Friday, January 10, 2014

Saturday, September 14, 2013

D Notes

Ode to Billy Nardozzi 

You say it like a gong
Sings it to a throng
Of thinking fellers
Gone wrong
When they failed
To notice the moon
Lights up the clouds
Like a sunflower at night
Through the round glass window With the Diamond pattern open
So the flies can come in and land 
On the lonely blue chair below themonkey puzzle Tree with
White  honeysuckle draping over like a blanket Of perfume as mommy and Ed
Walk out the gate to the piano
Bar where the show tunes seem old
Until the wine gets past the row of four light houses 
On the point of the cape.

Adam DeGraff

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Extra Credit

Hey y'all. Look what Mark Twain does here.


by Mark Twain

I suppose he is the hardest lot that wears feathers. Yes, and the cheerfulest, and the best satisfied with himself. He never arrived at what he is by any careless process, or any sudden one; he is a work of art, and “art is long”; he is the product of immemorial ages, and deep calculation; one can’t make a bird like that in a day. He has been reincarnated more times than Shiva; and he has kept a sample of each incarnation, and fused it into his constitution. In the course of his evolutionary promotions, his sublime march toward ultimate perfection, he has been a gambler, a low comedian, a dissolute priest, a fussy woman, a blackguard, a scoffer, a liar, a thief, a spy, an informer, a trading politician, a swindler, a professional hypocrite, a patriot for cash, a reformer, a lecturer, a lawyer, a conspirator, a rebel, a royalist, a democrat, a practicer and propagator of irreverence, a meddler, an intruder, a busybody, an infidel, and a wallower in sin for the mere love if it. The strange result, the incredible result, of this patient accumulation of all damnable traits is, that he does not know what care is, he does not know what sorrow is, he does not know what remorse is, his life is one long thundering ecstasy of happiness, and he will go to his death untroubled, knowing that he will soon turn up again as an author or something, and be even more intolerable capable and comfortable than ever he was before.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Extra Credit, 7/3/13

Hey y'all. Thanks for sticking with me and giving me a reason to share poems! Here's one I read recently that got to me. I love the transparency of it, the way it is fruitily sentimental. And the way it shows the way. (A way.)

Effort at Speech Between Two People

: Speak to me. Take my hand. What are you now?
I will tell you all. I will conceal nothing.
When I was three, a little child read a story about a rabbit
who died, in the story, and I crawled under a chair :
a pink rabbit : it was my birthday, and a candle
burnt a sore spot on my finger, and I was told to be happy.

: Oh, grow to know me. I am not happy. I will be open:
Now I am thinking of white sails against a sky like music,
like glad horns blowing, and birds tilting, and an arm about me.
There was one I loved, who wanted to live, sailing.

: Speak to me. Take my hand. What are you now?
When I was nine, I was fruitily sentimental,
fluid : and my widowed aunt played Chopin,
and I bent my head on the painted woodwork, and wept.
I want now to be close to you. I would
link the minutes of my days close, somehow, to your days.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


D Vines

Vines filled with water and light and the delightful divine.

As some of you may know I am now living in Queens NY (as Gen got a job in Manhattan.) Last weekend was my last official one in the D Note. There were a few very sweet moments. One was the musical Grand Central Station, the full chorus of actors in 1920s fashion, singing "New York New York" for the big finale. And then after the musical one of our favorite musicians and people Ryan Chrys played a solo set and dedicated it to the DeGraff family with some very kind words that brought tears to my eyes.

But never fear, though we won't be there (except for frequent visits), the place is in the hands of the Rosenberg's who are likewise in the hands of the music. And we will leave a large part of ourselves there. If you look closely you will see our sweat and blood swirled into the waves behind the stage mural.

Let me take a moment to tell you about that mural. Our friend David Larsen flew here from Oakland CA to paint the mural in February of 2003. The floors were being finished as we were preparing to open shop so David had to paint the panels separately at Matthew and Monica's house.

The design originated with a 1950s shaving cream ad. David took the wave of shaving cream in the ad and used it for the outline of the wave. Then he replicated the wave facing itself on either end of the mural. Inside of the waves he designed free hand and has told us that he tried to fit all of art history in there, everything from Art Deco to Cubism to Japanese print making. He fused them all together like it was no big thing!

