SURF EVOLUTION

Since this song has no lyrics, I thought I’d tell you just a little bit of how it came to be a 'real song' ;)

I had found a little riff. That climbing, scale-based riff that the guitar enters in strong with. That was the first little ditty. And I had THAT because I had found two chords that I loved back to back with each other, when repeated "ad nauseum" (musical term meaning: play until nauseous). Those chords were Am7 and B7. And, man, they are beautiful together. Musical mischief for days. But actually, all I really had was the notes, and the theory behind them, no magic yet. It was mainly just a little musical exercise I was using to try and build my harmonic minor riffing. But it wasn’t a “song”...

In the summer of 2016, Brazil was hosting the Olympic games in their coastal city of Rio de Janeiro. I would get home late at night after playing a gig and flip on the tv to see what kinda inspirational moments I may have missed, who won medals, who was swimming, or if Usain Bolt had broken the sound barrier yet. I have a special nostalgia for the Olympics. I can remember how much Mom loved watching the games when I was growing up. She would always make cookies, and, well... you know I love cookies...

So anyway, on one particular evening there was a special story segment with Bob Costas and a young lady, whose name I cannot remember. They did a piece on the music of Brazil and highlighted the song “Girl from Ipanema” (I think some of the volleyball was going on at Ipanema Beach during this time). Now, that’s a really great old tune that I’m pretty familiar with, being a musician and whatnot. It was a wildly popular song, and iconic even during it’s time. I think it's one of those songs that will be remembered until the end of time. It's original and unique, with that little ‘je ne sais quoi’...

Like lots of songs, the story of how IT came to be is very unassuming and organic: *These two dudes played a regular bar gig overlooking the beach. Everyday they watch the same pretty girl go walking by. Soon enough they write a song about her, hoping that maybe this would yield a good enough reason to effect a contact with the young lady. (side story note: it worked…)

Now, these two dudes happened to exist in a period of musical evolution, a time and a place on this globe, where vinyl record albums and radio waves had fashioned a way for genre-bending compositions to occur. In all accuracy, they weren’t the first; this sort of thing had been happening for all of time- its just that fixed media and radio waves facilitated it happening rapidly across great geographic distances.  It was 1962 when they wrote that tune. By 1965, the song had been recorded in a half dozen languages, won a Grammy award, and in the process, garnered attention to Brazil by basically ‘inventing’ a genre called “bossa nova” music. 

Wow-wee… I had no idea I’d learn all that in between volleyball sets during the Olympics… But it certainly hit on me a little bit. Somewhere deep.

So, a week or two later I’m playing a chill little gig outdoor garden gig. One of those where you can kinda just ‘practice’ in front of people and they don’t even know and they don’t even mind. And I had those two chords, so i just looped them. In sort of a mildly-urgent-surfy-swing type of way. One of those ways that just feels natural to my hands. I loop it. I kick into my riff. The rest is just history. 

I played over those two chords for about 5 minutes, unknowingly developing the bulk of what the song was to become. I didn’t think much of it except "hey its nice to have something musical to go on with this piece, FINALLY”

A few minutes later in the gig, a lady comes up, tips me, and inquires “what was that tune you played just a bit ago?” 

I counter, “the surf guitar song?”

“No” she says “the bossa tune. I loved it. it was great. whats it called? I don’t remember ever hearing that one before”

So I ask “how do you know what a bossa is?!?”

she says “I used to teach music and I play as well”

:)

We had a nice little chat for a minute, and eventually I went on to explain how I thought of it as surf guitar because of the reverb and the vibrato bar bendy bendys…and she went on to explain that it was definitely a bossa due to its syncopation between the rhythmic chord stabs and the bass notes… Real life is pretty awesome, isn’t it?...

I thanked her for the compliment. I should’ve thanked her for giving me the name “Surf Evolution” because, afterwards, that seemed like the appropriate title. But I didn’t think of that until the drive home when I realized that the story of Ipanema Beach had given birth to this number. One genre-bending song leads to another. Where does a song come from? Anywhere you look.

Now, when we have other musicians sit in with the band, I tell'em “this is a surf-bossa”. This may or may not be the first of its kind, but it certainly won’t be the last. At least not for The Dust Parade.

Thanks for listening.

-HB

THE BEST WAY

I've been livin' my life, gettin' caught in the rain

Pickin' out picture perfect days trying not to complain

I am so very blessed, I fall asleep in my bed

I have everything I need, I don't live in my head

 

This is the best way that I have found

A grateful heart doesn't bring you down

This is the best way that I know how

This is the best way, without a doubt

 

2.

