Oh The Glory Of It All

Brad Jones, my co-producer on the new record, had read Sean Wilsey's scathing S.F.-society-world-drenched, poor-little-rich-boy memoir Oh The Glory Of It All and recommended it. He thought there might be some possible source material inside.

My co-conspirator Kurt (a.k.a. klipschutz) and I were moving too fast, and that didn't happen. After we'd finished writing the album, we both picked up the book and went crazy for it—to the extent that we started a song, "The Ballad Of Sean Wilsey, Part One." But yeah, I read it. Hard to resist once he works his mojo on you. I kept thinking to myself: Do I know this guy? Am I sure I don't know him?

The rich really are different. But an evil stepmother is still an evil stepmother. And this one is five star all the way. I didn't know S.F. had society folk like the Wilsey clan. The book is really something else. Follow Sean to hell and back right up until the former skate punk reinvents himself as a McSweeney's editor and now NYT features writer! A self-made man at last. For real. A wild fucking ride. A coming-of-age true story, bent in every direction, better than anything you could make up. Not in a pedophiles-in-Tenderloin-studios kind of way. That's another S.F. story, more

William Vollman territory.

Revenge is a dish best served freezer-burn cold. Cold and on the page in this case. Let it be a warning: If you're considering sending your kid off to boarding school or one of these new-age boot camps to get them to shape and fly righteous, before you do, remember the pen is mighty. And that really is a glorious thing.

Video after the jump.

[ LINK ]

The Secret To My Success

I'm pretty stubborn about technology, don't really own any recording equipment whatsoever. Then again, I don't have to root around too long to find one of my fleet of handheld cassette recorders—not a mini-cassette, a cassette. Might be stashed in the kitchen, the dash of the car or my sock drawer. Trouble is, it's getting harder to find blank tapes to buy. For a while there I saw them left out on the sidewalk, but mostly they'd already been kicked around and stepped on by the time I got to them. Another way to the river is to keep recording over the same tape. Saves the hassle of having to label the fuckers.

Songwriting. I don't like to hear myself talking about the process of songwriting. To hear people explaining weirds me out, but here I go anyway: You get an idea. You play around with it. You play some more. Sing something. And then the idea might turn into another idea. Colliding in the air with some other thing or another. Ideas start to connect. The music pushes it along. Don't quote me on this, because I'm probably already quoting somebody else.

Other times you might want to drag someone into the room with you to argue over where to eat lunch. Everybody knows everything, and nobody knows anything. But wait, here's one helpful thing, short of a secretary following you around taking dictation. (Imagine that. Like with the musical notation and everything. That would work!) Short of that, keep a tape recorder within reach, the older and more beat-up the better. A tape recorder comes in real handy. Here's one of mine, I painted it blue. (Now show me yours.)

Recording is easy. Listening back? Well, that's another story.

Video after the jump.


Choking the Monkey

In the last few weeks I got a taste of Hollywood lunacy while choking the monkey with Songwriter/Producer trickster Angelo in Nashburg. We've been writing/recording songs for an upcoming film directed by Mark Ruffalo starring James Franco as "The Stain".

What's the saying? Dickinson told us: "You know the deal with Opera—they say it's not over until the fat lady sings? Well, in rock and roll it ain't over until the monkey chokes."

Meanwhile we're writing one more song over the phone. I think we're getting closer. The whole project's actually been a hoot for a couple of doofus's looking to catch a break.

Meanwhile, did anyone else pony up for for the Manny Pacquiao/Oscar De La Hoya HBO pay-per-view fight last night? That was my reward to myself. I was corresponding this AM with Brink's own Guy Williams aka The Swamp Dog (himself a bad-ass pugilist in his day). Boy, what an incredibly likeable pair Manny Pacquiao and his trainer Freddie Roach are.

Is it just me? How could you not pull for them? Roach with his Parkinson's, and that little Manny smiling to the crowd, crouching down and praying on his knees in his corner. Those two—they're like some Howard Hawkes western heroes. Manny as the small town Sheriff who enlists the over the hill cripple against the men in black. Very John Wayne.

Pacquiao came out sizzling. "Blinding damn speed" said Guy. Left hook raging. Round after round pounding on De La Hoya.

Between rounds, Roach was heard to say, "Son, you're too fast for him, just keep doing what you're doing." 

As so it went for 8 rounds until they threw in the towel.


“Bride Of Chucky” back in studio

Stephie Finch quietly put an end to her recording hiatus a couple weeks ago at Decibelle Recording in Noe Valley... Kelley Stoltz, Rusty Miller, JJ Wiesler, and yours truly gathered to cut new songs. Last time around Stephie and running mate's Go Go Market name-checked Lotte Lenya and Princess Lea. Now she's back to being Stephanie Finch singing about Tina (who's going by a different name), the joys of cherry apple pie, white sands, company men and exiles on the backstreets.... It rocked, it rolled, it got bleak, optimistic, velvety, abrasive, urban and suburban all at once. I can't wait for part two.

2 and 1/5 punks

Chuck, and Penelope uncelebrate the 30th anniversary of the Sex Pistols at Winterland (supported by the Nuns and Avengers) by recording with Jean Caffeine at Decibel Studios in SF. At the controls were J.J. Weisler and Chuck Prophet. 

We tried to make it 3.5 punks commemorating this festive occasion by calling Alejandro Escovedo but he didn't pick up his phone. 

Jean had a crackerjack band: Rusty from Jackpot on drums, guitar and piano, Ned Daughterty from Mushroom on bass, J.J. Wiesler on keyboards, and Sir Chuck himself on a bit o' guitar.

Jean "My name is Jane rearranged" plunked a bit on her acoustic as well. Jean brought the Northern Soul (as in Winterland, Ontario soul), instant fun, charm, and effortlessly great songs.

Page 1 of 4 - Next >