Thursday, August 9, 2012

GOING OUT!!!



I go out all the time.  More often than not, I'm out at least 5 nights a week.  There are two reasons for it. 

One reason is simple: I'm addicted to FUN.  Call it a state of perpetual adolescence if you'd like, but that's a lot of what life in the big city is about for a lot of us. 

The other reason is slightly less simple: to promote the band and support what other people have going on.  I call it "productive drinking." (There's a great enabling term for you).  The truth of the matter is that it works. In any kind of entertainment business, being out there and socializing is a key to getting to where you want to be.  A lot of people don't understand that....but then again, perhaps they don't want to be where I want to be.  God Bless.


The ironic truth about it is, when I'm promoting and socializing....I'd much rather be playing & performing.  But the promoting and socializing part is essential, I feel, to get to a position where you're playing every night. Such is the duality of the core of the Big Apple.

What's really funny is that after I've PLAYED a show & sweated my way to the inch of my life...I want
to fucking CELEBRATE with my friends who are experiencing this crazy shit with me, and live it up to a job well done....and that includes ALL of the promoting, socializing, playing, and performing.  For me, that's all part of the job!  But....you already knew that.


To extend upon my point before about "productive drinking", etc....if there isn't either something to promote or celebrate....going out is meaningless. Sure, it's great to hang out with your friends, but....having purpose in your life makes you a better friend in the first place.

This town is made of random acts of kindness....the kind that nobody tells you about.  You know, because you've been the one who did the "acting", or someone else did for you.  Those "acts" come from people who, generally speaking, are happy and enjoy life, which, again, is why most of us are here in the first place.  For me, the hard work, as well as the celebration thereof, are keys to happiness. It's really fucking important, and it is this fact that keeps me from getting too jaded.  Remind me that I said that the next time you see me acting like an asshole out there, hahahahaha.
 


The bottom line is that I still think that it's a great gig if you can get it.  You just need to maintain some sense of balance.  But that's another story.

Let's have a drink, shall we?



What the hell is that noise?!!! or The Sounds of Summer in the City

(All song clips in this entry are songs that I was listening to at the time I'm ranting about. Coincidentally, most of it came out at that time too. Thank GOD, whoever he/she is. Music marks history, but is above & beyond it at the same time. More importantly, it's a great soundtrack).

"How can you STAND the NOISE?!!!"

"I just couldn't HANDLE it.....NO!"

"WHAT the HELL is GOING ON here?!!"

I hear it all of the time, and, frankly, I suppose I do understand the sentiment....even though sometimes those quotes are about ME.

(Sorry about that).

But, as I've probably told you....I flew into town with five suitcases that literally bruised my shoulders...only to wake up on my friend's floor (where I was very happy to be -- see previous blog for THAT story....it's a good one). I remember waking up, thinking to myself, "Holy shit! I'm here, and I'm alive....and I don't even know what that means!" I was about to grow, because I had no fucking choice!



I showered & scanned the Village Voice for job, apartment, and audition ads, like so many others undoubtedly did that day (there was no Craig's List yet, and certainly nothing resembling Social Networks).

The last thing I heard before I walked out the door ...made me think....."What the FUCK is THIS annoying HORSESHIT playing OVER and OVER again?!!! Sheee-IT, Man!!! Could you SWITCH it UP at least?!!! Play something ELSE that SUCKS, perhaps, but is DIFFERENT!!!"



Yes, it was the Mr. Softee Ice Cream Truck....and yes, I was a newbee.....but holy shit, that spooked me out! 

Anyway....



I walked to the train, and heard some bird call me, "Billy Ray Cyrus", because of my leather cowboy hat that I was wearing at the time.  "Welcome to New York", I was thinking.  I was also wondering why the bird who said that didn't recognize a ROCKER when she saw one...or maybe she did, liked what she saw, & was trying to get me to give her a second look.  I had a much thinner skin then. Looking back, that was a good one!

Soon, I found my way around town, in that relative sense. If you want to know what they mean by, "Do or die," then chuck everything for the big city, like my homeboys and I did....then come talk to me, because I want to hear your take on it! Everyone's experiences and perspectives are different, and totally valid.

But the sounds on the streets, in my speakers, and in my head....never have been lost on me.  They represent a time & place...from the sound of the dude cursing & payphone & slamming the receiver down so hard that he broke the damn phone (if you see a broken payphone, you know what I mean) to the sound of the 8am subway train on my way to my first job in town (This AT THE DRIVE-IN song still sounds like the A train arriving on 44th & 8th) to....the sounds of hookers cat-calling at me on my way home from striking out at Doc Holiday's after drinking a shitloads of Pabst Blue Ribbon & Jim Beam.



