Tuesday, June 17, 2003
Rehearsing the songs ‘come on’ and ‘somebody killed the DJ’ for the new new album tonight. Getting ready for Sunny Day to come visit. Getting ready for this trip to Europe.
Listening to the top 40 station here. one cheesy rock song after another comes on. some of them are good. but for the most part very crafted. Plastic. Artificial. The life blood so sucked out of them that you feel no humanity in them. No wonder real artists have a tough time surviving in today's music market. They come they go. they rise slowly and then poof they're gone. The formula is very much working against long term artistry right now. every now and then a real talent or some life will seep its way into the mainstream, people like coldplay or Norah Jones. Thank God. But for the most part its just plastic hype and recyclables. I had this epiphany in the car listening to the songs come on and off. So much pressure the last few years listening to everybody’s opinion about our music and how to formulate a good song, and what sounds too eclectic and not commercial enough and all this crap you hear from everyone around you in the biz. And I've just always done what I wanted no matter what.
Spent all day writing and practicing songs. Working them out. trying to find just the right ones for the new new album.
For fifteen years, I have just always made music that I like without concern for what would be commercial or what would be a hit. And a lot of my friends and especially music business associates and advisers have always advised me against it – trying to get us to slide a little bit over to the mainstream or at least try to blend in a bit but today when I was listening to this station and to all the bands coming on sounding the same, I felt this real excitement swell up with in me because we don't fit into that, and I love that. I mean I really like that. I like that we don't have that sound. And I think that if you can build a big audience over the years just doing what you do regardless of its commercial or mainstream appeal you're there. that's the goal. The goal isn't the commercial success. The goal is the success on your own terms. Doing your thing and not fitting in with the rest of the sheep. Someone like Eminem is a great example of that. he certainly didn't fit in when he first came out. Its kind of out of left field his whole style and sound really. But of course now it is a very influential and predominant style.
Last screening: Conspiracy
Kinks return to waterloo
Monday, June 16, 2003
Good times with the crazy Spaniard as she calls herself. Fun smiley carefree quick witted. Thinking on the way home about the difference between American girls and European girls. American girls are usually not as open sexually as the European girls. They are usually a lot more just lay there and run of the mill compared to the average European girl. Not all of them. I mean, we have plenty of slutty girls in America. Don't get me wrong. but I'm not talking about those kind of girls. I'm talking about the normal everyday girls that you would want to date. I think its just cause America is such a young country, there are still a lot of the old school puritan values in America, which unfortunately somehow they wrapped their greedy fingers around our sexuality along with everything else in our lives. So a lot of times it just seems like the American girls are just kind of held back and/or afraid. You know we grow up in this society where sex is such a big no-no as children and teenagers---they make it out to be the worst of all possible sins. A girl gets pregnant without being married and its looked at in America as almost more taboo than someone killing someone. She's like the worst of all sinners and the killer becomes a TV star. You see this guy Scott Peterson on TV everyday. I don't know anything about this guy or his wife. All I know is he is on trial. But the media is trying desperately to make us know everything about these people. they act like tis news. when there is real news going on around us all the time. the mainstream media are the same as the little snot nosed two faced bitches in high school who would talk bad about everyone behind their back, spreading gossip about anyone they could and never offering anything positive to most conversations. When they said something nice to you or about anyone you always got kind of surprised. These people—these media people and the audience they serve are sick and twisted in some way. it is the same mentality that brings us things like Jerry Springer. So no wonder.
Sunday, June 15, 2003
Cleo and I decide that we cannot work together anymore. One of us has to go. we've been broken up for more than two years now and we've never had a chance to be apart for more than a week or two. We've never had that chance to separate and get space. it has in all accounts been insane. So now all of a sudden it became something we had to do.
Drove around South beach for hours. Aimlessly.
Decided I will go to Europe for a while and wait for the new album to come out. First London then Amsterdam then Madrid, end up in Italy at the Davinci School for Italian studies for a few weeks. Visit all the towns my family came from. Drink espressos and drive around on a scooter. Write some good songs. Come home and maybe then finally the new album will be out. Who knows.
You know I friend to me if you doubt that wait. Never try to pass a car when you are not sure.
You received it already?
coming now. it is.
I will repeat to sentence again. I friend told me if you have a doubt, wait.
i know. but i have to move on. this is not healthy for me anymore.
i need to move on in my life. take a jump off the cliff and dive in.
