Monday, January 31, 2005

Argentinean Colored Glasses

Dateline Buenos Aires, between shows
Record Company Big Wig stirs his martini
Don’t let this stuff get you down, he says
Poverty, drugs, prostitution, orphans
They have always been with us
But those of us of class
The intelligentsia
The politically astute
We know how to navigate such issues
Without destroying our spirit
The bar lights sparkle off his
Wrap around sunglasses
And his white, white
Smiling teeth

I look out the picture window
I take a long drag of my brown beer
The plaza la defensa is bathed in sunlight
The freshly washed tiles only accent
The homeless men with their
Cardboard signs and paper cups
Napping while waiting for the evening
Shoppers who drop coins while
Stepping gingerly around their
Greasy pants and worn out shoes.

Hearing my sigh, Mr. Big Wig
Presents me with a pair of sunglasses
Try these on, senior, you’ll feel much better
They wrap fully around letting in no light
That is not pleasant and soothing to the eye
Flip that tiny switch near your right ear
See how the dirty hobos fade away
Now you can relax
And free your mind
To pursue your art
So that men like me can sell it
In the market place
To other beautiful people

I must admit
The glasses do clear up the view
But how will I avoid tripping
Over the invisible people
Sleeping on the paving stones?

Ah, my friend
You worry too much
Let me call you a taxi

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Watching from the Back Row

It is summer in Rio
Warm and sultry
We are part of a huge music festival
The people have turned out in force
To see the Name Brand Bands
Not to see us
But we still have to play
The transition from American Winter
To Brazilian Summer makes me lazy

So I turn on the AI software
And free the Monkey Boy
They assemble the echoing thunder
I move to the back of the crowd
And watch my own show from the back row
The robot is going through the motions
He keeps the beat but there is no spontaneity
He stays in tune but can’t hit the emotional high notes
But as long as the beat is pounding
The crowd doesn’t seem to notice the difference
Robot gets the job done
And plays a solid set
I’ve programmed him well

Brad, from Boston, works his way through the crowd
He has identified me somehow from a distance
As a fellow American
But he doesn’t notice the resemblance between
Me and the robot
Brad takes off his wrap-around sunglasses
He offers me a sip from his beer
I decline

These dudes are the real cheese, says Brad
I met these dudes in Amsterdam
These dudes played a helleva show
My homeys at Big Europe Records are gonna pick them up
Big money
The real cheese, dude
Hey, if you give me a ride to this party across town
I can introduce you to these dudes
They’re the best Eurobeat band of the new century
Real cheese
Why you laughing, dude?

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Holding Your Letter

Holding your letter
I notice the fine crinkle of fiber
That glossy bond that holds your ink
So that it can not let go of the words
You wrote them once
But I am trapped by an endless echo

Your message does not fit in a bottle
No pearly glass or blackened cork can contain
The rhythmic waves of liquid self pity
That run hissing across the thirsty sands

The suffering that came with the happiness
Did not make the happiness worthwhile
It just occurs to me
The happiness that came with the suffering
Did not make the suffering worthwhile

Crushing your letter
I bind it to a rock with rough twine
And fling it up and out above the waves

As it sinks into the vaults of the depths
It occurs to me

I am still holding your letter

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Backstreet Monsters of LA

Dateline Los Angeles, before the Show
Some of these backstreets are like a Third World
Inserted haphazardly into America
Sound check amplifiers still ringing in my ears
I sit on the wall in the alley
Breathing in the quiet hush of people hiding
When Monsters begin to fly past my head
Wild, wonderful, frightening monsters
Swimming through an ocean of air
Like deep-sea creatures exposed to the light
For the first time
I get a picture of one
Not the weirdest
Not the largest
Not even the scariest
Just the one I managed to catch
With a quick wink through the shutter

He circles around in a flash and gives me a look
Hola, he says with a slurping lisp
You’ve heard those stories, he says to me
He’s not asking, mind you; he’s telling
The ones about savages and their quaint beliefs
They think that your camera can steal their souls
But I know better, he says hovering and circling in the air
His tail flick, flick, flicking at a porch light on the wall
Where I come from, says he, we know the truth
Your photo gives up a little bit of your soul to me

