Friday, January 29, 2010

i've been developing simultaneous youtube crushes on marc bolan, calvin johnson, and mick jagger. just unbelievable. so good. there are times when i consider that the likes of these men are pretty much everything i wish tujunga could be (but probably never will). i can see tujunga going in so many directions. some of the stuff i've been writing as of late has been a little more grandiose, complex, dark, whatever, but watching folks like these on youtube just makes me want to turn tujunga into a straight-up fun band with super simple lyrics and me going crazy. like doing nothing but songs along the lines of "i want to be your boyfriend." i'm sure tujunga will be a lot more multi-faceted than that in the coming performances/recordings/whatever (doing lots of different stuff under the tujunga banner--i.e. the cat club show and the "american national heartache" performance being like night and day), but i can't say i don't have that certain temptation to ditch all the deep, dark, haunting stuff i've been attempting to make lately and just turn this into a vehicle for me to have fun with people. who knows. whatever happens, i'll let it happen.

in other news, there's a tujunga show at mountair on february 12th and i still have no idea who's playing with me, which songs of mine i'm going to play (there's like 25 to choose from at this point), or anything along those lines. to put it succinctly, i don't know what i'm doing. i've never been this clueless before a show. i usually know what my heart wants. in this instance, i'm just swimming in a sea of indecision.
brandon has agreed to play drums on some songs. justin might play guitar. if either or both worked out that would be immensely cool. i just want this show to be something new and different. to play with new people (as much as i appreciate with the greatest of gratitude mackenzie and jarrod letting me take time out of their days to play my sophomoric music at past shows), to project a new image, to explore what else tujunga could be.
part of my desire to play with new people, i must confess, is partly (and only in small part) due to people seeming to confuse tujunga and dalloway. i guess it's not the craziest case of mistaken identity considering that most tujunga stuff up to this point has involved jarrod and mackenzie. i'm not mad about the confusion at all. if anything, it's sort of a humorous mixup. but i do feel a need to clarify it. i've even had good friends of mine ask me which one is the band i'm a member of and which is my solo project, and even some actually unaware that they were two different things. as much as i really love those two guys, i feel like playing a tujunga show with someone else backing me up would be good for my sanity right now on the subject of that mixup. even if it's just a single show.
i've been trying to be more self-reliant in music these days (a definite influence on "american national heartache") because i still (and always will) struggle with my lifelong issue of being really skittish when it comes to asking other people for their help (especially when the answer seems to be more of a "yes" like "yeah, i guess i'll do you a favor" and less like "yeah, i'd really enjoy playing on your songs"). but i'm definitely realizing that the one-man band concept is something i'm probably not going to be able to sustain for any great amount of time. music based around electric guitar(s) and rock 'n' roll drums absolutely requires the assistance of others. even precorded stuff just isn't my thing. i've seen friends of mine pull it off with spectacular success, but for me it's about as sterile, impersonal, soulless, and far removed as can be when it comes to what i wish to accomplish with music and live performances (i should note that i use all those adjectives to describe how it feels when i do it. i don't normally feel that way when i see others do it). for one, i get really bored making music on computers. i've experimented with it for many, many years and i always get really impatient and frustrated and come out of it with an end product that i feel would've just sounded better with live human beings playing with live instruments. whenever i make music on the computer i honestly get to a point where i realize i've been staring at a screen for several hours while clicking around with a mouse and end up asking myself, "why am i doing this?" there's something so visceral and pure, almost primal, about holding an instrument in your hands and forcing a sound out of it, one note at a time, in real time. hitting the spacebar and then singing along just bores me to death. other folks i know are quite good at it and seem to very much enjoy it, and i'm really happy that they've found their ideal means of making music, but it does nothing for me. so i've decided i really do need other people to play with me in order to bring the sounds in my head to fruition. i suppose the most i can hope for is that they'll be honest about whether or not they want to do it, not just doing it out of feelings of obligation because we're friends (i really would like to believe that if someone i ask just plain isn't interested or thinks it would be wiser for me to ask someone else to play with me, that they would just bluntly tell me that). that's a terrible fear of mine. i really hate making other feel like they have any sort of obligation to do anything at all for me. i always try to ask as little as possible of everyone i know precisely for that reason.

still on the subject of the february 12th show: i don't know whether it would be wiser to assemble a lineup of musicians and then choose the songs based on what would work well with those musicians, or to put together a setlist of the songs i want to do and then gather together whoever i think would be best suited to play at this show. i really can't make up my mind.

i've had such a dire desire to do something new. to be reborn and recreated in the eyes of those watching these future show. the first five tujunga shows were loud, garage rock/art-punk stuff with mackenzie and jarrod on guitar and drums. and then i did "american national heartache," mostly because that's what was within me, but i do have to admit it was partly sparked from wanting to do something different---to be something different. i feel like if i do this show on the 12th (and any future shows, for that matter) in the same context as the first five shows, it's just going to be boring and so utterly expected. i want to press forward. my problem is that i don't even know what "forward" means anymore. i have so much i want to prove to myself. and i don't know how to do it.
oh well. a number of people seemed to enjoy the vibe of the first five tujunga shows. and i was very much under the impression that the debut of "american national heartache" was something of a failure (and probably not a direction very many people would want to see any more of in the future). so maybe i should just stick to the same old songs, same old presentation, same old everything.

i definitely worry about things too much.

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