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I have no idea how many times I’ve walked through San Diego’s Santa Fe. Arriving and departing from L.A. as a kid, one time alone, when we lived in Echo Park and Alhambra; as a term, playing hooky; trips to Fullerton to see my pal Chris at ages 17 until now; trips to events: concerts by @stewtnp and the “Live from the Blogosphere” event where @evhead announced Blogger dot com was sold to Google; trips to and from Comic-Con; Little Tokyo; up to Moorpark when I lived there; walking though it many times when arriving by Coaster from Carlsbad where @leohblooms dropped me off, I worked at Emerald Plaza, then; picking up and dropping off more people than I can remember, traveling; once went to a plein air drawing event here; wandering downtown when I worked at the original @sdpubliclibrary Central Branch; and Avencom, and jury duty 2 years ago; which is why I’m here this morning.

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It’s been a very long time since I was happy with how my website presented me and my work and hobbies. Now I feel like it encompasses me better: my #programming, #comics, #toyrobot collection, #bodysurfing, #drawing and such. I’m a big believer in people owning their online space. I feel very skeptical that #twitter and #facebook/#instagram will be good stewards for people in the long haul. We don’t use MySpace usernames or AOL Keywords anymore but a domain name can—mostly—be maintained by a person. Anyway, I’m feeling good today. Onward!

New Stew Record! New Negro Problem Record!


Next Monday, June 18, is the must see music event of the Summer for fans and friends of Stew & The Negro Problem.

This is a one-night-only, special concert performance and celebration, it will be hosted by (le) poisson rouge in the West Village, and they’ll be talking about it for years to come.
DO NOT miss out.

Minimum Age: 18+

Doors Open: 7:00PM / Show Time: 8:00PM
Event Ticket: $25 / Day of Show: $30


Marty Beller, Ato Blankson-Wood, Kenny Brawner, David Cale, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Dana Lyn, Urbano Sanchez, Art Terry


Developed at The Public Theater, the legendary incubator that spawned Hamilton and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, The Total Bent has been hailed by the New York Times as “blazingly entertaining with a sensational score which blends elements of the blues, gospel, funk and throbbing guitar-driven rock; an ecstatic combination of revival meeting and rock concert.” This companion album features twenty-seven songs from the acclaimed production performed by Stew & The Negro Problem.


Defying genres and expectations, the explosive score and galvanizing lyrics of Notes of a Native Song explore the darker and more complicated aspects of inspirational literary rock star James Baldwin’s life and work. Combining Stew’s incisive, hilarious, and harrowing storytelling with Jazz, blues riffs, and driving rock, the eleven tracks featured on this new recording become “meditations on Baldwin’s themes—of the comfort of exile, of the anger and pain that being black in America can inspire, of work that blends myth, mystery and imagined history.” (The New York Times).

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Stewardess. And me deciding that this notebook paper bleeds too much with ink. Last week.

Suzy Wong (lyrics by Stew)

William Holden is a soldier
and Nixon will not send him home
with every card game he gets older
so when on leave he needs to roam
don’t judge him by his desires
the puppet wires
are strong

William Holden is a BART rider
bound for Hong Kong or Seoul
William Holden holds a token
and asks
“Does this plane flow to tokyo?”
in his nightmare she’s a vampire,
and an empire,
and a song oh
but when he wakes up
there ain’t no Suzy Wong
there ain’t no Suzy Wong

William Holden is a brush fire
and only ghosts will walk him home
and in his horror movie quagmire
the truth got stripped right to the bone
he never was much of a listener
he needs a prisoner
to go with his war
so come along
on the search for Suzy Wong
there ain’t no Suzy Wong

Hans moved back to live in Hamburg
he bought a wife,
didn’t you know?
she does the unthinkable absurd
she nails him to a pedestal
in his nightmare free of feeling
he is kneeling
at her throne
and she holds a cold revolver,
a problem solver,
her chaperone
and you and know this is not right
but after midnight
your halo’s gone
one suitcase into the street hurled
and half of his world
is still Viet Cong
oh, don’t you sing along

there ain’t no Suzy Wong
there ain’t no Suzy Wong
there ain’t no Suzy Wong

from the new Making It. Buy it on Amazon MP3 or iTunes

Stew & The Negro Problem: Curse

New album releases this month!

Warning: Explicit Lyrics

Awesome blog post about Stew fanhood.

color me passing strange on the BOX blog is worth a read for Stew, Negro Problem and Passing Strange fans. It aligns with many of my own experiences, particularly the Adams Avenue Music festival and Java Joe’s in Ocean Beach. It also links to some of the lyrics I have posted over the years.

Stew, The Negro Problem, Passing Strange. Awesome.

Demonically Energized, by Stew

Demonically Energized

L.A.’s ruled by gurus,
and New York’s ruled by shrinks:
at least that’s what my uncle,
in Kansas thinks.
He’s got all my records;
they’ve been thoroughly analyzed.
He’s come to the conclusion
I’m demonically energized.

He said “If you choose to engage,
in experimental sex,
or write freakish novels that are
willfully Pynchon-esque,
you can do all these things,
but don’t be surprised,
if you awake
to find yourself
demonically energized.

He said “You can sing and joke about,
painful drug addictions;
and make no effort to resolve,
the looming contradictions;
you can do all these things
but wait till I close my eyes;
sin takes its toll
and now your soul’s
demonically energized.

“If alcohol abuse
is something,
you choose to make light of
and common decency
is something,
okay to lose sight of,
indulge your freakish whims
in spite of how you’ve been advised.
Sin takes your soul
and now your soul’s
demonically energized.

“If you choose to poke fun
of this country’s racial tension
and sing of things
that Nat Cole King
was far too nice to mention
if you’ve got devil’s catechism
thoroughly memorized
he’s achieved his goal
and now your soul is
demonically energized.

“Now if you choose to travel
to exotic places,
and if you choose to sit
on exotic faces,
if you think it’s cute
that a prostitute
is in song canonized,
he’s achieved his goal
and now your soul is
demonically energized.”

Drop Everything for this Stew Interview

Interview with Stew

Hilarious and insightful, as he often is:

Here’s a quote!

What did you know about theater or Broadway before you developed this show?

Very little. I had a lot of respect for people like Bertolt Brecht. I had read Brecht, and he touches a lot of rock performers more than any other theorist or writer in the theater world, I think, because his theories are very rock ‘n’ roll. Like the way he talks about the way an actor plays a role without trying to make anyone think that they are that character, and reminds the audience that they’re watching a play. In high school, when you’re a rock ‘n’ roll stoner, your mortal enemies are the thespians. We thought that musical theater was the dorkiest thing in the world and had nothing to do with the music we listened to. And quite frankly we still feel that way. I mean, uh, we don’t understand why Broadway doesn’t, for the most part, utilize the music of the street, the car, the headphones.

Stew on Theater Talk

Very enjoyable.

And also: Stew Plays Drunk at the Obies (read the whole thing), it does get a bit too wild for work:

Because of Stew, I am looking forward to the Tony Awards.

I don’t believe it either.