There is a lot hidden in the waves. Matthew used to tell people to look for the camel in the waves. Of course there is no camel. He's got a strange sense of humor, laughing his ass off as people spent hours looking for it. (Anybody remember the dollar bill shellacked in the bar floor? Another classic Matthew prank.) His camel joke, by the way, had a hidden level of cleverness to it. It is a nod to the camel on Camel cigarettes and the way you can get a whole story  out of what you see inside that camel (see Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins.) Which leads me now to wonder, are there any waves in the camel?

The waves were meant to be, I think, a kind of graffiti tag from the West Coast, the Pacific, where Genevieve and myself had been living before we came to CO. Or perhaps they were meant to be one Atlantic Wave and One Pacific wave facing each other, with the Glyph in the middle representing the mid-west. To back that idea up let me add that it wasn't until a few years after David painted the mural that he mentioned to me that the glyph in the middle was from the signature glyph from  Currier and Ives. Have you ever seen the images on Currier and Ives china? They are as sentimentally mid-western as you can get. And the china is great too because it was inexpensive, but made well and done beautifully. Utilitarian beauty. That's the level of thought David put into this mural. So in way, to return to the conceit, the glyph of the D Note was holding back in abeyance the East and West coast for awhile, especially for me, who was in transit from the West to the East.

The waves were also in homage to the artist Raymond Pettibon (who did the covers for The Dead Kennedy's and other seminal punk bands) and the wave murals that he paints all over the world. David and Raymond are friends.

Perhaps the greatest thing about that mural is that it works aesthetically as a visual parantheses to any genre of music, from Bluegrass to Middle Eastern, from punk to classical. It is worth noting that there are a thousand pictures you can find on the web of bands playing before those mighty waves. Waves of pictures.

I often think of the wooden stage, beautifully designed by Matthew and our good friend Joe Triplett, as the prow of a ship upon which the waves of the mural are crashing overhead. The only thing holding the waves back is the power of the glyph. A glyph is a flourish. A flourish is art for art's sake. The art and the music are holding back the waves from crashing and wrecking the ship.

And that brings up the D Note theme song (w/Jeremy and Matthew DeGraff)
"I am the captain of the sea
The bloody ship she shelters me
She rocks below with wind and wave
I have to drink to see
Yo ho ho and a bottle of woe
Life at sea is the only life I know
The mermaids they all sing for me

From deep beneath the wine dark sea
They sing of longing and despair
They sing of one so fair

Yo ho ho and a bottle of woe (whoa!)
Life at sea is the only life for me."
I think the mural is a true contemporary masterpiece and the perfect backdrop for the D Note. We are so glad to see the waves waving there still. May they wave forever.
And speaking of forever, I could probably write about the D Note forever. But perhaps it is better to get to the business still at hand.

There is a great line up this coming weekend. Affrosippi is having a CD release party Friday night. This band is an awesome African based voodoo blues band lead by Dan Treanor. So good.
One of my personal favorite bands The Stormcellars are playing at 6pm Saturday night FREE. If you like the Lumineers and Mumford you will love these guys. Check out the video here for a taste.
Then another personal favorite takes the stage at 8pm, the band Hey Lady! This a kick ass B52s cover band and made me fall in love with the B52s all over again last time they played.
Ya'll better be there dancing in my stead!

John Bunzli Solo Happy Hour

Affrosippi CD Release Party $5
Zumba $8

The Stormcellars

Hey Lady! $5

Baby Boogie, bring your kids into dance!

Salsa Dancing (lesson at 8pm, Orquestra La Brava at 9pm) $8

Alright y'all, I'm out!
Much love to you.

D Scribe

Extra Credit: If you want to keep getting the occasional extra credit from me then please respond and let me know and I'll add you to the family
Here's the last official poem, lyrics by Jeremy and myself, to the tune of In The Pines...

