J Chaplin In The Big City

I don’t remember much, but I woke this morning from a dream in which I was wandering around NYC, aimless, comical, like Chaplin, Keaton, perhaps even Harpo.

I had the sensitive, innocent, mischievous look of a man with nothing but curiosity and attraction to guide me, the comical little movements, unrequited and longing looks at all the disconnected people, buildings, stores, phenomenon, the optimistic magnetism of one trying to connect with everything only to be quickly followed with the sad thwarted look of a man turned away by everyone, finally resolved, each time, into the plaintive, content look of one who settles for his own little adventures, trip of emotions, hope of finding a woman who cares, a simple returned glance, a friendly smile, a friend or at least partner in melancholy among the homeless, the old, the children, the animals.

I was full of perfectly awkward gestures, little slips, contained modest movements…attempts to dance with the city like a big crude partner that keeps whirling me around, stepping on my feet, crushing me against the walls, the others, paying me no attention.

It ended with me sitting on a stoop, in a lonely corner slightly away from the crowd and it was all in black and white, silent.

Dancin With Dizzy

I dreamt I was watching a show on the history of Jazz, and was immersed in it. On a train rocking along going back through the tough times of the 20s, 30s, 40s in black and white. From desperate poverty and outright racism came a song and dance that was more than victorious. It was Jazz. I don’t remember much but the end now (though there was a scene in which uncle Ted entered, with which I shared a moment of sympathetic adoration, comprehension of what Jazz was).

I was in a club watching Dizzy Gillespie perform at the end of his life. When I got there, I sat at the bar. Someone gave me some weed. I took a seat at the front of the spacious place across the empty dance floor from the band, where Diz stood leading. I fumbled with the weed b/c it was mixed with tobacco, separating it out as I could, but having a hard, distracting time trying to be inconspicuous. A guy next to me obviously wanted a toke, watching me, what I had. Finally I managed to half-way sort it out, but gave up, distracted again by the music, the performance.

Diz was having a great time and I became enthralled with his masterful mischief. At the end, the band had stopped but he was still scatting along, doing a little dance. I walked along with him as he sang and shuffled his way back toward the bar, across the big, clean place. As we approached the end of the empty floor, and our conversation –at least one other person was now hovering, wanting to talk to him– I asked him if he possibly remembered meeting Eric Molin. A subtlety pleased look of recognition came over him.

As he smiled back at me I told him that was my dad, that he had left me his trumpet –I got goosebumps, and pointed them out to Diz– and that dad had studied with the same teacher, Dizzy’s first, at which point his expression became a bit less comprehending. I said, “I love you Diz,” as I backed away, and the supremely celebratory scat and shuffle now became mine as I left him, singing my bebop, doing my little dance.

Songs On The Spot

Newspaper and Trumpet played some tunes and wrote some newsprint Wednesday evening.

  1. Started Over
  2. I’m Empty
  3. Don’t Le Me Be
  4. Caveman Fannypack
  5. I’m Red
  6. Thank You
  7. Started Over (Again)

Making Art With Sara Hickman

588667816_e748a8a99f_mI am very excited to post that I have begun making art with Sara Hickman! We got together a few weeks ago and had a  fantastic time writing a few poems, starting a few songs.

Here is the rough sketch of the first semi-complete song, Bananas! She had the instrumental la-la chorus, improvised a great chorus and verse, to which I added another two and a bridge.

How We Got Bananas!
0.1a – Sara sings the la-la chorus…
0.1b – …then she makes up a fantastic verse.
0.2 – I add two more verses and bridge, sketched it w/reggae guitar, backing vocals.
0.3 – Sketch again with driving guitar, sampled shaker, new takes, bit more production.