Now I’m living my dream, trying not to compare

Pulling up weeds for lies in my garden that needs a little care

These First World problems are a sober man's mess

Positive ambition and a fear of success

 

This is the best way...

 

Give thanks for your life

The good, the bad, and the past

Everything you lost wasn’t meant to last

 

3.

Now I live in the sun and I walk in the light

There is a solution for me, now, since I gave up the fight

Say my prayers in the morning, a humble plea

Offer myself to build and do with as you please

 

This is the best way...

 

hankbarbee© 6.25.16

 

 

 

COLOR OF LOVE

oh, Creator, of earth and sky

rise up and rise above

forgive us, for we know not what we do

what are we fighting for?

 

these lines in the sand are selfish demands

the promised land is broken and busted by our own hands

 

didn’t you know that we are as one

our common thread is the rising sun

and our color of blood

we are one race of human beings

there is one color for every dream

it's the color of love

 

2.

in this age of modern pride, we magnify our differences

you should care for your brother and reach out your hand

don’t feed the fear that don’t exist

 

cause goodwill isn’t a song when we can't get along

if i am right and you are wrong

 

didn’t you know that we are as one

our common thread is the rising sun

and our color of blood

we are one race of human beings

there is one color for every dream

it's the color of love

 

One Farmer’s hand tends Mother Earth

and feeds us all, to death from birth 

until we all are stars above 

shining in the color of love

 

 

© hankbarbee 1.8.2017

 

 

 

DAY OF DECAY

We roam the earth as educated monsters

Enlightened animals in a civilized gnashing of teeth

Self propelled lust for extravagance and splendor

Disguised as a free thinking society 

Culture shocked by the right to decide

Freedom of choice and equal rights

 

The greatest lie 

The sexy crown

Parade of fools

To the slaughterhouse

 

2.

We roam the earth as wild things

Sensitive and misunderstood

Courting prey for a fresh kill

Higher conscience, lower good

Refined in populations of creature comforts

How will the monsters survive?

 

The greatest lie 

The sexy crown

Parade of fools

To the slaughterhouse

 

3.

Hunger pangs for all but the best 

Who need a little more space for their excess

Freedom bleeds on the last fat day

As the sun sets on this day of decay

These decadent times last only the blink of an eye

Into the next dark age, the monsters arrive, and thrive

 

The greatest lie 

The sexy crown

Parade of fools

To the slaughterhouse

 

(c)thedustparade 2018


 

“The denizens have now been trained 

to tolerate the poorest quality of food and sustenance,

to accept the poorest quality of health care at the greatest expense to those who can afford it least, 

to adopt low expectations of their employment and education opportunities, 

to accept lies and collusion as the standard operational procedure for their government leaders,

to accept rumormongering as the standard in political journalism,

to tolerate a complete lack of trust in their doctors, lawyers, politicians, representatives, lawmakers and even judges.

There has been no such thing as responsibility or accountability.

The masses silently comply because they believe their voices no longer matter,

and like a thief in the night, the tyrants have taken all their wealth and all their power.

This has been the slow bleeding away of their freedoms,

and once gone, these freedoms will be gone forever.

 

The good days- the fat days- are long behind us, friend.

Turn your head. Look back there. Can you see them off in the distance?

These days of comfort were only to last the blink of an eye,

for now the day of decay is upon us”

-Bean, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

NEVER GIVE UP

spinning wheels, hometown chains

a life to live if he could only find the way


so he drives all night, across the state line

hoping to make the scene, hit the big time

 

never give up, don’t you ever give up

don’t you ever give up your dream

don’t you settle for broken wings

there’s a price for livin’ free

never give up, don’t you ever give up

don’t you ever give up on me

i can fly if i believe

 

2.

rolling wheels, coffee stains

no regrets, i think we found a better way


he says “hey, mom, i ain’t coming home

you know that i got the gig

four in the van, and we’re out on the road, 

you get just what you give” -and she says


“never give up, don’t you ever give up

don’t you ever give up your dream

don’t you settle for broken wings

cause there’s a price for livin’ free”

never give up, don’t you ever give up

don’t you ever give up on me

i can fly if i believe

 

3.

no matter where this road leads i will always wanna play

i write my songs because i have something to say


so when i die and i leave this place, what will they all say?

“he never sold out and he never gave up” 

and “all he had, he gave”?

 

never give up, don’t you ever give up

don’t you ever give up your dream

don’t you settle for broken wings

there’s a price for livin’ free

never give up, don’t you ever give up

don’t you ever give up on me

i can fly if i believe

 

Thank you Jimmy ‘V’

 

© hankbarbee2018

 

 

LUMINA LULLABY