22 October 2005

Todays & Tomorrows

Somehow, it is late October, and I have no idea how that came to be… Well, I do- time has been continually accelerating, so don’t blink too often. I hope this communication finds all of you well. September came and went, and I was lucky to see friends in LA, NY, and Chicago; come November, it’s on to Japan!


Remembering Today LP/Japan Tour

My latest full-length release- a collection of unreleased material spanning the last couple of years entitled “Remembering Today” (released on P-Vine)- hit stores in Japan on 9.16, and I am zooming out east (or, really far west depending on how you look at it) to tour and, um, take another vacation! I’ll need to update those of you over there with the venues, but here are the dates and cities:

Friday, 11.18: Kanazawa

Saturday, 11.19: Fukuoka

Sunday, 11.20: Hiroshima

Friday, 11.25: Tokyo

Sunday, 11.27: Kyoto

I’ll post specifics on my myspace page as it gets closer. For those of you in the US & Europe who aren’t keen on buying the import version of the album, Mush will be releasing it on 12.6 domestically with the same music and mostly the same art, handled beautifully by Doug Bowden (www.pandayoghurt.co.uk)

Suicide/Krylon Psychology 7″ Out Now on Consumers Research & Development

Out as of this week is a very limited 7″ on Chicago’s Consumers Research & Development label. The A-Side, “Suicide” appears on the album, while the 2 B-Side cuts are exclusive to this pressing of only 500 copies. “Krylon Psychology” is an old track made circa my Paint EP on Chocolate Industries, and is a favorite of mine. The second song- a short one based on an incredibly damaged CD I took out from the library- is available for previewing on the site. Its title is what the Evanston Public Library types on a small piece of paper glued innocently to the inside of the jewel cases: “The Plain Silvery Side of This Disc Is The Side Involved in Sound Reproduction. Be Careful Not to Scratch or Mistreat The Silvery Side of This Disc”


Between the traveling and the fucking Jet Blue incident (believe it or not, I did an interview with Japanese 60 Minutes this past Monday at my apartment, and what was hopefully a final interview with Reader’s Digest!), I haven’t been able to get very grounded in the last month or so. BUT, I am finally getting back to work on new material. I am working on a remix now that I’ll divulge a little more about when it gets closer to release date, but will soon be able to work on music for my next album for Mush, which I truly hope to finish by late spring. I’ll write soon with news about my compilation/remix releases over the winter but, meanwhile, have a wonderful Halloween!

19 October 2005

[DISCOGRAPHY] Suicide/Krylon Psychology 7”

Suicide/Krylon Psychology 7” (Consumers Research & Development, 2005)
Format: 7”, Digital [Bonus Track Version]

1. Suicide
2. Krylon Psychology
3. The Plain Silvery Side of This Disc Is Involved in Sound Reproduction. Be Careful Not to Scratch Or Mistreat The Silvery Side of This Disc.
4. Suicide at Twilight (Miles Tilmann Remix) [Bonus Digital Track]*
5. She's Everywhere I Look [Bonus Digital Track]**

* = Remix of "Suicide" by Miles Tilmann, not included on 7"
** = Also appears on Hazardous Materials (Consumers Research & Development), not included on 7"

Run out groove - Side A: "listen to disappear completely"
Run out groove - Side B: "thank God for graffiti"

12 October 2005

(Red Journal Excerpt 6 - "Mirrors For Eyes")

Monday was Rosh Hashana. I went to a wonderful dinner at Olia's, then played at the Lucky Cat across the street. I went out with Colin andthree friends of his to Capone's for pizza, karaoke, and more beer. I sang my staple "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley, then had cigarettes on the roof garden, talking about relationships, sex without love, and moving on. And the next day, exhausted and emotional, I flew to Chicago. I really had a wonderful time there, but at times, I felt I was visiting a time more than a place...

Hanging out with Rob and Kate Simko, barbequing dinner on his stoop, performing at Sonotheque and seeing old friends, I felt sort of distanced. My dad and sister came which was wonderful- it felt so good hugging them.  

I went out with Kate Alpert and her sister Kim, both of whom I haven't seen in something like five years, and tagging along was Jarrett from Walter Meego. We got high at Kim's place on Division, upon her roof. It was crazy looking around- there was so much construction on what looked like Deerfield row houses! After going to Betty's Blue Star lounge, I drove Kim home and made the trip down I 94 like I had a million times before. I pulled into the driveway after 4AM, and the house looked like an old friend: a still, hauntingly familiar memory that wasn't a memory at all, but a structure made of wood, brick, and metal, and inside it held a time capsule with the directions "open now- you have no choice." And that's just what I did.

