Monday, September 16, 2013

Mary Magdilinium
 Mary Magdilinium cover art
Testing....1,2, is this mic on? this is my loose attempt to connect the dots.
Two sordid years of computer problems and I am just short of going caveman on the modern world.
I wish I could be a snob and insist on touring and pressing records with zippers, wiggle pictures and pop up cartoons inside but alas me pockets reflect a different approach to audio production. So be it. WE assembled and cut this song in about a half an hour. Based on a riff I had been noodling for twelve months without resolve. (my attempt to emulate African guitar styles without fancy retuning) Eric has a great ear and launched into a great rhythm almost immediately, After some vocal overdubs,  guitar and some bass she was allset to sit on a shelf till I could figure out how to move the audio over to bandcamp... Better late than never. 

Peace, B.B.
Its Mary Magdilinium
she pretends to work a pendulum
she mix a little bit of magic and dance to make the folks swing and sway

what they say? well its all right its all right yea
its all right if I say that I love you

Its Mary Magdilinium
she pretends to work that pendulum
when you get them tongues wagging you got to hear what they say

what they say .. what they say?

Well, a penny earned is a penny saved
and that's what they tried to tell you when she's out there on the biggest wave

Mary Magdilindium...
its all right....Its all right if I say that I love you.


released 04 August 2012
Eric Clemow on drums Lyrics and other noises by Bristow

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dude Where's My Drummer? or Bill Ward Where Are You?

I Love (old) Black Sabbath....  BUT.....Let's talk about (new) Black Sabbath! "13" for a moment.

I would love to give two shits about this release!

I have an issue.


Not including the original Black Sabbath drummer is like removing the concrete foundation from under your house.

The inevitable question pops up...WHY?  Maybe he lost his groove? maybe he's really into Hello Kitty and needlepoint these days and can't be bothered??  NO.    Somethings rotten in kitchen here.

Greedy pricks are everywhere. Please prove me wrong. Until then. FUCK YOU Tony Iommi and FUCK YOU OZZY!  Hey,  Geezer Butler...are you part of this debacle?  Then fuck you too! 

I am truly curious about this new "Black Sabbath 13" but without Bill Ward I am afraid I will be forced to purloin  it....Just to send a message. I like Albums and Cd's and physical product.. I like to support my favorite Artists....

I Will BUY "Black Sabbath" when Black Sabbath is good and present.  

LOYALTY fellas......   Google it.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Price

                                                                        The Price 
  An old poet can say with a sly grin to an audience of cats and a stray ear from over/btween the fencing, that he never "really lived" .... Expectations fold up their wares and roll to greener pastures, a bird takes flight.... No sale. 

But wait, come back.... A salesman, a neighbor, a rambunctious boy, they turn attentions elsewhere...UNIFORMLY...predictably...

 The sly grin increases.... The eye secretly sparkles.... He goes back inside to be alone with his books, some tea, a dry oak fire,  a table,  a chair..."I never fully lived" repeats a self refracted tone.... Ha h ha ha... Only the cats hear me these days... What say you then, kitty? The old man opens a reluctant, rain soaked window and lets the cold pour in... He stands up straight with his feet apart to address the now vacant street, planted there like an oak himself, looking younger than five minutes prior,

"I'll never fully die!"   

A window shuts, a shade drops, a cat curls up by a fire.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Perfectly Appropriate


Once in a while I take a walk
Our road runs a little over a mile through a piece of gorgeous forest before it hits the highway

On these walks I take along the modern version of the "Walkman" 

