This sort of started out as a personal blog that happened to cover most of the important stuff going on with the band, but also anything else going on in my life. It was good to have a place to write stuff, if not for anything else just for the sake of practicing expressing my thoughts. That exercise helped me get better at expressing thoughts in lyrics as well, which in turned helped me finally finish the first album.
As time went on this blog evolved more and more into the band’s main website. I thought it was important to have a stand-alone website (as opposed to just using a service like FB). It was deliberately casual and unprofessional-looking, and that went hand-in-hand with some ideals I had about the internet, free flow of information, and opening up or breaking down these top-down/gatekeeper structures in our society, especially in the music world. I thought the time was coming that we could use this technology reach and relate to each other on a massive level, and you didn’t have to front, and you didn’t have to go through corporate middle-men to get your music or music news.
I realize now this was based on a totally delusional understanding of the music world, and an embarrassingly generous view of human nature.
ANyways, this blog is redundant. If I feel the need to say something, I have plenty of other venues. Email list, tumbler, tweeter, and FB. Pick yr poison.
I got a sweet deal on an Anniversary Speed Graphic (1940’s press camera), and an even sweeter deal on a couple instant film backs. Still getting a hang of the thing. Here are a couple shots from a some weeks ago:
I like hand-me-downs. I like collecting items from people’s past lives, when they move on and leave things behind. I like stumbling across a basement that’s been forgotten for 50 years. I like when a friend is moving and leaves behind a fully-furnished life. I am a collection of such things. Snapshots of hopes and dreams. Reflections of worldviews. Experiences architected. Past intentions and alternate visions. Sorted, arranged, and reconfigured. As such I am not a very creative presence – I am merely a collage artist.
These surroundings they put work into selecting – everything has a story, a history, a context – have a lot more character than something straight from the sweatshop (and not that weight on my conscience, of putting new waste into the world). These are the rich details they have selected and designed to augment experience. I am living in their building, I am riding their rollercoaster, I am watching their film. And though they wrote the original script for these details, when left behind they become profoundly mine.
When Jamie was moving from Santa Cruz to Kansas City he left a bit of stuff behind. I painted my room with his paints, I used his cartravision as a bedside table, I used his lights to illuminate the Birds Fled From Me music video, and I still sometimes wear a pair of his old shoes! Another of these items was a book that he hadn’t yet read but came highly recommended – Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz.
I am since then fanscinated by Bruno Schulz – both his writing and his art. The book is a portrait of a Polish town on the verge of modernization/Americanization, but also of that world being intruded into, one precious, spirited, and furnished with interior adventures. Of that existential alienation, the aloneness that comes with being a seperate conscious being, and of having everything, having the world, having your very own world, nonetheless. His drawings are perhaps the same. It’s in the facial expressions, the dynamic between subjects. I have rarely liked art, and even then only for superficial reasons–aesthetic or consciously ideological alignment. And so I am surprised to find myself having such a profound appreciation for this. I feel like Carol King in Killing Me Softly With His Song, I feel like Friedrich Nietzsche in the Birth of Tragedy. Somebody has read the secret stories of my soul and is retelling them.
Life is strange. I was eating some soft vegetable patties and over-boiled potatoes, and something sharp is either lodged in my throat or sliced me up bad going down. So it’s been an uncomfortable couple days. But that passes.
I don’t have internet at my place, which is fantastic. So updated will be much sparser. There is where I live:
On Saturdays I’m out at Lækjatorg with Food Not Bombs. Come by and say hello and partake in the feast – dish after dish of the finest finery. Or, come by the apartment for tea or pancakes or something. It’s above Noodle Station on Skólavörðustígur; my doorbell is the orange one.
I’ve been working on more songs, so expect to hear those soon! I’ve been making lots of banana barley flax pancakes. I’ve been eating like a king. I’ve also been making good progress on my music video for Birds Fled From Me, which has also been a crash course in painting.
If anybody here in Reykjavík would like to play music with me, I would love that — Please be in touch.
Listening to music sometimes there’s an instrument and I’m like oh that’s cool, that one sounds like somebody hitting a piano’s strings with a stick, sort of sounds like a harpsichord — Which is silly, because I’ve played around with a dulcimer once and I definitely know what one is. I just never really put two and two together. Today I did, and now I really want to learn how to play the hammer dulcimer.
Actually, I sort of want to try my hand at making a hammered dulcimer. Just not sure how to do the tuning pegs. Also not sure if it would sound any good.