Saturday, November 22, 2008

show was really good. it worked. small doesnt necessarily mean intimate but on this night it did. everyone was hanging out before the set watching a really charming burlesque show (which is, by the way, a regular happening at the el cid). perry, his wife and kids, our friends, our crew, my folks, and all the people who waited outside in line all day were mixing in the crowd. there was no 'us and them'. just us hanging. vibe.

i generally judge shows on two levels; one being the public general show level and two being my selfish personal internal experience. they are often unrelated. the set on a macro level was great. everyone was into it. perry was on fire. we even had a crowd surfer. very proud of him. on the personal level, how do i put this, i am looking forward to having more room onstage. i find it difficult to get lost in the physicality of performance when i am constrained spatially; when i cant move around freely. if the analogy is sex (i know, i know, a worn analogy but i think effective still) it is when you are having sex with a beautiful woman; you are feeling it; she is feeling it; but, your pet is on the corner of the bed staring at you. so great. really great. but not all the way lost in it.

perry told a story from the stage about janes playing club lingerie back in the day. i wanted to add something that he didnt mention. it was a 21 and over club. so before we started playing i went to the back door and let in my friends who werent old enough to get in legally. the club caught me and kicked my friends out. i then told the club that i wasnt going to play. so perry took me outside and we walked down sunset blvd and he tried to talk me down. finally he said that if i would play the show, he would do a bar run. i was convinced. as we neared the end of the last song, he left the mic, jumped onto a table, a railing and onto the bar without touching the floor. he then ran down the bar kicking over everything for the entire length of the bar and disappeared backstage. heroic.

so la cita and el cid; two for two.

Friday, November 14, 2008

gag is off. we are playing at the "el cid" in silverlake. you cant buy advance tickets. its $9 at the door. doors open at 10 and we are on around 11. it is not a big place. i know i said a couple of posts ago that we would eventually make room for you all. i still believe that is the case. but i think 'eventually' is the operative word there. there will only be room for a couple of hundred of you all this time. i will post a more precise capacity when i get the number. rehearsals have been sounding really solid. should be a good night.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities." -- Winston Churchill

this quote came to mind this morning as i considered going out to participate in history today. id be voting anyway but today feels different. the fact that i get to vote for a man with, what colin powell perfectly described as, "intellectual curiosity" is a gift. and this of course coming after eight years of being forced to watch a man, who takes pride in his ignorance, preside over the greatest unrelenting catastrofuck of a presidency of my entire lifetime. anabelle and i are off to queue up and cast a vote toward a better nation.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

i think that most of the time, there is less evill in the world than just plain messiness. i apologize to those who waited forever and did not get in. contrary to some posts i do not believe there is any particular bad guy. there was a confluence of things that created that situation; some good intentions some not. there was always going to be some overflow. that was a given. actually that was a given once we decided to let the public in. it was initially going to be unannounced and therefore a show for only friends and family. after giving it some thought, i didnt like the idea of it being exclusive like that because of the fact that the only other thing we had done, the nme, had been very exclusive. we agreed that we would sort of split the crowd into equal thirds, shepards people, our personal people, and people. i think that our management were looking out for our friends and family as a priority. i dont think that anyone would fault them for that. but that did mean that when the capacity cutoff was reached, that left more of you outside than i would have liked. which brings me to the question of capacity and the fire marshal. more on the fire marshal in a second. the room we played in is small. there is an outside patio that increases the total size considerably. but we did not want to fill the entire place with people that were technically inside the venue but could not possibly see the band. so the actual capacity and the functional capacity for that night were two different numbers. the two different numbers also meant that we had a rough number to work with but that there was some wiggle room and i think that was one of the ways we began to have trouble. at least, i know that my personal guest list grew beyond what i had agreed to because of this. now the fire marshal. the bane of every show you try to do something different at. if it hadnt been for the hustle of the la cita and our management team, there would have been no show. in that way it was very different than it would have been back in the day. back in the day we would have been shut down. the fire mashal needed the stage to be moved over one foot. done. he needed an electrician on site. three arrived in half an hour. he needed two new exit signs. done. he needed four new fire extinguishers. done. et cetera. et cetera .and of course he conservatively capped the capacity. end of story. so the world continues to be an imperfect place. i again apologize to those who had a realistic expectation of getting in, waited, and were disappointed.

