autumn approaches

San Diego is known for its beautiful weather all year long. That’s why those of us who have lived here a while kind of relish the slight change of season that occurs around this time. It’s a strange mix. During the day, most days, it’s hot and the Santa Ana winds blow and inevitably lead to fire. There’s one burning right now out near Julian. But then in the evening, a chill comes in, ever so slightly, but still noticeable. I love that part. It’s just about perfect for this girl who doesn’t love cold weather, but does like to acknowledge the change of season.

I realized that I didn’t say a word yesterday about the showcase in Anaheim. It was pretty cool. It was hosted at someone’s home, in their backyard. She told us there would be no amplification, but it went beyond that, and there was no electricity at all, so no lights. There were tiki torches and candles a-glowing, and it was a lovely sight. There were 3 acts total, and the first act, was…well, awful. I couldn’t understand why they were there. And I heard them talking about how they had another gig in Hollywood later, and I couldn’t believe it. It also made me look forward to Acoustic Duo’s performance because I knew they would blow people away, especially after what they’d just listened to. And I was right. They were fantastic. And you know, the backyard show is nothing new (though usually it’s amplified). But they were comfortable, projected well, and were just great, like they always are. And the folks really liked them. Who the folks were, I have no idea. I don’t know why they were there or how they knew about it.

One cool thing was that Awesome Mastering Guy came to see them. Now Acoustic Duo has mastered every record they’ve done (6 now over the last 12 years) and he’s never seen them live. He even came up and jammed on a song with them which was great. What was interesting was talking to him afterward and hearing him say what a cool idea it was to have music in the backyard of someone’s house. He said he liked the “analog aspect” of it all. He said how everyone in LA is so wired and frenetic that it was nice to ‘unplug’ and enjoy music that way. It was adorable! I forget that not everyone has that ‘analog aspect’ in their lives like we do, so it was interesting to hear how he described it. It was also cool to hear him tell stories about T-Bone Burnett and Lucinda Williams. 🙂

This evening I have to do some work for Acoustic Duo. We all talked on the drive up to Pasadena and I have a bit of a game plan to go by for scheduling. There are also some festivals to look into etc. Part of me just wants to curl up and read though. I finished The Sugar Queen (last night) and I’ve now started a new book, fitting for the upcoming holiday, called The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe. It is a double story, set in 1681 & 1991 in Salem, Massachusetts. A witch story. Perfect.

This time of year always reminds me of this poem I wrote a number of years ago so I thought I’d post it here (although I’ve already posted it). Enjoy your evening!

Fire Season

I got diamonds on my fingers
but no place to go
except to ghost towns in springtime
where priests burn sage from holy balconies
where choirs sing &
sun scatters colors on the congregation
smoky orange & blazing red
while outside fires consume California

I got this bag on my back
that still holds something of you
worn leather of your thoughts
caramelized into sweet scent
I hold hostage behind sealed zipper
& I love to see the way land looks
with eastern sunlight shining from behind me
or seeing beams on hillside
but not seeing sun itself
until I round the corner
feel it full on my face
it forces me to notice all colors
not to close my eyes against it
& to see darkness differently
to feel change in the air
warm Santa Ana’s, morning fog, or Halloween chills
porque siente como el invierno en mi cuarto ya
y en mi cama
butter & clovers
sweaters & lovers
heat of fires on the hills
air whipped & chilled near the ocean

winter music plays
celebrates eastern morning rays
& evening stardust breezes
for you & me & everyone
for it all to snuggle in my hair
like smoke & sweat
to settle into my pillowcase
that I’ll send to you
when we’re apart
so with every turn
you’ll remember
the fire season


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