The keys blur
Letting vision cloud.

Not trying to see the world
Letting it all drift.

Often hearing better,
Smelling better
touching better.
Vision tends to dominate.

Letting the spirit world come in.
Make it’s magic.
Hearing, sensing
Spirit, meditation
Closed eyes

There is magic
In the world.

But you need to unfocus
Be present.

The mind and heart can see
Even when eyes are closed.

Turn off the world.

American Carny: True Tales from the Circus Sideshow ***1/2

Excellent documentary. Free on Amazon Prime right now.

I have been to the Coney Island sideshow. It was a heck of a lot of fun. I think I went a couple times, once with Lanna and once without. One of those things I can’t resist and it still is there for $10. It’s fun.

I have heard the name Todd Robbins before. I think I must have seen flyers for his off-broadway show “Carnival Knowledge” when I lived in New York City. I wish I went to see it now. He has a huge love for the sideshow, a desire to show everyone his art, and that rare and beautiful skill of humility.

I hope the sideshow continues whether at a rock show, as a precursor to Burlesque or even with some traveling parade of freaks. Tattoo art is completely mainstream now, and there are wonderful oddballs among us. I would love there to be more of a chance to see them do the performances they love.

Incredibly fun documentary, highly recommended.

The Myth of College at 18

Our society is obsessed with college.

NextGen programs at 1 college. Guidance counselors college. You want to succeed college.

But what is you are just not ready? It’s a lot of money.

Spending tens of thousands of dollars to go to school to “find yourself”? Why not actually see a different place in the world besides your hometown. Do something crazy like the gap year many young people take. In the Mormon Church this time is literally part of their missionary work, and I bet a lot of them learn more in those 2 years away in a white tie, black shirt, and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints pen, than college.

If you go to say Venezuela for 2 years. You probably know Spanish really well. You have seen how different people live in other countries, and maybe you aren’t pressed into the disease of more. You realize that by having a house, a partner, a job and friends that’s enough.

Not many people do. They are obsessed with salary. Obsessed with prestige.

You have been under your parents roof for probably eighteen years. Been dreaming of leaving for probably five years. Find some friends, find some roommates, get a job. A McJob. Retail, dishwasher, office, call center, it doesn’t matter. Especially if you really want to drink beer, get stoned and play Halo or Skyrim. You don’t need to pay tuition for that.

I found I did much better in college when it was my own money being spent. I felt like I had ownership. I wasn’t ready for the challenges of the University of Chicago at 18. I was smart but emotionally very young. Wasn’t really even dating, although that was mostly shyness. The Internet is a great thing for that.

I liked living at home and going to Rutgers. Making some money in the summer to pay tuition. Avoiding loans. Sad how much tuition and especially student loans have gone up since the mid 90s. Was paying like 2000 a semester then. I think it’s closer to 5000 or more now. Madness.

Do now wish I didn’t go for my MBA. Have hardly touched the debt 12 years later. If I could have would have erased it when I declared bankruptcy around 9 years ago now. Think “Fight Club” may have been right to blow up the credit reporting. The government owns Sallie Mae now. If you want a really quick economic stimulus just end Sallie Mae and admit virtually unlimited student loans for “aid” is a terrible failure.

I wish looking back to 1992 that I took a gap year and traveled. The United States is seperated from much of the world. 1000 miles from Des Moines, Iowa is mostly the United States maybe a little of Northern Mexico and the prairie provinces of Canada. 1000 miles from Geneva, Switzerland is almost all of Europe, North Africa and the Arab world. Many languages spoken, many cultures, easily the most cosmopolitan place I have ever been including New York and London.

Everyone seems to push almost all high school kids to college these days. Many are unprepared or disinclined to go. And they end up paying a lot to drop out within a year or two with often thousands in debt.

Maybe giving students a small mortgage and tens of thousands in debt shows strange priorities.

Why is tea so yummy?

I wrote this for an Improv Slam at Rhythmic Cypher in the fall.