I laughed and gave him a TEE Shirt
Which seemed to be the right reply
Maybe I’ll see you at the show tonight?
Maybe, he says putting the TEE Shirt on
Will it be wild?
I hear car tires crunching gravel behind me
I turn and see a patrol car, LA’s finest
Serving and Protecting
I turn back
Empty air
Just some scratches in the plaster
Near the porch light on the wall
Like a signature on a contract

Yes officer, I know it can be dangerous here
Some real monsters in this neighborhood

Monday, January 24, 2005

For Immediate Release

(Arlington, WA)
A man woke to a new day today.
He hoped that things would go alright.
He kissed his wife and hugged his kids.
He drove his car.
Checked his email.
Clicked on some websites.

A man went to lunch today.
He hoped that things would go alright.
He ordered the teriyaki chicken.
He tried to make his chopsticks break perfectly
Into two symmetrical pieces.
He asked for hot sauce on the side.

A man checked the clock today.
He hoped that things would go alright.
He wished the last hour would slip away.
He made a list of work to do another day.
Checked his email.
Clicked on some websites.

A man returned home at the end of the day.
He hoped that things would go alright.
He kissed his wife and hugged his kids.
He turned on the TV.
Laughed at the jokes.
Clicked through the channels.

Things have gone alright, he said.
And tomorrow, I hope they go the same.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Can I Watch?

I know it seems suspicious
But my motive’s not malicious
And there’s no one in my life
Can I watch you come online?
Can I watch you come online?

It’s not a first edition
But it’s in very fine condition
And signed by the author’s second wife
Can I watch you start to cry?
Can I watch you start to cry?

I tried not to be annoying
But my affections can be cloying
Like a sugar-coated mouse
Can I watch you shrink and hide?
Can I watch you shrink and hide?

It’s a flagrant disregard
But I’m camped in your back yard
With the pool boy and your spouse
Can I watch you die inside?
Can I watch you die inside?

It’s not in good condition
But it’s a limited edition
And I’d like to take it out now
And place it on your shelf

Loooong Weekend in Bakersfield

Bakersfield is behind us. The van has been rescued from the Automotive Torture Facility and we are on our way to Los Angeles, where we will play several gigs.

I got talked into doing a few hours on the wheels of steel as a guest DJ at the Trailer Trash Disco. Probably the highlight of the weekend.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Need I Say More?

Broke Down in Bakersfield

The first major screw up of the Tour is upon us.
The Thunder Echo Van has broken down on the way to LA. After hours of sitting next to some very decorative tumbleweeds at the side of I-5 a pirate with a patch over one eye and a tow truck hauled the van into the nearest town, a single-story sprawl of stucco houses called Bakersfield.
While sharing horror stories with the other motorists in the lobby of the Bakersfield Auto Torture Facility it became apparent that 90% of all break downs on I-5 occur within 20 miles of Bakersfield. There is an energy sink hole centered on this San Joaquin Valley town that seeks out mechanical weakness in passing automobiles and strands them in the dust and desolation of Bakersfield. This Bakersfield Triangle not only captures passing motorists, it makes the delivery of common autoparts a multiday ordeal that involves special orders, couriers, and extraordinarily huge cash payments.

The bottom line: TEE is trapped in Bakersfield for several days at least.
The LA Show will be postponed while we wait for van parts, repairs and the required funds.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Rainy San Fran

Our San Francisco show almost got rained out.
Seems sunny California has been getting tons of rain lately. The parking lot of the Yellow Panic Room, where we played last night, turned into a freaking lake. The local taggers apparently are using boats to keep the walls spray painted. That is me and my be-a-utiful wife Evelyn posing with the local graffiti after rowing the van out of 3 feet of water and saving the equipment.

