So, finally an update.
Here I am back in Europa, where the seasons have changed during my absence. Grey skies are the new blue skies. And I’m going to bitch about it until spring.
San Francisco…. Well what can I say? First I can say to anyone who was at my show, that the film that I projected behind me while playing wasn’t meant to be ten minutes of colour followed by forty five minutes of darkness.. no, the projector failed.. It did flash on a few monochrome images from time to time but essentially it was…. not working…off…blank…devoid of light, leaving me in darkness and every so slightly annoyed. OK,I know that there are bigger problems in the world than some film not working but there is a beautifully large void between zen robin and totally fucking frustrated because the film didn’t work robin and this is where it’s getting shared in order to take all of it’s power away and, more importantly, bring me back to a point where I don’t want to throw up when I think about it….. When one performs, one would like it to be as good as one knows one can be. You’re all with me on that, right? . I mean you don’t want the whole thing to suck, right? .. Well, all I can say is endured the time on stage, even actually enjoyed a few moments of it, so there is progress after all.. (Can I just say it’s difficult to type this lying down on a psychiatrists couch)…
me @ mezzanine, san francisco
it’s interesting to note the absence of colour from both the screen and my face…
The Real Deal
The real deal, however, was that I had a great time in San Francisco. My time was filled with lovely experiences and moments with old friends and new. I would like to share that, although I had a largely negative feeling about my part of the show, I had a really positive vibe about the other artists who were playing, Zoe Keating and Halou. I hope they didn’t find me rude by falling asleep during their soundcheck….. Maybe my snoring gently away in the background could have been off-putting, I know that it is for me when some random audience member may drift off during my set….Sods law prevailed and they had lovely visuals, the projector was still working, but a really bad sound problem, but it was so obvious a problem that most folks there understood, empathised and enjoyed their performances, performances which couldn’t have been easy under the circumstances…
The New Experience…
Here’s the best bit… I spent some time in the studio in SF. This was such a fucking special experience for me. Why? Read a few previous posts and it will become apparent that I have been creating in a vacuum for some time. Let’s just say I continue to have a few control issues.. Anyway. through some strange forces of the universe, I found myself entering a recording studio to lay down a couple of ‘live tracks’ i.e. play a couple of things like I would do in a concert… But after entering the building, meeting my host, Tony, who’s fine establishment it is, Count, who I suspect to be the dark force moving and shaking things which rattle in my life, and who’s back I would get to know well, as I would later watch it while he fucked around on pro-tools trying to make something wonderful from what I gave him, I entered the studio and got a warm and wet feeling which I’m sure many boy gear sluts would have entering the same room… My guess is that Tony and Count are in a permanent state of stickiness, but I don’t want to go there. In short, I really enjoyed the session, because, well, they’re just damned talented people and most agreeable as well (it’s not always a given that talented people are agreeable). I found myself having lots of confidence in the session and was relieved that there was a great understanding, musically and technically between us. I found myself, gulp, letting go and letting them do their stuff. (I can assure any of my friends reading this I am not on drugs).. It seemed to open up a new realm of possibilities, a world where I could be the artist, and do it well, while working with others who do their shit well. OK, wait a minute, I’ve worked with good people before in my life, but not for a long, long time. I’ve been doing everything myself like a total freak, partly out of necessity, mind, as I have no one else to work with here, but basically because I love all the aspects of recording and writing and it has seemed so rewarding to do it all myself. (I’ll talk at another time about the dichotomy of having a little humility co-existing in my self with an ego the size of Belgium).
So… I had a great time with you both, Tony and Count. Thank you…
(oh and I did get the coffee, thanks K)
count & me
me & guitar
@ sfsoundworks, san francisco, ca
This whole affair was brought to you as part of ‘the plan’..
I speak to you tonight, but for the grace of the US Homeland Security Officers, Kevin and his trainee, I think, Joanne (?) I may have fucked up with her name here, but as she was so intelligent, pretty, and didn’t award the attention of terrorists, or worse, even, her employers, I’ll just say that I found her most agreeable, and if in the dire hour of need, if someone found it necessary to stick their hand up my ass to search for dynamite, in the name of freedom, Old Glory, or the ability to buy cheap gas and discount Scandinavian furniture, I, for one, would put her name forward….if I could remember it……..
