the fastest longest slowest blog in the west
i am going to write the worlds fastest blog while sitting in this coffee shop in ojai.
i have had the best few days of my life. you know this whole Time Off thing….there’s something to it.i’m also a huge fan of the Being In Love thing. neil and i are definitely starting to irritate people on twitter with our disgustingly cute PDA (or…virtual….VDA)?which is a sign to me that the relationship is heading in the right direction, the same way i know if it’s a good record if the critics are slamming it hard.the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.
but as much as i would love to lay my insides bare and talk about how happy and fuzzy i feel inside, it will wait until a later date because right now i want to catch up on the beach gathering, the show at the troubadour, and all the other awesome things that have happened in the last few days….shit man, shit’s going faaaast.
in good business news: the twitter blog i wrote got picked up by tons of tech and music websites and is making the rounds. it even got translated into german, fuer alle die deutsch-sprechnden leute: http://www.gulli.com/news/amanda-palmer-19-000-us-dollar-2009-06-25/ and there’s an argument going on over at tech-dirt about whether i even have any musical talent, please feel free to go defend me: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090623/2337095343.shtml#comments
i’m really glad i took the time to write it and it’s inspiring me to spend a great amount of care and time on my Huge State Of The Music Industry And How Everything Is Going To Have To Change blog that i keep promising. remember that courtney love email that made the rounds about 10 years ago?…where she laid bare all all of her bank statements and showed exactly how it was possible to sell hundreds of thousands of records and wind up broke? it’s going to be like that, updated for the future, and including what fans can do to support the artists who are currently drowning in the possibilites of the future (the upshoot: there’s hope and we’re far more empowered than poor courtney love and her fans were). here’s a picture of courtney love, being almost-naked, because, as we know, almost-naked is awesome.
speaking of almost-naked, the NINJA-BEACH gathering was such a massive success that i think i’m going to do an encore.
actually, i should be honest. the reason i want to do it again is because i want more ponies and chocolate to take back to boston.no, seriously. the reason i want to do it again is because the reason i did it in the first place (to get my 82-year old cousin robert to play ukulele on the beach with me) didn’t pan out.robert kept saying he WOULDN’T DO IT even though he SLAYS at ukulele and i kept bugging him and he was like NO NO NO NO to the point where i BELIEVED him. little did i know he was totally lying and actually showed up at the beach WITH his ukulele and he never played. his wife, my other cousin katherine who’s like an aunt to me, told me to NEVER believe when he says he’s NOT going to play the ukulele. anyway….we’re going to do a beach redux with more ukulele, more ponies, more chocolate and more people.lindsey, the awesome chick who did our huge group photoshoot, is going to come back and i think we’re going to try a huge group shot IN THE WATER this time.
bring prom dresses and tuxes, or at least fancy clothes and suits that you don’t mind getting salty.i’m shooting for wednesday around 4-6 pm, might have to be tuesday though. follow the twitter feed if you want to get the update, i’ll also blog it.
here are some shots from last tuesdays gathering. i bought 5 chinese dresses that morning at a thrift shop and gave them away to the 5 hot girls who wore them for the group photoshoot, but i also took donations in my ukulele case and so i came out ahead.
here’s another great flickr link…..HUGE props to this guy michael, who came FULLY DRESSED AS A NINJA:
go look, some of the photos there are just amazing and it gives you a great sense of the joyousness of the day….
i coined a new term: TWITCHHIKING.
that’s when you twitter to save cab fare.
i wound up getting a ride from @devilsnight aka morgan night, a filmmaker who was kind enough to transport me & sarah’s keyboard (yes, the sarah who i found on twitter and who loaned me her axe) from hermosa beach to hollywood.
morgan had the new iPhone that takes video and we experimented with trying to instantly upload a clip from his car of our twitchhiking expereience (upshoot: very positive, no rape, no murder, all love): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRinrvoVKOE&fmt=18
there was a wonderful, heavy energy in the room because of all the Dead that day.
i found out michael jackson died about 30 minutes before i left our hotel room for soundcheck, while i was practicing.
michael jackson was a giant in my life, “thriller” was one of my first tapes. he was one third of my young holy trinity (in my mind, the rock star triumverate was prince, madonna and michael jackson). watching his life devolve was hard for me. it’s frustrating to think that teenagers now can’t understand how powerful he was in 1985, how perfect and beautiful he seemed…and full of life and sex and energy and jesus christ TALENT…and the fact that he was BLACK and that EVERYBODY liked him…that he crossed all the borders, it was just huge back then. he changed the world of music. i wore one sparkly glove for most of second grade…it was like that.
but as bob lefsetz put it…he missed his childhood and now he’s gonna miss his old age. how fucked up is that?
anyway, i can’t wax too long about micahel jackson since this is supposed to be the world’s fastest blog. i wanted to do something in homage and so i quickly donwloaded the lyrics to “billie jean”, scrawled them on a piece of paper and whipped up a cover for the show….a very spare cover with lots of mistakes, but i tried:
(click here to watch it in HD)
in a wildly poetic strike of fate, one of my OTHER childhood heros came out to the show…weird al yankovic. we’d been emailing and following each other on twitter since ben folds e-introdcued us a while ago (they’re buddies) and i was so so happy to finally meet him and his wonderful wife. he’s an incredible guy. i feel so grateful to be able to meet all these people who had such a profound influence on me as a kid. so grateful and so lucky.
