Category Archives: hola sayulita!


postcard sorceress: 7-year reflection

My mother is Venezuelan. I spent a fair amount of time in Caracas as a kid, and then other parts of Latin America at various points of my life. When you put a fair amount of distance between yourself and your home, you learn that there are courageous and discarded lives anywhere you go, across diverse economic and political strata.

One thing I’ve come to admire in Latin American people is their unwavering capacity to hope. In even the most challenging grinding circumstances, I’ve seen Latin Americans demonstrate hope in the face of the blackest darkness, in a way that seems particular to the culture. I once asked a friend in Mexico about this and he said this arises from the semantics of Spanish, where to be “hopeless is to be dead.” There’s little language in Latin culture for the gray area in between hopelessness and not-living. “No one here,” he told me, “has a lifeless smile.” That is to say despair is big south of our border, but not hopelessness. We could learn a lot from that.

I penned “Postcard Sorceress,” the only Spanish song I’ve written and recorded, seven years ago today in 2009. My 2010 record Hola Sayulita contained both the English and the Spanish versions. What would happen, I asked myself, if hopelessness gripped someone in a place where there’s no language for hopelessness?

In the track, the protagonist Nina is a poor jewelry maker for tourists in the surfing town of Punta Mita, on the Pacific coast of Mexico. A few years prior, she was violated by a gang called The Scorpions, bore a daughter as result and took a train as far west as she could go to find a better life. While working out of the Cafe Revolution, she sees every day a jungle Bruja’s weathered advertisement on a wall behind a postcard rack. Eventually, in a bleak moment of desperation, she leaves her daughter with a neighbor, packs some money, cigarettes and her grandmother’s knife, and wanders off into the rain forest hills in search of the Bruja to alleviate her pain. After finding the Bruja, Nina decides to spare her daughter a life of witnessing a mother’s suffering and allows the jungle sorceress to use the knife to mix an elixir that drugs Nina into an eternal dreamless sleep.

(English)

(Spanish)

I thought about Nina a lot last night into today, as I was overruled by people who gave in to panic and abandoned an 8-year fight for justice, for which I was both spearhead and figurehead. I was powerless to stop them and attempts to highlight their misguided decisions were pointless, as even the most resolute and rational calm will never be louder than their fears. Nina’s eternal dreamless sleep sounds pretty good about now. Hell, I’ll take one good night’s sleep. I wish I had the faith of my mother. Genetics, unfortunately, does not pass down perspective, only chemistry.

Sleep well, Nina. The world is not better off without you, no matter what your Bruja told you.

:^D


Infinite Destination: A Story Of Us

Infinite Destination off Hola, Sayulita! (bandcamp | cdbaby | spotify | itunes) and Reflected.10×10 (bandcamp | freemusicarchive) finds perfect traveling companions in the writers of roughontheroad.com, an engaging, open-hearted chronicle of a wandering, motorcycle-driven life.

Motorcyclists gravitate towards my tracks for their videos. Hopefully they find in my writing kindred spirits of independence and open roads.

YouTube liner notes:

Published on Jan 23, 2016
We – Greg Stone and Jessica Ferndriger – are international aid workers and motorcycle travelers. We met in South Sudan, moved to Liberia, embarked on an eight month motorcycle trip from Canada to Chile, and we ride our BMW GS motorbikes daily for commuting and travel. Visit us at www.roughontheroad.com.

Music: “Infinite Destination” by Westy Reflector

Source Track:



[vid] today i am not turning on the radio

Today I Am Not Turning On The Radio from Westy Reflector

with the kentile sign coming down, figured i’d revisit this lo-fi vid from 2011. shot w/ a nikon d90 during that year’s reconstruction of the smith/9th subway station from a manhattan-bound f-train. the video runs in reverse. coney-island bound is the other side of the tracks. everything about this track is inside out, tho, so it fit.


Hola, Sayulita!

Infinite Destination
Today I Am Not Turning On The Radio
Zipline
Postcard Sorceress
Drink In The Sky
Only Falling Rain
ok
AustinTown
Sayulita
b. Bruja Tarjeta Postales
Bandcamp | CDBaby | Spotify | iTunes

Infinite Destination

Please, don’t end world.

Desert sunrise six twenty one
Rising just like fate
Baby you know this is never the end
If you trust the world

All I can do is smile
As you soften your eyes
And draw curves with your questions
‘Til there’s nothing left to say but someday

Infinite destination
You’re every dream I ever had
We’re just pilgrims dancing unstuck in time
Infinite destination
Any life you can have
Dancing forever free from time

The future has its enemies, too
They don’t like people like me; they don’t like people like you
In other words, you got a beautiful attitude

I never take it for granted
How your eyes reverse time
Soft as day breaks and fades the night away

Infinite destination
You’re every dream I ever had
We’re just pilgrims dancing unstuck in time
Infinite destination
Every life you ever had
Dancing forever free from time

Infinite destination
(You’re) every dream I ever have
Just a pilgrim dancing unstuck in time

09.24.2008 9:40a; 02.24.2009 8:00p


Sayulita

everything that’s true is you.

