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Thursday, June 30, 2011

What's in a name?

The new video that greets you at the homepage of my website http://www.rayjozwiak.com is a performance of my composition entitled IMPRESSIVE, of which the studio version appears on my latest release ANOTHER SHOT (digital-download-only at)
Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot
The title, I would like to explain, is truly not a shameless display of unwarranted ego or any such thing, it is inspired by the John Coltrane piece IMPRESSIONS which has, likewise, a blues-based, modal structure not unlike many tunes on Miles' 'Kind of Blue', and subsequently the title is a corruption of that of its inspiration. (Maybe I should have called it BLUENESS?)



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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Another 'winner' . . .

. . . wants to be our president. Now Michelle Bachmann can officially join the ranks of the 'Sarah Palin Mouth-Off About Things of Which You Are Not Really Sure' club. Imagine the foreign policy problems people like this could cause IF ELECTED!!!

Ah, Michelle Bachmann. The candidate who said back in March, ". . . "What I love about New Hampshire and what we have in common is our extreme love for liberty," the potential GOP presidential candidate said. "You're the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord. And you put a marker in the ground and paid with the blood of your ancestors the very first price that had to be paid to make this the most magnificent nation that has ever arisen in the annals of man in 5,000 years of recorded history." In fact, the 1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord that marked the first military engagements of the American Revolution took place in Massachusetts. But Bachmann did not correct her error when she referenced the battles again later in her speech.

Now she has confused the The Duke with Pogo the Clown (which by rights, should not sit very well with the conservative voter base. ". . . Bachmann repeated that idea to NBC News in an interview. "I'm not pining for nostalgia back in the 50s and 60s, that isn't it," she told NBC's Kelly O'Donnell. "But that sensibility about how we were grounded here is so important. For instance, another American that was born in Waterloo was John Wayne. We were a very patriotic 'yay rah rah America' city and nation and I think that's what America's looking for again." The problem: While actor John Wayne – the gravelly-voiced Western film star known for his characteristic walk and his conservative values– was in fact from Iowa (and, Bachmann’s campaign later pointed out, his parents briefly lived in Waterloo), he was born in Winterset, about 150 miles away. The famous similarly-named guy who did make his home in Waterloo: John Wayne Gacy -- the serial killer known for dressing as “Pogo the Clown” who buried over two dozen of his young male victims in the crawlspace of his Illinois home."

As if the errors aren't bad enough, the ". . . rah rah America" line ALONE is enough to make you vomit. I'll say it again and I hope you'll say it with me, we can ALL SAY IT TOGETHER, "Do we really want this person to be our president?"




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Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


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The news. . .

. . . includes Blagojevich, violent video games, justification for bombing Libya and Pakistan, Greek debt, Iranian missiles reaching the U.S., economists and a brighter second half, a debt ceiling, presidential elections, Bachman, Romney, Overdrive, a forecast of rain and fires in New Mexico. FIRES??

Some things never change.



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Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


Monday, June 27, 2011

But I only want to. . .

. . . SING!! NNNAAAHHHHHH! Not really.

Joe, of the American Flyer mentioned above, was himself branching out from country into other types of music. And Joe was also, in fact, a guitarist, which naturally led to a musical collaboration. Electric guitar and accordion. And no vocals. Although not striking me at the time, I find it amusing, in hindsight, that I never attempted (thankfully) vocals (of course, POST-Wyatt Earp [see prior blogs]). While all, or most, kids who play guitars, drums and various forms of keyboards as young bands in garages and basements or an occasional backyard in the summertime, want to and do sing, I quite naturally shied away from vocals. I did play with vocalists but never seriously attempted vocals after about the age of eight.

And of course, after hearing folks like this years later, why even try? I do attempt vocals on recordings these days, but this is merely in the interest of 'demoing' the songs since I do write lyrics quite frequently. It's not something I'm very comfortable with nor very adept.




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Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


Saturday, June 25, 2011

In the beginning. . .

. . . there was Adam, then Eve. . . or was there?

"The story of Adam and Eve is not a story about the first man and woman. It is the story of every man and every woman who has ever lived. Everyone who reads the Adam and Eve story needs to be reminded that they are not reading history. Rather they are reading an ancient story that seeks to explain why things in life are the way they are. . .

