious
rolling up the sleeves
getting down to business
it's me and the pleasantry lane cd tonight
mano y mano
to the death
you're going down baby i'm gonna finish you off tonight!!!!!
it might take 15 rounds but
you're mine
i promise
i'm gonna get you off my back
so i can have some peace
of mind
2 years lingering in the vaults
a tweak here a blip there
always in the back of the theater
making noise
always something there to remind me
like an out of tune bacharach tune playin' in the lobby
well no more
come 2am i'm gonna be done with you
i'm throwing you out
it's time to go off to college
make some new friends
no i'm not sending money
no you can't call us collect
i took a nap
i'm ready
i have my energy drink chillin'
i'm getting some mexican food with j and g then finishing you off
that's right
i'm not foolin' around
i'm deadly serious
i'm shutting down that annoying
super annoying perfectionist in my head
taking you out tonight PL
and i don't mean on the town
no need to wish me luck 'cause it's been pre-ordained
see you tomorrow
i'll be at the post office
shipping my cd off to portland

Saturday, July 15, 2006

this soft existence

this soft existence
days running together
where did the last one end
when did a new one begin
sprinkler whirs and clicks
stare off in the distance
past the slippery lawn
past the tall still trees
straight into the blue
is anyone out there
who's running this show
what kind of coward
make yourself known why don't you
they're dropping bombs out there
children dying
unfathomable suffering
over what
over nothing
over everything
we think we're gonna keep rolling like this
our safe way lives
buy some things to make us feel better
buying is the answer
all things must buy
buy a corporate sponsored government
back to the sprinkler
that's better right
much better
disappear in the repetitive motion
absorb the monotonous sound
it's safe here
in this soft existence
no one can hurt us
days run together
another morning already
maybe we should buy those silvery lights for the backyard
yeah i think that would be nice

Friday, July 14, 2006

heathen town

the stonehill apartments
denton texas 1988
our new life
so exciting
we were gonna conquer the world you know
got a dingy 2 bedroom right over the leasing office
paper thin tan carpet
this location would soon lead to problems
practicing rock'n'roll music in the living room led to
thump thump from below
"could you please KEEP IT DOWN!!"
sometimes a threatening phone call
what would our parents say if we were evicted
fearless acoustic rockers we were
faris out on the town almost every night at first
he was on a mission
fry street
the flying tomato
doctor smith's an old pizza hut that had been converted in to a bizarre nightclub
doctor smith was it's african owner
faris quite cavalier
the social butterfly
he was also on a mission to find us a band
and he did
i had already imported my girlfriend evangelina lujan
from e.p. to the luxurious stonehill apartments
that's another story
maybe after you know me a little better
one night faris comes home late
wakes me and gina up
he's really excited
"i think i've found our first band member
he's a bass player
his name is brian
he looks exactly like paul simonen from the clash!!"
sure enough brian really did
i couldn't believe it
he had copped every single one of his moves too it was freakish
he'd obviously spent half his lifetime in front of a full-length mirror
he'd perfected every nuance of simonen's slithery groove
he had the hair too fifties greaser style
slicked up right
he had the clothes too
i'm telling you he was a real live complete denton texas 1988 version of the clash's paul simonen could've made it in vegas if paul s. was elvis
or wayne newton even
so there he was
stonehill apartments 1988
full on clash moves
in our living room above the leasing office
bobbing and weaving jerking and jumping
bass guitar slung almost down to his ankles
it was like he was in madison square garden
not on paper thin tan carpet stonehill apartments denton texas
faris was on electric me on acoustic
one hundred graves shell beach
i got a rehearsal cassette stuffed in a box somewhere
we taped everything those days
on our 4-track
man we were horrible f had some nice guitar parts though
i still couldn't sing to save my life all flat and tiny sounding
man i was horrible
brian said he knew a fella who played the drums
enter rich holden
one of the nicest guys i've ever met
sweet ole rich
kinda sad and droopy
like ringo
the girls loved him still do i think
our denton texas 1988 ringo
he was the sprout guy
that's right
rich drove a sprout delivery truck
actually when we first met him he was delivering medical specimens
sprouts soon followed
rich wasn't much of a drummer
hell of a nice guy though
still my friend to this day
lives in sunny CA
still sells sprouts - kinda
so brian faris rich and i christened ourselves heathen town
named after an elvis macmanus tune i liked
started practicing in rich's place
mattress' on the walls
we were a weird amalgamation of the church and the clash
if you can imagine that
one strange trainwreck
faris went to visit brian one night
lights out
b.l. crouched behind a sofa pointing a rifle at him
like some sort of vietnam vet
was he imagining the commies coming to get him?
steal him and his clash and elvis presley records away
he was no vet
it was denton texas 1988
he was a paul simonen impersonator
except no one knew of paul s. in denton but us
one day rich phones up in a panic
"maaannnnn you're not gonna like this
maaaannnn oh maaaaannnnnn
someone broke in to my place last night and stole all our gear
we raced over to rich's hovel to see a sickening sight
door kicked in
our p.a. gone
our amps gone
we were devastated
it was over now
there was no way we were ever gonna be able to continue after this
what are musicians with no tools of the trade
we were finished
so we call brian to tell him the horrible news
we knew he was gonna be pissed
he was gonnna break some heads to get to the bottom of this
they took his precious Kustom bass amp
padded yellow sparkle vinyl
his roommate says "brians gone he's off to college station
joined the core left late last night
didn't you guys know?"
we had no idea
he never uttered a word
roommate said brian had known about it for weeks
his dad had his not-so-secret-to-everyone-but-us departure imminently planned
we figured out the bad bad truth soon after that
brian had made one last stop before splitting denton texas
rich holden's house
to kick in rich's gingerbread door
to collect his yellow sparkle vinyl Kustom bass amp
to steal all his bandmate's gear

