Five for Five

‘Five for Five’

Stream or download via bandcamp!

A spiel about ‘Five for Five’:

Write something. A few sentences, a short paragraph. Tell yourself something you need to hear, yell at someone—an ex, an aggressive driver. Write on a piece of scrap paper, on the back of a dumb bill, on a receipt. Write in pen or pencil, with your hand; make it solid so that you can hold it when you’re done. 

Everyone’s a writer, just like everyone can draw or sing or bang an instrument in rhythm. It’s not a question of virtuosity, but of an ancient impulse to escape the self, to forge pathways to each other through channels beyond speaking. Mike Watt has been living this idea for over forty years. “Punk is whatever we made it to be,” said D. Boon, his bandmate in the Minutemen, and Watt continues to carry forth the notion that if he and D. Boon and George Hurley could do it, so can we. 

Now his band is my life. Jaded Azurites has a new EP, “five for five,” our fifth since our debut in January 2018. The stakes feel higher this time—I no longer take for granted a “next” anything. We all wake up to the realities of infectious disease, climate collapse, and now a war in Ukraine—images of civilians shot off bicycles, threats of nuclear annihilation that seem designed to keep us frightened, on edge and easier to control. Five new Jaded Azurites songs is an almost laughably minor effort in the face of calamities, yet I think writing something, anything—or playing bass, recording it, making it stick—is minor only if it’s unique. And it’s not. Joining the effort, we make it bigger. 

“Argument,” “Sex Is Work” and “It’s Hard to Say Exactly How I Feel” originated as poems; Mike composed bass to words I gave him. “Little Volcanoes” and “Dreamland Fire” are bass compositions from which poems grew. In 1911, the Dreamland amusement park in Coney Island burned to the ground; ambitious carnies sold tickets to the smoldering ruins. Did you ever feel like that? Write it down. Make it stick. I believe in you. 

  1. little volcanoes
  2. sex is work
  3. argument
  4. it’s hard to say exactly how I feel
  5. dreamland fire

karen schoemer – vocal 
mike watt – bass 
all words by karen schoemer 
all songs schoemer/watt 
recorded during 2021 in new york and california 
produced by mike watt 
all photos by karen schoemer

copyright jaded azurites. all rights reserved.

Watch the video for ‘dreamland fire’


the next door neighbor might be a problem 

he asked me to let him into the basement 

to make a repair 

buckling joists stair lip quarter round 

mold on a cardboard box 

hide here 

under this table 

buckling joists stair lip quarter round 

mold on a cardboard box 

hide here 

under this table 

voices in the kitchen 

can I have a bite? 

you ask such penetrating questions 

roughened hands scrape dust 

ridden with fleas 

heavy weight on my chest 

I press the curve of a rib

then the rib next to it 

until I find the spot that hurts 

everyone is laughing 

my organs crushed together 

light a candle leave the room lock the door 

it’s a kind of suicide 

the woods and water are on fire 

the village is on fire 

the amusement park burns down 

it seems final but it isn’t 

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