Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Story Behind the Song – KASOJENI BAY

One afternoon, several years ago, as I was driving to the grocery store to do my weekly shopping, I saw a lady walking along the sidewalk next to the road.  She was wearing a floral print full-length cotton dress – obviously homemade – and a little white cotton bonnet on her head with a matching bib apron tied around her neck and waist.   On her feet, she was wearing what looked to be wooden clogs.  She was so odd and so beautiful and so out of place – like a Rembrandt portrait come to life in a John Baeder painting - that it was all I could do to concentrate on driving.  Once I made it home, I immediately texted Brian about her.  He, of course, told me to write it down.  (He’s always telling me to write these things down.)  
It was around this same time that Brian came down with a nasty case of the flu.  He shook me awake in the middle of a fever-filled night to demand that I find my bedside notebook and write down the name “Kasojeni Bay.”  No explanation … just the demand.  So I did.  I assumed it was a dream he’d had.  In a way, I guess it was, but he didn’t remember anything the next day other than the name of this place.  We spent weeks on the internet trying to search for a place by that name, only to keep coming up with nothing.   (My dad is still trying to find this place, so if anybody knows where it is, please let us know.)

Weeks later, on a late Sunday afternoon, Brian and I had been working in the studio on some other songs.  We came upstairs for a drink and to clear our heads for a moment, only to find that the only “adult beverage” we had in the house was a half bottle of Absinthe.  Being a Sunday in Utah, the liquor store was closed.  So, yes, we did a straight shot of Absinthe before heading back into the studio as we joked about shooting Absinthe because the vodka was all gone.

This was when the story of Kasojeni Bay started to come together into a song.  We’d envisioned it telling the tales of a group of people so happy and comfortable in their insanity that they don’t notice they are insane, nor do they care.  Sometimes, living in a fantasy world is a much better – in some cases, maybe even healthier – place than the ugliness of certain “real” world situations.

Once the song was written, we decided we wanted to have a few key phrases translated into and sung in a different language.  We’d flirted with a few different language options, but ultimately decided on Slovene.  Luckily, our good friend Jeremy Young speaks Slovene and kindly did the translations for us, even driving up to our house to teach me how pronounce the words and what each phrase means.  Then he accused me (jokingly … I hope) of singing Slovene with an Italian accent.  

 But the song itself wasn't enough to tell the story of this place called Kasojeni Bay.  While we were in the studio recording our album Shall We Live Forever, Brian was spending his mornings busily writing a book.  It wasn't his original intention.  He just got a little carried away by one of those "Tell me how we met, but don't tell the truth about it" posts on Facebook.  In a way, I guess we can blame Hillary LaFrance for starting him down that path.  What started out to be a simple, silly paragraph quickly became an insistence by the characters in this book for him to tell their story.  It was occupying his dreams, waking him up in the middle of the night, demanding to be written.  This book, Kasojeni Bay, weaves many of the stories of the songs on this album into a complete tale of discovery and what is truly important in life.

Kasojeni Bay

In her mind, another time
Shufflin’ down the street
Cotton bonnet on her head
Wood clogs upon her feet
She never said, “Hello,” to me
Nor even yet, “Goodbye”
She never said a word to me
Just looked at me and sighed
Nikoli mi je rekla "Zdravo"
Pač tudi ni "Zbogom"

In Kasojeni Bay

Friday did a one foot dance
Looked like a god in drag
He swatted flies and dead magpies
Then tossed them in his bag
Friday was an errand boy
Did favors for the Maven
He brought the message home to me
‘Cause, Friday was the raven
Petek je bil krokar
Petek je bil trčkaralo
Usluge je naredil ker
Friday was the raven

In Kasojeni Bay

(Dance with me! Dance with me!)

Bugs in the dumpsters
Sing oilcan operas to the Lord
He appears in concrete palm trees
And sugar cube fantasies
Fish dance in buckets
The Prophet is one of us
He is now

They shot Absinthe on Sunday
‘Cause the vodka was all gone
Then danced a tarantella
And sang death songs to the dawn
Friday missed his funeral
Although it was his own
The lady she made mourning buttons
Out of Friday’s bones
Petek pogrebu zamudil
Čeprav je bil njegov lastni
Dama je pripravila gumbe
Od Petkov kosti

In Kasojeni Bay


Sunday, March 9, 2014

March 29 at Kamikazes in Ogden - Juana Ghani and The Highway Thieves

JUANA GHANI and THE HIGHWAY THIEVES to appear at Kamikaze’s March 29, 2014

Acoustic Gypsy punk band Juana Ghani joins forces with Ogden’s The Highway Thieves on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at Kamikaze’s.

Ogden, Utah –  Bands Juana Ghani and The HighwayThieves will perform together for the first time at Kamikaze’s (2404 Adams Ave.) in Ogden on Saturday, March 29, 2014.   With a total of 17 musicians between the two bands and a bevy of the best Gypsy belly dancers around, the night promises to be filled with a contagiously entertaining Gypsy punk madness and mayhem.

Ogden’s very own The Highway Thieves (http://www.reverbnation.com/thehighwaythieves) embrace their whiskey driven folk rock and offer no apologies.  With original songs full of rebellion, “in your face” honesty, and a sense of humor, they never fail to bring the audience to their feet and leave them screaming for more.

Eclectic Gypsy punks Juana Ghani (www.juanaghani.com) are known for their always titillating live shows and songs that are full of “semi-nightmarish fantasies of violence, revenge, desire and struggle” (Savannah Turk, City Weekly) and music that is “full of love, death, sex, grief, passion and vodka.”(Oliver Arditi, LiveUnsigned) Their live shows not only bring fabulously infectious original music, but often include the area’s most amazing belly dancers and performance artists. 

Kamikaze’s is located at 2404 Adams Avenue in Ogden, Utah.  Tickets are $5 at the door.  Doors open at 9:00 p.m.  Music begins at 10:00 p.m.  Must be 21-years or older to attend.