Sunday, February 26, 2012

Your Sunday Squirrel

I wrote a lot of music this week and met this squirrel. He's peering off into the distance at nothing in particular. I'm not completely sure, but he may be working on his meerkat impersonation.

I apologize for nothin' but squirrels lately, but I didn't expect to immerse myself so deeply into music this soon after immersing myself so deeply into recording. Last year, I needed a break after Greater Seattle. This year, all I want to do is write dozens of tunes. I'll try to post a few more things about this crummy neighborhood over the next few weeks.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Your Sunday Squirrel

OK, so the record is done. I'm just recovering now. I had this idea that I would do all these posts about what it was like to make an album, but nothing came of it. The thing is that visually, making a recording just isn't that compelling. Sure, there are lots of photos of the Beatles in the studio, but they generally look exhausted, haggard and cranky. Those shots don't really lend any insight to the process. Any pictures I could offer would only show me singing in the booth and honestly, how entertaining is that? "Here I am singing TGV" or "This is me doing backing vocals for Mammoths and Ma$todons." You know what? They're the same dang shot! So there's no evidence of the session, except for some video that the trombone players shot for a few of the backing vocals everybody recorded. That was from the big session on Feb. 9th. It was all good, (mostly) clean fun at Avast Recording. This was, yet again, a wonderful experience and I'm quite satisfied with the end product. Like Greater Seattle, it's not completely perfect, but the songs are better. It will be out probably in April. After that, I'll send it to every indie radio station in this great land. And none of them will play it. That is the way of things.

Anyhow, here is this week's squirrel. He is watching a dog off in the distance. The dog was not interested in him, so quite soon after I took this picture, he was happily eating his peanut. Well, that's it for this week.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Your Sunday Squirrel

OK, so I recorded an album this week. Yeah, a whole album. God knows when it'll be out. If the sales of Greater Seattle are any indication of how this one will do, it won't especially matter. All I can tell you is that it's got better tunes. Oh, and it doesn't have a concept, so it's just songs. I plan other concept albums in the future, but none of them will be about Seattle. That subject is, as they say, a dry socket. But I feel really good about this effort.

Anyhow, here is a squirrel from last week. He didn't have a dramatic head wound. He was just a squirrel who did squirrel-things, like hanging upside down and eating a peanut.

OK, so yesterday I was coming back from Lake Union via Denny Park and I saw a squirrel, gave him a peanut and went for my camera. I turned it on and...nothing. I had left the battery at home. But he was in such an iconic squirrel-pose that I had to whip out my cell phone and get a shot. When he was done with the first peanut, I gave him a second and he hopped atop another rock. What are the odds of that? So there you have it; same squirrel, different rock. Please excuse the zoom-blurriness from my crappy cell camera. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Your Sunday Squirrel

Here's a fellow I met yesterday. There were lots of squirrels in the lower part of the Denny Park, probably because of all the heavy equipment in the center of the park. Anyhow, there was something kind of odd about this guy. His ears seemed small and kind of "chewed on." It wasn't until he turned around that I saw the cause:

So yeah, he had this pretty nasty wound on the back of his squirrel-head. I have no idea how he got it, but it looks like he was nabbed by a predator and escaped. I'm just trying to imagine what got hold of him - a hawk or maybe a dog or a cat? It couldn't have been an owl. There aren't any owls within the city limits, right? The injury itself didn't seem to be causing him any trouble. In fact, although smaller, he was really quite dominant and territorial. All the other squirrels who approached got growled at or chased, leaving him in charge of the tree. In the developed confines of Belltown, it's difficult to imagine the drama of nature playing itself out like this. It's easy to forget that there are predators and prey so close to our urban centers, instead of there just being a broken food chain with us on top and an array of scavengers to snap up what we don't want. It all goes to show what I've been proclaiming all along: not only is nature trying to kill us, but it's trying to kill everything. And it's always devising new and innovative ways to do it. This squirrel was lucky, but I can't help thinking about how many Denny Park inhabitants haven't been as fortunate. And of course, the greater concern for the population isn't predation but the three busy streets (and one not-so-busy street) that surround the park. Just about any other animal negotiates traffic better than squirrels. They scramble, change directions, stop and scramble some more. I'm convinced that they can't actually think while they move, which is why they stop so often. Still, in three years of visiting the park, I haven't seen one dead squirrel on any of the surrounding roads. In that time, on just my block here at 2nd & Blanchard, there have been two squirrels killed. Yes, very sad. Anyhow, pardon my rumination on this grim subject. I'm sure that this wounded little fellow will be fine. I plan on looking for him in the future. I'll post more pictures of him in the coming weeks. Until then, here's a quasi blurry shot of him:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

After Hours

3 Mustaphas 3: TV Special

Wow, this is something else. It's a video of sorts that the 3 Mustaphas did in 1988. The first tune sounds like it's in Bulgarian, but it isn't as far as I can tell. The next sounds like it might be in Serbo-Croatian. It also isn't. And so on. Since I don't have an intimate knowledge of all Balkan languages, I can't totally say that everything is fake, but it probably is. I mean, these guys are British. Everyone knows that the British are even more inept than Americans when it comes to foreign languages. Whereas each American on average knows a tiny bit of Spanish, someone from England knows only English. OK, so they may claim to know a little bit of French. This is always a lie. Anyhow, I recommend that you watch all of this from start to finish. It is brilliant. The newscasts are particularly clever. When I was in Bulgaria in 1986, this is exactly how the news went.