Monday, October 30, 2006

randomness & CMJ & call for change

i am home for about 36 hours. the bus dropped me off at home this morning at around 9. i always love that feeling when the bus pulls up to my actual apartment building, suddenly being in a space warp, like the scene in the fifth element where the take-out chinese place actually comes to your apartment window instead of yo' lazy ass having to walk down the street. the roving coffin-bed and makeshift home i've slept in is mere yards from my actual resting place and kettle. it's, like, queer. we had a bona fide raging party for all of two hours last night after the show in sayreville, managing to cram all of member of the red the red paintings, sxip and dancers of ladybird, our entire crew, barnaby and his boyfriend and 8 other random people in the front lounge of the bus while brian DJ'd from his computer (lots of Boyz II Men and Jackson Five) and we tried to drain of all the leftover rider beer. it was truly wonderful to watch. trash and i slow danced, 8th-grade style. the buzz and the smiling and the wild hands as people talked about things with sore throats and mad gestures all around me, it's what i want, i only had to close my eyes and actually pay attention to it for a second, it's the only song i want to hear most of the time, all of those people talking at once.

i am sad to see this tour over, i am sad to say goodbye to the red paintings. trash (the lead singer) is from my planet, running around trying to make the impossible happen, organizing live painters and human canvasses (that are painted black and then designed with day-glo paint that teh band supplies during the bands'set). last night i painted a canvas on stage and actually created something not painful to look at. it was a wonderful goodbye present for me and them both. trash left a canvas out in the lobby of the starland ballroom and every person at the show painted a portion of the surface, creating a masterpiece of love. it will hang on the wall of wherever i live until i die. barnaby brought a pastel portrait he'd been working on and blew everybody's brains out with his genius, a bunch of brigaders brought birthday cake (the band is officially SIX tomorrow, we're getting OLD) and though i can barely talk today, i don't mind. i fucking love my band, i fucking love our fans.

i went to desi's new loft a few hours ago to get my hair cut, and stared into the void of his brand-new stainless steel kitchen sink with my eyes closed and the water swooshing over my head and mark came up behind us to offer the information that the news had just announced that elephants were self-aware. then he walked away again.



I rarely post about politics but fuck it:

from a email i got today:


We've got less than 192 hours to go before Election Day. So if you've never made a political call before in your life—now's the time. This week can be a turning point, but we need everyone pushing together to tip it over the top. You can get started right now by clicking here.


YES: the scary 2006 elections are in a few days, comrades, and many people my age or younger don't really see how they can change an increasingly fucked-up system. it's huge and daunting.

However, it's also the future. the internet and the magic of PHONES has made it possible to take a couple hours out of your life, or LESS, and help change the course of events in what's going to be an HISTORIC election. lots of the races in many states are PAINFULLY close.

You can use your phone, call voters, even attend (or throw, for fucks sake) a party in your neighborhood where everyone makes calls together.

Using this resource to call active voters to convince them to get out and vote is crucial.
Even if you're too young to be registered to vote: YOU CAN DO THIS, your voice doesn't have to wait until you turn fucking 18.

from the website:
"This year, victory will come down to voter turnout. We've found the Democratic-leaning people who often don't vote in mid-term elections like this one. If we can just get these “unlikely voters” to vote, they'll provide a winning margin in a whole bunch of races.

Over 30 races are in a dead heat – margins of a few thousand or few hundred votes. We’ve tested these calls, and we know they work – the people we talk to are much more likely to turn out. Your calls could tip the balance – but we're in a daily struggle to make sure we're reaching more voters than the Republicans’ infamous turnout program. Can you help?"

if i know anything about our fanbase, you're not shy folks.
please give this a shot and also pass the info on to others via your blog, myspace page, whatever you can.

here is the link again for emphasis:



on a less serious and more rock note:
if you're in NYC or in town for the CMJ music marathon this weekend, here's what to see:
(venue info up at

if you personally run into any of these folks (lots of these venues are small) say hello from me, they're all allies.



mo pitkin's
Tue 10/31 9 pm
*NOTE, this is not an official CMJ event*

last chance to catch the red paintings before they jet for aussie.
also, ask anyone who saw him open for us this last tour: sxip is a one-man wonder of amazingness.