Back in Brooklyn under sleeping trees
And all these thoughts of Mexico
All my dreams they have more meaning here
Cause I’m all alone
With my sleeping trees

We flew into the stars
In you I found faith to let go
And in some other time and space
We’re never apart
We wake up stars

I was thinking about how we say good bye
Too few words to cover the truth
You know I will always get lost in your eyes
I want you to know
That I miss you
I want you to know

I know one day you’ll hear this song
Drawing lines that feel the same
We’ll still be riding an endless wave
To a little surfing town, my Sayulita

I was thinking about how we say good bye
Too few words to cover the truth
You know I will always get lost in your eyes
I want you to know
That I’ll always love you
I want you to know
Everything that’s true

everything that’s true is you
everything that’s true is inside you


01.05.2009 10:32am


ok

Every once in a while, I write a dance(able) track.
Enjoy this layer cake.

You never know just how long you have
Before you go
Away

So take back life; hide it from view
It will only be us and
the wind

Times are down but we’re ok
Lines are down but we’re ok
We’re ok.

You never know just how many times
You get to say
Hello

Come out with me take the f-train
Into the night
We’ll disappear

Times are down but we’re ok
Lines are down but we’re ok
We’re ok.

When you send light into the world
It scatters and reflects
But it never dies


Only Falling Rain

maybe lead guitar maybe not. we got a big sound from
just the drum, bass and rhy gtr and i like the open spaces.

I will leave it to you to guess what I am thinking
I’ve got a secret and you know I never spill
Maybe I’m a spy. Maybe I’m undercover
Keeping enemies of freedom on their guard

Justice and fairness are not the same
Crashing cars and crashing waves
Don’t you know that only falling rain makes us all the same?

Rules always fail to erase what can’t be burned
Only practical wisdom rebuilds the world
In times of desperation everyone rides an underground
Beautiful people start to disappear
All around

Justice and fairness are not the same
Crashing cars and crashing waves
Don’t you know that only falling rain makes us all the same?

Tomorrow I’ll protect a movement
Tomorrow I die for a friend

Justice and fairness are not the same
Crashing cars and crashing waves
Don’t you know that only falling rain makes us all

Crashing cars and crashing waves
Justice and fairness are not the same
Don’t you know that only falling rain makes us all the same?

02.19.2009 1:43am


Tarjeta Postal Bruja

Postcard Sorceress in Spanish. My mother, Caracas-raised, helped me translate. The Spanish version is more hopeful because in Spanish to be hopeless is to be dead. There’s little language for the gray area. Despair is big in Latin America, but not hopelessness.

Vittorio, on a 2004 car ride from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende (where we would take a dawn balloon ride), taught me of the bruja en las colinas de la selva y el chupacabra.

Nina tuvo un sueño cuando era joven
Escorpiones llegaron a jugar
Ella se despertó descubriendo tener una hija
Y 2 tickets para el tren de Punta Mita

Ella se pasa la vida haciendo joyas para turistas
Trabajando en el Café Revolución
Ella sabe que ya no se puede huir
No se pierde nada cuando no hay nada que ganar

Cada día Nina se detuvo a leer un anuncio
Detrás del estante de tarjetas postales en el café
Decía “Puedo exorcizar cualquier demonio!”
Mostrando el camino a una cueva a través de la selva

Un par de años más tarde, Nina dio su hija a un vecino
Dijo que volverá en un par de días
“Voy a dar un paseo por la colinas de la selva
Para que mi bebé nuca sepa de mi dolor.”

Empacó una bolsa con dinero y cigarrillos
Y el cuchillo de su abuela, por si acaso
Ella desapareció en el dosel de la selva
Dejando el pueblo polvoriento en su estela.

La bruja utiliza el cuchillo para mezclar un elixir
Dijo que ya había visto este dolor
Ella dijo: “Nina, la verdad flota en el tiempo.
Beba, y ya no soñaras más.”

Nina pasó su vida haciendo joyas para turistas
Trabajando donde todos los demás se escapan
Ella sabe que ya no tiene que huir
No tiene nada que perder cuando elige otro tren

01.09.2009-01.14.2009

el toromexico city highway bridge


Postcard Sorceress

i always wanted to write a song about a bruja. this one’s a nod to Manu Chao and Carlos Santana via fastball.

