Thursday, May 28, 2009

The faces I've been, part 1...

Lack of motivation can be a great impetus to get reinvigorated. You reach a certain point on the same cycle, over and over and over and no longer care. That's how I've been feeling lately. Of course, because I've been so blase about the daily routines, somehow, a song came out of me this past Saturday, complete. It took maybe 15 minutes to write the words and the chords were already there and waiting for me to notate before I picked up the guitar. I cannot tell you the last time that happened. Well over a decade ago, I'm sure. This Saturday is the target to actually record this and see if I can complete it in one day (just like past triumphs). The subject matter of the song is a former lover, who quite frankly, I hadn't thought about it in a while. Yet, the minute this memory was triggered, out popped a modern masterpiece.

That leads me to what I felt like writing about--in order to whet my own appetite for my book. Yes, yes, I know. But literally everyone has been cajoling me to just start writing it, by virtue of either some of my memories, experiences or stories that, as unbelievable as some of them seem, are true. And since the First Muse is coming to New York in July, that's as good of a jumping off point to begin--the adolescent, high-school kid. It's not as though the story starts there; it's the period of my life I've been trying to re-piece together as time (and I'm sure the ingestion of chemicals over the decades) has eroded a lot to the clarity of memory. ..

I know I was a chubby kid; smart but blindly angry at everyone and everything. I hated being in a prep school--and wasn't exactly liked by anyone, save for one or two people. One of those two people, I loved completely. She was the first and most importantly, she was my raison d'etre. Once I realized I was in love with her, my identity became clear--I was a songwriter. That sustained me, along with my religious fervor for punk and new wave. Seeing bands, buying records and knowing about it was the opening of the door from the suffocation of my Staten Island upbringing to the sinister-yet-seductive life in the city--especially in Soho and in the Village. I can see some of it as clearly as I had then, but I can't help but feel almost nostalgically sad that all of it is just a memory--forgotten by most. Having not seen First Muse since Sept. '91 (a less-than-five-minute chance encounter in a Staten Island breakfast eatery, while I was with my then-fiancee), I have to admit, I'm looking forward to seeing her and speaking to her face to face--it may help get even more of the facts in line as I try to take these random fits and starts of memory and lace it together as a linear thought for the damn book!

Friday, May 15, 2009


I should be feeling so much more up than I have in ages--I've been quite the social butterfly this week--seeing a lot of family; dining tonight with an old friend (and former work colleague), etc. but I seem to lack energy. It's beautiful, sunny, warm--perfect May weather and rather than meet this fabulous lady in Tribeca, I'd rather go home and lie on the couch. Jesus, I'm becoming a slug.

So here's the summary of nonsense pulsing through my mind:

a) Guys--if you have a beard, get one of these for maintenance. You'll thank me later.

b) Ladies--I got Liz a subscription; everyone should read this (and yes, I've been getting Men's Health for 4 years now).

c) Go see the new Star Trek movie. You'll love it. And I HATE Star Trek in general (and their shut-in Trekkies).

d) Went to the new Citi Field. The jury is still out. While it's nice and new, there are certain design flaws (in my opinion) and it's just not Shea Stadium.

e) These are the coolest boots I've had since Alice and I were in the 10th grade--these are the first pair of boots in this style I bought since the 10th grade.

My life is currently filled with minutiae, as I'm in an emotional holding pattern until Mercury Retrograde disperses...

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Endless blend

Usually, May is my favorite month, but it's gotten off to such a bleak start with more than a week's worth of rain and grey skies that it's hard to feel any motivation; my feet have been dragging for almost two weeks. Ugh!

The latest is the progression of recording. Slow but steady and done far more methodically than I have ever done before; the ability to actually know the songs in advance of working the kinks out while recording is ridiculously different and refreshing for me. I don't have to try over and over to see what works, vocally or musically. There's a lot to be said for knowing your material before recording half-assed. Makes the experience that much more pleasurable.

I, unfortunately, read just now that a friend of mine from our junior high school years and then briefly in college, just passed away from cancer. I can remember the last time we spoke, as it was around this time 22 years ago and he was kind enough to help me through a fairly serious bout of depression, which hasn't happened since. Sam was a good man; he was a great and funny friend and even though the years have gone by, it's obvious that he will be missed. The hardest part is knowing that he leaves behind a family who loved him and he loved. It's hard to write this without feeling a little bit more than emotional.

Add to all of this that a dear friend and former work colleague has recently lost her job, which angers me. I feel that claustrophobic frustration that would take hold of me in these situations.

Put it down to it's been a difficult week.