Tuesday, March 29, 2011

dear adam cohen:

being the SXSW enthusiast that i am, and being that i couldn't attend this year's festival, a co-worker of mine let me know about this interview you gave to npr just after the festival. i listened. and then i wanted to viscously box your ears like a victorian-era governess.

you moan about how "there's nothing. there's no more gold bullion. there's no more — unless you're lady gaga — you're trying to make a fast buck in the slow lane." no shit sherlock! have you not been paying attention? what's left of the "music industry" isn't giving out contracts - "gold bullion" - anymore unless you've already done all the hard work yourself. do you think stefani germanotta walked into interscope and said, "hey, i have this crazy idea that others have done before - ya know, like kiss meets madonna - wanna gimme a contract?" and they did it? i think not.
you, with the three major labels you've been on - the three major labels you've released material for - are complaining about what ISN'T at sxsw anymore? whether you took advantage of it or not, you had/have so many more opportunities for success than a vast majority of artists out there. with your father being who he is (leonard cohen), you not only get a top quality education in lyricism that NO ONE ELSE on this planet has access to, but you also have access to the people who's sole job it is to "make" a congenial, yet cool, outside image: presumably a team of professional marketers, promoters, agents, etc. to whom you (i assume) could go to and ask for advice on how to best promote this, or how to make that more palatable to a large audience instead of having to flounder like everyone else does.
what exactly were you expecting to find at sxsw that you don't have or haven't already had? little leprechauns wearing cowboy hats and carrying pots of gold and fans, handing them out willy-nilly? unicorns that poo elves who will give you money and make you feel good about "just being you"?

let's say you were expecting to get a contract with a label at sxsw. what exactly does that mean anymore? labels don't want to give you money for promotion, so, while you may have an advance with which to make a record, who's going to promote it for you? who's going to print posters and man your facebook page and send out newsletters and keep you interactive and relevant with your fans on a daily basis? not your label. YOU.
in exchange only for the money to make your album, you get to deal with a label, a conglomerate of people and boards, who are going to tell you that 4 of your 13 songs aren't acceptable and track 5 is ok, but it needs a little more zip and can't you get me one really obvious song that we can MAYBE get the radios to play so it looks like we're trying to promote you? is that the kind of artistic freedom you were looking for at sxsw?

you know adam, there are a lot of technologies and "movements" out there these days where you can live comfortably (not a favorite word of mine) and still do what you love through the kindness and generosity of fans. sites like kickstarter.com can help you raise the money on your own to fund your record, promotion and maybe even a tour.
for example: matt the electrician, an austin-based artist that i've become friends with over the years, just recently used this platform with screaming success. he initially set up the drive for 30 days with a goal of $8,000, only enough to get the bones of his record off the ground. after a small amount of promotion and THREE days, he had the $8,000. after the 30 day drive period, he had more than $25,000 donated by friends, family and fans to get his record made and do whatever he needed to do to get it promoted. and he gets all this without the strings and demands that traditional labels would put on him.
interesting, no? i guess this is what happens when you work hard and put a little pride in yourself and what you've decided to do for a living instead of leaving it up to others who have only a tiny fraction of the vested interest that YOU have in, oh i don't know, your life - your success.

yes, $25,000 is no pot o' gold, but matt's no lady gaga either. you must have some inkling of how uncomfortable she is ALL THE TIME. those crazy shoes she wears? she wears them all the time. she's the equivalent of christian bale's twins and the chinese magician in "the prestige": she lives her illusion. if you want to give up your essence, your self, for total and complete public consumption as lady gaga has, then do it, and watch the money roll in. but, until then, realize there are sacrifices and hard work that come with creating and having fans and, therefore, creating and having success in the music industry.

so, adam cohen, i'm curious what kind of experience you were expecting, what experience would have made you happy with sxsw.


an avid music fan who hates whiners.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


lying on our backs in the soft grass looking up at the stars. the night is warm and sultry, the grass cool and refreshing. the cicadas click and whirl and fill up the night. you take my hand and we just breathe.

