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the funniest thing in the world….

Posted on Friday, January 27th, 2006

…well, not funny really but amusing nevertheless. Try to imagine, I was in Park City, UT, trying to get a cup of coffee flavoured coffee, in Starbucks, no mean feat in itself by the way, and realised that I was way, way out of place, for I didn’t have a laptop in the coffee shop with me, an obvious prerequisite of modern caffeine consumption, at least at this years Sundance. You see, foolishly, I had only gone there for a coffee, but there I was witnessing the worlds entertainment industry at work..Sorry guys I should have knocked…Honestly, had it not been for the battery of my camera being dead, you’d be looking at a picture of a very small Starbucks filled with no less than 37 people with laptops, obviously temporarily imported from Hollywood, most of whom, were standing… using the aforementioned laptops, something that I can assure you is not easy. I counted them..37 and I hated them all, but not for the reason that they didn’t hire me for their latest movie, which would have been justified, but more for the fact that I had to get my coffee to go, there being no place left to drink it in peace indoors and it was buggering cold outside…Oddly I didn’t have to wait in line for my coffee….No one was really drinking coffee as their hands were full with…er, laptops…
I always feel very Luddite in the US, ordering my espresso, because the truth is I’m obviously not, er, sophisticated enough to appreciate a how a ‘grande skinny, soy, strawberry, hot fudge peanut butter, bubblegum and gingerbread carrot lattechino’ or whatever, may enhance my life. That, and I’m way too tight to spend $5 on a cup of coffee.
What else made me smile?
Well, you know, my week has sucked for a reason I won’t go into here, but there are good things to report as well.. When the bad things in my life are overwhelming me, writing this helps me get some balance. Of course, as ever, the good things in my life are abundant, should I choose to notice and appreciate them.. So, anyway…
Just driving slowly down Fourth Street in Reno, NV, not, I’d guess, a high rent neighbourhood, I spotted a really sick looking surplus store which, as I have a fascination for the kind of abandoned, obsolete Americana found in such places, I stopped for a look. After passing though the usual collection of hunting gear and ex-army hair shirts, I passed into the yard outside which made my mouth fall open. It was wonderful. I walked through an Aladdin’s cave of trashy, broken useless detritus, useless junk to most, but a visual feast to myself. It was a sensual pleasure akin to witnessing the Tsukiji Fish Market or browsing the electronic component stores in Akihabara in Tokyo. It’s the kind of place I’d like to visit with Lincoln Fong, who would invariably be able to find five or six pieces of random junk and turn them into some labour saving device, using just brain power and a little superglue. Anyway, I digress.. So I’m wondering to myself, ‘those things over there look familiar, those long, sort of bomb looking things’ and, well you know the rest. Yes, you can buy a 3 inch mortar in a junk shop in Reno. I asked the two ruddy cheeked men in baseball caps ‘who buys these things?’ and apparently the main customers are…. hunters. So sorry Mr Bunny, party is over…. Come to think of it it puts a whole new meaning to On va a la chasse a l’ours !
I didn’t buy one.
In fact, I never buy anything in those places, I just like looking, for some reason which is completely beyond me. Where I do buy things, my Achilles heel, these days, are used book stores. To be in the US and not to visit a few would be impossible. My favourite this trip was called Beers Books, in Sacramento CA (10th and S St) where I spent some money that I didn’t have, although another favorite was Dog Eared Books, 900 Valencia, San Francisco CA, where I also spent some money I didn’t have..
I should probably write something about music and, as I’ve had my laptop and headphones with me, I’ve been writing some little pieces, mostly in very disturbing motels along I-80.. These are sure to become Violet Indiana songs, as the seedy atmospheres emanating from the walls of such places paint pictures in my head of wanton behaviour and broken dreams, two of Siobhans chosen subjects, for sure. I soak up the melancholy and the isolation…. makes me play lots of chord sequences that are just not right for any of my other musical output. I sure am looking forward to making that record…
OK, and I’ve finally crumbled from my stance of never wanting to make a DVD of Lumiere as after meeting up with my friend Ken Kato in Los Angeles recently, he kinda talked me into it when he suggested that he may be able to help me mix it in 5.1, something I don’t have the facility to do, nor, without a doubt, the expertise. What the fuck is happening with me and all this open mindedness? … it worries me… Anyway, I’ve decided to go back to the original 40 minute version and score it with some of the, never recorded, original music and some new stuff which I will compose to the picture.
Whatever next, eh?
Next thing I’ll be saying is I have someone to work with my record releases…
Next thing I’ll be saying is that the Guacamole gets better the closer to Mexico that you get……

25 Responses to “the funniest thing in the world….”

  1. Andy from Arizona

    Next, you’ll be considering relocating to Phoenix. Much cheaper cost of living than L.A., but with the benefit of proximity…and all the damned guacamole you can stomach. Would you believe it–we even have some good used bookstores here!

