Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Cardinal

I'm in my hotel room, in London, we've been on a press/promo tour for almost two weeks. I am fucking dead. Nobody understands exactly what this is when I tell them, so for the interested, a press tour is this (extracted from our printable schedule):

HOTEL INFO FOR TODAY in MILAN (tomorrow amsterdam, next day london)

Hotel:Una Tocq, Address: Via Tocqueville, Milan Tel: +39 02 6207 1
Check in by: 6:45pm (2 hours ahead is advisable – leave 1 hour minimum

Depart: 8:45pm Milan (MPX), Italy Flight KL163
Arrive:10:35pm Amsterdam, Holland

Hotel Information for tonight: American Hotel Amsterdam :
Leidsekade 97, 1017 PN AmsterdamTel #: +31 (0) 20 556300 www.amsterdamamerican.com

10.00:am check out. Transfer to Universal office for interviews – please have make up done
10.30: MTV.IT interview for MTV web site ( with digital camera) Sara Poma
10.50: PIG monthly alternative trend/culture mag, circ. 50.000: they request 1 casual shot
+quick Q&A on what DD are wearing
press interviews
11.10: RUMORE monthly specialized rock music magazine. Circ. 25.000.
11.30: ROLLING STONE monthly music and trend magazine, circ 50.000
11.50: break
12.05: XL monthly music-trend suppl.to LaRepubblica newspaper,circ.600.000
12.25 KATAWEB leading news portal, interview for their music page
12.45 ROCKOL music news site
1.05pm: lunch break
2.15: press interviews
2.15: ROCKSTAR monthly music magazine, circ. 40.000
2.35: JAM monthly specialized adult rock music mag, circ. 20.000
2.55: VOGUE leading fashion and trend monthly maga,circ. 100.000
3.15: ROCKHARD monthly specialized rock music magazine, circ. 15.000
3.35: ROCKSOUND monthly music mag
3.55: transfer to Radio Popolare, Via Ollearo 5
4.20: RADIO POPOLARE. Taped interview (show: “Patchanka”) for syndacation of
alternative radio stations across the country. To be aired in April
4.50 Transfer to ‘La Bottega Del Forno’ Corso Sempione 82
5.10 refresh make up
5.30 ALL MUSIC:Interview for ‘Extra’, weekly show dedicated to rock and alternative bands.
Dresden Dolls as special guests. 15 mins taped interview (will air in April)
6 00: end of promotion and leave for airport (50 mins drive)
8.45 take off for amsterdam - fly
10.35: Dutch rep. to meet band at airport - Drive to hotel.

Asleep by midnight. wake. repeat. wake. repeat. wake. repeat. wake. repeat. wake. repeat. wake. repeat. wake. repeat. wake. sometimes play small promo shows in smoky clubs or in fluorescent-lit painfully sterile radio stations.

and how does all this feel?

pros:
1. get to talk about myself, my songwriting, and my most innermost pain all day with foreign journalists who enthusiastically seem to think our new record is the shit
2. hopefully lay groundwork for good record sales in europe
3. meet label and publicist people who work their asses off for us, unseen all day in european offices

cons:
1. not enough sleep
2. no exercise
3. extremely limited access to loved ones, even via telephone
4. terrible food
5. constant back and neck ache from plane, taxi, train and van travel
6. voice loss
7. severe loss of sense of self
8. urge to kill others around self due to overexposure of personalities
9. bad air, bad decor and bad vibes abounding
10. glimpses of cities through bus and plane windows without even getting to take a walk outside the fucking hotel
11. overwhelming feelings of guilt for not enjoying myself when others would kill to be on a trip to promote their own record
12. almost no privacy
13.. italian wirless access (non-existant)
14. clogged pores and redness from laziness and use of shower soap on face
15. itching, irritabilty and general disease
16. swelling, bruising, nausea, high fever, punctured lung, diarrhea, gasping, choking and moaning etc.

and we do this why....?
pros must outweigh cons in some universe.

This is one of our few nights off. We're almost done. Home for three days off, three days' worth of tour, and then more of the above "wake. repeat. wake. repeat." for a week or so in japan in australia. I have the image of that frog experiment in which the frog will jump out of hot water but not if he starts in the water cold, warmed, gradually unknowing to an unnatural and untimely end. Brian and I are both starting to get chronic airportitis, that feeling you also get in the supermarket or the drugstore if you go at 3 am and you walk dazed down an aisle, forgetting what a supermarket or drugstore is for. We have started to sleep while sitting, and we have started to think that banging our heads together on the plane, to see what kind of sound it REALLY makes, is a good time. Things are weird. We baaa like sheep being dragged around by ropes constantly and find it hilarious. Nobody understands.

