Tonight my students asked me why I left L.A.. I told them how I wanted to write more. I didn't go into too much detail though. They're English was limited, and I didn't want to blow past there heads with a discussion on money, identity, or some other such concept, that would probably confuse them, so I just ended it at that. Still, I was curious after the question was posed. I mulled over the idea in my mind.
Why did you leave?
I can say money was a big reason. Although I was making a lot more in Hollywood, I wasn't necessarily happy with producing television. I just couldn't see myself doing that for an extended period of time. Add to that my escalating promotions, that required more and more time away from creative endeavors, and you have a very discontented artist. I thought that by going to Korea, I would have more time to concentrate on the creative.
Now I have found that I have less time. Teaching takes up much more head space than producing television. There is more of a responsibility at stake, whereas a Hollywood reality series was just "making the donuts." There wasn't much integrity to the job. Maybe, that is what I felt was necessary in my life - a job with integrity.
That's interesting. It could be a possibility. Needless to say, I am fairly happy teaching out here. I would like to teach less and create more, but I am sure I will be able to create that scenario as time moves forward. Right now I am considering taking on a PhD in the UK, or heading off to a writing residency. We'll see where I land.
As you can tell, I am not particularly concerned. Why would I be? Life is rather effortless. My only issue, as of late, has been dealing with disgruntled teachers, who are lashing out their feelings of discontent against innocent victims around them. That, and how to balance my teaching schedule with creating whirlwinds, are the only things that have given me any pause.
There have been a couple moments, where being in a relationship with So Hee has brought me concern. These were natural though, and after getting a good talking to by Jimmy and Dacheux, has naturally proceeded into a file labeled, "Emo," and been sent to pasture with some of my more famous sayings, such as, "I am here to destroy all cover bands."
That's a funny quote. It surprises me that I said that at one time. I have been looking at those moments though. I have been thinking about how a spiritual life devoid of knowing, can often have a similar wavelength to one which has no frequency at all. This is a rather strange thought, but I have been thinking about how there are those who practice some form of piety, and those who are the exact opposite. I can see no difference between the two.
I am also noticing how an emotional state is simply a feeling that one can allow to breathe, without having a sense that the emotion is somehow not permissible. This has been a fun and difficult experience. At times, it creates a sense of insecurity. I feel as though I do not need to feel this way, but then I recognize that it is completely okay to be flawed and imperfect.
Of course, one would hope that everyone is capable of accepting the shortcomings, or I would say, differences from one's self to others, but this is not the case for myself. I believe that I have sought perfection in many things in my life, and that the stripping of this idiocy is long overdue.
I don't really know. That's how I feel right now. It's not necessarily a complete circle, but it is enough for me to chew on, as I read Katherine Mansfield's "Garden Party."
For some reason, I am interested in reading short stories. We will see how this affects my creative output in the next week.
Quote of the Day:
(from a g-mail chat with Loren Goodman)
Coleslaw Meatloaf? -huh? Czeslaw Milosz you know his work? -Ha! I just went and got some water. I thought you were talking about him.
I finished another hot tune. I call it POPS U! It's pretty bad ass. You can download it over at myspace.
As far as the whole album, I figure it will be done by Thanksgiving. We'll see. I don't want to have more than 10 songs. We'll see. I think I am already up to 7 now, so maybe it will be a lot sooner. Who knows? Maybe, I'll just keep writing songs forever.
I am back from vacation. It was a nice trip. So Hee and I hiked the mountains of Kang Wan Do, jumped into the ocean, and enjoyed our hotel buffets. It was everything one could expect of a trip to the shore.
Our hotel was boasted as being a 5-star hotel. I would rank it as a 2-star hotel. I didn't expect to carry my own bags, or for the hotel clerk to give me attitude when I canceled a taxi. What can I say? I'm a total snob. I've also got a gun. It's a 9 mm Berretta, and it packs a punch.
That's right. So Hee knows how to use one too. She can also take really bad camera phone photos of me at a Black Eyed Peas concert.
I have been told that I make funny faces when I dance. Now I know it's true. That's okay. I can return the favor.
Of course, she manages to smile in every picture. I have a harder time with that, especially when the Black Eyed Peas are singing "Jump Around" by House of Pain.
