April 28, 2007

Music: S. Sandrigon, Gold Diamonds, Night Creature, & Drew Piston at the Sacred Grounds Last Night!

Last night I played a set of songs on my guitar, for a small but attentive crowd in the coffee shop in San Francisco. I was opening for Gold Diamonds & Night Creature, the elusive duo who rarely perform in public, followed by Drew Piston, all of which was lovely. Here's my set list:

You're Welcome, Willie Stewart (Robert Burns)
Gorgeous Borges (Robert Burns's
Rantin' Rovin' Robin with modified lyrics)
My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose (Robert Burns)
Song of Favors
Anacreontic Song
Love Minus Zero / No Limit (Bob Dylan)
Father Drank Himself to Death
Staff in the Hand
Father Drank Himself to Death (Snake Handler Version)
I'm Goin' To See My Lord

Gold Diamonds & Night Creature did all covers: a fifties dance song, a Sun Ra song, a James Brown sing-along ("For goodness sakes! take a look at those cakes!"), & ended with some Mariachi. (They once planned on starting a Mariachi band called Los Sphinctores.) They played a tiny keyboard (hooked to some pedals) & sitar, then switched to guitar & fiddle for the final Mariachi. The singing was beautiful, inspiring - Miss Jenny Ruth Crawford described it as "like A Mighty Wind to the future." Drew Piston sang songs of whiskey, guns, & complicated love. I like his lyrics. In one song, he changed one word (after his brother misheard it), from "ward" to "whore", making the chorus:

I am waiting to see what you’ll say,
And the furniture’s been rearranged,
And there’s blood on the floor,
I am waltzing with the geriatric whore.

As for my set - I have never performed that Bob Dylan song in public before, even tho I first learned it many months ago. My guitar part is meant to sound kind of Merry-Go-Roundy, with the capo on the seventh fret. I sing it with the three songs before it to complete the "my love is like a" theme. Perhaps I'll tire of that theme some day. I wrote "Song of Favors" & "Anacreontic Song" four years ago - (around the time of the bombing of Baghdad, & I can still relevantly sing both. Both songs are based on the Burns love song, melodically & lyrically) - & have never published the lyrics, so here goes:

Song of Favors (2003)

Met a wench on Basra Street,
La a-la a-lala, bop shu-wop.
Saffron soldiers drowned in heat,
La a-la a-lala, bop shu-wop.
Was she crushed neath fallen idols on the concrete?
Where the shadows of the mirrors & the lizard mosques meet?
Which favor of the tan gazelle will both of you deny?
Which favor of the tan gazelle will both of you deny?

From the West does my love rise,
La a-la a-lala, bop shu-wop.
With her eyes see I her eyes,
La a-la a-lala, bop shu-wop.
New Jerusalem's an eccho of the old one.
Time & space have died the victim of a tasteless pun.
Which favor of the tan gazelle will both of you deny?
Which favor of the tan gazelle will both of you deny?

Anacreontic Song (2003)

My love is like a cold, cold beer.
No really - she's more smooth than that.
Although she's more white wine, I fear
She hath no wine cork for a hat.
Anchor steam rose.

I see my love upon a mountain,
The one true bride, so bright & clear.
Although there's sadness in the fountain,
Her tears are eighty proof, I swear.
Anchor steam rose.

My love's the question in the vineyard:
Can the pin unpierce the rod?
My love's the song the seraphin heard
When they burnt their space twixt God
And all his ecchoes in this glass.
My love doth every lovely booze surpass.
Anchor steam rose.

"Pleasant evening last night? Did you do any fornicating?"

-Richard Nixon, in Peter Morgan's play Frost/Nixon, now on Broadway.

"We cower as you point your fingers telling us to support our troops. You and the smarmy pundits in your pocket -- those who bathe in the moisture of your soiled and blood-soaked underwear -- can take that noise and shove it."

-Sean Penn

"I told Mr. Penn what I thought of his second rate wordsmithery right on this show. Well, Sean Penn has accepted my challenge. I drew a line in the sand and he picked up the gauntlet. Soon we will see who has the stones to bring home the bacon. This metaphor battle is at the starting gate and I am ready for liftoff."

-Stephen Colbert

1 comment:

ß&dragon said...

As you can see, I have figured out how to post mp3 files of these songs, so now they can be clicked on & listened to.

The "Angel Band" version of "Song of Favors" was recorded at CalArts in 2005 with Melinda Rice & David Leikam.