Monday, November 29, 2004

11/29/04 - Berlin, GER

I went to my tenth high school reunion just before leaving for europe.

alcohol - 1
amanda - 0

Ah, not only did the good old days wash over me with an infinite sea of hi-I-hear-you're-doing-very-wells but I tasted the sweet taste of being hungover and ill in an airport. My late teens and early twenties all over again.
Thank fucking god they're gone.

I simply pray that I didn't do anything more embarrassing than my clouded memory can dredge up.

I did get to feel the re-creation of an ultimate High School Moment. I was in the ladies room of the trashy euro-bar
that housed the reunion, relating to some old friends the story of whacking off in physics(how, you ask? cleverly, and under multiple large, flowing, gothic skirts) while staring directly into the eyes of the ultimate heather-like volleyball girl who I considered my spiritual nemesis (thinking, as I achieved orgasm, something terribly arrogant along the lines of "you will never be free, you will never be free...."). As I finished relating the story in the reunion bathroom, a heather-like friend of the ultimate heather appeared out of a nearby stall and looked at me, flipping heather-yet-now-soccer-mom hair and said: "Yeah right", while rolling her eyes heavenward and storming out of the bathroom. Ah, right back at home. Of course, I took the opportunity to relate this story to anyone who was willing to listen for the rest of the night.

Several drinks later, I snogged the football-team-captain-freak-basher who used to make my life a living helln after a short discussion and mutual truce. A large crowd gathered around us in a circle and applauded. A very West Side Story Moment.
I've since emailed my friend M. to see if anything of a less tasteful nature occurred.

Writing it all here in my public confessional makes me feel better, but I'm actually pretty horrified with myself. There was my chance to put them all to shame with my newly-found adulthood and maturity and I probably came off like a loudmouthed and bloated fool. In my defense, the fog of insecurity in the room was so thick that barely anyone could see straight and the open bar didn't help. I'll make up for it in 2014.

Berlin is as I always experience it: large, empty, cold and hard to find.

I woke up at 5 am this morning and took a long walk listening to the Avril CD. I swear, it's like a disease. I've concluded that listening to this CD, the ultimate guilty pleasure, is about as punk-rock as it gets. The only true rebellion lies in doing the truly unacceptable. I also haven't been tempted to listen to ANYTHING on a walkman since I was around 18. I put my finger on this morning over breakfast: if I had bought this CD at 12, I'd be addicted, and wouldn't feel the shame of listening to such terrible, corporate, superficial over processed shite, because I hadn't quite turned into a music snob yet and was perfectly happy listening to pop that made me smile.

Nowadays, when I listen to the music I loved at 12, it brings me back to a very specific feeling. The feeling belongs very specifically to my twelve-year-old self, a direct nostalgic connection to a solid spot.

But by listening to Avril, I have actually harnessed the power of the twilight zone and am able to re-live being 12 from a fresh perspective. How common is that?

Thursday, November 25, 2004

11/25/04 - On Online Journaling

I can't help but find it just plain strange that writers of late have been asking: how does it feel to expose your inner life on your website?
What am i missing here? The way i see things I'm writing some pretty mundane observations about my everyday life in this band and
leaving the heavy shit for my own journals (to be published posthumously, of course, to save everyone a great deal of embarrassment) or
for ephemeral phone conversations and late-night conversations.

I've often wondered WHAT would happen I did indeed start chronicling my inner life for all to read. Would it make the music more
interesting? Less interesting? More or less revealing, or mysterious? When you give people pieces to the puzzle of your pysche, it can
often lead to more questions than answers.

Fuck this shit, I'm going to go to Avril's website and see how it's done.


Ok, so Avril's not really revealing very much. Perhaps Courtney Love's website will have some details more revealing than "We're on tour in Spain and it's awesome, the shopping here is kick-ass etc"
(must also confess I watched ALL the videos from the new record. Angry Avril!)


Courtney Love has no online diary on her website. Probably for the best. How about......Ashlee Simpson? Norah Jones? Fucking.....Diamanda Galas?

(pause. pause. pause.........)

This is a really deadend project, none of these women seem to be the online journal type.
Good god, is it just me and Avril?


It would seem so. I checked the websites of Rufus Wainwright, Bjork, Liz Phair, Laurie Anderson, Nick Cave, David Bowie and Momus....
just the cross-section of folks that popped into my head. Momus has a great "daily picture diary". Bowie seems to post on
his message board with some regularity, mostly music recommendations. Not a lot of soul-baring going on. And why should they? They're
artists and they should be concerned with making art.

But isn't this the future?

This is art.

