It’s been a wild ride folks. My face is still aching from the gasoline-slick migraine I suffered last night, once all the gear was packed up and we were headed home toward the Helderberg Escarpment. On the way to the show I started having a panic attack until Eric gave me a real soothing lecture about Zen Buddhism and how Zens don’t suffer from anxiety because they recognize that anxious feelings are just bumps in the flow of the river. Once they’re past the bump, they continue moving on down river, experiencing the current calm. It’s only worked up intellectuals who continue to rehash the bumps over and over again, remembering how it jostled off your glasses or splashed up into your raft and got your shoes all wet. (I assume if I were Zen I would not be wearing shoes). So he calmed me down, and each time I felt the butterflies rising in my stomach or my hands begin to tingle and sweat I thought of it as just a bump and nothing more. It helped save me from pure panic.
We’ve been performing together for 18 years, which is INSANE. That’s half our lives. Still I get nervous before shows, but this one was a real doozie. We’ve played on big stages in front of thousands of people. Those are the easy ones. The sound is always real good, which makes playing feel like play and not the work it becomes when you are trying to make music without hearing. It’s like blindfolding a painter and asking them to paint a masterpiece. No fun. The big crowds are easy too, there are so many people that they just become a sea of indistinguishable faces instead of a collection of humans who are most likely judging your every move.
This felt different. Because it was. I won’t get into the details, because to be honest, like most details, they are boring, unless you are into this kind of thing. Ableton. 404s. Samples. Converting Pro-tools files to samples. Making midi drum tracks. Essentially rearranging all of our songs from songs we played with a five piece band to songs we play just the two of us. So that’s a lot of switcheroos and a lot of relearning and redelegating and a lot of rearranging. And then, writing entirely new songs accidentally, which turned out to be the best ones in this line-up.
We were taking music we wrote and relearning it on completely different instruments… instruments that were situated ON THE MOON. Like it’s sort of similar, the movements are kind of the same, but your body reacts differently, you need to lift your leg higher to get further, blah blah, I’ve never walked on the moon so I have no idea, but you catch my drift (or you don’t) all I’m sayin’s it was complicated. Until my brain slowed down time (that is a real thing) and then I was in that strange MATRIX where time had slowed and something which I once was scrambling to do, with each ounce of my brain processor on overload, now I had time to think of other things in-between, dodging the bullets if you will. My nose itched and I had time to itch it before having to press a series of three successive buttons in perfect time and synchronization otherwise the entire song would be destroyed (bullets). Time slowed so much, and my brain had gotten so used to working on over-drive that I began to create more difficulty for myself, switching when I didn’t need to switch (ducking extra invisible bullets), playing additional notes, adding more work because my brain had caught up and I suddenly had extra processing capacity. The brain is a miraculous thing.
I think I tired it out last night. But we did it, and I only tripped over my moon-boots a few times. And none of it really matters. Inconsequential art. But some art’s about real deep stuff, like this video up there which wound up touching a lot of people this week. People who know what it’s about really truly get it, and those who don’t are the fortunate ones. It feels good to make something so vaguely revealing. Like running naked really fast, so people can tell you’re naked, but they can’t really see anything. Enough with the analogies. We made a video and it premiered this week on this beautiful blog Thrdcoast who did such a nice write-up about us to boot. Enjoy. Feel your brain.