"Firebird" by Erté

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© 2018 Pamela MacCarthy


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© 2018 Pamela MacCarthy

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Photo: Michio Yves Ueda


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“ Women Who Run
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Clarissa Pinkola Estés

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Monday, May 31, 2004  

Hot winds blowin'...
It jars my memory to another time-
I don't make it a habit to reminisce too much,
but musically, I find it fun sometimes.
I've made a list of songs that remind me of a more
carefree existence:
These songs make me laugh and cry, and remember...

Although I love jazz,
I have always been a person who listens to everything-
All types of music, as long as it's happ'ning...

Song list for the last day of May:

I'm 18 - Alice Cooper
From the Beginning - Emerson, Lake, & Palmer
Dancin' Days - Led Zeppelin
Stuck in the middle with you - Stealer's Wheel
The Letter - Joe Cocker
Have a little Faith in me - Joe Cocker
Space Oddity - David Bowie
Tight Rope - Leon Russell
School's Out - Alice Cooper
Welcome to my Nightmare - Alice Cooper
Darling be home soon - Joe Cocker
Kashmir - Led Zeppelin
Real Wild Child - Iggy Pop
Bird on the Wire - Johnny Cash

We got no class
And we got no principles
And we got no intelligence
We can't even think of a word that rhymes

School's Out
-Alice Cooper

Till next time... 'Mela

10:58 AM

Saturday, May 29, 2004  

I got some pictures from my gig at “J”...

Live at Jazzspot "J " Shinjuku, Tokyo 5/7/04

Left to right:
Takahashi, Keisaku - piano, Pamela MacCarthy - vocals; guitar,
Midorikawa, Kazuo - bass, Hase, Yosuke - drums, and Hara, Tomoya - guitar.

It was a great night, and the guys were very supportive of my
resonator debut.

Pamela MacCarthy at "J"

1st Set:

It might as well be Spring
Mood Indigo
Midnight Sun
That’s Life

2nd Set:

Bye Bye Blackbird
God Bless the Child
Please don’t talk about me (when I’m gone)
Bird on the Wire

3rd Set:

I ain’t got nothin’ (but the blues)
Sister (Miss Celie’s Blues)- dedicated to Mary
The Rose *
Rt. 66

* with Austin Resonator

For my next gig at Satin Doll, in Roppongi,
Keisaku will be joining me once again on piano,
Mark Tourian on bass, and the fabulous Cecil Monroe on drums.

Straight-ahead Jazz and Blues...

‘Hope to see you there!

Till next time... ‘Mela

8:26 AM

Thursday, May 27, 2004  

I haven't been able to write for awhile...
Not exactly writer's block,
more like computer back-
I went to visit the Wizard of Sangenjaya,
Edward,of Edward's Clinic.
Himself and his staff are a godsend.
Edward's Clinic offers accupuncture, moxibustion, and shiatsu massage,
to fix whatever ails you.

So, I'm almost back in the saddle,

Pins and needles, needles and pins-
It's a happy man that grins...

-The Honeymooners

Till next time... 'Mela

10:59 AM

Sunday, May 23, 2004  


This is my new computer art piece, "Sermambetiba".
I was imagining myself in Brazil.
I named it after a street where an old friend of mine lives, whom I miss...

We met in NYC years ago, and we haven't kept regular correspondence,
but I do hear from her from time to time.
She's a bubbly Brazillian artist named Marcia...
Her and my other wonderful Frenchman friend Francis,
both enjoy the tennis matches in Paris
at Roland Garros.

One day, I hope to join them...

But today, I will join my friend Julianne at her exhibition opening party in Harajuku, Tokyo.
She’s part of this group of artists: Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain.

But I know for a fact that she uses both sides...

She is also a pianist / vocalist who is in the mix-down stages of her new CD,
which was recorded partially in Tokyo,
and in Sydney, Australia, her hometown...
She resides and performs here in Tokyo also, and is responsible
for turning me on to the Lotus Pond in Ueno,
where she paints the lotuses every year,
and from which my own painting was born...


Brazil, where hearts were entertaining June,
We stood beneath an amber moon
And softly murmured "someday soon."
We kissed and clung together,
Then, tomorrow was another day
The morning found me miles away
With still a million things to say;
Now, when twilight dims the sky above
Recalling thrills of our love,
There's one thing I'm certain of
Return I will to old Brazil.

