Belenen (belenen) wrote,

music sharing: Noe Venable

22 of my five-star favorite songs on the 22nd (sometimes late!) of each month ;-) A five-star song is one that has strong melodic pull as well as significant lyrical meaning to me (if there are lyrics) -- all of these are very important to me. In sharing them I'm sharing some of my soul... I'm trusting you to listen and sense it. ♥

In this post: Noe Venable. Ze was introduced to me by Noe's music is extremely important to me... words really pale in trying to communicate what it means, how it reaches me. The lyrics are so evocative and meaningful and the sound! the sound speaks to me all on its own. I'll write more about each individual album below.

And Noe zirself is a huge inspiration for me, not only in the new thoughts revealed in zir lyrics but also in how ze follows zir own path. Ze makes music for its own sake, not for becoming famous or appreciated, but just because it is zir art. Ze didn't wait to be discovered or be able to rent a studio before recording -- ze just did it in zir own living room, and outdoors, and in other unconventional places. And ze went back to school and studied comparative religion so that ze could teach high school kids to question. Ze's definitely one of my lodestars, someone who I look to for inspiration.

"Art has the power to unlock potential in us that we never knew we had. And it's phenomenal what unexpected blessings can enter our lives when we are moving with the current of our own creative instincts."


"The main impact of starting to delve deeply into the study of some of the religions of the world has been to encourage me to trust my innate sense that the big questions are worth asking, worth thinking about, worth wrestling with-- that however many eloquent others have addressed them in writing, music, visual art, song, or myth, the book of them will never be closed. I too must ask them. And that we all do live these questions, we each live them in our own particular way, perhaps sometimes without a need to put any voice to it at all. Because ultimately, we do so not to be heard, but to hear. Not to be seen, but to see. I am one voice, the voice I was given, but now I also understand that I am part of more than I knew. I just came across this quote by Whitman: "I too am not a bit tamed. I too am untranslatable. I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world." This speaks to me of something in all of us, something which emboldens me and in which I take heart."


"I've never been able to fit into any particular organized order, but starting to study comparative religion changed my life. It's helped me to understand new things about art and creativity and to contextualize all the things that I was experiencing over the past few years. And the experience of writing the record - and feeling as though I was being stripped down to my much more essential and honest self - has brought me to a place where I feel more hopeful and more empowered in facing the future than I ever did before."


"I started [performing] pretty much right after I started writing, because though my songs were rough, I was certainly writing to communicate. ... Mostly what I remember about those early experiences of performing were the physical symptoms of terror, my stomach gripping itself like a fist, my fingers shaking nervously and refusing to obey the feeble commands of my brain. At the same time I remember feeling this incredible charge from the experience. At that point my songs were quite fierce and I have to admit, pretty provocative. Looking back, I can see that I had some anger and frustration I hadn't really had an outlet for up until then.

And letting that out, particularly as a young woman, felt very illicit, very necessary, and, to be honest, really good. Scary, but good, in the way that it feels good to finally say something that you've been holding inside for so long.

In retrospect, I chalk a lot of that up to growing up female in this culture, and to all of the hidden and not so hidden messages about what is and is not acceptable for a girl or a woman to be, embody, or express. I wasn't even conscious of the extent to which I felt inhibited by such binding concepts until I began to break free of them. Now, on the other side of that process, (at least for the most part), I feel much more positive about the possibilities ... in the face of whatever limiting stereotypes may yet exist in our culture. And I feel a solidarity not only with women who confront these obstacles, but also with men who for their part may also feel themselves caged by prescribed roles of what a man is and is not to be.

And looking back I think those early performances were integral to making that transition. "


"I guess there are probably some things I’m trying to figure out in music, some persistent questions I keep circling around again and again. I don’t know if I get closer to answering them. About love… Trees… Minutes and hours. Falling asleep. Waking up. Getting older. At the same time, I don’t know that I’m always the one asking the questions. I feel more like I’m just the one writing things down. Music keeps me connected to something; I’d never want to pin it down in mind or in word by trying to say what. I’d like to make something beautiful.

Just a bit of beauty amidst all of the warcries and television screens… Something I could go to like a stream and drink from, something merciful, something clear and trickling along the ground. All I really know is what’s beautiful to me, what I hold dear. I never know if it’s going to communicate or not. And it changes."


