You Want fresh Meat
I know you. I'm the same way.
Welp, it feels like autumn today: The light on my front stoop is kinder and weaker and more slanting, and that's how I know the big wheels keep on turning. All my new plants will have to be moved now to accomodate the planet. I tell you. That Earth, man, it thinks it's SO BIG.
i love Southern California, though, because the days are still brutal even in fall, and you can get a sunburn and regret the heat for a long time into the autumn.
My friend Tracy Spuehler, who is a beautiful singer-songwriter, has a great song on a Nissan commercial. it goes, "Where do we go? Where do we go now? Bah-bah-bah-bah, bah-bah-bah bah."
I love "bah-bah"s and stuff. The bit they play from the song was unconsciously inspired by the breakdown in G 'N R's "Sweet Child O Mine." isn't that cool?
Tracy inspires me, always, to be more simple and clear. She has a gift for simplicity, and I learn so much about songwriting from her. She gave me my four-track, and she turned me onto this songwriting workshop I just finished with Peter Case. It was a six-week course and it was one of the best classes I've ever taken--in anything. Peter doesn't try to teach songwriting: his goal is to get your creative oven heated up and to help you make friends with your own subconsious, the source of all art and wisdom.
Art is everything that makes life worth living, he says. I agree-along with, you know, people, and love. Peter has built his life around art, and when i sat in his class, it was three hours of paradise on earth. We were all speaking a language I understand with my heart, a language I don't get to speak normally with other people, and the terms of this language are based on the things that matter most to me: invisible things, dreams, love, and burning desire. For everything. For rhythm, for harmony, for fun, and most of all for the sacred life you can't really talk about. My very special friend was once talking about the difference between religion and the spirit life of music. "Rock saved me from Chrisitianity," he said. "It's the closest thing to salvation. Sometimes when I'm playing or listening to music I get the feeling that I'm almost there."
You can't say what there is in any precise terms, of course. That's why music is such fun, and endless, like love. It's a mystery you'll never fucking unravel.
ps: on a much more banal note: I'm generally bored by most rock critics, right? They have two problems going for them: Usually they don't have very clear (or good) ideas about the music they're reviewing, and so you have no real sense of whether or not the music's worthwhile, or how it sounds. On top of that, they often don't have a developed worldview or sense of self. This wouldn't be so bad, except that they also feel compelled, thanks to the '70s, to insert themselves awkwardly into the review. So you get this sort of nascent half-baked perspective on something the writer is unclear about in the first place. (I am guilty of all of this, by the way.)
In place of this, I would happily take someone with no style but really good musical instincts and a facility with language. Today I have found that person. His name is Larry G.. I have no idea who he is, but everything he says is clear, concise, and based on reliable instincts. He manages to boil down everything that's right and wrong with the new singles by Jane's Addiction, the Chili Peppers, Evanescence, Audioslave et al. without any fuss. Take this line from his review of "Bring Me To Life," by Evanescence (or "Evanuisance," as KROQ's Tami Heidi calls them): "'Bring Me To Life' strikes me as one of the silliest hits of recent times. It brings to mind a bizarre mix of Linkin Park and the bloated Meat Loaf-influenced hits Bonnie Tyler had in the early '80s."