Thursday, July 13, 2006

we did some things

there are so many things we forget in this life
almost all of it really
how did i get here
who have i been
who will i be
who's waiting just around the bend
i lived another life in el paso
slow days
boring days
miserable days
the best days of my life
the worst days too
high hot sunny days dreaming of what my life might become someday
we drove up through the mountains at night
looked down at the lights running through the valley
schemed and plotted
planned what we would do
who we would become
what guitars we would strum
what songs we would write
it was all so naive
it was all so gallant
we'd drive and drive and drive
hours of talk
sometimes until the dawn
there was nothing else to do but plan
and dream
it was fitting that when we left it was night time
we left the city behind us
lights vanishing slow in the distance
a beat up seventies mercedes benz as our chariot
pulling all our worldy possessions
the special guitar i'd snatched for faris tucked under a packing blanket
stashed out of mom's sight
what else salim?
tell us
i can't remember anymore
lot's of bad cheap furniture
my record collection was too precious to take
mom was driving first shift
on into the desert night
i remember headphone listening
in the backseat
under the milky way while we rolled through midland
the u-haul trailer swaying and rattling
a horrible racket
why did we drive through the night
mom was afraid of a mid-afternoon blow-out under the merciless texas sun
so instead we got an early morning blowout
somewhere east of big spring
faris hitched a ride with a trucker
he was to go for help
what on earth were we thinking?
i was worried for him the trucker looked like an axe murderer
about a mile up we see the truck slowly pull to the side of the road
faris gets out first
had he been thrown out
was he escaping
what was going on
the trucker gets out right after but crosses the highway to get to the middle
the grassy median section
head down
searching for something
faris runs back toward us
he was pretty far away
we were shouting
it was really hot
we were sweating good and confused
what happened with faris and his new friend
what happened
he didn't wanna say until later
he told us after we finally fixed the flat
right after he'd climbed on board the big rig
he burned his hand on the smokestack he didn't know they got hot
he'd never rode in a 16 wheeler before
go figure
anyway the trucker laughed so hard
he blew his false teeth right out the window
they had been specially made for him by his brother in law
in mississippi
had to find them
they were irreplaceable
i don't think he ever did find them
was still combing the highway as we rolled off
an hour later with our new tire
we made it to denton late that afternoon
a mere 18 hours after we'd left e.p.
it had been a brutal trip we had all been up for almost 24 hours
so tired i was beginning to hallucinate
i'd heard the church were playing the starplex in dallas that night
the radio had said it as we were coming in to the metroplex
lots of plexes
very confusing
i was so excited i nearly peed myself
i was going come hell
or in high waters
going to see the church
surely faris would go too but he wasn't interested
too tired
my only sister miriam
she was up for it
the others passed out already as we headed off on our first big city adventure
we didn't know where dallas was
we didn't know what the starplex was
it didn't matter
i had been re-born
escaped from el paso's smothering confines
it was a miracle
i was so hopped up on adrenalin the rest of that night is a blur
of vague images
it didn't matter
my new life had finally begun