"A long time ago I had to ask myself the question of "what am I doing this for?" I had to come to the point where I realized that I was doing this absolutely for love and that if I was doing it for any other reasons, for attention, or for affirmation, or any of those things, a long time ago that stuff got burned away. I had to shed all that stuff. And I guess I just feel like a person starting out has to just do it. If you're going to do it, just do it. Put your whole heart into it, and your whole soul into it. ... some of the most talented people I know are people who you will NEVER hear of. But there's some beautiful things in the world as a result of those people. And what else is there, really, then that? Other than making something beautiful, and sharing?"

Belenen's favorites -- February 2009
(click pic to download a zip of all songs)

just a note: with these, I put in some names... it means the song reminds me of you for some reason, not necessarily that it is a message from me to you. And the bolded parts are parts I especially love, not parts I especially associate you with. ;-)

(click titles to download individual songs)
I can't create a streaming player :-[ so here is the itunes playlist, to put it in order for you (it might also include the lyrics, not sure as I've never shared one before)

from "The World Is Bound by Secret Knots"

"I wrote 'Secret Knots' when I was coming to the end of some of things I'd held onto in life - the ways I had defined and perhaps limited myself."

This was my first album by Noe and still my favorite. Listening to it for the first time was a spiritual experience... it changed who I am. It spoke things that were in me that I didn't know existed... it shone into places in me that had never been illuminated. This is only SOME of the songs that have meaning to me because I didn't want to share the entire album -- there are only two songs on this album that I don't hold as treasures. This album is that rare kind where meaning and sound blend to create an actual space you can walk into and live in.


Black Madonna (for me and my fellow strays)
Black Madonna will come down for you
With open arms and a veil to hide her face
And Black Madonna will come down for you
And there is no sickness and there is no suffering
And there is no anguish and no anger that she cannot erase

You might see Black Madonna walking between the sheets of an angry day
Or you might see her smile a strange-sad smile as she steps out of your way
Or you might not see her at all
But she might be coming down for you
With her arms spread wide and her head on fire
‘cause she sees you been down so long

There isn’t a sin that you could make that she will not forgive

But oh, Black Madonna, I did not believe her beauty
I thought I did not need her mercy
I thought I did not need
Traded my belongings and my body
My memory and my mind
My center of gravity and my sense of direction
‘til I woke up half an hour from the city
And realized I had lost all sense of the passage of time
So I don’t know if it’s been a day or a week or a year
All I know is I’m still here
And I always thought you’d lift me up
And you never did
What the fuck?

>>there isn’t a sin that you could make
That she will not forgive
No there isn’t a sin that you could make
In the ways that a stray must live

So what I wanna know is this
If you believe in everything fitting into a kind of place
If you believe that everything and everybody has a certain space they fit into—
babies entering into a welcoming world in jubilant curls of star gazing wonder
And the sick, yes even the sick, just a shuffling into sleep’s dark brother
And the sleepers in the sleet
The heaps in the street
Nestled under trestles for to get a little heat
And if the trestles watch over the sleepers
And if life ushers her lucky winners
Through fleshy gates to four star dinners
And if sleep ushers his population
To plug into the dream life radio station
And if thin souls whose bodies haven’t wrecked them
Walk smoky streets that know and expect them

Then what I want to know is this—
What of strays who have turned their backs on the god of strays?

>>what of strays who’ve turned their backs
On the god of strays, yeah, what of them?

Oh Black Madonna I was thinking about the days that I spent with you
‘cause now I doze and daze and drown
And cling to the wreckage of a sinking town
And I walk your dire streets in search of anything that’s still pure
‘cause I once thought you watched over me
But now I’m not so sure


Feral (♥ lil sis)
I wanna run ‘til my feet start bleeding
I wanna make it all the way to the ocean
I wanna live for life and no other
Cause I don’t ever wanna be like my mother
I wanna learn to walk on the water
Cause I don’t wanna be like my father

I have a sister and I got a little brother
And I don’t ever wanna be like them either

Uh uh Uh

I had a place I’d go in the garden
Where I’d pretend that nobody made me,
Watch the sun going down on the day like a
Gentleman going down on a lady

And I had friends who would come and meet me
And we would stay ‘til early evening
Singing, “we’re not gonna die away so easy
We’re not gonna die away die away, no

Uh uh UH!

