Stuck in My Head: Give Up the Ghost

Give Up the Ghost  |  Radiohead  |  King of Limbs

With today’s launch of their first print newspaper, I guess it’s no wonder I would have a song from the record stuck in my head. Funny thing is that for years people have mentioned how such and such current music is influenced by Radiohead. This song is probably the only song that shows Radiohead influenced by current music, namely Jim James.

Download the full newspaper here >

Listen to the song here>

Sci-fi List

(Polish Poster of Blade Runner)

Sci-fi List “completed”

Here is a crowd sourced list of the approximately 30 best Sci-fi books, listed in the order I hope to read them in based on repetition of titles and gut instinct (always up for suggestions on that too). Thank you to all my lovely friends who helped me out with putting this list together.

Camp Concentration by Thomas Disch

The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

The Fifth Head of Cerebus by Gene Wolfe

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Dune by Frank Herbert

The Book of the Long Sun by Gene Wolfe

The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

The Dying Earth by Jack Vance

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. LeGuin

Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin

Planet of Adventure by Jack Vance

All My Sins Remembered by Joe Haldeman

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick

A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick

Farmer in the Sky by Robert Heinlein

Foundation by Isaac Asimov

Ringworld by Larry Niven

Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

Dhalgren (or Babel-17) by Samuel Delany

The Skinner by Neil Asher

Ubik by Philip K. Dick

334 by Thomas Disch

A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin

On Wings of Song by Thomas Disch

The culture novels by Iain m. Banks

Valis by Philip K. Dick

The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

The Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson

Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

Stuck In My Head: Our House

Our House | Madness |  The Rise and Fall

Madness Our House Jesse Poe Blog

Apt hunting last night and knotting a Hounds-tooth wool tie this morning put this song in my head, of course.

Have always loved the bass slide at 0:14, but love the visual treatment of the “guitar solo”.

It’s Not What You Do, It’s How You Do It

I admit I don’t have much of a sweettooth but Babycakes is worth the walk. This weekend I was there and snapped this picture:

Tupac Biggie LES Lower East Side

Everyone asks for tips, it helps make rent and gives you a little something to look forward to, an extra reason for service with a smile. But it’s not what you, because all to often everyone is doing the same thing, it’s how you do it.

After snapping this picture and getting permission to write about it, the friendly staff informed me that when they pose the right question between the two tip jars their tips soar as that people really want to weigh in on a discussion.

Guess where my tip went?

Stuck in My Head: Noah

Noah  |  Devandra Banhart  | Niño Rojo

Devandra Banhart

Funny what can bring back memories, smell, sound, waffles, Facebook. Thanks to FB I’ve had this one stuck in my head for a couple days.

Great tune from a great soul!

Click here to listen >

Enjoy!

Stuck in My Head: Bang Bang (in Italian)

Bang Bang  |  Equipe 84  | Io Ho in Mente Te

I’m sure half the world’s resolution was to get back to their blog, can’t say mine was, well maybe way down on the list, more of a situation where things are starting to slow down with the switch in companies etc. and finally able to get some rhythm back that allows me time to write about music I love. My resolutions instead were actually storytelling and a 6 pack (kidding).

I have a lot of songs stuck in my over the last few months, too many to count, but this one has been stuck in my head since I found it in Puglia a five years ago while  chasing the Tarantella and too much stracciatella (working off the remnants of that has been a yearly resolution. It is a cover of Bang Bang the Sonny Bono penned song from 1966. This version is done by the Italian 60’s band Equipe 84. (for music trivia fans, their drummer went on to play in the Italian Prog band PFM)

I am a sucker for any covers of American songs done between the 40s and the 70s, there is just such an awesome vibe to so many of them. I have had this song stuck in my head for years and couldn’t remember the name of the band until my friend Antonio (check out his awesome urban architectural design here) gave me a copy of the record I had lost. So good, so good!

Listen to it Here > Bang Bang

If anyone has covers of old songs in any language other than English, please send them to me, I love them, I can help myself! Ci unu nasci cu la capu tunna, no ppo murì cu la capu quatrata.

