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To get me to comfortably move out of the apartment I live in now it would take a few requirements.

A parking space.
I don’t drive now.
But I intend to.
Something with a tiny garage or garage like opening would be amazing, so I could wrench around and fix things on whatever beast of a burden I pick as my personal ego shield against the rest of the commuters of this fair fair fair fair fair city. Picking a suitable shield as a brand to show my personality through steal and plastic and carbon footprint has taken some time for me. The runners up are; an old loud gross comma careless truck, an old loud gross comma careless jeep, an old loud gross comma careless mopar, or a fancy old porsche. insurance? who the fuck cares. I hit what I want. You? Sure. Step in my path, mother fucker, I’ll scrape the insurance off of you. So, yeah, I’d need a garage to clean the insurance.
A better view.
This one is hard to top. My current view, especially illegally from the roof where the cell tower spreads its dangerous radio/micro/gamma rays on me but my god I can see everything. on a clear day)smog/dead dreams/etc/free(I can see san diego, I swear.  I’m not even in the HILLS yet. just the start. like the Hi… part.

I’d need either a terribly perceptive view of downtowns skyscrapers majesty to put me in my place(AKA loft AKA cockroaches AKA expensive) or to be able to see the ocean. AKA doubtfull.  Acronyms are so lame. LAME = LAME Ain’t an Mp3 Encoder

i think I am going to write my boss a long letter concerning how it is tenacity, respect, integrity and the desire to create art and forge new healthy relationships with interesting people that motivates me to live and get out of bed in the morning. basically pick all the virtues and those are my motivations. not the vices that ensnare so many of my peers.

i think this letter will be well received as I will come to a compromise with him regarding our conversation about aesthetics and employment and monetary compensation and I will maintain a professional demeanor throughout and not allow it to sound condescending, angry or upstart firebrand spitfire what so ever.

Sure, I will be perched atop a high horse while crafting said letter and am sure it will be seen as brazen and cocky and me further extending a conversation that could of been summed up with a few word of acceptance on my behalf.

It will not be my intent to write that I am a better person, more secure with my identity and happy with my life as simple, easy and wonderful things such as freedom are what bring me joy, not a paycheck and going to sleep nightly worrying that my plastic smile could easily melt in the california heat the day after and I willeventually die cold, alone and penniless, not having contributed a single work of art or brought joy to anyones life.

Sadly, I am a bit concerned that said letter will not be well received and we will continue to butt heads as I believe there is a deeper issue that aesthetics. Either way the letters intent pans, I will play chess following the rules, as he is my boss and can knock all the pieces of the board if he so desires, despite how amazing I expect my strategy to work.

it is tenacity, respect, integrity and the desire to create art and forge new, healthy relationships with interesting people that motivates me to live and get out of bed in the morning.

I forgave my sister.

It took seeing someone farther/further/faster/fucked than she is/was/will, hopefully, ever be.

I learned something about addiction and manageable addicts and how the things that motivate us aren’t limited to lust,  gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy or pride in the traditional sense of those words. It could be any number of them combined, like voltron the robot. You could be motivated by a giant robot made up of the sins which tantilize you the most. I am not sure yet how the good side of motivation works, perhaps that is virtue? dear prudence, voltron called and he is a big fucking robot hell bent on destroying you with his action lines and you’d better step it up a notch from being a virtue and get some goddamn action lines behind you and charge your lazer eyes up, cause this will be a fucking bloodbath.

I’ll break down my evil robot motivatins.  pride and envy.

simple. quick now try to unlatch the pride piranaha from devouring your ego? thats one insecure piranaha and it travels with a lot of like minded friends.

Envy is more like a koala. It looks cute and managable and everyone wants it for a pet, its like a koala wearing a rage against the machine t-shirt. Its so rebelious and its ill tempered because its pissed the state of the world is such shit. Correction, that snake in the grass koala is actually envious of the platform and circumstance that those machines it rages against have. I already blogged that over on throwstoneshard.wordpress.com

The far beyond girl that helped me forgive my sister suffered from almost all 7 of the voltron robot parts.

Do not even let me get into maslows heirarchy.

Breathing, clothing, water, sleep, sex, food, shelter and stasis. Pretty harmless. Sort of obvious and given. Everyone needs those. But those are like survival motivations for most. Sure you can trade some for the other, like pokemon cards.  I trade my sex card for more sleep.  I’ve seen hobo’s who have traded most of those cards for addictions.

Managable addicts tend to be able to achieve, or at least appear to achieve those basic needs, all the while being motivated by what addicts them. Be it a voltron robot or a drug or even fear.

Which leads to security. Thats a tough one to maintain. Leaving the nest to Los Angeles really beat the shit out of my security.  Financial and safety both out the window into the cactus infested, palm tree abundance that is southern california.

