Dillo ai Tuoi Amici

Y'all don't EVEN know.

It’s been almost a year since the collective insanity of the Snarky Puppy family descended upon the swamp for a day I insisted was “immortal.”  Michael’s general response to my incessant lauding is an endearing/exhausted blink followed by a humble request that I calm down.  Cut to today, where I am dancing in the corner of the Philly train station to “White Cap” and continuing my wicked habit of telling everyone I meet — friend or otherwise — about the greatest band in existence.  Call me biased all you want, this shit is good!  You don’t have to tattoo the horn line transcription onto your wrist, but I honestly extol you to purchase this album for one of two reasons:

  1. It will make you smarter.
  2. You’ll get some ass.  The more you listen, the better the booty.

And all you have to do is listen!  Our mad cool friends at Ropeadope officially drop Tell Your Friends today, so now you can enjoy the perks of Pup Culture (see above).  For 15 bucks you get a cd/dvd and watch for my goofy mug making google eyes at the boys during “White Cap”.  OR you can load up your iPod lickety-split for 6 bizzos!

I was a very happy panda that day.

Now, for your reading enjoyment, the boudain-stained pages of my diary the incredible day this album was made.

November 21                                                                          Dockside Studio – Maurice, LA

The rain is letting up.  I’m waiting for an alligator to pop up out of the water.  It’s been too long since I’ve been down on the Bayou.  I left my pad and pen at Jess’ house, but managed to track down a few spare pieces to occupy my mind while the boys rehearse.  I like to give them band space.  A bit of time on my own doesn’t hurt, either.

We drove all night, and I managed to sleep most of the way.  I feel more rested after sleeping in transit than when I’m confined to a fixed locale.  Trains, cars, planes… I can only rest when I’m going somewhere.  This is a fairly new phenomena and it began on the dodgy orange school bus parked out in front.

The sounds of rehearsal are building their way across the antebellum plantation.  I feel such a peace in a strange and beautiful place.  Louisiana is my Oz.

How special is it that I am here today?  I hope today serves to remind me how incredibly blessed I am.  To be with these people—and to be family with them and to be surrounded by such humble brilliance and undeniable talent; to dance with abandon through each day.  The world blossomed in my very hand.  It sounds of the happy tempo of New Orleans through the seductive pull of intricate guitars and horns to welcome me home.

Uh-oh.  Creepy well.  I’m going to definitely not think about alligators in wells.  I swear my Grama Crisman must’ve told me some story when I was at a frightfully impressionable age.  Pretty sure I haven’t grown out of that level of psychological vulnerability.  This concept is further evidenced by Aditi’s (herself a doctoral counseling student) analysis of my alligator phobia.  She suggested it was perhaps “a cognitive issue.”  I am wont to agree.

We’re hanging out in the Lady house – well, Devin is here and Andy is buzzing around with his film crew.  Today is a much documented day – today we are immortal.  An album, a documentary, and a book; this must be special.  The women (and Devin) are in the kitchen planning tonight’s meal.  I am beyond useless in this department.  I only cook when the boys are in Denton.  Something snaps and I start nesting and cooking and clucking around like a mother hen.

But not today.  Today I am too busy basking in a pool of contentment.  No, it’s now contentment… it is sublime.

Also, I have to focus on capturing fancies like “smoking cigarettes at the Charisma Tuxedo Den.”

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Magical, Intangible New York.

Sometimes I wonder when this life of mine is going to sink in.  Surely at some point I will question why Janet Jackson’s band took me out for my birthday, pulled my ass on stage at the Village Underground, and played a Go Go beat (not fair, gentlemen).  Perhaps it will dawn on me that not everyone casually wanders from tragically hip-yet-dingy clubs to Revival services and back again for the sake of extraordinary music.  Sooner or later I will realize I am the only white woman in the room.  But I don’t think I will care about any of it.  I will just go on listening, because it’s the only thing I really know how to do.  Listen to music and love musicians.  That is my world.  This is who I am.
I came to the point where everything I ever wanted was really all that I had.  I am now in New York City.  After a treacherous six months trying to stack paper in the live music industry (in a town that, predominantly speaking, would not know good music if it fucked them in the ear) my situation became untenable.  This is absolutely ludicrous, given the mass quality of musicians living every day in the DFW metroplex.  Not enough people are getting off their butts and/or leaving their houses.  Now I have to go into television to get their attention, and it’s just going to get more silly as we go.  I lived in Dallas for 18 years and I can tell you now, a lot of those people won’t give a shit until New York notices.  So I’m here to see what I can’t kick up, knowing full well I can make some cool shit happen and get a little more money pumping into the industry I love so dearly.  I have to tell you, it’s working.  I’m working.  There is work here!  People go to shows!  There are tons of musicians — and I somehow know all of them.  It’s pretty intense.

Whoops.

I am really blessed to be working with so many incredible musicians on many dimensions of the industry — as far as I can tell, every producer and crew member of The Crisman Show is thus far a musician.  I also have projects cooking with Dana Hawkins, Deonis Cook, and the fine folks over at Search and Restore.  Now I couldn’t very well leave my soul behind in Dallas.  I’ll still be around on a regular basis.  Actually, I’ll be around a lot more places on a regular basis — especially now we’re in full Pup Season, with Tell Your Friends out on Ropeadope on September 21 and the first show of the tour is September 28 at the Lyceum Ballroom in Baton Rouge (featuring the incorrigible and adorable Taron Lockett and his Juke Joint Jam Session).  I’ll keep you posted on the haps, and see you at the shows!
-Crisman

Dirty Always Live Like A Soldier

Living among the wild of musicians has taken an alarming and beautiful toll on my life.  I lived in Dallas for 16 years before it ever felt like home.  It wasn’t until Mike League started playing with Bernard Wright and Jason “JT” Thomas at Gezellig that I was able to appreciate the rich culture inherent to this urban-small town.  That was when I found the soul of Dallas.

Just to give you a small taste of how the South spoils me:  I have listened to Bernard Wright play at least once a week for the past nine weeks running.  You can imagine how fantastically warped my ears are now — that’s some real shit!  Consequently, the people I run around with in my day-to-day routine also happen to be the musicians I turn to when I need a hit of current sonic obsessions:  Erykah Badu, Mama’s Gun; Geno Young, Ear Hustler; Snarky Puppy, Tell Your Friends; D’Angelo, VooDoo — Big D fingerprints all over every last one of ’em!  I am blessed beyond measure to experience the dynamic energy of this community.  They’ve turned me into quite the monster.

One thing I’ve picked up from running is this crew is the birthday hustle (we’re all still recovering from Shaun Martin’s August birthday).  I’m turning 30 on September 12th.  We’re throwing down four parties in four cities to celebrate this incredible life we have in 2010.  Bernard Wright Trio at Hailey’s (Denton); The Black and Blues at Where House (Fort Worth); Shaun Martin’s Go Go Party at Green Elephant (Dallas); and a supa-fly NYC jam session hosted by Bob Lanzetti, Michael League, and Dana Hawkins — Mike Gamble, Adam Schatz, Maz, Boomtown, Dusty… the whole NY Snarky Puppy crew will all be in the house.  Sense a pattern?  30’s goin’ hard.

Happy September, y’all.  I’ll see you at the shows.

Going to sleep and other worlds I’ve seen
Where my thoughts turn into thangs
Magical, intangible, and know how fresh we would be
If we took our dreams seriously

(if you aren’t throwin’ down with us in BK, go see Georgia Anne Muldrow at the Prophet Bar on September 15).