I’m not scared to walk like a lady
And I’m not scared to cry like a baby
I’m not scared I’m not scared
I’m not
I’m not scared I’m not…


Wings Again (♥ shioneh)
I have wings again
Can you see them?
I can’t but I know they’re there

My wings again
Now you’re gone there’s
Nothing left to keep me here

And you can tell my friends
They won’t believe
When I broke down like a plastic heart
That I had them then
But for some reason
I would rather fall apart
Than notice them

Nights I spent puzzling over where they went
Caught like an act on your high wire
Plummeting like a bird on fire
Tumbling over
Believe it or not I nearly forgot
The stumps where my wings were cut off oh

Cut off oh

You’re standing on the ledge
You watch the empty sky fade out
And there’s no one
To pull you back from the edge
I raise my arms above my head
And I close my eyes
And I hold my breath
I wonder why would you rather fall apart than notice them?
Nights I spent puzzling over where they went
Nights I spent puzzling over where where where where they went
Puzzling over the stumps where my wings were cut off oh
Cut off oh


Tower (♥ clownfrog)
There is an ocean
I have been holding in my hands
There is an ocean
I have been holding back for years
Where I was standing
Now I am rocking to and fro
Will you still love me
After you see this tower come down?

We used to play at
Light as a feather stiff as a board
We used to play at
Listening in to the darker world
Oh how strangely
Applicable those games seem now
Will you still know me
After you see this tower come down?

Girl, I've forgotten
how to be brave could you show me how?
Girl, I’d forgotten,
Where did you go? I’m lonely now…
That’s when it struck me
And I rang out just like a bell
She’ll be there laughing
In the place where the tower fell

Bricks and mortar
Raining down on the little ones heads
Bricks and mortar
Raining down on the little ones little ones

You will awaken
Your sensuality
You will awaken
It’s an eventuality


Is the Spirit Here? (♥ acid_burns)
You’re tuning out like a snowy television
You’re turning into something you don’t understand

Caught amongst the hungry ghosts
Fluttering in windows
Caught amongst the hungry ghosts that take you by the hand
You used to dream that you would meet a stranger
You used to dream that one day
You would catch a whale
But now you walk alone
It is not a walk through pansies

Where did it go?
Is the spirit here?

Broken bottles broken bones
She had a man who used to beat her
Don’t let anybody know
Heavy hands, hair of cedar
And they come and use you up
And then leave you where they found you
‘til you sigh and let it go
Is the spirit here?

Definitely no

Swollen bellies hungry souls
Swollen cities hungry nation
Their opinions are a crutch
For a dead imagination

Empty eyes and broken homes
And I wonder, have I joined them?
Well at least I’m not alone
Is the spirit here?

Definitely no

Like a flatline, without pain
Like a doctor who keeps talking
Catch a bottle full of rain
Like a robot I went walking
Then the roof came flying off
Like a border open wide
Like a flower where you died
Like a sinister banister slide
Into the minds
Of the houses you’ve abandoned
Through a sea of shattered lives
Like a swan without my pride
Like a monster in a dress
Near forgotten left a mess
Like the only one you can’t impress
Is the spirit here?



from "The Summer Storm Journals"

"The 'summer storm' is this place you come to where your beliefs and your ideas about who you are and what you're about and what life is about and what you're doing here - you can't hold onto them anymore. You have to change, and how you face that change says a lot. And I have to say, I did not want to change."
"[The Summer Storm Journals] was born of a period when I was facing a lot of big changes in my life. But whereas Secret Knots is somewhat fierce in the face of turbulence, I think Summer Storm Journals is quite a bit softer, more inward, with clearings and moments of peace. A lot of it is about what comes after the storm, or just before it. The calmness of feeling the ground beneath one's feet."

This one didn't snatch me off my feet like Secret Knots but it slowly unfolded, blossomed, inside me and as a place for me to step into. There are 8 five-star songs on this one, and the rest are all four-star. If Secret Knots was a flung-open door into a wild, surreal fantasy jungle, Summer Storm is a painting that draws you into another world, a world of raining petals and colored breezes -- if you look at it long enough.