Talking with the journalists is a trip. They generally love the record...due out April 18th. It's called "Yes, Virginia". Nobody in Europe gets the reference. "Aren't you afraid that this is too personal music?" What a question. We talk a lot about Virginia, the letter, the idea. Believing in things you cannot see. Trusting. Hardly an interview without the state of current events fitting in with the whole theme of the record title and the songs....the current mess over folks denying the holocaust, free speech being censored, the cartoon Muhammad issue...all of it converging over hotel lobby coffee tables. We did a naked photo shoot in germany because we were too lazy to get dressed.

But before I left for the hellhole of a promo-tour, there was The Cardinal.

You have learned from a previous post that I am not a hippie.

To add my typical-amandian disclaimer pre-able to this story, as i must, i am not a Nature Person either. I generally don't get nature and I certainly don't usually get Art about Nature. I have an aversion to paintings of Nature and songs about birds the way I assume anybody of discerning taste does. Nature just seems like such an easy target. It's like a love song. It's there, it's great, we know, why bother? But this is obviously teenage hangover and short-sighted, and the best Art is the probably the rare Tasteful Nature painting and the Tasteful Love Song (done only, I am convinced, by Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, John Lennon or equivalent).

In any event, this Cardinal showed up shortly after I got back from the last leg and before I left for my solo show and promo trip to New York a few weeks ago.

He arrived with a THWOK on my window. I heard him from the bathroom and rushed into the kitchen, expecting to see a dead, or at least unconscious, bird on my fire escape. I knew that THWOK sound, birds had come and mistaken my window for safe passage before. But he was perched there, fully conscious, all nature-y looking with his red redness and his little black mask and disarmingly cute yellow little beak and now-very-popular-with-the-girls-in-new-york unihawk/mullet hairdo. And I felt heavy for this bird. He had obviously flown into the window thinking it was part of the sky. Damn humans, I cursed us, why must we fuck up the sky by building apartments with windows, thus screwing up the birds forever. Oh, but I was wrong. In a few moments time, he flew into the window again. Full force. THWOK. And then again. THWOK. Each time his beak and head would make full impact on the upper pane of my kitchen window and then he would re-alight onto the railing of the fire escape outside my second-story kitchen window. And now I was mystified and terrified. What on earth was he DOING? I taped up a piece of paper, an old letter from a dead friend, to the window, hoping this would aid him in de-mystifying the window-sky continuum.

The next day, around the same time, he came back.

THWOK. THWOK. THWOK. THWOK. THWOK. THWOK. THWOK. THWOK. I was really distressed. The paper hadn't worked. I opened the window, from the top. My movement scared him away, but sure enough, after a few minutes he came back. I stood there, perfectly still and bare feet freezing from the arctic air pouring onto the floor (it was about thirty-five degrees outside). I just waited. Then the oddest thing happened: he flew into the space where the window HAD been, fluttered all confused, didn't fly into the room and quickly retreated back to a tree. So, I thought, this is a masochist bird. He doesn't WANT to come in. He wants to bash his head against my window. The next few days, he arrived at around mid-morning every day. he was usually at work by the time I woke up...in fact two days in a row I awoke - i kid you not - to the now sweet and familiar THWOK THWOK THWOK THWOK THWOK THWOK THWOK THWOK that I had now become accustomed to. I tried my window experiment a few more times, always with the same results as before. I was fully freaked. It was going on five or six days and I was really starting to wonder what in hells name was going on. But at the same time I was secretly pleased. This bird had chosen MY window to exercise his weird S&M ritual and NOT somebody else's and I therefore must be Special. This of course made me feel horribly guilty and I wished the bird would go away and yet stay and yet go away and stay. He would come by when I was practicing the material for the solo show, which was during the afternoon, trying to nail down the Chopin Nocturne (opus 9 no. 2) I had beaten myself into trying to re-learn from my college years so I could feel like a Real Musician. I began to love the little chirping sound he would always make before he thwoked. I would hear it from anywhere in the apartment and go into the kitchen to watch. Better than television.

Lee's theory (we had several morning conversations over tea in his place to the soundtrack of THWOK THWOK THWOK THWOK coming from my window downstairs) was that the bird was seeing his own reflection and wanted to fight. I didn't fully buy this theory. I've been looking out of my window for YEARS and I've never seen Cardinals in Combat.

Another friend of mine, who Knows Me Well, had a better theory: it was Matchbook.