Tea is amazing
Tea is ancient
Tea loves honey
Tea loves sugar

Tea loves hot water
Tea loves to be iced.
Tea warms you up
Tea cools you down.

Tea is of a place
Tea.has terrior.
Tea wants to be steeped,
Tea dries in bags.

Tea helps you create
Tea allows conversation
Tea leaves are different all over the world.
Tea houses in England,
Different than the Arab world,
Different in China.

Sent all over the world.

British East India company.
Colonists of the world
Tea party

Doilies, scones
Honey, sugar, milk.

Warm, delicious
Cold, refreshing


Quick responses

Need to respond
Can’t make them wait
It’s too important
Can’t let them wait

What’s up
Watcha doing
The interstate.
How’s the road?
How fast you going?

Seriously stop texting.
Don’t feed the beast.

Drivers if you can’t avoid the beep,
Have to respond
Turn the phone off
Use airplane mode
Your friends can annoy
Someone else.

Hey I hit a semi.
Feels like I broke my leg.
Ouch. How’s the car?

Stop it.
Driving is hard.
Driving takes attention.
Phones don’t make you smart.
People can wait.
Patience is a virtue.
And there is an off button.
Use it.

Surviving Reality

The Learning Channel
A Discovery
That History
Is a pawned
Ice Road Trucker.

The Real World
Full of Survivors
American Idols
With a Voice.

American Pickers
Duck Dynasties

Turn of the Reality TV.
And live a real life.

Overrated Places

Felt like a ranty post this morning.

Starbucks: overroasted, overpriced. Especially when you can go into Portland, Maine and go to get excellent coffee at places like Coffee By Design, Bard, Arabica, Others …. If you are having coffee at Starbucks when Bard is across the street, Arabica a block away and Others 3-4 blocks away, you are doing it wrong. Also pretty terrible pastries. Although I do enjoy a frappucino but that’s almost closer to a milkshake, it’s certainly dessert.

Dunkin’ Donuts: I haven’t figured out Mainers insane love of Dunkin’s. There is almost always a line for the drive thru on Main St. in Westbrook, and the coffee is fine. Although I do like cream and sugar in my coffee which is the regular at Dunkin’s. I honestly think the Cumby’s (Cumberland Farms, i.e. a gas station/convience store) has better coffee. As does Big Apple down the street with Green Mountain. And the donuts are terrible, not longer made fresh, but in a big facility where they are frozen. Most of the food is really bad too, although I do like the hash browns and the bagels are okay. I do love Tony’s Donuts, but the Holy Donut didn’t speak to me at all.

Applebee’s: How is there so many of these across the country? No food is more likely to feel sick after. Ewww.

Olive Garden: I grew up in New Jersey with real Italian food. The unlimited breadsticks and salad is nice and having 2 waitresses in a section is a good idea. But the food, meh. Of course, Maine isn’t exactly an Italian food capital? Does anyone have a favorite place? Really need to go to the North End of Boston at some point.

Macy’s: Federated Department Stores is bad at running retail stores. They can have all the celebrity lines they want but the quality is just mediocre to fine usually. Some good stuff but a lot of crap.

Johnny Rockets: Johnny Rockets makes a good shake and ok burger for a pretty high price. But, could be so, so much better. Always disappointed. It’s a good concept but can’t compare to a good local California burger place or In-N-Out Burger. If they actually spent the time to have employees learn to make a great burger and paid better this could be much better.

Panda Express/ Sbarro’s: Basically very similar, mediocre food that often feels old for a relatively high price. I think school lunch pizza is better than Sbarro’s.

Abercrombie and Fitch: Ick. Overprice, crappy clothes with overloud, terrible music and obnoxious employees. And the CEO of Abercrombie seems like a hard core douchebag

The Apple Store: Sure it’s shiny. Sure it has Apple stuff. But at full price. I found the service “genius” annoying. When I did need to get an iPod fixed I got the same model at a cheaper price, should have just upgraded to the new model but wasn’t even given a choice. Apple is great at getting high margins. They do have good products but at an incredibly high pricepoint. And with their price they could easily afford to manufacture in the US. I know Appleheads may hate this one.

