Month: May 2017

[dream journal] 0517-0518: The Endless Sky Store

On a quest to find a guitar pedal I’d read about called the “Endless Sky.” It creates large ambient washes and textures from playing only one note on the guitar. Features a cowboy boot on the hand-painted graphic with lazy clouds around the six dials and three foot switches. One knob is labeled “reality fade,” the rest I don’t recall. Driving a desolate dusty oceanfront road, and come upon the pedal’s graphic on a supertall sign for a roadside-burger-shack-sized store on the ocean side of the road. Pull in.

Parking lot is dirt. Ocean breaks and foams over huge boulders behind the store (the vibe is El Rey de Pescado in Naiguata, Venezuela). Several sprays from crashing waves threaten to envelop the store, but the age of the small building conveys that it’s held the sea back for a long time, and a quiet serenity about the place gathers as I approach.

As I’m walking up to the store I feel like my thighs are really rubbing together. Looking down, I discover that my thighs have not ballooned, but rather, my pants have turned into Renaissance royalty red-velvet gold-seamed pantaloons.

Tattered screen door. Inside the store, there’s just a counter with four Endless Sky pedals sitting next to an analog cash register.

“One,” I say.

“You don’t want to try it first?” the proprietor asks me, without looking up from a yellowed newspaper.

“No need,” I say. “I know it’s perfect.” I look at the pedal and notice the brand.

“Thought this was a secret Strymon,” I say.…

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Solo Set: Saturday 20 May

Halyards in Gowanus, I’m flying solo and electric, opening for the debut of xclnt friends The Tell. On for ~half-hour starting 9:30…

The Tell is a trio formed of the core of After School Special: Josh Matthews, Ashley Semrick-DesRochers, and David Miller. I’ll be doing a 25-30 minute “Storytellers” set to ease the throttle into the big show, and let everyone float away into the evening. We’ll laugh a bit, maybe cry, maybe even daydream like landlocked surfers.

Stripped down songs, just me and Fabien (my Peekamoose custom M2), a few pedals and my Fender Super Champ X2 amp. Short set, so ambient flights to a minimum – more of an Americana-heavy romp through a few favs from across my catalog, with some superhero origin backstory between. For sure, Windfall and Love In This Land. The other three or four are up for grabs. It’s a Saturday night and I feel like leaving everyone with a smile or two, so nothing with too much gravity.

Since my last solo live performance, there’ve been nine records, a quarter million spins and 70K downloads(!!), a ton of collaboration, a bit of exposure, and a lot of inspiration. All this to say, this gig is overdue, and I hope it’s way less time until the next time.

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[dream journal] 0504-0505: underwater undercover

Walking underwater at a brisk clip at the bottom of a large body of water. Water is crystal clear blue like liquid sky, the sand is white and firm, and I glide forward with little effort. I breathe normal in the water – no oxygen tank, scuba gear or wetsuit necessary. There’s no doubt I’m in water, though, because exhaling or talking creates bubbles that float to the surface.

I am walking with a stocky and very tall partner, Gene, played by the late actor Ken Howard. We are underneath a superhighway. Huge light-gray concrete supports rise from the sand bed to the surface off into the distance of the body of water, which appears to be around 75 feet deep. The structure emits audible rumbles from the traffic moving on it and I feel the resultant sound waves shake the sand underfoot in regular, low-frequency sine-wave undulations.

The light refraction from the surface into the water is bending the light so much that we can see profiles of the cars and trucks driving on the highway. A large 16-wheel semi passes over. Gene leans down and taps me on the shoulder.

“That’s the one,” he says. “That’s him.”

I take a notebook out of a shoulder bag and write a couple notes. The book has a police shield on it. I realize I am a detective or some sort of undercover officer.

“How did undercover turn into underwater, Gene?” I ask.

“Stop asking stupid questions,” Gene gruffs. “Go see where we are.”…

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supermarket matrix glitch

On 03 May 2017, at around 17:45, on 6th Avenue and President Street, a man and a woman passed me by, empty-handed, as I walked home after shopping. I had been in the market for approximately 12 minutes, and was about 3 blocks (so 2 minutes) south of the market when these two walked by me the other way.

I was heading south on the west side of 6th Avenue. The man was going north on my side of the avenue. At the moment he passed by, behind him in my visual frame, the woman crossed the avenue, and then turned left on the east side of 6th, also to head north.

Thing is – they both were just in the market with me. And here they were, headed back, opposite me, with no groceries, towards the market.

I recognized the man, because after getting caught behind the market’s front door while grabbing a bouquet of flowers, I held the door open for him to enter the store. He was skyscraper tall, perhaps 6’5″, and rail thin, so we’ll call him “Stick.” Approximately 3 minutes later, I was leaving the produce area by the store’s entrance, and saw the woman enter the store. She was memorable as she was African-American with long beautiful platinum blonde braids. The braids flowed down below her waist. We’ll call her “Tress.” They were separate shoppers, for sure not together.

9 minutes later, I swear Tress and Stick were still in the store when I arrived at the check-out, and neither alit at any adjacent cashiers while my cashier (we’ll call her “Samantha”) scanned and weighed my stuff.…

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