Monday, July 10, 2006

hell preview in texas (showing all summer long)

busy busy week in the studio
so i might not have time for much bloggy blog
maybe more prose
or the pros and cons of hitchhiking coming instead
i got to work a bit on my record last night
which made me happy
the skeleton closet
got some k moonish drums from jason garner
he is a genius with the sticks
i'm gonna miss having him around for sure
(as a friend too more importantly)
hopefully i can get back on track
with more work with myself at the end of the week
that is if i'm not completely worn out by what precedes
oh i just realized i've a gig sunday night
at barley
to celebrate dave little's uncomfortable moments
so no recording for sn
gavin woke up at 3am last night
and said "dadda i hear a train coming"
then he popped his thumb back in his mouth
like a smoking pipe
and passed out again
it's another barnburner in texas today
i think we're being punished somehow
for being the state that brought the world satan with a B
it's been punishing this heat wave
no cool for the wicked i suppose
so i hope as you read this you've got your aromatic airconditioners pumping
your ceiling fans spinning
your tall cool glass of lemonade
or long island ice tea handy

Sunday, July 09, 2006


polaroid in ashtray still
sunday morning freezing chill
but wide awake
someone left behind
ceiling plaster peeled and cracked
papers piled on welcome mat
telephone tossed in the sink
birds outside all gone
tv flickers on
why’d you go and leave me here
almost had another year
fine until the loneliness puts you on its list
people come and people go
cars speed by down busy roads
work all day and come back home
no one there at all
polaroid of you and me
in lifeless hand attached to sleep
somewhere back behind the eyes
sun and smiles
sun and smiles

Friday, July 07, 2006


watched syriana last night with jayme
made me think about a lot of things
things that i usually don't like thinking about
because they're too depressing
it's hard enough to live your life
keep your head up
without thinking about all the problems out there in this convoluted world of ours
i'm not a political person
i've never written about that stuff
don't follow it for the most part
i stay out of it
my dad is from syria
politics in his blood
i suppose it's in the blood of anyone who comes from poverty
i remember being 9 and dad taking me and faris to a holiday inn in el paso
to see speakers from iran talking about overthrowing the shah
weird dim lighting
we couldn't understand a word
it was all in arabic
why at a holiday inn?
lot's of raised voices and hand gestures
dad told us about what they said on the ride home
in the back seat of his diesel cadillac
i watched the city lights blur by
and thought about how glad i was we lived in america
but i didn't feel like a "real" american
yet dad loved to talk about politics
argued it over the dinner table with anyone who would have a go with him
it was horrible when he and my mom's parents (diehard republicans)
would go at it
we would just slide down in our chairs
and try to sneak off
they usually wouldn't even notice or care when we did
all caught up in their useless bickering
i don't think they ever solved anything did they?
no i'm pretty sure they didn't
i remember mr. papadopoulos
a wealthy arab mexican friend of my dad said this once at our dinner table
(in very broken english)
"the poor cry politik politik politik!!! all the time...
the rich - no politik - the rich own politik"
his big bellowing laugh followed
i'll never forgot that one statement
clear as day after all these years
made quite an impression on me
the only thing i ever remember mister p saying
so when i was a kid i guess i made a decision early on that i've stuck to
for the better part of my life
i think the rich and their collective corporations own politics
therefore they own the world
90% of politicians are people hanging out in their back pockets
they're not in it for the good of humankind
only their own selfish self interests
they're destroying everything on this planet in the name of the dollar bill
they're wrecking the ozone
ignoring warning signs mother nature is sending 'em
but when she comes crashing down on us all
i wanna see them buy their way out of that one!
no use fussing over it too much right?
it'll probably always be this way
so i stay out of it
it's futile
it gets my blood pressure up
it makes me depressed
so like most americans i try to enjoy the good life
i have my cozy little domestic
it's relatively safe here
nice and comfy
though movies like syriana remind us of the overwhelming ugliness
the futility
the sadness
the injustice out there
it's staggering
it's too scary to truly comprehend
maybe i can make one extremely small contribution to the scrapheap of mankind
try to live a decent peaceful life
send love out there into the world instead of hatred
try to find a better way
it's the only thing i know to do
the problems in the middle east could be the downfall of humankind someday
there's a seed of hatred festering there
that's been growing and spreading for hundreds of years
our government's bombs will not stop them
they will keep coming at us until there's nothing left on this earth
but a solitary tumbleweed
there's a child right now who just lost his parents to a US missile
he will grow up with nothing on his mind but revenge
wouldn't you too if you lived in their shoes?
our generation bombed
we failed
it's over
i'm gonna get political now so watch out...
look who we elected president for christsake!!!!
or did we?
i have a hunch the idiots throne was purchased
anyway i pray our children can find a way to a better world
i hope there's a world left for my child to even grow up in
and at the rate our politicans are going there may not be