-Xavier Cugat

Till next time... ‘Mela

9:48 AM

Friday, May 21, 2004  

I've got to do something nice for myself today.
I successfully fought off the urge to stop in at the local
for (more than) a few street level beers...
The rainy night, and the tug of loneliness were oppressive-
I grit my teeth, held my umbrella tight in one hand,
and performed my Cat in the Hat balancing act
while pedaling my ass home-
I cut up a mango and called it a day.

Earlier, I went with my friend Hiroshi to a café in 2 chome Shinjuku,
to meet the owner and discuss
a gallery there for my computer art.

Things went well, but more time is needed to find a proper time slot-
A possible late autumn show...?


So why can't I shake this sinking feeling?
It would probably do me well in life to be more optimistic-
But a pom-pom girl, I ain't.

I once got some very powerful advice from a club owner boss:
What men want most is a cheerleader.

I know one woman sittin' here, that wouldn't be objectionable to one either...

Criminy, the sun breaks through...

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
There's comfort in melancholy
When there's no need to explain
It's just as natural as the weather
In this moody sky today...

- Joni Mitchell

Till next time... 'Mela

7:52 AM

Wednesday, May 19, 2004  

Since it is yet another grey day,
lemme lay Grey Day song list PART DEUX on ya:

Such a night - Dr. John
Steel Guitar Rag - Doc Watson
Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot
Hejira - Joni Mitchell, Jaco Pastorius
Court and Spark - Joni Mitchell
Good Stuff - Chet Atkins
Dimming of the day - from the "Divine secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood"soundtrack-Richard and Linda Thompson
If you could read my mind - Gordon Lightfoot
Carefree Highway - Gordon Lightfoot
Buffalo Nickel - Bela Fleck
The Magdalene Laundries - Joni Mitchell, The Chieftans

Music proves to be great company,
on this rainy day, in my solitude-
Also, a bowl of bing cherries,
a hot cup of Strawberry and Kiwi Celestial Seasonings tea,
and old fashioned donuts...

When I can’t stop me fiddlin’
I just takes me Rit’lin
I’m poppin’ and sailin' man!

-Bart Simpson, of The Simpsons

Till next time... 'Mela

3:53 PM

Tuesday, May 18, 2004  

You're Prufrock and Other Observations!

by T.S. Eliot

Though you are very short and often overshadowed, your voice is poetic
and lyrical. Dark and brooding, you see the world as a hopeless effort of people trying
to impress other people. Though you make reference to almost everything, you've really
heard enough about Michelangelo. You measure out your life with coffee spoons.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

I demand a recount!

Here's a list of songs for a grey day:

The times they are a changin' - Bob Dylan
Don't think twice, it's alright - Bob Dylan
Positively 4th St.- Bob Dylan
For my Lady - The Moody Blues
I walk the line - Johnny Cash
Shelter from the storm - Bob Dylan
Sugar Mountain - Neil Young
Lay Lady Lay - Bob Dylan
Like a hurricane - Neil Young
Lady Jane - The Rolling Stones
Tangled up in blue - Bob Dylan
Blue eyes cryin' (in the rain) - Willie Nelson
Mamas don't let yer babies grow up (to be cowboys) - Waylon Jennings
Stardust Memories - Willie Nelson
Secret Garden - Bruce Springsteen

Here's a great quote from AAJ:

"Blues in Jazz is like yeast in bread-
without it, it's gonna be flat".
-Carmen McRae

Till next time... 'Mela

1:30 PM

Monday, May 17, 2004  

I hear those little noisy frogs,
in the distance-
Usually, this is a sign that water is about to make an entrance.
The rains, and the flooding of the rice paddies are next up to bat.
I saw a white ajisai (hydrangea) yesterday.
During the rainy season, they turn lilac, deep purple, indigo blue
or magenta,
depending on the acidity of the soil they're in.

This time of the year I usually get busy on a canvas.
I will start soon on my next painting,
a portrait of my son, Michio.
This is an introspective time for me.
The quiet of the rain, and the mossiness of everything-
It makes me feel like solving inner puzzles...
A lot of this is done through painting-
The challenge of the problem solving I do when I paint
satisfies many other long running questions in my head.

This is a different form of creativity.

My computer art is pure spontaneity,
whereas my canvases are calculated.
I have an image in my mind's eye.
The problem solving occurs in finding the way to
manipulate my brushes to attain it,
and the surprise occurs when I discover things
that were unknown to me before making the attempt.
This explanation probably seems a trifle eccentric,
but , it cooks for me, Jim...