Nina had a dream when she was younger
Scorpions came over to play
She awoke to find herself with a daughter
And 2 tickets on the Punta Mita train

She’s got a life
Making jewelry for tourists
Working out of the Revolution Café
She knows there’s no where left to run away
There’s nothing to lose where there’s nothing to gain

Every day Nina stopped to read a notice
Behind a rack of postcards at the café
It said “I will exorcise any demon!”
It showed a path through the jungle to a cave

A couple years later Nina gave her
Daughter to a neighbor
Said she’d be back in a couple of days
“I’m taking a walk into the jungle hills
So my baby never knows of my pain.”

She packed a bag with money and cigarettes
And her grandmother’s knife just in case
She disappeared into the canopy
Leaving the dusty outskirts of town in her wake

The sorceress used the knife to mix an elixir
Said she’d seen this pain before
She said “Nina, the truth floats over time.
Drink down, and you’ll dream no more.”

Nina spent her life
Making jewelry for tourists
Working where everyone else escapes
She knew there was no where left to run away
She had nothing to lose when she jumped this train

03.07.2009


Zipline


zipline. jungle. mexico.

I want to take a zipline
Through my mind
(But) no one speaks our language
Down here
Where’s that number?
I need to call The Doctor

We wanna get draddled
And set fire to the beach
But the dolls are at the border
And the pilot’s getting screened
I need to call The Doctor
Where’s that number?

There are shooting stars
In Orion’s Belt
Swinging high from a chandelier
It would be such a waste
To be out in space
Without a doctor
What’s that number?
We need a zipline

Baby you are so fine
Caressing my mind
You see forever
You see through me

But there’s no contradiction
Between what I’m feeling
And what I’m seeing
In your eyes

There are shooting stars
In Orion’s Belt
Swinging high from a chandelier
It would be such a waste
To be out in space
Without a doctor
Without your number
w/out a zipline

w/out your number
w/out a zipline

01.28.2009 8:21a; 11:04p; 11:30p


Today I am Not Turning On The Radio


last night it was joe frank with Karma – Part 6.
if you want to make the cupcake from the song, just know that the cupcake is not the serving suggestion pictured on the Addavanilla package. the picture looks like a cupcake but it’s actually a fire-roasted scorpion with addavanilla frosting. The cupcake, though it’s no Sugar Sweet Sunshine, is amazing, but the scorpion dish, while tough to duplicate, is well worth wrestling with the Easy Bake for the protein alone.

Today I am not turning on the radio
All the talk is right vs black and wrong vs white
I’m gonna head out into the neighborhood
I’m gonna see some friends
I’m going to try to live beyond every mistake

I am not going to fall in love today
I don’t feel like saving a tree today
I refuse to be a ritual

Jellyfish come to mind
In winter
Something about swarming wet snow
The cold of a thousand needles
Poison slowly breaking synapses
To the jellyfish, it’s like a peaceful drift
Through an addavan cupcake

To write in silence is impossible
Even with the radio off
The Internet is sitting in a window
Behind the window in which I write
I don’t have a typewriter
Or enough paper
To write off grid today

So I’m going to enjoy my addavan cupcake
With its rainbow sprinkle arpeggio
And moist chorus filling

Today I am not turning on the radio
That’s What Adam Green Would Do (WWAGD?)
I’m gonna head out into the neighborhood
I’m gonna see some friends


Drink In The Sky



you need to float away
leave your body
for a little while
every day

meditation blanket courtesy landon pigg

You say
Breathe. Dream.
And as you fall away
Drink in the sky

Everything about you just shines
You and I get unstuck in time
There is no line between you and me

The way you float over sand
The way you live without a plan
If I could only use your eyes to see

You say
Breathe. Dream.
And as you fall away
Drink in the sky

Feel free
as you walk so soft into the light

w/you I’m lost but not alone
like a mariachi saxophone
I want to hear every note you play

You say
Breathe. Dream.
And as you fall away
Drink in the sky

Leave time.
Fly so soft
Into your life

You say
Breathe. Dream.
And as you fall away
Drink in the sky

01.09.2009 4:27p; 6:10p
01.10.2009 5:37p; 8:17p


AustinTown

Austintown, OH, is the driving midpoint between New York City and Chicago.
Written election eve 2004.

When they dig us up – they might never know
We dug deep – and left evidence as far down as they will go
They might even think we were older than dinosaurs

Arrogance thinks we’ll see the end of the world
That we’d be last ones – to ever see
the truth/the truth
it’s just funny how much truth
you find

½ way between here & there
so many secrets you can’t begin to dare
to leave
escaping only in dreams
looks like it comes down
tonight to AustinTown

They’re gonna say we went backwards – all the way back
Before we went forwards again
Here it comes around again
And there goes the

the truth/the truth
it’s just funny how much truth
you find

½ way between here & there
so many secrets you can’t begin to dare
to leave
Escaping only in dreams
looks like it comes down
tonight to AustinTown



11.03.2004, 11:42pm
11.18.2004, 10:24am
12.23–25.2004
07.07.2005 8:55pm
05.01.2008 9:54pm
01.15.2009 9:12pm