Thursday, July 06, 2006

maker of newborn memories

the moment's gone
charging down the drive yelling "dadda"
pulling the red plastic wagon up to my studio window
running off down the driveway
squealing with glee
stop at the gate
turn around
head back toward me again
sternly sucking right thumb
"gabba gabba" i call out from the open window
then running and more squeals
plastic wagon right behind
this was only 3 minutes ago
now i look out my window and all is quiet

you're gone
nothing happening but sunny stillness
we've birthed a newborn memory
not even 5 minutes old
i wonder how long it'll live

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

sadly triumphant

perfect pink in blue sky dawn
the sun is creeping up i'm crawling on
air-brushed clouds a wispy white
soft hues of growing glowing morning light
i drive on by my memories
i think of all the love there must be
we thought being young meant we'd never face almighty end
almighty end
posthumous praise from loved ones all estranged
it's pre-arranged
so visualize what you desire
intervention never will transpire
we're gonna die
a well-known fact
and once we've gone who knows what's coming next
the sun and rain may never kiss
our pretty ugly faces again
someone kneeled flowers in hand
as you passed on from yesterday
a memory
a well-worn thought
we lay beside you
all asleep in lala land
beyond our time
enchanted and
i do not pass
i have to wait
for my time to knock on heaven's pearly gates

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

the god cleanliness complex

partly sunny
with a slight chance of mildew
on the sfn mood-o-meter today
that's right
i cleaned up poor neglected pleasantry lane
it was looking a shambles
cables and mics strewn everywhere
guitars haphazardly laying about
dirt and bugs mashed into the carpet
cobwebs a hangin'
coulda been my hairdo considering how i've been feeling lately
certainly not at all like the tidy PL you'd be used to seeing
if you came around here regularly
funny how depression gets a hold of the little crevices of your life
except in j's case she keeps a spic and span ship going
no matter how down she might get
it's truly amazing
in fact she cleans in order to feel BETTER
it's a trip to behold
i'm glad though
not a fan of the slobben ways
it just dawned on me
could orderly behavior and cleanliness be a sign of good mental hygiene?
there's usually no point to anything when you're feeling down
why mow the lawn?
it's only gonna grow back next week
why take those dishes out of the sink?
there's only more on deck
why bother to clean the recording studio?
there's a bassist with a big mac on his way to the waste paper basket right now
when you're feeling down that's all you can see
that depression fog right in front of your face
blocking everything else
so i should contact harvard
to receive my special grant to research this new and fascinating correlation
come later this week i'm gonna try and tackle some of my insomnia 101 issues
of last night
finish the bleedin' PL cd
get back to work on my version of sandinista record
i told you i'd rise above it
took all the strength i had not to fall apart
kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart
and i spent oh so many nights just feeling sorry for myself
i used to cry
now i hold my head up high
and you see me
somebody new
i've been strumming D minor since i was but a zit faced pre-teen in e.p.
with no friends and a nutty syrian immigrant father
i've had more chips on my shoulder than mister frito lay himself
so i'm not about to give up after one bad top forty session with harry insomnia
that fella can't even carry a tune anyway
and his lyrics are as tepid as a justin timberlake cd