Rocks Off Boat Cruise
World Inferno Friendship Society
Tue 10/31 11:15 pm

the legendary punk rock big band. prepare to get sweat on and possibly punched. dancing/drinking is obligatory.



Jake Brennan
Wed 11/01 11:00 pm

a boston hero, jake sings true blues rock and roll. wicked old school solo guitar, for fans of the rock.


The Tank
Thu 11/02 10:15 pm

another boston band, very experiemental jagged rock. awesome guys.

Union Pool
The Fatales
Thu 11/02 12:00 am

beautiful hooky indie rock, i've been trying to see these guys live for years.

Living Room
Casey Dienel
Thu 11/02 12:00 am

casey sings gorgeous flapper-y and sweet piano tunes.
she's native, so if you miss her (or can't make it to see her open for me at the paradise in boston on nov 27th),
check out her site and find her some other way.


Hiro Ballroom @ Maritime Hotel
Erase Errata
Fri 11/03 07:45 pm

grrl indie rock, very post-punk-wave-angular and jarring but somehow awesome.



Canal Room
Saul Williams
Sat 11/04 10:00 pm

saul is a force of nature, electro/rapper/spoken-word/poet bad-ass. amazing stage enrgy, fucking inspiring.




p.s. i'll see a lot of you fuckers at the roundhouse in a few days. it's going to be epic.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

a months worth less

oct 23rd.

sitting in the Again Cafe of Nashville: the cafe coco, open 24 hours, playing hits of the eighties and making my life bright. before bonnaroo i waited for doni from trail of dead to show up here for two hours. i was so tired i fell asleep under a table in one of the smaller rooms. the cafe coco has a front and back yard, a huge porch and some tacky statues. it was here that i filmed the first (though it wound up on the cutting room floor) footage for the kaiser chiefs' video i made at bonnaroo. i put the tennis ball on the head of this madonna-like statue wrapped in christmas lights. it looked beautiful, all blinky.

i've been feeling this strange reluctance to blog lately. it's typical, there's just too much happening and i feel like i have to write something poetic and profound. fuckkit

i've had this one sitting in my outbox for about a month, i wrote it during the aussie tour and just didn't post it for reasons probably having to do with laziness, as it probably needed editing. now it doesn't need editing: it's "archival":


(approx sept 17th)

we had our first shit show of the tour last night in melbourne.
yet shit show is relative.

there are certain nights when enough things conspire against you to make you want to just give up...pull a diva and flounce off stage in a flurry of kimonos saying (in a very high-pitched italian accent) I CANNOT VORK VEES ZEEEZZ CRAPPPP!!!!!!!!!!

we've been renting keyboards on this entire tour and this was the first night the company we were renting from didn't have a kurzweil. the control buttons of the kleyboard were much closer to the actual keys, so at the beginning of the set i immediately started alternately accidentally hitting the patch-change buttons (causing some interesting slap-bass, wind-chime and clavinova sounds to take the place of the piano during "sex changes"), knocking the the volume knob to zero by accident (causing a very noticable silence and accidental drum solo, and causing many running-around-stage-techs wondering why the keyboard had gone away) and accidentally hitting the instant-super-turbo-reverb button (making the piano sound like all my bloody valentine's releases were being played simultaneoulsly). this was all just in the first 5 minutes of the show. add to that the two keys that instantly broke, and the gerbil-being-strangled persistant pitch that was coursing through the monitors due to some sort of magnetic field/aussie-alien invasion problem, and i knew this was going to be a shit show. i also realised that this was the show that had been ADDED in melbourne after the first one sold out, so we didn't have our ueber-forgiving, hard-core fanbase. most of the audeince had never seen us. and they were seeing a shit show. however.

i know, from road experience, that a shit show doesn't exist. one can just use these technical difficulties as fuel for one's emotional fire, bare all warts and hope that the audience will love you for your vulnerable & honest self. i was also tired as shit, after almost five straight days of flying every morning and never getting a full nights rest. i was asleep an hour before we hit stage. peeling myself out of bed was almost impossible. peeling brian out of bed WAS impossible. we were downstairs in the lobby of our hotel, ten minutes late for our ride to the club, wondering where he was. we called his room. we banged on the door. no answer. ultimately we had to get the porter to unlock his door and we all barged in and found him passed out in with the kind of oblivion that i believe is usually reserved for the dead. we were tired. we've been tired every show of this fucking tour, since we got here. somebody told me that jetlag realistically takes one day for every hour. i buy it. in this case, we'll be almost caught up by the time we fucking fly home.