Last week I was trying my levelheaded best to take my walk and simultaneously understand (at least partly)  the juicy science in an audio book by one of my favorite authors, Michio Kaku. This book is called "Parallel Worlds" (unabridged parts one and two) great stuff. 
My whole neighborhood is a dead end road. 
An island in the pines containing a handful of streets, a volunteer fire house and a pond. 
You learn to recognize the local characters by car, truck or quad. The people here have a lot of space and privacy but we share a common road out of the woods. Its nearly the only time I have to interact with my neighbors and its usually short and sweet how I like it. "Howdy Tom! fine weather we're having today, Yup, Catch ya later."  
I like to think my neighbors are on generally the same page insofar as forest appreciation goes but here and again I find, on a regular basis... Trash, on the side of the road. A Coors can here a Coke can there and occasionally a pile of cigarette butts in a perfect little pile of ashes showing that they stopped the vehicle, opened the door and dropped the vile cargo exactly inches above the scene of the crime. I am always trying to profile the evil doers in my head and it takes over my attention from the birds the bees and my main man Michio and his theoretical physics.  
An oncoming pickup with an elbow sticking out. 
Is it him? 
I just cant tell and short of dressing up in camouflage and hiding in a tree I may never catch the bastard or bastards...or bastardettes for that matter.
What the hell would I do if I did catch them?  I have a plan ....  It involves dumping my garbage in their vehicle or on their porch whatevers easier but something else has caught my attention. 
A plastic water bottle squished flat and weather beaten comes into focus in the dirt a foot or so off the blacktop.  

                                              Coyote shit is balanced perfectly on the bottle. 

                                  Nature herself has sent a representative to address the situation. 

                                                      How perfectly appropriate.

 Now that I know I am working the case in cahoots with the forest dwellers I feel a whole lot better about my chances with regards to Justice, Karma and all that good shit.

Time to get back to eleventh dimensional hyper space, bird watching and a little jogging if the knee holds up.  





Monday, March 25, 2013

The Customer

On regular intervals

The bulls go over the cliff

The leaders posture

The young react

The old articulate 
Most of the wise, (I believe) are in hiding

An irascible clue unfolds on any Tuesday.

My shopping cart has a wobbling wheel 
Counting the carts in front of me to be about twenty with nearly the same number guesstimated to be distributed throughout the lot and Supermarket ......discounting the odd theft, I give myself high odds of using this very same bastard cart again in the calender year and resolve to break the spell, abandoning it beside the newspaper racks outside the electric doors. 

The next cart is much better, I pretend not to notice the poor fellow who has taken up the wobbly cause left aside the traffic of it all 
 "grow your own fuckin' tomatoes" I says to myself......well? What about soap?....  Hmm. You got me there, 
I buy four "Heirloom" tomato plants with flowers on them and place them in the south facing window of the kitchen when I get home

While I was there, at the grocery, I noticed the motorcycle magazines are beginning to outnumber the gun publications. Well, It's something. 

I buy an issue of "Motorcycle Classics" to help with some collective message. 

 Other magazines feature movie stars like a sorry bill of health pinned to society's weakest links, the word "imposter" comes to mind.
If you can see a rat in a maze and not feel a twinge of recognition. Good for you. 

If you can stand in line with another human standing directly behind you. Hazah! and praise the big cheese. 

If you can get through high-school without a deep unresolvable despise for institutions. You is the cats meow and you fit right in there, like a key in a lock inspecting the tumblers with the expression of the deeply resigned. 


If you let someone convince you that you need medication to help get over your stress, you are going off to the slaughter house under your own steam. I am suggesting that a thorn in your foot is to be removed, not discussed. Sand in your eye needs washed out, not a prime time special featuring football greats with bad knees. When you are confined to a pine box, don't entertain the thoughts of a silk box lining and a scented pine tree dangling in your face as a solution. By all means.... Kick like hell and get the fuck out of there.

When the music in your ears is offensive and the lights make you feel like you are in surgery and the people resemble monsters you are not mistaken. The Twilight Zone ain't got nothin' on the grocery store.  

As an experiment. I put on my blackest sunglasses and pull up ABRAXIS on my IPOD

This is the proper way to handle a crisis of conformity

and when they inevitably ask if they can "help" me, I sent them for a forty pound bag of dog food. By the end of my shopping adventure the bag boys and girls are perplexed and the manager is curious about the nine bags of Pedigree blocking the exits

I do my part. 

B.E.B.   (self elected anti-social skills professional)



Saturday, March 23, 2013

My reply to Bob Lefsetz (Kelly and Clive)

                                             photo by Amber Lessing 

 I used to work for "a record company"  ( smooth jazz... yack.) A fly by night subsidiary of a much bigger fish. Maybe it was Virgin records...I forget...
  I was hired by a nice guy walking his dog who liked the drum beat I was playing inside my open garage door one day.  The whole company was situated cliffside on Birdview Ave. where the stars all live overlooking the ocean. (The neighborhood was not particularly happy about our presence.)