Monday, July 03, 2006


can't sleep
i'm agitated
a million and one thoughts racing
restlessness gives way to this clickity click click
the 2 fingered typist hacking away on the most popular blog in the universe
hadn't you heard the news yet?
it's been a long long time since i've had this problem
i've literally passed out from exhaustion every night for the last 3 years
maybe since i've been taking it easy this last week and a half
i've opened the door again for my long lost buddy
here he is ladies and gentlemen
without further adieu
let me re-introduce you to insomnia!
looking very dapper indeed in his sleeplessness suit
crooning that old familiar tune
"gonna keep you up 'til the crack of dawn"
sing it baby sing it!!
your voice has changed a bit after all these years
but the words seem to be vaguely the same
number one with a bullet tonight is
"how on earth are we gonna leave g for 3 weeks this fall?"
topping my old faves
"what happens when we die?"
"how are we gonna pay that bill?" and
"it sucks growing old"
right now my feelings are that i can't do it
we're his entire world
we're both gonna be worrying every second of every day over there
i know what are we thinking?
are we really entertaining thoughts of taking him on a rock'n'roll tour?
i can see the eyes of the label guys rolling already
"he wants to take his what?"
i'm not naive i know i know i know
it's got me stressed out 'cause i know
believe me
something i should be excited about
now a decision i'm dreading
this is one simple example that this life i have now
is well-suited for me
sedentary man
yep that's me
working in the backyard
don't have to stray very far from home
that's the way i like it
i don't wanna leave my family
don't like the unknown
the tighter we grip this life
the further out of our reach it spins right?
remember previous ramble on control?
i never had the constitution for the rock'n'roll mover and shaker business
not a ladder climber
i like being on the ground too much
afraid of heights you know
when drakoulias said with his high pitched whinny new york accent
"the only reason you're not bigger then beck is you must not be working it hard enough..."
i knew he was right
well at least about the latter half of it
i think it must be in my blood
a family disease part 2
afterall i've got a brother who's only left his house in the last 7 years
to go see his parents
not exactly normal
maybe someone in france can snap a polaroid of "polaroid"
on the banks of the seine for me?
the longer i go in between trips
the more the anxiety swells
you see tonight i was laying in bed and i realized
it's roughly ** days until blast off to germany time
** days is nothing
i already see myself in the airport bags in hand
filing in to the tired cue to get on to the metal deathrap in the sky
bleak thoughts i know
it's all about giving up control and being terrified of what happened to those poor folks that were flown in to the side of a skyscraper
thoughts of their peril still haunt me
i feel the knots in my stomach
i see the bags under my eyes
blink of an eye and that day will be here
it's keeping me up tonight
sorry is this getting too personal for you?
if not
thank you for trying to understand friends
if so
then please get off this page of mine
may i suggest hitting the "next blog" button in the upper right corner of your screen
you might get lucky and end up on confessions of a transvestite surfer
bon voyage and happy surfing!!!
so what other tune is insomnia playing on his mean fiddle tonight?
the pleasantry lane cd that i can't get sent off to save my life
it's nagging me to death
like poor ralph kramden's wife
i wanted it done by germany
every time i try to get to finishing it i just freeze up
there's too much to do
can't do it now
it's playing on my pysche now
as well as my attempts to make studio album number 3
that's another story
can't get any momentum at all
the one person i turned to for help with this thing can't be bothered
to put in more than 2 hours a week on it
really not very inspiring to know that someone this close to me cares that little about my continued adventures in record making
i can't do it all myself again
and i told them that i'm too tired
BN wore me out
it really did
i know i know wah-wah
i don't need no wah-wah
and i know how sweet life can be if i keep myself free from the wah-wah
thank you george h.
i know i'll get over it
rise above
stumble on valiantly
wake up later today and roast veggie dogs
it's the 4th of july
my favorite
let's party like true americans holiday
but seriously
i need some help with this record of mine
i need an outside perspective
and from someone brilliant
not just ok
i don't wanna wear every friggin' hat in the building all at once again
they're heavy
they make my head hurt
anyway it's got me seriously bummed
i don't know how i'm gonna get any of it done
alone again naturally

do kids go to hell for things like this?

el paso
mid 1970's
faris and i crouching at the end of the hall
waiting for our parent's reading light to shut off
it's off
and so are we
crawling through the living room
our mission underway
must get to the escape hatch
a front bedroom window
low to the ground
easy to climb out of
plans to go visit our cute little neighbor sheri price
did she even know we existed?
no matter
it was summertime fun for a couple of bored barely teenage boys
i would run reconnaissance
faris would huddle behind dad's lazy boy chair
keeping watch
but just as i plop my right leg out the window i hear
"what's goin on???"
bellowed in semi-broken english
there's nowhere to run
nowhere to hide
i dive backward and scramble to get as close to faris as possible
before the lights come on
we're busted
not quite red handed
but busted
nonetheless dad is not happy
but too groggy to fully interrogate us on the spot
we'll get grilled well and good come dinnertime tomorrow
"get to bed now!"
oh what terrible punishment surely lay ahead of us
as we had no good answers to explain our mischief
very little sleep that night
over and over trying to think of what to do next morning
off to jeff georges' house while dad is at work
we'd better come up with something good before dinner time
that's when he gets home
the clock is ticking
so up stonebluff with some huffing and puffing
to jeff's two story house at the top of the hill
red headed kid with a bowl cut answers the door
thank god he's home
"we need your help! now! something, anything you have lying around the house"
we tear up his room
nothing but records and girlie mags
neither will do at all
then upstairs to the junk/toy room
rummaging boxes
making a mess
until we finally find something that just might work...