Kevin was most charming as well but, well, you know, didn’t have the same appeal in the rubber glove department…
Anyway considering I was transporting lots of musical equipment, especially after admitting, during a sincere grilling, on Kevin’s part, that I was, indeed, part of the Thompson Twins (a fact that he seemed rather intent on) during the 80’s, I found myself thankfully relieved to be here in the US again, free to spend my money and bolster you flagging economy….
I am gracious.
It cost me 2CDs.
If I were Madonna, I could have shipped Plutonium.
I’m sure that last line could get me deported.
Which brings me to…
Reasons to be Deported from the USA…..
There may be bad people in the US…. although, seeing them as I do, as individuals, I’m not convinced at any level, at all..(even though the the rest of the world thinks that you have become imperialist, racist assholes and a shame and embarrassment to the founding fathers – btw, read the declaration of independence and all the amendments before flaming me)….It may just be a question of the most exciting country, on earth, who has the most exciting history of any country …… ever (read your history books)……coming to question with it’s own existence based it’s dependence on immigrants which are, of course, the foundation of it’s entity. That, the dichotomy of Texas, the story of Liberia, and why all women of a certain age in the Midwest wear those pedal pusher things, the same women that have provoked within me the feeling that I want suffocate them in a candy floss machine in some random mall…..
It may be a fuck up regime… er, the word administration seems more acceptable… Come to think of it, I never heard of the Saddam Hussein administration or the Kim Il Su administration. Of course I may not get my news from the fox network or any other government sponsored affiliate….. I’m strictly Playhouse Disney, which I find a little more serious than Fox…
Anyway, we’re all fucked and will die….. trust me…..
I’m equally appalled at the price of a cup of coffee here.
OK, I know, I could buy that watery brown stuff they sell at Starbucks, but I refuse on three points…
one, the US government is meant to encourage overseas spending, er well any spending….. thus helping your failing economy…My need for caffeine could make up for General Motors building cars in Iraq or Victoria’s Secret constructing underwear for English girls ..
two, Starbucks sucks in France. Why pay five bucks for a double espresso, when next door in the ‘cafe de la rude waiter’ it cost’s one fifty…..
three, well, all I wanted was a cup of coffee, not a mile long menu of sugary, milky coffee flavoured drinks.. People kill for less.
OK, I know that’s a big job but, with the the resources available, given the choice to build a hummer, or even make large underwear for English girls which is, being fair, probably no less of a job to than to make a hummer, why is it so much more of a challenge to feed those that will never get the chance to be as fat as an English girl or even own a hummer?…….just a thought…
And, OK after re-reading before post in this, I agree, the last part was a little Bill Hicks, but hey, the fucker is still dead, and someone has to carry the message….but it’s most of all just a bunch of passing thoughts one only can conclude from reading the same in-flight magazine for the last 24 hours..
Life is too short. No, time goes too quickly. No, time goes too quickly when I have to leave for the US in a couple of days and I keep fucking up my edit of Lumiere that I’m doing for the show in San Francisco. Of course, and every time I make a little mistake [read big mistake] I have to re-render the whole thing which takes six or seven hours. It’s a little frustrating but there is no one else at fault, just me.. and, come to think of it, it’s all good as I learn from my mistakes.. If only all aspects of my life could be like that!!
I am looking forward to my trip to San Francisco, as I really like it there and know some very lovely people. I’m going to go into a studio there and record an exclusive EP for iTunes, which may be fun, as I haven’t been in a recording studio for a long time, well you know, a proper one where all the equipment actually works and there is someone there to bring you coffee…..
I’ve been having fun preparing a few new things to play for this concert, some things so new that I’ve not recorded them yet, sort of post Continental and something is so old I was in my twenties and had rather big hair when I wrote it..
