Friday, July 8, 2011

Seattle, WA: Conor Byrne Pub

Things tend to move on Conor Standard Time here, but that's part of the charm. Got the full outfit along for a fun evening with The Half Brothers (love the bluegrass "White Wedding") and Brian Ledford and Cadillac Desert (who came to rock). Glad to be the inaugural Bushwick Book Club ticket giveaway, too...

Monday, July 4, 2011

Seattle, WA: Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival

This thing's been going for 35 years now, with Puget's Sound helping out on the music end for the last several. With the opening of Lake Union Park now, we're taking it farther into the evening on the Fourth-proper, and I've dragged Alicia and Dave with me to get folks in the mood on this pleasant holiday evening. Seeing a British Airways 747 leaving town as we loaded in seems appropriate on today of all days...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Seattle, WA: Fred Wildlife Refuge (Bushwick Book Club - The People's History of the United States)

Walking through this place, with its fresh floor-to-ceiling coat of white paint, one becomes a modern art installation. And Geoff has brought America to it and to us on this Third of July: baseball; barbecue; and plenty of red, white, and blue schwag... Singing the anthem falls to me, and I find the rules of engagement similar to making a toast at a wedding: be (mostly) sober and get-in-and-get-out (don't mention exes, either). My key: A.

We've each been assigned two chapters of Howard Zinn's remarkable work, with me drawing numbers 9 ("Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom") and 10 ("The Other Civil War"). And though the renters featured in the latter are definitely my people, it's the first chapter that becomes the focus of my tune, "Memory and Make-Believe." Some years ago I tried to shake myself out of a dry spell with a revisionist response to the Jamie O'Hara's "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Ol' Days)," made famous by the Judds, polling friends and family for suggestions of things that are better today. The song itself wasn't much of a keeper, but the exercise did get me going, and I found myself taking a different crack at some of the same themes with this tune--particularly the romantic ideal of "Gone With the Wind," and the inherent daydream assumption that, if transported to that time, one would be rich (and white).