Matchbook was my Boyfriend in college. I was 18. I met him my freshman year in the most weird and perfect way. I had been trying to overcome my fear of performing for years and years, and I scheduled my first performance in a room at the college where there was a grand piano and about 50 seats. I made flyers and shook sweating every night for two weeks. I planned about 13 or 14 songs. The night came and I played, for the 20-plus strangers assembled there, with my heart and head in tremors and my soul all terrified. I didn't have any friends at the time, barely, I didn't have anyone to talk to after the show...I just knew I had played, gotten over it, and had a recording that I could use as a demo tape with which to Move Forward With My Life. The concert ended at around 10 pm and I went back to my room and probably shook some more and killed time until my DJ slot at the college radio station, which was from 3-5am. I usually played a weird mix of The Legendary Pink Dots, Neubauten, marching band music and strange spoken word from the music library....generally I would just pile my favorite 17 records into a bag and make live mix tapes for myself. Nobody was listening, it was the middle of Connecticut at 4 am. I ONCE got a phone call, asking me about a song I had played. I was Amazed. So I was there, spinning records to myself, and the doorbell light went off. I walked through the stacks and stacks and doors and doors to answer it, expecting it was some upperclassman DJ hipster who needed to fetch some rare superchunk or guided by voices disc that he couldn't sleep without. But instead, it was Matchbook. He was standing there, with a lit birthday candle shoved into a twinkie on a paper plate and a bottle of PowerAde. He knew me, but I didn't know him, he said. He lived in the house/society where I was thinking about living, and he has seen my flyer so he and some others had come to check out the show. And he loved it, he said. My first fan. We fell in love later that night and we stayed in love for a while. But there was a problem, which was his heroin use. I came from a place where people did plenty of pot and acid, but these sorts of drugs were mostly unknown. Of course, for the first 4 seconds I had the initial "wow....cool" reaction, visions of Lou Reed & Co. dancing in my head, but on second five I was disgusted. Needles in veins, no good. He had a habit, as did other people in the house. And on top of that, he had a heart condition and a six inch scar to prove it, ran straight across his chest like a cracked riverbed from an operation he had had when he was five. After a few weeks of dating and being in love, I told him to Kick It or else forget about my girlfriend position. He agreed. A week later, he came to me one day. He knew my demand for honesty was high, and he said he was planning on shooting up that night, and that he didn't want to lie to me. Fine, I said, but I get to watch to see what all this fuss is about. Fine, he said. So along I went. We were in his friend's basement room and I watched the whole simple, knew-it-from-so-many-songs ritual. Jab. And then a few minutes later I decided I had had enough. I was hurt. So I told him I was leaving to go back to my own little cement dorm, and that he could come over for love and sleeping later. He agreed. I went home and staged a nice suicide with chocolate syrup and red food-coloring and ketchup and lots of cuts all over my legs and arms (mind you - I wasn't a cutter and never was...he was fully unprepared for this) and set up my tape recorder. Then I stripped the bedsheets, added blood, lay down and waited. About an hour later he came by (swtiched on the tape recorder) and let him discover me. I let him believe it for about 13 seconds. That was cruel enough. After that, our relationship improved. He was very angry at first but then glad I had taken the time and effort to express my frustration creatively. He kicked.

A month or so later, I took him home to meet my parents and My Friend Who Knows Me Well, and something terribly sad happened. He admitted to me that he had been using dope again and promised me that he was ready to stop. We visited the bathroom together and flushed the rest of his drugs down the toilet. It was fun. The next morning, my Friend and I took him out to Brunch. There was a piano there. I had been learning classical music and I was delighted by this piano and I left our breakfast conversation to sit down and (slightly terrified, but not so much this time) attempted to play the Chopin Nocturne (opus 9 no. 2) I had been learning. My second public performance, and people clapped. But Matchbook was nodding off at the table and, according to my Friend, heard not a note. He was Gone, eyes closed, head back. I was so naive I didn't realize what was happening, but my Friend pulled me aside in the driveway when we got home. I Never Tell You What To Do, he said, but This Time I Will. And he broke it down for me. And the weeks wore on, and the drugs went away again but I never fully trusted. But still, there was love, and there was art and we made films. He was an incredible artist, Matchbook, a brilliant painter, and we worked on our work together. He was studying hard and showed me his sketches and told me about what he was learning. We shared all of our music. We had amazing sex. For a while, things were wonderful. Then summer came, we went separate ways and effectively broke up. The next semester back in school, things were awkward but smoothed out, and then the day after christmas, he died. I got the phone call in my parents bedroom, since I was home for break. I remember putting down the phone and crying like an infant, huge racking sobs all night. His parents said it was heart problems. I'll never know what happened.

