Tuesday, August 27, 2002

It's been three days since la Princesa and I broke up. Three long days. Confused. Dazed. It wasn't like this huge explosion or anything. Just this knowing that we aren't going to make as good of lovers as we did friends. Normally you just ride these things out anyway; till their fateful angry climactic conclusion. You don't just break up right in the beginning. But man I looked at her and she was so upset and so beautiful and innocent and pure and I loved her so much and this voice in my head just said man you gotta let her go. You can’t just be with her because you love her. You have to be a man and do what's right. And so three days I have thought of nothing but her. But I won't call or email. She's already told me not to. And she won't. I would love to talk with her and share with her and try to absorb some of that energy at least of the friendship that we developed, but this is best right now. We go so close so fast because of this chemistry that we have.

Monday, August 26, 2002

We had practice tonight and then we went to see Nil Lara perform at The Road. Nil. So brilliant but so poor and unknown. Britney Spears. So retched and yet so rich and well known. Is there a secret formula to obtaining great success with the lowest common crap? Or is it just the law of the land? Are we destined for the bottom of the barrel when we are at the top of our game here? Is there a universal imperative at play that demands mediocrity rules the roost here on earth?

Nil Lara. Mathew Sabatella. Diane Ward. Zach Zischin. Jim Camacho. Omine Eager. Rene Alverez. Arlan Feiles. Derek Cintron. And of course Rhett, no last name necessary. Good lyrics, great voice, awesome delivery. No one knows these names around the world. And yet they are all great singer songwriters putting out brilliant albums year after year. And these are just the best, the super-heroes. A notch or two below them are tens of others who are almost equally as gifted and entertaining. But you see, they are from Miami, the city left behind. The lost city. The city with no tomorrow for rock and roll.

Sunday, August 25, 2002

I think the reason why we get so excited when something really good gets popular with the masses is because most of the time the masses only enjoy crap. Think Vin Diesel or most rap or alternaschlock. So when a U2 or a Woody Allen or a Robert Redford gets famous with the general public we go crazy because it's such a rare occurrence when the sophisticated and selective tastes of the few agree with those of the tasteless masses. 

Last Movie: Fight Club, again. Fucking classic.
Current Spin: Toog, Easy Toog for beginners. 

Saturday, August 24, 2002

In the studio all day today. Working on lead vocal tracks. Six songs almost completed. Just need sweetening. On Monday we start pre-production on the six more that will make the new CD. I played the guys a lot of new and old songs before these last six were chosen. It was interesting to watch how the process works, choosing the songs for the record. I made a list of about forty or so songs I wanted to put on the album. The first six were easy to choose. We just went for the songs that we were dying to lay down. But trying to narrow it down from there was getting to be a struggle. So every night I would sit in the studio by myself and just play a bunch of tunes, new and old, some of them ten or more years old, just to hear them again, see if the sparks were still flying, trying to feel which ones meant the most to me. I had it down to about ten to twelve. I would play them for the guys and sometimes when I was done singing them they would just stand there staring off into space or reading like I didn't even play a song, and then other times they just flat out refused to consider other ones. And then I would play one and as I was playing it they would start to play along and then we would play it again and then again and we all would kind of agree, ‘O.K. that one can stay in.’

The process feels very much like sacrificing babies. You kill three to save one. You just keep telling yourself, ‘I'll live long enough to record them, don't worry. It’ll happen.’ So many songs and just so little time and money to get to all of them. That is the worst part about it. It's not the lack of money or fame or the struggle. It's not the old clothes or the beat up car that barely drives or the missing teeth, although none of those things are very much fun and certainly add to the general malaise that is being a struggling musician. But the evil, the real killer, is the constant nagging thought that you may never get to record the majority of your life’s work. That's where the pain comes in. That's the pills and the booze and the bad attitude and the chip on your shoulder… can you imagine writing non-stop all your life, every waking hour when you aren’t working at something else is spent writing songs, twenty to fifty songs a year, maybe more, as most songwriters do, and only being able to record a handful of them in your lifetime. It is the fucking horror. Only hearing a small minority make it to the finished state you hear in your mind. That's the fucking curse.

Friday, August 23, 2002

We went and saw Zach Zischin perform tonight at the wall flower gallery in downtown Miami. The guys from DC3 were backing him up. The sound was amazing in there. Zach was so good. I spent half the show moved and inspired and the other half depressed out of my mind that he isn't yet famous and for that matter the rest of us aren't yet either. I swear to God he was playing for ten people. And he was putting on a world class concert. Crystal clear. Gorgeous pop craftsmanship. So me and la Princesa

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

This last year I have written the best songs of my life. I know I always say that. I think I would be worried if I didn't always think that. It depends on what mission I'm on at the time. Back in 89' to 93' I felt that way. Our mission was to write the trippiest, deepest, most intellectual and spiritual songs we could. It was always a contest between the toad and I, and the other guys around. That whole deep trippy sound.

And then again in 95' and 96', the mission was to write the most majestic, long-lush orchestral, open-tuned magnum opuses I could. And then in 98' and 99' it was all about planet music and how many languages I could write in and how many different types of styles I could fuse into one song or one album. You just get on a roll and you ride it. I wrote maybe thirty or forty songs in the last year. Not a lot. But a good number of them were classics, you know, meaning I really dig them still. They're holding up. "Keep Moving On," "Sleep with You," "The Ambassador," "Where is My Love," "Beautiful One."