Yes but only if you are supported but very good primaries. Maybe you are handling your secondaries right now!
yes i need to handle them i guess! hey who is this song?
it is camel
who is camel?
never heard of them
i hate this.
i want to get rid of it. you know?
why do some people have no problem being alone/?
and others really need people?
Current Spin: Radiohead, Kid A
Saturday, June 14, 2003
In the studio all night trying to record drums for Bored.
Tried a lot of different electronic sounds. Couldn’t find anything that worked. Although Vancouver recorded amazing guitar tracks. Layers and layers. Its either totally brilliant or complete cheese. I don't know yet.
Verena wants to come visit. She asks me why I am acting a little bit hesitant. I tell her, ‘can you not tell that I am a little confused right now when it comes to girls and relationships? I don't even know why you would want to come. I think its crazy. I'm stuck somewhere between wanting to be James Bond and shag every girl I meet and Father knows best and settle down. And you you're looking for Father knows best. For God sakes, you’re June Cleaver! You don't want to do it with James Bond.” “sorry but you are definitely not James Bond. And I'm not June cleaver. You don't even know me! and who says we’re going to do it?!” “Well you think you're going to come hang out with James Bond for three days and we’re not going to do it?! Its an insane game I'm in right now. Its totally crazy. I’m having some kind of an identity crisis. Trust me you don't want to play this game. Not until I can figure out what the rules are.” She’s coming anyway.
The thing is that she is a great friend. I love her. I tell her, “This sucks. I can’t believe this. I am going to lose another really good friendship if you come.” “Why do you say that you are going to lose our friendship?” “Because I know. I have been through this a lot in the last two years. I juset cant get this dating girls thing right. it would be different if you weren't hot. But you are. So I'm going to be chasing you around trying to do you. And you're going to be what? Telling me to stop. And why? Cause we aren't boyfriend and girlfriend so eventually I'm going to wear out and give in and be boyfriend and girlfriend just so I can make love to you and then what if that doesn’t last forever? And then wham! you hate me.” “Well what if it does last” she demands. “Well that's a whole different story. But if it doesn’t then we’re fucked. You hate me. And we lose a great friendship.” “Well I'm not having sex with anyone unless we are boyfriend and girlfriend....” she says. And then, “...or unless I am not attracted to them.” I'm like, “what?!” did you just hear what you said?!” and you wonder why guys think girls are crazy.
Another one bites the dust. Carmen is getting married. She is getting married in the rainforest in Venezuela—her body covered in henna, pretty much the same time that La Princesa is getting married in Sweden. Very moving and fun to sit and talk with her about this.
So were talking at my desk and I'm telling her yea I don't know what I'm going to do now blah blah I think I'm going to go to Italy for while go to school learn Italian drink espressos and ride around in a scooter you know… she laughs. I don't know. depressed I don’t know if I'll ever find a girl I can stay with forever.,… the irony not lost on her since she is an ex-girlfriend—she laughs--- she says that you can stay with forever, forever is a long time you know? I say yes so why are you doing it? You think it's going to be forever? she's says I don't know, I hope it will be but I don’t know. Then why are you going to get married and say that word forever. she says because., I know I will love him forever. I'll always love him. I'm already in love with him. when you love someone you can’t take love back. you just wish them dead sometimes but you don't stop loving them.
Anyways why do we think about forever when we meet someone? Why? you don't? No. I just go with it. Yea. That's cool.
Current spin: Interpol, turn on the bright lights.
Friday, June 13, 2003
I get a call from Madelynne. She says, “God Fishy why do you talk about everything on there. I read your last week’s diaries over the weekend and I kind of felt sorry for you. You are obsessing on this whole relationship thing too much. You need to let it go.” I'm thinking ‘well at least I'm not the only one feeling sorry for me.’ Imagine being me. Infinito drunkenly mumbles something about me trying too hard in search of the perfect woman at a party one night. “Dude you're my brother. How many times have you been to my fucking house man huh? You gotta just relax and stop looking for the perfect girl. You're my brother man.” I freak out on the way home. What am I doing? Get rid of the diaries. this is crazy. I gotta go back to the novel idea.
I email G2 and tell him we’re taking the diaries down. They are too personal. And maybe that's not a bad thing except for the fact that maybe I'm too crazy and I'm the only who doesn’t know it. I don't know. its too much man. but lately... “They have to come down. We’ll throw them back up later in the form of an ebook.” “No” he suggests. “They are the most popular destination on your site now. Thousands of people read them. I read what you write about, your struggle with relationships and sometimes its like I am reading my own thoughts. You are a sick bastard but it is doing something good in a weird way for people. You should not take them down. I will not allow it.”
