Sunday, May 30, 2004

I believe that when we say that God is on our side, or that it is gods will, that what we mean is that we feel right with something. it is something that we have fully integrated, and something that feels good to us.

Of course the Muslims who attacked America on 9/11 felt that God was on their side in that. and maybe he was. Their God. who knows? and the bush administration felt like God was on their side when they invaded the country of Iraq. And again, maybe he was. Who knows? but with all this talk of God taking sides, one can easily sit on the sidelines and wonder if God being on anyone's side at this point is just a real dangerous belief to hold in consciousness.

But still, objectively, we can feel when God is with us at some times. just this energy. At least that's what we tell ourselves. But again, with that in mind, if we are telling ourselves that in certain situations, and yet others are telling themselves that same thing when they destroying rather than creating, taking human life, rather than saving it.... just makes you think.... where is God in all this? I mean, does he/she/it have an opinion of it?

When Europe stole America from the Native Americans we told ourselves that God was on our side. Same thing when we enslaved the Africans to build this great land. Looking back most of us would agree we were wrong there. looking back now most would agree that no God of theirs would condone such actions. so is God just a pawn for us to use at our own discretion. And if not, then why doesn’t he do anything about the brutal indecencies that are performed in his name? I've said the same thing about the Nazis when they were attempting to extinguish the Jews. They honestly felt that God was on their side in that. was he? The Jews that were being murdered also felt that God was on their side. And the Americans who came in to help also felt that God was on their side in coming in to help save the Jews. Tricky stuff. just who is this God and why doesn’t he make it known which side he is on sometimes? Every now and then he could come around to remind us of what is right, rather than just making us guess all the time. I'm sure that would help out quite a bit.

Friday, May 28, 2004

About a year and a half ago a good friend of mine who is a sculptor told me of a dream she had to create giant sculptures that depicted our dreams. Other people’s dreams. we brainstormed the idea on and off for hours. Realized that these sculptures could be placed all over the country, all over the planet really. She was very taken by the rise and shine album when it was first released, especially the song Do you know who you are and Dreams. Asked if she could use the music in her documentary films, and from there we started discussing me composing music for each sculpture, in each city around the country. Different music and sounds for each. It was a beautiful vision that we shared. Interactive sculptures.

Flash forward a year. she's doing it. the vision has turned into a reality. First installation in Asheville, NC. A community designed sculpture in the heart of the town. a mammoth work many stories high depicting the dreams and visions of the town’s people. very inspiring. She sent me a documentary on the project and I was so inspired by it. the DVD opens with the song do you know who you are and ends with the song Dreams. What an honor. Check it out. A brilliant idea. I told her, “I'm just so glad and appreciative to be a part of it in any way, because I think it is just going to be huge.” Not only will you be very fulfilled as an artist but you will be very rich from this idea.

Earlier today my car runs out of gas but the fuel gauge says I have over a quarter tank. I pull into a shell and the guy tells me that they are out of gas completely. Turns out that all the shell stations got contaminated gas and that is the symptom of it. your tank is full but the gas is no good so your car won't run. I get the feeling that someone up there is trying to tell me something. the oracle asked me, “what are you still doing in Florida? You don't belong there.” “I know. I know.” I tell her... “Doing my best. I promise. Tying up all the loose ends.” My house has sold. I have a week or two to move out. and all of this while still trying to rehearse the band for the European tour and get two singles out to radio and get the new album released before we leave. Insane. And now there is talk of a documentary about me and the guys and our music and the preparation for the tour. Even more insane. Where will we find the time?

I am packing everything I own up and putting it all into storage. Live out of a suitcase for a while. will be easier that way. Less attention to outside things. just focus on the matters at hand. music, videos, writing, touring. It is a liberating feeling.   

Last screening: Orchestral rehearsal. The last of the Fellini films for me. I've seen them all now. The only problem that I have with him is that he makes the entire country look vulgar and barbaric. Forty years of film making and one would never think that the Italians had any class at all from watching his work. All of them stuffed with this kind of ubiquitous bathroom humor that is similar to what certain Hollywood filmmakers think is funny. Because I was raised in a northern Italian family, I know from experience that a fellini film, all forty years of them, with their incessant references to farts and dicks and sex et al. are not an accurate representation of the average Italian. I don't know why I feel the need to defend the people. I'm an American now. but for some reason, I just do. Out of respect for my grandparents I guess.

