is getting in a place
sometimes a physical space
sometimes a spiritual or mental location
as real as any foodtruck or dancefloor
like when a flamenco guitarist gets in a groove
& stays there til the dancers are stamping for him to stop -
That’s the only secret I know.
Eat when you eat
Write when you write.
You can practice scales while watching baseball on tv
but your music will sound like you were
practicing scales while watching baseball on tv.
If you wanna write a song,
you can consult an online rhyming dictionary
you can fall in love…
Louis Armstrong is a river
Joni Mitchell is a vineyard
Agustin Lara is a bouquet of troubled roses
Juan Gabriel is a warm hug
Edith Piaf is that 4th glass of wine at lunch
Django Reinhart is an awesome cigarette
Manitas De Plata is a black cat about to curse you
Googoosh is a sigh
Mahalia Jackson is a cry
Neil Young is a dirt road to Heaven
Paul Simon is a sidewalk
Little Richard is a rocket to inner space
Van Morrison is a hidden pond
Mavis Staples is a smile from a cousin
David Bowie is a double rainbow
Prince is a mountain
Selena is a first kiss
Chavela Vargas is a last kiss
It is important to be amateur.
I don’t know the etymological root of that word
It’s probably ‘Amor’ — to love
And ‘Teur’ — something French & pointless
which is good enough for me.
Professionals are boring, uptight & dress bad.
Professionals remind me of that West Elm store
that has a lot of crap that you never think you need
until you are dragged into one of them for Xmas
Professionals love Xmas.
Professionals take & teach seminars.
They read books about how to be even more professional.
That dude on tv from Maroon 5 with all the tattoos…
Our neighbors 24 hours a day are the homeless
They can be loud & scary
They can also be full of grace
In my uncaring moments I refer to them as
Crackheads freaks weirdos zombies etc
In my caring moments I keep my mouth shut & say a silent prayer for
The Wig Lady
One Eyed Abdul
Face Tattoo Chola
El Gitano Sucio
5th Street Sam Cooke
KushThe Dead Pirate
The Conga Man
One Armed Skirt Wearing Dude…
And these are just the folks on Broadway & 5th
365 days a year day & night
No holidays no cold months where they disappear
Their streets & tents are their homeless shelter.
You can’t look them in…
Musical illiteracy is no badge of honor
But also no cause for shame.
The other night a friend offered me mountains of sheet music
I sheepishly told him I didn’t read
He looked at me like I voted red
Then he said …oh makes sense man
You play like you don’t bother reading.
What bird notates its own song?
What bluejay studies the mockingbird’s riffs?
Originally published at www.davidgarza.com.
Musings from a Critial Ese.