Riffs 2014


The Passing Show

His Royal Hipness Lord Buckley, Solid with All He Surveys, and a mere 87 years after he first hit the boards at the Aztec Theater in San Antonio, will materialize once again in Dallas, Texas at the Ochre Theater for a spectacle that is being billed as ?#"The Passing Show"%%%.

Written and directed by Matthew Posey the show promises to be another far out and with it expedition into that mystical realm where intrepid and swingin' mortals conjure The Lord from beyond the Waygonesphere. Channeling The Lord will be Ben Bryant a local Dallas thespian with a pretty swingin' look and presence. Amongst other riffs he will be hipping the populance in Hipsemantic Shakespeare to the trials, tribulations and bring downs of King Lear, a king freak if ever there was one. Adding the heat to the beat the whole affair is backed by a two piece jazz band featuring Justin Locklear and Trey Pendergrass.

Lone Star hipsters should plan to attend as it is altogether groovy and exceedingly rare when The Coolest One of All Kick Bumps makes the scene.

Tickets are $15 (cash or check) at the door or stake your claim online at Brown Paper Tickets or reservations at: 214.826.6273

The Ochre Theater
825 Exposition Avenue
Dallas, TX 75226

Thanks to Roger Mexico for hipping us to this flip.


The Ochre Theater

A Swingin' Review from TheatreJones



Digging It Deeply
"Dig Infinity" on the boards at the Planet Connection Theater Festivity

What is in the air of late, Beloveds? First we have the swingin' news that His Lordship will make the Lone Star scene in "The Passing Show". And now, quick on it's heels, intell reaches our lobes that one of the heaviest of the Original Buckley Before Daddies is going to stomp across the boards in a self penned salute to The Master himself. Buckley biographer Oliver Trager has scribed and will be directing/starring in his Opus Hipus "Dig Infinity!" at the Planet Connection Theater Festivity in New York City in May of 2014. The three scheduled performance events commence Wednesday May 14th with additional shows on the 18th and 24th. See the jazz below what is below for particulars.

"Dig Infinity" is a very active meditation on the essence of art, hipness and life itself. Not to give the plot away but the range and ambition of the play is as vast and mighty as a jumpin' Tigris and Euphrates pool party. And its central conceit as edgy as the hippest Oxford style Myth Wigs would ever hope to conjure up. You swingin' cats and kitties in Gotham who can make the scene can do a little homework with Roland Barthes, Edith Hamilton and Joseph Campbell to give yourselves a leg up.

And those of you with a little extra kale can hip the treasury well with a nod towards getting the expenses for this show right and tight. See the Indigogo link to the left for more details and for a little taste of the action.

Lord Buckley - Oliver Trager
Orpheus - Russell Jordan
Abe, God, Midus, Worm - David Lamberton
Jazzbo, Shadow and strings/flutes - John Kruth
Slick and percussion - Boris Kinberg
Lights & Sound - Eric Feldman

Wednesday May 1th at 6:30 PM
Sunday, May 18th at 9:00 PM
Saturday, May 24th at 7:30 PM

to purchase tickets click here:


Indigogo [not an active link]

For more info



Can You Dig Me?
Pre-release skinny on "Red Beans and Weiss"

Once upon a time a drum crazed teenager from Denver caught the lobes of a legendary heavy blues cat by the name of Lightin' Hopkins. Invited to tour the Cherryland and lay down the beat for this great cat the young stud did just that. And then he proceeded to lay it on some of the other far out, magical 145 princes like Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. He swung it up to some very high strata.

Once upon another time this same young cat (now a tad older) hung out serious style with Tom Waits and Ricki Lee Jones in the old Tropicana Motel in Los Angeles from whence many a tale has reached the surface. Her Majesty Ricki Lee even made the platinum record scene with a tune inspired by this young percussion mad chap titled "Chuck E. s In Love".

Now, beloveds, jump yourself up to the present and dig the news that long time recording artist Chuck E. Weiss (and Lord Buckley aficionado) is swingin' forth with a soon to be released album on ANTI Records titled "Red Beans and Weiss". It is produced by Tom Waits and Johnny Depp, features a gasser of a song list and a truly with it album cover. The album is due April 15, 2014.

Now dig this little flip. Part Sgt. Pepper and part "Where's Waldo?" the artwork on "Red Beans and Weiss" is a little gem for the peepers. Any number of far out entertainers are featured on the cover and who do you think made the scene? Some of you with eagle style peepers might be able to make out The Lord's position in the image on the left but for the rest of us click here to see a larger version.

LBC salutes Chuck E. and urges all you cats and kitties that dig this goodly Prince to lay down the kale for a treat with a beat.

Again, we have HRH Roger Mexico to thank for hipping us to this good bit of news.


