10-2-04, 5:38 PM -
Laundromat. Getting ready to rain outside. Poop.
I had to make myself sit down and write this thing, because for once, I'm not particularly angsty. There actually appear to be good things on the horizon, and that gives me less cause to complain to all of you. So I'll list the good things, I reckon.
Firstly, we're moving back to Brooklyn. Yes, the grand Manhattan living adventure is at an end, and I'm ready for it like you wouldn't believe. This island is a hell of a hard place for the unwealthy and over 30 to live, and a good year of experiencing it is all I've got in me. I'm certainly glad we did it, but it's time to move on to a place where I can stretch my arms without punching a hole in the wall.
Our new place is actually on the same street where our first Brooklyn apartment was, but 10 avenues east. So instead of Sunset Park, Land of the Puerto Ricans, we'll be in Borough Park, Land of the Hasidim. Hebrew-lettered storefronts, sidecurls everywhere, it's like Yentl without the cross-dressing. It's an incredibly laid-back neighborhood, which I desperately need, plus it's cheap enough that we've got a 3-bedroom apartment for less than the barely-1-bedroom place we're squatting in now.
The move will take place in late October, and will hopefully come before the frosty metal door of Old Man Winter's deep freezer slams shut. We're sharing the place with our friend deanpence, who after many crazy-ass-landlord trials and perils has docked his sleeping bag on our floor in Hell's Kitchen until the move.
The number of good things brought about by this move is quite copious. We've needed a financial breather to knock out the vile debt that's been following us around for far too long, and this will provide it in spades. Plus deanpence really needs a low-pressure situation to get himself established in the city, which this arrangement also puts the jimmyhat on.
And you know what? I just like Brooklyn better. I don't know what it is, but it just feels more like home to me. Manhattan is such a transient place, full of people on their way to somewhere else. People stay in Brooklyn for a long, long time, and you can tell. In this new place, I'm a mere two subway stops away from my beloved Prospect Park. It's the most beautiful thought ever.
Behind one other, that is.
In early 2000, when I began making the album that would become texas, I did so by playing around in my own studio. The studio was in a room separate from all other rooms in our little house in Arlington, Texas, and I could mess around in there for hours on my own time, pleasing no one but myself.
In June of 2001, after making the decision to move to New York, we embarked on a space-sharing enterprise with my friend Tomasland in Dallas to help us save money. From that time to the present, I have been without my own room. It didn't bother me at first, because the prospect of experiencing NYC was so overwhelmingly cool that it felt perfectly acceptable to make every sacrifice necessary.
But it's been over 3 years now. I've released that record, gotten established in NYC, and album number two is banging on the womb walls, ready to find a way out into the world. I need my own studio space.
So the third bedroom in our new state of affairs is hereby christened El Pensador Studios #6. And as much as the Wifely likes to hear me play & record, I know that she's as happy as I am that I don't have to turn off every appliance in the whole damn place in order to do so.
What's even better is that the addition of the tech-enabled mister deanpence to our daily lives means that my next album will be made on a newly-built, cheaply-acquired, badass PC, leaving money free to invest in better microphones and other necessary recording gear upgrades. It's a thing of wonderment.
So as you can see, things are moving pretty fast around here. I imagine that I'll take a few days this month to enjoy Manhattan in Autumn, but in truth, I'll still be here a lot even after the move. I still gotta work somewhere, and there are certainly worse places to work than this odd little island (the Brooklyn Army Terminal comes to mind). I just don't wanna live here no more.
deanpence's boxes have alerted the cat to an impending move, and she's in need of a little more reassurance than usual. Poor cat, I've put her through at least one move every year for the 8 years she's been alive. It's no wonder she's neurotic. However, this move will be considerably easier than the one that brought her from Fort Worth to Manhattan last year, a move that will live on in my memory as the Voyage of Eternal Peril and Ass-Raping. No more. A trip across the East River in the cab of a U-Haul is as bad as it'll get this time around, Pete be praised.
Another piece of Petebegotten news is that there's a new Acoustic Surprise up on the website. I've been LAZY LIKE A BASTARD MOTHERFUCKER over the months since July in getting a new one put together. This one's just in time for the election, and it's a dandy. It's a cover of the old Creedence Clearwater Revival tune Fortunate Son, newly acoustified for your discerning earholes. It probably isn't lost on anyone reading this that I hate the living fuck out of our current President, and after many abortive attempts to put my thoughts to music, I decided that John Fogerty had in fact written down everything that needed to be said over 30 years ago. So here ye go.
Once again, if you don't have download capability, let me know & I'll send you a disc. As it happens, my tuneage will be getting some serious attention on Radio Crystal Blue this Sunday night, as part of host Dan Herman's new Future Stars segment. It's a hell of an honor to be chosen for this feature, and I encourage you all to tune in to the live broadcast tomorrow at 7PM. Dig it.
From there you can get to his station, where a a simple free registration with Live365 is all that's required to listen, & that entitles you to listen to all the great stations on that network as well, including my own, the matthew show radio. Go check Dan's show out tomorrow, you'll be glad you did.
I've been in Garden State land for the past few weeks since I saw the movie and bought the soundtrack. It's very rare that a movie and its music come together so effortlessly that you begin to think of them as one, but Zach Braff definitely pulled that off with this one. I mean, I know it's largely The Graduate updated for the new century, but it's got an honesty that's certainly undeniable. Plus it's nice to hear old favorites like Men At Work's Colin Hay relaxing by the fire with an acoustic guitar, along with great newer acts like the Shins and Iron & Wine. Throwing in Simon & Garfunkel's The Only Living Boy In New York doesn't hurt, either.
I'm still on my voyage of self-discovery that's been in progress for a little while now. I've been pondering the nature of what it is that I do, making songs that I like and putting them out into the world just in case anyone else likes them. It's evolved into that over the last 4 years. The original goal, of course, circa ages 17-26, was fame & stardom, but I find that the sort of thing I created for those purposes was nowhere near as interesting as what's coming out now that I've stopped caring. I also appear to be getting a lot better response from other people, so I suppose introversion trumps forced gregariousness in my case.
So this move back to Brooklyn, back to the outside, back to a quiet room on a quiet street, makes a lot of sense to me. The songs I've written for the new album aren't any more interested than their predecessors in pleasing anyone but me, so being smack dab in the middle of other people during their recording feels wrong to me. I make outsider pop, that's just the way it is. I'd move to a remote island, but the wife insists on running water and garbage collection, so Brooklyn'll have to do.
No news apart from all that. I hope that all of you who are eligible to vote go and register, this being the most important election in most of our lifetimes. I'm on pins & needles until November 2nd, and I'd like to think I had company.
10:40 PM -
Fucking house full of addicts. I've got my Garden State soundtrack going again, the Wifely's glued to Law & Order, and deanpence is stepping out to smoke and to hit the Starbucks before they close. I'm not sure which has a stronger hold on him, tobacco or the Venti Iced Chai Latte.
The cat still isn't convinced that she isn't going to be drugged & stuck under an airplane seat, so she's sitting on my lap while I type. Cat logic tells her that as long as I'm trapped in the chair, I can't move her anywhere. It's okay, Miss Jehosafat, we're just going to Brooklyn. You'll like it. And so will I.