. . . People who try to read the creation and Garden of Eden stories as history will always be chasing rabbits that do not exist. Myths can never be read as history. Myths do not conflict with history. History attempts to report the facts of what has happened. Myths attempt to explain why things happen the way that they do. . .

. . .The Israelite tradition says that the experience described in the Garden of Eden story is repeated by every human being. We human beings keep making the same wrong decisions over and over again. One would think that we would learn and change our ways. But we do not. The Israelite tradition says that life is unrelentingly consequential. But we constantly avoid and deny this truth. Profoundly, I believe the Adam and Eve/Garden of Eden story. People who deny it, do so at their own peril. The writing of this column was triggered by the current argument about whether or not Adam and Eve were historically the first man and woman on earth. The brief summary that I have shared is taught in every non-Fundamentalist seminary in America. I cannot fathom why ministers do not share with their congregations what they have learned in seminary. Meantime we avoid the hard truths of the stories and engage in silly discussions."

(excerpts from ADAM AND EVE ARE YOU AND I by Howard Bess
The Rev. Howard Bess is a retired American Baptist minister, who lives in Palmer, Alaska. His email address is hdbss@mtaonline.net)





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Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


Groucho Marx said. . .

. . . (among many other hilarious things) . . . "I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members."

MEMBER OF THE CLUB

Who doesn't want to belong to something; a need that's bigger than us. You feel it deep in your heart, desire for attention; a little trust; a little trust. Now I'm a member of the club and I'm not really sure how far it will get me. And I'm not really sure how far I will go.

I felt it so many times, that yearning to be a part of it all. I couldn't understand why I didn't fit into your kind of style; your kind of style. Now I'm a member of the club and I'm not really sure how far it will get me. And I'm not really sure how far I will go.

I'm an outsider from so long ago; a solo performer on my own road, on my own road.

Why so much serious doubt consumes me I can't begin to describe. Just when I thought that I found a greater confidence I want to hide, I want to hide. Now I'm a member of the club and I'm not really sure how far it will get me. And I'm not really sure how far I will go.


MEMBER OF THE CLUB
©2011 Raymond M. Jozwiak



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Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Nothing. . .

. . . is easy.

The late comedian Morey Amsterdam used to say that nothing is impossible, except getting toothpaste back into the tube and getting off a mailing list. I don’t know about getting off of a mailing list, but my wife proved to me that it is NOT impossible to get toothpaste back into the tube. Way back before we were married, when I first heard Morey’s line, I used it quite frequently in conversation. My wife ‘to-be’ said that she thought that the back-end of the toothpaste tube could be opened, and the toothpaste could be returned to the tube using a spoon or a table knife, then re-sealed. She actually tested her hypothesis with successful results. The ‘guinea pig’ tube of replaced toothpaste was caste in plastic for the ages and made into a paperweight, which she still has to this day, many years later I might add. Of course the mailing list is a different animal that has now evolved into a cyber-being. I’ve had mixed results with attempting to disengage myself from these things, so I guess it’s not really impossible, just difficult, and certainly not consistent.

But no matter where you stand on these crucial issues of the day, in the end I think we can all agree that nothing is easy. At least most things aren’t. Most certainly those substantial ones, like raising children, working full-time, buying a house, getting a job (for many these days), having a civil discussion on your political views with one of the other ‘camp’, maintaining calm while driving on the highway, reconciling your spirituality with the world, maintaining a happy marriage, dying and marketing your music on the internet . . . ARE ALL ANYTHING BUT EASY!





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Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


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All's right with the world?. . .

. . . the piano is tuned, Mystic I is well-rehearsed and will finalize Sunday's two performances on Saturday, a break tonight to watch some baseball, a visit to a couple of wineries scheduled for the weekend, a long holiday weekend forthcoming and by the end of the month - vacation!

A Boston gangster is captured on the West Coast after many, many years, the president is ready to bring home troops from Afghanistan, Congress is questioning the president's military action in Libya, Farrakhan is keeping mum about Kadahfi's monetary support of the nation of Islam, it's hot and humid here in the northeast (and I love it!).

Intercourse with the media and potential customers could be better, concerned about a good friend (artist), lots to learn about the web and exploitation of same, concerned about the health of another good friend (and supporter), wondering about the dangers of driving cross-country alone, reading Hitchens' books like they're going out of style, pushing myself to write while expending so many hours BLOGGING!!!




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Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Beware the sharks. . .