    I’ve been back to Sedona three times since we last spoke. Did you come through AZ? Drop by next time, OK? Or even this time, since you still seem to be lurking in the area, relatively speaking.

    Email me.

  2. the unknown polack

    Re: laptops in Starbucks in Sundance. I understand that getting online at Sundance is a trick, and Starbucks is the only place you can get wi-fi. The place still sucks though. Starbucks that is. Buy local.

  3. Mike from Michigan

    Eff Starbucks, man. Don’t tell anyone, but the coffee from McDonalds drive-thru is better.

    (And they only employ genuine “obsolete Americana” in their drive-thru windows.)

  4. Ramrod

    Phoenix is a dump. The only good thing that ever happened there was the filming of Psycho.

    Yeah, VI! I was getting a little tired of that Lawrence Welk shit.

  5. eileen

    Hooray for coffee-flavored coffee. As long as you didn’t order “a tall DRIP” you’re fine. Starbucks slang truly annoys me! And, ooh, Dog Eared Books … perfect way to kill three hours while is pouring rain outside 🙂

  6. glint

    A DVD of Lumiere would be VERY nice! It would be lovely to come home from a hard day of bombing bunnies, to relax and unwind with 😉

  7. DW

    Park City + Sundance Film Festival + Starbucks = Middle of Snob Central

    You experienced the typical elitest intelligentsia snobs that shows up in Utah every time Sundance rears it’s head. Most people in Utah are regular people living regular lives. I’d be willing to bet that the majority of us don’t even drink our coffee with our pinky finger in the air.

  8. denshion

    how about sipping sugar flavored coffee while texing on my sidekick? wow, I feel like a 16yr old girly from Thousand Oaks…

  9. AndersM

    I certainly would buy a DVD of Lumiere, as I’m not sure I’ll ever get a chance to see the live show. I check iTunes every week to see if they’ve posted the session they recorded, but so far no luck.

  10. phlegmfatale

    I, too, would buy the lumiere DVD. …and I rather like Phoenix– on moonless nights the flat plane of lights shimmering in the dry desert air. Enchanting.

  11. Harvey

    Blowing up Bears with three inch morters…. only in the US….However, I’m sure if the countryside alliance had such facilities they would use it! Albeit, probably against poor people living in inner cities. Oh, 8.15….better take my daughter to school….Scooby Doo is driving me crazy….

  12. Antonio Melo

    These words have nothing to do with a comment of your last post. This is the first time I come here and this how I managed to express what I feel for so so so long time. Robin do something for me please! Do something for me and for so many fans of cocteau Twins. Please take Elisabeth by your hand and take your guitar and do the most remarkable record that anyone have ever heard! She has the most wonderful voice on Earth and you have all the rest that is essential for an unforgetable work or project. I am almost 40 and it’s frustating that time goes by and ‘that’ promised solo never came… Help Robin! 🙂

    Antonio, Porto, Portugal

  13. Ben Willardsen

    If I knew you were in Utah I would have taken you out for a couple of stronger drinks! Now when are you going to play music in Utah again? I promise many pints if you do…


  14. siobhan De mare

    Ola Stranger. Need to make an album with you soon Robin, b4 I do something crazy. A wineybago and a dissapearing act to a remote beach r sounding likely. Need to do cartwheels in the sand , and scream across the alps. AAAAAAAHHHHH
    Miss you X Love S

  15. siobhan De mare

    Still miss u. Life sucks at the mo- Not enuf Robin Guthrie in my life. Xxx

  16. siobhan De mare

    La La La La La La La – Dummdeee Duummmmm-

  17. Robin Guthrie


  18. Jesse

    Hello Robin and Siobhan, Long time no see, This is Jesse From “Barcelona”, Hey I was Just In London last week and in New York, Wow Robin is that why you Left London? , The Food definately sucks there, Well compared to Guacamole and Carne Asada Tacos, (authentic fresh kind)Remember when I told you that the food was good in France, and you said no the food is the greatest here in L.A.? You were right the food is the best here in L.A. , The NME right now sucks man they used to be good when you guys were on the cover of the Melody Maker, I dont like the bands that they are promoting nowadays they all sound like the Strokes, I tryed to download all the bands that they talk about and they are mostly all shit, except Cut Copy, Having Traveled evry were, how are los Tericolas,Los Pasteles verdes, Los Freddys, los Caminantes, Rigo Tovar, los Dandys, Los Humildes, Los Muecas, All Bands from the 60’s and 70’s Sounds like Early Pulp, Hey you should fry some Pork bits and make some green Tomatillo sauce to go with it , cant beat that,LOL !!!! Still Waiting for your next Project Robin Keep on Trucking like they say here in the West.!!!!