Addicts need something or someone to provide them with safety and survival at times. I think the fancy word for that is enabler, which sounds like a campy superhero or a bad psychobabble term that Oprah would use.  It is true though.  The desire for stasis is essentially the desire for the addiction to make you feel normal.

I hope I never fall that far down the rabbit hole. I hope my motivations turn virtue from voltron and I feel secure and fuck it all what am I saying. I am obsessed with addictions. I trade them for the other.  Pride makes me a hypocrite. Stasis is hard to achieve. Half the time that little koala rages against what little I find anyway. He likes to eviscerate stasis.

Bri, I love you and I hope you get better than I ever will be.

What a wonderful view this apartment has.
I can see downtown, where I was today and yesterday, backline for a corporate rockband(the same rig that Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins plays on! bfd).
I can see the bar that the silly drama of last night(don’t ask, same shit different state) ended up in.
I can see the city I live in. Los Angeles. It makes me happy and proud. I made it. I moved from aberdeen. To this.
I have just begun to fight.

It is a big city and I have barely explored any of it. I only have a few ex girlfriends, I have only played a few shows, I have only eaten at a few restaurants.

I have just begun to live.

I am constantly reminded, now, that I live in THE CITY.

There is nothing wrong with that. What so ever.

I spent the last year in a swamp cave surrounded by garden and walls and swamp queens. While peaceful and damp, I could of been living anywhere. Meanwhile, outside, Los Angeles bustled.

The thing about a city, compared to a small town, is noise. Aberdeen was a port town, so that dull clanging of ships and harbor and the occasional hoooooot of a horn was common. Loud trucks and cars were also common. Think of it as an idling chainsaw(obvious timber reference. oh here is a picture of my dad when he was a firefighter, before he became involved in the timber industry.)

Los Angeles is a port city as well. Also the second largest city, almost 4 million people as well as spanning almost 500 miles. 

It is a chainsaw in a horror movie. I love horror movies.

Sometimes(daily/nightly) helicopters circle the hills where I live. They sound like they are landing on the roof. Cars drive by constantly. Some loud, some prius, some open headered custom hotrods. A few days ago 8 firetrucks/ambulances drove by. This is the only road to the upper canyon, famous for its sign(perhaps you’ve seen it?) This canyon is home to many famous folk and wanna-be famous folk.  The whole lot. Musicians, actors, authors, poets, even scum of the earth producers and agents and industry types and lawyers and all those boring things I care little about.

So I moved apartments. Same complex, new place. The view sold me. I even pay more a month just for that. Look at the city, look at the city change me. I can see boho, hollydown, downtown, even the scientology celebrity center(that actually obstructs my view of downtown.) The place is great. Feels like mine, I have a giant desk and music equipment everywhere. I already finished a song.

Mind you, while I am a musician, I am captain respectful when it comes to noise levels. I have lived with a million roommates and in apartments before and I am rather giving and tolerant.

My downstairs neighbor is not.

She got mad that I was noisy during the day.

That I was listening to the same song for hours.

Yup. Thats how I make music. Did I mention the volume is low? I’d like to list the complaints she’s given and explain the circumstance for each of them and how if she had one iota of tolerance she would of overlooked all of them. ‘Listening to music at 2am’ does not mean 67 seconds of showing jaime a song at 40db. ‘Drumming’ is not me hitting a practice pad. And as to why her windows were shaking while I was playing gears of war with fucking headphones on? Maybe she’s crazy.

She has another thing coming if she expects me to be more quiet than I have been. If I was a bastard I would just crank these wonderful monitors to their clip point.

But I am not that way. She will just have to fucking deal with it. Remember that the city is noisy. Don’t move to the city for peace and quiet. While I stare out my windows at firetrucks and helicopters and love them, I picture her stewing in hatred and bitterness. She’s probably a defeated soul who projects her inner hate onto others.  Sad, really. She should just look out her window and remember how beautiful noise is.

The Cure. Fuck them. Sorry big fans(specifically an ex-girlfriend), but I can’t stand the way that the happiest sounding music can some how pave the way for dark goth bullshit. Whatever. I suppose their early stuff was darker, but that later america conquering pop bullshit with fucking trumpets? What the fuck?

The reason I bring that up is that they have been on a rampage here in Los Angeles.
A few shows, the KROQ show which I happened to catch a tidbit of, the Troubadour which was part of a myspace music show and Jimmy Kimmel, which had fans standing on the sidewalk of Hollywood and Highland to catch a muffled listen, including this one huge latin dude with a lame mohawk and makeup who was at every single event the cure had done so far. I am sure he was only one of the countless uberfans who caught all the performances, perhaps even skipping work for such an adventure.

I come into the picture because I am part manual laborer, backline tech and sound engineer for the company I work for and we were assigned to all their shows. We get assigned to a lot of shows.

