OK, I get it, I’ve been a bit of a slacker with my website, however I just did a quick and dirty calculation which puts me at about 72 things recorded over the last 12 months which, well, kinda excuses me, somewhat. What with all my girls, real life, windows fucking 8 and bills to pay, dogs, ebay excesses and an uncontrollable beard situation, I would consider myself forgiven for momentarily forgetting about the interweb. All things considered, and with my well known, but perhaps slightly over documented, problems with the local telecoms people (FYI in my book it’s not offensive to suggest demolishing a church if it it between my so called 4G telephone and it’s corresponding so called 4G cellphone tower….) communication has been more of an exciting privilege than a taken for granted right. My internet connectivity, in my humble domain, exists solely on a Tuesday, beneath the chestnut tree or on Friday mornings (sauf les jours feries), standing on one leg by the front gate, while pointing my phone towards La Poste wile humming La Marseillaise, and make no mistake, you have to hum with conviction. This is my way of telling those of you who I know and love, use the land line (it works, I personally oversaw the two baked-bean cans being strung together by a France Telecom engineer), oh, and send postcards.
So, here I am, profiting from a slight lull in work (I’ve been thinking it was Friday all day but I was cheerily informed by my youngest that it was in fact Thursday, which, well initially fucked me off, as I figured I had to endure one more weekday, but then gave me a sense of triumph as I realised that I just won a day to catch up with undone things in my so-called life, like catching up with the internet and the world outside, the world, past the mailbox just beyond the range of my slippers.
However, sadly it’s really Friday tomorrow, so back to work…
Mais quand même… I compiled a little list, of what I’ve been getting up to. The album Another Flower with Harold Budd , the Flares EP for Boreal Wood, my song-writing with adorable genius of Jay-Jay Johanson, the album Universal Road with Mark Gardener, which should have been out already but for my inability to get it together combined with his recent foray into fatherhood, a life event, btw, which puts silly fucking records into perspective.
The White Bird in a Blizzard, original soundtrack album has kept me busy as have doing lots of artwork and mastering for the re-released CD digipak editions of After The Night Falls and Before The Day Breaks albums with Harold Budd, as well as a gate-fold sleeve, double vinyl album version of the two aforementioned albums. Likewise vinyl editions of my Fortune album, as well as the Bordeaux album with Harold Budd have become available at Darla Records.
A very cold and windy January found me producing the next, as yet untitled, Heligoland EP, the next in a series of their location recordings, recorded in a lighthouse in Normandy which we soon followed by Dave & Sandra’s summer wedding, but, and you know what I am about to say, that life events like this put silly fucking records into perspective.
This week I started on a score for Surface Waves by Seattle cinematographer Reed O’Beirne. Oh, my goodness, I am excited about that.
I went, with my girls, to see White Bird in A Blizzard at the Festival du Cinéma Américain de Deauville, with the director Gregg Araki, and the public première of White Bird at the MK2 Bibliothèque in Paris. I got to wear my suit for all three occasions and looked rather dapper.
Most people took picture of my girls.
Apart from that all seems well.
During this week, my friend Anton has been trying to take a nice picture of me but now he has left, it’s Friday again for the second time this week.
Get up at 4am, lo-cost airline from Paris Orly, 80kg of equipment, 2 guitars, uncompromising lo-cost airline rules, can’t take my guitar on the plane, have to pay EUR1.50 for a coffee, the same fat guy who always sits in front of me whenever I fly with his seat in full recline, arrive at Barcelona, cold as shit, wait an hour for guitars, picked up, taken to hotel, taken to venue, no toilet paper, nowhere comfy backstage (um, I’m not really too demanding but somewhere to sit down would be nice), audience standing in hats and coats as it was, as I mentioned, cold as shit. Audience probably not seeing much either due to the twenty or so photographers with big cameras and lenses the size of, well, really big cameras and lenses, who occupy my entire line of vision and seem to take pleasure in my discomfort of having to play guitar without my hat and gloves on….. cold as shit, did I mention?, Play show, get offstage to find all the beer and snacks backstage (and we were talking a potential, post show, jamon and queso sandwich here folks) had walked. OK, not to worry as there was no corkscrew for our bottle of rioja, but that’s OK as there were no glasses either but with the creative use of some little 25cl water bottles which we were able do decant our iberian nectar into we were able to unwind for a good three or four minutes before being asked to clear all of our equipment of the stage as the venue had to close…. Um, so, pack up, have a little post show tapas with Rosario, who was foolish enough to book me in the first place before retiring to bed in order to be up early to go to the airport, check in with a different lo-cost airline, and repeat most of the same routine as the previous morning, arrive back to Paris CDG, absolutely nowhere near Orly, wait for equipment, take bus to Orly (EUR40) , Friday evening peripherique traffic, eventually get car, pay EUR 50 for parking and drive 5 hours home in snow…
No point into going into details, you’ve read it all before here….