"what are you thinking?"

what am i thinking? do you really want to know? because it's crowded in there.

squeezing my hand gently, "tell me."

ok... i'm thinking about how i can smell the warm scent of your skin and how it blends with the smell of the grass and the earth, making me feel safe and snug. how i want to curl up in that smell and live the rest of my life from it. how you make me feel safe without even realizing. i'm thinking of how it scares my heart that anyone, besides me, has the tiniest amount of power to make me feel safe. i'm thinking how it scares my brain more that my (perhaps unfounded) trust and confidence in you trumps my heart's fear of you making me feel safe, making me ok with and able to look objectively at that fear.
i'm thinking about how i would give you anything you ask of me. how i'd probably give it to you even if you didn't ask. how i want to give you only the best me, which is a me that doesn't exist yet, but will when i have a master's degree in my hand. i'm thinking about how you're going to ask for me before the best me is here. i'm thinking about how i'm going to explain to you that the me that i want to give to you isn't here yet in a way that you'll understand.

i'm thinking about that house on five acres with a guest house and outbuildings and a chicken coop and a wet weather creek and lots of trees and pretty slopes with tiny bluebonnets. i'm thinking about how it's just far away enough to be away, but close enough that it doesn't feel like a burden to go to town. i'm thinking about the hammock on the trees upwind from the chicken coop. about swinging lazily on it with you at dusk, watching the fireflies come out to light up the indigo sky. about having horses and dogs and any random animal that comes to live on the "farm". about growing our own vegetables and having lemon, almond, fig, apple and orange trees so we don't ever have to leave that blissful corner. about how avocado trees might not be worth the trouble. avocado smoothies, mmmmmm... ok, they might be worth the trouble.

i'm thinking about where my nest is. or where it will be. and where the sticks and straw are so i can see the materials i'm working with.

i'm thinking about how both feeling the world move underneath my back and feeling your blood pump through your hand makes me dizzy in the most delicious way.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


the mean queens go to the pool at night! BUMMER.

tonight was my first time back in the pool in four months and... i didn't die. this is the first time, though, that i didn't feel AWESOME times 100 about 4 laps in. i think that means i really needed it.

but man, oh man! those queens are MEAN who are at the pool! DAMN! i hope they're not there everyday.

there's this woman...

i want to shake her. she sits in the office next to me. i'm not really in an office, more of an open space, but she's in an office and our desks share a wall.

she's always yelling about something. it's her normal tone of voice, to yell. like she was raised in an environment of exploding bombs: literal ones.

after a week, i started to tune her out because she was only yelling at me about 28% of the time.

but, isn't it lazy and supremely rude to yell at people all the time? it's starting to feel like it.

i know she has an inside voice, i've heard her use it on VERY rare occasions.

maybe a good rap on her throat would shut her up.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

hint fiction

this morning on the bus, i read all of the book hint fiction and loved it. these were my favorites:

"before perseus"
Medusa heaves his rigid stone form off herself and cries granite tears. The hat wasn't enough, she thinks. I need some blindfolds.

I always thought it would hurt more but I kind of liked it. He hoped I would. And technically, I'm still a virgin. Amen.

"jermaine's postscript to his seventh-grade poem assignment:
Ms. Tyler, the girl part was about Shantell. Please don't tell anyone.

"free enterprise"
Retail. Thirty-nine hours a week for eighteen years, she says, proud. Like she's a survivor of rape and she knows it.

Broke and desperate, I kidnapped myself.
Ransom notes were sent to interested parties. Later, I sent hair and fingernails, too.
They insisted on an ear.

"breaking labor news"
Our job was to lubricate the time machine and keep it oiled, but man, we just now found out we're being paid by the hour.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

how is it?

that it took me 30 years to make my first apple pipe?? ha!

and how is it that i can recite all the words of "blazing saddles" now even better than when i'm not baked?

Friday, March 11, 2011

to all the office husbands: past, present and future

i have known you for two months. we have a light, casual friendship on a professional level because (since "office" is in your title) you don't get to see me drunk. we have lunch once every couple of weeks. you give advice on dude stuff that some always single girls don't know or don't have the patience for or care to learn about: selling cars, fixing macinery like washing machines, putting together stereo components, etc.
in exchange, i am awesome, smart, funny and i actually listen to - and am usually interested in - what you want to talk about, which is generally the stuff you like the most. all of this AND i'm not that hard on the eyes. what more could an office mate want?

so, office husband, when you tell me that you and your REAL wife are splitting up, please don't be offended when i do not accept your invitations to "hang out" outside of work hours. i am really not interested in you physically and am only marginally interested in you otherwise because you are able to hold a conversation that doesn't revolve solely around your car or your phancypants condo. as a matter of fact, your increase attentions toward me in this short period of time now make me uncomfortable. VERY uncomfortable. because i know that there is more than a little part of you hoping to get me drunk enough to let my defenses down... as evidenced that one time that you got drunk over lunch and told me so.

this is not the first time this has happened. or the second. so, believe me when i say this: our friendship needs to be put on hold until you get a girlfriend. a girlfriend who is not me.

i'm totally not sorry that i am so awesome. but you don't get to dip your wick in this company pot.