STANDING NEXT TO MY SELF Mark Weber
Zerx 064 – Released: June 2011 in a CDR format. Cover art by Hank Schuyler
Track 1 | session April 25, 2004 KUNM Studio A, engineer Ethan Stein. Mark Weber Poetry Band: Mark Weber — piano & text & tone row; Michael Vlatkovich — trombone; Mark Weaver — tuba; Alicia Ultan — viola; Lisa Polisar — flute. tone tow: C-E-F-A-F-E-C
i dreamed one last time to be floating above
it all to be outside the concerns of my kind
and the flesh and the death and even so
i was till at the wheel of my truck come
the long way around to a house that i was to
paint the color of the rio grande in fall
but first i had to put a ladder to the roof so
the people could gather down and then it was
lunchtime and they all wanted a piece of my
sammich which was okay because i was seriously
trying to lose some weight and with my wife’s
cooking that’s not easy i dreamed one last
time to be floating on a river of paint and
that paint would make everything better again
you just roll it on and smell the new freshness
set a few flowerpots in the windowsill and
throw the dog a bone such fullness of sky
fills the mind with highway hum you’re going
out to the back plateau dotted mesas luxurious
ponderosas those clouds have called you out
of town maybe you want to make a bed out of
some of them clouds and sleep in them but
you’re already asleep remember? this is a
traveling brings you back around to yourself
Mark Weber 13nov01
Tracks 2 – 5 is one poem that has been recorded in sections in New York City and in New Mexico, then spliced together. This untitled poem is on pages 20 – 24 of my book PLAIN OLD BOOGIE LONG DIVISION. It’s my psychic autobiography circa 2005.
CK Barlow at Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque July 21, 2003 | Photo by Mark Weber
Track 2 “so many thoughts crowd the mind” | recorded at CK Barlow’s when she lived at 330 St. Francis NW, Albuquerque — a Sunday afternoon session — January 9, 2005 with Dino’s band OUT OF CONTEXT. J.A.Deane — conductor, CK Barlow — live sampling, Stefan Dill — sarod, Sam Rhodes — bassoon, Jefferson Voorhees — drumset, Alicia Ultan — viola, Katie Harlow — cello, John Flax — voice, Carlos Santistevan — upright bass
listen to so many thoughts crowd my mind
splice/ Track 3 “i am nobody but myself” recorded at Connie’s studio in Brooklyn on all-day session Sunday afternoon December 5, 2004 — loft # 410 at 475 Kent Avenue, Williamsburg — This is the day I met Mr Payne, one of the great jazz clarinetests, one of the great improvisors, wow. Bill had been a student of Connie’s but it was Richard Tabnik who gets the credit for bringing him to the session and blowing my mind. Andrea is a scholar of Broadway songs and is the wife of bassist Ken Filiano and it was Connie that insisted she be on this session, and, WOW, CC is not to be doubted, what a great singer. Also, another four tracks from this session can be heard on the compilation ALBUZERXQUE Vol. 20. Andrea Wolper — vocals, Bill Payne — clarinet
listen to i am nobody but myself
splice/ Track 4 “but i’ve got bigger problems…” | session at 725 (my place) December 10, 2004 J.A.Deane — piano
listen to but i’ve got bigger problems…
splice/ Track 5 “spiraling” | session at 725 — December 10, 2004 J.A.Deane — piano & uni-flute
listen to spiraling
splice/ Track 6 “i could never figure it out…” | Mark Weber (me) alone *Oddly, this the only track on this CD that was recorded at Quincy’s studio. We did all the mastering at Quincy’s but apparently hardly any of the actual recording. Quincy studio was a duplex at 232 Espanola NE, Albuquerque — his control room and living quarters were in apartment A and the studio for music recording was apartment B.