. . . in the treacherous, music business ocean. (Even attractive sharks referred by 'friends') It all started with. . .

"BMI members Gentleman Hall did and Billboard Pro made it a reality by putting the band on ABC’s 2011 Billboard Music Awards, watched by 8 million music fans. Backed by the strongest name in the music business, Billboard Pro offers emerging artists the analytics, tools, resources, and opportunities they need to help make their music careers happen. Adding Billboard Pro to your marketing and fan management plan puts you in front of Billboard’s extensive industry network and connects you to the millions of passionate music fans who read Billboard publications, websites, and newsletters. Find out what Billboard Pro can do for your career. Start a FREE TRIAL + take advantage of a special BMI member discount today! CLICK HERE "

Dear BMI,
This is very interesting to me, as a BMI member.

Did I miss it, or did they NOT mention the cost AFTER the free trial expires. (I don't want to provide my credit card number for a FREE TRIAL if I don'tknow what the REAL COST will be at the end of the FREE TRIAL period.

I did find . . . "each year on your subscription anniversary date, you will be charged the prevailing rate for an additional one-year subscription renewal."

Can you help me? I can't seem to find the cost of the one-year subscription. If the REAL cost is this difficult to find in the offer, I am suspicious about what other items that could be hidden from one ignorant of the legalities of such matters.

Personally, I am a little disappointed in BMI for promoting an offer such as this, which sounds so enticing, but offers such great potential for cheating the innocent, optimistic, artist, who relies on BMI to HELP them through this maze of a business.
Best,
Ray Jozwiak




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Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


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Monday, June 20, 2011

Pop goes the culture. . .

Have you read about Rebecca Black's FRIDAY video or seen Katy Perry's LAST FRIDAY NIGHT or do you dig Justin Bieber? If there were no www, I would probably know nothing of any of it. But, alas there is; ergo, I do.

I normally enjoy weightier matters, but I must say, at my age, it's good fun to watch the turmoil that develops over superficial, pop-centric 'events' such as the FRIDAY video thing. I barely have an opinion, excepting that none of it surprises me.

Oh yes, then there's the question of how much talent Rebecca Black actually possesses, as deduced by the 'expert' television, soft-news personalities. Again - YAWN!!!

You want to see TALENT???. . . .



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Sunday, June 19, 2011

You Go Bernie. . .

BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT NEWS ALERT

The following is a June 15th news release from the office of Senator Bernie Sanders:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today introduced legislation to make federal commodity regulators halt excessive oil speculation that has driven up gasoline prices.

A provision in last year's Wall Street reform law required federal regulators to clamp down on speculators, but the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has refused to do so. Partly as a result of the failure to enforce the law, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline today is $3.69 a gallon, although supplies are greater and demand lower than two years ago when prices averaged about $2.44 a gallon.

"We have a responsibility to do everything we can to lower gas prices so that they reflect the fundamentals of supply and demand and bring needed relief to the American people," Sanders said.

When speculators push up oil prices "guess who suffers, it's the rest of us," said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), an original cosponsor of the bill who joined Sanders at a Capitol press conference. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), another cosponsor, called gas prices "absolutely crushing" for American families and the economy. Other cosponsors include Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)."
-------------------------------------------
We must be relentless in our pursuit of the FACTS before jumping to unfounded conclusions (or rushing to subscribe to a convenient political position)! I've been reading about this situation for a LONG time time and I'm THRILLED that a legislator is doing something about it!





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Friday, June 17, 2011

Silver Tongued Devils. . .

In the first New Hampshire debate among 2012 presidential hopefuls, Factcheck.com found a number of incorrect, misleading or shaky factual claims:

**Pawlenty was wrong when he boasted that he was "one of the few governors" to respond to a Bush request to send guardsmen to the southern border. In fact, all 50 states participated in that border operation

**Romney claimed that "we didn't raise taxes in Massachusetts" to pay for his health care law. In fact, his successor imposed a $1-a-pack tax increase on cigarettes to pay for the new law.

**Santorum claimed a Medicare advisory board created by the new federal health care law will result in a rationing of care for seniors. The law specifically says the board “shall not include any recommendation to ration health care.”

**Santorum was wrong when he said the Obama administration is "against any kind of exploration offshore or in Alaska." The administration has approved 296 new permits for new offshore oil wells since taking office, and it is considering granting the first permits in Alaska since 2004.