Sure, sure, that means that I get to see the bands, but I do not “meet” them or anything fan-ish like that. One of the reasons I was hired is because I don’t give a fuck about famous people. So don’t ask me for an autograph. Not my thing, dude.

Enough with the negativity, which is obviously cleverly masked jealousy, right?

I love my job.

There I am, in front of the chinese theater on hollywood blvd, arguably one of the busiest and most famous locations in hollywood if not the united states or even the world, grunting and throwing 4×12 vintage orange cabinets and custom schecter guitars into the back of track, dripping with sweat, all because perhaps one of the biggest influences of some of my most favorite bands. Oh, and it is raining.

To me that feels just like heaven.

However, one itsy bitsy little story I would like to share.

Backstage at the KROQ acoustic christmas thing. A bunch of shit bands like the killers and paramore and of course, the cure, who is currently playing. I am waiting for them to stop. I hate boys don’t cry, and it is blaring arena rock concert loud and the band is gyrating and Mr. Smiths hair is a poofy mess.

There are 5 or 6 young tweens backstage as well, waiting in the wings of the stage, eyes wide like deer in headlights. They whisper among themselves.

The band continues to rock on, I can see members of the audience swaying and dancing in that gothy awkward manner. Hey, theres Gwen Stefani in the crowd. Ha. The band plays their last song and walks off stage.

A member of the tweens says to one of the most famous front men of all time., “Hey that was sick! I have never heard you guys and you were amazing!”

He walks past, fat cheeks and sweaty black clothes, not even so much as acknowledging the new found fan. His security guard barks a industry standard, “back up please” and they continue out the rear entrance, followed by the rest of the band.

The tweens stand awestruck and silent. Finally one of them mutters, “..a douchebag…” and I swear he took the words right out of my mouth.

I didn’t feel jealousy specifically at that moment. I felt what people feel when they watch a reality show, recognize and relate to someones situation and disagree with that characters reaction while proclaiming what they would do in a similar circumstance. Regardless, the viewer is not on the show, therefor not as famous(or on tv) as the contestant and finds their opinion fails to change anything. While I might hate the band and that guy, I am envious of their position, but for fucks sake I would of said thank you to that kid.

An argument for Rob’s actions, from the mouths of a die hard fan would sound like, “well they are old and salty and have said thank you to a million fans and he is tormented and emotional and blah-de-fucking-blah.”
I say go sit in a cave and listen to lovesong then, fan. Alone. I’ll be in heaven.

The Los Angeles River has some of the largest graffiti I have ever seen. I am sure alot of it took along time to complete and possibly was done with teams of people. The internet and graf boards has lots of names flying around and lots of hypothesis, but I find it hard to seperate tall tales from truths. I, of course, do not claim to be a graffiti expert or anything of the sort. I cling firmly to my stance as a skeptic of the romantic lives that the internet portrays for all people heroes. I am, though, a fan of graffiti as a whole.

See my other blog for random graffiti that I have spotted in my travels around Los Angeles(mostly hollywood as I don’t drive and walking only takes you so far in the city of sprawl).

I shot this video with my blackberry this morning. The quality is lacking but if you look at the size of the bridges, buildings and trains in comparison to the size of some of the larger pieces of graffiti, you understand the magnitude of these works.

I tried to keep the fence out of the shot as much as possible but I need a better video camera for sure.

Doing some googling I found a few flickr accounts who have posted some more photo’s. I have seen a few of these, a lot are murals on the sides of businesses and while they are certainly graffiti, they lack that *ninja* like quality that the river graffiti and some of the more avant garde and obviously illegal artwork. Since I am a sneaky criminal, I appreciate that more.

If you want you can view some of the more elaborite and larger pieces using google earth. Again, my hats off to the skill and bravado of graffiti artists.

Waiting out front of Sony/BMG headquarters in Santa Monica, I am suppose to be picking up gear from a showcase. That is when your band plays a few songs for some label big bigs and they decide on the strength of those songs and your performance if they wish to sign you to their label.

I do not recall the name of the band that was showcasing that day, but I literally see a band a week is doing a showcase for someone. The music industry is more changing than failing. If labels still can afford to fly indie-electro style bands and post-hardcore screamo bands out to Los Angeles for a few days just to determine if they will be worth money to them, I refuse to say such regurgitated trite as the music industry is in shambles. I could reference lame phoenix likenings but I refuse.

This time the big big’s were about 2 hours late to that bands showcase, but really you are on their time when you are on their bill, so don’t complain, even if you will miss your flight.

So, the big bigs are discussing their label, Sony/BMG, about 5 feet from me. I can hear what they are talking about. They like the band. It has that something. However, they want more rockstars. Their label is lacking rockstars.

