I’ll be your dirty harry

David Byrne’s guide to being a musician in the 21st century.

Strange to think that the internet is only thirty years old. On November 22, 1977, the first three networks were connected to become the Internet, (ARPAnet, a lossy packet radio network that had a name, though I don’t know it, and SATNET, the Atlantic Packet Satellite Network.)

David Byrne and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke discussing the music industry.

we three kings


When you left to me fight other battles in other hotel rooms, what went through your mind? When you hung up the phone and decided never to call me back, was it there in your hands a year later, the feeling of cradling the dead telephone receiver? I was sincere when I said I loved you. You seemed sincere when you told me there had been no one else like me.

Late night, early morning, thinking of the options that might have been, the holidays planned that never came to fruition. It’s like burning a phone book, riffling through these memories, endings listed with people who once called me lover. Superstitions. Only witches live at forks in the road. Stand on a kitchen table and you’ll never get married.

Thankfully this year has been a transformation. Burning bushes, music, addictive black hair. I’m told to stand still, a blanket held around my waist like the train in a Zeigfeild photo. The porch, now our porch, is chilly. He holds me close, the two of us together like a character study, and we talk as he smokes, tapping the ashes to fall, sparkling orange-red, ten stories down to the roof of the Staples building. We are a fire, mildly lighting the sky.

Later, scattered across months, someone else. He drives, I am the one with the map. We do this both literally and metaphorically. When he is away, which is always, I write almost every day, drawing lines, a road, the cartography of a place half way between, where one day we can meet and care for each other again.

“The impulse to travel is one of the hopeful symptoms of life.” Agnes Repplier

Mike flies from SF to Australia later today, so I made a little video to send him off. It’s terribly amateur, it being filmed at four in the morning, but I’m pleased with it anyway. It’s the first thing I’ve made with the tripod Ray just gave me for the holidays.

I don’t know how many of you were aware, but I didn’t have one before. Generally what I do is pile books into more or less stable stacks to whatever height I require, then pray that the cats won’t knock it over in the ten long seconds between pressing the timer button and hearing the shutter click. Occasionally I’ve been lucky enough to temporarily steal one off someone for a day or two, but that’s about it. My set-up is ghetto to the extreme. I’ve used flashlights and metal mixing bowls to light things, as well as hand mirrors taped to reading lamps. Having a tripod will be wonderful. Now let’s hope for some sunlight.

when this used to be my playground

The graveyard shift at the Dance Centre has turned out to be a gig baby-sitting a minirave. The people attending are all familiar, even the strangers, as their archetypes blend and shift and phase in one conglomerate whole, typical for this, marked with obvious accoutrements from west coast music fests. It’s been a long time since I felt part of this tribe, nevertheless, I know them.

I should have made a clothing based bingo card, mapped the psychographic ahead of time. Crystal jewelry, face-paint, dreadlocks mixed with braids, celtic knots, seams on the outside, elf tipped hoods, button up shoes. Bonus points for the guy who always arrives in a tuxedo and the girl who always looks like an army-boot goth with a glitter dot in the middle of her forehead, right in the spot where her third eye would be if only the drugs worked as perfectly as advertised.

treacherous shopping seasons

Alastair and I tried to see Sweeney Todd yesterday. We failed completely, but not after we braved the inside of a shopping mall. What a spectacle! The traffic alone… Surfacing was obviously a mistake. We should have stayed hiding, like I did today, processing photographs and listening to bad-ass Russian hip-hop thick with accordion.