—Paul Salopek on his walk around the world.
Shitty people say a lot.
Nothing in the voice of the cicada intimates how soon it will die.
Along this road goes no one, this autumn eve.
—Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
“Jake, Junk & the Jewels" by Aaron Fuchs, Crawdaddy (1972)
Ever since rock and roll began, New York City has taken a terrible toll on its young. The Broadway gestalt, like some klieg-lighted Medusa, reaches alluringly to the farthest ends of the city, where starry-eyed children with show biz otherness on their mind seek to return the energy, only to have it bounce back in their faces off the inescapable, insurmountable concrete, steel and brick. The expression that inevitably results is called fantasy.
Allen “Jake” Jacobs has to be in the forefront of NY City’s casualties. Blood, Sweat and Tears made it, and today apologizes for losing the most vital music they made. Dion made it, and today apologizes for making the most vital music he made. But Jake Jacobs, well, Jake Jacobs hasn’t made it at all, and would demand an apology for the lack of success his most vital music has met with, but he’s known failure so consistently that he’s beginning to learn to live with it.
Jake’s new album, The Big Moose Calls His Baby Sweet Lorraine, is quite simply, an album for our time. Like few other works by white artists, it compellingly captures today’s mood of the city’s people, with it’s sense of longing for both better times and places, coupled with the final irony of resignation to that longing. Jake is backed by the Family Jewels, a loose aggregation of musician-friends whose imprecise but cohesive blend of sound supersedes technical virtuosity or tightness. They are the perfect backdrop for Jake’s funkishly human, non-stylized vocals. And the sound of the music is like a voice-print of New York City—an accretion of styles, from doo-wop to West VIllage folk to good-time music to rock and roll, that sets like the 59th Street Bridge, with filth-encrusted eloquence. It is inevitably wasted, however, without passengers; and Jake is now musing why there seem to be so few willing to share his ride.
Passenger sleeping on a busy train under the NYC skyline. I couldn’t resist snapping the shot due to the terrific composition. He is literally asleep under the city.
My friend Nick Ceglio is an Art Major at the University at Albany. Check out some of his work and very detailed doodles, he is very talented. Give him your support and show your friends, expect something from this man someday.