Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Oct 31st
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

 

Jawing

Monterey Bay scientists are working to crack the mysteries of—and dispel the myths about—great whites. But in the highly contentious world of shark experts, there’s a fin line between love and hate

 

Altars of Remembrance, Forgiveness & Rapprochement

We’re in Scorpio now—things mysterious, ageless, hidden, sometimes scary. Friday is Halloween; Saturday, All Saints Day; Sunday, All Soul’s Day. Sunday morning at 2 a.m. (after midnight), Daylight Savings Time ends. Clocks are turned back. Tuesday is the General Election. Our vote is our voice. Each vote matters. Applying freedom of choice—Libra’s teachings. It’s time to build Halloween, All Saints and All Souls altars—with marigolds, pumpkins, sugar skeletons, copal (incense), pomegranates, persimmons, candy corn and cookies, orange and black. It’s so Saturn (now in Scorpio). Saturn is the dweller on the threshold (like St. Peter at the gates of heaven). Saturn can look like a Halloween creature—a gargoyle—a fantastic dragon-like creature protecting sacred sites. The dweller (Saturn) stands at the door or threshold of sacred mysteries, wisdom temples, inner sanctums of churches, offering protection, scaring evil away. The last day of October and first two days of November, when veils between worlds thin and spirits roam about, are times of remembrance, forgiveness, reconciliation and rapprochement. These actions liberate us. At death, when reviewing our lives and the consequences of our actions if we have forgiven, then we are free, less encumbered with grief and sadness. We place forgiveness on our altars. Happy Halloween, everyone! It’s good to dress up as what we’re afraid of. Or whom we would mentor. Then we become one with them. Note to readers: by Thanksgiving I will need a place to live (with purpose). Please contact me if you know of a place where I can rest for awhile. Teach and build community. [email protected] I will be leaving my mother’s home for the last time.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of October 31

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

 

Back Nine Grill & Bar

The secrets of remodeling and juicy steak

 

What is Santa Cruz’s biggest eyesore?

David Finn, Santa Cruz, Graduate Student

 

Alberti Vineyards

Looking for some blood-red wine for your Halloween party? Then I have a recommendation for a new brew.

 

Turning Point

New revolving restaurant on the wharf, plus Cafe Ivéta and the last great Jack cheese