Into the Wild (♥ my partner)
I have your love and I'm taking it with me
into the wild into the wild
I have an anchor that drops from inside me
into the wild into the wild that
always was hidden for you for you to find

always was hidden for you for you to find

I have an instinct that's going to lead me
into the wild into the wild

I have a charm that my best friend made for me
into the wild, into the wild
the genius-est magic is that which is spun by
the small movements of lady fingers
into the wild
into the wild
always was hidden for you to find
always was hidden for you to find


Onion, One Day (♥ jenniology)
emily, do you think
your luck has deserted
and so has your chance?
emily, can it be
you spent it on nothing and paid in advance?
emily, do you think
that dreams are just layers that get peeled away?

onion, one day you'll be completely naked
with the roses in your head
and your beaches racked with glass
and your shadows as they pass...

emily, there's a stream
where wishes grow wild
and boats twinkle by
emily, sleep now
and I will sing you a lullaby


Swim with Me (♥ aquilian)
babe, I can only follow you so far
babe, I can only imagine where you are
but nothing's quite the same
bottom of the sea
nothing's quite the same
since I asked him to swim with me

and your secrets can seem so sacred and so sane
until one day you find you'd give them all away
to never be the same
at the bottom of a dream

never be the same
since I asked him to swim with me

who I was, covered up in leaves
I'm so frightened I might never be the same
never be the same
since I asked him to swim with me


Fangs of Discipline (♥ mahayana)
Heart is so much bigger than it might seem, than it might seem.
Heart is so much bigger than it might seem, than it might seem.
Enveloping, encompassing, sweet and wide and wild,
the largest pink blossom could just enfold one
in the midst of howling darkness
, in the midst of howling darkness...

Heart is a little older than when it was young when it was young.
Heart is one tin soldier beating its drum beating its drum.
Life abounding, ocean pounding, green and garden wild,
the strongest rhythm beats on to lead and draw one
through the midst of howling darkness
, through the midst of howling darkness

"some have tried to use their will but our way will be gentler, gentler still than the fangs of discipline!"

take this thought and keep it with you like some windy morning when you see the sky through the trees,
like the dust of diamonds carried on a wing, on some breeze...


Sea of Possibility (♥ aurilion)
I woke up inside a dream
where rivers all were running red
thought everything I loved was dead
I thought last night that I had reached the end

thought that I had reached the end
the window open you came in
to light the temples in my head

to light the temples in my head

with you I want to taste this freedom
with you remember life's divinity

but without you this love I take with me
into the sea of possibility

I woke up inside a dream
where dirty things were coming clean
and I chose life and you chose me
I thought last night that I could finally see

I stayed up into the dawn
the window open moon shines on
the door was open you were gone
the door was open you were gone from me

waves as far as I can see
a thousand horses rise in me
I'm tapping out the rhythm of your poetry
a thousand horses rising up
the ocean comes to fill my cup

today is the beginning of the death of me


Ambassador (♥ musicandmisery)
I know a country
wild canyons and seas
red roots wave in the fissures
so wild the space between my love and me
running in my midnight feet
river through every gateway
where you runs into me

I'm going hunting
my heart like a battle rings
to you out in the country
where true birds find their wings

where we might tear the veil from beauty
and see her dancing down the street
where I might cry that I was drowning
and you might laugh and drink the sea

out in the jungles
what if you should be the beast?
sometimes love is a toothache
to heal in a howl
out along the warring sea
breathing breaths of bravery
as love roars into me

til we might tear the veil from beauty
and see her dancing down the street
til I might cry that I was drowning
and you might laugh and drink the sea
and I might cry that I was dying and you might whisper
wait for me


from "Boots"

There is absolutely a FIERCENESS in this album, really raw and strong. Noe says it's about the experience of being female, and what that means in this world. "Boots, this record I've made, is so meaningful to me because it's the first time when I've written a record that I really feel like is about being a woman." I really feel that in this album -- it explores/exposes the experiences of having your power stolen (or being encouraged to give it away in exchange for being loved), being objectified, having to hide your femaleness in order to be accepted in some circles, being everything for everyone... This is another one that is all five- and four-star songs -- if you like what I share I KNOW you'd like the others too.