So my Friend's theory was that upon my commencing of the Chopin Practice (opus 9 no. 2), Matchbook showed up to repent and - stoned, of course - started hitting his sorry head against the window to deliver some undeliverable message. We had a good laugh over that one, but I don't believe in Things Like That, so this theory was also no good.

At this point, I actually considered looking for a bird specialist to ask, but decided against it, since I was enjoying the mystery. The morning I left for New York, he went absolutely nuts. He stayed by the window almost constantly for about two hours and THWOK THWOK THWOK THWOKED his little brain out. He obviously knew. I was sad to leave. I waited until the last minute to catch a cab for the train. I called my Friend and mused for a long time about this Red Masochist on my fire escape. I told him I had googled for Cardinals and Symbolism. Hope and Suffering were tied for first place. I looked out of the cafe car of the train and it was a gray gray sky as I pressed the phone to my head. I didn't want to tell you, he said, but I knew about the Suffering part...they're supposed to be harbingers of Death. Fantastic, I said. Maybe the train will crash.

When I came home, the Cardinal was still there. He kept the same hours and by now, it was like the sun rising and setting. THWOK was a comforting sound. I thought about blogging about him but didn't want to ruin the magic. After a space of weeks, I can finally admit that he's probably gone, the object of his affection plugging away in hotel lobbies across the wide wide sea. But my Friend was inspired to write his own reflection about the Masochist-Matchbook-Hope-Suffering-Bird and here I share it with you:



He pecked and fluttered---pecked and fluttered-peck-peck-peck-peck-peck-peck-peck
on the glass.
Scarlet symbol of “hope” and “suffering” the Cardinal at my window.
He draws me. Mystifies me. Pulled by the first peck he gave me:
into connection with his hope---hope of getting in---getting into me-that's what he wants, no?
Perhaps I'm more attached to his suffering---the suffering unrequited---for he suffers, no? Suffers for me, no?
His bloody passion reflected in his coat.
His pointed crown, tilting with strain in his trance of pain as he: peckspeckspeckspeckspeckspeckspecks.
I feel for him, I say, “Oh, here he is” when I hear, and turn to see the shock of crimson marked by the shroud of his black mask
and, bearing the weight of his need, I bend and soften toward his tiny body.
Hollow bones and feathers mostly (1.48 ounces)
Nothing. Nothing.
But the greatest weight I carry some days, seeing him at the windowpane. I face him separated: only a sheet of glass keeping me from his breath.

Am I his muse? He my poet? Does he know who I am, what I do? Does he need me? Need my help? Does he read me? Is he a mystic? A prophet? No, couldn't be . . . that's not why he's here.

Perhaps I'm wrong about The Cardinal, His Eminence-in the hierarchy of nature, which vested him with royal robes. Perhaps it is I investing the vested-one with hope and suffering--perhaps instead it is his own reflection in the glass compelling him and not at all me. With his “knock-and-you-shall-be-answered/ask-and-it-shall-be-given-you” attitude. Typical . . . for His Eminence-way--way up in the hierarchy--preening and pounding with his awe-inspiring vestments-his peaked crown. Tapping on the mirrored glass. Look at me look at me look at me! Can't get enough of him self. Narcissist!
Whoa, down boy . . . he is a bird after all and cannot be hopeful--suffer angst-can he? They cannot be egomaniacs, narcissists--read minds, or futures can they?

No. They can't. That's the answer.

He influences me though. Always comes in the mid-afternoon-pecking and fluttering persistent-passionate-entranced getting into me. He mesmerizes me always in the mid-afternoon. Influencing.
But today, the dawn of my departure on the train, he came rosy and early in the gray tired morning. Special visit---and pecked solid for an hour shouting . . .TIME TO GO---TIME TO GO---TIME TO GO. Or, perhaps: DON”T GO-DON”T GO---DON'T GO--DON”T LEAVE-DON'T LEAVE-DON'T LEAVE.
Did he know I'd not be here a while? Know I was going, and in my going that I would suffer? Is he cautioning me? Does he peck a wake-up or a warning? Is this code reveille or taps? Do I need him, his help.

He makes me think. Influences me to reflect, to make meaning.
Is he my priest, my doctor, my shaman?
Am I his steward, his idol, his savior?
Is he god; god in this tiny red? God in nature as they say? Well, of course he is! What else could he be? Rorschach! That's what god is anyway. Project what you will, and learn about yourself from your divine projections--if you dare to look upon the face of god to learn. A red inkblot on a card . . .
The Cardinal: created in my image---yes, that's it, I'm god, I'm god too . . . that's what he's telling me. Because I've given him meaning, and life with hope, intention, goals and will. Made him who he is today. I and The Cardinal----gods we are. There, I've done it, found it . . . the world in a birdseed and hope in a drip of red.
Tea time---if they have any on this train . . .
cheek pressing the windowpane
Watch the bright sky of mind---steady-fickle---foolish
perfect.











xx

a

30 comments:

Noam Plum said...