I was in for a serious education. In a nutshell, the acts are a product like a can of peas. I'm not being creative. Exactly equal too a can of friggin peas. 

And I am grateful for what I was on hand to witness. Being a musician / songwriter myself, what I wanted most on earth at that time was a record deal. 

1. Appearances are everything. In response to a bad financial year, what you do in Malibu to pull yourself up by the boot straps is wholly counter-intuitive. You fire 2 people, buy a new Beemer and start taking people out to dinner at an accelerated rate... 

2. All the artists coming in are suckers. They are wined and dined in order to have themselves on the Pitney Bowes mailing machine. It is all charged back to them with smiles, kisses and incense burning in front of a Buddha in a sand garden with the sun going down over the pacific. As soon as they were out of ear shot I heard with my own ears a proper gang of wolves snickering about how they would divide their next kill. A gotcha vibe overpowering the patchouli with little fragments of sentences that fell into my ears that I can never.... un-hear.  

 "We own the masters so fu%# em" 

After hearing a little gem like this one, I raised my eyebrows in shock, not saying a word. My expression was spied by a coworker on the higher end of this food chain. His response, leaning in close with one closed eye.... "and were the NICE record company" 

Long live the web. 

Brandon Earl Bristow 

P.S. I am now living happy and contract-free on It's FREE!  The new paradigm - I love it. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Wrong Machine

Sixteen valves standing at attention, dry with with red rust spots covering their exterior, I thought they were spider mites...sixteen valves in the wind, out in the air on top of the wrong machine.

Silver pistons, left and right like a recent amputee with black rings burnt into position and warped just enough to see so without straining the eye. 
Extending my scope, my camera, and a crow bar past the large fly wheel and the exposed forward facing gears I get to the heart of the machine

Black leather seats, tuck and roll with a Lincoln symbol stitched with brown thread. Surgical steel in hand we make our first incision. 

And there it is, alive and hissing.
The radio. 

Right away I can see that it's tuned to K.N.X . (a meaningless  observation) Clamping the leather upholstery out of the way, my assistant says she has located the antennae, it's broken. 

As carefully as possible I navigate past the pop country station, trouble... It's oompah music and the signal is strong. The speakers are no where to be seen, they might be ingrown.

Rapido! Insists the muffled mans commercial platitudes.
NEXT! shouts an onlooker. 

Pushing past the Christian network I realize that a combination of oil and fuel are starting to puddle up around the cup holders. It's bad. 

With a bash and squeak, the Snap-on truck arrives, "thank God" they have the replacement antennae. 
Soaking up the excess fuel with a blue shop rag we insert and twist the antennae into position. With time running out I make a judgement call and leave the original rubber gasket in place. For a long moment there is no sound at all. The radio knobs are now completely soaked with oil, fuel and coffee.

 I know that collage radio still exists in some places. ((Just three weeks ago I clearly heard Funkadelic's "Red Hot Mama" pumping from the depths of an overturned Toyota Corona station wagon.)) I turned the dial left three solid turns ignoring the awful auto-tuned top-forty and the pseudo-rap, hesitating at the unique sound of an electric 12 string Rickenbacker guitar plucking staccato over a jungle beat, No! Its a sell out. My Lord it's a commercial for erectile dysfunction. Moving on.... down the dial....  with beads of sweat dripping into my eyes..Not much room left..... half a turn at the most, leaning in and listening hard for any signs of good music. How can it be this difficult to find a real drummer on this thing? The diagnostic equipment is silent, a loud gasp is belched from the aging air compressor, the garage is filled with despair. Ironically, the red faced right wingers are on the far left of the radio dial, Baldie, Fatso, Dopy and Whiny, the gangs all here.......Then its the Triangle-heads, reading the Zodiac for fun and profit, the wonders never cease. We are now in that space on the far left where there ain't no paint on the glass, no map, no hope...... I let go of the knob and there it was, clear as day. The Beastie Boys,  "Johnny Ryall" on the hook. 
We did it! I proclaim out loud, "I really thought we were going to have buy a subscription to SeriusXM!"  My assistants eyes dart away causing a somber moment of reflection. It's time to pay for what we used to get for free. I suppose I'll be heading to "Best Buy" eventually,  eyes squinted, head hanging low in the defeat posture.