Saw Troy last night. Great to see the old story come to life on the big screen with Brad and the boys. The women were very beautiful. Good film. Made me want to dig into some Greek study just to check it all out and see how much is true and how much is myth.

Current Spin: downloaded a huge file of Ours and jimmy Gnecko live shows from his recent acoustic American tour. great stuff. he is the modern day Farinelli.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Another dream. Out in the ocean with jazz, hanging on this sinking boat. Trying to save someone or something. Watching my feet dangle in the water. Had this sinking feeling that any minute something awful was going to happen. Frightened with our legs dangling there, out in the middle of nowhere. I turn to jazz in a moment of silence. “What's going to happen here? Is it going to be a shark thing or some other monsters? Or is it going to be like pirates or bad people attacking us?” as if it was already written. I don't remember her answer.

Is all of this nothing but a dream? Lives already planned out? the future predestined? Can we change our destinies? Is it as simple as “pirates or sharks?” or is it as simple as “I choose neither.” I wonder.

As men we have always desperately wanted to feel as though we were the creators of our own destinies. And yet it is a concept that we have always been deathly afraid of and unable to fully integrate. We have never lived without our gods. There is a timeless philosophical argument that has filled the time of men with nothing better to do than earn honorary degrees for the ignoble task of debating the undebatable. It is known as the ‘free will versus determinism’ argument. It is what led me to abandon philosophy in college. Being predetermined that I would be born a rather philosophical thinker myself, I quickly decided that there was no need for me to pursue an education in something that I was already an expert at. Arguing the useless was a gift I afforded myself many hours of as youth.

As I grew older I soon began to realize that it was one of the weaknesses of all of us, one that on many occasions contributed to our wretched fate while we've been here. I listened as religious leaders preached the idea of God’s gift of free will to us one minute, and then contradicted themselves with the words ‘if it is God’s will’ in the next. All around us we see the proof positive that indeed we are born with this free will. But in moments of extreme victory or defeat, take your pick, we succumb again and again to the idea of determinism or destiny. It is a noble belief. And one cannot fault a man for falling to it. How many times have we fallen in love and felt that it was destiny? When we break up with that same person years or decades later, we find comfort in telling ourselves and others that ‘it was meant to be.’

Yes, it is easier that way. In times of need it can give us strength. But it is not a position of strength. It can give us comfort, but in times of great need, when it appears that all is against us, it is not comforting to believe that destiny itself is working against us. this is the time when we need most to honor this great gift of our free will. our belief in the gods has always worked to our detriment. Except of course when we have had nothing else to believe in. Men have staked entire empires and civilizations on their belief in gods and destiny. Only to lose it all. is that itself a destiny? Or simply free will gone amuck?

For as much as I cherish my free will, I have never for a moment let go of my own belief in my own destiny. That is the great mystery. For all of us. if I cross the street now I could get run over by a car. But if I stay standing here I could just easily get struck by lightening. Free will. Destiny. Will there never be an answer? If we ever do find an answer, let it be known that here, now, today, in these times, that we still hadn't a clue.

Happy birthday Tree!

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Thinking about when you're learning a foreign language and how some phrases don't make sense. It can throw you. if you try to use logic, forget about it. like in Spanish when they say “I dreamed with you last night” instead of “I dreamed about you.” or they “get off” the car. Instead of “get out of the car.” Or in Italian when they say “I have a need for such and such” instead of “I need...” this morning some lady calls me and says in English “give me a call.” I think “give me a call?” that makes no sense. But we’re used to it. so we take it for granted. Just like any other language.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Dreamed of Juliet last night/this morning. Somewhere. We were nowhere, but somewhere in the open. Outside somewhere... We were with a third person. a girlfriend of mine perhaps. We are talking about this feeling we had. ‘When we are together I feel whole,’ I say. ‘ a whole person...’ she says. ‘If only I would have known,’ she says. It is romantic but it is not sexual. Romantic in a spiritual way, in a God way. Like literature. The girlfriend character tries to take control of the situation. she is taken aback by the understanding between Juliet and I. I expect her to understand. I am sitting next to Juliet. I feel a strong sense of peace and happiness talking with her. I feel like I can trust her completely. She is at ease and content. Just being. This is the fireplace that the oracle had mentioned in her last reading. ‘Juliet is a like a fireplace. Warm, caring, strong. She is a soulmate.’ In the dream I tell her I have a present for her and her boyfriend. I have a deep understanding that no matter the strong feelings I have that my mission is to honor her and her family, what she already has. What I already have. That I am not getting in the way of that. I am in appreciation of our understanding and connection.  