**Bachmann claimed the Congressional Budget Office "has said that Obamacare will kill 800,000 jobs." That's a distortion. CBO said some Americans would work less or leave their jobs if they can get health insurance outside the workplace.

**Pawlenty said that "[if] Brazil can have 5 percent growth, then the United States of America can have 5 percent growth," showing his economic plan is not unreasonable. But the fact is, World Bank figures show Brazil has failed to achieve 5 percent growth for 23 of the past 30 years.

**Gingrich again tried to rewrite history by claiming that his words "right-wing social engineering" were "totally taken out of context." In fact, he called Paul Ryan's plan "too big a jump" and "radical" change as well.



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Jay P. ah said, Jay P. . .

This is from October of last year, written by my friend and compadre of many years, Jay Graboski, but it's cool (from http://www.ohomusic.com). . .

"Jay performs with Mystic I at the Center for Spiritual Living service in Timonium, MD. Gonzo pianist, Ray Jozwiak, has joined our musical team committed to providing spiritually uplifting music for these services on a monthly basis as well as offering to perform at a variety of related events and venues. Ray, Jay, the late Greg Marsh (sax) & David (alternating musical chairs with the late OHO drummer, Jeffrey Graboski) performed together in Ful Treatment, a “wedding band” playing mostly covers at weddings—including my own on 09.10.77, American Legion halls, bull roasts, private parties and a number of taverns and local bars from 1977-1979 when Ray left (not only the band, but music altogether for about 20 years) to marry spouse Pam and begin a family (3 boys).

An interesting yet not-so-flattering story about the Ful Treatment band takes us back to circa 1978 when we were hired by the owner of The Rocket Lounge (on Harford Rd. in Baltimore city) for the purpose of driving the younger patrons OUT of the bar. I can only surmise that these folks irritated the tavern regulars (I pray it wasn’t a commentary on our “sound” as it seems absurd to me that there existed an establishment that actually sought out “lousy” entertainment). But the lounge owner was willing to give each Ful Treatment member a 33 1/3% raise to effectuate this unusually bizarre request (from $30 to $40 per man, per evening) over what we were being paid at that time for playing Fridays and Saturday evenings at Ernel’s in Curtis Bay (the only place in my 60 year lifetime, BTW, where I ever witnessed a wooden bar chair being smashed into bits over the head of another human being by an irate and obviously intoxicated patron). (Ernel’s was a “port” bar that lured sailors and merchant seamen on shore leave to a somewhat seedy world that promised relief from long periods of confinement to vessels at sea . We immediately lay down and went into our hypnotic and patriotically soothing version of “God Bless America”).

Ray’s addition to Mystic I opens up a lot of space for fills, soloing and generally has urged me to shift my accent from acoustic rhythmic strumming to a sparser more electronic, garnishing approach. I’m stumbling happily through this initiatory stage where, among my many faux pas there glisten moments of fortunately arrived at notes, ringing in pleasing tones.

Ray has a released a number of CD’s featuring his “Gonzo” styled, original piano music, much that has garnered the praise of music critics. Do yourself a favor and check him out at www.rayjozwiak.com. Here you may find out about Ray, view his performance calendar and find links to acquiring his recordings."

And do YOURSELF A FAVOR and check out http://www.ohomusic.com.



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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Google me this. . .

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It's MIND GOOGLING! ! (I mean BOGGLING)



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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Simplicity

There is definitely beauty in simplicity. I had earlier found such beauty in country music. My earliest memory of thoroughly enjoying country music is kind of an odd story. My parents, for some unknown reason (and I don't accurately remember precisely WHAT they would purchase) went 'shopping' at a local discount store called TOPPS. They did this EVERY FRIDAY evening.
When I was younger, I would go, of course. In my later trips to Topps, I would spend the period in the record section of the store browsing through all the vinyl beauties that were available at the time, popular items of which retailed for $3.47. (I'm not sure why I remember that number. It may simply be due to the fact the I had little money and kept close tabs on how much I would need to purchase things that I found desireable. By the way, Luskins (another retailer of the time) sold record albums for $2.99 so needless to say, I visited Luskins whenever I could.) I found myself drifting toward country music record albums. It's now unclear what, specifically influenced this branch in my musical development, (I do remember my cousin owned the 45 of Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash, which MAY be the original spark to the country music fire that consumed me at the time.) but I do remember (and don't laugh PLEASE) that the television program "HeeHaw" came about before, during or shortly after this time, which undoubtedly provided another opportunity for exposure to country artists of the day.