In D Note

In D Note, In D Note
Where the songs all get wrote
And you cannot get to sleep all your life
In D Note, In D Note
Where the demons get smote
And the angels are having a hell of a time

In D Note, In D Note
We're rocking the boat
And trying not to fall into the water

In D Note, In D note
Where the sun always shines
And you shiver as the warm wind blows

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

D Note Love Letter 6/6/13

D vine

Hey y'all, some great shows this weekend. I'm especially excited about Cabaret Otaku's Grand Central Station on Saturday night at 7pm.$10

"Cabaret Otaku and Front Range Theater Company present: Grand Central Station! A Musical Revue, featuring music of the golden age: The year is 1948 in Grand Central Station, NYC. Every traveler has a story to tell –and we tell some of these stories in song. A delightful presentation of music celebrating the romance of train travel in the 1940's! Join us as we proudly present Performance to benefits Nourish the Children."

This company has done opera shows at the D Note before and they are really good. (We'll have to remind them though that it isn't Grand Central Station, it's Grand Central Terminal. At a station trains pass by, but at a terminal they stop...and start.)

I also love the band playing Friday night at 7pm,  Monocle, Rocky Mountain Indie Folk. $5

There's also a fun dance band called The Spin playing Friday night, $6, and a benefit for Children's Miracle Network Saturday night. 

I'll be around this weekend and  hope to see you at the D.

D Scribe

Extra Credit:

Last week I mentioned that when I finish writing these D Note love letters (next week will be the last),  I would happily keep sending out a weekly poem to anyone interested. A handful of you fine folks responded, but If anybody else missed that announcement hit me back here and I'll include you in the list.

For now, here's one of my favorites...

Archaic Torso of Apollo

  by Rainer Maria Rilke

We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,

gleams in all its power. Otherwise
the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could 
a smile run through the placid hips and thighs
to that dark center where procreation flared.

Otherwise this stone would seem defaced
beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
and would not glisten like a wild beast's fur:

would not, from all the borders of itself,
burst like a star: for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

D Note love letter 5/30/13

dear frienDs,

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing this D-mail every Thursday morning for the past decade.  As most of you know, the D Note has new owners (kind of like marrying off your daughter!) so it is time to hang up my impresario hat and take a break. I will only be writing a few more D-mails and then I'm off to the next chapter in my life. Gonna be tough to follow the last chapter. My time at the D Note was amazing! I can't thank Matthew and Monica and the rest of my family and friends enough for helping bring this amazing dream to fruition.

I will miss meeting with all of you here weekly (and face to face at the D Note), but if you want to stay in touch I would love to connect with you on Facebook or Instagram (just hit me back for urls). And/or I would be happy to keep sending you poems via e-mail once a week too. Just hit reply and let me know!

As for this weekend, there's some great music on board. There's the sweet bluegrassy harmonies of Birds Of A Feather Friday night at 5:30p. Free! Then a really good dance band (seriously) called Moses Jones at 8pm. $10.

Saturday at 4pm we have the big band panache of Sentimental Sounds at 4pm. Free!

Then at 7pm Saturday we have Flamenco. From Rene Heredia's announcement for the show:

"We many new numbers, all produced and choreographed by René Heredia. The enchantment of Spain, the excitement of genuine gypsy flamenco dance, live authentic music played by a flamenco master, and multiple changes of lavish costumes all combine in one exquisite performance.
René Heredia is one of today’s foremost flamenco artists—the artistic director of both the Gypsy Chicks and the Flamenco Fantasy Dance Theatre, a solo guitarist, and a leader in the Flamenco Fusion movement. He has produced shows and performed around the world. René holds both the Governor’s and the Mayor’s Awards for excellence in the Arts for performance and education. René just recently received the “Living Legend of Dance in Colorado” award from the Carson-Brierly Dance Library and was nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Dance Alliance. He has won the Grand Prix de Disc from France.
René has performed for Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, Princess Nora of Jordan, Princess Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer of Monaco, and Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia. He has worked in person and on television with such noted artists as Art Linkletter, Steve Allan, Ed Sullivan, Ann Southern, Peter Nero, Hal Linden, Eddie Fisher, George Gobel, and Bill Cosby. Denver is privileged to have one of the leading flamenco artists in the U.S. today as a resident, performer, producer, choreographer, and teacher."

So there you go!

Extra Credit: I recently read the following Longfellow poem to my girls and we found it to be enchanting. Dungeon of my heart indeed.

The Children's Hour

Between the dark and the daylight,
      When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations,
      That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
      The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
      And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
      Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
      And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
      Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
      To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
      A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
      They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
      O'er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
      They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
      Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
      In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
      Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
      Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
      And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
      In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
      Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
      And moulder in dust away!