of course, now its a little uncomfortable for me to say anything really about the show. to those of you who got in. you know. the band made me proud. confirmed my suspicion that there is more story to be told and eventually we will make room for you all.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

fuck. through a communication fuck up i was waiting until five o'clock to post what dave posted on his blog at 10 am. oh well. life is messy. i am playing with janes addiction at the 'la cita bar' in downtown la on thursday night around 11. it is small. it is five bucks at the door. we are playing roughly 10 songs.

i agreed not to post about this all before, for a few different reasons, and it has made posting here difficult for me. rightly or wrongly, it felt false somehow to chat about stravinsky or something while i knew you were all waiting on this other news. we have been rehearsing and we have been sounding really solid.

we never know what the future has in store for us; especially with this band. but, at least right now janes addiction has a future that one would have to call somewhat promising.

we are a great band.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

wow. i let the entire month of august go by without a post. first time ive done that since i started doing this, i believe. and now i am dangerously close to letting the same thing happen to september. but my friend pete pointed out that i have been looking at this blog more formally than the culture of blogging asks for. it doesnt have to be anything but what i want to write about at any given time. we talked about this, by the way, at a great show at the troubadour. flea, frusciante, josh klinghoffer and a drummer named stella, whom flea has raved about, all jammed. i told flea that he has been a great bass player for a long time but that night i thought that he has become a master. a real master. what i saw of the opening band, warpaint, was really good too. the bass player played with sex and simplicity, two favorites when writing bass lines. anyway, i digressed. but that is what we sometimes do when blogging. we just speak our minds. so there you have it. after all this time, its not a post that will save any lives, but it is what was on the mind. im off for a bite, then downtown to fleas funraiser (not a typo). its a fundraiser for his music school; the silverlake conservatory. this year its at the train station downtown and the evenings music sounds really interesting.

Monday, July 21, 2008

belle and i are up in san luis obispo at a little music festival. im here to see/hear two pieces of music; stravinsky's rite of spring and messiaen's quartet for the end of time. heard 'the rite' on saturday night. it is still just one of the most exciting pieces of music ever written. first performed in 1913, as in 1913, and still full of all the best elements of music. it is dark, surprising, challenging and exotic. it pulses throughout with the promise of violent energy and intermittently erupts with complex stabs of giant chords and creative orchestration. it is, to me, perfect music. just fucking great to witness.

tonights piece is the "quartet for the end of time". a piece first written and performed in a nazi stalag during world war 2. for anyone interested, the fascinating story is covered far better here by alex ross of the new yorker magazine. its being performed in a church tonight. im stoked.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

another brilliant vid for those times when you begin to lose faith in humanity. stay with it. it starts slowly.

Friday, June 06, 2008

i will get it out of the way first, no new news on the janes front. i know many of you are here for that. not sure what to do about that actually. it certainly wasnt why i decided to start blogging. should i start an update section at start a separate janes update blog? stop blogging altogether? decisions for another day. anyway, that aside, i found a really cool youtube vid that some inventive person put up. it is a 'visual score' to an electronic piece by a composer named gyorgy ligeti; a current favorite of mine. it is a piece called "artikulation" written around 1958. sounds like it could be an 'autechre' song but it was written in 1958. as in FIFTY-eight. remarkable. there are a few of you here that i thought might appreciate it.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

how do i talk about it all? how do i mention speculating without creating, at the very least, some wild speculation over the coming months. am i considering something with the boys of janes addiction? yes. do i think something of a deserving quality is possible? not as convinced. not yet at least. do i know what it would look like? i have absolutely no idea. would we play a few live shows? would we try to write something? i havent even spoken yet to dave, let alone any other band members, about any of this. but what has changed is that i am considering it all. and not only that, it feels good to consider it.