Music needs a "Monster Island" but for now we stare at the unfinished bridge between the music and the speakers with contempt. 
                   "Something Else" needs to happen. 

No time to rest, somewhere out there, in a parking lot, is an inverted Nissan Sentra with a whale fin hot glued to beige primer.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Trash Day

                                  (((((Trash Day)))))

 Wednesday - January, 30th

  Reaching down into the dirty dish water,  calculating the odds of a fork going under my fingernails. I remember what day it is   

Some days have a rhythm 

Today, it's the mighty one,    "Boom"

Africa and South America can run up to razor wire and stop short, without confrontation or injury
Their musicality prepares them, protects them 
The magic "&" is adept and busy
A seperate entity from politics and powers

European technocrats lay down a foundation lacking fragility on purpose. Their pomposity precludes them 

The "one" plods on

In America, it's just another day wedged between stations 

On trash day, the mighty "one" can be seen at the water hole rubbing hind quarters with the endless "&" 
Trash day is "four on the floor" in what passes for a groove in the vapidity of Central California. It remains something of an acceptable obstacle for the mono theistic

The "one" is a fence with busted glass on top, while the "&" is a heart beat, it has to live in the ditch on either side of the "one" 

To stop jumping is to start bleeding   
Trash day

Take the old eggs out
Take the puddle of taco grease out
Take the dog shit out

..............To the curb, with a sense of timing

                             We make space on trash day

A Jetliner passes overhead, heard but not seen, the sound blends together with a lawn mower down the street, they are strangely in tune
A trucking line running coast to coast has a driver that still plays C.C.R. (the Cosmos Factory) and Led Zeppelins (Coda) back to back on dirty cassette tapes. He knows every word and sings pitch perfect at full volume from state to state. He is Howlin' Wolf with a green rabbits foot key chain, Elvis Presley with a hard pack of Marlboro's rolled up in the arm of a short sleeve shirtThe CB radio, with the knob broke off in full squelch position emits a friendly yellow light into his dark diesel time capsule 
Hazmat endorsements and a family photo are clipped to the visor

When you ride on the "one" you must pay tribute to the "and" Not so much something you think on, it's reflexive, compulsory, like taking off your hat in respect at a grave or making the sign of the cross on your chest (if that's what you do)  

            A fruit stand civilization is a busy place 

A bird chirps in a completely unusual time signature outside my kitchen door

Balancing the last wet bowl on the pile of clean dishes
I grab the kitchen trash with one hand and the door knob with the other, the dog runs out ahead of me

Tribute to the one, variations on a theme...Wednesday
Functioning like a steamroller I will organize this place. Because it is Wednesday.
Unblinking stuff. Cleaning, wood stacking, checking the oil in the pickup and recycling some aluminum beer and soda cans.
 I have some rum hidden away in an old cymbal bag and I fully intend to get to it. A counter-spell

A phone call later I have friends on the way.  People full up on the "one" and fed up with the fence. Bleeders, train wrecks, philosophers, misfits... Insane musicians holding down their Jeklle and Hyde lives one day at a time.
Two sticks of Nag Champa are waiting to be lit

Jam night

We make a lot of noise and the neighbors in 2013 dont seem to know what they are missing
Poor bastards, you can see it in their face
They don't get it 

I am beginning to recognize what we are doing. Sometimes the "one" has you and there is no escape. Sometimes we can mix the two and live an artsy life. 
I'm not crafty enough to position myself  correctly so I make my offerings. Crooked as they are  

Here's to "getting on with it"
In our own way 

A toast!
To the mighty "one" 

And another!
for the cheerful anticipation
of the mighty "&" 



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Donald Trump V the Killer Bees

Assumptions and the fish

I can operate a television but I can’t get very specific about how it works. I could never assemble one from scratch (without instructions) and I just don't care.  You and I might freely admit this "not knowing" how to build a television but somehow there is some amount of pride wrapped up in "knowing" how nature works and "knowing" how the universe works. We puff up and get “managerial” about the place.  (("Oh those?, those are the Andes, and him? he's just a fish")) As if we know something.
Fish to fish communication is not our problem. It would only complicate things. The managers of this human enterprise are very sure of themselves. The willingness to be the first to take something that doesn't belong to you metastasizes and envelops the original structure leaving a mass that might read books by Donald Trump and perhaps drive a new Corvette.          

