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Within the next month or so, Salon de la Guerre will be releasing two new albums. One is best described as an “art country” album. More on that later. The other is my first album dedicated to jazz and it’s mostly in the Miles Davis-John Coltrane mood, though there are a couple of curveball songs.

Why did I do this? Why do I keep straying from the garage rock that is Salon de la Guerre’s main order of business? Well, there are a few reasons. One is that playing around in different genres helps me innovate and come up with new ideas. Next, I had built up a collection of melodies that didn’t really fit into pop or punk or rock songs very well. After enough of them piled up, I decided to do the right thing with them.

Then there were a few mundane, practical reasons. As regular readers know, I’ve made a few short films; for years, I have had to hide one of my student works from 2006 because I had put a popular Louis Armstrong song on the soundtrack. It was going to be a huge burden to pay for the rights to this song every year, and so I tried to think of a way I could capture the spirit of the piece and make my own jazz song to save the film, “Scrabble Rousers,” from oblivion. I took a huge risk and tried to score it using my own saxophone playing (something I’ve done only a little of since high school). Once I had the sax in my hands, I thought I might as well go all in and record an entire jazz album.

Sorry for the long-winded explanation. The upshot is that I’m fairly proud of the result, which is called Hot Tears.

Attached is a song from the album, which is almost completed.

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I’ve Been Told …

…since I was a child by Republicans that outsiders ended Rome. Now Republicans are trying to end the Republic.

I’ve been told since I was a child by Republicans that there has to be a hell, because otherwise what would be done with Nazis? Those people have now joined a Nazi movement.

I’ve been told since I was a child by Republicans that I had to follow the teachings of Jesus when Jesus scorned their world view specifically.

I’ve been told by so-called libertarians that they don’t want to be told what to do by Democratic leaders but whom now use protests by African-Americans as an excuse for a strongman to invade the cities with force.

I’ve been told by Republicans that black Americans should give up their grievances because slavery is over, and then these same Republicans try to explicitly deny African-Americans’ votes.

I’ve spent my entire life forming an opinion of Republicans based only on what Republicans say and do. They think I’ve been in a bubble. I have been. Theirs. And nothing in it is true.

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You were freed, too, conservatives.

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I feel like my posts from the last couple of days have been incomplete, and suggested that people were exaggerating the impact of the coronavirus. I do think it’s wrong to panic, but that doesn’t mean I think you should ignore advice to stay inside. Your risk of dying might be small, but by congregating, you are increasing the risk to more vulnerable populations. I myself am going out for items like groceries, usually during periods where there aren’t a lot of people around.

Don’t panic. Be safe. Keep social distance. And then feel free to enjoy my advice about not panicking during the markets.

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A pile of bottles. An empire of bottles
Each leaking spirits into the bottom of the bin
Who built this Solomon’s temple? What spirit?
Just experience
These blown bottles have left their hurts
Accepted and absorbed
With desire and cigarettes

A spirit is always in five different places
I only make it whole by talking
The way the song rings over the glasses
Lose it in a bottle
Find it in a temple

Who built this? Really,
You’ve got to tell me, gorgeous
Who built this?

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I read about monetary easing
And thought of a guy painting a house
Who didn’t give a shit.
He was mad at trans people
He didn’t think of the Fed and his paycheck
He was thinking about chicks with dicks and bathrooms
And he was caught in economic deflation
And the degraded value of his labor
And the asset inflation made him wiggle like a mosquito
in a spider’s web
And yet he’s not thinking of excess trading value
It’s all those dicks, he’s thinking to himself, wriggling around
In an invisible dance of dollars.
Being pushed from job to job, house to house
The dollar making him whip it out, I mean his money,
And buy more expensive
Cigarettes and beer and chicken and barbecue
While people laugh at his overalls
And tumescent paintbrush
“All those breasts and dicks,” he keeps thinking.

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“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” –Melania Trump

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Clam Fake Album Cover_edited-1I hope it doesn’t seem perverse of me, but I like criticism of my creative projects. I used to be a critic and now appreciate the turnabout, which I feel is good for cleaning out any karmic havoc I might have caused. Here’s a not-entirely-positive-sounding review of my album, “Clam Fake,” my favorite line of which is “I have to hand it to de la Guerre for giving zero shits.”

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My Music Site

I am pleased to unveil the website for my music project Salon de la Guerre, now up and running at salondelaguerre.com

Check it out.

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Upon hearing a climate change denier rant today that the world’s scientists are involved in a hoax called global warming, I realized something:

The oil lobby, the gun lobby and the tobacco lobby have pretty much all worked their magic the same way: They have helpfully allowed their faithful to ignore the dark clouds of statistics and say, “You’re smarter than the numbers. You are secretly wise because you have intuition the scientists must not have. You know smokers who have lived to age 90. You heard a gun was used in self-defense. You see it is obviously snowing outside during so called climate change.” In this way they have freed you from having to apply your mind to unhappy abstractions and troubling numbers, which tell you the dice are mostly going to roll against you if you smoke, own guns or continue to burn fossil fuels. They let you believe that just by yelling “hoax” you are somehow as intellectual as people who have thought about something deeply or studied the numbers with rigor. Such lobbyists have liberated you from the pain of curiosity, empowered you to stop asking questions, freed you to see every scientist with bad news as a Cassandra, arranged in a conspiracy against you personally. By politicizing a fairly obvious problem, for fairly obvious pecuniary reasons, these lobbyists have taken an issue to you and made it about your personal identity, which, if you lost it, would make you feel helpless, cut off from the Petri dish of family and peers. And most important, these people, with their obvious motivations, tell you it’s all right to be the way you are and keep living the way you’re living. That’s a feeling more powerful than love. You will do or say almost anything they want after that.

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