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Lunacy R.I.P

im not a robot

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oh, has david berman's death been missed here? i couldnt find it via the search function (that is a weird search to do)..
few musicians have stayed with me so consistently over the years, few celebrity deaths have affected me as much as his.
an outstanding lyricist (poet actually) and artist.

i do hope this is not a double posting (it's sad enough) & i'll cut & paste mark richardson's obituary that was published on pitchfork last august


“I wonder how David Berman is doing?” It’s a question every serious Silver Jews fan asked themselves from time to time. To be a fan of his work was to worry about him. He’d had serious problems with dangerous drugs and he’d attempted suicide, and in 2009, when he ended Silver Jews, he wrote an open letter in which he revealed, with shame, that his father was Richard Berman, a lobbyist who David said “led campaigns against animal rights, trade unions, and even opposed anti-drunk-driving groups.” In interviews, he talked about how he often had little money. More recently, he described himself as someone suffering from “treatment-resistant depression,” and he mentioned that he and his wife Cassie no longer lived together. It was a lot for anyone to handle. Even if we didn’t know him personally, we worried.
Yesterday David Berman died, at the age of 52. If he had passed a year ago it would have been equally horrible but somehow different, since he hadn’t been heard from in so long. But after almost a decade of near-silence, Berman returned in 2019 with a new project name and a new album and plans for a tour. The record, Purple Mountains, was one of his best, filled with his richest production and lyrics as sharp as any he’d written. He seemed unsteady in the small amount of press he did to promote the project, but it sounded like he was hanging in there. The sheer amount of activity around Berman this year suggested he was coming out of something, as if we might set the worrying aside for a little while.

David Berman wrote songs. He also wrote poems, truly great ones, but most people who know his name know him because of his music. His tunes were basic, but he wrote melodies you could hum. When I think of lyrics from his songs I hear them in his voice, his chesty croak rising and falling along the handful of notes he could reliably hit. It feels important to note that his lyrics, which seemed to be beamed in from another dimension, were used in service of songs that were generally sturdy and sounded good wherever they were needed.
Still, though, those words. Jazz critic Gary Giddins, writing about the work of Ornette Coleman, once noted “the music hits me in unprotected areas of the brain, areas that remain raw and impressionable,” and Berman’s words functioned like that too. He had a gift for writing that, ironically, and in a very Berman-esque way, is hard to talk about. His use of language is so specific, it’s hard to find some of your own to describe it in a way that doesn’t diminish what you’re trying to convey. “The meaning of the world lies outside the world” is how he put a related idea, in another context, in his song “People.” But the way I’m describing it now makes it sound like something heady and tangled and complicated. It was the opposite. Berman had a knack for representing what was right in front of you in a way that made you see it as if for the first time.
Last night and into this morning, my Twitter timeline was alight with quotes from Berman songs and poems (his 1999 book Actual Air, recently reissued by his longtime label Drag City, is as powerful as his songwriting). People were sharing lines not just because they are funny and clever and moving, though they are that, too. They shared them, I’m betting, because in each case the lines in question lit something inside of them, and the warmth and illumination from that moment never went out. Berman’s writing could be so evocative, and often in such a simple way, that when the listener or reader took it in and felt that spark of recognition ignited, it became part of them. “It was the light in things that made them last,” he wrote in his poem “Governors on Sominex.”

Berman altered my perception, permanently. Because I’ve listened to and read him, I see city skylines as jagged rows of car keys, the ground sometimes seems to wobble in the moonlight, and I know that they build corduroy suits from gutters. When I drive by a yard filled with broken stuff I imagine the crumbled objects getting cold after nightfall, lonely as piles of misfit toys stranded on an uncharted island. Airport bars look like submarines, and when I turn the handle on the faucet too quickly and a blast of water comes out, I see jewelry. Because of David Berman, I know in my heart, as sure as I’m sitting here now, that all water is classic water.
Sometimes I’ll see things that aren’t from his songs and think of how they could be: a “Get Well Soon” balloon stuck in a power line, a carpet rolled up on a street that looks like it has a body inside, naked mannequins standing in some abandoned store’s window. These are fragments of lyrics that might have been, if only he’d been there to see what I’m seeing. Berman could seem like an alien who’d landed on Earth and was wandering the world looking for clues about human behavior; if you connected with his work, you started to see those clues yourself.
I never met David Berman, but I interviewed him in 2002. In those days, he mostly did email interviews, if he did them at all. I sent my questions over, including a more abstract one involving a strange, maybe-true anecdote I’d heard: Apparently there were Germans who thought, since the word “hut” means “hat” in German, that the restaurant was actually named “Pizza Hat.” I needed to know what Berman thought about this, since it sounded like something out of a Silver Jews song. When I didn’t hear back for a while, I emailed him to check in and he sent me an apology. He’d been consumed with watching the NFL playoffs and drinking what he said were many cases of beer. His answers came in a day later and of course they were great. A few minutes after the piece published, Berman emailed me to say that I’d identified one song incorrectly, and he didn’t care, but he assumed the rabid “Joos” fans would be all over me on the message boards. He was joking about it, but he also seemed genuinely concerned about my embarrassment. I made the change quickly and emerged unscathed.

