If you are new to Blues music, or like it but never really understood the why and wherefores, here are some very fundamental rules:
1. Most Blues songs begin with: “Woke up this morning…”
2. “I got a good woman” is a bad way to begin the Blues, unless you stick something nasty in the next line like, “I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town.”
3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line right, repeat it. Then find something that rhymes - sort of like: “Got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in town. Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher and she weigh 500 pound.”
4. The Blues lyric is not about choice: ‘You stuck in a ditch, you stuck in a ditch…ain’t no way out’.
5. Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and broken-down trucks. Blues don’t travel in Volvos, BMWs, Prius or Sport Utility Vehicles. Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a southbound train. Jet aircraft and state-sponsored motor pools ain’t even in the running. Walkin’ plays a major part in the Blues lifestyle. So does fixin’ to die!
6. Teenagers can’t sing the Blues. They ain’t fixin’ to die yet. Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, “adulthood” means being old enough to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in Memphis.
7. Blues can take place in New York City but not in Hawaii or anywhere in Canada. Hard times in Portland, Minneapolis or Seattle is just clinical depression. Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Memphis, and Nawlins are still the best places to have the Blues. You cannot have the Blues in any place that
don’t get rain, like Palm Springs.
8. A man with male pattern baldness ain’t the Blues. A woman with male pattern baldness is. Breaking your leg ‘cause you were skiing is not the Blues. Breaking your leg ‘cause you were walking a coastal trail is not the Blues. Breaking your leg ‘cause a alligator be chomping’ on it is!
9. You can’t have no Blues in an office or a shopping mall. The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot or sit by the dumpster.
10. Good places for the Blues:
c. empty bed
d. bottom of a whiskey glass
11. Bad places for the Blues
b. gallery openings
c. horse back riding
d. golf courses
12. No one will believe it’s the Blues if you wear a suit, ‘less you happen to be an old person, and you slept in it’.
13.Do you have the right to sing the Blues? Yes, if:
a. you’re older than dirt
b. you’re blind
c. you shot a man in Memphis
d. you can’t be satisfied
a. you have all your teeth
b. you were once blind but now can see
c. the man in Memphis lived
d. you have a 401K or trust fund
14. Blues is not a matter of color. It’s a matter of bad luck. Tiger Woods cannot sing the Blues. Sonny Liston could have. Ugly white people that can entertain such as Mick Jagger, also got a leg up on the Blues.
15. If you ask for water and your darlin’ gives you gasoline, it’s the Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are:
a. cheap wine
b. whiskey or bourbon
c. muddy water
d. black coffee
The following are NOT Blues beverages:
d. Slim Fast
16. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a run down shack, it’s a Blues death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is another Blues way to die.
So are the electric chair, substance abuse and dying lonely on a broken-down cot. Also eating a tuna fish sam’idge. You can’t have a Blues death if you die during a tennis match, being a paper pusher, or while getting liposuction.
17. Some Blues names for women:
b. Big Mama
d. Fat River Dumpling
18. Some Blues names for men:
c. Little Willie
d. Big Willie
19. Persons with names like Michelle, Amber, Jennifer, Debbie, and Heather can’t sing the Blues no matter how many men they shoot in Memphis.
20. Blues Name Starter Kit:
a. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Cripple, Lame, etc.)
b. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon, Lime, Kiwi, etc.)
c. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson, Fillmore, etc.)
For example: Blind Lime Jefferson, Pegleg Lemon Johnson or Cripple Kiwi Fillmore, etc. (Well, maybe not “Kiwi.”LOL!)
21. And I don’t care how tragic your life is, if anyone in your family plays soccer, you can’t sing the blues.
Laurie Penny’s Saudade
There are more of us than you think, kicking off our high-heeled shoes to run and being told not so fast
The best minds of my generation consumed by craving, furious half naked starving-
Who ripped tights and dripping make up smoked alone in bedsits bare mattresses waiting for transfiguration.
Who ran half dressed out of department stores yelling that we didn’t want to be good and beautiful
Who glowing high and hopeful were the last to leave the gig our skin crackling with lust and sweat and pure music
Who wrote poetry on each other’s arms and cared more about fucking than being fuckable
Who worked until our backs stiffened and our limbs sang with the memory of misbehaviour that was what it was to be a woman
Who dared to dance until dawn and were drugged and raped by men in clean T-shirts and woke up scared and sore to be told it was our fault
Who swallowed bosses’ patronizing side-eyes stole away from violent broken boys in the middle of the night and vowed never again to try to fix the world one man at a time
Who slammed down the tray of drinks and tore off our aprons and aching smiles and went scowling out into the streets looking for change
Who stripped in dark rooms for strangers’ anodyne dollars because we wanted education and were told we were traitors
Who sat faces upturned to the glow of the network searching searching for strangers who would call us pretty
Who bared our breasts to hidden cameras and fought and fought and fought to be human
Who waited in grim hallways with synth-pop crackling over the speaker system for the doctor to call us clutching fistfuls of pamphlets calling us sluts whores murderers
Who crossed continents alone with knapsacks full of books bare limbs clear-eyed vision running running from the homes that held our mothers down
Who filled notebooks with gibberish philosophy and scraps of stories and cameras to prove we were there keeping our novels and the name of out children close to our hearts
Who were told all our lives that we were too loud too tisky too fat too ugly too scruffy too selfish too much too and refused to take up less space refused to be still refused refused refused to be tame
Who would never be still. Who would never shut up. Who were punished for it and spat and snarled and they shook the bars of our cages until they snapped and they called us wild and crazy and we laughed with mouths open hearts open hands open and would never not ever be tame.
Sara, I’m with you in hospital, in the narroe rooms where you have put off your veil to count your ribs through your T-shirt, short hair and secrets and quiet defiance crying together that we don’t know how to be perfect-
Lara, I’m with you in mandatory art therapy, where we draw pictures of weeping cocks and are told we are not making progress-
Lila, I’m with you in a north London bathdroom, watchhing unreal maggots crawl in the cuts in your arms and listening to your girlfriend drunk and raging through the wall-
Andy, I’m with you in Bethnal Green where you love ambitious angry women with heart brain pen fingers tongue and you have a line from Nietzche tattooed over your cunt-
Adele, I’m with you in the student occupation, with your lipstick and cloche hat and teenage lisp drawling that there’s not enough fucking in this revolution and we must take action-
Kay, I’m with you on the night bus, half drunk and high dragging bright-eyed boys home to our bed, where we watch them worn out sleeping and whisper that we will never be married-
Katie, I’m with you in Zuccotti Park, where a broken heart is less important than a broken laptop is less important than a broken future and we watch the cops beating kids bloody on the pavement for daring to ask for more-
Tara, I’m with you in Islington where you have thrown all your pretty dresses out of the window and flushed your medication so you can write and write-
Alex, I’m with you and a bottle of Scotch at two in the morning when you tell me that no man will make us live for ever and we must seduce the city the country the world-
We are always hungry.
There are more of us than you think."
Laurie Penny’s Saudade, from Fifty Shades of Feminism (via mollycrabapple)
So good.(via neil-gaiman)