Why the disdain for fish and mountains? What is wrong with us?
Most of us can’t bring it to vocalization; it’s just too darn emotional to even start. We got to keep up the facade. Unyielding and generally unsympathetic is seen as a positive personality trait in nine out of ten subjects roaming the sandbox.  

 If we could ever just assume that the rocks and the oceans, the plants and critters, might actually have points of view all their own instead of the ubiquitous cause and effect logic welded permanently to our present world view, then our goofy assumptions would become our strengths instead of the love of strength being the basis of our goofy assumptions. 

 A spider and a tree walk into a bar....

In a stroke of unmatched Hubris, ..Humans.. Are love struck with a lopsided dominion over fictitious forces. LIFE is self-determining and our own definition of the word itself lacks vision and reflects very little of our accumulated data. Our childlike mentality permits a two dimensional animal to wiggle toward treats or squiggle from danger, nothing contemplative shall be considered like a Judge refusing to allow evidence to enter court. Life on Earth is what we are looking down on with contempt, a green carpet with its fibers able to jump up and run around on purposeful mini missions for a bit before reattaching to the floor. With eyes, ears, hearts and brains we lie to ourselves in a last ditch effort to maintain a certain feeling of Kingship over the natural world. The natural world, however, has to contend with what it has produced. A man with an earth sized ego, a child rebelling against his parents, slamming doors we didn't pay for. 

Our very best science aficionados take the podium offering us a sneering side comment intent on its dutiful re-dissemination. It is directed toward a crowd of lawn furniture, remaining careful to avoid eye contact with the hawk on the fence and the spider on the microphone, 
"I can do what ever I want," bellows our tantrum of self deceit. The wind replies by shaking the leaves on the eucalyptus trees.  The sound and the smell along with a temperature change for the cooler sends a shiver up the orators back.


  We are so completely in love with ourselves that two birds tweeting away to each other from tree to tree cannot penetrate our personal fictions. We refuse to allow them an equal level of consciousness. They are obviously singing nonsense unless we get honest with ourselves for a minute. "We have a written language" is a proud batch of syllables we are fond of referring to. In a moment of weakness, we give up a little ground by observing in book form the mating rituals of male birds dominating the competition, a line of reasoning to lower the creature in our minds while we are pretending to see their beauty. We like our beauty in a box, even if its only a mental one. Thinking about birds acting out their entire lives on pure instinct is a great way to objectify an animal when you are intending to cut down their forest. Will a bird actually have to text the word "tweet" to us in order to be thought of as something which thinks? Our human thoughts are so strangely self petting and dim that I find it difficult to categorize the beast in line at Taco Bell anywhere above a flying creature that has a compass and a calendar as standard equipment. A gorilla can use sign language to communicate its feelings and we don't generally give two shits. It's considered a circus trick, something you read at the dentist’s office then forget entirely. 

(((for the bees)))

Using our own serotonin-laced logic, if a population of killer bees took over the world and drove us to live in caves, they would now have a respectable language and newly recognizable beehive townships, a culture of their own, progressive, organized and successful. We would be free to speak incoherent nonsense back and forth between caves but we would be doing so for dominance and mating reasons alone. The bees would have earned the right to ignore our status as conscious beings. We respect power and alter word meanings to accommodate enterprise. 

Defining a company as a living thing is the flexing of a crafty mental muscle by monkeys on moonshine and by making sure to keep the Boreal forests of North America ill defined and stripped of consciousness, we are then free to literally blow our noses at it.

((I guarantee you;  "Kleenex" or rather (Kimberly Clark Corporation) is a boycott-worthy organization.))

The world will allow us exhaust ourselves. I feel like we have just begun to cry it out on the couch. No, we can’t "do whatever we want" we are a family, immensity more bizarre than the bar scene in Star Wars. 
WE need each other for survival, for peace of mind and for reasons we can feel but cannot wrap our heads around. 

        People talk. What if everything else does too?