Today’s show is themed after the poem “To the Desert” By Benjamin Alire Sáenz.
To the Desert
I came to you one rainless August night.You taught me how to live without the rain.You are thirst and thirst is all I know.You are sand, wind, sun, and burning sky,The hottest blue. You blow a breeze and brandYour breath into my mouth. You reach—then bendYour force, to break, blow, burn, and make me new.You wrap your name tight around my ribsAnd keep me warm. I was born for you.Above, below, by you, by you surrounded.I wake to you at dawn. Never break yourKnot. Reach, rise, blow, Sálvame, mi dios,Trágame, mi tierra. Salva, traga, Break me,I am bread. I will be the water for your thirst.
Earth . Hex: Or Printing in the Infernal Method . Mirage / Raiford (The Felon Wind) . Southern Lord . 2005 (WA US)
The Myrrors . Ljudkamrater . Night Flower Codex . Sky Lantern Records . 2017 (Tucson, AZ US)
I know you are tired. I am tired too. Will you walk along the edge of the desert with me? I would like to show you what lies ahead of us.
All my life I have waned to trick blood from a rock. I have dreamed about raising the devil and cutting him in half. I have thought too about never being afraid of anything at all. This is where you come to do those things.
Bardo Pond . Lapsed . Green Man . Matador . 1997 (Philadelphia, PA US)
Bombino . Azel . Iyat Ninhay / Jaguar (A Great Desert I Saw) . Partisan Records . 2016 (Niger)
I know what they tell you about the desert but you mustn’t believe them. This is no deathbed. Dig down, the earth is moist. Boulders have turned to dust here, the dust feels like graphite.
Brightblack Morning Light . S/T . Black Feather Wishes Rise . Matador . 2006 (CA, NC US)
Lorelle Meets the Obsolete . Chambers . 13 Flowers . Captcha Records . 2014 (Mexico)
You can hear a man breathe at a distance of twenty yards. You can see out there to the edge where the desert stops and the mountains begin. You think perhaps ten miles. It is more than a hundred.
The Myrrors . Hasta La Victoria . El Aleph . BBiB . June 2017 (Tucson, AZ US)
Neil Young . Dead Man . Guitar Solo 4 . Vapor Records . 1996 (Toronto, Ontario Canada)
Just before the sun sets all the colors will change. Green will turn to blue, red to gold.
I’ve been told there is very little time left, that we must get all these things about time and place straight. If we don’t we will only have passed on and have changed nothing. That is why we are here I think, to change things. It is why I came to the desert.
The Night Collectors . Maybe Tomorrow . Maybe Tomorrow . S/R . 2014 (Tucson, AZ)
[The text between albums is excerpted from the title story of Barry Lopez’ book Desert Notes (1976).]