Its been a year since the transcendence diaries experiment. May 5th or something of 2002. It was just an idea. A way to kill time and let out creative juice while we worked on a new album. I was writing the diaries everyday since I was sixteen anyway. So what did it matter if I posted them on line. I have something like three thousand pages of typed diaries. Its insane. It could be fun to post some. Little did I know. Vancouver says Fishy’s diaries are “painfully too honest.” Yea I know that. I'm the one who has to walk around as Fishy. I know. But I receive a lot of very nice emails from people about the diaries. About my willingness to openly talk about such personal stuff that is so lodged in our hearts and minds, that maybe only a crazy person would vent it out in public, but somehow it seems to help people when they read other people going through similar things. It makes things seem “alright.” Cause we really are all of us dealing with a lot of serious and personal things in our lives. I remember Oprah talking about her weight problems, and I remember reading Elton John talk about his good bye letter he had to write to cocaine when he decided to quit and how hard that was he was just sobbing, and that interview is what really helped me get off drugs myself. Just knowing that someone else could relate to what I was feeling. And I love that. And every now and then I awaken to find emails with subject lines such as ‘Fishy you are a fucking idiot’ about my political views. I'm cool with all of it. I know its part of it. Not every one is a tree hugging, bleeding heart liberal as I have been called by several nameless faceless readers. People are going to disagree with you. Fine.
So for now I'm taking the diaries online day by day. If we pull the plug we pull the plug. But if we do stay on, I'm going to write more honestly and openly---and not keep two diaries which is what I have been doing the last year. And for God sakes if it makes you freak out—like this other singer who saw me in a club the other night who said he “now knows way too much” then just stop reading. Hit the X in the upper right hand corner and jet. Its cool. No one will know.
Thursday, June 12, 2003
Went out with this girl last night. Took her home very late. Went in because I had a sore throat and she offered me some Listerine. She said it will take a sore throat away instantly. I went in. We went to her kitchen. And there we proceeded to swig but not swallow a few glasses of Listerine in the dark in her kitchen. She was right, my throat did feel better. I went up to her and said now that we have such fresh breath we should start making out. Cheesy I know. But it worked. She says, you think so? And then we proceeded to make this mad passionate love—can you call it that?—on her kitchen counter. She had this counter island in the middle of the kitchen. It was awesome. I'll spare the details. I warned her about the diaries afterward, I mean she knew about them, but I kind of checked with her. She said, “I read your diaries. I enjoy them. You talk about other experiences. Why should this be any different? You are welcome to say whatever you want about ‘the Listerine girl,’ just leave me out of it.” O.K. fine. I wont mention your real name.
Current Spin: Caetano Veloso, federico y giulietta—Caetano sings in Italian about fellini.
Saturday, June 07, 2003
In the studio, attempting to record the song bored, from the acoustic in New York album. Poplife.
The perfect facial mask=equal parts Brag apple cider vinegar and Indian healing Aztec clay. Careful with this one your first time. It can be a stinger.
Friday, June 06, 2003
Now we have added the song Caetano and a Vancouver track called Andrea’s fault to the new new album. I spent all night last night sitting around listening to cassette tapes and flipping through notebooks from the last two years of songs trying to decide what songs to record next. Don't want to ruin a good thing by choosing the wrong songs.
I got pulled over last night by the cops. I was flying down the highway with this song we just tracked Caetano blasting—I was trying to see how long I could drive with my hands held up above my head flailing in the wind with this song blasting. This cop pulls me over—‘do you know how fast you were driving just now?” ‘Uh no. ‘Well you passed me going over thirty miles an hour over the speed limit.” “Really? Wow.” “Were you aware that you didn't have your hands on the wheel of the vehicle?” ‘Yea, I know. I was just testing the alignment for a second.” He gave me a “smaller ticket” he claims than he could have. But this song was just killing me. it made me want to drive fast and scream for joy. There are these cello parts in it that are so good. Vancouver and Bloopy are both geniuses. It is an honor to be in a band with them.
