July 2008





Brooklyn, NY: Dackelina

Originally uploaded by MeganFromTheLastTownChorus

(Sent from my Palm phone.)




Brooklyn, NY: Aloha

Originally uploaded by MeganFromTheLastTownChorus

This morning I tuned my original lap steel, the Oahu, to a Hawaiian tuning (GBEGBD)…for the first time in the seven years since I discovered lap steel, whose very origin is Hawaiian. What a difference one string (and only one step up) makes – the sound of that tuning instantly conjures up a Salvation Army basement brimming with huge piles of damp Hawiian records from the 20s. I had an impulse to pair it with a quick beat and write a song with loose origins in my grandfather’s work as a carpenter/cabinetrymaker/Superindent in the Auburn Prison in upstate New York. His labour force – thus his trainees and colleagues – were the inmates. It was a 30-year career that began in the 20s. (I have a press photo of him helping to carry out a bloodied guard during the big riot of 1929.) I’m curious to see where this goes.

(Sent from my Palm phone).



I’ve decided to arrange and perform a Buffy Saint-Marie song, “Babe in Arms,” for the Laura Cantrell-curated event, which happens three weeks from today here in NYC at the intruiguing Spiegeltent. Thirty years before Sinead O’Connor, Buffy was serving up some serious feminine ferocity. I remember blasting that Buffy record during high school – I think I’d stumbled on some of her albums at Jerry’s Records and been taken by the tweaky cover images of her. She was a rebel in a real, deep way. And she’s still working. Today in the studio, Byron laid down bass and a bit of guitar on ‘Overboard,’ ‘You’re Coming With Me,’ and ‘Old-Fashioned Love Song.’

(Sent from my mobile phone.)




Brooklyn, NY: Moving

Originally uploaded by MeganFromTheLastTownChorus

My tour manager friend Phil just phoned me from London during a 2:30 AM drive towards Gatwick Airport, having just heard The Last Town Chorus on BBC 2 on the van’s radio. It served to remind me that there is a place called the UK, and that I’ll eventually be there again, along with other places that aren’t my studio, at other times than a New York City Summer. Today I worked on a new song called, for now, ‘Moving.’ Tomorrow morning, Byron comes over to track on some songs. A month from now, I’ll be in Australia.

(Sent from my Palm phone.)




Brooklyn, NY: Less Things

Originally uploaded by MeganFromTheLastTownChorus

My CDs seem so ambivalent towards me. In waves, I digitize, then rid of, batches of them. I may keep my favorite 100 or so in a flip-book. My vinyl collection, however, is nagging me to keep it around. It’s not a valuable collection, but it’s well-curated and well-maintained. If a decent buyer came around, methinks I’d part with the discs, maybe keep a handful like the icelandic-language version of the Sugarcubes’ second album (“Here Today, Tomorrow Next Week”) pressed on silver vinyl. Today was a gloriously grey Sunday. I organized and cleaned for hours and can’t wait to wake early and hit the studio. I changed my plan to go to the beach yesterday, only to learn tonight that yesterday New York City’s seas swept up a surreal number of swimmers…something like four dead, three missing, three rescued.

(Sent from my Palm phone.)




New York, NY: Into the Island of Manhattan

Originally uploaded by MeganFromTheLastTownChorus

Gliding into Manhattan on a Friday evening to sip Coke-Classic while observing the volume of the island grow progressively louder as everyone on it gets wasted..

(Sent from my Palm phone.)




Brooklyn, NY: The Hissing of Summer Lawns

Originally uploaded by MeganFromTheLastTownChorus

I’m really feelin’ the song ‘Don’t Interrupt the Sorrow’ from Joni Mitchell’s album ‘The Hissing of Summer Lawns.’

(Sent from my Palm phone.)

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