Archive for Tag ‘Not giving a shit‘

The State of Kuwait: One Grain of Sand In the World (Lean Back)

Photo: Aaron Defourneaux

OpEd: Richard Paul Harper, Jr.


It is on the night after the death of the great Pete Seeger and upon streaming Henry Mancini’s “Best Of” that I write this.

The duel purpose with which the occasion compels me to jostle my thoughts down can also be revealed in the opening sentence. I awoke this morning to read of the news that Pete Seeger – the legendary folk singer and activist – had died peacefully at the age of 94. This is the first monolithic musical figure that has passed this year, but in 2013 the world lost Lou Reed, Donald Byrd, Phil Everly and Ray Price, to name the smallest amount. All major figures, both in the music community and in the popular landscape as well. But none illicit nearly as much of a reaction from me as Pete Seeger’s death did. My initial thought was that stating he died peacefully seemed a bit ill-fitting, given that the current climate in which we live (double meaning intended) can hardly be navigated in a “peaceful” manner. As such, Mr. Seeger appeared to gracefully let go of the torch he (once) carried, while still maintaining his fervor for life. Either that or he probably asked himself every day upon waking, “are you fucking kidding me?”

My next thought immediately went to the onslaughts of tributes that were about to be poured out for the righteous man. A mental rolodex began to spin of all the people who claimed Seeger as inspiration or in his lineage: Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, John Mellencamp, The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, etc. etc. and I vowed to skim everyone of them with a dull-attention span and to not go and do likewise. In fact, en route to my relatively yuppie job bar-tending at a locally-sourced burger joint (where I also am in charge of the music during the shift), I said to myself that I wouldn’t so much as even mention his passing to anyone and would play only a few of his tracks – exclusively deep cuts – as I queued up whatever jams for that morning shift. Yet here I am. Human beings are fickle, malleable beasts.

Den Rest lesen…


Added !FGE’s T-shirt to the store because we can. Get’em. Only M/L’s left because they are so dope.

Jerkwater Burg

The evening of November 3, Open Gallery – here in Nashville – will play host to an environment built up of corporeal experience. ‘Jerkwater Burg’ is the collaboration of Nashville artists, under the guise of Blacktooth Records (in the archival sense), who work in varying mediums, combining their abilities in order to manipulate multiple senses with the hope of wholly influencing and enhancing the physiological, psychological, and emotional state of its audience. It is not a gallery showcase, but a temporary hyper-reality, designed to encourage its inhabitants to feel something new, something strange.

In ‘Jerkwater Burg’ an attempt is made to house an environment not unlike what Alan Watts described as, “the experiencer and the experience becoming a single, ever-changing, self-forming process,” one where the situation is familiar – semiotically, artistically, etc. – but unlike the unification of the place and person, we desire a slight discomfort with what we call the Arpeggio of Meaning while still holding belief in the singular experience. Magical. Curious. Off-putting. Inviting. A kind of forcing of an unconscious suspension of disbelief. 

Our idle frustration with our own inability to project a concrete meaning on experiences is fascinating to us, and in our current age we think that many others feel the same. Perhaps it is that these affects exist entirely outside of logistics. We invite you to explore ‘Jerkwater Burg’.

You may accidentally find yourself in the middle of Jihad or adorning yourself with Mimosa in the springtime. Perhaps you’ll discover your lover to be too coquettish in this space, or that all your friends are a pale mutiny of dispossessed voidoids hatched in a misty somewhere between fictive and mundane. And we know you’ll want to help – we do too, that’s the idea – but we can’t help, and we view all these attempts at meaning as banging your head against a wall: it’s nice when it stops.

The more unsure we are of the exact spacial provence we’re inhabiting, the further into the liminal hinterland we go. You have to know it feelingly in these ugly, mystifying times and the last thing we want to do is rest on our laurels when it comes to this slug we’re trying to salt.

Picture by Ventral

Ace Rock Delay (Where We’re At)

It was less an act of hubris,
More a lonely hearts club at the helm of a magic bullet.
Away on a relentless bid for rarefied inertia,
Rattletrap forks married to the patchy Terra Firma
Ursa Minor – getting warmer.
I crowbar into the pecking order,
The dreck between the whores and Betty Ford-ers
Hug a double yellow spine,
Knobby rubber like a rat on a rope:
Those little fuckers run on passion alone.
This is the product of a D.I.Y. inadequate home,
Grabbing a cabin in the-fuck-outta-dodge,
Actin’ a savage in the shadows of Rome.
Traffic amassed against insufferable odds,
Fashioning gallows out of plastic and bone.
I got the motordrome walls of death splintering under me,
All-city galvanized bikes white knuckling
Bright light, tunnel kings tuck in the devil.
PS – I wrote this on a self-destructing memo…

Blacktooth Records Presentes: A NO NO (mix)


Summer time when it’s too hot to care with tunes to boot. This mix ranges from Africa to Chicago, soulful to country with reggae and rock in between. Old and new with a say-yes attitude. Who the hell puts Mungo Jerry on a mix? Enjoi.


1. Buffy Sainte-Marie – He’s A Keeper of the Fire
2. Kathleen Emery – Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
3. Lula Cortês & Zé Ramalho – Pedra Templo Animal
4. Joy Of Cooking – Did You Go Downtown
5. The Flying Burrito Bros. – Christine’s Tune
6. Mungo Jerry – In the Summertime
7. J.J. Cale – Call Me the Breeze
8. Bombino – Kammou Taliat
9. Mikey Dread – Master Mantrol
10. Pastor T.L. Barrett & the Youth For Christ Choir – Like a Ship… (Without a Sail)
11. The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band – Love Land
12. Edwin Starr – Funky Music Sho Nuff Turns Me On
13. Charles Bradley – Since Our Last Goodbye
14. Bill Withers – Use Me
15. Electric Wire Hustle – They Don’t Want
16. Nick Waterhouse & the Turn-Keys – Some Place
17. Neonbabies – Blaue Augen
18. King Tuff – Bad Thing
19. The Stepkids – Brain Ninja
20. Sister Crayon – Anti Psalm


Download A NO NO here: <click!>

George Harrison – Brainwashed


“…Your employer is trying to put pressure on me. To blackmail me.”