I wake up. I feel so enlivened by this chance meeting in the dream. I feel grounded by it. I keep going back to reflect on the scenes from the dream, to try to capture the feeling of it; I feel strong and healthy and happy from it.

Continuing to edit The Adventures of Fishy. a few pages everyday. Revisiting the old world. Harrowing and emotional.

Jazz calls and coos me to sleep.

Little Tree coming to visit.

Tour dates continue to be added. As band members continue to come and go. Now more than ever I must believe in myself. Believe in what this is all about. the songs. And the sound. And the message. No wonder all of our heroes were drug addicts. This is not easy. The uncertainty. And the lack of stability of it. I resist the temptation to escape and breathe deep. Vancouver knows that we are about to tour for three or four months but hasn’t called anyone in the band. Pretends he was never in the band. Infinito is out of the tour, still recording a new album together, but out of the tour. When push comes to shove we have discovered that a lot of guys are scared shitless to pack everything up and spend months on the road. afraid of being gone so long, afraid of not being able to eat right, afraid of not seeing anyone they know, afraid of not having any money... and yet for some of us it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. So we continue to rehearse and hone our sound. And new guys hop aboard.


Tonight we had an absolutely brilliant rehearsal for the new album material. A hard album. Tricky and hard-edged sounding. It will challenge fans. Certain fans who love rns or swy or nic. This is a totally different sounding album. sounds like the police meets tool meets nirvana.

Later after rehearsal I receive an email from Juliet telling me that she dreamed of me last night where we were sitting having a long conversation. I was amazed. How very Richard Bach of us.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Spent all day yesterday allowing myself to grieve selling the house. my life will be lived out of a suitcase for a while. so I just kind of laid around all day, fellini movies, sleeping. Funny. Today I woke up and there is this is dead mouse or rat outside on the deck, lying on its back, hind legs straight up. I always take dead mice or rats as a good sign. Good omen. A rat is dead. That's a good thing. old things pass. New things are born. 

Me and Infinito on the phone all day today about the Europe tour and the coming American dates. back and forth. He doesn’t feel like he can wing it financially. Truth is it’s a free trip to eight countries in Europe expenses paid and we get a weekly. So its great. But still, life creeps up on you. mortgages, dogs, wives... obviously we’re all taking a hit financially to make it happen. and that's not easy. But that's rock and roll.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Brunch. Saw a woman crying in the street.

Last screening: unprecedented---the 2000 presidential. Wow. Go see this movie. Democrat or republican. We think its myth now? legend? We forget so quickly. You wouldn’t believe how many laws were broken. How many frauds were committed. In order to get bush in the white house. unbelievable. You wouldn’t believe it could happen in the united states. a lady named Katherin Harris was probably the worst of the offenders and law breakers, but there were many, all the way up the supreme court. I wonder if now... if now they regret participating in the scandal, seeing where the country is today. America is a funny place because its so big. People can get away with anything they want to here. But don't get caught in a sex scandal or you're history.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Heavy day. Torn. Depressed, but also relieved. Someone made me an offer on the house in Miami that would be ridiculous to refuse. With the economy the way it is now, everyone says take the money and run in real estate now due to a coming real estate correction. Someone wants to spend a half a million dollars on an over valued house in an over valued neighborhood in an over valued real estate market that's about to burst then let them, but don't be the one standing there holding that mortgage yourself. Not now. not in these times. so me, yes me, going to throw everything I own in storage, move into a temp apt on the ocean and go on tour. Come back and finish recording with the band and look for something in NYC. Strategy is that by then the economy will have gotten worse and prices will have started to fall in housing as interest rates continue to rise and everything else continues to decline. Economists are predicting that by November we will be knee deep in it, by January and February there will be foreclosures and sales where people will be able to snatch up real estate for pennies on the dollar compared to today's prices. So I'm going to sit on cash for a while. live on the road. And wait. All I need is a guitar and the truth. That was said once.

