Wednesday, April 22, 2009
"Good morning Blues, come on into my room!"
I think maybe I'm allergic to something with my bed clothes or from the peeling paint on the wall behind my head in bed or the old permanent indoor/out door carpeting that's been in this room forever - my place aint really so bad - rent's really cheap but my landlord lives in the same building and his wife just lost her job. sometimes i walk past his back door when I'm emptying the trash late at night and I can see him walking back and forth across his kitchen chain smoking and looking down at the floor. While i'm out in the alley dumping my trash. i hope the screen door stays shut cause i've heard possums scraping at it some summer nights while i'm inside - i hope one of those things dont get in my kitchen, i think that'd bout finish me off, I really do - you ever run over one of those icky ass things in your car?? It aint pretty, ain pretty at all!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
To: Bob Reuter
Date: Apr 3, 2009 2:44 AM
Subject: It's probably the whiskey ..
I feel like writing tonight.
I used to write alot--but the beer and the drugs swept away all that potential. And I don't know why I feel like writing tonight. I'll blame the whiskey; and the fact that the boys aren't home. Solitude breeds literature; punk rock breeds drunks; and the blues breeds domestic beasts that live for cooking dinner and supporting the pack--at least as a woman trapped at the crest of that unbridled wave.
And somehow your records always crop up. Old sessions with bands I've never met, which bleeds into solo sessions at Mangia--when you play songs I never expected to hear live, which end up spewing from crackled blown speakers in the Volkswagen I've trolled the city in since I was seventeen.
Six years is a long time when you're only 23. Less than 25% of a life--all though I've never trusted my math.
When Vonnegut died, I wrote a eulogy "awake on some stranger's speed." It's been a couple of years, and I've become social packmates with that stranger, but I still find myself resorting to his Ritalin bullshit when I'm drunk and not ready to give in to the night.
It'll be a long night tonight--but not as long as others. And there is a mild existential solace in no expectation of company; other than that of our tuxedoed cat (who is currently trying to pilfer drinks from my Early Times and water).
Bad, Charlie. You won't know what hit you.
Eh--anyway. That song .. "After the money from Mama was gone;" I'm not sure if that's the title, but you know what I'm talking about. It always reeks of those years when I officially fell out with my parents, and made a hasty and desperate relocation to Pine Lawn. There was nowhere else to go; I cut the family off; and the money from Mama (or Pops, in my case) was absolutely gone.
I'd had inklings of real life--Richard hung himself (no, really); drugs abounded; and between Oregon and Europe I'd grappled with the fact that the world was much bigger than my St Charles upbringing, but reality had never hit me so hard as that year on the Northside.
I was the only white girl for five miles in any direction. I was broke like all the worst jokes. I lived on Ramen noodles and Tabasco sauce or Sam's Club bulk animal crackers and peanut butter; I drew pictures of bats and crawled out onto the roof to collect shells from the bullets that had rained down onto our house over the preceding New Year's. It was my ghetto coast; like seeing the ocean for the first time; breathing the saltwater air and reveling in every unfamiliar minute of it.
And I was in love.
In love with an illiterate O'Fallon boy, who'd been duped into buying his first house in a neighborhood that no God-fearing O'Fallon boy belonged in. The realtor had brought him there on a Sunday when all the neighbors were at church. He was in over his head even deeper than I was. If I was cautiously testing the coast, he'd fallen off the edge of the reef--way past that safe waist-line water, past where ships run aground--into a seventy+ grand mortgage. We were pallid shipwrecked aliens. And I soaked up every minute of it.
We had a roommate named Dan. He was a Dungeons & Dragons throwback who gobbled up every recording and mixing gadget he could afford under his billing and coding salary. There was thousands upon thousands of dollars of equipment, stowed away in our collapsing basement--a basement where any bacon grease that escaped down the kitchen sink erupted through the cracks in the cement floor like a true blue collar pork-loving American kaleidoscope.
And Dan had some crazy microphone (boom mic, I don't know ..) that could collect the noises from miles around if you sat on the front porch on just the right night (for some reason it had to be humid and July--the plateau before St Louis' end-of-summer climax). We'd pass around the headphones, as ravenous as potheads suckling on the last hits of a roached joint, and listen to the beat of the neighborhood: We'd hear parties and the metallic echoing bass of speakers in the backseats or trunks of janky old cars; we'd hear the hollers and yowls of the dogfights in our neighbors' basements; we'd eavesdrop on the domestic violence ensuing half a block away, or the hasty comings and goings of cars to the crackhouse on the corner.
And then HYACK! .. somebody would shoot off a round.