Neiman Marcus: Been inside one a few times. Saw high prices, and not great service. Don’t get the brand equity.

Barnes and Noble: There is a reason big box bookstores like Borders closed and Barnes and Noble isn’t doing well. All I saw at the Barnes and Noble in Allentown area of PA was full prices and boring books. No real service just some people at registers. It seemed like a ghost town. I love books but would rather get them at the library, Longfellow Books, Goodwill, Amazon, etc. Barnes and Noble dying wouldn’t be a huge loss, hopefully it would be a chance for a town to gain a better bookstore. Portland is lucky to have Longfellow books.

There is some for now. Any others you would want to add.

Eddie Davis and the Eddie Davis Experience

So when I was at the University of Chicago 20 years ago (which seems crazy to be that long) one of the guys who I think may have had a crush on me and my oddness said I should have a band called “Ed Davis and the Ed Davis Experience.”

I also think this would be a great name for a radio show, changing it to Eddie Davis, because that’s more fun, and was the WPST 97.5 morning DJ when I was in high school (pop station).

Here would be a sample 1 hour show. Just has a few genres. Curious what Pandora would make of this.

Would start with the insane and fun B.O.B. by OutKast. (4:24)

Good morning/afternoon/evening from Portland, Maine wherever it is you are listening to. It’s always after midnight somewhere. Including the cold state of Maine where its 30 degrees at 12:05am. Let’s have some fun, that was of course OutKast with “B.O.B.” (ie Bombs over Baghdad). And here is some more fast dance music. “James Brown is Dead: Original Mix” by L.A. Style. (1:20 for talking, 5:42 for song)

(and yes that is posts I wrote 24 hours after each other (also the Get Up there and Dance, Dance I Say).

So that was James Brown is Dead, which just makes me need to get up or at least move. And I was lucky enough to see James Brown at a free show in Battery Park. Was about half the way back and kept getting pushed into. When we got up I realized if we moved 50 feet back no one would bother us. New York is weird. But here is some James Brown with “Get Up I Feel Like Being A Sex Machine (Part 1)”. (5:16 song, 1:45 talking)

James Brown is awesome and was one of the hardest working men in show business with all those shows he did putting all of his energy out there. One of the great recent discoveries I made was from watching a documentary on Amazon Prime “Charles Bradley: Soul of America” which was just fantastic. He played little clubs in New York City for years as Little James Brown. Here is his amazing “Why is it So Hard”. talk 2:00 (song 4:31)

As someone who has struggled all his life you can hear it right in his voice. We need more amazing music like this on the radio. Now hear is a quick station break … WMPG wants your car, no like really, we seriously do, just make sure you have the title and want to get rid of the thing, we will take it, seriously we will (1:00) …

And hear is my mom’s favorite band Simon and Garfunkel with “America”. talk 1:00, song 3:38

Just beautiful. Paul Simon is an underrated singer.

After that hitchhike from Saginaw, here is Johnny Cash “I Can’t Help But Wonder.” (0:45, song 3:21).

This one ALWAYS gets to me. Johnny Cash gets right to my emotional core. Now here is a song that tells the truth we are special. The “Creep” cover from Scala and the Kolacny brothers that was in the Social Network previews but not the movie. (1:10, song 5:00) (up to 41 mins).

Funny that two of the anthems of Generation X are “Creep” and “Loser”. But here is a different song by Beck “Devil’s Haircut.” (talking 0:40, song 3:16) (up to 45 mins)

Just a great beat. Should have caught Beck at the State Theater but loved the Beck and Flaming Lips preview show I saw in Claremont, CA for like 4 hours in 2001. Had a full set by the Flaming Lips, then Beck, and then together. Here is some Flaming Lips with “She Don’t Use Jelly.” (talking 1:20, song 3:49) (up to 50 mins)

Vasoline toast sounds really, really terrible. As a Jersey boy, feeling like getting into a song that gets what I think it shows what it’s like to be in your 20s. Fountains of Wayne with “Hackensack”. (Talking 1:10, song 3:01) (54 mins)

So we are coming full circle, let’s close with a great jazz song in honor of my dad “Blue in Green” by Miles Davis. Have a good night and a pleasant tomorrow, or today.

