“What does it mean?” Context is a landscape for understanding. Music often triggers memories of place and time. Collage forces contradictions to confront each other. Dice and loop put things together to make something new.
The first 100 days of the Trump Regime were weird times for just about everyone. For me, Mom died the day before Inauguration Day. I spent a couple weeks in N.Y. helping my sisters take care of estate matters. There was a lot of sorting and dusting and quiet.
It was during these 100 days that I also started to write again.
This included 4-, 8-, and 12-line poems of the political. All written in the first 100 days of the Trump Administration, I compiled them as Ballads Under New Regime [Reprise] — a title I had used during the Bush Administration 10+ years earlier.
At the end of June, musician/poet/friend Jed Myers collaborated with me in a one-night session at Jack Straw Studios in Seattle. I read the poems and he underscored each with acoustic guitar, harmonica, or tambourine.
We’ll release all the ballads Oct. 5 for listening or free download on SoundCloud and Bandcamp. Stand by. For now, here’s “Packed Up And Ready To Go” the opening track, talking about all the talk about moving-to-Canada talk.
“Monk Bought Lunch” is about aloneness. About singularity. About the numbers 1 and 11.
Words by John Burgess. Samples by James “Son of” Nugent.
I was 19 in 1977. “When You Spit On Me” expresses the accumulation of the boredom-apathy-indifference continuum of my teenhood.
Words by John Burgess. Samples by James “I’m So Bored” Nugent.
Wrote “Epicene” as an elegy for Lou Reed, who died in 2013. Issue Number 1 of Punk magazine called him “the original street punk turned fine artist.” Two reasons he still matters: Velvet Underground and Street Hassle.
Word by John Burgess. Samples by James “Velvet” Nugent.
“If I had more time I’d like to get to know you” is part of a suite, of sorts, for Sid Vicious; one thread that runs through my next book 1977.
Words by John Burgess. Samples by James “Screamer” Nugent.