Rainy Day People

Rainy day people always seem to know when it’s time to call
Rainy day people don’t talk, they just listen till they’ve heard it all
Rainy day lovers don’t lie when they tell ’ya they’ve been down like you
Rainy day people don’t mind if you’re cryin’ a tear or two
If you get lonely, all you really need is that rainy day love
Rainy day people all know there’s no sorrow they can’t rise above
Rainy day lovers don’t love any others, that would not be kind
Rainy day people all know how it hangs on a piece of mind
Rainy day lovers don’t lie when they tell you, they’ve been down there too
Rainy day people don’t mind if you’re cryin’ a tear or two.

Rainy day people always seem to know when you’re feeling blue
High stepping strutters who land in the gutters sometimes need one too
Take it or leave it, or try to believe it
If you’ve been down too long

Rainy day lovers don’t hide love inside they just pass it on
Rainy day lovers don’t hide love inside they just pass it on

-Gordon Lightfoot

Till next time... 'Mela

9:24 AM

Thursday, May 13, 2004  


This is my new computer art piece, "Arsinoë".
A long time ago, a French guy I know gave me a book,
Les Guérillères by Monique Wittig.
I was never completely sure why he would give me a book on feminism,
but being that we are still friends,
I can only assume that he saw something in this book that resonated in me.

The collection of women’s names in this book are a treasure.

From here comes the name Arsinoë.

See more of my computer art here.

Till next time... 'Mela

8:15 AM

Wednesday, May 12, 2004  

Roses are everywhere!
I think the scent of roses is truly ambrosia.
I like to cut a few and place them in water by my computer.
Along with lilacs, lilies, irises, freesia, daffodils,hyacinths, honeysuckle, & marigolds it is one of my favorite flower scents...

Here's some tunes to shake the blues loose:

Super Fly- Curtis Mayfield
Pusherman- Curtis Mayfield
Memphis, Tennessee- Chuck Berry
Cherchez la Femme- Dr. Buzzard's Savannah Band
Rubberband Man- Spinners
Chances are- Bob Seger, Martina McBride
Got to Give it up (pt 1)- Marvin Gaye
Back in love again- LTD
Sexual Healing- Marvin Gaye
Everyday People- Sly and the Family Stone
Compared to What?- Les McCann & Eddie Harris
Blue Juice- Jimmy McGriff

Till next time... 'Mela

12:16 PM

Tuesday, May 11, 2004  

Gnarly, dude.
The sun has a nerve to shine today.
Two days of rain were giving me the well needed excuse to
be invisible-
Now with this bright sun,
unlike itsy bitsy spider,
I don't feel like climbin' up no spout.

I was always of the belief
that if you didn't have anything particularly bright and uplifting to say,
you should basically piss off.
But for all of the bright, sunlit days of creativity
and sparkle,
there is an equal amount of time
mentally spent in a cool,
mossy, dark place,
where the fog swirls,
and rocks sweat.
A place where batteries are charged...

Garlic, ginger, turmeric, thyme, lemon grass, cilantro, chili,
black pepper, oregano, cinnamon, basil, rosemary, onion, mustard, cumin, sage, saffron...

There will be no more rocket fuel powered lift-offs.
You must flap your wings like Icarus & Dedalus...

Watermelon kisses.
Black chocolate
and rhythm.
Colors and breath.

Bright sunlight
I'm not ready yet.

" I am not flying, I am falling with style..."

-Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story

Till next time... 'Mela

9:33 AM

Sunday, May 09, 2004  


I painted this at my mother's house,
in upstate New York.

I saw this completely intact little tricycle,
on the lawn sitting there like a rusted battleship-
I studied it for a long time, and thought that this image
embodied motherhood.

I wanted to capture all the feelings of beauty,
love, struggle, futility, hope, and nostalgia
I felt when I first caught a glimpse
of this little relic on the morning lawn
of my mother's backyard.

I painted it in 1997.

Happy Mother's Day!

Till next time... 'Mela

9:21 AM

Friday, May 07, 2004  

Just a short post today,
to wish my oldest and dearest friend a

H A P P Y * B I R T H D A Y !

Mary & I have been friends since we were both 14 or so.
You ain't gettin' my age outta me,
just believe me when I tell you it has been may moons
since then.
She has been my Taurus rock,
and my bestest buddy.
I'm gonna sing a song for her tonite,
across the world...

All the best to you today, Marishka!

