Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Apr 21st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Water Through a Rusty Pipe

music_Damien JuradoDamien Jurado is more a medium than songwriter
Damien Jurado is most often described as a singer-songwriter, and on the surface it’s an absolutely accurate designation as far as music labels go. The majority of the Seattle-based musician’s output has been driven by slow-boiled acoustic guitar and a pensive voice—other musicianship serving more as a framing for songs than genuinely part of the structure.

But to hear it described by Jurado himself—who will be entertaining at the Crepe Place on Wednesday, March 23—‘writing’ is not really part of the process of his song creation at all. ‘Channeling,’ however, might be a more accurate term.

“I have this theory and a belief that the songs are their own thing; their own entity or being, I guess,” explains the 16-year music veteran. “I think they’re always out there and I’m just tapping into them, so they already exist. And at that point I’m nothing but a mediator between the song and the audience.”

Thus, it’s not hard to picture the formation of Jurado’s songs as somewhat clairvoyant. Small, intimate moments are common obsessions of Jurado’s lyrics, described with the precision of someone using a crystal ball to sneak a peek into the lives of Middle Americans. But such detail always begs the question of how such beauty can be conveyed without a basis in real, human experience.

“Are there certain parts of me in the songs? Yeah, for sure sure,” levels Jurado. “But I think it’s like running water through a rusty pipe—you’re bound to get some of that rust in your cup. I’m just like that rusty pipe.”

In this way Jurado leaves no ambiguity as to what type of artist he sees himself as. Being more a vessel for untold stories of a forgotten part of the country than someone who has a necessary agenda, the musical aspect of his art serves a far different purpose in the scheme of conveying those stories.

“I think I’m more of a storyteller than a songwriter, number one,” the guitarist says. “For me it’s sort of like the music has got to be very much like a score to a movie, so I always look at the music part of it as a score to the lyrics I’m writing.”

It’s absolutely no surprise then, that since 2008 Jurado has been working on a screenplay that he hopes to eventually have filmed. Fans who want a hint as to the story can scour the lyrics to “Medication,” from Jurado’s 2000 breakthrough, Ghost of David, upon which the composition is loosely based. Both the song and the story built from it are characteristic of Jurado’s larger themes—the everyday hardships of average people just trying to get by. However, it differs from some of Jurado’s more minimalist storylines: “It’s a pretty intense story,” he explains.

The project is also representative of Jurado’s output insofar as it’s not necessarily bookended—the story functions more like a window into the lives of its characters rather than a narrative with definitive boundaries. Perhaps it’s life imitating art, because it seems to have a hard time winding down.

“It’s my first time ever [writing a screenplay], so I’m sort of brand new at the whole thing, you know?” he admits. “It’s going really great; it’s just a matter of finishing it correctly, I guess. There are multiple endings to this thing, so I’m just figuring out how I want to end it.”


Damien Jurado performs at 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, at The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 429-6694.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Smells Like Team Spirit

The organizers of TEDx Santa Cruz don’t just talk about this year’s theme, ‘radical collaboration’—they live it

 

Pluto Retrograde, Aries New Moon, Lyrid Meteor Showers

As the Lyrid meteors, radiating from the star Vega in the Harp constellation, begin showering heaven and earth with light, Pluto, planet of transformation (or die) turns stationary retrograde (Thursday, April 16), 15 degrees Capricorn. Retrogrades have purpose, allowing humanity time to review, reassess, research and reinvent while returning to previous situations. Retrogrades are times of inner activity, seeds sown in bio-dynamically prepared soil. Pluto retrograde is the most serious and resolute of retrogrades—a pure tincture, or, as in homeopathy, a “constitutional” touching the essences of all that matters. Pluto offers deep insight into confusion or puzzlement and areas where transformation is still incomplete. It’s valuable to have one’s astrology chart to follow what area of life the major planets— especially Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto—are influencing. These outer planets have long-term and lasting effects on our psyche, inner/outer life events, how people see us and how we see and process our world. Pluto, retrograde for five months (until Sept. 24) offers deep earthquakes of change, awakens humanity to the task of building (Capricorn) the new culture and civilization, flailing our inner world about, deepening us until we transform and do things differently. Pluto is an unrelenting teacher. New moon (29 Aries) is Saturday, April 18. With the personality-building keynote, “Let form again be sought.” Mars anchors the new creative fires of Aries into our world. The New Group of World Servers participates together in the new moon festival, while also preparing for the Taurus Wesak, Buddha Full Moon Festival (May 3). Join us everyone.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Mighty Leaf

Radicchio from Dirty Girl Produce, wine etiquette fail, and a treat from Gayle’s

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

37th Parallel Wines

I visited the Capitola Mall recently to check out the newly launched Third Fridays Walking Art Tour, and was surprised to find an impressive assortment of artwork from local artists.

 

New Bohemian Brewery

New Santa Cruz brewery focuses on European style lagers