i was watching my head during the show last night.
when things are particularly bad or frustrating, i tend to let go more. and by let go, i don't mean try less. i don't mean try harder. i think i simply mean i let things show more. i figure that if the audience knows what a terrible time you're having on stage, that you're actively wrestling demons as they look on, they might see more. appreciate more. care more? i don't know.

i watch this happen with my voice. true to form and raining and pouring, my voice also crapped out about halfway through the set (probably due to the lack of sleep and warming up, but add in the overcompensation for the shitty piano and you've got a winning combination). once is really goes, i let it. i try to keep it in the neighbourhood of what pitch it's supposed to be hitting, but otherwise i let it do what it wants. trying to make it sound pretty, or powerful, when i know i'm just doing more damage can be impossible. but i trust people to hear it for what it is. it's a trick. "i am in pain tonight and too tired to be playing a rock show for you" my little voice seems to croak "maybe for this reason you will take pity on me and hear my songs with a very sympathetic human ear". i think it probably hit people differently. one person may simply say "wow, the bitch can't sing. i want my money back." one person may say "wow. real." i also watch my flights of fancy as i listen to what sometimes amounts to little more than a croaking shadow of my usual voice. i usually start thinking about who is out there. our label reps. the promoters. the crew. some very childish part of me still hangs on to the naive fantasy that once people hear whats happening to me, sometimes night after night, even though I've made these decisions myself, even though I approved the adding of a second show in melbourne when we should've taken a day off to rest, even though things are thoroughly and utterly Under My Control....that they will magically see the error of the way we're/they're leading our life and run at breakneck speed to the closest phone booth and Call God, screaming "don't you see what's HAPPENING?.....sir, this is an OUTRAGE!" or more realistically, pick up their cell phones and call...who?....our agents? our manager? isn't there someone actually dedicated to organizing and caring about these things meticulously, who can stop me from overworking, who knows me better than myself? shouldn't someone be taking copious notes and making sure we do this right? this fantasy just won't go away no matter how much reality i face.

the reality is that there is no reality. the reality is that i make random decisions and sometimes they work. and often they don't. and that i'm usually way more interested in pleasing other people and appearing to be a hard worker than i am in my own health or art. nobody else actually looks out for that, nor should they. my fantasy entourage is never going to bust through the door and say "amanda, we've decided, from your peaked complexion and ragged voice that you need to take a nap this afternoon instead of doing press. we've cancelled all but one key interview. here's a cup of tea and some water. now go to sleep." nobody gets this kind of treatment. even madonna and britney-level pop stars have an entourage of specialized people...who need to get their own jobs done. i don't htink any of them have a mental and physical health professional onboard 24/7 who has the magic power to veto everybody else's decisions. nobody on the planet needs to give a shit about that but me and my few close friends (who are, probably very thankfully, never on tour with me), who have been warning me for a few years now to get off the rock hamster wheel lest it all end in tears. and, poetically, the sympathetic and distant readers of this journal. often when i read the comments on here i just feel like i'm reading one big terrible amanda-pity-party. but whatever, i'm not here to make anybody's fucking day. i'm here, for the moment, to bitch and complain. now i feel better. and maybe you feel better. and now we all love and understand each other's pain. now it's a love-fest. see how easy?

