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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

(from Levon)

Grace Acres farm is on Botha Rd, a country Virginia highway between Remington and Bealeton.  These two country towns lie about 30 minutes south of Washington D.C.  We have 2 cows, six goats, nine rabbits, and 13 chickens.  New York City feels far away and long ago.  No more waking up to the squealing brakes of buses.  Its the clucking of chickens who want to be let out of the coop.  


After our chores, Ashley spends most of the day on the front porch painting and I’m down in the basement recording.  Yes, I’m terrible with software and interfaces but Garageband is pretty much dummy musicianproof and my engineering only involves recording everything with a USB microphone.  Frankie has a classical guitar, a slide guitar, and even a snare drum that I hit with a paint brush.  The rest is done by keyboard (which can really be anything).  Waiting on everything to be perfect was taking a while.  I was assuming it took a large budget for fancy compressors and pre amps to get a warm undigitized sound but I think I’ve found a better route, and I’m not paying anybody to look at me while I figure out what I’m going to do.      

Grace Acres Studio

Grace Acres Studio



Frankie and Rebecca headed off


Even though Frankie and Rebecca are gone, yesterday we went to their small country church.  Someone asked me, “so what’s it like traveling around and making music?”  Well, I hadn’t considered myself as actually doing that.  Along with large recording budgets, I always imagined tour buses and hotels instead of basements, borrowed trucks, and air mattresses in Harlem.  But we’re closer than we were.

If you’ve ever seen Honeysuckle Rose, you’ll remember Willie Nelson’s unglamorized account of life on the road.  Town to town, play a song, and leave before a chance of anything happening.  Or in the words of Billy Joel, “I’d love to stay but there’s bills to pay and I just don’t have the time.”  For now Ashley and I are moving fast, but slow enough to know a place.  We take walks most evenings down Botha Rd and I ponder the greater distance: the span between telephone poles or a New York City block.  You can see the next twenty poles and not another person between us and the twentieth.  It makes that pole seem like the other side of Virginia.  My grandfather came home from a cruise and as he looked across the farm in Tennessee he said the grass blowing in the wind made him seasick.  We take places with us.


In another ten days Ashley and I will be in Virginia Beach.  We were married there five years ago this Friday.  I remember starting this journey, barefoot in the sand zoning into the preachers eyes that were as blue as the water behind him.  The roar of waves and wind coming towards Ashley and I was hushed by the serenity I felt as I looked at Ashley with her hand in mine.  The whole ceremony was celebrated by dolphins over our shoulders, you can ask anybody.  I wonder now the greater distance, the crest of a wave, the span of two highway telephone poles, or a New York City block.  



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