Talking of Continental, I still haven’t played it to anyone yet.. Truth is, I haven’t seen anyone since my last post, with the exception of the man from France Telecom who came to fix my dsl, or at least came to shrug a lot, and say things like ‘ce ne pas de probleme de France Telecom monsieur, ce le probleme de votre isp’… the fact that France Telecom is my isp as well didn’t seem to make much difference to him and he left after a while, without resolving my dsl problem, nor, indeed, listening to my album. So now I have a RDSL line, a new protocol which I appear to be beta testing, the R standing for Random…… I can connect most afternoons for a little while, but hardly ever in the evenings. All my neighbours must come home after their days work to download a huge amount of porn, thus stopping me from arranging all the things for my concerts/records/life.. etc… (you wouldn’t imagine from looking at them in the boulangerie that they’re into deviant porn and all but they must be, otherwise I’d be able to send my email and do this journal….)
What else? Nothing really, I’ve been in here since 9am, it’s now midnight… I’ve played lots of music, programmed lots of control changes and program changes so I don’t have to worry about pressing the wrong pedal during the show.. – actually I do worry more that I can’t actually read the LCD displays anymore, not without having my face about 12 inches away from them and especially in the dark.
I’m making provisions to deal with the eventuality of me leaving the DVD of Lumiere locked in my car at Charles De Gaulle again instead of taking it to the concert with me, as I did for my concert in Budapest a couple of months ago.. What was I saying earlier about learning from my mistakes? …. Repeatedly making the same mistake expecting a different result…. sounds familiar to me..
What Ever… I’m struggling to find anything else I want to share, everything is just moving on, getting there, getting closer, at least…
So… I have some concerts coming up, get your pen and paper out…
October 17th San Francisco Mezzanine
November 20th Los Angeles The Pacific Ballroom
December 2nd London NFT
many apologies for a little slack with my weblog. There are multiple reasons (…excuses), the most important being that I am once again being fucked around by France Telecom and have only had intermittent access to the internet. Other lame excuses are, I’ve been a little too busy and I have a stinking cold and have been going to bed early.
s l a c k e r
So here is the good stuff.. My next album Continental is, to all intents and purposes, finished… OK, I may dick around with it a little, I know myself too well to say otherwise, but it seems pretty complete to me right at this moment. Now my next hurdle comes… having the chance to play it to someone. That’s usually a moment where all becomes clear and I can finally cut the umbilical. However, unfortunately for me, living here in total fucking isolation from the world, the real world, that is, and not the rural french world of men wearing john deere baseball caps, I have no-one to play it to. And there’s no way I’ll send any CDs out until I’ve seen the look in someones eyes when they hear it…. lordy, it’s a tall order for someone to listen to my music with me for the first time. Anyway, after I cross that bridge, I’ll let go. Meantime, it’s hunting season here and I’m sorely tempted to invite a few of the good old boys in, the ones who have plastic ducks strapped to their heads, for a listen…
All things seem to twist themselves together, within my creativity. I had decided to call the new album, Continental, when I was travelling across the USA earlier this year, en route to play my 19 Crescent show in Los Angeles. Then during the summer I managed to rack up about 9000kms around this continent, the one I live on now (because I’m from a country which is an island, it never ceases to amaze me that I can just jump in my car and drive anywhere in Europe now, except ironically, the UK, without having to cross water – Oh, and while I’m on the subject, how come the fish in Britain, which is, after all, an island, sucks, but I can eat spider crab legs the size of a baseball bat in the desert of southern Utah?)…Anyway back to the creative thought… Lumiere, which is what I’ll be playing for some up and coming shows, contains source material, shot in about 15 countries..over 4 continents… I counted them.. Of course, you would never be able to tell that, because it’s all fucked up visually speaking, but I can and it makes me feel good. Anyway that wasn’t really much of a thought but, that’s what was bouncing around my head like a li’l mosquito, and now, hopefully it will stop.
Anyone who knows me will tell you (and most people that know me love to point out my character defects) that I’m like a big girl when I get sick.. Well I’m sick just now, and extremely paranoid as I just got sick halfway through reading La Peste by Albert Camus where everyone gets sick and then dies….
And more sickness : so here I am, up to my neck in snot and tissues, vitamin C and big socks. I’d rather be in bed, you know, but I’m preparing for the show in the flyer below…. And what is sick? One of my pieces of equipment, my Eventide H3000, my new Eventide H3000, the one I bought because the old one kept fucking up, cutting out intermittently, during concerts has started cutting out intermittently… wtf?