Tutti Frutti

by Dylan Metrano

Little Richard is sitting in the hotel room he’s called home for several years. It’s an ordinary room. Could be anywhere. His piano is at his brother’s. His dog is at his sister’s. Most of his possessions, his history, his glory- it’s all scattered throughout storage units between here and Georgia. 

He’s been up since six, watching evangelists on a muted TV. Little Richard hasn’t left this room in a week. He’s nearing seventy, but still feels like a young man. His assistant Mark makes his meals, helps with his business affairs, keeps him company. Mark once played in the band, but now he’s Little Richard’s right-hand man. He makes everything a little easier.

With one eye on Billy Graham or Oral Roberts or some other whatshisname, and one eye on a palm tree outside stretching toward the sun, Little Richard calls to Mark:

“Mark, today is a glorious day.”

“Indeed it is, Sir.”

“We should take a little trip.”

And thus begins the process that occurs every time Little Richard leaves this room. Mark takes a deep breath, and gets a case from the closet. Little Richard is a king among men. It’s important that he look impeccable. People expect him to look impeccable. He always gives everything he has- because he can. His talent comes straight from God. It’s his responsibility to share his gift with the world.

So first, the hair. Sides cut short. Brushed back above the ears. Longer in the back. A pile of pomade-waves atop the crown. The hair adds six inches to his 5’10”. Cuban-heeled shoes add another six . 

In the mirror, he applies his pencil-thin mustache with a pencil-thin pencil.

He sings to himself as he applies foundation, highlights, eyeliner. A little rouge. An hour passes. The face in the mirror looks familiar again. He looks like Little Richard.

Mark lays out the suit, bright white covered with rhinestone pins – saxophones, martini glasses, cameras, a G-Clef, and a pistol for good measure. Little Richard gets dressed as Mark pulls the limousine around. Little Richard grabs a pair of sunglasses from atop the television, and waits for Mark to escort him to the waiting car.

It’s after noon, and Little Richard was feeling hungry. 

“Little Richard is feeling hungry.”

Mark knows that there are only a few drive-throughs in L.A. that a stretch limousine can fit through, and Little Richard is, of course, a man of very particular tastes, so he makes a quick calculation and they head to In and Out Burger. Mark orders two burgers (animal-style), two vanilla shakes, and French fries. Little Richard pecks at the food in the back while Mark steers towards their destination. 

As they turn onto Wilcox, Little Richard wipes his mouth with a wet-nap, gives his lips a last minute touch-up, and they double-park, blocking in three identical grey cars.

Mark, also dressed in white, albeit without the flair of his boss, exits the limousine, and walks around to the passenger side. He scans the street, and opens the door. For a moment, everything is still. Then Little Richard leaps out of the car, like a man half his age. Matching his boss’s stride, they ascend the stairs of the Hollywood Post Office. 

Inside, a small herd of tired-looking people is queued around a velvet rope. Mark opens the front door, and they step into the lobby. No one looks in their direction. Little Richard takes a breath, and then with his one-of-a-kind firecracker of a voice, he hollers “Hello, everybody! Little Richard’s here to get his mail!”.

He sashays to the front of the line where Dottie, his favorite clerk, blushes a little and gives him a gigantic smile.

“Why, hello! It’s been far too long since you’ve last stopped in. And don’t you look terrific? Let’s see what we’ve got for you.”

Little Richard looks over his shoulder at all the people in line behind him, He can see their eyes widen and smiles wash over them. He feels blessed that he’s able to bring a tiny unexpected moment of joy to all these beautiful people, people who would take this story back to their offices and dinner tables.

Mark puts a small pile of envelopes and magazines into his satchel, and they turn toward the door. Little Richard pauses for a moment and then says to the seventeen people in the room, “I’d like to wish for each and every one of you a splendid day. God bless you all.” Then, winking at a young mother with a stroller, he pirouettes, lets out a little “WOOOO!!!” and disappears out the front door.

Little Richard can hear tiny gasps of delight and a smattering of applause as the door closes behind him. A warm feeling of contentment washes over him, as he climbs back into the old limousine. Mark slips a disc into the car’s CD player. “Tutti Frutti” spills out from inside, as they drive back to their hotel.

