JUNE 20, 11:26
It’s a beautiful morning. But it’s cloudy in my head because I barely slept last night. Again. Turning out the lights at 23:00 only to eventually hear one’s head say a few hours later, “Welp … sun’s coming up. Guess it’s time to go to sleep” is not the foundation for a good day. So, I’ll try a nap and a reset. Maybe that’ll get things going. The coffee is doing NOTHING.
How could I have glossed over this? My first published magazine article — a piece on Marillion in a special collector’s edition of Record Collector, has been published. It’s a nice feeling, but what I hope is merely the beginning.
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel when I saw it. Luckily, I’m pleased and eager to do more. It feels like a giant first step through a brand new door. Here’s hoping I can keep making my way into the room.
I’m also a magazine interview subject. It seemed crazy when I was asked, and I have no idea where the endorsement came from. But there it is. Who knew? Again, it would be nice if this was merely the first step of a much longer journey.
I’m sure there’s more to discuss, but I’m too sleepy to think of what it might be. Let’s try again in a couple of hours.
JUNE 21, 20:34
Another hot day. It didn’t even occur to me to go outside. I don’t know why I thought I’d be a bit more immune to summer living in Chicago. I suppose I have been in some ways. But this summer is off to a hotter one than last year. Still, it beats snow.
JUNE 26, 12:34
I’m early. The CTA actually got me to my lunch hang half an hour early. I hardly know what to do with myself. Well, I can try to catch up. It’s been a busy couple of days.
Yesterday I was in an Indian neighborhood. Today I’m in a Greek one.
The diversity and variety in this town … this is one reason I love it so! Even the sidewalks are Greek.
Having a lunch/music chat with friends here today.
Should be a fun hang. I can’t begin to express how great it is to have artistic friends. It’s always a joy to be surrounded by people who speak the same language.
Yesterday was a double-dip of gigs, starting with my friends Sons of Ra in the Indian neighborhood.
It was a solid set, even if Keith was disappointed by his personal performance.
Erik and Mike were on top of it. Mike in particular always tickles me. He’s such a low-key person with such a small drum kit. But once he sits on his throne, he unleashes hell.
Erik was Erik. As calm and efficient as ever. He understands his craft and knows how to work it.
I guess I’m turning into a Sons of Ra groupie. That’s cool. I’m really enjoying seeing this band grow.
The second show took me to the Constellation, where I’m starting to think I live. This is my third trip there, with a fourth one coming soon.
This time the headliner was Harriet Tubman.
They were cool, but there wasn’t a huge audience. The energy level never really rose to palpable levels. My working theory says it was due to proximity. We were too far away to connect.
This past Friday marked the sixth anniversary of Bernie Worrell’s passing. Silly as it may sound, I could feel Bernie compelling me to write. I think I did between 2,500 and 3,000 words worth, breaking 50,000 words overall in the process. It felt like a nice barrier to break. How close am I to being done? I’m really not sure. But I’m making serious headway.
I wanted to play CDs at the Reverberation Station. So I moved the office to the living room.
Apparently, it worked.
Today’s plan is lunch, followed by some listening for review and more Bernie work. What actually happens remains to be seen. But I’m open for whatever. It’s a beautiful day, after all. At the minimum, I can continue to enjoy the architecture.
The lunch bunch has arrived!
JUNE 27, 08:43
Been up for a couple of hours. This is supposed to be extremely rare for the non-morning person such as myself. But I’ve been waking up progressively earlier. It might be becoming a habit. That’s fine. Why not have an entire day while it’s light outside?
Woke to a cool, gentle breeze and this sight out my bedroom window. Sure, I’ve seen it before. But that doesn’t make it any less wonderful. It’s a great way to start the day. Plus, it’s nearly July and I’m wearing a hoodie during the morning read, because I refuse to close the windows.
A solid read, in which I was reminded to the power of Nowhere and Nothing. Now, to spend more time applying it.
Time to read things music before heading to the gym.
JUNE 30, 15:59
The Reverberation Station
Warm out today. I’m forced to turn on the a/c. Last Saturday I was wearing a hoodie in my living room. Gotta love Chicago life.
How is this year halfway over?
The thought permeates my brain as I try to focus on other things. Time feels like it’s getting away from me, even as I manage to get things done. Still, things move far too quickly sometimes. It’s the polar opposite of those days of seven-day workweeks with little time off. Today, I’m a little tired. But I told a friend that I couldn’t remember the last time I was exhausted. A good thing, I suppose.
Still making my way through the Fripp box as I assemble part III of my review. It feels like the review will culminate in five parts. More than the average person cares about? Perhaps. But the simple truth is that when I can only play so many discs from the same set in the same day. Those not interested will eventually tap out. I’m doing things the way I’m doing things. Like it or lump it.
Meanwhile, other fascinating music has entered my airspace, some of it quite surprising. The latest batch of reviews have been taking me in interesting directions. Miles Davis and Jack White have surprised me. But a good musical shock is healthy for the soul.
Bernie work moved forward. The Muse has, for the most part, been quite helpful. The 70’s chapter, which I knew would be labor intensive, is clocking in at around 40 typed pages. The average chapter is less than half that. But it’s necessary, as there is a lot of ground to cover.
I’m writing a book, true. But my goal has not been to burden the reader with microscopic details. If I’m doing things right, the text will serve more as an accompaniment to Bernie’s music, also augmented by photos. I was shocked by how much I wrote for my first book (to say nothing of how much I cut out). This new effort should be little more than half of what I wrote last time. That should be more than enough.
A couple of days ago, I started looking for a new comedy show to watch. In light of recent events, I’ve needed to keep things … less heavy on my end. The news keeps me down enough as is. To that end, HBO Max and DC comics saw fit to reveal Harley Quinn to me, and bless them for it. My love for Batman and the Joker made the first episode worth watching. I haven’t stopped laughing since.
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (cirdecsongs) My book, I Can’t Be the Only One Hearing This: A Lifetime of Music Through Eclectic Ears, is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other fine book dealers. I’m currently working on my next book, The Wizard of WOO: The Life and Music of Bernie Worrell.
Would you like to have your record reviewed? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org