Purple Mountains was a brilliant album, and it came as such a relief, because so often when an artist returns after an extended hiatus, they come back in a lower gear. But it was also a sad album, because Berman shared the circumstances of his life in his songs, and it seemed grim. In “Darkness and Cold,” he laid out a scene where someone he loves deeply has moved on, but he cannot. “The light of my life is going out tonight/In a pink champagne Corvette/I sleep three feet above the street/In a Band-Aid pink Chevette.” It’s such a beautiful tumble of images, rhythm, sounds and meaning; sleep, three, feet, street; the Corvette next to the Chevette. He’s not quite on the ground yet, but sleeping in that car is pretty close. And it’s the color of something that covers wounds.
He filled the album with lines like this, lines that seemed hopeless. But he was funny, and his delivery was so warm, it made it easy to overlook the deep sadness dripping from every word. Even so, you can’t mourn the loss of David Berman without cracking a few jokes. There’s another new song that I’ve played over and over, and this one isn’t so funny. It’s called “Snow Is Falling in Manhattan,” and in it, Berman imagines himself, the songwriter, as a person whose work functions as a kind of sanctuary, welcoming people and comforting them when they need it. I listen to it and think about how he is exactly right, and how his work is something I entered because I needed to be in a place where my craziness made sense. I wish so badly that he could have found a similar comfort on this Earth.
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R.I.P. Paul English, Willie Nelson’s Longtime Drummer Dies at 87

Paul English Willie Nelson Drummer RIP R.I.P. obit obituary

Paul English performing at Farm Aid 2004

Paul English, the longtime drummer, friend, and bodyguard for Willie Nelson, has died at 87. His passing was first reported by Rolling Stone.

English was born in Vernon, Texas in 1932, and in 1966 he joined the Willie Nelson Familyas a percussionist. Until then English was acting as a pimp and gang leader, and he later said that joining Nelson probably saved his life. “If I hadn’t gone with Willie, I would be in the penitentiary or dead,” he told Rolling Stone in 2014. “I was running girls and playing music at the same time.”

He quickly established himself as the Family enforcer, participating in some of the wilder moments from Nelson’s storied career. “Wild, street-smart Paul,” Nelson wrote in his 2015 memoir, “who always had my back and got me out of more scraps than I care to recall.”
One such scrape happened in 1970, as English recounted to Oxford American. Nelson and English got into a shootout just outside of Nashville, when the husband of Nelson’s daughter showed up with a couple of his gun-toting brothers. After the shootout ended in a draw, English offered to break the husband’s legs. “We have to do something to him. We cain’t go and leave him walking.”

That was one of the few times English fired his trusty .22-caliber pistol, although he often pulled it out of his boot to squash fights. According to his son, everyone needed a Paul English if they wanted to participate in outlaw country. “If you’re writing songs about shooting people,”he said, “It’s nice to have a guy who’s shot people up there onstage with you.”

Both onstage and off, English cultivated the persona of “The Devil”, an all-black wearing fiend whose Devil Cape was later enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame. As the two men grew closer, Nelson relied on English less for protection and more as an artistic muse. His 1971 cut “Me and Paul” has become one of Nelson’s better-known songs, and the 1973-track “Devil in a Sleepin’ Bag” is another celebration of The Devil he knew best.

In 2010, English suffered a stroke that temporarily took away his ability to play drums. But he still toured with Nelson, acting as the the “money man,” until he was well enough to play a simple shaker or snare. Nelson’s performances will never be the same, as Nelson himself knows better than anyone.


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This is really sad. Most of use know that Charlotte's Web was named after a young girl by that name.