It was deafening if you were the unfortunate fool with the headphones; your ears would ring for days. The other Mohican porch-dwellers would snap erect; eyes scanning the cross-streets and undamaged ears pricked to discover if the onslaught was headed our way.
You see, our street was engaged in some kind of war with the street two blocks over; some old bad blood that never involved any of us, but that meant we had to duck beneath the stone railing or into the house and below the windows if a car rolled by at night a little too slow with its headlights off. White faces make great targets. Dead white bodies on the Northside are kept on the media downlow; otherwise somebody (county dumbshits with a cause) might give a crap about what happens up there.
But five years ago I was smug and untouchable; I'd never had a gun held to my head. I was fearless and cackled into the full moon from the roof--a wolfen punk rocker, striving with blood, sweat and tears to break away from the safe county roots I'd been born into. Pine Lawn was my proving ground and my trial by fire--or so I'd gone insane enough to believe.
I "grew up" in that collapsing punk rock dive: I fucked my boyfriend recklessly, I swilled beers like water and picked fights at the parties we'd religiously throw there--we had learned real fast that Brothers and Sisters don't call the cops on anything, much less their "Tony Hawk" cracker neighbors, regardless of how late we blasted unlistenable music into the streets or how many folks projectile vomited from the front porch.
Broken bottles, bleeding necks and puke-soaked steps (both indoor and out); that was Pine Lawn. Mattresses on the floor below the windows; a three-legged pitbull plodding about the back yard when his shitfaced owner would head out on a bender and leave Jeff and I to "babysit;" a broke-down Yamaha motorcycle chained to the back porch and somehow ..
Somehow that song of yours brings me back home to all that; that mess I try not to think about too much these days. By dwelling on the past, you can never move forward, right? But you can't deny where you come from. And the sick honesty of it all is that my street these days isn't too far of a cry from Arden: we've had drive-bys; our old roommate got carjacked just as brutally as our house eventually got cleaned out in Pine Lawn by young buck thugs trying to prove something. It's a full circle of bullshit that I guess none of us can ever pray to escape.
Bah .. when I sat down to type this, I thought it would be more worthwhile. But a couple of drinks in, that's always the case, isn't it? But oh well .. this is the most coherent drunk rambling I've had in a while.
Thanks for the music.
Bob Reuter's Alley Ghost
(Big Muddy Records)
By Christian Schaeffer
Published on March 24, 2009 at 11:36am
You could staff an entire basketball league with the amount of local rock and folk musicians who have accompanied Bob Reuter over the years. In fact, the south-side denizen is the closest thing St. Louis has to a modern troubadour, a musician who teaches his collaborators as much as he draws from their talents. On Alley Ghost, members of the Rum Drum Ramblers, 7 Shot Screamers and Johnny O & the Jerks back Reuter with snare drum, banjo, upright bass and harmonica. The resulting songs are an inspired mix of young and old — Reuter sounds invigorated by his younger counterparts, and the young Alley Ghost stallions put their love of prewar music to good use. Certain tunes rely on well-worn folk-and-blues arrangements, while other songs capture the off-the-cuff feel of a guitar circle. The enthusiasm and soulful skill of the musicians lift these songs above the standard singer-songwriter fare and give wings to Reuter's lyrics, which remain (as always) funny, poignant, twisted and true. "Rock & Roll Moron" serves as a rallying cry for the music-scene lifers around town; on it, he sings, "You can't close the door on/this rock & roll moron." Thankfully, with the help of Alley Ghost, no one will be putting Reuter out to pasture anytime soon.
Soulard Art Market's Notes
Our current exhibition "Rock Paint Scissors" will be on display until April 5th, be sure to check it out! This exhibition features the work of three of Saint Louis' most incredible artists, Bob Reuter, Julie Malone, and David Langley.
Naomi Silver from Culture Surfer interviewed the "Rock" part of this exhibition, Bob Reuter.
Bob Reuter's photography pieces are simply amazing. The often rough and edgy black and white photography will let you reminisce of different times. They are dramatic and darkly romantic in other ways and will allow your curiosity to spill and make you wonder who these folks are, and especially who is this lovely Bob Reuter character.
Bob's work, the astounding black and white photography generally contains subjects that he meets all over. He is Truly fascinating! Be sure to check out his website for more information about the man behind the camera.
(bob says, "Holy fuck!")
Love the site. It was great hearing some of the old songs. The way I remember (which is fuzzy) we gave Don the name Frankie before the song. The song I thought evolved from him getting upset with his dog (Keesha?), by getting in the way of his pedals during a rehearsal. He pushed her away and that was so out of character the song was written. I may be wrong. I remember when Janice (my x) was in the bathroom out in St. Charles and she overheard girls talking about how he did time for murder, thusly the song was true.
The Legend lives on!
Stay in touch.