It’s summertime and triple-digit temps and firey-orange sunsets taking their time to burn through the summer smokey skies of Idaho! And bicycling, and sweat, and fresh fruit, and family, and so here’s a moment or two for us.
Riders on the Storm: Where the Words and Music Came From
Ray Manzarek, keyboard player for The Doors, tells the story of how their song, “Riders on the Storm,” came into being (secret: it’s based on “Ghost Riders in the Sky”). He walks us through the music while sitting at a keyboard and answers your questions about why each verse is so different from the previous. Super cool interview.
“Both Directions at Once” - A Recently Discovered Unreleased Album by John Coltrane
Listen to the entire “lost” album of John Coltrane’s music thanks to the family of his ex-wife Naima. The article discusses, in detail, the music, where it fits among Coltranes other recordings and how his recording and performance music were often quite different.
Coda: While we’re on John Coltrane, I also ran across his handwritten notes for his tune “Love Supreme” (one of my favorite albums of all time).
From Rodeo to Extreme Mountain Biking: Navajo Mountain Bikers
This is a fantastic read from The New Yorker about how some Navajo Indians are finding a connection with their heritage and landscape through mountain biking. You have to click through just to scroll through the amazing photos sprinkled throughout the article.
American Noise - Prologue
Boxcars and electric guitars; ospreys, oceans, glaciers, coins; the whisper of the green corn kachina; the hard sell, the fast buck, casual traffic, nothing at all; nighthawks of the twenty-four-hour donut shops; maples enflamed by the sugars of autumn; aspens lilting sap yellow and viridian; concrete communion of the cloverleaves and interchanges; psalms; sorrow; gold mines, zydeco, alfalfa, 14th Street; sheets of rain across the hills of Antietam; weedy bundles of black-eyed Susans in the vacant lots of Baltimore; smell of eggs and bacon at Denny’s, outside Flagstaff, 4 A.M.; bindle stiffs; broken glass; the solitary drifter; the sprinklers of suburbia; protest rallies, rocket launches, traffic jams, swap meets; the Home Shopping Network hawking cubic zirconium; song of the chainsaw and the crack of the bat; wheels of progress and mastery; tug boats, billboards, fog horns, folk songs; pinball machines and mechanical hearts; brave words spoken in ignorance; dance music from the Union Hall; knots of migrant workers like buoys among waves or beads in the green weave of strawberry fields around Watsonville; the faithful touched by tongues of flame in the Elvis cathedrals of Vegas; wildflowers and anthracite; smokestacks and sequoias; avenues of bowling alleys and flamingo tattoos; car alarms, windmills, wedding bells, the blues.
Poem by Campbell McGrath read by Jeff O. on SoundCloud. It’s the prologue to his collection called “American Noise” which is one of my faves for it’s ebullient American-ness just up the dirt road from Walt Whitman’s radical celebration of being human in a new country.
The Morning Ride Podcast
The Morning Ride podcast has become a thing I’m going to continue to produce for awhile. It’s a highly personal, blog-style podcast that is loosely scripted and adamantly unedited. Episode 13 is where it begins to fall into a routine. This is not to say it’s good, just that it seems to be what it is more consistently beginning there. Recent episodes:
26. It Matters, But I Don’t Care - American Noise! An otter in the water and a kitty cat among the primrose and a constant consciousness for the wedding! How do you love and respect yourself when your family and friends “don’t get you”?
25. Artsy Fartsy: Modernist Opera 101 - We get a little artsy fartsy talking about relational database rules, snakes on the trail, modernist opera including Robert Wilson, Tom Waits, William Burroughs, Alban Berg, Carl Maria von Weber, Wozzek, and I sing a tune from The Black Rider.
24. If Not (Beethoven’s 9th) Then (You’re Doomed) - The traffic and then the music. Meditating on Beethoven’s 9th, a long pause(?)…, black and white photography, Charles(!), wedding week, E&M, and couples as mentors (www.cocreativepartnership.com).
23. Early Skatepark Sessions, Snake Bites, and Living With Intention - Happy Monday! Early morning skatepark session on the db24 bmx bicycle, Frank O’Hara on being who you are, more on Brenden Brazier’s recipes in "Thrive," and living with intention (CoCreative Partnership method - part 1).
22. The Sun Is a Lovely Mother Who Likely Wears Vans - All about joy and intention this morning…nope! Instead we get into the language we use to greet one another and how this frames our relationships. If we’re all lovely people, it doesn’t matter what shoes you wear.