Introduce Myself

September 21, 2009 at 4:31 am (Uncategorized)

Been a while since I said anything.  So I decided to get one of these things to pressure myself to say things more often.

I live in Portland now which is a trip.  Great city, tons of art going on, but amazing how many twenty-something-year-old hipsters move here to be homeless.  But it’s fun, I’m in a house with four other artists, including fellow bizarro writers Cameron Pierce and Jeff Burk.  We’re working nonstop and sleeping very strange hours.  Also, none of us has gotten a mattress yet.  My room is:  two suitcases full of clothes (my friend warns me I gotta take them out of there or the suitcase-funk will invade them… not yet), six stacks of books along the walls, sleeping bag and pillow in corner.  “Daylight” and “Darkness” is still taped to the walls from the house party/performance we threw, which involved me getting way too drunk and trying to make beats and read at the same time.  It ended with me dancing for two minutes to Jeru the Damaja’s “Come Clean” and everyone thought the performance was still going on.  I was like “Yo, you can dance too, or you can leave, but don’t just fucking sit there.”

I’m addicted to Pete Rock lately.  It’s great when you find a good producer because it turns out he made the beats for a thousand people you already know plus a thousand others so really you just inherited a whole scene of people, masterminded by one dude tapping his  fingers on a drum machine. See also: DJ Premier, Danger Mouse, and the dude that made all those insane beats for Bizarre Ride II the Pharcyde then got addicted to crack and vanished into a cardboard box for the last 15 years. 

I’ve been making beats a lot myself, recently.  This summer I made a hip hop CD where I rapped too, under the name Gasoline Monk.  Someday those files will exist online.  But this is for a new CD, and it’s really fun because it’s the first time I’ve tried to make music purely out of samples.  I’m trying all sorts of shit.  So far I’ve made music with lots of Motown, especially The Whispers and The Whatnots, but I’ve tried Debussy too and that was fun as hell, and I’ve tried The Mars Volta and Desmond Dekker and all of it produces really interesting stuff.  Because I didn’t write any of the music; I’m using shreds of all these melodies that probably wouldn’t have ever come from my brain; but when you rearrange them, really see them as just shreds of something that you can put together in anyway, disregarding the original form, it ends up being 100% you and it’s weird.  Because it’s you made out of the debris of someone else.  Someday all this shit will exist online.

Writing, writing… I guess I do that too.  Nah, actually I’ve been wicked busy in that department.  Since Asphalt came out I’ve written the rough drafts of two books: Motion Inside a Photograph and Warm Milk.  I’m now taking Motion down off the shelves to dive back into it and it’s fucking awesome, because I haven’t done that kind of work on a book since Asphalt and I forgot how much a novel goes through to get where it goes, and how much you change with it as it changes into its refined form.  For me it usually starts with confusion, or maybe some hurt place that’s also confusion because you’re confused about how you could’ve gotten so hurt, and you shoot for it once and miss but hit some places and try to figure out why the places you hit were significant, and then do it again, and again, and again until instead of being confused about something you understand it so well you’re sick of talking about it.  Like with Asphalt Flowerhead, I was confused about how people get so deep into relationships with drugs that the drugs are walking away as the winner.  I was also interested in other, more positive kinds of relationships with drugs, and curious about my own relationship with drugs.  Once the book was finished I was sick of the subject, it feels like one of those things I can’t get anything more out of by thinking about it, and I understand what I suppose I set out to understand.  So I killed one gray area of my brain with that book but my brain’s full of those spots, I’ve got much more of ’em than I’ve got clear spots.  Which means much more books left to write to achieve sanity.

I gotta get a mattress.  My back is killing me today.  For the month of July I slept in the basement of a closed-down bakery, writing all the raps for the Gasoline Monk CD (which you will see someday!  I’m incredibly lazy in some ways, basically the only two missions I ever have when I wake up are 1) do some writing or make some beats or do something that’ll make me feel like I actually do things, and 2) get my chi in check. Dunno what that means but you feel me).  During that time I slept on an air mattress and it was the shit.

2 Comments

  1. kek said,

    Yo!

  2. jase said,

    same thing Kek said 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: