Saturday, July 9, 2011

I'm trying to get better at my traditional music-reading and jazz notation skillz, so I'm making myself do things like this. I want Matteo to play this piece. We'll have to change keys, but I think it won't be too hard now that I've put this initial work into writing it out. Look at me go!

Rural Politics and the Spring Runoff

In my parents' silver Sequoia, aptly named for its stocky presence, we clap mosquitos between our palms, a kind of somber applause. My mom, dad, and I are driving toward two large, vinyl, geodesic structures that sit visibly on a shrub-covered hill that rolls between Dry Creek in Bloomington, Idaho, and Worm Creek on the St. Charles side. The property my parents own in Bloomington looks well tended-to, courtesy of new mowing blades on the tractor and the morning we spent working with the raspberries. The structures on the hill, the ones we're driving toward, are pale green. They blend well with the vegetation up close, but they reflect sunlight so vividly as to glare bright white from the highway. This seems opposite, to me. In the country, a building should inhabit its space closely, the way a wooden barn sinks into the dull yellow of a field of timothy grasses, (I'm just now learning to inhabit my own apartment this way, with this closeness); and if a building is to appear impressive, should impose itself only in intimacy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sharpest Sky

Friends, I am so excited and genuinely honored to be playing with Matteo at the Utah Arts Festival this Saturday afternoon. Lots of exciting things are happening for Matteo this summer, but for me, this Arts Festival show is among the most meaningful. It represents a tier of local music that I've never operated from before, and a level of recognition that I think Matteo deserves. I'm happy to be playing with this group, happy that it's warm outside, happy that my life is so full of music and art, happy to have friends who care about me, happy to be reading good books (Refuge by Terry Tempest Williams and Basin and Range by John McPhee, at the moment), happy happy happy. 

Come see us on Saturday, if you can. If not, there will be other chances. I'll keep letting you know.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Cinco de Birthday! vol. 2

Last year on my birthday, I posted a video of myself playing a fun, bouncy cover. Then, about a week ago, somebody videotaped me playing another fun, bouncy cover at a show. A suspicious coincidence, no? Maybe it will be a tradition.

I had a birthday, but I feel younger (less mature, less self-aware, less sure of my world) than I have in a long time. I think it's a good change. I finally burned and printed that plate I etched half a decade ago, and it didn't come out like I thought it would. It's a wonderful discovery, a force for new energy, new work, more art, and forward motion. It feels great. Re-evaluation is a good thing to do on your 21st birthday, I think, and a good springtime activity in general.

Thanks for all the love.

(From the same show, my friend Leah Wilson.)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Some thoughts, after attending a lecture by Dr. bell hooks.

I am not a spontaneous combustion, no great creator. I am a feverish collector of the beautiful, the dark, wabi sabi, the beleaguered, of sounds and misspellings, and from that mixed bag of sensation, a constant vibration which I keep myself open to (it is boorish but also kind), I ejaculate pictures and thoughts and sometimes songs, which are never more than words on a ransom note, oily and strong-smelling, a particle made from a wave.

My songs, poems, essays, these are not creations, not my children, I will not make that metaphorical association like so many male thinkers have, and so casually, they take what is not theirs, that act of creation, as does the Judeo-Christian God, of whose womb the Bible speaks literally. That hermaphroditic God is a cruel and stupid Father/Mother, to normalize a gender split so foreign to his own image. His/Her creation marks Him/Her anomalous, His/Her creation which fears anomaly.
[this isn't the painting I was looking for, but it'll do. I always liked wizard-Jesus.]

For I know nothing of creation, I have not once sung beauty or hideousness that was my own, in any way that can be likened to the literal construction of a human body which a woman molds with inherited tools and prescient chemical instinct, deeply and genetically is this act taught by the womanhood of all her ancestors, taught by the unspoken cycles of seeds, and blossoms, and understood by the cold and plastic cultural acts with which she is sexualized.
[see what I did there?]

Though I am feminine, for a male, and though I write, or draw, or sing, my creativity is only mimicry and when I combust, it is through a chaotic and wild transformation of the present materials, fuel, and friction. The product is not new life; it is a taxidermied cross-species. It is mysterious to me, but my exploration of that mystery will not be so selfish as to confuse an act of secretion for a child.
[This is the physical manifestation of my songwriting process.]

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spoon Animal

A note: I spend an embarrassing amount of time at my computer lab job watching short-form videos that are at times mildly amusing, mostly underwhelming, and don't often make me laugh, as in, really laugh. This one did, for some reason. maybe it's because I wasn't expecting it, the first couple jokes are dumb and predictable, and then it just flies off on a jetpack of its own silliness.

I chuckled, out loud, and this lady looked at me, disgusted. She's annoying anyway, and always needs help with the printer and never thanks me, so I just smiled at her and kept laughing. I'm wearing all black today, which is weird. I wonder if people who met me today think I'm sad.

It occurs to me that this is hardly a reason to update my blog, and that's why I started rambling quasi-lyrically just now. I'm working on a real blog post, I promise. New songs, writings, comics (I started drawing comics). I think it's time to actually use this blog again. See you again soon.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Live Video!

Luke Williams- The Seamstress Live from Dada Factory on Vimeo.

Hey, blog-friends! So, Mr. Davey Davis of the Dada Factory filmed this more than a year ago, and we just got around to releasing it. It's footage from a show where I was playing a lot of the Weary As We Are material for the first time, so i'm playing a different (and sort of awkward) early version of this song. I think it improved a lot by the time it got on the album, but I also think it's fun to watch a song evolve, and I stand behind this performance and the feedback I got afterward as an important part of the development of the thing, musically. Plus, I think the rawness of the live footage and the rawness of this performance are conceptually well-fitted to my vision for Seamstress as a song.

Immense thanks to Davey for putting together this awesome video, and to all the beautiful people who came out to this show and who continue to support my music. If you don't already know about Davey's current adventures in Palestine, I highly encourage you to check out his blog. He's doing great things, that one.