listen to i could nevet figure it out…
Track 7 solo hubcaps # 1 | Mark Weber — hubkaphone — Studio 725 — December 17, 2005
listen to solo hubcaps No. 1
Ken Keppeler in Silver City, New Mexico, USA | February 5, 2008 | Photo by Mark Weber | click the image to see another version…
listen to it’s lightening, son
[ untitled ]
it’s lightening, son
you don’t want it close
it’ll turn you cross-eyed
and evil, thirsty for
what the Lord can’t provide
something down at
the bottom of the well
with hands grabbin’ at you
no, it’s way too late for
the sign of the cross, brother
you best fire up that Pontiac
and burn rubber
Mark Weber 20jan06
Track 9 “Death Don’t Have No Mercy Revisited” | This is a traditional song that I wrote my own lyrics but stuck close to the original vibe. Janet and I were staying in a cabin deep in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico and I got up about 4am and wrote the song at the kitchen table with my guitar in my lap. It of course owes a lot to Reverend Gary Davis as well my youthful memories of hearing Hot Tuna play it on one of their records in the late 60s. Also the Grateful Dead would put their special something on it, as well. But, I think the Hot Tuna version was my biggest influence. AND Mississippi Fred McDowell’s “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning,” certainly is floating around the corners of my take on this dark song. These songs also seem connected to “St James Infirmary” and it’s close relative “O Bury Me Not.” As well, I think of Blind Willie McTell’s “Dyin’ Crapshooter’s Blues” and the Animals “House of the Rising Sun.” Among others. (All those songs, by the way, were recorded by the Bubbdinos.) Recorded at 725 on a 12-string I found that year at a yard sale around the corner. Recorded August 8, 2005
listen to Death Don’t Have No Mercy Revisited (excerpt)
Lisa Polisar August 25, 2001 @ Studio 725 | Photo by Mark Weber | click the image to see another version…
Track 10 “what are the concerns” Mark Weber Poetry Band | same session as track 1. I’m playing a wind machine — it looks like an old lottery bingo basket, with a hand crank, and over the wire-mesh screen drum a strip of canvas is layed, and makes absolutely perfect wind sounds — it’s a radio sound effects mainstay of yesteryear.
listen to what are the concerns
[ untitled ]
what are the concerns
of all that and everything
sleep & speed
good gas and a cheeseburger
through the binoculars
watching a woodpecker
high in the cottonwood
across the street
storing seeds for winter
Mark Weber 12oct03
Roger Mancuso | Sept 6, 2006 | Photo by Mark Weber
Track 11 “what does it mean” | Duet — poetry + drumset — same session at Connie’s as track 3 — Roger Mancuso — drums. Roger picked this poem out of one of my books. Roger is not only one of the great drummers technically, he’s also conceptually, a true artist. Drums are his pallet. ( Years ago when I was putting him on a plane my departing remark was, “Roger Mancuso, the abstract expressionist drummer!” and he laughed and we both realized I had stumbled upon a perfect way to describe his drumming (he’s a painter, too).
To me, Roger’s drumming is like taking parts of Sunny Murray, Milford Graves, Charles Moffett, Thurman Barker, John Stevens, J.C. Moses, and Rashid Ali — who were drummers in the late 60s/early 1970s that I was hugely enamored of, and still am — ( Let me say that Roger is a contemporary of these drummers and I doubt were any influence on him directly — Roger’s influences were bebop drummers like Shelly Manne, Max Roach…… )
— I’m just saying that Roger hits me that way: that the things that I love about those 1960s magnificent free jazz drummers, Roger arrived at a lot of the same conclusions about what he wanted his drumset to do. Except Roger retains a lot of “mainstream” jazz drumming in his playing, at the same time that he is superimposing free form abstract expressionistic whirlpools of sound. On the telephone with Richard Tabnick (6june11) I said that to my ears Roger has a lot of Shelly Manne in the sound of his drums, and RT concurred whole-heartedly, and then we both agreed that Max was in there, and then Richard added that elements of Elvin Jones are in there, as well. (Indeed, I spent a bus ride across Williamsburg with Roger, both of us speaking in raptures about Shelly Manne.)( I also refer you to the Roger Mancuso Interview in CADENCE magazine, September 2005.)
We also got Roger to record three tracks of solo trap set at this session ( ! ) These are unissued, as yet. However, on my radio show, where anything can happen, I had Bill Payne play Live clarinet to Roger’s “solo # 1” from that session and you can find the Bill overdub version on ALBUZERXQUE Vol. 29 (Zerx 074 — 2007)
ALSO, there is a tremendous version with alto saxophonist Nick Lyons overdubbing on Roger’s “solo # 1” recorded at Studio 725 on July 31, 2008 that we hope to release some day, soon. Note: that in the world of Lennie Tristano overdubbing was an organic and useful practice. Lennie did it, Kazzrie did it, Warne did it, Lee did it.
listen to what does it mean
[ untitled ]
what does it mean if
you dream of horses galloping
in the surf
on a wild beach?
