Muse and Whirled Retort Archives 2007
The Muse and Whirled Retort - March, 2007
Thursday, March 1, 2007
The new CD American Storyteller Vols 3 & 4 is Here!
March 1, 2007 Volume VIII Issue v
This is a special and important edition with very important breaking news.
D.R. announced his retirement from this show from the stage in Nashville two nights ago. The show has run for two years and it is time to revamp it as I do every few years. I wish him well in his future endeavors and look forward to creating the new show.
I performed last nights show as a solo. I am looking for a replacement to work out this summer's festival season. One man's loss (mine) is another's gain (yours — if you are looking to go out on the road and work out a festival season) Scroll down to the breaking news section for more details.
T.A.B.L.E. .O.F. .C.O.N.T.E.N.T.S.
- Brand new stuff for March
- How to get stuff
- Greetings and quick run down of recent past and the near future
- The Muse and Whirled Retort
- BREAKING NEWS
- "Thank You!"
BRAND NEW for 2007:
NEW CD, AMERICAN
STORYTELLER VOLS. III & IV!!
We have created another double CD with fabulous special guests, bonus features, and of course includes all the new material from the past year or so as well as a few most
Click here to order a copy
I have put up one of the new songs on myspace.
We have just gotten the CD and thank you to those of you who have ordered advance copies — I will get those in the mail ASAP sorry — We are a 2 person operation and sometimes I get a little behind.
Enough of the crass commercial announcements. Lets get to the news.
- Welcome to the news letter - It's that time of the month again...
The new CD! Is here! Though I think they are sold out at CD Baby but should have some real soon.
I am booking the summer and I need your help. I am looking at a route from Kerrville, TX to the Oregon Country Fair so I am looking for dates in the SW, Southern, CA, The bay area and of course the North West. *********************
- And now...
T.H.E. .M.U.S.E. .A.N.D. .W.H.I.R.L.E.D. .R.E.T.O.R.T.
The Muse and Whirled Retort
March 1, 2007
Volume VIII Issue v
Thomas Wolf said, "You can't go home again." I don't think he meant it like this.
D. R. and I just spent several weeks in New Orleans. It has been a while since I reported in on the progress there.
I believe that Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome can effect a place as well as an individual.
New Orleans, the grizzled veteran of American culture stands on the expressway interchange — our cultural cross roads — like a military veteran — homeless, on drugs and prone to sudden inexplicable acts of violence.
She has a cardboard sign scrawled "will work for food." A few sympathy dollars have been stuffed into her change box, enough for a Po-Boy sandwich today, but like the homeless veterans — it has taken her all day to get it. She can do little else. Survival.
New Orleans should be our proudest triumph, like our veterans — but when we see her taking small chunks of charity, suffering from extreme PTSS, stuttering and staggering, on drugs and prone to violent pointless flare-ups, we roll our windows up, turn up the stereo and stare mindlessly at the traffic light hoping it will change before we are approached.
But New Orleans is a combat veteran still seeing active duty. She is herself a war zone. Twenty-one murders this year. More than one hundred shootings. Seventeen shootings and five Murders in the two weeks I was there.
As many of you know, most of my stories start off with the phrase, "My car broke down." This one is no exception. I was in the 9th Ward waiting on the bus to a mechanic up in mid city when I heard shots ring out clearly in the block I was standing. I counted 5 shots while keeping low and moving quickly away from the shots and calling 911.
I lived there for many years and I am used to hearing gun shots — but rarely so close and almost never in the day time.
As I ran towards the next bus stop several blocks away a cop approached and I flagged him down. "I am the one who called, or at least one of the ones that called," I explained. There were 5 shots three blocks ahead on St Claude. With No exaggeration what so ever, the cop did a U turn around the neutral ground and headed quickly in the other direction. He was not responding to my call at all. He just happened to be there, a coincidence. The cops never responded to the call and the next day there was a double homicide in the exact same place — two fifteen year old kids were gunned down. It is a war zone. It is America. It is a crime.
At the car repair place, I waited patiently for my ignition switch to be switched out. A new Orleans cops walked familiarly into the waiting room. He was greeted with habitual how-do-you-dos as he walked behind the counter and sat at a computer terminal. It turns out the cop had to go to the car repair shop to get on-line to file his reports. He has no lap top in his cruiser.
While much of the 9th ward has been cleared to vast swaths of nothingness — there are still countless empty houses and piles of rubble. Some houses still sit in the middle of the streets. Few remain. Nine live in one neighborhood, a dozen in another. Only the most tenacious can survive. Orange extension cords run from construction poles illuminating whole houses with desk lamps. Gas inspectors are few, so people have tapped lines themselves bringing the inevitable fires. In many neighborhoods there is not enough water pressure to put out the fire so helicopters scoop water from the Mississippi river to extinguish them.
I went down to the By-Water to do my laundry. The By-Water only had three feet of water compared to the twelve in much of the ninth ward, so it is coming back — and due to the efforts of some amazing volunteers and courageous residents it is in many ways better than it was before.
At the Laundromat there was a notice of a place going up for rent on Desire Street — a street I had lived on years ago. I wrote a poem about it back then: (LINK) — our rent was two hundred bucks a month. Now, advertisement for a building two doors sown was a thousand dollars.
People are paying triple and quadruple rent, while paying mortgages on what is left of houses and trying to restore them while getting run arounds from crooked insurance agencies and inept Federal Emergency Administrators.
I took the senseless tragic murder of a prominent white Canadian to make the country notice at all (LINK: http://www.helenhill.org/news/) The city, known for parading of a different kind, took the streets. Black banners decrying "ENOUGH" hung from balconies. Action was demanded. Little has been accomplished since.
At the ensuing city council meeting the police chief and district attorney pointed fingers at each other and not at violant criminals. The end result is a 60 day revolving door policy in which perpetrators fail to get prosecuted and are back on the street. There is no crime lab. The evidence rooms are crowded with rodents and in disrepair.
To illustrate the extent - in the middle of the Bacchus parade, one of the largest Mardi Gras parades, one of the largest economic engines the city has, one of the biggest tourist attraction ever — in the heart of the heart: my friends were at a hot dog stand when shots rang out. The mobbed crowd of tourists scattered in chaos. Another teenager had been shot in the chest, one of several dozen since action has been demanded.
I guess I am unlikely to get that job with the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce I was hoping for — but someone has to say it.
A very tenacious woman I know in the ninth ward actually rescued her refrigerator after having been submerged for weeks. She cleaned it, scrubbed elbow deep unspeakable maggot encrusted slime inside and out. She fixed it — because she loved it.
It ran for a month. It is dead.
TALENTED VAGABOND WANTED
So, I am looking for someone to create a show with. Sound like fun?
I need someone (male or female) who can first, front a show in front of large and small audiences. Second, be proficient enough on an instrument that serve as the core of this show ie Piano or guitar.
You'll need to be a quick study and have a vast repertoire and/or knowledge of a wide variety of musical styles.
You'll need to understand the act. It would be most convienant for me for that person to live on the atlantic sea board.
Still sound like fun?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org