R.I.P. Tony Dale

I heard of his death yesterday while on a 10 hour drive. The crazy feeling of frustration about his situation that I had been feeling the weeks before, blurred into something else as the mountains and trees sheared behind the bus, I was just filled with the beauty of doing, and how much Tony did.

I was proud that he like our music enough to have us on his label and we will make more him to guide his long boat. Much love and respect. Jesse

A wonderful memorial of the man can be found here>

Playing Human

Playing Human by Darius Jones

One thing that is always hard at parties, is explaining what you do.

“So what do you do?”

God how hard is that question? What part of my life do I talk about, how can I say all the stuff that I do that rolls up into an answer of “what I do” without sounding arrogant or fragmented.

Usually I defer to whatever seems most fitting for the situation, but occasionally there are those who seem interested enough to hear about “what I do,” and their question is always:

“How can you do all of that?”

Internally I laugh and think the real question should be, “how can you do all of that and do it well?”

But my reply is always the same: “It’s all the same energy, just different vehicles.”

I can’t say that I do it well, I can only say I do it with all my heart and with the goal of making the world a better place or at least a more beautiful place if for no one else but myself. The energy behind all of it is the same and it comes from a good place and therefor the result is usually pretty good.

In our present technology surged search to be everywhere at all times, I feel like “what I do” is less surprising and that more and more people are breaking down verticals and approaching the world more horizontally. Not that this is new, remember “Bo Knows” or Picasso, or Julia Childs or any number of great out there who have done more than one thing in their lives, sometimes even at the same time. Is that the role of a great father or mother?

So how do you show that and package that, not so much so you can sell it but so that you can share it, so that when you standing there at a party and someone asks, “so, what do you do?” you can give them the present of who you are in a shape and form they can handle. For me, I built this site for that reason, for others it might different. It is one such difference that I wanted to share with you, and thus the reason for this preamble.

Darius Jones.

Darius, has been sending these “emails” for the last year or so which are more epistles that emails. Sure the reason for them is to share with you the upcoming shows and some highlights from the last shows etc. But the real and more profound reason is to share himself and his attempt to make the world a more beautiful place even if you never even make it to a show, even if you are deaf, he wants to share the beauty of music and the world and the tango they can be made to dance if we only take the time.

I remember being really blown away the first one I read quite some time back and curious if it was a one off, or if it was a paradigm. It’s not a 140 character clever quip, or a FB status update, it’s real update about a friend with something to share about the world around you.  And as I read my 12th this morning on the 2/3 I just had to share, maybe it was the fact that the 2/3 decided to let me off right in front of the stairs on a monday morning, or more likely it is the reality that what you find here is a real and wholly beautiful. Something to emulate and therefor worth sharing in hopes of just that, making the world a little more beautiful even if only for a few.

Shared with his permission:

Dear True Believers,

It has been a while since I have shared my thoughts with you. A lot
has been happening. I was nominated for a JJA award for ‘Up and
Coming Artist’ of 2009. Whoopee. I was on tour in the US and Europe.
That was fun. And I’m super excited to be doing a show with my trio
tonight for the Vision Festival. I love Adam and Jason. These cats
make me want to fly.

So, what’s been on my mind lately is: why? Why do some of us feel so
deeply about things? Is it wiring? Because sometimes I feel as if I
can’t help it. I can’t help but to show my love and deep appreciation
for something that inspires me. At the age of 32, I am looking back
on my life and wondering how I got here. How have I become an artist,
and what does that mean? An artist. Sometimes I feel that word
doesn’t fully characterize what I am. I feel like I’m a healer, a
seer, magician, a prophet. A bringer of the holy truth. I can’t help
but to spill my guts. And I know that a lot of you can’t see what I
see, but I want to see what you see. I realize that’s what it’s
always been about for me–the desire for greater understanding and
greater awareness.