the last few weeks, since europe, have been a pretty uneventful blur of shows and airports. i've collected six decent memories since leeds, which is a stunningly good average. one (1) was sitting and drawing in a cafe in berlin the morning of our show. it was a perfect place to sit for three hours (cafe schwarz sauer, for you berliners, in kreuzberg...or was it prenzlauerberg?). two (2) was playing with my musical hero, edward ka-spel, in germany. i think i'll have to address that separately at some point. it was too overwhelming to go into right now. three (3) was walking on the beach in new zealand with ashley, who was kind enough to borrow his friend's car and drive me out to kare kare to the tall cliffs and the black sands and the little shells which i am keeping in a coffee cup stuffed with kleenex. four (4) was playing with ben folds, although it wasn't the actual playing that was the moment. it was the meeting him and knowing that he's one of the few people on the planet equipped to understand the sorts of things that i constantly think about. he's an ally. five (5) was finally seeing my friend glenn in brisbane and riding on his motorcycle out to his new house in the middle of the woods and seeing a goat and eating an egg-and-avacado sandwich while glenn played me the new go-bewteens CD. six (6) was watching the zen zen zo butoh theater perform at our show that night in brisbane. they covered the stage, all nearly-naked and real, and had another 8 actors out in the audience. the crowd sat down on the sticky club floor and the actors performed in place, the lights splashing off their white-painted bodies. people who rehearse for hours, unlike us. they were sublime. it was like we all fucking created a magical moment that lasted five whole minutes. we're going to try to import them over to london for the roundhouse shows.

i didn't collect any good memories in japan this time around. i spent most of the time trying to kick jetlag and trying to keep my head from exploding every time i looked out my 18th-floor hotel window at the 568,378 people simultaneously crossing the street in shibuya below. i swear, i've never seen so many people crossing one street. the show is japan was good but not great. the audience was very excited but very quiet. it was hard to understand.

everything else amounts to a neutral or bad memory of blurry travel and shows. good shows still don't leave good memories. maybe because there are too many of them, maybe because they don't leave a unique impression, maybe because i don't want that to be what makes me happy. who knows. i love it when it happens, i don't let myself be too bothered when it doesn't. increasingly, amanda amanda, it's only rock and roll. it all seems more and more absurd. watching "an inconvenient truth", al gore's documentary about the global warming crisis, was a nice moment of despair as i sat on the plane, leaving trails of jet fuel in my wake. i strongly urge you to see it if you haven't. having just read the mindblowing bill bryson book "a short history of nearly everything", it all wove together nicely (&i noticed someone commented about it.....all i have to say is YES YES YES, and i've been meeting people on the road who have read it and it is becoming a kind of cult, where we look into each others eyes and go...yes, yes, yes....we now share some cosmic connection through bill bryson and our knowledge of impending ice ages and taxonomy).

so also on the plus side i have finished two more books by mr. bryson ("a walk in the woods", a hilarious tale of hiking the appalachian trail and the brand-new "life and times of the thunderbolt kid", a childhood-in-the-golden-fifties memoir) and he is now among my favorite authors. his writing style in all three of these books tends to follow the same perfect pattern. pick a topic, write about it, yet go off on perfect tangents that are in turns gut-bustingly funny and deeply, the-world-is-about-end tragic. if he blogged, i'd read it.

we have three more shows, a quick sit-in with ben folds again back in melbourne, and then we fly home for a 10-day rest before we hit the states with the red paintings, who, along with jason webley, have been the most divine and perfect support band. you guys in the states are going to love them. imagine muse in costume with live painters on stage. they are sublime.


(back to now, oct 23)

a month later, i can agree that the red paintings still are sublime. they're had a string of misfortune that seems almost biblical: tour manager left the tour, sound engineer left the tour, gear fell out of the back of their RV, the leas singer trash fell off of stage and developed a ancient-cell-phone-sized lump on his head. he's ok. they get better and better with every trial and tribulation. they play with their hearts.

the last show with ben folds was brilliant. he remains a steadfast ally.

we flew home, and i can't remember exactly how long we were there. a little under two weeks. i re-united, as i do, with my bed and pillows and bathtub, and tried not to think too much or do too much. i didn't touch the piano. i went to yoga every morning. there were meetings about the upcoming play, costume fittings, conference calls. i sat in the cafe drained cup after cup of green tea while alternately reading the boston globe and new york times and emptying my head of random thoughts and worries onto the pages of my moleskine journal. i sat with pope and gave editing feedback for the panic video. i ate chinese food and watched a movie with my sister.

i went to the boston music awards, where the band was nominated for six awards and won three. it didn't feel wonderful. i felt sad for my town because the event felt superficial and uncaring. brian dressed up in a full bear costume and kick-started a mosh pit during Gang Green's set but it wasn't enough to save the evening.

