Thursday, June 12, 2003

Rowdy Chestnuts:

I am packing up my house now and listening to "Abbey Road," my favorite album by my favorite band. My desert island.

I have to say right about now, Side Two is highly "Pet Sounds"-influenced.

A certain someone once said something really smart. He said that usually a band's musical influences are not that literal--you don't necessarily directly rip off the sound or the lyrics of your favorite music (though you do). But your deepest influences are spiritual--you copy the spirit of the music, the way it makes you feel, the way it fits into the outisde world.

"Pet Sounds" and "Abbey Road" stand together in the world. They live in the same world.

I know everyone's always going on about "Pet Sounds" and "Sgt. Pepper's," but they're wrong. "Pet Sounds" and "Abbey Road" are brothers, and they're both standing at the water's edge, looking out to the horizon, watching the sun go down.

Packing is sad. I feel lonely. I want my buddies. I want someone to smile at me today. I want someone to call me and invite me to go somewhere.

I have the mean reds today.

Do you too?

When will they go away and leave me in peace?

The mean reds goes like this: I was watching an old movie today that I have to blurb, a black-and-white comedy called "Born Yesterday." There's a handsome young man who's a journalist, and he's in the lavish hotel suite of a crass millionaire whom he's writing about. The man offers him a drink, orders his lackey to get him a drink. He walks around the suite yelling at people to shave his face and shine his shoes, halfway talking to the journalist, halfway welcoming him into his life, the vortex of the present moment they're sharing.

Life is so fast and so precise and I can never quite catch it.

So I take the opportunity to think about how much that reminds me of things I've experienced before in my line of work. So many times I've jumped into someone's present moment, some person I'd only known in static pictures and articles, recordings or maybe in concert, but someone I'd never shared a moment with personally. Then they're there, real, and they're not too much taller than me, and they're almost always doing something. Maybe they're trying to focus, to step away from the milion things they have to do in the next two days. Maybe they're playing a video game, or talking to some assistant, or eating take-out. I always have the feeling they really don't have time to sit with me and talk about their first record--and, of course, that's all they really want to do.

No one seems to ask musicians about music. I mean, I'm guessing, from the way they react when given the chance. They want to talk about Kiss. A lot.

Anyway, so often I end up feeling jealous. They have so many people around them. They have so many people building their lives around them. So many people care what they're going to do.

I want to be like that.

I was watching the movie in my outrageously messy and chaotic apartment, with the shitty flammable green polyester thermal blanket with the balls all over it. God, I hate that blanket. My front door was open because the dog has to go in and out all the time and I'm always worried he's in the street. There was one of those doorknob flyers on the doorknob, from Raffallo's pizza, and it was tapping against the door in the breeze. I saw the guy who put it there--a young kid with a backpack. Those guys work so hard, and they probably get paid two bucks an hour. Walking through nice neighborhoods with their backpacks full of papers nobody wants to read, talking to no one, barely meeting my eyes, like they were mutes, or afraid of getting hit.

Anyway, so the little flyer kept tap tap tapping, tapping out a real little beat, almost like a heartbeat. Tap tap tap from the wind, the free wind that just blows around the city, blows up the street and up the stairs and through the door, because it is free, because it's wind. What did it want? Did it want me to come outside? Did it want to tell me something?

For some reason, that stupid flyer just made me want to cry.

I haven't worked on my Liz Phair review today.

welp, better pack.

Love n starships,


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