So I spent my Topps evening looking at Buck Owens, Charley Pride, Porter Wagoner, Merle Haggard, Tom T. Hall and others popular country artists at the time. Later, when my parents embarked upon the weekly jaunt to Topps, I stayed behind to happily wash the dinner dishes. Why happily? Because in the other room, the 'ancient' (even back then) radio we inherited from an aunt was playing WBMD AM loudly enough for me to hear in the kitchen. The 'genre' of the playlist on WBMD at the time - Country Music.





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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Way. . .

. . . Way before I discovered the joys of jazz/rock fusion, my musical tastes took a turn that was probably pretty natural considering that the accordion pretty much started it all. My friend Joe - he of the red American Flyer and the hill at the elementary school in my neighborhood where we would sit (yes, on our bicycles) and discuss everything from soup to nuts and solve the problems of the world. . . well, at least our little world - had pretty eclectic tastes and what just the kind of personality I needed to gravitate toward at that time in my life. One of those tastes that rubbed off onto me was for a folk trio who had already been making music successfully for a number of years and of whom I knew some (Puff the Magic Dragon was a childhood anthem), Peter, Paul and Mary. And as is the case with much music that I loved in my early days, I couldn't then explain to you what attracted me to it, although now you would be sorry if you asked me to explain, I was enthralled by the simplicity, the intertwining harmonies and the contrast of the three voices when Peter, Paul and Mary performed.




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Monday, June 13, 2011

What do you do. . .

. . . if you are a cruel and ruthless tyrant, whose country is awash in turmoil because the population feels that you are unjust, corrupt, incompetent, power-hungry, and according to some. . . just plain INSANE. What do you do if most of the world powers have united against you, and have physically sent armed forces onto your own land to protect YOUR citizens from YOU and the paid mercenaries you employ to attempt to keep them at bay. What do you do if your entire population demands FREEDOM, a more democratic governing system, fairness, basic human rights while you feel that a royal decree or a divine providence enables you to maintain power over this population indefinitely and you continue to claim that you will not allow those citizens so much as a hearing of their grievances.

What do you do when the whole world is against you, your back is to the wall, barely a soul can be found to defend your intentions and your actions. Where do you go? What is your next move? WHAT DO YOU DO????????

YOU PLAY CHESS!!!!





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Sometimes enthusiasm. . .

. . . gets the best of you, and you take something much too far too fast, and in the end, the enthusiasm pales a bit, as it's not quite as enjoyable now through the newly-acquired cloak of discomfort you have donned in the process.

Or conversely, sometimes the emotional pain you're feeling becomes so unbearable that running seems like the only thing to do but after you've run as far as you can and you stop to regain your figurative breath, you find the cause of all that emotional pain is there waiting at the destination you have finally reached AND you find you also have additional company in the person of an accompanying physical pain above the eyebrows.



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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Talking with. . .

. . .my good friend Doug Alan Wilcox about the youth quotient in the singer-songwriter genre last night and hearing a radio program on NPR about late 50s early 60s rock music sparked some thinking. Fortunately, the sparks were small and the resulting smoke was minimal, as I was driving home from Doug's CD release party at the Frederick Coffee Company where a wonderful, appreciative crowd gathered to celebrate, and where I believe I may have been the one in the room having the most fun, although it appeared that Doug was not far behind me in that respect. But back to the radio show, Bobby Rydell was being interviewed, he still performs BTW, and he and the host of the program were discussing how rock'n roll from that era, and the lifestyle of the preponderance of the consumer market for rock, were so very innocent and carefree. Bobby mentioned going to WIldwood, NJ as a teenager and bodysurfing, dancing, gathering on the beach and doing all those things that teenagers do. He also mentioned the fact that there was no Vietnam (War), drugs (not a huge concern in his crowd) and so many of the other issues that soon affected the innocence of teenagers. Youth for him, and hopefully for most of us, was an innocent time with very few worries or responsibilities.