the other night at the nme was good fun. it felt pretty positive all around. i enjoyed playing those old bass lines (some of which i hadnt even privately played in sixteen or seventeen years). it was a pretty complete pleasure to do on a personal level. i was left with some concerns though musically. our ability as a foursome to focus, to challenge ourselves concerns me. can we bring the urgency to the songs that made them so dynamic in the first place? i dont know. how do we best do that? i am thinking about it. if i can become convinced that we can do that then i am open to trying. but until that point, i can only speculate. it is only the very beginning of a glimmer of a start to this process. it is an idea that could die on the vine, which is precisely why it has taken me this long to post anything, but it is also an idea that is pretty pregnant with possibility. that feeling of possibility in itself is a sea change for me. we will just have to see.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

ok. so...short story is that ive decided to do a few songs with janes addiction at the nme awards show. they are honoring the legacy of janes and therefore i have decided to participate. i have kept silent this past week about it because i was concerned that if it got out that i was even considering it, that in itself would have been considered an answer and i didnt want to set this in motion until i had really decided either way. so i am sorry for the lack of response to your questions on the blog here.

i went to do dave navarros internet tv show today thinking that i might get some clarity about all this from talking to him. i had only spoken to two other folks about this up to that point. i was really conflicted and i am still unsure that this is the right answer (if there is such a thing) but i am happy to be a part of honoring janes. i am humbled that we are being put into the company of the others who have received this honor from the nme. and finally, i must admit that it has felt really good so far in both heart and mind; just sounds like a cool night. amazing.

now then, i have some basslines to figure out and rehearse.
over the years, one of the things that has always struck as me as strange is that interviewers have always seemed reticent to ask you questions about the lyrical content of songs. they have told me that musicians generally dont like it. odd to me. what do we talk about if we dont talk about the work. short answer: everything but the work. i bring this up because i have just finished a week of roaming around doing press and i cant remember anyone asking me about the content of any of my songs. and it isnt because people hadnt done the research. i was pleasantly surprised how much the interviewers were generally intelligent and well informed. i just think we as an audience have become so fascinated with celebrities themselves that we just arent as interested in their work. of course, i think alot of interviewees are also culpable for all the fluff content. im just not interested in how much fun an actor had on the set of a movie. but i will inevitably hear that in any interview. wow. now this getting rambly preachy AND pointless. occupational hazard of blogging. im off today to do dave navarros internet tv chat show.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

today its thursday. which means it must be west palm beach. a radio station called wpbz. tomorrow its chicago cleveland then home by friday night. is it just me or did they decide to populate all the new york city press outlets with really capable smart women. very cool. very different from when i began. there are ,of course, many mitigating factors. one of which might be that it was all online stuff; zoom in, mtv, vh1 radio, aol. when its online stuff it gets immediately brainier and i feel considerably more comfortable in conversation. but that was then and this is now. i must take leave. off again. caffeine, radio station, airport, rinse and repeat.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

its here. finally. the record drops today. typical of a day like today, i dont have time for a real post because i have to check out of the hotel in fifteen minutes. then its a zoom in,, etc. morning before going to providence this afternoon. also, for anyone interested in hearing a rambling and unfocused interview performance, im on wtmd this morning out of baltimore and then they will post a podcast of it. but i must go now. late, as usual. duty calls.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

again, after being stopped by the events of my life, i am restarted by the events of my life. after the last post, i have found everything i want to write next seeming trite. but this morning my hand is forced by the fact there is some music news to update. i begin a little press junket today, taxi is coming in half an hour, doing little bits of press and radio. shaking hands and kissing babies. not one of my stronger talents. but there is the word business in the phrase 'music business' and so i am off to lax. hello baltimore, nyc, providence, west palm beach, cleveland (of course), and chicago. home by friday. i go out the door today burdened by the privilege of an extraordinary life. it certainly didnt start that way. be well and thanks again for all the kind posts about bob.

