Two names have changed actually: the new album and this blog. The big experiment of an album of songs all inspired by novels ultimately moved me past the novels and into other work. Once I faced and accepted that fact, I had to face the body of work I’d created and see exactly what it was.
Hence, the new blog and album title, MONSTERS. Yes, there is a song with a similar title on the album — MONSTER — but every song is about a monster. Maybe every song IS a monster.
As some of you may have heard, MONSTER and COUNT ZERO both won me the Mountain Stage NewSong Contest for the Western Region, and I’ll be in New York for a special show October 20th.
Now I’m in no danger of that making me a pop-star — I can’t write an uncreepy love song to save my life — but it has made me think about the nature of attention: media attention, fan attention, cultural ratification. Penny Arcade says that there are two types of artists, those who want to be admired, and those who just want to be friends with everyone. I feel like I’m some weird third variety: I just want to be friends with the cool people with interesting passionate minds and lives.
The idea of being admired OR being friends with people I wouldn’t want to talk to sort of gives me the creeps.
I’m fascinated when somebody responds to my work: I want to find out why, what’s going on in their heads, what feelings it engenders. My song are like weird litmus tests that give out a thousand different answers, all of which compel me. They’re my way into the world.
When I was 20 I wanted to meet people like Tom Waits or William Burroughs or David Wojnarowicz or Robert Wilson, etc etc. But now when someone finds me on Facebook and writes or posts how much they love what I’m doing, I go to their Wall and almost invariably find the writings of a person I would actually like to hang out with.
This is way better than just having “fans.”