  19. Jesse

    Hey If you Google me type tempovision (space) then Myspace youll find a pic that I took of you guys at the Troubador, 2002, On Cocteau Twins Myspace Page , You have to do it like that because the Comment is currently outdated and no longer there ( Myspace Jargon ) Oh I was going to tell you I really Really liked The Lumiere Film fucking awsome , you influenced me took trake a few Graphics courses now Im in 3d!!!!!!!!!!!!!! just doing some abstarct Psychodelic shit man I’ll post some on my page when I’m done Keeep in Touch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. jim boeger

    hi robin…
    i think it would be really wonderful for everyone involved in THIS universe for you to TRY to let US (your ardent fans…take a breath….) help you to put the ‘Twins’ back together….From MY perspective, the near miss was of Coachella was almost awesome enough…..but apparently, a task more than you and Simon could handle alone…..
    as i’ve said before,,,according to your astrology charts…you and Ms. Fraser have a very unique and special relationship…which manifests SO NICELY with the music……(i would like to hypothesize that CT was just on the verge of Rock’n’Roll GREATNESS..this might have something to do with the COLD FEET SYNDROME….)
    ……you might think, Mr. Openmindedness, that this sounds a little ‘too personal’ etc. etc…..but it will be TOO LATE not that many years from now…..

    The Grateful Dead…”Eleven”…..just came on my iTunes shuffle…take some mushrooms and think about it……love, sfjim….’YOU CAN’T WIN IF YOU DON’T BET’…..!!!!…

  21. cocaine jesus

    sad to admit that someone as ancient as me (52) has only recently discovered the cocteau twins. well, that isn’t strictly true. i listened way back when but didn’t have the money or inclination then (i guess) to go out and buy your truly amazing music. now, like a child who have just discovered there is a christmas with real pressies, i am out and about trying to learn all that there is to know about you people AND to get all the albums. (well, it is my birthday soon and i have four kids so fingers crossed).
    Is there any likelihood of any new albums/singles or gigs in the pipeline? probably the least favourite question that that you get asked but hey ho.

    anyway, thanks for some wonderful sounds. i hope that you are having fun doing whatever it is you are doing.
    back to listening to ‘treasure’ again!

  22. Leo

    Dear Robin:
    I’m really sorry to hear you’re “too tight to spend $5 on a cup of coffe” (not that I’d pay for a Pulp Fiction milkshake) You should be rich because of the music you’ve done…
    These days I’m trying to get Lullabies to Violaine in Mexico (yes, all the different guacamoles are great!). I really want to have all that beautiful music in great quality and not my crappy mp3 files.
    Best of luck to one of my guitar heroes!

  23. tempovision

    Crappy MP3’s? I dj and I use mp3’s you probably have a preference tool problem in your OS they should be good enough quality that you do not notice the difference, and I love music , I even create it, and I’ve been collecting music for 30 years I’m 31,my parents were avid music lovers-hipsters, vynil 33’s, 78’s, 8-tracks, 45’s , cassettes tapes, Cds, reel to reel -nagra (Film term), Vhs 8 track, dats, sheet music, Mpeg 2-3-4, you name it we’ve done it, Keep up with the times its the future, the big time d.j.s are dj-ing with their macs or pc’s or turntables to go with their techniques cd turntables they even scratch with them , you just have to learn how to use the equipment, there are alot of vynil snobs outhere, kind of like Film snobs , they like vynil and the look and the feel ,they don’t realise that they are limmiting their creativity, but if you don’t keep up you will be left behind, Digital is here ebrace it, manipulate it to your liking , convert your music and vice versa, so try to adjust.
    Robin Am I wrong?

  24. Andy Granulated

    Whenever I’m in Las Vegas (My cousins live there..I’m in Croydon,UK), I always get my coffee from Carl’s Jr, even if I’m eating elsewhere.

    Being a Lavazza nutcase you could say I’m a bit of a coffee connoisseur and I have to say that in addition to their excellent burgers, (the one with the sour dour ‘bun’ is particularly lovely), they also serve up a spankingly good cup of coffee.

    They make it up fresh too if you ask nicely and, of course, you get free refills.

    Cheers !

  25. TJ Walkup

    Hey Robin, I met you at the Universal Amphetheater in L.A. many years ago. It was easter sunday I think. Great show…

    I live in SF if you ever need great Guaca look me up. I’ll make it fresh for my favorite guitarist.

    Fresh from the Avacado. The only thing i ask is you let my girlfriend and I watch you practice.

    Thanks, TJ

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