Well, she made it to 13 but the virus took her out.

I'm sure that she must have had some underlying further medical conditions...she had it rough....but still, 13 and the CBD had improved her life so much.

its tragic.


Charlotte Figi, the Colorado girl who inspired the CBD movement, dies from coronavirus

Figi, 13, was the namesake for Charlotte’s Web products. Her story changed the way the public sees marijuana.

Charlotte Figi, the Colorado Springs girl who, as a gleeful and fragile child, launched a movement that led to sweeping changes in marijuana laws across the globe, has died from complications related to the new coronavirus.

She was 13.

Charlotte’s death was announced by a family friend Tuesday night on the Facebook page of her mother, Paige Figi.

“Charlotte is no longer suffering. She is seizure-free forever. Thank you so much for all of your love,” read the post, which also asked the public to respect Figi’s family’s privacy.


In recent weeks, Paige Figi posted on Facebook about a serious illness that struck all the members of her family and sent Charlotte to the hospital. She never explicitly said it was COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and in one reply to a post mentioned that the family had been unable to get tested for the disease. The Realm of Caring Foundation, an organization co-founded by Paige Figi, confirmed on Facebook early Wednesday that Charlotte’s death was due to complications from COVID-19.

If verified by public health officials, that would make Charlotte the youngest victim of the pandemic in Colorado so far.

“Your work is done Charlotte, the world is changed, and you can now rest knowing that you leave the world a better place,” the Realm of Caring Foundation wrote on Instagram.

Charlotte had Dravet syndrome, a rare and debilitating form of epilepsy that first appears when children are young. From the time she was just 3 months old, Charlotte suffered hundreds of small and large seizures a day. Pharmaceutical treatments proved ineffective, and, by the age of 5, Charlotte struggled to walk and talk and required a feeding tube.

After hearing about a family in California that treated their child’s seizures with oil made from cannabis, Paige Figi began to research the possibility and soon connected with a Colorado Springs medical marijuana dispensary owner named Joel Stanley, who, along with his brothers, had helped developed a strain of cannabis rich in cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive compound.

Paige Figi said Charlotte’s seizures reduced dramatically when she began taking CBD oil, so much so that Paige weaned Charlotte off anti-epileptic pharmaceutical drugs. Charlotte soon was able to walk, play and feed herself. Her story was featured in academic literature. Last month, Paige posted on Facebook that it had been five years since Charlotte’s feeding tube was removed.

In her honor, the Stanley brothers named their CBD product Charlotte’s Web.

Charlotte’s story took on global significance, though, in 2013, when she appeared in a documentary by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. The documentary showed Charlotte laughing and playing, her seizures quelled by CBD.

For families across the world whose children suffered from Dravet and similar conditions, the video clips were a revelation and a hope — and hundreds of families moved to Colorado seeking CBD for their children under the state’s medical marijuana laws. The migration was so large, families had a name for themselves: marijuana refugees.

Charlotte soon became a prominent face of the medical marijuana movement across the country and the world, and Paige Figi and the Stanley brothers became outspoken advocates for legalizing CBD. Laws to do that swept to victory in statehouses, even in conservative states.

Today, 47 states now have laws permitting CBD products in some form. Hemp is legal federally. Charlotte’s Web is one of the best-selling CBD products on the market, posting $95 million in revenue last year. And Charlotte’s story has been credited with softening opposition to broader marijuana legalization, as well.

“She was a light that lit the world. She was a little girl who carried us all on her small shoulders,” the Stanley brothers wrote in a tribute posted Tuesday night on the Charlotte’s Web website. “… What began as her story, became the shared story of hundreds of thousands, and the inspiration of many millions more in the journey of their betterment. Charlotte was and will be, the heartbeat of our passion, and the conviction that the dignity and health of a human being is their right.”

Condolences flooded Paige Figi’s Facebook page Tuesday night — a testament to the following Charlotte had gained over the years. Among those paying tribute to Charlotte online was the Epilepsy Foundation, which, after early hesitancy, came to embrace the therapeutic potential that CBD could hold for some children with epilepsy.

“Our deepest condolences go to the Figi family,” the foundation wrote on Twitter. “We encourage everyone to respect the family’s privacy at this very difficult time.”


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Charlotte Figi, the little girl who inspired CBD oil and the strain Charlotte's Web, has died at from Corona Virus today. She was 13.


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