Music That Changed My Life: For the Good Times

So I decided to a do a post on the varieties of pop this morning. I had so much fun with it wanted to some more. Music has always been a big deal for me. One of the big things that bonded me to him.

Dad was all about jazz.

To me the best composer of the 20th Century is Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington. No one compares to his output or influence in my opinion. My favorite Duke Ellington record from my dad’s collection is his double LP “The Great Paris Concert.” Turns out the whole thing is on YouTube so enjoy the Duke Ellington Orchestra from February 1st, 2nd and 23rd, 1963 from Paris.

Here is some as good as it gets music. John Coltrane’s full album “Blue Train”. One of those records any music fan just needs to own. It’s just beautiful. Glad to find out I can hear full CDs on YouTube. That’s awesome.

Now I have to add what I consider the best jazz record of all time, the absolutely amazing “Kind of Blue.” Grew up with this music. One of the last things I did while he was still consious in March of last year (he died on April 1st, 2013) was watch a DVD about the making of the record that I found with a CD for like two bucks at the Allentown Thrift Store. They have that CD copy. Found this in a Bull Moose grab bad and gave the copy to someone in Portland near Longfellow Books. It’s just an amazing thing to give music. I think it was after a poetry reading. If you have never heard this take a listen now, and buy it at your favorite record store. This is an extraordinarily important album to me. I love you, dad.

My mom’s favorite singers of all time are Simon and Garfunkel. My favorite track of theirs is “The Only Living Boy in New York.” I can gather all the news I need on the weather report. The lyrics are beautiful, as a song, as poetry the don’t work as well. And Paul Simon is a very underrated singer. This just makes me think of having perspective in life.

The Beatles “Long and Winding Road” is poetry as lyrics and just words. This one makes me cry. THe last two years have been a long and winding road. It wasn’t one of my blogposts but when I blogged about my dad dying on April 1, 2013 it started with: “My dad Henry Edmunds Davis passed away at 3:45pm today.

It’s been a long and winding road. “

And there have be a lot of tears including right now. And that’s a good thing, all of our lives are. They are supposed to be. Illness is always a long and winding road. I was lucky to have him 4 1/2 years with brain cancer even if the last 7 months were so, so hard.

In my “Rest in Piece” blogpost that night. Two songs came up. One I called: “But my theme song for this sickness has been “For the Good Times” by Johnny Cash.” Johnny Cash’s good friend Kris Kristofferson wrote the lyrics here they are:
Don’t look so sad
I know it’s over
But life goes on
And this old world
Will Keep on turning

Let’s just be glad
We had this time
To spend together
There is no need to watch the bridges
That we’re burning

Lay your head upon my pillow
Hold your warm and tender body
Close to mine
Hear the whisper of the raindrops
Blow softly against my window
Make believe you love me
One more time
For the good times
For the good times

I’ll get along
You’ll find another
And I’ll be here
If you should ever find
You need me

Don’t say a word
About tomorrow
Or forever and ever and ever and ever
There’ll be time enough for sadness
When you leave me
For the good times
For the good times

Lay your head upon my pillow
Hold your warm and tender body
Close to mine
Hear the whisper of the raindrops
Blow softly against my window
Make believe you love me
One more time
For the good times
For the good times

Lay your head upon my pillow
Hold your warm and tender body
Close to mine

Mom and dad were always inseparable. I worried about her without dad and she is doing really well. Better than me I think. She was there for his illness and didn’t want to leave him. Even kept a big stuffed dolphin with her in bed to represent his spirit. I read a poem on Higgins Beach to the waves and wind in my mania on Thursday, April 11th for about 30 minutes just talking. It was a beautiful moment. The madness of mania can. This is a gorgeous song. Johnny Cash has the right voice for it as he is dying after already losing his beloved June Carter Cash in Johnny Cash’s beautiful album “American VI: Ain’t No Grave.” It’s a meditation on death and dying. Johnny Cash is amazing at covers and lived a remarkable life.

