Poem from Thax Douglas

Thax Douglas wrote this poem while seeing me play at Cheer Up Charlies in 2016. The next month he traveled with us for a few days on the road in Europe, from Berlin to Copenhagen. Here is a photo of the poem he handed me after that Cheer up Charlies show in April of 2016.

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First Night of Recording

by Bradley King

 

Michael has converted his bedroom and our living room into A Studio to record some first takes of the second Longriver album. The center of his room is completely cleared; mics are set up for vocals and guitar. Mattress and box spring are leaned up against the walls covering the windows to protect the sound. The walls are draped with flowery comforters and white sheets.  There’s a table with a notepad and a lamp and two of my houseplants: a pothos vine dangling down to the floor and a young spider plant. And there’s palm over in the corner . And there’s a blanket hiding the mirror.


In in the living room, Michael has set up three Neve pre-amps, and stacked them neatly on the coffee table.  The equipment was borrowed from friends or rented  ~ the dude at the rentals store, Michael says, was like “whoa, nobody’s ever rented this piece before” ~ meaning, it’s Nice. There’s also a mic so that he can talk to David when the door to his room is closed , and a Tascam Portastudio to make a cassette tape, and an Otari 8-track reel to reel.

 

When David gets here , he seems to think he’s going to be recording on the mic in the living room, and when Michael shows him the bedroom sound booth, David’s  totally surprised ~  they had planned to record some rough demos to cassette just to hear the songs , but he had no idea what was waiting for him. “I feel like the boy on Youtube who cries when he’s reunited with his dog who had run away.”

 

David had to work today , he’s a substitute teacher at a public high school. The kids have worn him, he says, fear of criticism ~ then he goes in to start playing.


The first song is upbeat and about a boat: When the ark was building Noah, and I was sitting nowhere ~ okay, lets get on the boat. I lean back in my desk chair when I catch the line about sitting nowhere ~ it creaks, I wonder if I’m creaking in the background

                      ?

Mid the third song , David’s voice startles me, now it sounds clear and in the room with me rather than muffled through a wall . Michael has got him playing through our hIfI speakers , I walk to the living room and sit on the floor, Michael doesn’t look up : he’s adjusting knobs on his three machines , then turns to face the Otari siting to the left of the couch and Does Something to that.


They’re moving fast , David plays one song right after another. The tape keeps rolling. Michael keeps everything rolling. For him it’s about much more than operating these machines.  Michael is inspired , sometimes he seems more enthusiastic about the music than David.   He’s dancing around in his headphones. It’s an atmosphere that’s free of judgment, free from criticism, full of invitation, full of affirmation and admiration. He’s got water and tea always ready when David comes out for a break.


David’s out for a break ~ “you guys are gonna have to be the judge, I’m a spent man, I guess I have to surrender,”


“ Naw man ~ fuck surrender” says Michael


“ Naw I mean like surrender , you know?  fears, doubts, hope.”


“ Let’s just do some pushups ~ 15 push ups”

       

        [DO 15 PUSHUPS TOGETHER]

“ I guess I’m going to go play some more . ”


The next song is direct and demanding , it repeats the line “Wasting Time” in the myriad of contexts : wherever I look I’m wasting time , I point and click on wasting time , I open the book of wasting time. It’s our song of criticism, sung worn and surrendered, but with a power that invites everyone see ourselves honestly and collectively.

Now David’s already through three more songs , he takes a quick break and then rerecords the first half of album , and that’s it. When he finishes he says “There’s something that happens when you record ~ it’s like playing the songs a hundred times ~ it’s fire.”

They plan to record more in a month or so, and release the album in 2018.

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Crooked Crow Songwriter’s Retreat

I was lucky to attend  the Crooked Crow Songwriter’s Retreat in West Texas. Big thank yous to Johann Wagner, the Lemon Lounge, Rich Russell, and everyone who attended. Song juice box is filled up and I feel inspired create.  I’m almost done writing the new album!Chinati Mountains

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Writing and Recording

I’m hot on the trail of a record. I’m writing it now, and am looking to record before the years end…following the tail of inspiration. I wonder what studio I will record at.