The touring stuff sounds just like the Radiohead doc "Meeting People is Easy." If you haven't seen it, it's a wonderfully unique and counter-rockstarish look at touring and rockstardom and soul-crushing publicity.

As for the Cardinal - facinating. I'm half-convinced that storytelling is the real root of your calling in life and music is just your medium. Well, not "just" your medium... it's just that it's all so tied up in stories that even if we can't figure out the plot or the characters anymore after the transformation into notes and lyrics, the stories - your stories - come through full force in the music, in ways we can feel and understand at their core without knowing their details.

Too personal music? Of course. Who would want it any other way?

andrea said...

Wow.
That's one of those things where after you read it you just have to sit and let it sink in. Like it doesn't make sense all at once. I'm also one of those people who doesn't believe in Things Like That BUT, the thought does come up in your mind: Is it too much of a coincidence? It's a perfect theory. So perfect. Too perfect? I'm taking psych. this semester and one thing this story makes pop into my head from that class is that we humans love to make connections to EVERYTHING. This is because of This and because of That and That is happening because of This. But still, who knows? It will probably be one of your life's mysteries. You know you'll never forget it and years from now you'll sit with your friends and say, "Remember the cardinal?", and that'll just bring up the whole mystery of it again and it will stay on your mind for awhile. Or maybe it just is what it is. Whatever that is. On another note, I could say don't let work get you down and it's all good in the end (which it is, I believe) but we all know getting up early, working hectically all day, and going to bed late is a bitch and now matter how enjoyable what you're doing should seem to be it still manages to feel fucked up at the time. So, instead I'll leave you with something that's definitely enjoyable. I found a new tea that I absolutely fucking love. It's Spring Cherry (green tea), The Republic Of Tea. I was initially nervous of it as I am with most berryesque teas because of a previous bad berry tea encounter but this one completely satisfied me. If you decide to try it, trust me, it's really good and as smell compliments taste I recommend getting a vanilla scented candle and burning it while you drink the tea. I did it by accident and found that the vanilla smell with the mix of cherry flavor made for a wonderful experience. As sad as it may sound, it was the highlight and ray of sunshine of a stressful week. And with the weeks you seem to be having, you deserve some of that sunshine.

Much Love,
Andrea

mazeofmemories said...

She wrote about a Cardinal that bangs into her window, THWOK THWOK THWOK, and won't go away. She looked up what the symbolism behind Cardinals was. Hope and suffering, and harbingers of death.

Then I remembered something.

When I used to sleep at Jacob's house there was always a THWOK THWOK THWOK coming from the window in the morning. Without fail. I had fleeting worries that it was Crystal or some other lover throwing pebbles at his window and he would sneak away to them when he went to the bathroom, until he told me it was a bird. I hate birds. I'm terrified of them. It was a cardinal. And I think that cardinal had been trying to warn me, that in that room I would find nothing but suffering and misery.

The fact that I'm afraid of birds should have been enough. I preferred sleeping in the basement. That cardinal was telling me that if I stayed with him I would be staying with my death. I wonder if he warns Halley now, but she is not afraid of birds, so I don't think she listens. I don't know if I would have listened had I known before.

I have to go to that house again soon, and gather all my old things. I plan on going while he's at school so I don't have to deal with the fact that he refuses to give me those things. I really hope that cardinal is there, I might have to open the window and let him in.



You inspired me.

the alpha noodle said...

i'm sitting in my very own concrete box now and thinking about what i just read, and about the way i cried silently for a moment while reading it. birds always seem to evoke strong emotions.
i wrote this a while ago. it's melodramatic to the point of amusement and over saturated with symbolism, but it has its place in a history of hard high school children. and anyway, it's true.



When I went to bed last night the robins were dying.


I crawled into my nest of infinite blankets and heated pillows and tucked sheets around my toes in order to flush out the numb sensation that had become them. I lay quietly and listened to a lullaby of Matthew Good’s riddled lyrics off of a mix CD my boyfriend had made me. What a romantic scene. The vocalist pleaded with my empathy:

“So long Mrs. Smith,
This spring I think that I should go,
And I have had enough of this, And this place ain’t what it was before,
When I was young 9:30 was late enough,
And the sky was angel dust,
A dead top trio,
of criminal saints,
To worship at Wong’s,
Would you say that we were wrong?
Would you say, that we were wrong?”