The only difference was that my band, the robin guthrie trio (and I swear, I hadn’t heard that before …lol) played like angels and made the whole thing enjoyable, um, almost, um, really enjoyable. As is probably obvious, I stopped weblogging some time ago about concerts as it just seemed to be a little too repetitive going over and over about losing my luggage and that fat guy who always puts his seat into recline in front of me but this time, although all the same things happened, I was with a bunch of kindly folks who shared the experience and made it seem a little more bearable.
I do love this band and feel ever so pissed off that we don’t get more opportunities to perform…
Thank you Steve, Antti, Florence, Dave, Drou, Rosario and Guti and the tech folks who graciously helped out to make it all happen.
So, a couple of weeks have passed since I was at a country club in Monticello, NY to perform at a rock festival, ATP, where I was invited to play by My Bloody Valentine. The memory has faded a little as I’ve not really stopped since then and not had a chance to write anything but I had an enjoyable day, even though it was entirely the wrong place for me to play. I got to see Mogwai and MBV without paying to get in, which is always a nice thing. However there was, as always, a price to pay and that was me suffering what I’d call the ‘being naked on stage with my trousers around my ankles’ syndrome, which I’m subjected to from time to time, coincidently each time I ever step on a stage. I had asked to use the video projection system that MBV had brought to show my animation, ‘Galerie’ but for some unknown reason, probably something to do with road crew and ‘pecking order’, I was denied its use and had to use the little house system. The video guy told me I couldn’t use my media player thingy as he didn’t think it was compatible with his system and tried to play it from a DVD. Well, as you can well imagine, it didn’t go exactly to plan and I ended up standing on stage with my dick out looking altogether rather foolish while he connected my media player thingy, encouraged by the audience as he worked his way through all the onscreen menus until he found ‘Galerie’ which went on to play flawlessly. I’m not bitching really, as to be fair, he was trying to do his thing, but, well it was me up there on stage for 5 minutes, standing there all dorky and unable to start my show. After that, well, I started to play, it was really waaaaayyyyy too loud so I turned around to ask the monitor man to turn the monitors up so I could hear something and, um, there was nobody there, nobody there for my entire performance actually. Apparently he had gone for dinner. Nice.
As I write so often on this web log. What Ever….
This was a long way from my previous performance, a few days before in Nantes at the Scopitone Festival, a festival all about music, artwork, live production and digital art which was hosted by a more dedicated and enthusiastic team. It really reminded me of why I try to avoid rock clubs at all cost. Sure, if I were to perform with a band and play some noisy stuff, rock clubs may be fun, but standing there, trying to present something downtempo and introspective while the PA system is cranked up full and people are standing about looking like they want to sit down is just wrong. Someone told me it was like trying to watch quiet music but it was ‘one louder’. I have to say that I like doing that show quietly but I have absolutely no control over the sound system so if it’s someone with a rock mentality doing the sound it’ll be earsplittingly loud and may lose a lot of the subtlety intended. OK, that sounded like a disclaimer but I do have to put myself into the hands of others who may well have a different sensibility or agenda to me. All that said though, the ATP festival was interesting to attend even if it was just for the drive through the Catskills to get there. I saw my largest ever roadkill, a rather large and very dead deer, in the fast lane of Highway 17, which I had to hastily switch lanes to avoid and I got to stay in a hotel which had something called the Sammy Davis room which smelled like it hadn’t been used since Sammy played there, while, presumably but not certainly, still alive. Oh, and just for the record I did lose my luggage on this trip and I’ve not been paid for the show yet but I get really fed up typing the same story every time I leave home. You’ve read it before and will, doubtlessly, read it again until the day comes when I can afford a tour manager.
Oh, and while on the subject of being in the US I now have the distinction of having my car towed away in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York not to mention Paris and London. What this says about me I’m not exactly sure but suffice to say it’s probably not such a good idea to lend me your car anytime soon. The last incident was about two weeks ago in Queens, New York on my way to JFK to take a flight to Seattle. OK, so I overstayed my welcome in my parking spot and got busted. My fault. Guilty. To my credit, however, I did catch the flight but with my wallet $300 lighter, which needless to say, meant it was almost floating.