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MORE TOUR

Friends. Once again, I leave Austin. This time performing alongside Rich Russell from the Lonesome Heroes.  This is a short tour, a mini tour, a tiny tour. Who do I know in Denton, Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Fayetteville, Fort Worth?  How about you? Send them our way. It’s gonna be an awesome time. Thank you.IMG_3206

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Pacific Northwest Tour

North by Northwest! It seems like I travel to the Pacific Northwest yearly. And this is true. Below is the poster. Hints of the last Whole Earth Catalog. I feel those Douglas fir, summer in the 70’s, nature in your face, grungy sensitive, gratitude feelings. Pass out (in the grass), Share, re-post if you’re feeling generous. Every bit keeps the dream alive.  Pacific Northwest Tour

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Summer Mountain Tour ’17

POSTER CORRECTION: I corrected the Silver Dollar Show in Jackson, Wyoming. I play on July 2nd! I also added two dates: one in Silver City, New Mexico and Alpine, TX. Thank you!

I announce the Summer Mountain Tour ’17! Below is the poster. Share for me please! Every little mention via email, word of mouth, or social media share helps.  There may be another date added in New Mexico, and we’ll soon know the location of the Alpine, Texas show. This has been an interesting week. Central Texas is beginning to heat up to the point where it’s difficult to think unless you’re submerged in cold water. Tomorrow, mid-June, the forecast says triple digit temperatures.  This heat scatters attention,  so I’ll make a scattered list.Summer Mountain Tour '17

It includes questions, advice, quotes, random thoughts and is separated by commas: Bob Dylan’s Nobel Lecture, All Quiet on the Western Front compared to Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, Velcro Strips are probably the best for temporarily hanging van curtains, Kurt Cobain used a lot of power chords, neither major or minor, Austin Traffic, Is phone and internet addiction the most common addiction?,  placing attention back on the breath all day is a helpful practice, in, out, in((((, out))))), songs are mysterious-some can be so good, the comments section on the internet is a disaster, Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate Bodhi Svaha, I try to stay away but get sucked in, Pierre Etaix movies are pretty awesome, Le Grande Amour is kind of like The Seven Year Itch by Billy Wilder but more surreal,  “What I have here is a canvas, and I am living in it.”- Forrest Bess,  the external world is my own projection, just being there has an effect, life is water, death is not bad, life is valuable, money is a kind of energy, energy is energy, compassion throughout the day, this moment springs from mind.

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South Texas Tour

With joy I announce the South Texas Tour.  For those of you who remember the South Texas Triangle Tour of late 2014, this is a modified return to that tour. This time I’ll be going deep into the South Texas Valley. This last show in Harlingen will be a song in the round with two local songwriters.  I’m very happy to be able to play in the valley because this is where my Longoria family is from. If you know any friends or family in these South Texas towns, share this poster with a note and invitation (you can do so with the icons at the bottom of this post) Ask them to introduce themselves to me; it will be much welcomed. STT

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70 degrees Clear

Today I went to McKinney Falls with Rich and Chris. Besides talking and hanging out Rich had something that he had to do on his phone, so he was on a text line with his bandmates. Chris was writing in his journal, and I was ‘trying’ to let the stream work on me, but mainly I was snacking on apples and cheeze. We did some swimming and all of us are slow water enterers. The water wasn’t even very cold, but we’re all just wading there for minutes not getting in. I like to say all kinds of mantras or prayers about why I’m getting in the water…intentions. For example I’ll go swimming in January and the water will be cold, and I’ll say something like “I’m diving in this water to put out the fires of war” and there I go. But lately I just count down from 5. Like with kids in a classroom, you start counting down from 5 and everyone shuts up and knows that when 1 comes, something has to happen. So, I’m counting down from 5 for many things in life.
Later we went to lunch and we talked about some theoretical phone call that we would get that would say “You’ve made it”, “you’re off the hook” or “here’s some money, stop worrying”. We wondered what that phone call really would be. Seems like I’m always getting some kind of call. But maybe the call is “You’re making it”. That’s what I think. It’s 70 degrees and clear, and It’s like getting constant encouragement from the big Koonaklaster as John Fahey would’ve called it. The encouragement I’m getting this time around is I’m getting to play some awesome upcoming shows. Spring-Fed Arts Series, Song in the Round with Colin Gilmore. I’m playing shows in San Antonio and Corpus Christi in May. Not to mention the encouragement of waking up this morning.Lower-McKinney-Falls

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PAST EVENT – SXSW

This was a poster I made for the lamp post by my house.
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