Get Out There and Dance, Dance I Say!

To me pop is not just one thing. It makes me think of the old American Bandstand, “it’s got a good beat and I can dance to it.”

There is obviously just the pure classics like Billie Jean and the birth of the moonwalk at the Motown 25th Anniversary special. Michael Jackson may have lived an odd life, but I think his music will be played a generation from now. His “Thriller” and “Off the Wall” albums are about as good as pop gets. Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones together were magic. Wish he didn’t have the odd life of being a Jehovah’s Witness as a a young boy, a huge star and seeing his brothers having all the fun the 70s offered for someone famous, young, and beautiful.

Then there is to me at least my favorite recent big pop hit. And yes it’s “rap”, but there can definitely be pop rap. Macklemore’s unbelievably catchy “Thrift Shop.” “I’m gonna pop some tags, only twenty dollars in my pocket…” And of course the hook of “This is f**king awesome.” Just pure joy and makes you want to get up and dance.

And then you get a less known pure pop song like Mika’s awesome “Lollipop.” Just pure fun. Pure joy. Great beat, of course I am not sure he is really talking about lollipops.

Then you get songs that are just funk awesomeness. Like the total hip-hop classic from OutKast “Ms. Jackson.” Again amazing beat, you want to dance to it. And it’s genius.

And of course the awesomeness that is the 80s one hit wonder. So many great pop songs. Some even want you to kill the Prime Minister of Malaysia. One of the the most unapologetic gay club songs. So “Relax” by Frankie Goes to Hollywood. There is a reason it was a great choice in “Zoolander.”

And electronica can bring in the beats and bring in the fun. First thinking of the great “Rockefeller Skank” by Fatboy Slim. Again it just forces you to move. And one heck of a hook.

And probably the song that most forces me to get up and dance, L.A. Style’s unbelievably awesome and funky “James Brown is Dead.” Electronica can definitely be a force for good. And the original mix is way better and harder, even it doesn’t really have a video.

Here is probably the video I have watched the most of the last few years. First found out about it from Pandora. The Chemical Brothers silly and fun “The Salmon Dance.” It’s also one of the stoniest videos ever. Dude, it’s fish dancing and singing.

Then you get the songs that are so much fun they even come to the United States in their original langugage. All pop stations should be banned from playing “99 Red Balloons.” Here is Nena’s “99 Luftballons”.

I think that is enough for now. I just want to bliss out to some “James Brown is Dead” and go to work.

Dance like no one is watching. Seriously just do it. Saw my friend Alex Steed getting his dance on at Space listening to Heavy Trash and made me think of being the dopey 8th grader dancing my himself without a care. It’s awesome.

So one more that I have always loved “Wipeout.” Surf guitar is just fantastic. It starts with some silly 60s beach movies like “Beach Blanket Bingo.”

Ok one more on the surf guitar Dick Dale “Misirlou” from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack which is better than the early 60s original.

So dance, dance I say. “Push It” by Salt n Pepa.

Going to have to add more of these tonight. It’s just too fun.

Add to one of that’s obvious. One of the best hooks ever. And let’s just face it I love when “Baby Got Back”. I can’t believe Sir Mix-A-Lot only had the one hit. And the video is pure joy.

And of course MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” is pure joy. Pop music isn’t just what is played by the teeny bopper music like Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus that gets on current “pop” stations. Silly Clear Channel and the labels have made the focus of radio too thin.

Pop can even be a silly Weird Al remake of a pretty straight ahead rap song. “White and Nerdy” completely eclipsed the original. I had no idea how similar the video to the Chamillionaire song until I watched his video. And of course I am white and nerdy.

I will close for now with the pop song I have played the most on iTunes since I changed computers the awesome 80s “West End Girls” by the Pet Shop Boys (#30 overall – 36 plays.) The 80s had great pop music.

These music posts are fun, more are coming.