Stolen Thing (♥ delicatexflower)
Where in the hell is big blue eyes?
Where's your virginity?
By the side of the freeway
I lost it recently

Oh it didn't take so long
Oh it didn't take so long
Oh it didn't take so long
I am a stolen thing

I have a dream of big blue eyes
In my hand is a genie
You know he wouldn't ever wanna surprise no one
Singin' "little girl little girl set me free"
Oh i know what he means

Oh i know what he means
Oh i know what he means
'cause I am a stolen thing

Don't ever cry in the pouring rain
Never lie to a pirate king
He will beat you at your game
Make everything everywhere scream and sing
Oh you make it get so good
Oh you make me get so mean
Oh you make it get so good
I am a stolen thing

By the rumble of the roaring rain
By the holes that it drills in me
I was naked as a blue jay
By the side of the freeway
Oh i was dancing slow
Oh i was dancing free
Oh i was dancing slow
And this is the dance of the stolen thing!


Prettiness (♥ shadowlily)
I have never been one for prettiness prettiness
Thinking of lace 'bout makes me puke
But the thing i just bought has a little bit little bit
I'm putting it on and i'm thinking of you

one night i followed some holy men
Going into woods to do their work
I had an overcoat on just to cover me cover me
Listening for anything i might learn

And there were stars up in the heavens
And if they caught me, what could they do?
They did not know i was a woman
At least i didn't think they knew

I think about it when i look at him look at him
Everybody hides from what they are
Take me, i used to think i was as empty as an emperor
That's what i thought but i've come so far

His turkish drums and two way mirrors
The way he moves, slow motion slow
He does not know i am a woman
But i think i might want him to know


Boots (♥ kmiotutsie)
I go to the corner where it all goes down
And i do things i'll regret but not right now

They say "angel, you been here before"
Yeah, i had my boots to carry me

Just like pandora with her box
I let everything out and spin around
And when they come to me, it's like a river to cross
But i have my boots to ferry me

And i remember how it feels
I always stop and remember but i do it again
And i jump up and slap my heels
Cause i have my boots on
I'd like to see my eyes in someone else's face
I'd like to see my face on a magazine
The things i want, the life i need
My boots keep me between

I passed out on a subway train
And a woman she came and took my hand
But i'm alright i'm okay i can fall like rain
Long as i have my boots to help me stand

And the streets they empty hour by hour
Til they were finally drained and i was all alone
And just like pandora, i was sorry now
But i had my boots to carry me home

The sky is wild and full of holes
The wind is wild and it's full of coughs
Sometimes i think i'd float away
If i took my boots off


Wild Blue & Yonder (♥ happystance)
wild blue and yonder
which way to go
wild blue and yonder
wear white in the snow
pack seven sandwiches
it's farther than you know from here

there must be a way out
tossed by the side of the freeway
shackled and shamed as a blue jay
jacked up on whiskey and death
and we will find it
slip through the cracks of the evening
grinning as memory leaves me holding
nothing but my breath

wild blue and yonder
riding the fright
wild blue and yonder
you shine like a light
lover it's been so long
tell me where you are tonight?

there must be a way out
tossed by the side of the freeway
shackled and shamed as a blue jay
jacked up on whiskey and death
and you will find it
blow in the breeze like the reeds do
grinning as memory leaves you holding
nothing but your breath


Tinkerbell (♥ frecklestars)
tinkerbell busts her brains
bashing into window panes
but who is gonna need a light
in the buggy buzzy neon night?

tinkerbell takes off her rags
empties out her saddle bags
and watching all the cracks in the wall rearrange
tinkerbell is open to a change

"probably time I looked into
some other things a girl can do
could sell my body
to light up someone's t.v..."

but something comes through at last
so it doesn't come to that
luckily a girl lost her ring in the rain
so tinkerbell is dangling down a drain

and there in the sewer she
sees a thing she's never seen
a constellation thousands of shiny useless objects


all the givers
and all the rivers in the world
cannot quench it
the arid desert that you
bring to everyone you know

I see you counting lovers in the street
I see you kissing everybody's feet
you are a kitten caught up in a tree
I see you climb away

tiny birdling
scrambling for any scraggy tree
I am thinking
you make your nest where none can be
in the summer
the streets are waving in the heat
I am thinking about the water that you keep
in the corners of your mouth

climb away

I see you counting lovers in the street
I see you licking anybody's feet
you are a kitten caught up in a tree
you are unreachable by me

I see you climb away


from "Down Easy"

This is a live album (not the best quality sound-wise, but really not bad). It's my least favorite so far but still has 8 songs that I really love.