I feel we can be better. Collectively. As a whole. As a human race.
The world is begging, pleading for more, for greater, for beauty. I
mean, what is all this searching for anyway? Where are all these
feelings of longing and dissatisfaction coming from? There has to be
something out there that we want. Or maybe this thing called life is
just madness. Are you mad? I know I am sometimes. I like to think
of myself as crazy. To walk the streets of New York and think of
myself as an alien. That I am not of this world. That I am from some
distant galaxy where we have the power to manifest our true desires,
and we only walk among people who are seeking fulfillment in life.
When I look around, all I see sometimes are the dead walking. Why
paint? Why dance? Why cook? Why write if you’re not going to write
to change some aspect of this existence? Many of the great artists
didn’t think they would have an audience as vast as they do now. I
mean, look at Bach. Bach was basically a church musician who created
music for God, and for people to commune with God. But look at him
now. HIs music is everywhere. His compositions have influenced every
aspect of tonal music.

My heart is bleeding, people. I am searching my soul for connection.
I want to be connected to the cats that I play with and the cats that
I listen to. I want to get lost in each other. Time is ticking,
ticking, ticking away. There is only the now. We can’t live forever.
So, breathe. Right now. Take a breath. And let it out. Touch your
hand. Stick it out of the window and let the breeze caress it. I am
the wind. I love you.

Mon. June 21st @ Local 269 at 8pm
Darius Jones Trio
Adam Lane: Bass
Jason Nazary: Drums
Darius Jones: Alto Sax and Composition

Local 269 is located @ 269 East Houston St, on Suffolk St.

C’yall

Momix | Botanica

The greatest art represents life, and who would of known that this axiom could be so well attributed to a life not ours, but that of plant and insect, of Botanica the work of the Momix.

Dance is a beautiful art form, the dedication alone is a thing of beauty, but for it’s beauty there are so many rough edges that have been points of contention between Dance and I. The way that the suspension of dis-belief is constantly broken as the dancers leave and enter the stage, the separation of the dancer and the music, when it is music that drives the dance and sometimes a wonderful exception when dance drives the song, but it’s rare that they come together, lovers like tragic folk tails of impossibilities. There are so many rough edges that keep from loving Dance as much as I do other forms, but the Momix’s Botanica convinced me otherwise and left me hungry to see this sort of smoothing of the “rough edges” of dance in others.

Film overcomes these rough edges and when it doesn’t we wave our hands in disgust, but with dance no. And although film does it through editing and post-production I want to believe in the triumphant power of the mind to have the power to make the same thing happen organically and completely analog.

Botanica does as it represents the world of plants, and their insects cohorts who often blur into that green world as co-dependent partners. In this cycle of seasons and life there is a beautiful symmetry guiding this 110 mins, of what I can only honesty qualify as beautiful.

More than the beauty of the dancer’s body, and the dedication that that beauty comes from, and the beauty of that dedication exhibited in the desire to make the body an instrument of art, this performance is as beautiful in conception as it is in execution. Lighting, costume, music, skill, practice and purpose beautifully balanced. And where a lesser artist or group of artists would take anyone of the creative ideas of the Momix, the Momix has the confidence and good taste to keep them to vignettes, that never allow you to tire of them as they morph and progress like life itself.

One of the most beautiful pieces in this series of vignettes was a solo piece, a single female dancer in a nude suit, that wasn’t turning the focus to the body, but instead turning the eye away from costume and towards the art that she was to create. This piece set upon a sloped stage of mirror allowed the entire audience to view not only the dancer as she lay on this mirrored stage but also her reflection. Her dance was a slow passionate one, set to a vocal piece by Lisa Gerrard and Micheal Brooks. She moved on the stage never leaving the horizontal plane, always touching the mirrored stage with the greater part of her body. Her reflection mirroring her every movement in perfect reverse.

