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

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