Dandelion Hills
overripe underage spin me a whirl
you with your face like a lemon in pain
moon is a coin to be spent on a girl
come to inebriate out of the rain

days i have violinned tragic and crass
weepingly bowing the people i'd meet
but now all the music is here in my glass
three sips from the bottom one drink to the street

one drink from the hole
three sips from my fill
tonight i will roll
down the dandelion hills
dandelion hills

blackberry patch stripteasing its leaves
you are naked and trembling and quiet and blue
you are a rock in my rocketing shoes
and i go where i choose and you do what you do

and sleepers in bundles they all look like lambs
the more that are slaughtered the fewer complain

larry-lon-lie i'm a rag on the road
it's kindly to tarry here out of the rain

that one's a tearful and this one's a whore
then there are spirits and then there is you
here take my hand in your quietly mad
quitting time's cruel but what can you do?


Down Easy
they let you run wild
trajedy's child
geranium nose
drunk as a car crash
you are what you see
a world stark and free
you get misty before me
and then we spin around

and around
and all of the memories that cry in your night
spin around and around
and I catch on your thermals and fly like a kite

just let me down easy
just let me down easy

you can never go home
the sparrow has flown
the only one I have known
to remember to future
the prophecy's clear
tomorrow is here
with eyes overflowing
and so we spin around and around
and nothing is ever as sad as it seems

spinning round and around
with the starbreasted comic book girl of your dreams


Mud, leaves, roofing rot
Black tar tires are all that I got
So how can I have made
This rubber duchess in her rich brokade
Black dress, seven rips
Kissing coals, her burnout lips
Ask old Bruo, who salts the snails
She's sticky sweet, hard as...
Asphalt in winter


His days are plain
But his dreams are gaudy
Rhinestone kisses on a
Backside nagahyde body
Propped in the rotten weeds
One whiff of at her and he was incomplete
me and her, we, we had plans
Kicking cows and shooting cans
I know you were with her cause
I saw her stuck all over your hands

Tarbaby tarbaby

Clouds cry on a roof of tin
Like an ace high, I brave the din
I know you were with her
Cause I saw her stuck all over your chin
Like I said, we had plans, she and I
High as a rod on the fourth of July
She was gaping at me like an earthquake crack
As you took her away on your dirty old back

"she stuck by my side
Seemed to enjoy the ride
I threw her in the bayou
For she would not be my bride"
Tarbaby tarbaby born again born again...


from "You Talkin' to Me"

I don't have this album but Noe shared two of the songs on zir website, and I love them so much!


Euridyce (♥ phoenixdreaming)
maybe it's a dark world, hide in cold
nuclear fusion, wings unfold
shuddering souls, guilded cage
some were here when the world began to age

had a monkey on my back, man on my trail
life fought back, death don't fail
gut the air, sky deformed --
are you saying you don't see him anymore?

here's from me to world
here's from world to you
I can sing my heart out,
sing myself away
any day, any day

flutter like silk and breath in lungs
I can call you, I can speak in tongues
can you walk straight, it's a choice in mind
and can you know I'm sleepwalking behind

quarters creep deep in piles,
avalanches of dominoes
follow your faith, follow my love
in the name of light, the name of what's above

don't look back, I am here
I am mute, I am forsaken

danced with your tune and I rose with the sun
but the maker of all is the master of none

longing has taught me how to sing
someday to make ladders to the spring

I can sing this death out, sing my self away
any day, any day


Jamie Goes Home
(it has lyrics but I didn't want to type them up)


"My ideal paradigm would be to have this little house in the woods with this little box in the front, and I'd put my records in it, and people could come and leave some money in another box next to it and take a record. Fortunately, the Web allows for something not unlike that. ... If it's a record that means something to somebody, they might know someone else to whom it might mean something. They might pass it on."

As I am ;-) and I encourage you to buy direct from the artist:
Tags: music, music sharing, my lodestars, noe venable

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