And today, even though youth is relatively innocent, how can young people not be confronted at certain times by talk of the bad economy, unemployment, vicious politicians, terrorism, wars in far away Middle-Eastern locations, nuclear issues, freedom fighters and rebels. . . the list goes on. In other words, no matter how innocent youth is today, it cannot possibly be as innocent as it was for Bobby Rydell, the youth of his day, and even me (I lagged behind Bobby by some years). So the singer-songwriter of the (relatively) new millennium is a different animal than the singer-songwriter of times gone by. (Actually, singers and songwriters were separate entities in Bobby's day, but that's a whole different topic.) I'm not longing for the good ole days, mind you, I think we are are evolving and that's a GOOD thing. But this is merely a reflection. As a matter of fact, who can complain about the calibur of music that is available to us thanks to the youth of today. . .




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Friday, June 10, 2011

Some blatant, shameless. . .

. . . promotion - STRICTLY COMMERCIAL

My friend Doug Alan Wilcox will be performing songs from his new CD WHAT I MEANT TO SAY at the CD Release Party, Saturday June 11 at the Frederick Coffee Company. I am particularly looking forward to it because I will be accompanying Doug on keyboard. Hope you can join us if you're in the area. If you're NOT, hyperlinks to Doug's and my websites are further down on this page. Hope you'll visit our sites and maybe even purchase some music. Thanks.

Visit Doug Alan Wilcox's Website
Doug Alan Wilcox with Ray Jozwiak, Frederick Coffee Company, June 11 @ 8PM

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sipping my espresso. . .

. . . in the darkest little corner up at Tio's. A Don Tomas perfecto and Courvousier can make me feel just fine. If you don't see me there I might be on a plane and bound for Rio. I live the life you'd like to lead and look so happy all the time. Must be cool must be collected; best that I am able, as the hostess sits you down at the nearest table. I'm only pretending; only pretending; pretending I'm doing alright. There just was no bending; we saw it ending - no mending could help all the damage we'd done. I'm only pretending; only pretending; only pretending.

She said that I should be mature about this situation. Maybe. I didn't think I had a problem. I was dealing with it fine. I told her I was gonna go and find myself another baby. She didn't think that I was serious but still she didn't mind. Now I've got my chance; my freedom. I'm an Indy agent. This will roll right off my back. Look what I've been staging. I'm only pretending; only pretending; pretending I'm doing alright. There just was no bending; we saw it ending - no mending could help all the damage we'd done. I'm only pretending; only pretending; only pretending.

I can pretend that I'm Napoleon. I'm just a man on a limb. Trying to get my two feet on the ground. I can pretend that I'll win.

I automatically launch into my routine each time I see you. It's just this thing I have to do to keep my sanity alive. A little defense mechanism that I use when I feel blue. A desperate man will use some desperate measures only to survive. People say don't take it too hard. There are other fishes swimming in the deep blue sea. I'm all through with wishes. I'm only pretending; only pretending; pretending I'm doing alright. There just was no bending; we saw it ending - no mending could help all the damage we'd done. I'm only pretending; only pretending; only pretending.

ONLY PRETENDING
©1997 Raymond M. Jozwiak



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Doug Alan Wilcox with Ray Jozwiak, Frederick Coffee Company, June 11 @ 8PM

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My friend David. . .

. . . introduced me to what later became one of my major musical influences way back in the seventh grade. Our little, urban Catholic elementary school was, I'm sure, like most others. When we were young, many of our parents' generation (of the Catholic persuasion) had horror stories about 'discipline' in Catholic schools involving everything but water-boarding. To this day I'm not sure if these graphic stories were concocted merely to frighten us or if they actually were, in fact, true. Irrespective of the veracity of those tales, we (happily) never experienced the 'extreme' version of discipline on our school. I don't even remember a teacher (nun, priest or 'civilian') laying a hand on a student in my eight year Catholic education.

But back to David. Sister Mary Agnes just happened to have a Magnus organ in her classroom. (You can read about this magnificent instrument HERE) David had been playing this arpeggiated pattern on the Magnus during lunch period on a rainy day when we could not indulge in the usual dodge-ball game outside, which sounded like Bach (or Beethoven- not that I would have known the difference way back then); a sophisticated yet complex and compelling combination of broken chords. I insisted that David teach the pattern to me, which he did. I'd like to say that I clearly remember mastering the entire little song on the spot, but that would be a LIE. But I do know that I did learn it. David told me that it was called "Colour My World" by Chicago (now shortened from Chicago Transit Authority). I investigated the music of this wonderful, new (it was about 1971-2, so they may have been around for about 5 years by that time) rock band. And I can still say that Chicago (1968 - 1974) is most certainly one of my favorite rock (now 'historical' rock, I guess) bands and without a doubt, one whose music had a profound influence on my musical development.