"No" I thought to myself, "I would not say that you were wrong."

I turned off the light and allowed my sense of hearing to dominate the others. I could hear my stereo. I could hear my heart. Fa-thump. Fa-thump. Does it always beat so slowly? I could hear my cat drinking from his water dish. I could hear wood crackle and hush to ashes. I could hear airplanes drone as they panned the night sky. I could hear the tops of trees dancing to keep themselves warm in the numbing freeze. And then, I heard something else. I cut Matthew Good off mid-sentence to try and make out the sound. It sounded like a children’s playground in the spring. It sounded like a robin. Forgetting for a moment that the night had settled in around my home I pulled open the shade to try and confirm the unlikely vision I had heard. I was met with an impenetrable darkness and a biting cold that flooded into my room as if it were some carnivorous night-stalker pouncing on it’s pray.


Powerless against the freeze I pulled the shade shut and retreated into my blankets. I tried my best to silence my heart and listened again for the robin’s call. Sure enough, there it was, alone, piercing, as if the cold had made the sound itself sharper, clearer. I found this song to be much less of a plea, more of a proclamation of accepted defeat. It did not ask for my empathy nor sympathy, but it immediately had them both. I suddenly felt guilt wash over me like the cold had, yet with a much more potent sting that lingered like the aroma of burning plastic. Yet guilt was not what the robin wanted. This was not its usual announcement of spring or call to say that all is well and we are safe. This song was strong and slow. The resilient bird held out notes in a peculiar fashion I had never before heard. I suppose when one is completely alone one’s values shift slightly.

As if they were as set as I to listen to the symphonic tragedy, the trees all hushed each other softly, and the snow ceased to melt and the planes ceased to fly and the cat ceased to drink and the wood ceased to burn and then, for a moment, my heart ceased to beat. The soloist was gone. I listened. Fa-thump, fa-thump, fathump-fathump. The wind picked up again and a tear rolled down my cheek. My toes were no longer cold. I had no empathy for Matthew Good or the “dead top trio of criminal saints.” I looked up at the ceiling and a million glow-in-the-dark-stars buzzed out of focus as tears bombarded my eyes. There was no one to tell- no one to sing to. I took out a journal and wrote illegibly in the darkness; "When one is so wholly and completely alone, one’s values shift slightly..."

end.

i was reminded.
Thanks.

SERGIO said...

fuck, thanks for that blog.

I'm not really thanking you for anything specific in this blog. For some reason it was just a nice trite read. You see I jump onto your live journal from work every couple weeks. I am trapped ina cubicle and the sadness that fills my cup from 9 to 5 is almost unbearable. I would say you are lucky for not being in the seat next door to me. But you are not lucky, you seem to have lived fearlessly and had ambition and have kept yourself open to this force that allows you to write incredible music. anyway - that was the asskiss part.

I really enjoyed this particular entry, and my head swam away for a couple of minutes. thanks.

it's nice to just jump on here and get a backstage view at "the rock life", and even though an orgy or a barfight would be nice. It's also nice to see how things are normal on the other side. That "other side" the rest of us dream about out here. (You remember what it was like)Whether it's you on an airplane 2/ 50 cent, or Regina playing piano in your house, the way you described Germany, an Avril concert, this cardinal - anything. This shit is nice to read.

It's funny I was going to put on your album just now, cause I was reading your journal. And I thought "just because I'm reading her journal right now, doesn't neccasarily mean I am in the mood for the Dresdeon Dolls. (I'm stuck in between Aphex Twin and Belle and Sebastian, I don't know what to do. My media player is currenlty muted) Anyway it's funny how I just realized the music and the artist are one and seperate in a way.

Anyway this is turning into fanmail. must. stop. /

thanks for the blogs, they are little gifts from time to time.

(I hope I don't have to register on another site just to post this comment)

but it looks like I have to...

15 minutes left to go,

you make me not want to "kill" so much time.

Kurt said...

I've been reading your diary here for a while and will take this comment space to share some of the things I've been thinking about, inspired by your posts.

I'm currently sitting in a hotel room in Indiana. I too am on the road, though in my case it's not to promote a record album but to interview for a faculty job. I too find myself feeling a certain amount of ambiguousness about the situation - I've been working towards this for ten years and now I'm not sure that I want it. I'm not sure what I'll end up doing here but I have a few thoughts about what you've said, which maybe are more me arguing with myself than any comment on your entry.

You say you feel guilty for not enjoying promoting your album ... I see no reason you should feel guilty. Just because it might sound cool in the abstract doesn't mean that it is fun if you have to do it (personally, the travel schedule you describe would kill me). Even if some people enjoy doing it doesn't mean you will enjoy it.

