Saturday, December 23, 2006

ive been pathetically uninspired for over a week now. nothing worth posting. but i am looking forward to getting out town tomorrow. my wife belle and i are going to a friends house on a cliff. he has lent us his house three out of the last four years. my wife and i hibernate from christmas through new years. recharge the batteries. its become our yearly ritual of replenishment. so anyone within earshot, i hope you all get some good time away from whatever makes the grind part of your daily grind. paradise is not wired for the net so i will not be here until 2007. peace in wartime.


Friday, December 15, 2006

some frivolous fluff for a friday morning. just returned from a surf. good celebrity sighting. fiona apple. living in la this is not so unusual. but that woman is an unusual talent. it amazes me that with our obsession with celebrity we have distilled celebrity to its essence. we are often no longer concerned with how our celebrities achieve their fame. we just want famous people. of course, paris hilton is our current poster child for this. we have a remarkable knack for seeing what we want to see; for projection. the work of shigeo fukuda comes to mind. his work is perspective specific. he makes objects that look like a pile of nonsense until you look at them from just the right direction. or in the case of one of my personal favorites, unless it is lit from a particular direction and the shadow cast reveals an order not obvious in the original object - a floating mess of eating utensils creating the shadow of a motorcycle.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Just found a website for a woman that i consider the great love of my youth; Bernadette Seacrest. She wasnt a singer then but she is now. She IS now. She has a myspace page for anyone curious. Torchy stuff. To pull off this sort of music i think you need at least a certain amount of genuine soul. Otherwise its unlistenable. Bernadette has this quality in spades, both as a person and as an artist. This footage of her doing a half-speed version of Billie Holidays 'My Man' is fucking gorgeous.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

FYI - the lennon cover song shirley and i were going to do for an upcoming benefit cd is now not going to happen. there was a misunderstanding with the scheduling so we are now left short of time. unfortunate. this time of year always becomes a really difficult time to get anything done.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

i have had a piano in the house for two months now. this experience reminds me of one of those moments in my early creative life that shaped my outlook. my friend chris and i discovered an artist in a gallery at ucla. my friend lived directly across from the college so we would often wander across. one of the things we did regularly was visit the art gallery there. one day the gallery was showing an artist named laurie anderson. she went on to do some great things (like o superman, united states parts 1-4) and some pop songs, not so great, in the eighties. but this afternoon at ucla i didnt know anything about her. in fact i didnt even know what a performance or a conceptual artist was. i was struck by her gallery show and kept my eyes peeled for magazine articles and interviews. in one that i found she mentioned that she did not practice violin after a certain point because she didnt want her playing to sound like television; too perfect. i have used this strategy (and the quote) over the years. in fact, i dont know if this is apochryphal but, i heard somewhere that the talking heads all switched instruments on the song naive melody. such a great song. but back to the piano. i have noticed that my guitar playing has improved and my knowledge of chord/key structure has grown, i have begun to sound more and more like all the professional musicians i know. i have always been more concerned with creating music that has a vibe or mood than in crafting crafty pop songs. i believe there is generally an inverse relationship between pop knowledge creative instinct. they arent mutually exclusive but there is a danger there. i know the restlessness that comes with the basic medium of songwriting. but i dont want to make music more and more like sting. i have no eventual jazz or math metal aspirations. therefore keeping myself naive in some respects as i continue to learn as an artist is a goal. i am a rank amateur on piano. this means that i can 'discover' really basic chord progressions without being aware that i have re-invented the wheel and therefore continue writing with an energy i might lose if i was on guitar. on guitar i would recognize that i have been playing some really universal chord progression and either stop completely or begin to think about how to dress it up. the dressing up usually means thinking about what key im in and therefore what usual rules apply and then not surprisingly, it starts to sound more usual. more like everyone else.