Watching the wilco documentary I'm trying to break you heart. This is an amazing story whether you are a fan or not of this band. Whereby the band, the artists, lose their “contract” with the label right after making the most ambitious album of their career. But it comes off more like the artists dropped the label. They just realized how little the label was actually doing for them versus what they could for themselves and contrasting that with their own value. Got picked up by a different label (owned by the same parent corporation ironically) and went on to a have a huge “hit” with it. I think more and more this is going to happen in the art world, with music books and film. Real art is going to prevail in spite of these nameless, faceless, unwilling to take responsibility or take a stand, large multi-national corps that run the entertainment world—they are doing their best to ruin art for the sake of money, but somehow art is still surviving in its own way—thriving really. It happens in the coolest and most coincidental ways. MTV and clear channel corporate radio will always be full of shit—that’s their business—to pump out shit. [I typed in the words corporate and radio into google search engine and its just millions of pages and sites talking about how it sucks and what to do about it by just regular people venting on their own sites. Here is the link; http://www.google.com/search?q=corporate%20radio . There is this huge backlash going on worldwide against this push towards corporate crap taking over our lives. People always ask me how do you find the good stuff? And I guess you just keep your ears and eyes open for it. Because the truth is that in today's America the good stuff isn't on the surface anymore. Maybe it never was. I’m not that old enough to have enough hindsight to know really. Sometimes the good stuff slips through the cracks regardless such as the case was with the Norah Jones album or with Rufus getting in the door.
But I still feel like I'm missing something here with all of this. Me and everyone else who rambles and rants about this stuff. Being an art snob. Cause really, I mean, in the end, who and how can you really judge what is the crap and what is the art. I mean, how do you know? who is to say that Radiohead is more art than Britney’s last album? or Nelly’s? its easy to sit and rattle the shit off like its so black and white. But who is to say. All I know for me personally is that I can only watch MTV for a few seconds literally at a time because when I turn it on it just seems like a very insulting and pre-school crap-fest. And the same goes for any radio stations owned by clear channel which are the majority in America now. but when I turn on college radio or national public radio or satellite radio you hear a lot of variety of some pretty interesting stuff. and the only stations playing us are the college or npr or the satellite stations so I guess that's a good way to sum it up if you want to be fair, which is what I am trying to be with it. i don't want to be one of those people that sits in some ivory tower and says that artists like Nelly pink sisquo and jlo all suck and Radiohead u2 and white stripes are cool. Cause in the end that's just bullshit. Its all just having fun with arts and crafts basically and one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Thursday, June 05, 2003
This morning I woke up and the first thought that came in that I noticed when I was stumbling to the bathroom was that I was truly happy about my music. I had spent the better part of all night tossing and turning because I was so psyched about this new album we are making. No pressures just getting together making music that we like. I realized that for the last fifteen years—has it been that long?!---since I have been making music semi-professionally that success to me had always been about making a lot of money and being famous for making music and then in the last year or two something had changed—really in the last six months more like it; all of a sudden I was realizing more and more that I was experiencing real genuine happiness from just being me making my music, just living my art, whether it be the music or the writing or the photo shoots or whatever. But that I have just been on this high like you read about, a kind of enlightenment or bliss inside of me just because I am peaking with my art. and you know this is regardless of the fact that I am still totally broke and not only do we not make any money from it but actually are still spending every free cent we make from other things to fund it. but that it somehow feels worth it.
I'm not saying that we don't want to make success with it, cause I think we do. we've been working so hard at it for so long. The piano man works as a real piano man almost seven nights a week straight to make his living. Bars clubs parties weddings. And he still finds a way to play with us and do little tours and make albums. Its fucking crazy. we would all love for him to be able to stop doing that and to just do this full time. each of us with our little things on the side to try to make ends meet. I think Father Bloopy is a gigolo on the side—he makes good money. G2, our Internet and graphics guru, who is literally like a member of our band has these depression break-downs every few weeks about our lack of financial success or the lack of actual “fans or customers” we have. and I understand his frustration because we all work so hard at it, but I tell him hey man don't sweat about the fans and money we don't have, lets celebrate the fans and money that we do have. ‘the bad news is that we only sold fifty Cds last month? Yes but the good news is that we sold fifty CDs last month.” So maybe I'm a madman and everyone knows it but me. But I am, finally, and gratefully, a happy madman.