We are madly working on the artwork for the nothing is cohesive album. in the studio learning songs for two new albums: the new one, and another called Girls, which will be all the girls names, new songs and old ones. Me and G2 on the phone today, he still in Chile, discussing the artwork for all these albums. He suggests flower photos for NIC, but I say no man remember we want to use those for the freedom beauty truth love album. he says ‘are you still doing that one?’ ‘yes of course man. Just have to get these other ones out of the way and then we’ll do that one. maybe next year.’ ‘ Man you make a lot of albums. You never stop.’ ‘I know man. Its crazy. I'm like some mad underground film maker who just keeps pushing out these films that no body likes except his hundred or so fans...’ ‘Dude I think its more like 5 fans...’ ‘You may be right man.’ We’re laughing hysterically. The little movies.

It was that one little move in space/time. this one decision. G2 telling me ‘go back to using your own name bro. Acknowledge who you are and what you are doing...’ That was it. it empowered me like I never would have imagined.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Life is a work of art. It's filled with stories. It should be lived that
way. Purposely make the stories interesting. Purposely put yourself in
difficult situations to measure your worth as a human being. For example, I
want to go to France for several reasons. My grandfather whom I adore will
soon die. It's an inevitable reality of old age. But while everyone else in
society worries about themselves and their careers, I want to be with him
because it would challenge me in ways a career never will.

[nothing of me there. how boring. But she does have a flair for the dramatic doesn’t she...]

Monday, May 10, 2004

Early brunch with jazz and a few friends. “I would never get breast implants.” She says, “Are you crazy? You lose all sensitivity in your nipples...” “Jesus. Jazz, do you have to use that word? Its not even noon yet. You don't say nipples before noon. Please. I haven't even had coffee....”

At this French restaurant. I say thank you, sometimes gracias, because as is customary in Miami, only South Americans who speak only Spanish work at French restaurants, or Irish bars, or English pubs, etc etc... jazz corrects me, its ‘merci beaucoup.’ “Yes I know. but why go down that path? Its too early in the morning.” “What path? We’re at a French restaurant. The least you could do is say thank you in French....” “Yeah and then what? Then he starts speaking to me in French. he’ll say, ‘oh you speak French,’ and I'll say in French ‘no, only a little, I'm studying it now...’ and that will be that. so I'm still the stupid fucking tourist in my own hometown. And I'll feel like an idiot for saying merci beaucoup in the first place. I mean lets face it, as much we hate being a tourist in any country, with French I can’t remember more than twenty words. so the least I can do is not feel like tourist in my own fucking hometown... can you pass the sugar?”

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Things are crazy here in America now. everyday a little bit crazier. Like we read about in science fiction books when we were kids. Its every bit as bad as they predicted it would be. everyday we are barraged with scenes of torture and abuse of Iraqi detainees by young American soldiers in our prisons over there. and now they are beheading us on live TV in retaliation. Our financial markets are going crazy. one day up and one day down. Economists warn of a coming recession the likes of which we have never seen in America. the country remains apathetic. The media continues to talk about it all as if it is just another day in paradise. No one makes a move. No one screams about the horrors we are seeing.

Vice president Cheney goes on TV today and says that the they are just getting us back because they “hate us and everything we represent...” I feel sick to my stomach. I look at him and his apathy. What do we represent Mr. Cheney? I think. we invade another country against their will, and against the will of the entire civilized world, kill tens of thousands of their civilian population, take 40,000 prisoners and by our own estimates 90% of them are incorrectly taken hostage, abuse and torture them in their own prison... I am thinking, again, what is it that we represent at this point? What are we representing to the rest of the world.

On the phone with Infinito. He asks me if I saw the beheading. I say hell now. that's not my scene. He tells me, ‘dude I'm afraid to go to Europe with an American passport. I can only imagine what they must think of us. all this shit... and that father going on TV and saying that his son was killed because of the sins of Bush and Rumsfeld... he’s right. what are we going to do?” “I don't know bro. I just don't know.” I answer. He continues, “It takes me back to when the first bombs fell on Baghdad and how mad I was. I can’t take it anymore. It just makes me so mad. It is going to take years to erase the damage that bush has done to our country. The anti-Americanism that he is creating. Starting with his statement about the axis of evil. And its only getting worse man... I don't know why we are doing something about.” “We are bro. Were going to tour Europe and we’re going to tell the world how we feel and make some great fucking music. that's what we’re going to do.”

