this is some spiel i wrote a week or so ago, april 16th, to be exact. it was the start of a streak of rainy days, which forced me to stay inside for it's duration. it coincided with my most vuonerable time of the month, so if you find the tone to be a bit heavy, now you know why. also, not chronologicly related, but quite worth mentioning is this video/song. i'd forgotten about it, but i recently stumbled upon it again. did not know there was a (albeit low budget) video for it. i'd say either watch it before, during or after reading the speal, but be sure to watch it all the same!
rainy day, rain all day, let the sun have a holiday. that's what mr hendrix once said, and i can't say i don't dig what he's saying. but sometimes it's just a bummer, man. it's one o' them rainy days today, and i just can't seem to figure out what to do. it's twenty minutes past twelve, as of writing, and i've basicly just been riding the yamanote line in circles since nine o clock this morning. if thre's one thing i sincerely dislike, it's staying inside all day. it's funny, the reverse used to be true quite some years ago. i look at my hands, and they're baked crispy brown from all the sunshine i've been soaking up most everyday in the park. in some ways it feels like it makes my appearance more ragged, and closer to most of the homeless people you see around in the park. who are - sides from being sunburned - quite different from american and dutch homeless people, i must add, for the most part, but thats a different story for a different day.
so i finally descided i'd best jut get my pad and pencil out and start spieling, which is what you are reading now. the irony of the situation is, now, that i've still been "inside" all day so far... inside of a train that is. but atleast it's moving, and the doors open every few minutes or so when the train reaches another stop ad does it's passenger trick.
i much enjoy the pad i'm staying at, despite not having a room of my own. i've got some good quiet hours in the morning time, and at night the atmosphere is just good, pleasant, for the most part. but i hate being there during the daytime. i feel onfined, and on days like these - once every moon for a few days - i just can't take any external stimuli. need my little peace and quiet, dont want no one to talk to me and dont want to hear nothing unless i do so choose. i guess the ego in me wants to get pissed off when people get up at 6 in the morning and turn on the tv, when i made a good effort to get up early to avoid all of that. but then there's the monk in me, both the eastern and the thelonious variety, that just says; 'let it be, be selfless, be flexible, learn to be completely tolerant of your surroundings, whatever they are'. so once every moon, for a few days, my mind becomes fragile and slightly unstable, which brings me back to the start of this spiel, this rainy day. mr monk fighting with mr ego. now, i usually remedy this by seeking recluse in a park or just stroll the streets for no particular reason, go visit various stops on the train, just be away from everything for a little while. but i recently noticed that i always end up spending money on those days, on the train and the odd cans of hot tea. i've been trying to cut down on expenses lately, which are ridiculously low by even the most scroogy of my japanese friends and housemates' standars. and even then, most of my money goes to the train, food and miscelanious expenses are quite minimal on a daily basis. you just end up spending money to kill time, as it were. you could do without that can of hot tea, but the process of buying and consuming kills time, so... whatever. some for anything really, not just tea. it's a fine line to toe, though. i attach a lot of importance to being active on some sort of physical and creative level every day. sitting at home dont count, in my mind, even if you're doing stuff. i feel a strong need for being out. if you're gonna be sleeping all day, get up early and sleep in the park. where there's sunlight and fresh air, instead of stinkin' in bed all day. i cause the big exeption to the being inside theory dont mean no thing is recording. which is kind of what im waiting for, for my protools stuff to get here from holland (props to moms for putting it in a box and sending it to me) so i can start making records. sitting in the park playing everyday for the past month really paid off welll, but now its kind of served its purpose, its time to put all that training to use. the next step is to do more stuff on the street. but since i'm going to be a local and a regular, i want to be well prepared for that. cut a record i'm happy with first, and start selling it. write up a sign and throw open my guitar case with some cd's and some space for money. its funny, what seems to be the main difference between a cat practicing his tunes and a performer is just a bloody sign. people pass you buy quicker without one, since they dont want to interrupt you. or something. ---- editors note; looking back on some of this spiel makes me smile a little bit, i just try to think of that thelonious monk quote i put up a few days ago. dont play what the peole want to hear, play your own thing, and the people will listen, even if it takes them fifteen, twenty years. ----
one thing i gathered from talking to bunches of people here, though, is that pusking and playing music on the streets wont make you much, its more of an advertisement for upcoming live shows you might have that day or that week.
on that note i will mention that i had a prac session with the full band yesterday. shige on guitar, touru on bass and fuyuki on drums. yours truly on the mouthharp, vocal chords and gitfiddle. i was real surprised at how well it went. i think its good i auditioned everyone seperatly, believe i scrounged together a real interesting bunch of fellows. a little rough around the edges here and there, but im confident i can teach them what they need to know. theyre teachable, which i remember abe stressing to me, how teachable talented people are much better to have than someone who's technicly better, but dont catch on to what youre trying to do. so lets see how that works out. itd be nice to just gig here in tokyo for a good little while, get tight as a band, and look for oppertunities to tour europe a little bit. for sure theres more aof a living to be made overseas. im getting ahead of myself in some ways, but its good to have a plan, a goal. this photoshoot i got coming up this wednesday ----editor's note; that got canned. they still asked me to come, but i was informed last minute that i would not get paid....---- put back the rehearsal to monday next week, the 23rd, but i want to get into the habit of doing band-prac 2-3 times a week, really whep them (and myself) into shape. get a solid bunch of tunes down. and just go for it. its gonna be more like paying dues than making money for the first good little while, since the japanese venues operate on a pay-to-play basis, and usually bands end up losing money playing gigs, but itll be good either way. get some cred going. something for the european press to write about later on, i guess.
as far as this spiel goes, its been al pencil and paper so far, grooving on brant bjork's "che" record. im gonna wrap it up, killed a good hour or so writing this, so i can safely say ive accomplished my mission to a certain degree. trying to stay creative and physically active on atleast some level everyday. dig, its a wrap, until next time...」