Morgan James sings Dream On

What really brought out the voice that I have, my soul voice and true voice, was really not getting any work and being very sad and being poor and having to sit with that. I think that’s where the blues comes from.

—-Morgan James

It has been a very busy, exhausting week – the worst of it is that I haven’t been able to write as much as I want. I did have a page of notes for stuff and I sat down to write some of it out and get something for here.

But the internet interrupted me. I was reminded that years ago I used to embed Youtube videos of Postmodern Jukebox into some of my blog entries. For a moment’s entertainment I started some playing and then, stumbled across this (watch and listen to it – you won’t be disappointed):

 

It only has seventeen million views – so I suppose there are a few folks that have never seen this.

My God! That woman has some pipes!

So now I’m a big Morgan James fan. To be honest, I have never been that big on Aerosmith (though I respect their classic work, of course)  – but her version…. man. Of course, Postmodern Jukebox does a great job of the arrangement (love the cello). A fantastic piece of art.

Some comments from Youtube:

“I can make music or I can be famous”-Morgan James

I heard Aerosmith made a cover of this

What a time we live in. This level of performance used to be available to kings and queens… not the paupers.

I like how she sings with her entire body uninhibited like a toddler.
Singing in traffic pushes cars forward.
That voice surpasses all shower doors and makes the water stick to the tiles in awe.

I can cook a steak with that fire she’s spitting

I need a smoke after this one.

I didn’t believe… no. Let me start again. I thought I knew, I was sure, I kind of built my life on the fact that nobody could do this better than Aerosmith. This was THE UNCOVERABLE SONG! – – – And now this….

A doctor needs to treat me for shock, and possibly a dislocated jaw.

Damn – the moment I saw those heels I knew shit was going down!

She could sing the phone book and it would be great.

Morgan James is one of those immensely talented and pretty singers who should be a major star. Instead we get the likes of Katy Perry. There’s no justice.

Now THIS is what is called TALENT! Why isn’t Morgan James a household name? We haven Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber and all the rest of them blocking the airwaves when we could be enjoying AMAZING voices like this?!? I am so glad I just happened along this video! A beautiful woman with a gorgeous voice to match! All the best, Morgan! You’ve earned your place in music history!

There are songs out there that are classics and I always say, “You can’t mess with a classic,” but her… she can do anything she wants.

 

There are a ton of her songs on Youtube (including a cover of the entire Beatles White Album) – it’s a glorious rabbit hole.

If you are already a fan of Morgan James I’m sorry for wasting your time with this – if you have never heard her (and the world has to fall into those two categories – fans and people that haven’t heard her)… well, you can thank me.

Looking For Shelter In This Thunder And This Rain

I have been bought, I have been sold in the city.
I’ve dined with the demons, and I drank of their fear.
But you, you have known, and waited in silence.
Come, cradle my heart in a homecoming tear.
—- Jimmie Spheeris, I Am the Mercury

The musicians play next to the reflecting pool in front of the Opera House

I’ve read a couple of times lately that vinyl is now outselling compact disks. I’ve also read that digital downloads are becoming fewer and fewer and soon – vinyl will be outselling MP3s. I’ve read this on the internet so it must be true.

Everybody nowadays listens to streaming music.

For me, old person that I am, streaming music means internet radio. Hey, it’s free, there are thousands of stations… and it does leave me a bit of a link to the past… it isn’t over the air, but it is radio… more or less.

And my favorite online radio station – by far – is Radio Paradise. They have a handful of different mixes, all brilliantly curated. I listen to their main mix all the time and their mellow mix while I sleep. What I especially like is the stations ability to mix familiar excellent tracks with new and/or odd stuff that I have never heard – but will go out and look for.

The other night I was listening to the mellow mix when an old song came on that brought the memories flooding back. It was I Am the Mercury, from the album Isle of View by Jimmie Spheeris.

 

I was immediately transported back to 1974 – my freshman year of college. I could see that 12 inch album in a pile on a dormitory floor, pick it up and spin it on a cheap turntable. The quiet ethereal mysterious sound builds to a climax. Music has such an ability to bring the past back… and vinyl with a 12 inch album cover work of art especially so.

Bristlecone

“There is a tree in California, a Great Basin bristlecone pine that was found, after an intensive ring count, to be five thousand and sixty-five years old.

Even to me, that pine seems old. In recent years, whenever I have despaired of my condition and needed to feel a bit more mortal and ordinary, I think of that tree in California. It has been alive since the Pharaohs. It has been alive since the found of Troy. Since the start of the Bronze Age. Since the start of yoga. Since mammoths.

And it has stayed there, calmly in its spot, growing slowly, producing leaves, losing leaves, producing more, as those mammoths became extinct,… the tree had always been the tree.”

Matt Haig, How to Stop Time

Mural outside of Sandwich Hag, The Cedars, Dallas, Texas

 

Every Day Lost On Which We Have Not Danced

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

 

Ervay Theater, Dallas, Texas

 

Euphonic Autonomy, Ervay Theater, Dallas, Texas

 

Despite the warning sign at the Ervay Theater during the performance by Euphonic Autonomy (and I didn’t hear anything that would warrant such warning) there were two young kids dancing in the dark at the back of the theater. They were having a blast. The low-light capability of modern digital cameras is amazing.

Euphonic Autonomy, Ervay Theater, Dallas, Texas

Euphonic Autonomy, Ervay Theater, Dallas, Texas

Euphonic Autonomy, Ervay Theater, Dallas, Texas

Got Those Deep Ellum Blues

If you go down to Deep Elem
Just to have a little fun,
You’d better have your fifteen dollars
When the policeman come.

Chorus:
Oh, sweet mama, daddy’s got the Deep Elem Blues;
Oh, sweet mama, daddy’s got the Deep Elem Blues.

If you go down to Deep Elem,
Keep your money in your shoes;
The women in Deep Elem
Got those Deep Elem blues.

If you go down to Deep Elem,
Take your money in your pants;
The women in Deep Elem
Never give the men a chance.

Now I once knew a preacher,
Preached the Bible through and through,
He went down into Deep Elem,
Now his preaching days are through.

Now I once had a sweet gal,
Lord, she meant the world to me;
She went down into Deep Elem;
She ain’t what she used to be.

Her papa’s a policeman
And her mama walks the street;
Her papa met her mama
When they both were on the beat.

—-Deep Elm Blues (Deep Ellum Blues), Traditional

Jerry Lee Lewis sings the “Deep Elm Blues“. This was an unissued take made in the Sun Studios (lyrics and audio from wikisource).

Deep Ellum Poster, by Brad Albright, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

I saw this poster hanging on telephone poles in Deep Ellum honoring some of that spot’s musical history:

Bessie Smith, Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, and Blind Lemon Jefferson

The poster is by Brad Allbright (website, instagram)

I have a piece of original art by him, bought at the Kettle Art Gallery’s For the Love of Kettle event.

Painting #1 – by Brad Allbright

Euphoric Autonomy

“Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.”
Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

Euphoric Autonomy, Ervay Theater, Dallas, Texas