Jessie

A List Of Things That Occurred to Me While Seeing Fiona Apple Perform in Ithaca

1-When she first came on, she walked to the edge of the stage and waved to the hooting crowd with a big from the elbow back and forth wave like a five year old might do, or a farmer across a field, or Fiona Apple.

2-I could count every vertebrate in her back from my seat way in the back. Does it matter? I don’t know.

3-Her posture is real bad – like Jazz piano player who still looks like they’re at a piano when they’re standing up.

4-Combination of said bad posture and frail physique made her glimmer in and out of looking 5 and 95.

5-She danced like a Dead Head crossed with a Ramones’ fan. Since I am both I could really appreciate that. She nailed it.

6-The first line she sang gave me goose bumps. That voice. Yes, this is it my whole being was saying. Resonate, ring me louder. Like when I’m lying on the floor at the end of Yoga class and I’m just praying the teacher will really go for it with that Tibetan singing bowl, “ring my face off!” I’m laying there quietly praying, sonic junky that I am. I heard that dark smooth quivering voice and I wanted more more more of it.

7-Sometimes she got really screamo.  A lot of times she got really screamo and went full throttle on the singing but it wasn’t the big loud sound I wanted. Other people in the audience really liked this. She was getting all their mad out for them.

8-Fiona is a very generous performer.  When she said “I Love You” to us all, I believed her and felt loved.

9-“Extraodinary Machine” is an extraordinary song.

10-She sang some bluesy soulful lines that just killed me, like Nina Simone killed me.

11- I would like to be as fearless of a performer as she is. I admire people who are all the way crazy. I see myself as being sort of middle of the road crazy which often seems more stifling than it is liberating. I admire the liberty with which the freak flag flying insane stride through life.  Save me a spot in the parade won’t you please?

12-Her face was luminous.

Old School Jessie Murphy Song “Good Life” Blues Disco 2003 made in Queens Baby

 

I still really love this song

and the post its I made for the video

I really love those too

 

Making Masterpieces/Chicken Broth Forever/Watching Joni Mitchell Doc

Dear Lovers,
I’m writing you from the studio but not really from the studio because I’m home with a cold watching documentaries and drinking all manner of fluids. But I’m thinking about the new record we’re making constantly – we’re already tracking but in a few days our pledge music page will be up where you can donate to help us get together the funds we need to finish this Beast and mix it, master it, put it in a stew…
It is a beast – it’s coming out great, greater than I’d dare to hope a record baby of mine could dare to be. Its like when some decent looking parents get together and bam! Make a super model baby and everyone stands back in awe…How. Did. They. Do. That?!! That baby is stupendous looking! That’s how I feel about a lot of the songs I write too. Just watching a Joni Mitchell documentary (in my robe, drinking chicken broth, hair all in a fuzz) and she starts to riff on songwriting, the process etc…Joni says that it goes back to the Irish way, sometimes the blarney is with you and flowing and sometimes it’s not. That it’s all about being open and aware of when that sweet sweet blarney wants to have it’s way with you and catching it like rain in a summer thunder storm, drinking it down and singing out in the sheer drunken electrical pleasure of having harnessed a power far greater than your own…or something like that, my Netflix is acting bratty so I can’t access the vid right now to get the exact quote (forgive me). Now that the older songs are finally getting birthed and babied in the studio, swaddled and fed and fussed over, I feel the reaching out, the tentacles of new ones wanting to come through. It’s starting with a lot of listening and appreciation and questions. We did a lot of driving this weekend and I listened over and over to the chief soundtrack of my childhood: Crosby Stills and Nash self titled album, Crosby Stills and Nash.
Oh man, my brother and I cruised all over this great nation in the back of one beat up station wagon after another, him always covered in juice or something intolerably sticky, singing the doo doo doo doo part at the end of Suite Judy Blue Eyes at the top of his little and all too powerful lungs (Love you Davie if you’re reading this). So I listened to this record a lot and oh how it moved me! To tears and laughter. Those songs still saying everything to me, speaking to me of the best things in life and maybe just because those harmonies are inextricably linked to brilliant pink orange 1980s sunsets and the strange safety net of my parents’ wacky sense of family, all I knew, all I needed.
Then I listened over and over to those fresh new bucks on the scene, direct descendents of CSN, the Fleet Foxes, specifically their latest record, Helplessness Blues. It’s a masterpiece I do believe. Real real fine work. And I was particularly struck by these lyrics: “What’s my name, what’s my station, oh, just tell me what I should do I don’t need to be kind to the armies of night that would do such injustice to you Or bow down and be grateful and say “sure, take all that you see”
To the men who move only in dimly-lit halls and determine my future for me
And I don’t, I don’t know who to believe I’ll get back to you someday soon you will see”
And so I’m thinking as I hear this HELL YES! And it’s sinking in really in a different way than it has before (connecting in my mind to all the great work being done by Josh Fox, Bill Mckibben, 350.org, and the Occupy folks). No, no we do not need to keep laying down and saying “take all that you see to the men who move only in dimly lit halls and determine” our future for us. It’s so good it bears repeating. Listening to the song, I wait for the theme to be developed further, dare I say even hoping waiting for an answer, a proposal. The sound is so powerful, it portends that one will come. What comes is a section that lightens considerably in melody and lyric, proclaiming that if “If I had an orchard, I’d work till I’m raw
If I had an orchard, I’d work till I’m sore. And you would wait tables and soon run the store.” A dream of a simpler life, a way to be humans of action in a clear and decisive context, screw those dudes in the dimly lit halls man can’t we just go back to the land?
Well we can if there’s land to go back to. I love this song so much and yet in the moment I wanted something more. And this is the bud, the stubborn pushing up through the dirt of life, of a new song for me, to elaborate this question or find some piece of an answer that resonates in my own being and hopefully yours too. Thanks for reading.

With Love,
Jessie


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