i walked my bicycle through the public garden and made eye contact with a man sitting on a bench. "do i know you?" he said, in a gravy french accent, "i think i know your face."
i stopped, said nothing, kick-standed my bike next to bench and sat down next to him. "i don't know, maybe you know my band. we're called the dresden dolls."
"no, i have never heard of this band."
he was older than me, probably in his sixties. he was an oncologist and professor at harvard. he invited me to dinner. i said no. but we sat there for about a half hour, talking about the nature of mortality and belief and emotion.
we had seen the same woman crying on the bench across the way, about ten minutes before. she had been talking on the phone. we discussed cell phone technology and how it affected human interaction.
we took some photos of each other with his new digital camera. with the ducks in the background.
i had picked up a fallen leaf from one of the maple trees that was all green-gold-flaming-red, intending to take it home and press it in the book i was reading. i gave it to him and kissed his cheek and walked my bike away without turning around.

that was my (#1) decent distinctive memory from my off time. my (2) decent distinctive memory from off time was going to see the secret machines play in the round at avalon. we all ended up at my house and though my distinctive memories of the event are very very dark gray (i wouldn't call it a full blackout) there was much piano-playing and laughing. i paid the next day. my (3) memory was seeing regina. she also played avalon, wore a sparkly top and has a band now. watching her slay the piano in front of two thousand people, when only a year and a half ago she had barely any fanbase in boston, was like mainlining hope into my veins. there are plenty of people do like good music. we spent some good time together and got to see each other again, this time at our show, a few days ago in minneapolis. we ate vegan soup and talked about a lot of things that bounce in our brains like labels and fame and how it doesn't matter what you say in an interview, the press can do what it wants with it. the only other (4) memory i can think of that is sharable was seeing elizabeth and the catapult play at the middle east. i liked them so much i asked them to open up for my solo show in boston on november 27th, so if you come you will see what i mean.

then i re-packed my red suitcase and we left for tour.

i packed my rollerskates but i don't think i am going to get a chance to use them.

this tour has been back to happy basics, i am in the dresden dolls and not a pissed-upon opening band. i have art-allies on the road with me in the human forms of sxip shirey (our fucking amazing MC and circus composer), katie kay and erin of Ladybird (who have been doing twisted dance routines during our set, you may recognize them as d'grrlz from the dresden dolls vs. panic video) and our crew has been functioning with love and precision. we've had time to see friends on the road and catch up with other musicians....david j came out in LA and treated us to his minibar when the hotel kicked us out of the bar, in san fran we saw the whole sleepytime gorilla museum/faun fables crew and thomas dolby, whose daughter is a fan (and she also made an excellent assistant during one of paul nathan's magic act - and speaking of paul nathan we saw his magic little theater & absinthe-bar digs and they are incomparable), i hooked up with victor from the violent femmes in milwaukee and saw his built-by-hand-with-love home recording studio, where hopefully the dolls can make an impromptu mellotron and bongo record someday, and i got to see aberdeen city open up for the electric six in portland. i got to take a nap with lane in chicago, jeffers brought some homemade chocolate in chicago and some wonderful fans of ours in san diego brought us homemade mango salsa and guacamole. this is what makes tour bearable.

but the highlight was portland, where i took a full two days off and bought a plane ticket to catch up with the crew while they rode the bus to minneapolis.
it was there that i finally got some breathing room and true time to myself, and i sat down to start writing the play we're about the perform, in earnest. the rehearsals are two weeks away.
it's time. i should have done this months ago. but i didn't. i feel like mozart in amadeus trying to stave off the hoards...."it's all here in my noodle" i say crazily as the directors and set designers worryingly prepare for a show that doesn't exist yet. it exists. it's coming into existence, fastly and surely. it's just in my head and i need to get it out right.
we played at the crystal ballroom, then drank til the wee hours with aberdeen city and i parted ways with my crew and checked into a hotel. i walked to osco drug, bought a 75%-off terribly scented candle, 2 childproof lighters (i only needed one, once, but that's how they came) and some iboprofen and spent the entire next day moving between four stations in the hotel room 1) bathtub, which i kept at a tepid temperature for hours with my terribly scented candle burning brightly by my side 2) floor, where i would read prostrate on a towel until i got cold and would return to bathtub 3) bed, where i would read prostrate on the quilt until i got cold and would return to bathtub and 4) desk chair, where i would read (email, mostly) upright until i got cold and would return to bathtub. i became very wrinkled and eventually dressed myself and headed to powell's where, after my baptism, i felt finally ready to start my writing process in earnest.