This prompts the head big big to say “Who is the biggest rockstar on our label?”

Automatic response from the loudest member of the big big’s, “Marilyn manson”

Head big big, “Nice, he is edgy and has remained so for sometime.”

The back and forth continued, “I’d say Trent Reznor but when he was young.”

“He isn’t on our label.”

“Oh , I was just naming who I thought was, sorry.”

“There has to be more rockstars. People who just don’t care and say fuck you to everything and are drunk and on drugs in public. Like carcrashes people have to stare at them.”

“Karen O.”

“Nice, she’s close. Definetly a car crash. Who else?”

The group goes silent.

So Marilyn Manson and Karen O are the rockstars of Sony/BMG. Note to self.

My sister just posted this.

So. Do I talk to her about it? Am I even asking anything beyond rhetorically? Solve my problems? Solve hers? Fuck.

staying alive is the most un-selfish thing i’ve ever done
because as much as everyone must hate me. lately.
i know you’d all hate me more.
if i was dead.

and i don’t want to hurt anyone.

mostly,
my family.
would probably be torn apart.

but really, wouldn’t it be easier?
eventually?

i wouldn’t continue “leeching” off my parents.
my brother could stop worrying about me.
my friends could finally give up on me.
those of you who haven’t, yet.

but i don’t want to cause that kind of pain to my parents. they’d blame themselves. so would shel. but it’s no one’s fault., but my own.

i got myself into this mess.

i need to get myself out.

one way or another.

Italics mine.

Ironically enough I am working on a song about her.

But songs don’t solve problems, apologize, balance the world economy or end suffering.

Jellyfish.

Tonight an interesting thing happened.

My job took me to The Mayan, downtown LA, where my associate and I were to load out from a concert. It was “The Last Shadow Puppets” whom I googled on our way down there. Apparently members of The Artic Monkeys and The Rascals.

Thats cool.

Whatever. I do this daily for this job and I don’t care for either of those bands.

Per usual we showed up a few minutes early and the show ran late. I sat backstage and checked it out. Orchestral, with some timpani and a string and brass section. A few keyboards(3) and a few AC30′s(3) obvious british.

Show ends. We start to tear down. Their whole crew is limey, which I enjoy, puts me in the deadpan attitude mode. As we are loading out, a decent crowd grows behind the venue.

“Did the band come out yet?” a petite, hipster-looking, asian girl asks me.

“No.” I reply. She continues to wait in line. About 35 people are standing in a line now, for autographs I assume. I am not good at this show thing, but I think thats why people stand in line behind venues?

Back inside, we pack more gear. One of their crew says, “theres like, what, 100 of them out there?”

“Try 40 or so. There is no one at the front door, lets take the guys out there, when they are ready, of course.” Another replies.

Now wait just a fucking minute. Did he mean take the band out the front door, circumventing the crowd of fans wishing for a glimpse, may perhaps a signature or two? Avoid them? The adoration? The tit of fame?

That pisses me off. You made your bed now lay in it northpole monkey boy. We continue to load gear. We finish. All the crowd is blocking us in.

The guy in front says “oh are you all done then?”

“Yes.” I reply.

“Is the band still in there?” He asks, his two daughter, I presume in line behind him.

Break my fucking heart.

“I don’t know if the band is in there or not. I haven’t seen them since the end of the show. If they do leave, I believe it will be out the front door as that is what one of their crew said.” I cat out the bag that. Ha. Eat it band. This mob will find you and rape you of your dignity. Lay in that.

No one moves. The front few people murmur amongst themselves.

I continue to eat some peanuts I found on stage.

Hesitantly, “Is that true?” the dad volunteers rather than asks.

“Yes.” I reply.

He and his daughters relinquish their front of the line and wander off. Everyone else stays.

When it become apparent no one else is leaving, I tell my associate to back the truck up and I will round the crowd up.

“Everyone move aside, we are going to back out and you are all to hopeful to die tonight.” I suggest.

The truck backs out. We clear the crowd, they go back to the line they had formed as though having memorized who was in what place.

I hop in the truck.

My associate says “Hey, isn’t that the guy from Queens of the Stoneage?”

Sure enough, that tall red haired guy walks out of the backstage door and past the crowd, a few members of his new band “The Eagles Of Deathmetal” behind him and a few girls. No one notices. They walk past all 35 of the fans and into a emptying parking lot.

“They did just do the jimmy kimmel show tonight.” I answer. That pickup of gear had happened at 9pm. It was midnight now.

They walk through the parking lot and we drive away back to hollywood.

I can’t help but wonder.

No one noticed them. At all. They are big musical stars much the same as the artic monkeys. Did they leave back stage in hopes of autographs, when the rest of the famous were heading out the front? What did they think when no one recognized them? Who will remember them? Who will remember me?

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