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Out In The Woods September 19, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Toulouse Street.
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1 comment so far

I spent the last few days in Denham Springs, Louisiana on a work assignment from hell. I’m not sure which is the best part of this drive: the early morning, empty-stomached crossing of the vast, stinking marsh around Manchac where the late storms have stirred up decades worth of decay, releasing a vast miasma of swamp gas, or the special drive back in the dark through that same stink while the orange glare of the satanic gas flares of the refineries play on the low clouds. Arrival in Denham is not the high point of the adventure.

I haven’t had any music in the car since I cleaned it out to leave it behind for Gustav, so I grabbed some CDs for the long drive from New Orleans. For some reason, I lingered over David Allen Coe. I figured short of putting a stars-and-bars decal covering my back window, it is certainly something that would get appreciative nods in that red neck of the woods were I caught with the windows down and sunroof back. Instead I grabbed another Son of the South, Leon Russell, and he’s been keeping me sane as I contemplate the apocalyptic light show on my high speed cruise through the reek of a thousand abandoned port-o-lets.

The final lyrics to this song are Zulu. Leon tells the story on the triple Leon Live album of asking an African friend for some lyrics that mean “I’m lost in the woods.” He was told that Zulus do not get lost in the wood, but was offered instead the lyrics we hear which mean approximately a man has gone mad and is running through the woods. If I spend much more time in Denham, I may just get off at Manchac, and see if I can trade the car for a pirogue and vanish forever into the foetid bayous. If this blog blinks out after this post and you find yourself on I-55 crossing Manchac, slow down and keep an ear peeled and a sharp eye. You might catch a flicker in the dark that is probably just marsh lights but could be a campfire. Slow down and listen faintly for the beating of a mad tom-tom. You might even hear these very words.

Unlike most static picture audio posts on YouTube I love this one for the odd portrait of Leon. If I win the lottery, I think I’m going to commission George Rodrigue to paint a portrait of Leon Russell posed out beneath Rodrigue’s magnificant trees. There will be no visible blue dogs, but perhaps a pair of that cartoon beasts own vacant zombie eyes peering out of Rodrigue’s dark woods.

I was just gonna say, don’t get hung up about Easter March 20, 2008

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Leon Russell, music, Toulouse Street.
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Look, I’m just saying that somewhere between Jesus dying on the cross, and a giant bunny hiding eggs there seems to be a gap of information.
–Stan from South Park

Yes, Lisa, there’s Peter Cotton Tail la-la-la. I’m not sure how I managed to forget that after raising two children to 16 and 13. Perhaps its that same trick of memory that doesn’t exactly remember what it felt like to put your hand on the stove, but keeps you away from it.

Here’s a better candidate for an Easter Song by Leon Russell. If James Brown was the undisputed Godfather of Soul, Leon Russell is the indisputable Godfather of Rock-and-Roll piano, the Master of Space and Time. His music was a rock-and-rollicking good time built on the rock-solid foundation of southern music and all it roots. On top of that, he was a perfect electric Rorschach acid test of every far out space of the times, the perfect avatar for the long-haired children of the early 1970s.

It’s too bad I can’t find an on-line version of the Leon song I really wanted, “Prince of Peace” (quoted below), so I”ll have to settle for a video of “Roll Away the Stone”.

Try to judge me only by my time and changes
and not mistaken words, for I say many.
Listen only to my song and watch my eyes.
There’s not much time to spill, there’s hardly any.

Well, look at all the children living in the streets,
and they’re looking, not afraid to touch each other.
They’re not afraid to be themselves or someone else
or choose their friends with love and not by colors.

Never treat a brother like a passing stranger.
Always try to keep the love light burning.
Sing a song of love and open up your heart
for you might be the Prince of Peace returning.

Oh, love the blind and wounded as your love yourself
And the businessmen in cells collecting pennies.
Judge their wealth by the coins they give away
and not the ones they keep themselves for spending

Oh, never be impatient with the ones you love.
It might be yourself that you’re burning.
Sing a song of love and open up your heart
for you might be the Prince of Peace returning.