I really ought to go to bed. To make myself feel better about this whole process I will try to reveal some of myself. I've been listening
to Avril's new record all night. I can't tell you exactly why, but it sort of makes me feel like I am 15 all over again in a parallel universe. I'm so ashamed and
so proud of myself at the same time. I learned "Together" on the piano. We could never cover it. We can get away with covering Britney, but Avril would just
not be acceptable. It's like the difference between admitting you like porn (which is cool) and admitting you make child porn (which is not cool).

Cult of Personality/Reality Performance of Self Via Interweb as artform? I'm nostalgic enough about my own life and past to want to get away with this kind of crap.
I have kept every letter I've ever recieved. I need a bigger apartment to fit all the shit I can't throw away. I did screaming naked perfomance art in college.
I was THAT girl. Who has made their personality into an artform lately and done a decent job? RuPaul?

I'm not just saying this to be cool but the Avril record really disintegrates towards the end.

Amanda. go. to. bed.

Monday, November 15, 2004

11/15/04 - Portland, OR

We had a rainy day off and I spent a majority of it losing myself in the best bookstore I've ever seen ( ). I picked up what I am pretty sure is my new favorite book - "Girl Culture" by Lauren Greenfield - an unvelievably beautiful and terrifying photo collection. Nothing like the real thing, but I found some online images from the book at . Girls at weight-loss camp. Prom queens. Anorexics. Three-year olds in lipstick. Amanda Heaven. Look closely at the captions.
Then I joined forces with some of the folks from Fran Sanchez (the name we've finally settled on for the tour bus) and headed to Mary's Club, Portland's first topless bar, which is now a full-on nekkid strip joint. Not that I'm a massive connoisseur, but I've been to my fair share of tit bars and strip joints and this one was a classic. No cover, very cheap drinks, and decor that resmebled a cross between a 50's family Italian restaurant, a rec room and a FunWorld.
There were only three girls working there, rotating every three songs. There was no DJ, which was also a first for me...the girls just selected tunes from a jukebox that was nailed to the wall next to the stage. One girl was insanely thin, blond and boring. The second girl had complete control over the muscles in her tits (we spent all night trying to figure out whether they were faux or not) and did a wonderful trick of pretending to tug them into the air with invisible strings. But our favorite was girl number three, Carmen, who was tattooed from head to toe and looked like full-on suicide girl material, buddy holly glasses and all.

I've had two bizarre dreams lately.

In the first one, I was eight months pregnant. This was one of those intensely vivid dreams, in which I could feel every detail down to the scratchy pinch of my maternity-pants waistband being ever-so-slightly too tight. I refused to name a father. I'd say it was more of a nightmare, actually.

The next night made up for it. I dreamt that John Lennon wound up at my apartment and I tried to get him to cuddle. To my amazement, he was up for it. I was clumsily messing around with my cd player, putting on some mood music - specifically, I was checking to see which disc tray my Cathode "Sleeping and Breathing" cd was in, because I was sure he'd like it - but I wound up accidentally blasting the beginning of the White Album instead. John sort of tried to be nice about it, but his expression read: "Oh Please, Anything But This." After apologizing and trying to laugh about it, I switched discs again and what should come on but....the fucking White Album again. God, how embarrissing. I suppose this has some sort of traceable interpretation having to do with typical musician anxiety. When you're not the sort of girl who cares if the whole class sees a big bloody splotch on the back of your white skirt, you end up having fears like this instead.

I did wind up cuddling with John Lennon, and all was well.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

11/04/04 - Back in the USA

We were in Montreal on election day. We played at the Cabaret Music Hall and then dashed back out to the bus to sit and wait and listen to a faint radio signal as state by state the results came in. We barely spoke. The mood was pretty somber. When the prospects started to get really dim, we seperated. There was nothing to talk about, really. Some went for walks, some stayed up and drank, toasting to the new dark ages.

I went to my bunk and thought about what it really meant that Bush was going to be the president. The damage to the environment, the lives that will be lost, the progress twisted. I cried for a little while.

I'll admit it outright. A part of me is looking forward to the challenge. Might as well embrace the new dark ages for what they'll provide us: fuel. This band, though not overtly political, did what it could in a very small way. We registered people to vote at shows. We voted ourselves. Could we have done more? Certainly. Is that our responsibility? Yes. And no.

We will do what we do best: express ourselves however we like, make art we love, be kind to each other and those around us, support creativity in all shapes and sizes....and try to infect others with the urge to do likewise. That, I believe, is the most powerful asset we, and all artists, have. More so than waving a flag for a candidate or a cause.

It's a time-tested fact. In dark and oppressive political times the artistic kilns of revolution and expression are set ablaze.
Let it begin here, my friends.