Visit Doug Alan Wilcox's Website
Doug Alan Wilcox with Ray Jozwiak, Frederick Coffee Company, June 11 @ 8PM

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ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Am I Firm Believer. . .

. . in forgiving. . . holding no grudge. . . showing mercy, tolerance, empathy etc. . .

But is it my imagination or does it seem that our public servants are becoming more and more depraved? Take the case of the recently discovered (and more recently admitted) and aptly named Anthony WEINER, for example.

Of course our professional legislators and executives are only human beings, and most folks know that FDR had extramarital relations. And don't forget John Kennedy, who may be the Julio Iglesias of politicians - but that is unverifiable by this writer and neither here nor there all the same. But ever since Bill (S.E.G.) Clinton faced a grand jury and said, ""It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the--if he--if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not--that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement....Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true." Granted, the Republican accusers were merciless in their glee in catching old Bill in the act (so to speak). But nevertheless, would you really want to buy a used car from a guy like Clinton, let alone let him run your country?

Well, that's now ancient history. But you know, the above printed quote from the former president sounds uncannily and unsettlingly like a female candidate (non-candidate?) of the opposite party, for president currently in it's sentence structure, thoughtfulness, sincerity and articulation of clear,
concise
thought. . .




Visit Doug Alan Wilcox's Website
Doug Alan Wilcox with Ray Jozwiak, Frederick Coffee Company, June 11 @ 8PM

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ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


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A Clown

From Andrew Sullivan, The Dish. . .

". . .Even Chris Wallace cannot help laughing at this preposterous grifter. But creepier still is the fact that her cult followers responded to this perfectly predictable gaffe by trying to edit the Wikipedia entry on Revere to align it with Palin's ramblings about his "warning the British" that ... oh, let's not even bother.

Check out this surreal Wiki page in which the cultists are trying to insist that Revere did indeed warn the British, and use Palin's own quote as a source! I love this succinct response from a Wiki editor:

In the article on Paul Revere, someone has added false information in an effort to support Sarah Palin's FALSE claims about Paul Revere. "Accounts differ regarding the method of alerting the colonists; the generally accepted position is that the warnings were verbal in nature, although one disputed account suggested that Revere rang bells during his ride.[8][9]" This must be removed as it is a LIE designed to mislead. dj

One of the most pernicious and dangerous features of Palin is her clinical refusal to understand reality, to accept error, to acknowledge when the facts she has cited are not actually facts, but delusions. And her vanity and pathologies are so deep she will insist that black is white until her minions actually find a source to prove it. . . "

I hope her infatuated fans can eventually identify the lack of gravity possessed by this clown and rightly conclude that her talents lie more is self-promotion and entertainment than in government.







Visit Doug Alan Wilcox's Website
Doug Alan Wilcox with Ray Jozwiak, Frederick Coffee Company, June 11 @ 8PM

Download your
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ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


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Monday, June 6, 2011

The soundtrack. . .

With the discomfort of adolescence came confusion not only about my development as a person but about music. But with my musical confusion also came a wonderful period of listening, learning and enjoyment. Seems that for some, music is merely background; incidental, if you will. For others, such as myself, music is the soundtrack to life. An old friend of mine once said that Jethro Tull's TO CRY YOU A SONG 'got him through' high school. I knew exactly what he meant. A plethora of music got me through grade, middle, high school, college, marriage, children and the deaths of various friends and family members. Music is so much more to me than mere background. And music still 'gets me through' everything I do. I wouldn't have it any other way.





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Saturday, June 4, 2011

You don't know Jack. . .

. . . but you should know Doug.

Doug Alan Wilcox, the Hagerstown (formerly Frederick) singer/songwriter/bard/guitarist/entertainer/excellent human being who offers his melodic musical compositions to you via live performance and cds. . . his newest of which is called WHAT I MEANT TO SAY. And you can hear it on his website by clicking on the hyperlink below.

Not only is Doug the creative musician par excellence, he is a board member of the Frederick Acoustic Music Enterprise promoting local original music and musicians.