deep blue sleep, fundamental
such elegance these horses
imperial torpid ocelots lay in the shade
beneath cliffs of pure alertness
tranquil weightless transportation
brilliant sand, harmonic waves
amphibian horses, timeless
Mark Weber 9may04
Track 12 “Wednesday, Thursday, Friday” take 2 | Recorded at Studio 475 on June 29, 2003. Connie Crothers — piano (take 1 appeared on cd ALBUZERXQUE Vol. 18 — Zerx 059 –2004) I remember Connie’s Neumann mikes were so sensitive I had to be very still and couldn’t shuffle my six pages of manuscript — I laid them out in a row on the table — but somehow on one of the versions I had picked up one of the pages out of sequence, SO, these are actually two different versions, because I had to improvise so that it came off seamless — However, on both versions, as you can hear @ 7:07 in take 2 — I erroneously say “East River” when I was actually talking about the Hudson. A stupid blunder. I do know which river is which. The corrected version was published in my chapbook FOUR POEMS FROM NEW YORK CITY (Kendra Steiner Editions, San Antonio, Texas, 2007).
listen to Wednesday, Thursday, Friday take 2 (excerpt)
Track 13 “Hubclar # 6” | Bill Payne — clarinet, Mark Weber — hubkaphone. Recorded at 725 on December 17, 2005. Various of the other “Hubclar” series of improvisations from this session can be heard on Zerx cdS ALBUZERXQUE Vol. 22, 23, and 27. And on Mark Weber Poetry Band MUSIC FOR MIXED WOODWINDS, POETRY, & BRASS (Zerx 068).
listen to Hubclar No. 6
listen to teach me how to sleep
Track 15 “what is the horse called?” | Same as track one except Lisa is out.
listen to what is the horse called?
[ untitled ]
what is the horse called?
next to the bishop and rook
surrounded by pawns, the lumpen
proletariat, the petty bourgeoise,
the nouveau riche, the obstinate,
obstreperous, and downright obtuse,
somebody turn the channel this
booshwa TV is painful brainwash
radiation microwave logjam isotopes
fat rock & roll bands are not convincing
is there a graceful way
to grow old (with dignity?)
I’m in the waiting room, the lobby
with a television
while my wife has an early morning colonoscopy
I’m half watching Regis blabfest and
half reading a Vanity Fair that
has a picture of fanciful stylized chess set
and I can’t remember what the horse is called
because that nutjob Regis is yelling so much.
Mark Weber 5dec03
Track 16 solo hubcaps # 2 — December 17, 2005
listen to solo hubcaps No. 2
Andrea Wolper | September 15, 2005 NYC | Photo by Mark Weber | click the image to see another version…
Track 17 “the phone lines are down for miles” | Andrea Wolper — voice. Same session as track 3
Track 18 “how sure of yourself can you” | Same session as track one
listen to how sure of yourself can you
[ untitled ]
how sure of yourself can you
vacillating between sunlight
the many ways
which is right and what is wrong
you can bull-headed
and charge in
because who needs timid?
blundering all over yourself
the best you can hope for
Mark Weber 7nov03
As with most musical groups that are expanding and contracting and morphing into a shape and sound that seems to best support the material, my Mark Weber Poetry Band utilized about 20 or so musicians of the New Mexico area for a few years. What I eventually settled on was a pared-down trio of Alicia, Courtney, and Lisa, on viola, harp, and flute (Yes, I was thinking of Debussy’s 1915 “Sonata for Flute, Viola, & Harp”).
This MWPB performed a half dozen times (see Zerx 048 TURTLE NIGHT for the trio in performance — absolutely no sheet music, purely spontaneously improvised by these gifted musicians — I say this because after one performance a friend wanted to see the music and was surprised to see only poems on their music stands), but the interesting trick I came up with for this instrumentation was that we’d on occasion bring in extra musicians, sometimes as many as four more instruments. And my instructions were that the trio of Alicia, Courtney & Lisa would always begin the music and that they would strictly only respond to one another. They would be set in an inner circle. Then, the additional instruments would be an outer circle, and they would comment on what was going on within the trio, BUT the trio WOULD NOT respond to anything they added. It worked brilliantly. You can hear the cd Zerx 009 BOUNDLESS COALESCENCE for an example.
My only two other musical directions would be written on top of the poem and it would be, either “Courtney starts,” or “Alicia starts,” or “Lisa starts,” OR “Follow Courtney,” or “Follow Alicia,” or “Follow Lisa.” What this means is if Courtney starts, then she initiates the music and the trio goes wherever the music takes them. IF the direction was “Follow Courtney,” then the trio must follow Courtney wherever she goes throughout the piece. And I would jump in with the poem when it felt right.
