Blue, Black, Silver, Water, Moons, Death & Ghosts Brooklyn Music & Songs

Blue Valley


Nude woman with a bone and a raindrop.I made this song up while being driven around the New York highways, from the edge of Brooklyn to Manhattan. The person behind the wheel (well, my ex-husband, if you need to know) always seemed to be in various stages of falling asleep while driving, which caused me great anxiety. I tended to sing and clap loudly in the vain hope that this would help him stay awake. So that is where this song comes from and why there is only clapping and no guitar.






Download MP3: Blue Valley

Brooklyn Music & Songs

Daddy 123


Hecate with three triangle earrings. Black on black.A song from Brooklyn where everything was black, black, black.

In retrospect, I can see that the mental torture I experienced there was magnified by growing up in a culture that valued money, status, fun, and popularity above all else. These values motivate people to work hard and achieve, but make it harder to find meaning and peace of mind in undesirable circumstances.

My husband, on the other hand, was raised to abhor money and status, and to seek only Eternal Salvation. This hasn’t always made him the life of the party, but it does give him patience and a sense of himself that isn’t dependent on “worldly” approval.

He was taught that God’s chosen people will be reviled and persecuted while I was taught that the “cream of humanity” can be recognized by their wealth and success…



Download MP3: Daddy 123

Brooklyn Music & Songs

Lucky One


Pygmy with acanthus leaf, bones, and stars.In the movie Brooklyn’s Finest, a Brooklyn cop goes on a killing spree in order afford a safer home for his family. I can totally relate to his feelings, and yet, I kept wanting to yell at him, “Move to Indiana! Why don’t you just move to Indiana!! Don’t you realize there is cheaper housing there?!?”

Why does Brooklyn even exist- why doesn’t everyone just move to Indiana? What is the upside to Brooklyn? As far as I can tell, there isn’t more stuff to do, there isn’t greater earning potential… so, what gives?

At any rate, this is another song I wrote while struggling to keep my head above water in the belly of that concrete monster. As I’ve mentioned before, one of the hardest things to deal with was feeling deprived of all the things that make life feel happy and comfortable, like friends, nature, a happy home, a slice of pizza that hasn’t been held in a stranger’s dirty hands. My mind would spin around and around trying to think of ways I could bring this lost pastoral energy back into my life (Because somehow, just as in Brooklyn’s Finest, the idea that I could simply leave never seemed to enter my mind.)

At one point, I was convinced that the color orange was the answer. I saw Brooklyn as basically being the Kingdom of Gray, and thought orange might be the color that could cut through the thick dullness that gray represented, and bring in the energy of the Harvest, that time when all your efforts are rewarded and all the seeds you have planted come to fruition.

So, not having much money to spend on the color orange, I bought a basketball, a pair of orange high top shoes (the only orange shoes I could find for $9), plus some orange tissue paper and candles. I taped the orange paper to my wall and lit the orange candles beneath it. But when I opened my door, the paper caught fire and flew across the room like a giant orange monster, landing on the floor where I stomped it out (and then extinguished the wall). I decided to put the orange candles on my kitchen table instead, and let them burn through the night so I could wake up and enjoy my harvest in the morning. Instead, I was woken by a strange sound that turned out to be the entire surface of my kitchen table burning. The spirits of the harvest at work!


Download MP3: Lucky One

Brooklyn Music & Songs



Kevin Srebnick in checkered shirt drinking coffee.

To be countrified means to be made of stone and earth.

My life in Brooklyn was a constant struggle to avoid being countrified, but in a world so hard and gray that was pretty much impossible. Maybe, when it is your time to die, you should just do it peacefully.

But instead, I chose to rage against the dying of the light. Whenever I had a dollar, I headed straight to the neighborhood discount party supply store, where I would spend as much time as I could gazing (inconspicuously, I hoped) at the plastic party decorations in every color of the rainbow. In the end, I would usually settle on a plastic tablecloth in a color I had never bought before, which I would then take home and nail to my wall. Why? Because I was convinced there was one color out there who could magically change my life for the better. And once I found this color and nailed him to my wall- BAM! the world would transform in an instant.

When I had several dollars to spend, I went to a  discount greeting card shop, where, once again, I would nonchalantly loiter for as long as possible, before buying as many cards as I could afford and taking them home to stuff with glitter and feathers. I mailed these cards to everyone I knew- no matter how distantly- and learned there is no better way to alienate an acquaintance than a string of “I’m Glad We’re Friends!” cards with cute baby ducks on the front.


