September 21, 2007

RW Hedges

I haven’t sold a lot of books. But those books I have sold have led to some very great correspondences. I’ve met a lot of people through Myspace. Anyone who thinks it’s a place for teenagers or pathetic self-promotion is wrong. It’s been great. Case in point is RW Hedges. He bought a book and we started writing back and forth. I sent him a link to a song and then he started sending me links to the record he was recording. I’m naturally cynical so I didn’t have great hopes, until I played it, and I thought, hey wait…holy shit…this is great. I was proud to know the man. Last week, he sent me a copy of his upcoming CD, “Almanac,” and I’ve been listening to it nonstop. I don’t write this because he bought my book, I can tell the difference.

RW Hedges has one of the great rock and roll voices, and there aren’t many of them. Reminds me of Ray Davies. Not the actual sound of Ray Davies’ voice, but the feeling, like this seems like a good-hearted person you want to know. Jonathan Richman’s also in there, before he became too cute. But I don’t like comparing people to other people; part of the reason I’m uncomfortable writing about music. And what makes a good rock and roll voice is that it’s entirely unique, which RW Hedges is. Every vocal melody is good, also rare. The music’s kind of liquid. A lot’s going on at once, but you can’t necessarily pick everything apart, really the best sort of orchestration.

I read somewhere that a band should never sound like its record collection. Which is ridiculous. The Beatles sounded like their record collection. Also something entirely new. Same goes for this record. It’s 2007 by way of 66-68. RW Hedges’ record is as good as the Kink’s “Village Green” or “Arthur,” while also having more post-indie rock melancholy, and not sounding at all like retread. It’s its own thing.

You read it here first. Not that this blog’s going to make much of an impact. Thom Yorke’s sending it to his record company (somehow) so RW Hedges is going to be heard, and should be.

I don’t know, I’m just real fucking happy that writing a book has got me in touch with such a good songwriter. Life-affirming, art-affirming. Hardly made a dime, but I’ve made these relationships. Have a listen.

Opening song, Clarissa

#4, these vocals: Love Lies Bleeding

I love this song. Different than the rest of the CD. It’s sort of like the record’s “Tomorrow Never Knows,” except it’s second to last: Swanage Song

More on Myspace.

And a video for "Abe's Dream":


Started my new job. It’s why no posting, after I made something of a resolution to take this up again. Pretty intense working in an office. Basically doing the same work, copywriting, but with co-workers, after being alone inside, just me and a stereo for going-on years. Got to get my socializing chops back up. Nice people, but I’ve never been very good at small talk. But it does make me feel a part of the human race a bit more. Working on the 3rd St. Promenade. Looks like this:

3rd st. promenade

Full of hot-bodied shoppers and buskers when I go to take my coffee break. Feel both more a part of the human race and never so much an alien. Started a screenplay to help remember who I am. It's about dreams.

September 16, 2007


Nice article about Bukowski in Time Magazine.

September 14, 2007

Little Children

I took my daughter to a playground inside the local mall yesterday. She was out of school for Rosh Hashanah. I sat there, coffee in hand, watching her play. A woman came up to me and asked me, accusingly, if I “had a child here,” implying that I was just spectating the children play, basically accusing me of looking like a child molester. “Yes,” I said. “Why, do I look suspicious?” She replied, nervously, “Oh, I was just asking,” and walked quickly off. Made me feel like shit. Full disclosure: thirty seconds before she said that, I was thinking to myself, thankfully her and her irritating children were leaving. So maybe she picked up on that. And perhaps I shouldn’t have been wearing my Hustler Barely Legal t-shirt. But really—made me feel terrible for the rest of the day.

September 13, 2007

Help George Tabb

Fellow Soft Skull writer (though I’m not on the site anymore due to horribly horrible advice from a literary agent, which I took) George Tabb is having trouble with his health after living downtown following the Sept. 11th attacks.

Check out Help George Tabb and this:

and this:

September 12, 2007


I got me a new job. Full-time. At an office, with people. All this time I’ve been working at home. Made sense when my daughter was at a Jewish daycare, an obscure holiday taking her out every other week. Her next preschool let out at 3:45 so I’d have to begin walking over there at 3:30. Never having a full workday. Now I do. She’s in school from 8-6. Sounds like a heavy load, but she complains about having to go home. She loves it there. Evolved into a kid overnight.

So, good news. My wife also got a new job recently, pays a lot more than she was making. It’s been hard financially these past years. Haven’t ever divulged that. We were close to divorce, at least fought a lot. It’s true. It’s been fucking hard, really. Now, better.

In other good news, this story from yesterday seems like the best environmental news to hit in a long time: Radio frequencies help burn salt water

Maybe the apocalypse isn’t upon us.

September 11, 2007


So my computer crashed. Didn’t think it could happen to a Mac, didn’t think it couldn’t happen to me; I was wrong. I lost two months of my novel, some recordings, and the copywriting work I’ve done in the last four months. I can handle it. I can rebuild. A blank slate. It was good to detox from the computer and realize what I take for granted and abuse. Don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Thought I’d revamp this blog with a new template, however basic, might make me get energized for it again. A work in progress. Want to get into recording again, a lot, and post it here.

My daughter’s in kindergarten now, a milestone. Meeting new parents, many changes. She’s there for more hours a day, which gives me more time to make real money and hopefully more time to work on non-mortgage-related prose. Been revamping my resume this week. Looking back, I’ve done a lot of writing in the past five years. Before my copywriting samples, it says this: This is just a small sample of the web content I have written. Each site may have needed 50-100 similar pages for each assignment. I’ve written about mortgages, HR management tools, fishing products, health care products, building a wine cellar, saltwater fishtanks, search engine optimization, affiliate marketing, poker, football, credit cards, online education, electronics, plastic surgery, travel…literally hundreds of topics.

That’s no joke. A blank slate in many ways. Looking forward.

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