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2005-02-25 - 12:23 p.m.

a late brooklyn evening, we sat inside a bar that looked like an unfinished parlor in an old victorian. painted and asymetric, tin-tiled ceiling with walls all tuscan yellow, rust and blood. a bar called stain. in one horizontal line around the space, a gallery of pictures. pictures of pieces of the bar's walls and ceiling.

the snow fell silently behind the stage through four plastic-wrapped windows, each bearing one red paint-stroked letter spelling U-G-L-Y. it was lovely.

the stage was small and more like a separate living room. and in this little tea corner, upon a small table next to two velour movie theater seats, lay a spectacular banjo. and in a simple wooden chair behind the spectacular banjo, sat mark, holding two almost empty bottles, pressed to his lips like flutes. and so began his performance.

we sat in this drafty magic space, listening to a beautiful man of song, whose only accompaniment was the hissing of a stark white radiator (and the occasional haunting of aretha and dolly). he went from bottles to banjo to accordion, sitting atop the bar like it was a school room storytime from another dimension. surely it was. he was sleepy and somber, a state which carried his tune with no room for dishonesty or pretension.

and the snow fell. and the boy sang. and i knew california was calling me home.

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