Top Tens 2019

In 2019, we released lots of great albums: Sam Carp Select Few (2013-2018), Pumpkin Mouth‘s Tooth Salad, Sidney Lindner & the Silver Wilderness Collective Summer Ghosts / Nightfalls, Tiger Saw The Featherweight,Mehetable s/t, The Orchards Sing Birds, In Your Shrinking Woods, Guy Capecelatro III Feeling of Falling, Boring Songs About Dumb Things by Charlotte Moroz and Guy Capecelatro III.

We hope that you’ll check them out. We asked some of our friends and family for their favorites from 2019 to share with you. Enjoy!

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We’re excited to be releasing the self-titled debut album from Mehetable. Fronted by singer / cellist Jerusha Neely, who has been a part of some of our favorite bands: Brown Bird, South China, Plains, Tiny Fires, Guy Capecelatro III, the Orchards, Hersey State, and Woodpainting.
The first single “Lioness” is available to stream now, and the CD / LP are available to pre-order. Catch Jerusha and drummer Peter McLaughlin on tour in Europe in May.

Dave Noyes Fundrasier

Seekonk 2004

Our dear friend Dave Noyes passed away this week. He was a founding member of Seekonk, Rustic Overtones, Plains, and Mehetable.

His friends have started a Gofundme campaign to lend a hand to his family. Please donate if you are able.

We’ve made Seekonk’s final album “Pinkwood 2” free for download.

new Tiger Saw video

Tiger Saw debuts the first new song from their seventh album “The Featherweight” (out March 15 on Burst & Bloom). Dylan Metrano explains the song is about his days in 1990’s post-punk band Hamlet Idiot:

Happy new year! On March 15, Tiger Saw will be releasing our seventh album, “The Featherweight”. Here’s the first single “Our Songs Were Skeleton Keys”.

This is a song about the 1990’s, and the culture of playing shows, supporting live music, making music with my friends, record collecting, and being inspired by all that was happening around us. It’s a song about being young and capable of anything, and the amazing community that I was in. For those who don’t know, Hamlet Idiot was a band I was in from 1992-1999, and many of the posters and records shown here are from that band.

I continue to be inspired today by the community around me, some of whom have been at it since back then. Keep on at it, friends. 
With love, Dylan / Tiger Saw

ps. We have an incredible lineup on “The Featherweight”. Here’s the players on this song:

Chris Klaxton – trumpet
Eric Klaxton – tenor saxophone
Jocelyn MacKenzie – vocals
Marc McElroy – clavinet, Rhodes
Dylan Metrano – vocals
Jocelyn MacKenzie – vocals
Jim Rioux – drums
Erik Tans – bass

2018 Top Tens!

2018 was another year.

Burst & Bloom was busy, with the following seven releases in 2018:

Late Lights Late LightsGuy Capecelatro III SplinteringSongs for Pam compilationThe Eastern Sleds There’s No Place Left To GoCape Breton Poems book + CD by Guy Capecelatro III, Tangle of Bone book by Rebecca Hennessy, Jim Rioux yes I will Yes.

We encourage you to seek them out if you haven’t already. As we do each year, we solicited “top ten” lists from some Burst & Bloom artists, friends, and family, and we present them here for you.

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2017 Top Tens!


Julien Baker & Phoebe Bridgers (photo: Dylan Metrano)

Once again, we present our end-of-the-year favorites from the Burst & Bloom family and friends. It is our hope that you might discover something that has made us happy in 2017, and that it will make you happy as well.

Burst & Bloom had a banner year, releasing the following: “A Light I Can Feel: A Tribute to Brown Bird” compilation 2CD, the Buzzy zine anthology book, the free “Burst & Bloom 50” compilationGuy Capecelatro III’s “Hope is the Thing With Feathers” CD, The Great Auk’s “Paradox” CD, and Cape Snow’s “The Last of the Light” CD. We encourage you to check these out, if you haven’t already.

Here are the lists…  Continue reading

The Great Auk!

Great Auk cover

We’d like to welcome The Great Auk to the Burst & Bloom family! The Great Auk is the acoustic and sometimes semi-plugged-in duo of Carrie Bradley and Bernie Jungle. Their songs run from acoustic to electric, big harmonies to near whispers, and distortion to silence, as Bradley and Jungle deliver stories, vivid imagery from the mundane to the phantasmagoric, humor, a love of language, and a lot of conversation between the strings.

Listen below, and order HERE.