You shouldn't feel guilty or apologize for your feelings - they're yours, and you're entitled to them.

If the cons of being in the Dresden Dolls ever outweigh the pros, I would say you should just quit. A lot of people (including me) would be dissapointed, but you know what? It's your life, not ours.

Regardless of what the future holds, you and Brian have produced a thing of beauty that's touched a lot of people. That's more than most people ever achieve in life and you should treasure that.

I hope this doesn't sound condescending; I don't mean it to be, I'm just thinking out loud.

maxrob said...

it should be a very hard time, round italy with all the idiot journalists you've met. and yes, amanda, there's no wireless connection!
sometimes italy could be a nasty place.
I guess good for nothing fanzine will promote the album better than all those guys :)
don't get too tired with promotion, waiting for you both in tour.
hold on.

Jack P Toerson said...

I really hate the idea of giving interviews to magazines I didn't know or hadn't read. Could end up with anything either side of the interview; you may end up sandwiched between an article about parquet and an article about grouse shooting.

A Unique Alias said...

Sometimes - - no, often - - a bird is just a bird.

Beutiful Means of Green Eyes said...

I always found that music is created with the moments that are passed.. Does not it interest itself healthy barely of his moments, fuck-itself the that they contest to its work, she is its, barely its. I thought that did not go so hard that life of musician, but, finally... each which with its life. Here at home a time appeared a Woodpecker of red head... he always woke me up the 7 a.m., I always asked me the because... hahah I found funny the " masochistic-bird "... sudden he feels to please in that even... will be that birds feel orgasm? He is the answer for its question. Big kisses and continues with his great work. Oh... I live in Brazil, you never will come for Rio do a show? I love his music as many persons this way, if a day will be able to come, think not twice, ok? I promise that stick a colorful short for you. HAHAHA =]

the bitter mediocre artist said...

wow, that schedule is pretty hardcore, but i guess it is what you have to put up with when you're in the business. i feel guilty for wanting so much more from you amanda, when you've already given the fans so much. ha i really appreciate everything you do.

haha when you first mentioned a Cardinal, i thought you encountered some kind of religious figure like a bishop or a priest and he came with a thwok against your window haha. that doesn't really make sense, but that would'
ve been pretty interesting too no? is a Cardinal even a postion in Catholicism? ah i love reading your journal entries. they're like prose to my inexperienced and niave 20 yr old mind. i wish i could write as well as you. you should write a book some day. i was reading your bio over again on your website and i just thought it was funny with the photos sprinkled throughout it.

another random thing...haha i love the weird faces you make when you're singing. brian too. i've noticed that when you're really getting into it, you tuck your chin into your neck. ha i can't explain it. it's funny.

i would like to send in some dresden dolls inspired artwork someday when my technical skills have improved. i really want it to impress you and then you'll seek me out and befriend me. ha a girl can dream right?(but yeah i'm a boy).

i hope you continue doing what you do for a long time. keep making great music. i hope it never ends.

-Glenn

Vince's Mighty Brain said...

That was real pretty.

blkat said...

Interesting experience.....

Cardinal pecking at your window-uncompromisingly.

When incredibly strange things happen to me, I tend to look within for the answers?
Why is this happening?
I believe that sometimes,the things that are going on around us, in life, can be a mirror for what is going on inside of us.
Events, I believe,that happen in our lives, can shed light on our pathos-if we're open.
We "are" what we attract, and we tend to attract that which we "are".
So, perhaps the question lies within?
This approach to things is merely a choice, it isn't a spiritual, airy-fairy solution to things. It just can give anyone a new perspective on life.

Suppose you stopped and pondered it for a moment?
How in life, are you hitting your head against a "window"?
Perhaps the bird is looking at an illusion and when the window is opened, he is confused. How are you doing that in your life?
What is driving the bird on? What is driving you?

Just a thought.

Liz
;)

Mephistopheles said...

I like.

crazyjaneski said...

Lovely reading, like always. I can't wait for your show in Prague in April! Whooo!

spi said...

Wow that schedule is grueling. I can't imagine being that busy. :) I loved the performance of Chopin during your set in Boston.

Damn fine post.

lil birdie said...

i'm sure you're gone from the Cardinal at the window, but just in case... some great ideas...

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=cardinals+flying+into+windows&btnG=Google+Search

Rachel said...

stay strong amanda...dont let the press tour get you down like the end of some of the last tours did.

i hope very much that the last LA/San Francisco shows were an enjoyable break for you...i cant wait until the new album comes out, and i also wish i knew if my broke self could go to a store and buy the dresden dolls book/dvd...everywhere ive checked doesnt carry it...so i think i may be forced to get a credit card!!!

music is meant to be personal, if youre a true ARTIST.

and i also want to thank you for the book reccomendations of past...i am currently enjoying the one about practical buddhism...