I can relate to how G2 feels. Cause over the last fifteen years I used to feel that way. I couldn’t let myself enjoy the music making experience because it was all so tied to the idea of success being about fame and money. But now, I don't know, I just feel so happy to be in the flow of creating great art—like where there's a will there's a way—you know you're going to do it no matter what—and all of a sudden all the other bullshit stops mattering. [this is kind of gross but quite telling but it reminds me of the whole dental thing. Dentistry is not an inexpensive investment for anyone. And most musicians or artists don't have insurance or anything. So the dentist gives the artist an estimate for all this dental work he needs and it comes to like 10 or 20 thousand dollars to get it all done, but he is also trying to create his next album or film or whatever and the budget for that comes in at just under fifty thousand if he’s lucky, so of course the teeth are the first thing to go.] I guess I had/have been so caught up inside of this lifestyle for so long that I was never able to view it from the outside until recently. I just always WAS IT. and so I just always felt sorry for myself that I had to struggle and live that kind of struggling lifestyle. But now I look at it and I feel a kind of amazement and an honor to be me. Like ‘wow, I've been doing THAT for the last fifteen years??!!! And didn't even know it??!!” well I guess I am kind of lucky to wake up one day and realize that. It was like at that show when I told God ‘hey I'm just going to quit’ in my mind, and he said, ‘great go ahead. No problem. You don't have to do this.’ and all of a sudden I realized ‘I don't have to do this?’ That I AM CHOOSING TO DO THIS. Wow. O.k. now I understand. I am choosing to do this.
03:26 am. Fern here. I've been working 3 hours straight in the studio on "Caetano".
An album closer or opener if I ever heard one. Tracked cellos earlier today. Got so into it I broke my bow. Finished the session after finding my violin bow. Tracked guitar after midnight. Threw my amp in the bathroom and let the parts fly out. I had a rough day. Decided i had to vent. Caetano is one of those songs that sound larger than life even with just Ed on acoustic and vocal. The parts I crafted does justice to the song I hope. It passes the chills test. The poet did some amazing drumming on this one melding samba and alternative with grace. Father Bloopy laid down an amazing bass line . Cant wait to hear what piano man can do on the track. If you listen closely you can hear Transcendence grow up. I'm so proud of this band right now.
Last Movie: BJ Experience: The True Untold Story
Current Spin: Gino Vannelli- The Gist of the Gemini , Devadip Carlos Santana- Oneness: Silver Dreams/ Golden Reality
Current Spin: Gino Vannelli- The Gist of the Gemini , Devadip Carlos Santana- Oneness: Silver Dreams/ Golden Reality
Sunday, June 01, 2003
So its June already. Wow. Great brunch today. Improv comedy troupe last night, and then a few clubs in the grove.
When i think of the Little Tree and her marriage and how much we love each other sometimes, I mean we go in and out of it for obvious reasons, and others before her, it helps me understand why when I think of marriage it just feels like a trap. I'm not against monogamy or anything-my heart longs to meet the woman of my dreams cause I've had both now and I would say that the relationship experience is way better than the hanging out with lots of women experience. And if you find someone that you love that much that you just really want it to last forever God that would just be awesome. I think that's why people celebrate so much when their friends get married. Its kind of like a miracle when someone tells you “I think I found the one.”
But I just think that what I notice a lot is that people once they hit that five to ten year point then all of a sudden they just really want out but then they feel trapped like they have to stay in. Not all the time. Ducky and mark, Beaver, slim and sera, they are all still together and seem really happy, so I guess its just you know a certain percentage. Statistics show that its about half that end in divorce, and that's what I've kind of noticed with my friends so far. more actually. about a third of them seem happy that they are still together, and about two thirds are already divorced or on their way, or just trying to grin and bear a marriage that they really aren't happy in any more. So I guess my point is, looking back and looking forward, for me personally, my view again, is just why not tear it all down and kind of reinvent the whole concept now. kind of turn it into the 21st century a little now that we have all this new information. Start marrying in five year increments. I think that's more realistic. I promise to love honor cherish you for the next five years with an option to renew for another five years if we’re both still happy and fulfilled as people blah blah blah.
The other day G2 tells me that he is in love with a married woman and what should he do. I told him he had to be a man and just say no. and of course in a way that just sucks. Who wants to be in that position? A lot of times men or women will tell you that they aren't happy in their marriage to try to get you to hang out or fool around with them, but because of the kids or whatever they have to stay married, but only an idiot would fall for that. That’s like a bad made for TV movie. And that's my point. If we had it set up right in the first place, that kind of scenario wouldn’t be so prevalent among us, but unfortunately it is. And that's because we just have this whole “married forever thing” totally wrong right now. people make it out to be some kind of a taboo or major faux paz if they get divorced. Maybe we should change the terms of the whole thing and then their wouldn’t so much divorce. I don't know. its funny though, cause as I write this I still find myself completely obsessed with finding this ideal I have in my mind of the “the woman I am going to marry.” Funny.
Last Movie: the American president series.
Current Spin: Rage against the machine, battle of Los Angeles.