ANTI Records info

Sneek Peek



Ode Is The Mode, Daddy-o!
The Swingin' Prince Amram Is At It Again

You cats and kitties that make crazy sweeps of the freqs with those trained and tuned lobes of yours are going to double down with delight when you hear the news that composer and Forever Jung Beat Daddy David Amram has done it once more with great feeling. His recently released CD ###"Amram/Orchestra of Indian Hill/Hangen-Ode To Lord Buckley"%%% features the swingingest composition this side of Gone. ###"Ode To Lord Buckley"%%% is Amram's nod, tip of the beret, and homage to the Great Master of Flip Manor. And lest Ye think it is some wig based intellectual type riff set in motion via some abstract theorum we want to get you straight that it is a most masterful tome for the lobes that any of you cats and kitties can get down with.

iTunes can get you with this groovey new wax as can Amazon. See links to the left.






Ain't Nothin' Little About Him, Jack
Jimmy Scott [1925-2014]

In the world of jazz his pipes were a unique form of gold. In the underappreciated and esoteric arena called Phrasing he was a regal presence dug deeply by so very many in jazz. Word of his talents also found its way into the demi-monde of pop music. Madonna once said he was the only singer that could make her cry, dig that. When he finally laid down his last he had as many years on him as a high class club piano has keys. He went out when his ticker said, “That’s all she wrote, daddy–o. Take it down easy.” Jimmy Scott, a beautiful singer and beautiful cat is with us no more. We at LBC are saddened but reminded of the Second Line in a New Orleans jazz funeral which gives people a chance to strut and not fret upon the stage in remembrance of those spirits that made us embrace the sphere with glee and abandon.

Jimmy Scott’s chart was full of starts, stops, and too many bars of rest from beginning to end. His life story is one of talent pitted against luck both good and bad. Born in Cleveland in 1925 he was number three in a string of ten children. Starting his singing career as a teenager he was first billed as Little Jimmy Scott for his small size and high pitched vocal register. His voice never broke but he found an inner strength and forged that voice into a gift that the world would come to regard with marvel.

He was held back from much he was due by a contract dispute with a minor recording label. There were even times when he had to find work in hospitals, restaurants and hotels. But eventually he played and recorded with Lionel Hampton’s band in New York, he sang at one of President Bill Clinton’s inaugural gatherings, nominated for a Grammy, and featured in the final episode of "Twin Peaks".

But through all the ups and downs this extraordinary voice, filled with pain and yearning, drenched in pathos and hope, graced the air that we all share and filled it and our hearts with beauty. There ain’t nothin’ little about Jimmy Scott, Jack! When he laid it he laid it.

In October of 2004 Roger Mexico and Michael Monteleone interviewed Jimmy in his home in Euclid, Ohio about his experience with Lord Buckley. Also present was Jimmy's lovely and kind hearted wife Jeanie. Here is a snippet of that conversation. Jimmy is talking about Buckley's 4 Chairs bit.

I remember about that time Amos and Andy was coming on the scene, that’s right. And they’d be on the stage and maybe there was some little gimmick they would pull. He’d [Buckley] would run back and Amos and Andy would do the little bit he wanted them to do in his act and they’d keep right on with the show.

And it didn’t seem like he was making fun of black people at all?

I didn’t feel that way, no. I didn’t get that kind of thing from him.


I felt that he was a uppity uppity kind of guy, you know. But, that didn’t bother you because after all he was utilizing the name “Lord Buckley”. And back then if – again, here is where England comes in to your mind – “Lord? Well, he must have been a Lord from England.” You thought. You know, you didn’t know but, like myself, that’s what I thought about it.

Yeah. Now, when I was talking with Jeanie on the phone she said that you said to her “They don’t make entertainers like that anymore.”

No, they don’t. Definitely. There are none that are on the scene. They don’t make them anymore like him.



Report from the Field: "Dig Infinity"
Prince O's Latest Flip

From the current front line we bring you testimony in the key of E (for eye witness.) Less than a fortnight ago Oliver Trager laid a little email on LBC to hip us to his most recent stomp across the boards titled "Dig Infinity. For Thy peepers only, Beloveds:

Heya Michael,
Hope all swings well with you and the Vashon.
With a bit of remove from the show, I just wanted to touch base and give ya a hit of how things went.
Reaction to the show was uniformly positive as perhaps evidenced by this cross-sampling of thoughtful feedback.
“Your play is big on the spirit. It's in the mold of old-fashioned ancient-Greek theater, a tour de force . . . I have no idea how you are able to retain and act out so much, so well, so fluidly. The range of the play transcends Buckley-tribute nights in that it is a timeless work of the spirit.” -- Evander, a publishing pro & Buckley fan.
“Wow! I have to say my expectations were high and they were more than met. The whole experience was inspiring and mesmerizing. I felt completely locked into this universe and persona you channeled...What more can I say? I'm sure there will many more good things to come from 'Dig Infinity!' based on the response and packed house.” -- Paul Lovelace, a 30-year-old-documentary filmmaker (Radio Unnameable).
“We've never seen anything like your show! We went into it without any type of background on Lord Buckley (our own fault), so it was a bit fast paced and hard to follow and take in at times... maybe a little more digestion time within the piece. But other than that really, it was SUPER cool -- the intimacy of it all, the flute and drums as you walk in, the dialogue between Lord Buckley and Orpheus, the energy, the mixed media, the mix of time periods, the engagement with the audience, the riddles and jokes . . . we were so proud to be a part of it, for real.” -- Sarah, a 21-year-old friend of Cole Trager.
Audience members ranged from grade school kids and housing project-dwelling twenty-somethings to hippie-hipster-yupsters, curious theater folk, artists and poets of note to a world renowned architect and just plain old regular people. Judging by their response to our modest production, Lord Buckley’s achievement and my framing of it appear to still have the power to move an audience more than a half-century after his swoop off the mortal coil.
Admittedly, not everyone “got it” or much out of it. One guy appeared to catch a pretty decent nap. But, with the audience nearly literally in my lap, I assure you that was an exception to the energy and love emanating from the pews. The audience are the young folk reared on Hip-Hop and their parents' '60s sounds hungering for something cool and authentic in this plastic carnival of crap pop culture.
Not sure how I feel about it all now that has come and gone. Some things I would have done different for sure but what's done is done. I'd love to continue to share and develop the work but the usual suspects — $/time/etc. — are major factors in stalling the moving of matters forward.
I know we put forth a compelling and magical plunge into the Lord Buckley vortex for all that had the opportunity to attend. And I know that the message contained within Buckley’s canon is life-affirming and embracing, a message conveyed in my play. Best of all: we made good art with heart, took audiences on a journey, had one ourselves, and had Fun w/a capital F along the way.



Next Stop, The Waygonesphere
Paul Mazursky [1930-2014]

We relate this story to all the hip cats and kitties that have a soft spot for the world of heartfelt films. The last of a very fine movie director's life has made its way through the twisting sprockets, klacking sockets, the looping hockets, the lens and arc lamp, and now lies quietly on the take up reel. 35mm director Paul Mazursky has swooped the sphere at 84 years of age. He died June 30th at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

He was known for some wonderful and highly successful films such as "Harry and Tonto", "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice", and "Next Stop, Greenwich Village" but he also laid some groovy and thought provoking films on the populance such as "An Unmarried Woman" and "Alex In Wonderland". He was known to coax wonderful performances from the talented people in cast: Jill Clayburgh, Art Carney and Robin Williams amongst many.

He was sometimes in the cross hairs of the critics who accused him of sentimentality. His response in the Atlantic magazine was, "...my movies aren't sentimental, they just have sentiment."

In his early days he even tried standup comedy. It was in this context that he met Lord Buckley. In a 2005 interview with Roger Mexico and Michael Monteleone Mazursky remembered some of his time with The Lord:

I came back to LA - we are now in 1960. And I kind of moved there with a wife and a child. I met this guy Ben Shapiro who owned The Renaissance. And Ben said, "Look, you could work - do your act - because I've seen you you're funny. They will be very sophisticated people at The Renaissance. All they do is drink cappuccinos and talk about art and literature." Hip, you know, at that time the hippie times. And at thirty-five bucks a week, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and all the cappuccinos you want. An offer I couldn't refuse. And I see I'm on the bill with Lord Buckley and Jimmy Witherspoon. Two of my heroes. And I got to know him a little bit. I mean, he was fabulous. He was like one of a kind, unique guy who was like a combination a country preacher - he was exotic, he was strange. He was like no other comedian I'd ever seen, if you wanted to call him a comedian, which I guess I would, you know. I'd seen Jonathan Winters, I'd seen Lenny Bruce, Mike and Elaine. "The Nazz" was something different. And to this day I'm not sure I could tell you what it was except it amused me and I laughed and there was something emotionally warm and touching about it.

Paul Mazursky was a mensch. He was warm and kind and had time to spend with two fledgling filmmakers. One cannot sum up a person's life with the simple algebra contained in a quote but give this one a try anyways. This is Paul Mazursky speaking to People magazine about humor and life:

"I find it impossible to spend much time with someone who doesn't have a real sense of humor. Humor is not just a way of looking at life. It's the way you experience things. Nobody lives life free of pain, but you can get past the pain with humor. It's what separates me from some very nice people who simply don't get the joke."





Whippin' and Wailin'

Oh, my swingin beloveds, modern miracles do manifest Now and Then. So, let me hip Thee to a sweet riff that is happening like Now. Regal Princes of Funk Sly Stone and George Clinton have taken a step towards shaking the peninsula by bringing The Lord into the aforementioned Now by resurrecting “The Naz” as a gorgeous bit of digital vinyl. With Sly laying down the story and George sprinkling the funk dust on every lick and groove they bring His Lordship’s signature routine to a whole new slice of the populance.