powell's ( is a portland landmark one of the biggest and best bookstores in the country. it's stacked and organized like a libarary and has an extensive zine collection and adjoining cafe. if i lived in portland i assume i would make frequent trips. i pored through the gunter grass section, bought some new books and a blank yellow notebook. then i took my bundle down the street to mary's all-nude revue (, another portland landmark, ordered myself a ginger ale and spring water, got my change in ones, and started to write up my notes. the girls were dancing to all variety of music, as they do, from the beatles to tom waits to the clash, and i occasionally looked up from my seat in the back, where i assume i too being eyed furtively by the other (mostly lonely, certainly all-male, most certainly not all-nude) patrons of the club. if the music was good and the stripper seemed like she was at least trying to entertain herself or anyone around, i would wander up to the stage and give her some ones. she would smile at me. then i would go back to my notebook and try to piece together the dresden dolls, war, art, rape, nightclub entertainment and the other pleasant and fun-for-the-family themes that are going to make up "the onion cellar".

the play has taken over my head, and it's not a bad thing. it's an awful lot like cramming for a test or writing an essay the night before it's due...which is the way i always functioned in school anyway. and i always knew i would do my work at the last minute, and after a while i gave up trying to be the sort of person who actually planned ahead and accepted that i was the sort of person who made specific plans ahead of time to not plan ahead. controlled procrastination.

so now i know how my life will be for the next week, i will tour at night and write during the day, and take a few moments out to maintain my band, since we have two massive shows about to go up in london on the 3&4. we are filming. if you are coming, FOR GODS SAKE LOOK NATURAL. that means, DONT LOOK NATURAL AT ALL. twist! scream! crawl!!! it's posterity!!!! we've put more effort into booking these london shows than almost any other show in history. the line-up in insane: Margaret Cho, Edward Ka-Spel, The Red Paintings, Jason Webley, Sxip Shirey, Baby Dee, Circus Krin&Jonas (yes, the very ones with their very wheel of death), Future Cinema, Zen Zen Zo from australia, art from Nick Vargelis, the Pish Dolls, fancy burlesque, aerial feats and more more more more more. brigade folks from all about europe are coming to art out. i am excited yet daunted by the organizational nightmare.


(now is now not now. now it's oct 24. it's later, but soon will be earlier)

in atlanta, next to criminal records at aurora coffee, trying to wrap this up in some meaningful way.

here are some open letters anyway...

dear the man in the hotel exercise room in portland,
i'm sorry if i made you uncomfortable if you noticed i was crying while doing my workout on the elliptical machine. i was listening to a really good song and getting good ideas for my play and got all emotional.

dear the guy who posted his fantasy about me offering you a cigarette as a response to the last blog,
i only bum cigarettes from other people, not the other way around. you will have to change your fantasy sorry.

dear the yeah yeah yeahs,
i watched your DVD in preparation and for inspiration in making our own in a few weeks and it looked like you had a hard show and the audience was kind of lame. that sucks.

dear the electric six,
you rocked live and it was nice to see you and fuck the jocks your political statements did not fall on deaf ears. i hope you get what you want and that the rest of the road is kind to you.

dear cloudy gray sunglasses,
where did you go? i miss you a lot.

dear matt pepe,
i DID put you on the guestlist but the club fucked up. it wasn't my fault. please stop bad-mouthing me to our hometown friends, i want only peace.

dear Barbara Ehrenreich,
"nickel and dimed" was amazing, thank you for writing it. i just finished it and my head was pried nicely open.

dear cafe meshuggah in st. louis,
thank you for being such a perfect Again cafe and thanks for finding me when i lost my wallet. i will be back soon

dear the man who walked into the dressing room while i was naked in milwaukee,
don't feel too bad because generally i don't mind people seeing me naked and i'm sorry if the security was kind of mean to you but you shouldn't have sneaked back into a land where you don't belong.

dear the security staff of the club in perth,
you guys treated our crew so badly that we're never coming back to your club. fuck you and try being nicer to people, it works.

dear the terribly scented candle i left in the hotel in portland,
i'm sorry if you felt abandoned but i had no checked luggage and frankly you were way too heavy to take in my backpack on the way to minneapolis. i left a note with housekeeping to keep you if they wanted and hopefully you have found a nice home with some nice people.

i now have my own myspace page. i'll gradually be moving my diary over here for good so if you're reading this elsewhere, soon it will be living on the dolls site and at
be. friend. me.