Pressure is a prettier word,” I averred.

“I don’t care much about pretty words anymore. You live with words a long time. Then all at once you are old, and there are the things and the words don’t matter anymore.”

I shrugged my shoulders. “Suit yourself,” I replied, “but you get the idea.”


In Robert Penn Warren’s blisteringly, clear-eyed novel, All the King’s Men, the characters of Judge Irwin and Jack Burden convey a hint of wisdom that comes (seemingly) only with aging: the letting go. I admire George Harrison the most out of the Beatles. Quiet, unassuming, profound. Like Lennon he was political, but didn’t seem to be coming from a place of self-grandeur (and they certainly can’t market or make T-Shirts about the ideas George was talking about, yeesh).

To point to Brainwashed, Harrison’s final and actually posthumous album. The undertones spoken by Judge Iriwin is echoed in the mood of the album itself: I have no care for pretty words anymore and let me give it to you straight. The way George Harrison lived his life, the things he cared and didn’t care about, his song themes, all are loosed on Brainwashed (the album) and even culminate in Brainwashed (the song). The Folky/Rock and Roll/Eastern Indian/Spitiual leanings that permeate all of Harrison’t existence  show up as pillars, not moments, on this record.

Recorded right up to his death in 2001 and left with instructions as to how it should be finished (down to the artwork), Dhani (his son) and Jeff Lynne (who is Electric Light Orchestra and played on/produced the record) were (one assumes) faithful to the note. If one needed a Master’s Class conducted by Harrison explaining his thoughts on life, this would be it. Sure, you could suss out a lot of similar themes from All Things Must Pass or even 1987′s Cloud 9, but here, Harrison – for better or worse – communicates explicitly about matters both political ans spiritual. He can’t be bothered with pretty words anymore. “If you don’t know where you’re going/any road will take you there,” he sings on the album’s opening track (which is a helluvalot better way of saying the quip, “Not all who wander are lost.” Hippie stuff rules, ya’ll.)

From critiques against the abuses that can take place from Institutionalized religion (see: P.2 Vatican Blues, which is a hilarious song) to admiring the contemplative, simple life that he ended up living post-Beatlemania (see: Pisces Fish), Harrison doesn’t mince and muddle down where he’s coming from, even if it’s not the easiest to understand or swallow: “I’m living proof/of all life’s contradictions/One half’s going where the other half’s just been.” The whole album is both celebratory and scathingly serious.

The closing track is Brainwashed and it is unrelenting. To my knowledge, the closest Harrison had ever gotten to being this critical of his time was on “Awaiting On You All” from All Things Must Pass: “And while the Pope owns 51% of General Motors/And the stock exchange is the only thing he’s qualified to quote us/The Lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see/By chanting the names of the Lord you will be free.” But even that direct of a statement doesn’t hold a Great-Easter-Vigil-Candle to the litany of things Harrison lines up on “Brainwashed.” I don’t even want to write any of the lyrics, because it would end up being the whole song. Suffice to say, he doesn’t stop and nothing seems safe, from the military to himself. And what’s the cure for all of society’s ills? God. That’s all, he says. “Won’t you lead us through this mess/From the places of concrete,” and “You are the wisdom that we seek/The lover that we miss/Your nature is eternity/You are Existence, Knowledge, Bliss.” Straight to the point.

While the political and spiritual content of the album is reaffirming/a wake-up call/dismissive (depending on where you’re coming from), what’s not to be missed and is most interesting to me is the context of the record as far as Harrison’s life is concerned. It was damn near the very end of it all (even though he had written some of the songs that would appear on Brainwashed as early as 1987) and this may be the reason for its bluntness. Returning to “Awaiting On You All,” even though it does say what it says about the Pope, GM, etc., on the original vinyl sleeve, those lyrics in particular are strangely absent, which has been an interesting conversation point with us here at Blacktooth. He was 27 at that point and was in his 50′s when he wrote Brainwashed. What was it that gave him reservation back then, but not so later on in life? Was it because – at the time of All Things… – the general conversation in the music world was around Van Morrison’s Moondance, MC5′s Back in the USA, or Bitches Brew by Miles Davis, versus in 2002, where Britney Spears, Nickleback and Nelly were dominating the general public’s talking points, thus the time for subtly had passed? The exert from All the King’s Men may have some clue for us, but wherever/if you settle on an answer, the fact remains: George Harrison is a little sage, and that’s why he is this year’s recipient of the Blacktooth Best Christian Recording Artist of All Time award. Congrats George, you did better than us.


Below is the song Any Road for experiencing, and a link for the song Brainwashed on Youtube

Any Road (Brainwashed)


Square People Jazz Maturity::Rat Me Out


We can hear, of course, but people need a good yelling at every once and a while. Chris Murray, SPJM’s founder and co-owner, yells at everything: The whole jazz world, punk world, underground world, you, your dog, and your show laces. He despises your shoe laces, honestly. Nashville’s finest. Keep a tight ear to these boys, for they are insanely prolific, and Murray seems to put out something like 28 records a year (I have them all).

Moodscapes is out now on High Density Headache and is available for purchase and consumption by clicking here: <click!>

Here is a post-Moodscape track called “Rat Me Out” – It sounds like Talking Heads if David Byrne didn’t give a shit:

Square People Jazz Maturity – Rat Me Out