Visit Doug's Website

Doug Alan Wilcox with Ray Jozwiak, Frederick Coffee Company, June 11 @ 8PM


Download your
very own copy of
ANOTHER SHOT
by Ray Jozwiak
Ray Jozwiak: Another Shot


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Friday, June 3, 2011

Blood Brother

Barrooms sure have a funny way of bringing loyalty out in a man. Buy a drink and tell a joke and buddy, you've got you a friend.
But keep a good eye upon that friend because he really doesn't give two hoots. And don't say anything about his Mom, his girlfriend or his army boots. I'll be your Blood Brother, by your side through thick and thin. I'll be your Blood brother, just as long as I don't have to bloody my hands.

Walked into an automoshowroom. I need some wheels but got no money to spend. When a guy with an ugly tie walks out and acts like he's my long lost friend. I said hey buddy I've a purpose here. And if you please I will accomplish my goal. And don't you slap me on the back again. 'Cause if you do I might just lose my control. I'll be your Blood Brother, by your side through thick and thin. I'll be your Blood brother, just as long as I don't have to bloody my hands.

So please be careful when you meet someone who'll make a promise at the drop of a hat. And don't provide them with encouragement. You will regret the day you offered them that. 'Cause everybody has some empathy. But just how willing and how far will they go to really help you when the chips are down. Can they be trusted half as far as you throw them? I'll be your Blood Brother, by your side through thick and thin. I'll be your Blood brother, just as long as I don't have to bloody my hands.

©1994 Raymond M. Jozwiak




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Thursday, June 2, 2011

But there's more. . .

. . . more what, you ask???

Much of my leisure time during my adolescent years was spent absorbed in music. Like the copier company in the Baltimore area with the humorous commercials, 'I lived and breathed the stuff.' And since my adolescent years were particularly uncomfortable, not only was music a distraction from school, uncomfortable social situations and my lack of self confidence, it also provided comfort. It was good therapy. And in more ways than one. While I was busy practicing, listening, transcribing and learning, I was absorbing theoretical concepts without consciously realizing it. Many Saturday evenings, when my contemporaries were 'out and about' exploring more prurient interests or logging invaluable experience with (as Zappa called them) 'the opposite camp', I was in front of a black and white television set showing Mary Tyler Moore with a sheet of manuscript paper in front of me, composing or transcribing my own solos or some Art Van Damme or Charles Magnante piece.





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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Ever hear. . .

. . . of Foreign Accent syndrome?

Karen Butler is from Oregon, not England. When asked where she got her accent, she says from her dental surgeon.

In 2009 Butler, a 56-year-old tax consultant in Toledo, Ore., awoke from denture implant surgery with an accent that's a bit British with a Transylvanian twang, and it just sort of stuck.

"I had just had surgery, so at first we assumed it was because of all of the swelling," said Butler. "But within a week the swelling went down and the accent stayed."

Butler has foreign accent syndrome -- a condition so rare that only about 60 cases have been documented worldwide. Often preceded by a small stroke, the new drawl is thought to stem from a minor injury to a tiny area of the brain responsible for language pattern and tone.

"This is a very small part of the brain that controls the articulation and the intonation of speech that's affected, and that's why it's so rare," said Dr. Ted Lowenkopf, a neurologist and medical director of Providence Stroke Center in Portland, Ore., in an interview with ABC News affiliate KATU. "The chances to hit such a small area are more than a million to one in a stroke."





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How can people be so heartless. . .

. . . says James Rado's lyrics from EASY TO BE HARD from the musical HAIR. These lyrics occurred upon hearing a portion of a BBC radio program where Hank Thomas, one of the original Freedom Riders talk about the horrible things he and others experienced in the pre-civlil rights south. Below is from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/13533144. Read about Hank's experiences. I don't think you can help but be moved.

"Fifty years after the so-called Freedom Riders risked their lives trying to break the practice of segregating people on the US public transport system, the veteran activists have reunited to inspire a new generation.

"We changed American history," says Bob Filner, now a California congressman. "And we should do the same thing today."

Just across the road from Filner is the old Greyhound station where he and hundreds of other Freedom Riders were arrested in the summer of 1961.

This week, many of them have come back to Jackson, Mississippi to mark the anniversary of their remarkable journey - desegregating buses, lunch counters and restrooms all the way from Washington to New Orleans.

But in the bars and meeting rooms, discussions move swiftly from the achievements of yesterday, to the problems of today.

"I don't care whether the issue is healthcare or housing or the environment, we should be applying non-violent, direct action to these struggles," says Filner. . ."



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