da da da da, da da da da

i greeta da bananas in da morning
and eata da banana most every day
i dip a da banana into my yoghurt
and peck at peanut butter you got on your plate

oh how i am hungry for something so healthy
i needa da energy so i can play
hello mister granola or you can say hola
anyway you mix it it’s quite a parfait

my little banana my little banana
oh you’re so yellow my bright happy fellow
i love my banana more than i can say
da da da da, da da da da

i packa da banana for de afternoon time
for a sweet snack in a slice of da shade
it’s got it’s own package but squeeze it so lightly
or you’ll get all slimey wherever it’s laid

banana beer banana bread banana chip banana pudding
banana split, cherry and chocolate on it
banana boat and a banana cream pie
banana lips banana nose banana eyes

my little banana my little banana
you’re good for my tummy and so sweet and yummy
i love my banana more everyday
da da da da, da da da da,

i peela the banana in the evening
when you come around i make you fresh fruit
you say you love it when we get together
and you let me feed you with my little spoon

oh how i love you, oh you’re so beautiful
you make me happy more than i can say
when you go away oh i’m so lonely
but i go bananas and then i’m ok

my little banana my little banana
you’ve got such a luster when out with your cluster
you follow your hunches and travel in bunches
stick it in your ear and pretend you can’t hear
but please never take my banana away
da da da da, da da da da

Sara’s also entrusted me with 7 canvases, so beyond the new songs, I’ve got a few visions to chase…bless you sweet generous muse! I’ve just made some additions to her painting below (namely the Adirondack chair and black writing on the flower). Check out all the art and music we’ve begun making at newspaperandtrumpet.com.

The Chair and The Chicken

Singing Under the Bridge

song 1 – voices in the trees


i hear voices in the trees
will they pass me by on the floating breeze
i don’t know but
i hear them i hear them
goin by
they got some place that they gotta go
i wonder if they can hear me too
as i sit under this bridge with you
how i came to enjoy the day
i woulda been lost but you ran my way
down the street behind the yellow bulldozer
that was pullin up the street how could we meet
but you came down and you said hey
youre in the right place don’t go away
so i took you hand in such reverie
now we’re sittin under a bridge you and me
we’re gonna make music, oh then they’ll see
how easy how easy music music can bee
you and mee la la la la la la

the snake are hangin in the trees
all the ones that we can’t see
singing to the birds that are makin’ their nest
all the little babies that are gestatin’
holy mole we’re wakin’ up
the sun is shinin and the buttercups
reflected in the pools beside me
i only wish that i could find me some
eternal music someplace that i can use it
don’t know where i belong
sometimes i just write a song
and i’ve got a new home i’ve got a new place
got a new friend and a little space
to make some echoes happenin today
graffitti on the way

pan left his flute sittin up on the bridge
we could pull him down and make some music again
i see all the holes where all the mates
come and hear my music it’s never a joke it makes
others smile and giggle too
and like the time we had the tickle-fest
when you were comin’ up and comin’ up and comin’ up into your best
i like the time my husband wore the yellow pants
i was paintin pictires it was summer and he took a chance
he said come on let’s get together have some sweet romance
and now ten years has come and gone
and we’re gettin tot he middle of our song
who knew two kids would come along
we’re growin’ old growin’ old gracefully
him and me
the pan flute’s singing
softly ringing
ringing just bells of joy
oh take you toys

strap em to your belt
wake up in the middle of the night
and have yourself a solo pillowfight
hold on baby we’re goin somewhere
nobody knows but we don’t care
we’re gonna hop that train
we gonna fly that plane
we gonna lift up a rock
we gonna put on a sock

dun dum dum du du da da…

time for a change
for a change
do do do do do

song 2 – spring


hey now hew now don’t be too discouraged
because winter has come and it has gone
we’v e got sprin around the corner
and you know what that means (whadoes it mean?!)
it means life is gonna is gonna be poppin at the seams
and if you get afraid (i’m not afraid!)
just remember how you were made
and everything will work out ok

and need some lovin
and i’ve got some lovin
but i never know what the spring will bring
winter was fun
but i prefer the sun
time to put on my spring wings and fly

fly right straight out of your little nest
you know that it’s the best
when the birds start hoppin
and a boppin along we sing
you can’t be blue
when spring’s all around you
cause you know that there’ll be little shoots
poppin’ up with something new
something something new

i strapped on my space boots and
i took myself a spacewalk
got myself some space and gave myself a spacetalk
way out of this world (way out of this world)
i couldn’t tell what i was sayin so i started prayin