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Went to the symphony tonight. Ravel, Mendelssohn, and the fucking brilliant symphony number 5 by Prokofiev. I was stunned and blown away by the latter. The first two were fine. But symphonies are where its at for me now. I want to make symphonies with rock and pop and world music.

Love the movie down with love. Can’t wait to see it again.

Obsessed with black girls still.

Today I sent a letter to the democratic national committee to tell them to stop picking on president bush. It makes them seem like big babies with no agenda of their own. I said, look, a lot of us really want you to win, so please show us why you should... not why you don’t like Bush. Everyone already knows all that. What are you doing to do to make things different? And for God sakes stop saying things like ‘John Kerry, the next president of the United States.’ it makes you seem stupid and presumptive. You're not psychic. You don't know who is going to win. So please stop.’

Friday, May 07, 2004

Michael Moore finally lets the cat out of the bag about the Bush and Osama bin laden connection that many except the mainstreamers have known about since the beginning of this whole charade three years ago. this morning the news reports that bin laden has supposedly “released a tape” calling for the murder of several US officials (but no one in Bush’s administration). The news which one would expect to be devastating and huge to Americans, was given no more than ten seconds and was treated very casually. As if it wasn't that big of a deal. Why? don't know yet. no one does. What we do know is that the bin laden and the bush families have been friends for thirty years and that both of them have made millions in several joint business ventures together through the years, including the companies the Carlisle Group and Bechtel (curiously weapons manufactures?) that they are both shareholders in, the two companies ironically that along with Halliburton, are profiting the most from the invasion of Iraq. Now if that isn't tricky, I don't know what is...

We also know that the day after 9/11, the American government secretly helped all the relatives of the bin ladens leave America where they had been living so they could “be safe.” Again, tricky as all hell. Why would we be doing that if Osama had just attacked us? again, I don't know. but logic would indicate that we would have kept them all here in order to get to Osama if we really wanted to catch him... which is what for a very brief time we were told was happening... but the attention quickly turned away from capturing Osama bin laden and turned to Hussein instead. Why? We don't know. And now it doesn’t even seem like they are looking for bin laden... who knows. but it did seem strange that this alleged tape that pops up from bin laden is targeting some general and a UN member???? And not gw bush or his administration??? Again, I just don't know. there is something very very weird going on here. and it has nothing to do with what we are being told. It just doesn’t match up. nothing matches up in their stories... but the scary part of this is that the rest of the world nor the media have really been able to pinpoint what really is going on.

Like the Matrix. Every now and then we hear these little tidbits of the truth that no one speaks of. The behind the scenes. We see pictures. We see a president who seems not to believe himself when he speaks. Who stutters a lot and has twitchy eyes and who crinkles his mouth a lot when he speaks, like little kids when they are telling a lie. And of course they have told a lot of lies in the last three years. and there are a lot of people coming out all the time in books and on TV and in the newspapers who seem upset by it. but in general the media itself don't talk about it much. About the inner secrets. And the people of the country don't talk about it much. No one seems to notice the degree to which we have been and are being lied to or manipulated. Why? I don't know. Honestly. I just cannot put my finger on it. most of the time I am stunned by all of it.

Could it be as simple as we used to think back in the day? when we were younger and more naive? That America is being secretly controlled by a few very rich people? that all countries in fact are all being secretly controlled by a very small select group of wealthy individuals...  thoughts pour in. Thought about myself over the last few years. the more money we have gotten over the years, the more we ourselves have noticed that we can get whatever we want when we want it and if we can’t we just force people to give it to us anyway. I'm saying this for no other reason than to understand.... I mean, really, its right in front of our eyes. if at our small level we can almost do anything we want to as long as we have enough money... imagine what it must be like when you just have tons of money and you're controlling whole countries and the politicians that run them...

And now it comes in...