A treat awaits Thee in short order when you twang the magic link that takes you to a groovy YouTube page. Be sure to read the commentary for the full Large Charge.


The Magic Link



Trager Connects
Oliver Trager scores gold at Planet Connections Festivity

And I quote:

I am so very proud to share with you the news that "Dig Infinity!" my play celebrating the art & legacy of the great Lord Buckley received three awards at last night's Planet Connections Festivity gala: Outstanding Adaptation/Revival, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play with Music (me!), and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play with Music (my co-star Russell Jordan!). I want to take this moment to ...thank all involved: Russell, David Lamberton (a major catalyst in propelling the work into a new realm), master musician John Kruth, demon drummer Boris Kinberg, and Lighting Designer Eric Feldman. My family -- my wife Elaine, son Cole, sister, bro and all the elders still stomping this sweet swinging' sphere -- deserve a special shout out for continuing to put up with me. And the entire Planet Connections Festivity community for giving me the space to blow my mind and, if you were in attendance, perhaps yours too. This great festival gives emerging works a place to breath and grow while raising awareness of a variety of very worthy social causes. Finally, a bow to Laurie Buckley and the Royal Family for keeping the coals a-glow. Don't know when or where we will hold this High Mass next but, be sure, the flow is a-go. Dig Infinity! and dig it deeply. Keep cool but care...

Oliver Trager on Facebook


Oliver Trager performing "Murder"



Up The Ladder
Robin Williams [1951 - 2014]

I find it extremely hard to be glib with this modern day teletype item, my regal cats and kitties. If there is such a thing as a Latter Day Royal Court of Lord Buckley I am sad to report that one of it’s sweetest princes has taken his untimely leave of us. Robin Williams, whose list of talents, accomplishments and artful inventions staggers we Mortals of Mere, is dead. How can that even be possible? That golden boy, that unconquerable spirit, that crazy and noisy run up the ladder is silent forever. I want to know why it is not one of the countless Governor Slugwell’s of this sphere that got snatched out of line early. Why does a cat with so much gleeful wiggage not want to stay with it all the way to Endsville? It is an answer not to be found I fear.

Journalist Doug Cruickshank has posted his thoughts on Facebook.

ROBIN WILLIAMS CATCHES A CAB That likely would have been Lord Buckley's observation on today's heartbreaker. We interviewed Williams a number of years ago for a documentary film that I'm working on about Buckley. We met him at the office of his then-wife's production company at the Presidio here in San Francisco. He was extremely shy, soft-spoken, didn't make eye contact at first, but loosened up and relaxed as we talked. He was a true Buckley lover and the night before had spent a couple of hours listening to Buckley recordings in preparation for the interview. He was very generous with his time, talking with us for nearly two hours, as I recall. At one point, out of nowhere, he did a dialogue between Lord Buckley and William F. Buckley that was a trenchant and true bit of magic.

Here are a few excerpts from our interview. Present were Doug Cruickshank, Roger Mexico and Michael Monteleone also sound recordist Michael Stocker and camera person John Knupe:

"Just the rhythms, the riffs, the fact that it was like, you know, spoken jazz. It was - you know you start off with something like The Nazz, which is basically, you know, a real hip version of, of Jesus. And then you hear something like The Gettysburg Address and you're going - he's doing it word for word but totally in another language. And you kind of pick up on it, it really works it's, you know [does Buckley's voice] 'That all cats are created level in front.' [back to regular voice] It was a great way to think about cats are -everybody's equal, you know. And he puts it out in a way you pick up on it. And it makes you laugh but it hits - it hits home just as well. Just like the same as Marc Antony's address and, you know, To Be or Not To Be. [does Buckley's voice] 'To swing or not to swing - whether to hang - no - that is the hanger. To swing or not to swing that is the hanger.' [regular voice] And you're going, "That's to be or not to be. But somehow works for me!" You know, all of that stuff I was going, 'Wow, this is really fascinating.' "



Murphy Rising
The History of Hip with Noel Murphy

Sweet Hipsters, rejoice in The Lord for he will be among you soon. Noel Murphy, a swingin' Left Coast prince with a jumpin' ear and a roarin' delivery is going to hit the boards with his Lord Buckley tribute "Lord Buckley Live: The History of Hip" on Saturday, November 29, 2014 at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, California.

Murphy's previous channelings included the ultra hip grandaddy of the Unsquare Universe, Buckminister Fuller in a wiggy romp titled "Buckminster Fuller LIVE". He has also swung with the book.

You with-it With Its will want to make the scene for all it's worth. And dig the trailer in the links for a little taste.


Santa Cruz Sentinel

Brown Paper Tickets

A 2 Minute Trailer