_____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