dear god please send the words so my lover will know
that my heart’s beating so i wanna love grow
everything is comin down but it’s past the snow and
and i need to remember that big blackbird in my heart
she will never part b/c i’ve got more than this
i’ve got love to give (i’ve got love to give)
it’s drippin from my fingertips
and i know i will always remember everything that you say
gonna be a great day

say it one more time and catch it while it flew
do do we could make a little bit of blues
something that the day is sayin to me (sayin sayin)
mud daubers, the nester, you and me
and takimine

she’s singin to me
listen closely and you’ll hear her little song

you gotta get right you can’t go wrong
when you’re friend’s singing a made up song
you know that winter’s gone and now it’s time
to you let go too sweet last fall

summer get’s so hot
and it can come any day
but spring might only last an hour
but we’ll enjoy it anyway

i look into your eyes and i never realized
beyond seeing myself you’ve got a soul that’s a magical shell
so i reach up to where i can hardly see anymore
and what’s in store? who can say?
i’m in love with lovin’ you, i’m in love today
i’m gonna put you in my pocket and carry you away

ba di da da

song 3 – Bananas!

[audio:2009/4/banana-la-la.mp3] [audio:2009/4/banana-la-la-2.mp3]

da da da du da da du
la la la la la la la la la

i peel the banana in the evening
when you come around i make you fresh fruit
you say you love it when we get together
and you let me feed you with my little spoon
oh how i love you, you make me happy more than i can say
when you go away oh i’m so lonely
but i know i’ll see you again someday
my little banana my little banana
oh you’re so yellow my happy fellow
i love my banana more than i can say

song 3.1 the cancer banana song

so much of my life the skin is comin off
i was in the sun too long and now i cough
i’ve got this cancer it’s coming from inside
i peel my banana the caner i can’t hide
oh help me dear god you know i’m so sick
i wish i was healthy oh help me so quick
before i am down inside my grave
i wish i was stronger i wish i was brave
i want to cry i cry out to you
all of this cancer it’s killing me too
oh why must i be oh so very sad
when i could have had the best life i coulda had

it’s such an a’peelin’ banana
cause i’m ready and ripe

da da da du da da du
la la la la la la la la la

love smoothie!

talking, story…bananas

what do you love…bananas!

with the banana dance
peel each other
conga line under the bridge
all in yellow

yo little mustard seed why do you doubt
you could grow up to be a banana and come right out
you are so worried why do you fret
do you not know you’re just not a full grown banana yet

you might be green now but soon you’ll be brown
dance while you’re yellow you won’t be around, FOREVER!

bedhead? all morning songs
(the next morning after, you wake up

song 4 – don’t touch my dick
song for the butthole surfers
(hey Gibby, here’s a song for ya)


you get your hands right off my dick
you cannot take the skin away
i was born just like this it’s perfect
the way i came out today
keep that away from me…

song 5 – blueprint

[audio:2009/4/beautiful.mp3] [audio:2009/4/beautiful2.mp3] [audio:2009/4/beautiful3.mp3]

your heart is broken you don’t know why
but it’s all beautiful inside

i’ve got a blueprint of my mind
it changes every single time

you left a blueprint
they left a blueprint of who they were
if i’d only found this while they were here!

as i opened up my drawer of

drawings hidden in a drawer


a woman standing on a bridge
overcast sky up above
a blueprint isn’t a trap it’s a map
of where our love can go

don’t frame me up above your door
mental models walking in the dark is a space we come to know
i’ve tried to walk around the room inside your heart
the time to enter is the time your heart is dark
b/c i’ve got a blueprint in my mind
it changes everytime i walk around
drawing pulls me up inside
but i’ve come to find
la la la la la la
there’s a blueprint
blueprints fade in time
blueprints are best left behind
blueprints are a good place to start
but they don’t have to be tattooed on your heart
they don’t have to be the roadmap to what you build
they’re just a starting point, they’re just a

the bluebird brought me to a place where i could go
the blue morning’s coffee brought me someplace i could go
the blue man group how i’d love to ask them
for the blueprint to my soul
do you hold the blueprint of my soul

there’s only so much you can do
to plan out what will happen to you
we got the engine…
sometimes the answer’s heaven sent
but most of the time we’re looking for blueprints

song 6 – Linda Ronstadt cover