Till next time... 'Mela

8:16 AM

Thursday, May 06, 2004  

The show last night was totally fab!
It was my first time to visit JZ Brat for an actual performance.
Nobuo Hara was in top form,
as well as his Sharps and Flats.
Here is a set list from the night's performance:

Blues East
Trumpet Blues
Artistry in Rhythm
One O'clock Jump
Apple Honey

guest vocalist

On the Sunny Side of the Street
That's Life


String of Pearls
I'm getting sentimental over you
Sing! Sing! Sing!


Encore: It's a Small World after All

3 guesses whom the guest vocalist was?
It was so completely cool the way it all came about.
I sent Tomoya an email,
to wish him to "break a leg"...
When he got my (phone) email, Mr. Hara was there.
He said: " Ask her to bring some charts"!
I have some big band scores
that are arranged by tenor-man, composer, Akio Ueda,
that I used for another big band concert-
So I gave one of them,
"On the Sunny Side of the Street" a shot.
"That's Life" I did with just the rhythm section.

It all reminded me of a 1950's jazz movie,
where musicians just fall by,
and support one another...
I asked all the band members to sign my program,
as a memento.

A stellar night,
I was happy to not only be in the audience,
but also a participant in a great night of music!

Special thanks to Hiroshi, for inviting me out for some music.

Tomorrow is my gig at Jazz Spot "J" in Shinjuku.

I hope to see you there!

Till next time... 'Mela

7:06 AM

Wednesday, May 05, 2004  


Today is Children's Day in Japan.
But more specifically, it is Boy's Day.

They sell in the super markets here these long green iris leaves (shobu)
to bathe the little ones in for good luck, health, & happiness.

Also, you will see these flying koi all over the place.
My neighbor installs these huge silk flying koi
(about 15ft long or 4.572 meters) every year, at the end of April.
One good breeze, and they swim across the sky.

Speaking of Boy's Day,
I will go see a few tonight at JZ BRAT.

Nobuo Hara

Nobuo Hara and his Sharps & Flats

Nobuo Hara & his Sharps & Flats will do a special Golden Week
appearance today.
Appearing also will be guitarist and friend, Tomoya Hara.

Tomoya Hara

Tomoya Hara

If you're wondering why their names are similar, it's because Nobuo Hara is Tomoya's dad.
They have separate careers, so their appearance together is a special occasion.
I plan to attend the second show,
the first show is an afternoon date-
I feel strange going into a night club to see a show
in the afternoon...

Tomoya will appear with me and the Quartet at Shinjuku Jazz Spot “J”
this Friday.

Mr. Hara and I have done some work together.
I am the girl singer on Nobuo's CD That's Big Band.
I also appeared with Nobuo at his 45th Year in Showbiz recital at Orchard Hall, Shibuya, and the Big Band Festival at NHK Hall.
It was a rush to have all that power behind me!

It will be nice to see Mr. Hara and the guys once again.
My old friend Mike Price is one of the trumpet guys.
I got to know a few of the guys during our rehearsals
for both the recordings and live performances.

So, I'm gon' throw on my glad rags,
and shake a tail feather on over there.

Happy Boy's Day!

Till next time... 'Mela

9:14 AM

Sunday, May 02, 2004  

May, at last!

I have been practicing on my guitar regularly,
and I have the armadillo fingertips to prove it.
It no longer hurts to play, and this is a good thing.
My wrist has limbered up quite a bit.
Not big news you'd think, except last week my elbow and wrist were so swollen and sore, I thought I'd have to give it all up.

Congradulations to the 10 new countries to enter the European Union.
I'm hoping jazz will be happ'nin' there,
and there will be more festivals and gigs for us jazz musicians!

It is Golden Week here now-
The first week of May is when Japan takes a break...
My plan is to just breathe in and out,
cook, read, do laundry, listen to music, bicycle,
and rehearse a bit.
I will also go to the Pierre Bonnard art show in Nishi-Shinjuku.
I totally love his style.

My latest "picks":

Just a Gigolo - Louis Prima
Stand! - Sly and the Family Stone
Family Affair - Sly and the Family Stone
The Weight - The Band featuring the Staple Singers
Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) - Sly and the Family Stone
Sittin' in Limbo -Jimmy Cliff
Reversal of a dog - Damian Dame featuring T.L.C.
The Sweetest Thing - U2
Rock 'n Roll Part II - Gary Glitter
Jump, Jive and Wail - Louis Prima
Slippin' into Darkness - WAR
Everybody is a Star - Sly and the Family Stone
Leggo Beast - Steel Pulse
Atomic(Trainspotting) - Blondie
Hesitation Blues - Hot Tuna

A nice day to do plenty of nothin'...

Till next time... 'Mela

11:32 AM

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