Download MP3: Countrified

Blue, Black, Silver, Water, Moons, Death & Ghosts Brooklyn Music & Songs

Not Here, Not Now

Nude woman crawling on waves, towards stars, with light pouring in through head.


I wrote this song while living in Brooklyn, when my mind was beginning to decompose from endless periods of solitude… first a year living off the highway in Santa Fe and then- I don’t know how long- living in the scary filth of Brooklyn, cut off not just from other humans, but also from the natural world since it took hours of expensive transportation to escape the urban grid.

My one connection point with nature was an abandoned lot that contained a metal rod sticking out of the ground. If I stood on the rod, I could see what appeared to be a creek in the distance, although it may have been a drain.

In Brooklyn, I started doing strange things I would never have done before, like buying tabloid magazines and reading them from cover to cover, eagerly devouring every story about celebrity weight gain and two-timing ex-boyfriends. And I would read them while polishing off family sized bags of Combos in flavors I used to hate, like Pepperoni Pizza Pretzel.

You might think someone with a lot of time on their hands and the freedom to do as they wish would make the most of it, taking up all sorts of new hobbies and interests. But instead I found that, in the absence of friends, money, nature, love, and beauty, it was difficult to be interested in anything at all. The only books I could bring myself to read were books about magic. I was especially interested in spells for invisibility, and would rarely leave the apartment without trying out one spell or the other. My favorite was to hold a crystal pointing downwards and imagine myself being swallowed up by the earth. I also began dressing for invisibility, and really constructing my whole personality around being as inconspicuous as possible. Because when people DID notice me, it was not a good thing.

Once I was walking down the street, when out of a window an invisible voice shouted “You’re ugly! You’re ugly! Hey you in the orange shoes- You look ugly!!” It was mortifying and he kept shouting it over and over again until he finally yelled “You’re not ugly, but your shoes are! They don’t match your skirt! Don’t wear those shoes with that skirt!”

Another time, a group of twenty or so kids who had just gotten off the school bus started throwing glass bottles at me. Equal to my fear of the bottles was my confusion and humiliation when none of the other adults did anything to stand up for me. I don’t know if this is because I was the only white person, or if New York is just a culture where everyone minds their own business regardless of what is going on around them.

It seemed commonplace for people to talk about me as though I wasn’t there. Once, two girls a couple feet away from me had this conversation: “Oh my god, she looks like a ghost!” “That’s what white people look like! Haven’t you seen a white person before?” “No, look! She looks like a real ghost! Like a white sheet!”

Download MP3: Not Here Not Now

Blue, Black, Silver, Water, Moons, Death & Ghosts Brooklyn Kentucky Music & Songs

Cabin Boy

Farewell to Mussolini, flying red fish, white crystal fairy, and one-legged pirate

This song started playing in my head while I was living in Brooklyn, but I refused to write it down because I was determined not to write any more songs. Living on the outskirts of Brooklyn, a two hour walk to the subway, the idea of writing songs for nobody seemed both pointless and depressing. I thought my head space would be better used for something practical, although I wasn’t quite sure what that would be. It felt like I had reached the end of the my universe… no more hopes and dreams… no future to look forward to… just a never ending stream of three inch cock roaches to kill or run from.

The only thing that kept me going was a nearby drug store where I could buy 5 packs of potato chips for a dollar. They came in about 15 flavors ranging from Cool Ranch Doritos to Cheetos. Every evening I would walk to the drug store and select five packs. I would eat one (which was always thick pretzels) on the way home, and then eat the other four while watching a movie on my computer.

I didn’t want to be in Brooklyn, but with no money and no car, what could I do? One day, I decided to paint my apartment sky blue and decorate it with pictures of airplanes, hoping they would magically give me the power to fly away. A few days later, the answer struck me like lightening- I could rent a car and move back to Kentucky! How could it have taken me so long to realize something so obvious?

Leaving New York was the best feeling ever. Driving through the Amish countryside in Pennsylvania… buying fried chicken liver at a gas station on the Kentucky border… in comparison to Brooklyn, the rest of the world was one giant paradise! The people didn’t yell or throw glass bottles at you, the streets were wide and clean and the cars seemed to glide along in slow motion.  There was no trash that blew down the sidewalks, no curly dark hairs in the breadsticks. Suddenly, every good experience had become affordable and within  reach.

And so, at last, I had enough energy to buy a legal pad and write down this song.

Download MP3: Cabin Boy