Avrom Sutzkever: “Green Aquarium,” a poem newly translated from Yiddish by Zackary Sholem Berger - *(l. to r.): Avrom Sutzkever, Abba Kover and Gershon Abramowicz in the Vilna Ghetto, 1942*[The post-Holocaust fate of Yiddish writing is something that’s ...
Monday, February 2, 2009
To score a poem, delicious beer is required
This is a documentary shot of the interior of Lij's little college dormish fridge at a particularly well-stocked moment. Three Fried Men was tracking our poetry score to The Sydney Highrise Variations in Lij's studio, The Toy Box, in Nashville. It seemed important that we have really delicious beer to do this.
I was fresh from a beer run with Marc Primeau, a primo assistant engineer. The beer run seemed to call for an abundance of beers made by my friends out in Stone Brewing, who made all of these delicous beers, though I suppose this is obvious at a glance only if you are a Stone-r and have gazed longingly at each of these bottles.
It's a story I've got for you, of potent beer and the recording of music. And it's a story, of Stone Brewing and me. Both, fast - at the speed of blog (if not, quite, Twitter).
Man drinks potent beer. (Woman does too, but only men in Nashville at Toy Box at time.) Man dream big. Man play well. Man drink more potent beer. Man dream bigger. Man play worse. Repeat.
So, you learn to trick yourself. You postpone "beer-thirty," that bewitched hour when man drinks first beer of day. The later beer-thirty arrives, whatever fibs one tells oneself at the time, the more productive the recording session, in the end.
However, no hope of beer-thirty at the end of the day, and what a drab recording session.
As for Stone Brewing and me, it started at a riverfront bar in New York City. There was a Czech barmaid. God bless her soul. There was a Turkish actress. My sister for life. There was the Turkish actress' father, who had translated all of Shakespeare into Turkish.
This is starting to sound like make-believe, but it's all true, and the Turkish father translator and I drank strong beers together at that riverfront bar where I stumbled upon Stone.
To suburban San Diego. To Stone Brewing. Drinking, telling yarns.
With Steve Wagner, brewmeister, about his indie folk rock days. The Balancing Act. "A TV Guide in the Olduvai George."
With Greg Koch, CEO type honcho. About the rehearsal studios he owns in Downtown L.A.; his tenants I might know.
To Downtown San Diego. To the Koch loft. Joined by Chris Cochran, Stone marketeer. He formerly of Las Vegas High School. Yarns about yarns about yarns. Cochran's pool boy years. Koch fading. Past tense "faded".
Koch to journalist: "What can I give you? We make beer. Let me remind you: the thing we make is beer."
Journalist to Koch: "Give me beer."
Koch gives to journalist ludicrous amount of free Stone beer for the road. Journalist takes it to ...
... Los Angeles! Where he ... writes songs with Matt Fuller! Songs that ... end up on The Sydney Highrise Variations!
Which we record in ... Nashville! In the state of ... Tennessee! Which has a distributorship for Stone Brewing!
Whereas, a state that lacks such a distributor, would be the state of ... Missouri! Where I live! As does my fellow beer geek and three fried man, Dave Melson.
Hence the Stone. And the Stone. And the Stone. And the Stone.