[sounds] Stripped State: Laurel Canyon Recordings

Cat’s costume designing the series adaptation of the podcast Homecoming, shooting in L.A., so we’re living for six months in a 1930s cottage aerie perched halfway up Laurel Canyon. When I landed, I bought a knock around Seagull guitar at the perfect scaled All-In-One guitar shop in Koreatown. Figured I’d have the Gentleman of the Canyon adventure I always dreamt, and now I’m on a trip all the way back to my own time zero, stripped down and raw, to that place where I just sat and thought and wrote and strummed. And listened. And learned.

Putting the demos up as I go, embracing every mistake as an intention…


[img] “California’s been good to me / Hope it don’t fall into the sea / Sometimes you got to save yourself / It ain’t like anywhere else…” – Tom Petty

“California’s been good to me / Hope it don’t fall into the sea / Sometimes you got to save yourself / It ain’t like anywhere else…” – Tom Petty
June 15, 2018 at 04:07PM
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[img] Two days left in this canyon light. Six months was an eye blink.

Two days left in this canyon light. Six months was an eye blink.
June 14, 2018 at 05:17PM
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[img] “…blue sky imperfect.”

“I am grateful for… the wisps of white clouds that make a blue sky imperfect.” – Sandra O’Connell [@sandraoco]
June 12, 2018 at 08:48PM
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[track] The Last Time Up Ahead

this one’s for the ones who stop to think
this one’s for the ones who always knew
this one’s for the ones who see the absurdity

this was a place we lived in peace
a place we lived in silence
a place we lived together in light

the last time
is cloud nine
and you won’t know
you’re dead

but the saddest time
is the first time
you see
the last time
up ahead

how many days can you see through things
how frayed is a soul made of string
how many ways can a memory bring you down

what happened all the power burned out
what happened all that’s certain’s in doubt
what happened all the love turned it back on us

there’s no one around who doesn’t think they know
nowhere you’re left to be, no place left to go


[track] Canyon Songbird Dream #7

i believe in my dream
I believe in my dream
in my song, i believe you’ll see
all the lives we are to lead

searching for answers
is a waste of precious time
destiny doesn’t ring the bell,
doesn’t tell you you’ve arrived

songbird on an electric line
only knows he’s incomplete
caught up in a lookout for love
all his faith on endless repeat

may never know magic
of a returned call
but he never sounds tragic
never sounds small


[img] The “Rim of the World“

Looking south from the “Rim of the World“ Highway (CA Rte 18), as it winds through Skyforest at 6000 ft.
June 07, 2018 at 02:21AM
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[img] today’s 5K midpoint

today’s 5K midpoint was a living postcard / lake arrowhead / elev. 5100ft
June 05, 2018 at 01:35AM
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[dispatch.20180603.0057] seasonal dissonance

A summer hike through a ski resort is an adventure in seasonal dissonance. Ascending and descending trails stripped of snow’s porcelain veneer, you kick dust to the sky, fighting gravity up and down. Frictionless winter fun is just a quiet echo.

June 03, 2018 at 12:57AM
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[track] Paper Streets [20180601.1]

You came a long long way
just to find nothing
on the other end of a promise
from the other side of the sun

the road was mapped but never real
still the dream of a long gone man
now foxtails push up through cracked cement
and long abandoned plans

Paper streets always burn.
Paper streets always burn.
On a bridge to nowhere,
you never know where to turn.
Paper streets always burn.

Doesn’t matter where you’re from
when you see the world from the sky
Broadway to Magazine to Sunset Boulevard
They all draw the same line

You have to put your faith in strangers
or else this is a lonely life
but sometimes people are wicked and cruel
we’re not wired to be nice

I lost a fortune to a dream
but at least it was my dream
some people lose their fortune to a faith
in the world as it seems


[dispatch] 20180531.0057 Mt Waterman Summit

May 30, 2018 at 12:57AM
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[img] 20180528.18 / All the ❤️ today, @catmthomas.

20180528.18 / All the ❤️ today, @catmthomas.
May 28, 2018 at 08:29PM
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[img] 🎼 “Malibu Ellie…”

🎼 “Malibu Ellie’s s out to have some fun / Likes her meat rare and her man well done / Malibu Ellie’s cruisin’ on the surf / Step on this pier, you’re on her turf / Malibu Ellie… 🎶… Malibu Ellie… 🎶…”
May 26, 2018 at 08:17PM
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[img] Ellie so L.A.

Ellie, in from Brooklyn for the weekend, and already so L.A.
May 25, 2018 at 08:23PM
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[img] Flim-Flam Flamingo Swanny Swan-Swan

Flim-Flam Flamingo turned to Swanny Swan Swan, pissed. “There’s more,’ you said. ‘Something, beyond this Mt. Olympus party house, beyond the infinity pool edge,’ you said. ‘Let’s float away to destiny…’ Well, Swanny, maybe the pool wasn’t such a bad place!”
May 20, 2018 at 07:16PM
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[img] Met The Queen tonight

Met The Queen tonight at the former Laurel Canyon home of Ursula Andress. She said, “The one in England’s my double for security purposes.” The crazy thing is me & her Highness are the only cut outs in the photo. // 📷: @catmthomas
May 20, 2018 at 12:41AM
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[img] polychrome spiritual superficiality

LA’s polychrome spiritual superficiality creates everyday paradoxes. Star maps don’t chart the sky. Freeways offer surge-priced fast lanes. Warnings come with smiles. The absurd is deep, yet blithe.
May 19, 2018 at 03:07PM
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[img] eaton canyon wilds

Xclnt today to meet @tzaddi53 in the wilds of Eaton Canyon. The spiral serves warning of the rattlesnake who lives under the rock. Rumor is the snake drew it first, and said, “I’m only warning you thissss oncssse.” So Richard now refreshes the symbol after rainstorms.
May 16, 2018 at 09:11PM
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[img] all the <3 today

Ever the dreamer. Courageous, tenacious, patient, and creative. A true inspiration. All the love today, Mom.
May 13, 2018 at 09:00PM
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[track] Canyon Bees, Birds, and a Chicken (20180509.1)

“A bee, a bird, and a chicken are hanging out in the Hollywood hills…” sounds like the start of a joke, but it’s just a field recording. The bees are pollinating a perpetual-blooming Echium Candicans (“pride of Madeira”) flowering shrub in our Laurel Canyon Garden, while a mockingbird, a scrub jay, a few other birds, and a chicken across the street join in the chorus. Live iPhone recording via a Shure MOTIV MV88.

Echium Candicans
pride of Madeira
subshrub invasive ornament
Spanish nectar
going-steady bees
soda jerk two-straw shake
canyon hillside date
10 minutes drive
from a retrofit-rail-car diner
off Sunset


[dispatch] thoughts 20180510.2118

May 10, 2018 at 09:18PM
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