here we are, backstage at the troubadour, looking for UFOs:
so………thank you al, who’s alive, thank you michael, who’s dead, and thank you world, which casts no judgment either way.
the other highlight of the show was covering “complicated” by avril lavigne with my opener, jenny owen youngs, but i’m not going to get caught in the youtube web search of doom right now. i’ll find it later. it was awesome, avril is awesome, jenny is awesome, & i bet it’s out there somewhere.
after the show, neil and i signed for a while and then crashed out like two dead people.
then we woke up and got in our awesome silver convertible mustang (i shit you not: neil’s idea). neil took this of me in an antique shop in burbank…..this is a PLAYER TOY PIANO, amazing, but sadly it was broken. will have to hunt one down on ebay.
after, we drove to harlan ellison’s house. we spent the afternoon with him, his wonderful wife susan (who’s 25 years younger than harlan, and they’ve been together for 25 years, giving my age gap with neil some welcome perspective).
mr. harlan ellison is now 75 is if you don’t know him he’s a prolific sci-fi and beyond writer … it’s impossible to list the extent of his works here, so go look at his wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harlan_Ellison.
he’s a wanky old bastard in the best way. listening to him yelling into the phone ”BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T SENT ME THE GODDAMN DRAFT YOU COCKSUCKING PIECE OF DONKEY DUNG” at his agent was the highlight of my day. he’s a one-man show of the highest caliber: the other highlight of my day was when he took me out into the street and told me the story of how he went over the a car full of four little old jewish ladies who had stopped their drive to admire his cool-looking house. he told the lady in the passenger seat that it was a half-way house for lepers. the old lady said “here? in the hills of los angeles around all these rich houses?” “sure” said harlan “why shouldn’t they have this fine quality of life, on their way to the leper colony in south carolina?” “i suppose” said the woman “…do you work here?” and that was when harlan said: “oh no, my dear, i’m one of the half-way residents…” and he reached out to grope her and the car screeched away at full throttle and he laughed them all the way down the hill. he’s a class fucking act. he also told the story of how he sued the production company that made “the terminator” for lifting the idea straight from writing he did for the tv show, “the outer limits”. it was settled out of court for an undisclosed amount of money but they damn well gave him the acknowledgement he deserved at the end of the film. go harlan!
fast-blogging cannot do justice to the actual house (that he’s dubbed “ellison wonderland”)….but god GOOD i can try….
imagine a house that came out of the dream-mind of god on windowpane acid throwing a gala dinner party for all the dead brilliant artists in the world and you only START to get an idea of this joint.
set in the side of the hills of somewhere remote in los angeles…27 rooms, 11 of them only accessible by secret entrance. not a single inch of space on wall or ceiling left uncovered by kaleidescopic mind-blowing art or curious and story-laden artifacts…entire gaudi-esque walls covered with chess boards that spiralled into carved chairs for the players to face each other, exploding colors and old movie posters and stacks upon stacks of glass that reflected towering collections of books, ceilings molded out of psycho-trip, heavily blissed-out carved wooden doors with trick handles, hidden shelves and feet-deep table tricks at every turn that went deeper and deeper into spiraling shag-carpet paths that led you into entirely new tiny-city worlds after you thought you’d come to the end of earth 5 rooms ago….i wish i didn’t have to get up in ten minutes because i could go on about this house for hours. but HOLY shit. it makes MY uber-trippy house look like an ikea showroom.
apparently i had met harlan on a plane when i was 3, by accident, when my mom sat next to him. she had once told me the story that she met a famous writer and didn’t know who he was, and he was affronted. and apparently she kicked his ass at gin rummy. harlan argued the veracity of my mothers story. i challenged him. he won five games out of five, fair and square. cocksucker.
proof of ass-kicking, photo by neil:
last installment of world’s quickest blog (neil is now staring at me and reminding me that the world’s quickest blog has taken almost an hour, but he’s gotten lots of writing done so he’s not too grumpy)…..
the party we had on friday night at my friend jaron’s house (some of you will remember jaron as my sound guy and tour manager, often known as “god”). the idea was to get all of my LA friends and all of neil’s LA friends together in one place and drink mojitos. SUCCESS for sure.
best thing would be to go back and look at my twitter feed, we took pictures all night, but here are some highlights…..
the TWITPLATE (everyone who had a twitter at the party contributed):
and my favorite party pic….
this is (from left to right) gerard way (from my chemical romance), happily groping his wife lyn-z (of mindless self indulgence), jill tracy (a great LA cabaret singer), mr. neil gaiman, AFP and david j (from bauhaus).
a few more….
this is brady, pixie’s BF. upon his arrival neil apparently ran around to verify his identity to make sure he wasn’t a party crasher. pixie thought that maybe neil was just scared of clowns.
brady had just come from performing in Cirque Berzerk….and you should go check out their show if you’re in LA, i was very sad i couldn’t make it…
…..thank you @pixievision.
my fastest blog ever has taken over an hour and i’m full of shit, but i got everything in i wanted to.
we’re heading over to roger avary’s house for breakfast (we had dinner there last night), where there are fresh eggs laid by a chicken named afro-peeper. incredible. then out to my family’s for dinner and sad goodbyes tomorrow, we won’t see each other until the west coast later this month.