I really like the new Devendra Banhart album. The sun has been too bright for me these past two mornings and evenings, but the residual glare has been assuaged by Cripple Crow. He looks real scary and he sings real quiet. He uses his background vocalists, alternate languages, and obscure instruments to perfect effect. I picture Devendra holed up with cider and notebooks in a mountain cabin. He keeps a dog named Jack and a cat named Esmerelda. It’s quiet at night except for the wolves at the door. And there’s a caravan of simpletons and geniuses coming up the hill for a visit.
Back in the mid-late-nineties, I had a daily routine that I liked very much. Wake up late. Not with the sun but with the body. I’d fill my body with rich baked goods and a medium-strength medium-size latte in a warm room in a cold city. Then I’d stroll around the campus, reporting for duty at my appointed time. I’d learn or I’d teach and or both or neither. I’d come home, shuffle off my shoes in the mud room, and there would be conversation or cable TV or dinner in cold restaurants. Maybe I'd run in circles. Who am I kidding? I never had a mud room. Not in the nineties.
Why do I bring this up today, seven or eight years later, in the far distant land of Los Angeles? I don’t know. It was just a thought.
I liked the Dylan documentary, despite its sixties focus (Jokerman!). But I have something to say to Bob: Bob, I lived in Minnesota. Minnesota is a friend of mine. And maybe post-war Hibbing or Dinkytown in '59 are a little more muse-crushing than Eden Prairie in the 80s or Minneapolis during the turn of the century but dude! It’s not that desolate. It’s not a soulless wasteland of deathfaces, sad fisherman, and stunted-growth charlatans. There’s a spring and a summer and a short fall. Winter can be nice sometimes. There are rainbows and nightingales and waterfalls. And icicles and leafless trees. And shut-ins. It’s more complex than you make it out to be. So, while you recline in the comfort of your Encino manse ordering your valets to fetch you some Baja Fresh, remember that though one should never look back, especially when there’s no direction home, one can still have one’s eyes open in all directions – sad lowlands, joyous highlands, craggy crags, and rangy nethers. I’m not making any sense. I’ll stop.