_____Let’s be honest. Let’s start from exactly where we are.
_____For instance it would be artificial to start these liner notes
with the following paragraph:
_____The wet grain of the street is running by and someone else is
driving, thank God. A woman’s hand is on my leg as the driver shifts
up into fourth. I pull my head away from the window and stare at a
smear of blood and then past it at the rainy streets, BIALYS and
STETSON and MATTRESS FOAM. Where the hell am I?
_____It would be artificial because I know exactly where I am. I’ve
just moved into a new room. It’s right next door to my old room, in
the flat I share with four roommates and a golden half-wolf named
Juniper. The old room, now that I’ve moved my possessions out of it
and swept the floor, looks to me like a room where Vincent Van Gogh
might have lived. The walls are blue with busted patches and the
white ceiling, twelve feet up, is yellowed with cigarette smoke.
The room is taller than it is wide, and I spent three years in there
waiting for something to happen, as though living in a jack-in-the-
box. Then a roommate moved out of a room substantially bigger than
mine. I painted his walls a warm linen white and his floor a shiny
grey. Yesterday I moved some things in here and ordered them around
the perimeter, which leaves an expanse of grey shiny wooden floor.
My desk is clean. The standing lamp casts a spray of light up the
corner. The boombox, which is playing the forthcoming Curlew CD, is
across the room instead of in my face, the music occurs in a context
of surrounding air rather than the context of my claustrophobic
thoughts, and a salt-crystal lamp hoards a mild orange glow at the
corner of the desktop. Wind outside the tall window rises and falls,
and the strip of night sky above the corrugated-iron fence and the
house next door is about to slip from deepest blue to black.
_____In other words, it doesn’t matter that The last I knew I was on
Ludlow Street, this is twenty years ago, at the one bar open there,
talking to a hooker. When I walked outside a guy was breaking into
my Buick. I ran up and he hit me in the face with glass and now
they’re taking me somewhere, block by rainy block, her pimp at the
wheel and spare, dissonant funk on the radio, and I want to get
there for their sake. They seem concerned.
_____The world can mean everything or nothing. We look around us and
find meaning, and where we do, we apply it to ourselves.
_____Given that, and why we’re here, I’d like to say that my
favorite moment of this new Curlew record is when "Small Red Dance",
which starts with an outburst of Dean Granros’ guitar squealing as
though he’s trying to say everything at once and Golden’s drums
moving along behind him like a good friend who’s watching for
trouble and Parker’s keyboards trying to remind them, against bass-
player Fred Chalenor’s deeply-rooted skepticism about the whole
situation, to take things a little more lightly and have a sense of
humor about it all, before George Cartwright’s saxophone comes
trickstering along (the sound of it always makes me feel included in
the world) and leads them all to mayhem with a happy ending: my
favorite moment, as I say, is when the song stops and, after a
little grainy silence, Granros’ guitar starts talking to itself in
the corner, after the trouble’s over, in an old, old voice that we
all know, it’s the quietest, end-of-the-road, it’s the loveliest
voice, and pretty soon everyone turns to see where it’s coming from,
and that face in the corner cracks a smile, and we’re all marching
along to "A Song of New".
_____Forget the dirty wainscoting in the hall. Let’s forget about
what this music conjures up and focus on exactly where it finds us.
Welcome to your new room.
- Michael DeCapite