Momix Botanica Jesse Poe

That rough edge of suspending disbelief was consumed in seconds, there was no longer the focus on the dancer and her reflection, but a new being altogether, an extension of reality, a new form, fractal like a snowflake or some perfect germ. The thought in my mind, so obviously in everyone’s mind was why had I never seen this before? Dancers spend their lives in front of the mirror, it is the vision that calls them to look closer at themselves, their greatest teacher and their greatest critic and in the end the one who guides them to bring it full circle and hang up their point shoes. The looking glass. What invites Alice into a world of wonder and then what keeps evil queens preening away in castles a tape looped misery. How could this so important piece on the chess board of a life strategy have never been acknowledged in this way before? The dancer did not reflect herself in this mirrored stage, but found herself wholly new formed in it, in it she found her erotic third. With every movement she showed the beautiful possibilities of regeneration and symmetry and perfect growth, and just sheer eroticism of the singular plant kind. A new truth, where the old idea of who she was was now a lie. Yeat’s poem Among School Children asks “How can we know the dancer from the dance? ” and this piece begged how can we know who the dancer was from who she had become in this dance of becoming a greater than.

Not to be out done by her own her own growth, she rounded out yet another rough edge. There was no running off stage left or stage right with a little flutter, but a true disappearance into the art form like a film can do, made better by the absence of post production studio. As the song came to it’s resolve, so the dance and the dancer. She edged her way to the back of this inclined stage of mirror and through the dedicated discipline of her body, her art, she was able to slowly lower herself towards the floor behind the mirrored incline, allowing the audience to see her four arms and four legs become two arms and two legs, a single woman again and then to slowly implode upon herself and her art, until she disappeared, the greatest of magic tricks, the greatest of exits, the exit stage left that doesn’t break the suspension of disbelief, but a new found faith. A faith that is founded on the very realy ability to convince you of the truthfulness of the lie she was whishpering through a beautiful grin… this is real, this art, this is the dance you have been waiting for, a dance for 2010.

Momix Botanica Jesse poe

We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies. ~Pablo Picasso

Bi-focus

This post discusses:
• the hospitality, music, and internet industry
• a start-up to be aware of
• a cool iPhone app
• two ways to direct your strategy
• the key to successful poetry

Last night, I went to the ACE Hotel in midtown to meet up with Edward Aten founder of Swift.fm in ACE’s very popular bar.
swif.fm

Swift.fm is an amazing start-up that allows users to add audio information to tweets creating a radio-station style playlist of music (check out my office ambiance channel here) which is viral-enabled to allow users to engage content in various formats and contexts by highlighting their musical perspective. They are also a breath away from being the #1 Music-specific twitter client by traffic, and with their new platform of locked down branded-wrapped embeddable channels they are soon to be a swift force in creating brand identity, engagement and social conversation on the web (well even more than they already are).

We talked about the future of Swift.fm and the future of the web and which direction we see it going: a direction that other like minds across town are quickly developing at diaspora*

diaspora
I had two eyes open all night as that not only am I interested in the internet (as it is my field) and especially as it relates to social networking and music (as that is my love), but also because I build social media plans for hip hotels and program their facebook pages in FBML.

We toured the hotel and it’s famed analog sound system, met with the event planners and tried a variety of their special brews.

Independently, Ed and I both took pictures of the Hotel/bar and showed them to each other, both photos were snapped with our iPhones, yet with surprisingly different results.

My photo on the left, doesn’t look cool, but points out one of the cool features of ACE and it’s brilliant design; the curation of space through text and messaging throughout the space. Such as this great use of the exit sign:

Ed’s photo on the right is much more cool looking and stylized in presentation as that he took it with the new app Hipstamatic which creates some really incredible shots (I have been using it exclusively ever since for all my photos), however his photo doesn’t show how cool ACE is, instead it shows how ACE is just like any other bar, hip or not, across the world, and in essence the backbone to the bar, that it is in the end a “bar”.

There is what you present and there is how you present it. Success is a synergy between the two.

The great poet Terry Hummer once told me the secret to poetry was to take a flower and expand it’s beauty and properties to become as vast as the cosmos, or to take the cosmos out of the sky and wrap into a language and understanding so tight that you can hand to someone like a flower.