Say Yes

I started a post on Holden Caulfield, Benjamin Braddock, and me, but as it’s already after 10:00 and I’ll be running 13.1 miles in less than 12 hours, I’ll have to get back to it. For now, a weekend update…

There is a new Smith Family Player. Bassist Roy Smith joined the band tonight, I hope. Seems there’s an additional musician in the group every time I go to Kevin’s for rehearsal, which is great. So we’re bass, guitar, mandolin/fiddle, and pedal steel. And harmonies. And I must tell you, it’s coming together quick and cool. I’m singing most of the Hank Williams (‘Honky Tonk Blues,’ ‘Cold, Cold Heart’) and some Willie Nelson (‘Blue Eyes Cryin’ In The Rain’), and Kevin’s doin’ the Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. It’s great fun. I’m in a better mood every time we play. I love these songs: all about bein’ drunk, heartbroken, and kept down by The Man. It’s the original punk rock.

Re: my solo stuff, I’m still wrestling with ProTools, so my home studio is not up and running yet. It will be — Kev’s helping. I did manage a new song this morning, written on the cab ride home from picking up my race packet at the New York Road Runners Club on the Upper East. It’s called ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,’ and goes a little something like this:

I fell further than I thought I would
I hit harder than I thought I could again, yeah, yeah, yeah
The pavement made a hollow sound
Thirteen stories to the ground, yeah, yeah, yeah

Because you know the worst part, baby
When you’re all broken heart and bleedin’
Dust yourself off once more with feeling
And do it again, yeah, yeah, yeah

I’ll record the oft-promised, Internet-only, all MP3-release ‘The Lost Weekend’ next week if all goes well, and that’ll be on it.

To that end, I’ve been thinking about new models for distribution of my music, and wonder if you, Dear Reader, would drop some change into Pay Pal every time I uploaded a new set of songs? I mean, if I can get my songs to album quality, and you can get them onto your iPod, then we can cut out the CD duplication and distribution part, right? That’d be pretty bitchin’, huh?

But I digress. Have you heard the Guster record, ‘Keep It Together’? Holy shit, it’s a record I wished I’d made. It’s a basic guitar/bass/drums record, but it’s so much more interesting than, say, Bush, or Nickelback or whatever’s going on in the airwaves these days: smart lyrics, beautiful harmonies, cool polyrhythms, inventive instrumentation. Really, really good stuff (which I’m probably about as late to as I was Rufus Wainwright). Speaking of Rufus, non-parenthetically, did you know there’s a second ‘Want’ record? ‘Want Two’? I don’t remember where I read it — Esquire maybe? — but he says it’s darker and hopes to release it by the election. Snap!

Ok, last thing beofore I down this health shake (Gatorade, one banana, one orange, one scoop of Breyer’s Natural Vanilla, blueberries and strawberries) and go to bed. You may have noticed the title bar of my home page said ‘Vote Yes’ for a while there (I change it up periodically). Well, I was riffing on two things: 1) I saw one of those ‘Tanner ’88’ posters (an HBO faux-political show from, well, 1988) and 2) Yoko Ono’s art exhibit which had an empty room with a ladder and a magnifying glass at the top that illuminated the word ‘Yes’ (I used the idea in my screenplay ‘Mo’ Hart’). So it got me thinking about parodying elections and running myself, so I made a t-shirt and buttons that say ‘Vote Yes,’ but the idea fell apart when my Mercury Lounge show fell through. ANYWAY, tonight I read (courtesy of my super-secret San Francisco blogger crush Willotoons) this genius (though ancient) rant by David Eggers:

Do not dismiss a book until you have written one, and do not dismiss a movie until you have made one, and do not dismiss a person until you have met them. It is a fuckload of work to be open-minded and generous and understanding and forgiving and accepting, but Christ, that is what matters. What matters is saying yes.

I say yes, and Wayne Coyne says yes, and if that makes us the enemy, then good, good, good. We are evil people because we want to live and do things. We are on the wrong side because we should be home, calculating which move would be the least damaging to our downtown reputations. But I say yes because I am curious. I want to see things. I say yes when my high school friend tells me to come out because he’s hanging with Puffy. A real story, that. I say yes when Hollywood says they’ll give me enough money to publish a hundred different books, or send twenty kids through college. Saying no is so fucking boring.

Can I get an amen? Can I get a yes?

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