Olivia said...

This is a very interesting entry.

You know who your words remind me of? The words of Sylvia Plath. I see a conection between you two, somehow. You're both very inspiring. (Check out her poem Lady Lazarus if you get the chance; that ones my favorite.)

I hope you and Brian feel better, soon.

Also, music can never be too personal. In fact, nothing can be two personal. If things were to personal, no one would ever be close.

evilforestgnome said...

one year ago today my roommate died unexpectantly

love_and_art said...

wow...that's a strange thing about the bird. I usually don't believe in things like that either, but it makes one think. you do have a talent for telling stories. As much as I love your music, I almost prefer to read what you write...you have this sort of off beat, macabre, deep sense of humor that is so refreshing to read. and I truly thought that whole faked sucicide was genius...as morbid as it may sound. and also I agree with noam plum...who would want it any other way than too personal? it's what made me fall in love with you guys from the start! plus when you add in the cabaret-esque sound, you guys do it! hope the stress level goes down for you, that would be hard. peace.
~kate~

Anonymous said...

Are you, or have you ever been, a man? I mean, there seems to be a lot of hints in your songs. "It's not the way I'm meant to be, it's just the way the operation made me?" And I mean, the titles! "Sex Changes?" "Half Jack?" (Like half a man?) Also! Your name is Amanda! Like, "A man, duh!" Please clarify this!

Redshift said...

In the emptiness, All will be forgiven.

And maybe recycled.

No, I'm not sure if I believe that kind of stuff, but then what's there to believe about anything. What's there to opinionate, what's there to experience?

We're dreamers.

the bitter mediocre artist said...

i've realized that my desire to be your friend stems from my profound lonliness.

Ed Murray said...

Would we be happier and better rested if we weren't driven to find meaning in everything?

Make metaphor of reality?

Did we really choose to be like this?

I wouldn't trade it for the world ... but then again ... I can't anyway ...

Innuendo said...

amanda, i love your rambling- i get lost in your posts. in general, i'm a fan who is proud of you and is inspired by you. i see you accomplishing beautiful things and think maybe i can do something beautiful too. i'm at a sticky point in my life where i go between feeling useless and feeling "better than that". social pressures of being a female edging up on thirty... i don't know what to hope for or what to live for, whether to be passionate about one thing or everything or nothing and just try to let things happen....or not happen. more and more i find myself doing dangerous things to myself (my health and spirit and mind), things i'm still opposed to ethically, just because the risk of following a different DREAM and failing terrifies me more than pumping hormones into myself to have a baby even though fate may not want me to. Does fate want me to do something else with my time, money, heart? If so, then what? I've lost all focus.

Thanks for not being afraid to be YOU. I admire that.
XXOO

-MdS- said...

dear virginia,

every bird is a piece of god...
and i suppose that much bigger piece than lot of people are. :) cause god is a freedom and honesty and the will to reach the heaven. therefore you can be happy and proud that he have chosen your window, no doubt about it....

i know that you were writing somewhere you dont like the nature songs & nature art & nature adoring at all. neither do i. silly smiling conform people repeating "what a beutiful flower, do you see?" again and again. ecological activists sacrifizing their lifes to save an old dog, while people all over the world are dying because of starvation. fuck that!

but on the other hand: there is nothing else than future in our world. even a spaceship send to moon, even nuclear bomb, even absolutely industrial or techno music, everything is nature cause its a product of human race which is nothing else than a weird type of animals daring to understand everything...

but we still are (and maybe forever will be) just a stupid young wannabees in this game. maybe we can kill everything we want but it doesnt mean anything more.
little bit more respect, fear and faith for trees and birds - our ancestors and neighbours.

enjoy your day everybody
and listen to the birds :)

rbrn said...

i had a cardinal flying at my window all summer. I must have bored him as now all he does is sit on my car and slam into the windshield.

Kt said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
giantmidget said...

I keep banging my head on my bedroom door. It's how I open it. How this relates to your story? Well I made one THWOK noise. Then I stay up all night thinking about how I should have gone to sleep before four in the morning. I have 18 minutes to get to sleep before four in the morning now. It's not going to happen though. Dammit, why aren't I tired? I've had a load of alcohol in the park tonight, that used to knock me out. But nooooo now I'm up all night and barely get more than fifteen minutes sleep a dawn. Anyway, bitch over. I love connecting.