at the Nourallah house later on
5 o'clock has rolled around
we're ready for the dreaded interrogation
sure enough it comes
"so what were you boys up to behind the lazy boy last night?"
dad's slow deep voice
"we were trying to find wrapping paper"
"why? for what?" accent kicking
"for this..."
gingerly presenting a small wrapped gift
"this is to say thank you for letting us go to arkansas this summer"
we happened to be leaving for the grandparent's house in a few days
my dad hated 'em
we had to beg to get to go
i interject "mom keeps the wrapping paper in the cabinets behind the lazy boy -
that's what we were looking for"
now bewildered dad slowly unwraps his gift
what could it be?
how strangely thoughtful of his two eldest sons
to get him something special
oh here it comes
what is it?????
a plain white slightly dingy obviously used alarm clock
dad is speechless

Sunday, July 02, 2006

i love my friends

i know when i last left you i was in a bad way
sorry to worry you
but thank you for being there
it helped me a lot
to get it out on this blog of mine
i wanted to let you know
i appreciate the couple of concerned emails i got
it means a lot to me that you care
so i thought you'd wanna know the anti-anxiety manual worked after all
although i was never completely at ease
i did settle down a bit
and made it through my set ok
we had a good and decent show
no one was harmed in the process
the wheels stayed on the noise
it was a nice "goodbye for a little while" show
seeing all my beautiful smiling friends helped me a lot
how could i not be touched by that?
meri learning all my songs in only 5 days completely on her own
blew me away
i was touched by that as well
she lifted us up with her enthusiasm and great playing
thank you miss mk
i'm still feeling run down in the head today
it's supposed to be my night to work on my own record
but i'm not sure i'm feeling up to it
i guess once nightfall wipes out this absurdly sunshiny
hotter than hell day
maybe some inspiration will strike me
i gotta learn that it's ok if it doesn't
it's true sometimes
you just have to take it easy
watch some tv
or vegetate with your loved ones
can't always push push push
it'll wear you down
like i am right now
anyway i hope you all are enjoying your sunday afternoon
wherever you may be



Saturday, July 01, 2006

hi anxiety

i don't ever have anxiety attacks
always been pretty calm and corrected
takes a lot to get me rattled
but tonight something has gone amiss
i'm wound up pretty tight
not feeling good about playing a show
feel more like not seeing anyone
staying in with my family
mentally worn out
a shambles
i think a lot of reasons for this
too many to go into right now
maybe save it for the next blog?
if you've been following the days of our lives
at this very spot then maybe you have a diagnosis for me?
please feel free to send 'em in
anyway i'm wishing right now L and L
or J could be out there tonight
while i'm strapped to the front of the titanic
feeling more than a little overexposed
oh well makes me feel good about taking this upcoming break with the noise
i've made the right decision for sure
'cause i don't want to feel like this again
i've been playing for 15 years
hundreds of shows
and this is the worst i've felt mentally before any of them
so i guess if you haven't purchased your ticket yet
you can come watch me melt down or struggle valiantly to rise above
and there's always soccer re-runs on the tube
if you decide to stay in
as you can see by tonight's entry
that's what i wish i was doing!!
so whatever is in store for me/you/us tonight
i hope it goes ok
i'd like to have some fun and enjoy one more show with the noise
maybe putting down these thoughts will help me shake off the anxiety
turn it around and have a good night?
that's what writing can do for the spirit sometimes right?
my plan to storm the navarrone:
i'm gonna try and relax here at home for a couple of hours
until the last possible minute i have to go up to the theater
hopefully this feeling will pass soon
i will take deep breaths
i will read the how to fight anxiety manual
i will think soothing thoughts of baby deer frolicking in the meadow
i might even place a couple of phone calls
to hear the calming voices of loved ones far away
and i promise to let you know tomorrow if any of them actually worked