This one is dated 2/19/00... about six months after landing in Amherst, NY. The title refers to the manintenance guy's name in our apartment complex. It was a very nice apartment. Very spacious. Lots of room for my stuff. My records were in an easy to access area, right against the wall in the living room. I wish that apartment could have been transported to anywhere I wished it. It is actually bigger than the house I am moving into next door to here. The living room was huuuuuuge. If I had had friends, we could have had a big party there. Well, we could have if Christina didn't exist. Then again, every party has to have a pooper. So, yeah, this little piece of prose has to do with feeling down about being 26 and feeling that potential is being wasted. That much hasn't really changed in the ensuing three years and change. It's hard to get off of the "treadmill of suck." But I'm trying.
Butch the Maintenance Guy
Just sitting here wondering what I should be doing with myself and my time. I feel very unproductive right now. I have most of my second solo tape finished, I just need a few more well-placed and well thought-out dialogue samples and to finish an instrumental track. I haven’t touched these tracks in at least a month. I always find some excuse to not work on my music. At times like these I wonder what my artistic idols do... for example, Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth. It seems that he’s always up to something worthwhile - all the SY albums, the solo albums, collaborations, the books of poetry and journals, the trips to Jajouka and Morocco - the time he’s spent writing, and modifying (fucking with) his guitars and building assorted effects. Am I doing anything near that calibre in my bedroom by myself? Or how about the Elephant Calf recordings? I have more confidence in Xina than I have in myself sometimes, which is probably why I have such an affinity for her words and voice that grace our tapes. For some reason I don’t like my words or voice, even though the music is still flowing within me and without me, though there is a different vibe to my solo stuff. I really want to do a collaboration with Andre, I want to work on a CPDY2K project. I need time off to work with the boys down on Long Island to get this complete. I hate being stuck in remote locations - at least if I could get the world to come to me...
I’ve reorganized my studio setup now - it’s on wheels! All I need is a few rackmountable effects boxes and I’m set. This TV cart has tons of room on it, just waiting to be filled with wonderful hi-tec gadgets galore.
Listening to the Ranaldo/Hooker/O’Rourke cd “Clouds” - damn this is wonderful - skronking sax, Wm Hooker’s musical drumming, Lee’s hum & squeal - the interplay, the wordplay, the way it crescendoes. I’ve been reading his book jrnls80s, full of his writings, lyrics and whatnot from his high times and lowlights of the Youth’s “indie years” on the road and at home. I know he was doubting himself at times, low points seeming to culminate around his 30th year on earth.
I couldn’t imagine not having to work some punch-the-clock job to get through, to be able to concentrate on my music, my writing, my website-to-be; to be able to afford a nice audio setup for my computer - nothing a few grand wouldn’t fix! I’d really like to meet Lee Ranaldo - hang w/ him, talk over coffee, jam out -> I think I’ll send him a tape of some of our stuff... see if he digs it, ya know? If I send it to Hoboken, maybe they’ll want to spread the word? We seem to travel down similar paths, although he has helped pave the way for me, even if the tracks are still fresh and undisturbed. His love for Kerouac, Sun Ra, DeLillio, Carver, et al -> my love for Kerouac, Sun Ra, DeLillio, Carver, Sonic Youth, et al -> the affinity for minimalism and maximalism, impressionism and sheer will of expressionism... I feel a bond that I’ve never felt for another musician/writer since I realized that Lou Reed, as talented though he may be, an asshole by any other name would smell just as foul.