Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Was there ever a time when one didn’t work on, like, fifteen different things simultaneously? I marveled today as I popped from one project to another — MTV News features, tour dates, doctor’s appointment, t-shirt design, CD ecommerce — while still managing to feel like I was making headway.

This much I can say: pending approval from The Man (ie: my boss at
MTV News), I’m planning on the following ‘Living Room Tour’ dates/locations:

Thu 11/20 – Princeton, NJ
Fri 11/21 – Philadelphia, PA
Sat 11/22 – Washington, DC
Sun 11/23 – Richmond, VA
Mon 11/24 – Raleigh, NC
Tue 11/25 – Chapel Hill, NC
Sat 11/29 – Valley Forge, PA
Fri 12/5 – Cincinnati, OH
Sat 12/6 – Indianapolis, IN
Sun 12/7 – Cleveland, OH

I’m adding two additional legs of ‘The Living Room Tour’ in early 2004: Northeast (Boston, Nashua), and West Coast (Albuquerque, Flagstaff, Los Angeles).

So while the tour is pretty much set (save for sending out postcards, getting my PA system in working order, renting a car, etc etc etc), the New York show remains up in the air. I expect it to be the end of the tour (which is the title of a genius They Might Be Giants song, by the way), but I’m not sure which venue. The Living Room hasn’t gotten back to me (maybe they’ve gotten big in the head with their Nora Jones connection), so I’m reaching out to contingencies: the venerable and most-cool Mercury Lounge (where I’ve released the last two records), and Sin-e, resurrected from the long-defunct Cafe Sin-e. I performed one of my first NYC gigs at the latter, and it’s one of the prime reasons I moved here in the first place (you may recall that Jeff Buckley made the place famous with his ‘Live at Sin-e’ EP).

But it’s all happening; it’s all coming together. I’m finishing the artwork and liner notes tomorrow night. Pre-sale will be rockin’ by next week. I’ll have buttons and postcards next week. I should have t-shirts by mid-November. And, oh yeah, the CDs. Well, I’m not sure where I’m duplicating them yet, but I know what they’ll look like inside and out. In contrast to the ‘Crash Site’ art, they’ll be bright, full of negative space (in a good way), simple, and iconic. You’ll see.

In not entirely unrelated news, I watched ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’ last night at the repeated encouragement of Kurt Loder. I thought it was a great, gorgeous, and fun film that asked some pretty interesting questions of this televised culture of ours. Specifically, who’s driving it? The audience or the media? And what is the mark of a man? At what point has he succeeded in spending his life wisely? The final scene, in which former ‘Gong Show’ host Chuck Barris looks back on his life, had me asking the same questions of myself (perhaps prematurely — he does have 40 years on me).

“I came up with a new game-show idea recently. It’s called The Old Game. You got three old guys with loaded guns onstage. They look back at their lives, see who they were, what they accomplished, how close they came to realizing their dreams. The winner is the one who doesn’t blow his brains out. He wins a refrigerator.”

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