Friday, October 06, 2006

dolls VS panic! is up

so, THE DRESDEN DOLLS VS PANIC! AT THE DISCO video is now up, and it's awesome:
everybody who has seen it so far seems to love it, but i did make a serious mistake sending an initial email to folks saying that "this is what i did in place of killing them or myself because the tour was so difficult". i guess you don't make jokes like that. i can't gloss over the fact that that i thought the tour WAS HELL when i was in it, despite the fact that i loved the guys in the band and, against all odds and everybody's assumption, really respected what they were trying to do.

i read their cover article in SPIN magazine the other night, which actually read like a 3-4 day tour diary of a chunk of time we were with them. it brought me right back to that month, which i have shelved as a distant nightmare. but the truth is the truth, even if it's only mine. if anyone watches that video and doesn't see the love and two bands having a good time, which we were, fuck 'em. that said: it's very difficult when a band exists as a concept in one world, as a musical entity in another, and as a group of human beings in yet a third. i know, because we are very much at the mercy of the same triple-edged sword. i've met or heard about tons of people who don't like my band simply because they think they shouldn't. and they've never seen us live, much less heard the music. sometimes it's hard to not take that personally.

why do i bring that up? because it's fucking difficult for me to try to navigate the fact that although i had plenty of love for the actual human beings in Panic! At The Disco, and beyond that a real sympathy and admiration for what they (and especially Ryan, the only one who I really got to know) were trying to achieve, i didn't have any fucking love for the environment i was in when we toured with them. some of their crew were downright mean, and many of their fans were the antithesis of Rock Love. however, since the tour, it's actually been really therapeutic to see some more crossover and gap-bridging between our fans and theirs via our forums (and plenty of our fans were just as judgmental and nasty as the panic fans) and i assumed that this video would dissolve that bullshit even further. so far, it has. i;ve learned more about who was there and paying attention. the panic fans that sucked the most were also the most vocal, and i'm only now seeing the nicer ones come out of the woodwork. people are way more likely to shout out "YOU SUCK!!!" than "YOU RULE!!!!" at an inopportune and quiet moment in a song. respectful and open-minded people will simply be listening. and plenty were. so thank you, you new fans who saw us on that tour. we're goddamn glad you're here. to any of the other panic fans who hated us: you're probably not reading this, but do us a favor...make yourselves useful and send us some concrete hatemail to post on our site. we're running low nowadays.

whatever, as i always say, this is how wars start. but for the record (and this IS THE RECORD, motherfuckers): it was also wonderful. i managed to have good times. i had fun making this video. i made some friends. i got our music out to the few people who were interested. i learned a lot of really, truly valuable lessons. i will never again regret i wasn't famous at 18. it could have been worse, the band COULD have easily been assholes and actively treated us badly. they weren't. they were sweethearts. looking back, would i do it again? fuck, yes. i don't believe in regret, and everything happens for a reason one way or another.

so that's the word on that. enjoy the movie.

meanwhile....i've been keeping a running tally of what to share about the last european/japan/aussie tour on paper and in my head, but i've been sleeping instead of putting it altogether. we leave for the US tour in a few days and i'll try to do it once i get my shit packed and together. i've been catching up all week, trying to act human, trying to pretend i don't feel buried. my right index finger is slightly sprained, giving me a wonderful excuse not to practice, but making me a but paranoid about how it will hold up on tour. i went to see the secret machines play in the round the other night at avalon in boston and they were intense, excellent musicians and fantastic people....if you have a chance to still catch them on tour, go. tonight, regina's playing tonight in the same club with her new band and i'm giddy....just about to leave to see her. fuck packing. i'll pack when i'm dead.

see you out there


go see "little miss sunshine" - best movie i've seen in ages.