The show was fun. A busload of old hippies came in from Alameda. They kept throwing joints on stage and requesting Grateful Dead songs. I told the audience we would do our version of Casey Jones. Then while the band jammed on some funky kung fu disco theme, I read choice sections from the California Department of Motor Vehicles Commercial License Test: “Which of the following is the correct term for a long commercial vehicle’s tendency to swing wide on turns? A. Sidetracking, B. Offtracking or C. Fishtailing?” I’m pretty sure they noticed that I had taken some liberties with Mr. Garcia’s music and lyrics. Thanks to Byron and Tami for protecting us from the restless natives and for feeding us after the gig. Monkey Boy had too many margaritas, said he wanted to join a mariachi band and began singing Mexican folk songs. I didn’t know Monkey Boy knew any Mexican folk songs.

Next stop Los Angeles.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Ego Lying On The Floor

Ego lying on the floor
Don't want it anymore
I'm bigger than that
Monkey chattering dingbat

Why you givin' me
The third degree?

How restless is my mind
Grabbed and shaken
By wild sensory shows.
How to gain control?

Just like I tame the wind
Let it blow
Let it blow
Let it blow me home
To where I've always been

Slowly begin to see
That Ego isn't me.

Monday, January 10, 2005

The Seattle Show

Thanks to the girls at the merchandise table. The Seattle Show was a kick. Flavio de LaToyota and his entourage came out in full force. Thanks to everybody who has been buying the CD, My Old Future, at the shows and at the Thunder Echo Online Store. Special thanks to Mike, Fred, Dan and all the others who have been helping out and keeping things moving.

We are hoping to post some more pictures from the road very soon, if Monkey Boy can get his digital camera to work. Thanks Seattle. Sorry the Seahawks blew it in the playoffs.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Backstage at the BC Show

A Great Show in BC. Due to artistic disagreements with our record company, the Tour is not being promoted very heavily. So we are doing a lot of guerilla marketing and even a few guerilla gigs. Our next stop is Seattle. Keep your eyes and your mind open. TEE is on the way.

World Tour 2005

The first show of the My Old Future World Tour 2005 kicked off in the great white north of British Columbia. We got a warm and wacky welcome from the crowd. Notice the TEE Shirt in the picture. You can get them at the gigs or at the Thunder Echo Online Store. Thanks to all our fans old and new who showed up and shook their groove things.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

The New TEE CD!

My Old Future is the new CD by The Thunder Echo Ensemble.
The studio work is finished.
The CD has been mastered.
The art work has been selected and approved by the band.
Now it is time for you to do your part.
Buy the CD, My Old Future, at

You can also buy TEE Shirts, Time Machines, and other great stuff.

Check back here on the TEE Blog for more news about the upcoming world tour and other TEE events.

We are very happy with the new album and hope you will enjoy it too.
Buy a CD for yourself and buy one as a gift for someone you love.
-- TEE

Monday, January 03, 2005

Driven Home, Driving Snow

A toad flattened beneath the treads of
Steel-belted all weather tires
The humming drone in my head of
Impacting tires
Impacting pavement
Impacting tires
Impacting pavement

The endless hiss of practice conversations
And imagined conversations
And the echo of occasional,
Real conversation
With family members
Discussing dinner options
Discussing clothing styles
Discussing bedtimes for children
But never mentioning death
Or the dying of our loved one
Flattened beneath the treads of
Rugged hiking boots or
Comfortable-but-impractical sandals
Worn with socks to keep off the chill
Of the snow on winter roads
Covering the beloved toad
Flattened beneath the treads of
Steel-belted all weather tires

It will be good to get the road noise
Out of my head
Good to be
Driven home
Driving snow
Finally to sleep
The hiss of traveled roads
Drowned out by the dreaming croak
Of flattened toads

Common Imortals

Common Immortals are useful in the rockery.
South-facing Harlequins follow unusual routines.
Glossy, spiny and heavily marbled,
Painted Tongues are rather tender.

Jacob’s Ladder can be a menace and not worth the space it occupies.
Mark Gayfeather with a stick in autumn as all traces disappear in winter.

Flared open to produce a wide bowl,
A stout bamboo pole is inserted
Into the Hellbore.

Hawksbeard appears in nobody’s list of favorites.
It isn’t bold enough to attract that sort of attention.