I'm in a completely different place now, but these songs, when I hear them, bring me back in different ways. They can make me feel uncertain, or tired, or wistful, or irrationally determined, or melancholy, or scared, or desperate, or clueless, or whathaveyou.  It makes me think of the state I was in back then, when I really didn't know what to expect from one minute to the next.  It was an extremely exciting time, in a lot of ways.  I think that it took a lot of courage to jump head-first into the belly of the beast, as they say. But I did it in such a state of suspended animation, as if I was watching a someone else go through all of this crazy shit.....shit that I don't think is so crazy now, really. 



I mean, think about your life.....and all of the experiences you've had that you can remember.  Wouldn't your life be different if you took away ONE of them?  (I'm not referring to the irreparably shitty ones, of course. We can all do without those). You wouldn't exactly be YOU if you didn't have them all filed upstairs.

What's funny is that, NOW, when I hear the Mr Softee truck & all of it's inane noise, or when I see some half-drunk dude playing air-bongos on the sidewalk along with Salsa Music blaring from his car at 6pm on a Friday, when he presumably just got finished with work, or I hear the sirens going Nowhere North of Nowhere every day.....I don't mind so much.  It reminds me of where I am, and that I'm well on my way with succeeding at what I came here to do.  It's many years and miles away from the deafening silence of the Midwest, which I was scared to leave, and even more terrifed NOT to.

So....BRING THE NOISE!!!!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Some shit that I wrote this past Spring....and yes, I changed the name of my blog

I started work on something that I wanted to turn into a radio show this past Spring.  Of course, I lost focus & sort-of tucked it into the back of my mind.  I dusted it off today, and decided to revamp my blog with it.  Here's is my first dispatch. You can still think of it as a "Fucker's Lament" if you'd like, for it surely is!



DISPATCH #1. 4/17/12.  "So this is Spring!"

It's Spring-time in New York City, and everything feels like it's about to go batshit crackerjack. Everything goes up a notch. Even more "exclamation points" are used out in the open, in every context that you can imagine!!!!!!!

 

"If you scandalize my name, Then you scandalize yourself." (Ray Davies)

I don't think of Spring in terms of all of that "rebirth" shit. I think about it in terms of, "GET YOUR ASS IN GEAR!"  Let's call it, "positive pressure." 

It's the time when you see a lot of freaks, everywhere. It's fucking awesome, yes.  But it becomes a game of "freaks going batshit", and I often suspect that I might be playing! But everybody plays their own way, we find, and other people play by their own rules, just like you do.  They aren't all fair either.  They're a lot like life.

There's an arrogance with New York, that I sometimes think can bring out the best in some people, the worst in others, and both in most.  Such is the duality of the core of the Big Apple.
*

*I kind-of ripped that off from the
Drive-By Truckers-Three Great Alabama Icons

If you don't let your ambition overwhelm your being so far that you use yourself up...or constantly act like a dickhead...you're doing pretty well.  And remind me that I said that the next time you see me.

I feel sometimes as if I jumped off the cliff as soon as I got here, and I'm spending a whole lot of time in the air.  That's where I live. 

I hit the ground a lot, but I bounce back up, due to to many circumstances. The whole point is to stay in the air as long as you can, no matter how low you fall. Jim Carroll once wrote/sang, "It ain't cool to sink that low, Unless you're gonna make a resurrection." But let's face it, flying by the seat of your pants successfully requires a lot of good circumstances and luck. Fly away.




What's crazy about staying in when there are 12 parties going on is that you wonder what you're missing out there....yet lots of times, when you're out there, you're thinking, "Ah....THIS SHIT AGAIN?!" Sometimes you're at the 12th party of the night (morning, to many of you) and you wonder why the HOLY HELL you bothered....but who the fuck is keeping track?     


I've been out at least 5-6 nights a week for the last 5 years.  I have taken exile from the bars & clubs of NYC for 3 nights in a row.  My conclusion?  I sometimes regret going out, but I never regret staying in.

I thought so!

Such is the duality of the core of the Big Apple.

Spring, and every other season, is a lot of fun when you're confident about the future. The different seasons might each represent a reason why you go on with whatever it is that fills your life.


That confidence takes discipline, wisdom, and brain damage to maintain! There's a nagging feeling that you're either astronomically fucking brilliant, or you've lost your mind to such a nullifying degree that you're a lost cause.  There's a razor-fine line.

There's that fucking duality again.  Most people get fucked in twos, so I guess that makes sense, right?





 

I've always erred on the side of whatever the hell I want, at the end of the day. And my faith in my ambition is fueled by doing what I want, having a good time, working & playing hard, and hoping for the best.  It's been a fun ride.  But you don't necessarily want to spend your whole life in the gutter, you know?



I think it's all about being as balanced as humanly possible, between working, being creative, having fun, and keeping your head above water, at the very least....in the air tonight.  I hate Phil Collins, but he had something in that tune.  I can feel where he was coming from on that one. (But screw him anyway - I'm not posting that song).




Wake up, have fun, kick ass, or fall flat on your ass trying!