Monday, May 03, 2004

I kissed Fishy Friday. Or, rather, he kissed me. Our lips joined for about 10 seconds, maybe less. It was explosive, but wrong because neither of us is ready for anything. I don't want anything serious and he never knows what he wants. Fishy... the boy is a mystery.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

A few things. Saw the play “A Picasso” tonight. With jazz. We kissed. Ten little kisses in a row in the rain in an empty parking lot. Good times. Play was average. Understand why it is playing in Miami. Wouldn’t play anywhere else in the country. Very sophomoric. Trite, predictable. Felt as if we were watching a college student’s first attempt at writing a play. I could write this shit in my fucking sleep I am thinking as I nod off during the dull performance. French restaurant, amazing lamb chops. The best ever. The worst crème Brule ever. Returned it. Owner walks around whistling at all of his employees. And shouts across the room to everyone. Very French. Classic.

More and more lately starting to appreciate the pro-life stance. Bas I talk about it. Ran into Tucker Carlson, the annoying guy from Crossfire with the bowtie, the other day in Boston. He told me it was only a matter of time before I was a conservative. We laughed. Although I don't agree with him, I am starting to understand the whole anti-abortion thing. As he says, it is murder and there is just no two ways about it. It’s a game of hide and go seek we play. Lets pretend there's nothing living under there. We throw the cat in the bag and we tell ourselves ‘I don't see a cat. What cat?’ and then we shoot at the bag until the cat stops jumping around. ‘Seriously, I never saw a cat, did you? It was just a bag that jumped a lot.’ As long as we don't see the cat, then its o.k. Bas says, ‘I hate to break from the liberal side even for a moment, but lets be fair here, its legalized murder. By twelve weeks they have a heart beat, a brain, and even finger nails.’ ‘I know dude. It’s a tough call. I don't know what to do.’ ‘I think they should just have them unless their life is endangered, or in the case of rape or something. but in all other cases, they should have the baby. Its nine months. That's all. if they don't want the baby, they can give it up for adoption. Its not like there aren't hundreds, even thousands of parents out there ready and waiting to adopt a child.’ ‘I would have to agree with you bro. I don't think we have any choice at this point. I understand the dilemma, who wants to be told what to do with their body, but at the same time, what are we going to do? keep trying to pretend there's not a living breathing person under there? just because we can’t see them with the naked eye? Its crazy.’ ‘Yep. Its crazy.’

The cats. Standing by the open door. Cats coming in. Cats can’t decide if they want to go out. a little drunk. for a moment there, I went into their minds. A brief moment. Felt what it felt like from their perspective. A flashback to my youth. I have felt this before. when I was younger I  had this ability to feel what the cats felt. To see things from the cat perspective. The Avatar tools enable us to get back to that. to feel from different perspectives again. I forget sometimes that I have this ability.

Current screening: 81/2 by fellini. Still watching it. I watch a little every night. a few minutes and no more just before sleep. I don't want it to go away. like a fine pinot noir sitting in the glass on the table. To be savored, not devoured. this film is amazing isn't it. just amazing. this scene with him and all the women in his house and he with the whip. It is transcendent. A bold vision.

The play was not all lost time. The Picasso play did remind me. at times. that was the good part. The inspiration. To be all that I can be. to fully embrace all of me. all of my gifts and talent. To let it out. even if it is just a three minute sketch so to speak. Stop thinking of the commerciality of it. its fucking art for Gods sake. Its your fucking art. Picasso said ‘my paintings are my eyes and arms.’ I felt that. my music is my eyes and arms and ears and legs. It is my vehicle. the bastards of the industry try to squash that in us. try to force us to operate from a purely commercial viewpoint. It is a challenge everyday to ignore their money-grubbing practicality. I heard the new avril lavigne song today on the radio and it reminded me of everything I am not and everything I work hard never to be. this song will be a hit I thought. But I will never make a song like this. I will have hits on my own terms. In my own way. to have a hit is not the goal. To achieve sublime personal expression on your own terms as the artist. that is the goal. If one can somehow combine that with mass commercial appeal in a moment in time, then all the better. In one moment to have the two worlds collide. Now that would be something. a miracle. But one cannot be at the expense of the other. Think of Sheryl and her hit ‘if it makes you happy.’ I would be proud to have written that song. And that song was a hit. So it can happen. but for the most part her work has been shit ever since. so for me I have always been on the edge. Perhaps a bit too cautious for my own good. too experimental, too eager for eclecticism. But nonetheless, better than being commercial for no other reason than that as the ultimate goal.