MICHAEL C. FORD'S 'Look Each Other In The Ears' Album Out Today
Grammy Award and Pulitzer Prize-nominated American poet and audio journalist MICHAEL C. FORD will release his new album, LOOK EACH OTHER IN THE EARS, today, June 10. The project--a stirring, jazzy post-modern look at the universe around us--features musical accompaniment from some of FORD's Los Angeles friends including ROBBY KRIEGER, JOHN DENSMORE and the late RAY MANZAREK of THE DOORS, as well as singers Angelo Moore (Fishbone),Tommy Jordan (Geggy Tah) and produced by Harlan Steinberger at Hen House Studios in Venice, CA. A video for the track "For Openers" is being shot now bydirector Peter Glantz (Wilco).
Also in the works for Michael C. Ford are a number of intimate appearances by the eclectic writer/artist including a Saturday, June 28 reading at Gatsby's in Long Beach, CA. He also has three upcoming appearances in New Mexico: June 7 and 15 in Albuquerque and June 22 in Santa Fe. See all events here:http://www.michaelcford.com/appearances/. In a recent interview withClassicrockrevisited.com, Ford talks about his whole history including experiences with The Doors, life as a writer and the challenges the modern world presents us with. Check it out here: http://www.classicrockrevisited.com/show_interview.php?id=1046
FORD first met Manzarek and THE DOORS' singer JIM MORRISON at UCLA in 1964, and, as FORD relates, "Being immediately aware of having mutual admiration for the same cultural heroes, we became comrades & confidants." He had already befriended Densmore a few years prior--they were West L.A. neighbors--as well as Krieger later when he and Densmore formed The Psychedelic Rangers. Also in 1964, FORD and Manzarek formed a local funk group called White Trash Quintet and played Beat spots around town before FORDhit the road for an Idaho poetry residency. "Upon returning to Los Angeles I looked up at a billboard on the Sunset Strip which stated THE DOORS BREAK ON THROUGH WITH AN ELECTRIFYING NEW ALBUM with familiar faces emblazoned on the sign and I remember thinking: 'wait a minute, I know those guys.'" They remained friends and collaborators. "In June of 1969, when the Doors were in full tilt" says FORD, "Jim invited me to perform with him and Robby for my first time ever on stage at the Cinematheque Theater. It was a benefit for Norman Mailer that included our UCLA poetry teacher Jack Hirschman, Michael McClure and an elite cadre of Andy Warhol film people all wrangled by Jim."
LOOK EACH OTHER IN THE EARS is the newest chapter in a diverse career that includes 20 various poetry projects, a play and six CD releases. FORD's debut audio release, 1986's Language Commando, garnered him a Grammy nomination in the Spoken Word category and his 1998 book of selected poemsEmergency Exitswas nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
The album personifies the positive energy, upbeat jazz-rock improvisations and poetic lyrics that were born of the 1960s but continue in spirit in contemporary culture, but with sharp eyes and ears on the government--and The Man. The songs/poems cover a wide array of modern topics, including war, politics, urbanization, gentrification and the future, and each number captures a certain zeitgeist of FORD's world view. "America has been transformed into, for all practical purposes, a non-existent attention span," says FORD. "We don't talk to each other on the phone anymore: we text message. We don't drop a tone arm onto a turntable and watch a needle groove across tracks anymore: we stick iPods in our ears. I believe this recorded document is designed to inspire an audience of potential listeners to really turn the pages of their personal nostalgic notepads. My compositions of verbal art, certainly never forgetting the significance of all accompanying crafty instrumentals and the vast lyrical choral vocal contributions, create this maze of voices that I like to think of as movies for your ears."
In 2002, FORD and Densmore collaborated on an acclaimed project called Drumming, a spoken-word style history of influential drummers with Densmore emulating, literally, many contemporary drummers indigenous to the history of percussion to whom FORD was alluding in his narrative text. On his work with The Doors members, FORD told Examiner.com, "I realized, when Ray [Manzarek] and I collaborated in 1985 at McCabe's Guitar Shop performance space, that we had no doubt been tuning up for the 22 years, since UCLA's School of Cinema Arts, giving us an almost organic connection between his keyboard and my words. Certainly, we shared the same geography: both born in Chicago and, at different stages, ending up in L.A. This was never more obvious, especially, during in-studio recording sessions. Ray always exhibited extreme sensitivity and enormous tolerance for my language art eccentricities." As for guitarist Robby Krieger he says, "To experience being with Krieger in studio, working with his acuity for time signatures and chord clusters is other worldly. His melodic imagination seemed to flow with my phrasing like certain current rushes in the confluence of the Salmon and Clearwater Rivers at Lewiston, Idaho."
LOOK EACH OTHER IN THE EARS is the last recording ever made with all three surviving Doors members: Ray Manzarek, Robby Krieger and John Densmore. It also marks one of Manzarek's final recordings before he passed away in 2013.
LOOK EACH OTHER IN THE EARS track listing:
--For Openers (Lost Jazz Bars in Four-Time)
--A Simple Ode (To Frank O'Hara)
--Waterfalls (Look Each Other In The Ears)
--I Don't Wanna Go (Said The Suicide)
--Mars Is America (Anytime At All)
--Making Out (With Westwood Village)
--(Autobiography of) An American Bomb
--Wartime Carol (Bringing The War Back Home)
--Whatever Happened To The Orangegroves, Grandma
--Float Of Drive (Triple Bypass)