Okay. That's the end of the vacation. Now I am sitting in my room. I will work today. I will get a haircut. Then I will write more about the Black Eyed Peas.
It seems like songs are pouring out of me. I found "Pay the Bills" after I sat with a tasty drum combo for a few minutes. Sara G. sings on the choruses. It's definitely a tasty addition to Transistor Radio. I am enjoying putting this album together.
If there are folks who would like to guest on the record, let me know. I know the DTH, Temperance, and others will be making an appearance. Who knows? Maybe, even a track with SUPERKIDD. Hit me up, if you're game.
Yesterday, I went off to Hye Wah, and got a chance to see the Korean rock group, SUPERKIDD. They were super fun. In fact, the tagline for their concert was, "Super Happy Fun Music." Most of their songs were an inter-splice between 70's punk rock and Beastie Boys diatribes. The lead singers were an emcee duo. The smaller of the two, was thin and frail with a sort of whiny-nerd voice, that made me picture him as the Korean Buddy Holly. He was too cute. As far as the other emcee, he was tall, handsome, and had a much deeper timbre - almost Tone Loc-ish. They were both wonderful front men, as they played singalongs with the audience, incoporated megaphones, and danced continuously to the groovy choruses.
There are several things I would like to highlight about SUPERKIDD, and the KOREAN rock experience. First of all, there are no drugs in Korea. It's strictly forbidden, so you don't have the same shadiness you would encounter at an American rock venue. The fans are there for one thing - the music. This was particularly noticeable, and made for a unique expereince on my part. I didn't have to push the tripper off my back, or tell the stoner behind me I didn't have Cheetos. I just danced, and watched the crowd move with me.
This shared experience was further amplified by the theatrical tricks SUPERKIDD had at their disposal. As I walked into the small club, I was surprised to see a scrim in front of the stage. Several members of the crowd tried to peak underneath, and there was a strange moment where I thought they just might play their entire set behind the scrim. Just when I sat back to enjoy this type of show - believe me I've seen them - the superheroes were unveiled, and the entire crowd leapt up on their toes, with shirts and water bottles being spun in the air above them. It was quite an electrifying moment.
Another wonderful exchange was orchestrated, when Richie Valens' Labamba was given its Korean heartbeat. Initially, when I heard the chords kick in, I assumed they would simply go through the standard. I was wrong though. SUPERKIDD had much more up their sleeves. Instead of letting the track simply play with a crooner, they dropped all instrumentation except for the guitarist and the drummer singing. He sang one verse in Korean, and then the bund thrust forward into the full original. It was in the traditional 4x4 time of old, until the Chorus kicked in, and the band just leapt off the stage into a double-time 70's funk-punk groove. It was just fabulous. I can't give enough kudos to this very talented, young band. If you have a chance to visit their site, please do. They've got plenty of kick ass Tee's to go with that super-happy sound.
I had a spare 6 hours last night. I managed to finish a song for the new Slipshod Swingers album, Transistor Radio. I really like it. It's my first time playing a guitar solo. I think it came out pretty good. Of course, the final version will probably have Sonny from The Temperance doing the real shredding. I, unfortuantely, can only manage mini-shreds at the moment. Hopefully, I will get a chance to work on soloing in the coming weeks. In the meantime, here is a rough, preview of the second song off of Transistor Radio (2008). It is titled, where u been, and is available for upload to your myspace profiles. Let me know what you think.
In other news, The Downtown Harvest have a new record out. Do you like Shrimp Fried? Such a good song. This fantastic foursome will be opening for Perry Farrell's new group, Satellite Party, at The TLA/Fillmore on September 6th in Philadelphia. Check DTH's website for upcoming California dates. I do believe they will be coming to San Francisco and Los Angeles. In fact, I know so, since Fitzy-boy just called me a couple weeks ago to let me know. Of course, I is in Korea, so everyone will have to enjoy the festivities without me.
Brad Warner lays out the issue in his latest post on Hardcore Zen:
"Dogen said, "By eliminating disturbances we redouble the disease... Intellectual excluding now adds to the disease and augments the disease. The very moment itself of eliminating is inevitably disturbance. They are simultaneous and are beyond simultaneousness. Disturbances always include the fact of [trying to] eliminate them” " (Warner, B., "Don't View Big Fish," 2007).