Friday, March 14, 2008

i was trying to think of some way to write about the last few weeks of my life. i was thinking about how we dont do dying very well in this country; we dont actually do dying at all, really. but it all just kept feeling wrong somehow. i kept writing but i just kept not wanting to post it. the simple truth is that my friend, my mentor, a father figure to me, died. he died and it broke my heart. he showed me how to become a man. he showed me a way to behave in this world that would create a person i could respect. he is now gone. i can say i miss him right now. but i wont really miss him, really, until i hit the next dark patch in my life. the kind where you are left feeling that all your previous experience somehow doesnt apply. he wont be there to call for input. he wont be there to direct me toward a clearing. of course i will continue to carry his words with me, words of loving guidance that he has given me and instilled in me for eighteen years. and that will have to do, because he is gone. he died among seven men whose lives he transformed. we came to his rescue. we visited him unconscious and intubated in the hospital. we got him out of the hospital when he came to because he didnt want to die there. we fed him morphine while his jaundiced body slept for his last two days. we took care of a man who had taken such care of us. i was honored to watch the end of so great a life. to stand vigil. to bear witness. to care for. he was my captain.

............ Bob Timmins Sept 27, 1946 - March 5, 2008 .........

Monday, February 11, 2008

i am reading an imperfect but interesting book called the 'black swan'. i stick with it because it is based on something i believe is true about our world: that we like to tell ourselves stories about random events in our lives so that we can feel that we have the ability to control or predict those events in the future. see the stock market or long lines of people being forced to take their shoes off before getting on a plane. some of these stories do no harm and do seem to bring us some comfort. but we have to be careful of others that are more dangerous. and all of them are easy which is the most insidious part of the trap. i heard an example on 'meet the press' yesterday, i think it was there, though im not sure. somebody mentioned that there was still more sexism than racism in america. now that is a debatable point. i dont know if i believe that either way but i do know that the context in which it was said, talking about clinton vs. obama, implied something that does not seem true. obamas growing popularity does not mean that we are less racist than we are sexist. this is a good example of how easy these stories are to tell ourselves and often how neatly they immediately fit the data whilst how utterly simplistic and wrong they usually are. the black guy is more popular than the white woman therefore americans prefer blacks over women? amongst the many flaws in this thinking is the fact that in this primary election, white guys have consistently voted for hillary over obama. whenever i come up with a clever take on something that fits easily i become suspicious. the 'ease' of the fit is a good indicator that there is something wrong; something too lightly examined. ironically, it is these infectious oversimplifications that create our bigotry and sexism in the first place. life is rich and complex and almost always defies easy answers. at least that is my simple story for today and it seems to easily fit the data.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

this started out a comment in reply to some of yours but it got too long so i moved it here:

i wonder what obama can show us before becoming prez. no matter what mitt romney says, or the gop will say in the general election, there is nothing that really prepares you for the job of president. no matter what you do, ceo, mayor, governor; when you become prez you are making a huge jump from the minors to the bigs. when i saw obama on 'meet the press' some years ago i said to my wife, why cant this guy be our president. he was an obviously bright man with a nuanced take on all the problems of our country. as in nuanced, not good guys wear white hats bad guys wear black hats. he actually had some thoughtful answers. thoughtful? a politician on television?

i think that the loss in new hampshire is huge. i think it will take something special to make it past the well oiled clinton machine. coming out of iowa, it looked like we were getting caught up in a wave of naive optimism (not always a bad thing) and that is good for obama. i think going into south carolina with that mojo would have meant alot more to him than anyone because we are cynical about everything these days and cynicism makes you make safe, or 'electable' choices. and it was cynicism that made me think years ago, having been so impressed with obama on 'meet the press' (and so unimpressed with bush, gore and kerry), that we could never elect a guy like that because as a country we dont want complicated answers to our complicated problems and we are still too racist to consider electing a black man president.

Saturday, January 05, 2008