Red-eyed, drunk, and in awe, I stood in my front hall and stared for an eternity at mom's painting of the child with angels on his face. I don't know why, but I just couldn't bring my eyes away from his. It was the most arresting gaze I had ever seen, and I met it like I was seeing it for the first time. I started sobbing. Hard. The tears streamed down my face, and the house's silence was broken only by the quiet breaths I tried to catch in between.

I ventured into the basement, and every object was an artifact: I looked at toys, books, jackets, laundry detergent, posters of me with Mickey Mouse ears, Shana as a child, and noticed the photo of my mom was turned to face the wall, showing only its faded grey back to the basement light. I flipped it forwards, and cried even harder. There was no forgetting, no hiding, and no real "moving on" in this house, this rich museum of my life.  

I went into her office, and plugged in her answering machine, laying on the barren carpeted floor that used to be covered with her desk, drawers, paperwork, and everything giving it a sense of her. I listened to every message on that machine- her business line. There were all these strangers from different companies making orders, asking questions, and doing exactly what you do when you leave a message. There was the click of the call's disconnection and the hightone signaling the next message to come. And as the messages went on, people started mentioning her failing health, wishing her luck with prayers and thoughts. Then, the final message, a sad and morbid one hoping she was OK. I don't even remember what was said, but I just cried there on the floor, listening while turning pages of my dad's high school yearbook. I played the outgoing message my dad had left. It explained she was closing her business and to contact the stores directly. I just played it over and over again, hearing his voice rise and fall like music, and I heard so much emotion- even through his attempt to make it sound professional.  

Finally, I went upstairs and leafed through our first family photo album. Each photo was so familiar, but something was different about the images this time: there was this richer dimension, this space that hadn't quite been there before, and it allowed me to see my parents and their friends and family as individuals completely independent of my memories and attachments made over the last 27 years of my life. I saw my mom and dad as children in Chicago, then as teens with their parents and siblings- going from black and white to color, brighter and brighter- growing older but still remaining so young. And then, they met and intertwined their worlds. My dad was a year younger than I when he married her.  

Then, photos of my mom's 30th surprise party, her standing at the front door with her mouth agape and my dad beaming behind her. I imagined all of their friends (who were all around my age at the time) cheering, then thought of Colin's and Stuart's surprise parties this year... All the same milestones.... I think we forget our family has separate lives, identities, and histories from the ones we share with them, and it was this newfound recognition that kept me awake until six that morning, staring at those photographs until the sun began to tinge the morning with light.

04 October 2005

(Red Journal Excerpt 5 - "Gratitude")

I have to interrupt that entry and write for a short time about right now. I don't know if it's from being a little hungover and tired, but I feel overly emotional, nostalgic, melancholy, and grateful. I feel like crying, but I don't know what for. I was thinking yesterday how walking into my room at home will be like walking into a spaceship, and how I'm a little scared to deal with all the emotions that will arise from coming back to Chicago and, specifically, from being with my family- without my mom. I sat at the gate today prior to boarding and imagined coming off the plane at Midway, walking through the narrow gray passageway to the arrivals terminal and seeing my mom and dad standing together with broad smiles, waiting for me. I kept seeing this image this afternoon, and I became aware that my eyes were only scanning pages of "Norwegian Wood" (this Haruki Murakami novel I've been reading); I had no idea what was just written since I was so wrapped up in that thought. I got teary-eyed, then simply returned to eating vegetable lo-mein and chicken as three Chinese tourists to my side loudly chatted in Mandarin.

And before lift-off, I thought of how much I love Olia, remembering my move back to NY: the smell of fall, South 4th & Driggs, our steps and stoop, Monsieur Papillon's little yelps and the sound of his jangling little bell as he scampered gayly about on our hardwood floors; then last night at Rosh Hashana dinner, bringing in the new year with wine, prayer, and friends, holding the phone to Olia's ear as she spoke with my dad, smiling ear to ear.

Then I thought of [omitted] and the way it felt to go to the beach and drum that night with her. How shy she had been, and how beautiful. I thought of seeing her last time I was in Chicago, and that I really wished she'd be in town this time around. I thought of the fact that I will truly love her forever.

I just had this flood-like rush of images, each so detailed that they became more than only memories and feelings: it was as if I was brought to that time-space and my whole being was led through it, a passive observer to my life- only feeling...

I am flying over clouds, tired but excited, and happy.