This trio version of MWPB was a great group, and we did gallery openings and a couple gigs at the Outpost Performance Space, and several radio broadcasts, and spent a lot of time in the studio recording. Eventually they realized they could make more money if they dumped the poet guy and started taking gigs elsewhere, which was okay with me, sic transit gloria mundi, and all that, I had other fish to fry.
J.A. Deane @ Acapulco Taco, Albuquerque | June 2, 2010 | click the image to see another version @ Studio 725 | June 2, 2010 | Photos by Mark Weber…
Track 19 “O Albuquerque” J.A.Deane — piano. Session at 725 on December 10, 2004
listen to O Albuquerque
Janet Feder | April 24, 2006 | Photo by Mark Weber | click the image to see another version…
Track 20 “Late Night Duet # 2” | Recorded at Studio 725 evening of April 21, 2006. Janet Feder — prepared guitar, Mark Weber — hubkaphone. I remember the night I first met Janet Feder was February 27, 1999 because that afternoon the Bubbadinos had played for the Folk Alliance, and afterwards Stefan and I had stopped by the old Outpost to check out what was doing there, and Janet was there, visiting from Denver. It was Chris Allen who introduced us. (Chris is the vibraphone player on my cd BOUNDLESS COALESCENCE — Zerx 009 — he is a transplant from Denver, himself.) After that, Janet and I did a whole gang of projects together and a few concerts and about dozen recording sessions up to 2007 when Quincy died and I decided to take a break from the scene for awhile. A lot of our recordings are in the vaults. As well, many of our collaborations and some of her solo work appear on ALBUZERXQUE cdS volumes 1, 2, 4, 7, 10, 13, 17, 24, 25, & 27.
ANYWAY, she’s amazing and so is her music and her concept of guitar. What we found out with these duets was that recording very late at night, nearing midnight, we found that another type of feeling and sound took us over. We had done some recording earlier in the evening but decided to break and go out to eat somewhere in town. When we came back we did this series of “Late Night Duets.”
listen to Late Night Duet No. 2
listen to twice seven
This poem “Twice Seven” is an example of pure improvisation. I hadn’t a clue what I was going to write when I sat down to construct it. Usually I have a fairly good idea what it is I’m going to put into a poem, if not, almost the entire poem already in mind. And some poems percolate in my head for years. Not this poem. This starts with what I call a gambit. A gambit is a phrase that I like and save until I have time to sit down and explore where it could possibly go. I always use it as the opening line. I use this technique often, although certainly not exclusively.
I’ve never been a real big fan of improvising poems, Kerouac could pull it off effectively, but the rest of us should employ the techniques of revision. It was Judson Crews (1917-2010) that had got me to thinking about improvisation in poetry. He said, “After all, painters do it, why can’t poets,” when he was explaining to me that a good portion of poetry was purely improvised. AND then it was Joan Jobe Smith who introduced me to the concept of parataxis, “You do it all the time, Mark.” I do? So, she explained that monumental idea to me, and I’ve used it ever since. In my conformation, parataxis is the joining of two ideas into one poem. And let the mind make the connections. It’s magic.
across the stars
galaxy of tornadoes
redness & deep
black aquamarine scintillations
a frost, sharpens the sound
cranking my jack
six cholla, three rusty beer cans
lavender wisp of Apache plume
chamisa, snakeweed, yellow flowers
and it isn’t even Spring, yet
flat tire, New Mexico
think I’ll just go lay down
over near that juniper
drink this apple juice
forage a handful of pinon nuts
that’s where I get my ‘pinions:
from Brother Pine
old black man told Mark Twain in Hannibal
“You tell me where a man gets his corn pone
and I’ll tell you his O-pinions”
Mark Weber 27feb97
Mark Weber | December 23, 2003 | Photo by Janet Simon | click the image to see another version…
Track 22 solo hubcaps # 3 | December 17, 2005
listen to solo hubcaps No. 3
Track 23 “sometimes a hammer fixes all that” | Same session as track 3. Bill Payne — clarinet
listen to sometimes a hammer fixes all that
Track 24 “the chimerical espionage of poetry” | Another poem from the chap FOUR POEMS FROM NEW YORK CITY. Same session as track one — Alicia Ultan — viola, Mark Weaver — tuba, Michael Vlatkovich — trombone
listen to the chimerical espionage of poetry
Track 25 “teach me how to sleep” | same as track 24. This poem can also be heard on cd CONNIE CROTHERS QUARTET + MARK WEBER LIVE AT THE STONE (New Artists Records 1046) under the title “Reluctance.”
