Posts filed under ‘Problems’
May 4, 2012
AIRPORTS, May 4 – I’m in transit today. No shows, but you can hear a pre-recorded interview I did yesterday on the Illogical Contraptions podcast tonight, at 10PM PST (or any time after).
Earlier today, at the San Francisco airport, bright, zigzaggy lights encroached into my visual field. It was a long overdue optical migraine. I’m sort of shocked this hasn’t happened earlier in the trip – all those glints off all those passing cars should’ve triggered it weeks ago. I’m grateful I wasn’t driving somewhere by myself. But it’s going to make some upcoming solo drives very difficult, both for the obvious danger, and the hyperphotosensitivity that usually follows these episodes.
I was distressed to read that Adam Yauch died. I’d spoken with him a few times – most recently last year, at the premier of the Beastie Boys’ “Fight For Your Right Revisited” video. As I watched the short film on the big screen, I was stunned to realize that they’d turned their worst liability into an amazing asset. As someone with similar (but exponentially less visible) artistic skeletons in my own closet, it felt both inspiring and awesomely intimidating.
Later, at a low-key afterparty, I passed Yauch in a hallway and said, “good work.” I’d meant good work directing the video, but I now need to retroactively claim those two words to encompass everything: good work on your life. Thanks for being here.
May 3, 2012
SAN FRANCISCO, May 3 – Travelling the US is frequently a low-grade bummer, in that everything more or less looks the same. Everyone shops at the same stores, has the same reference points, makes the same Star Wars jokes. Then you find yourself back in San Francisco, delighted that cities like this exist. I spent the morning on the BART, enjoying those cushy, bacterial seats, staring out the window and grinning wildly. Later, lumbering to the venue with my luggage, I registered all the ridiculously stern cyclists darting through intersections with Mt. Rushmore faces, willfully oblivious to the urban beauty surrounding them on all sides.
At Needles & Pens, I ran into Wendy, from the band Tits. She asked about her former bandmate and my book tour roadie John Michaels. I explained that John was back at my house, on the couch. She seemed perplexed, so I explained: John wasn’t with me because my tour finances could no longer support a roadie. I have to do the rest of the trip solo.
A benched roadie is just one casualty of this book tour’s increasingly bad math. On this stretch, I’ve had to jettison all sorts of amenities: rental car, motels, privacy, sleep. I’m not sure yet how it’s going to work. In SF, I found myself trundling up steep side streets with my rolling suitcase and merch. It was problematic.
I had a second show at Secret Alley, in a different part of the city. The proprietor had cast actual trees (Bronze Loquats?) in the streets of San Francisco, and then recreated the foliage of the real world inside his second-story art space. A functioning tree house overlooked stage left. Opposite this, a smaller, presumably fake club—complete with tiny, lit marquee—invited the audience to an even more exclusive aftershow. Fake leaves shrouded the facade, making it appear as it would on an actual street in an actual small town somewhere.
It had the feel of a pleasant, mildly spooky dream. Could the club have been real? I don’t know. I didn’t try the doors.