listen to teach me how to sleep
teach me how to sleep
where is that whirlpool
the secret of warm milk
languid waking nonchalance
dissolving ethereal pharmacopoeia
pills, bare lightbulb
I cannot take those pills
like swimming in a slurry of mud
you have to wait
for sleep to sneak up on you
Mark Weber 31jan04
Track 26 “you are not finally dead” | Same musicians and session as track 24
listen to you are not finally dead
[ untitled ]
you are not finally dead
all those with memories
have died too
when you first pass
over to the other side
you are among
the living dead
only when the last
among those who carried
a living memory of you
do you then
to the Land of the Faraway Dead
that is unknown to us
Mark Weber 20nov03
Track 27 “clear the mind with sleep” take 1 | Same session as track 3. Roger Mancuso — drums
listen to clear the mind with sleep
Track 28 “so many thoughts crowd the mind” REPRISE | Same poem excerpt as track two except recorded with Alicia, Michael, and Mark from session on track one. I don’t actually know why we put this on here? It must be because the music is so good. You see, Quincy and I finished the master on this CD on February 28, 2007 after working on it for three solid years, so we must have had a good reason, and I don’t want to change it, now.
listen to so many thoughts crowd the mind (Reprise)
Track 29 “if I believed in God” | Same session as track 3. Bill Payne — clarinet
listen to if I believed in God
Ken Keppeler & Jeanie McLerie @ Studio 725 | January 11, 2004 | Photo by Mark Weber | click the image to see another version…
Track 30 “the Blankenships” | Recorded w/ Ken Keppeler, Jeanie McLerie — twin fiddles. March 1, 2006 at Studio 725.
listen to the Blankenships
Mark Weber | Photo by Liz Lopez | click the image to see another version…
Track 31 “Dyin’ Crapshooter’s Blues” | Recorded September 6, 2005. Myself solo on the couch here at 725 (adapted by Mark Weber) Blind Willie McTell was a bad dude — wrote this lyric in three voices — tricky to sing — he recorded it solo on November 5, 1940 in Atlanta.
listen to Dyin’ Crapshooter’s Blues
I’ve become less and less sure that the world needs another poetry CD. I suppose that’s why this one wound up in the vault for five years. And probably why I’m releasing it in a CDR format, not that it’s not an okay recording. The late Quincy Adams and I put a lot of work into the thing.
You know, nobody listens to Jack Kerouac’s poetry recordings — that gold mine of new material came to light a few years back — released as READS ON THE ROAD — and was remaindered within the year because nobody bought it ! A masterpiece! )
So, what hope do I have?
And, if you do not find the time to listen to this recording, I won’t hold that against you. At this remove of years it strikes me as an indulgence. Another odd personal life mythology. Poetry is such an art form of regeneration. The very nature of poetry forces you to keep looking deeper and deeper and in that process you are always leaving behind old philosophies you once held dear.
Interesting how your thoughts change over time. This recording has works on it that are almost ten years old and my thinking, in some regards, has turned inside out, reinvented itself. Not that I exactly refute some of the ideas and thoughts on this record, only bow to former aspects of what is sometimes called “myself.” ( The Buddha cautions that the self is a mirage.)
BUT, the music is tremendous, WOW. Under what system of astrology did I ever deserve such amazing musical friends? Who knows.
Reality is not so far out of reach, nor is it hidden behind a veil. If you merely sit for a minute, breathe long breaths, close the eyes and shut down the chatter in your skull you’ll find something that could be called reality. Better to call it consciousness. Clear Light.
This is to say that some of the concerns represented on this recording are no longer concerns of mine. But, with all the work that went into it — the flying back & forth to both coasts — and everything Quincy put into it, finishing it just ten months before he died (pancreatic cancer) — I want to leave it as it is. (We made the final master on February 28, 2007.)
All of these musicians are on-going and frequent collaborators. Interesting to note that all of the Bubbadinos are on this record, but under other circumstances.
Talking with Ken Keppeler this morning (17june11) I asked him what he thought of the title of this CD — that the poems mostly date from 2003 — and how much has changed in what I consider worth spilling out in poem-form these days, and he said: “It works out okay. You were there then, and you recorded all this, but you’re not there now, you’re here now, and so it’s like you’re the same person, but you’re two different persons, standing next to yourself.” IF you have any questions you can always email me > firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Weber June 2011
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