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Hollywood Blog / drum 'n bass


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today we're doing live drums and bass. in the studio that U2 recorded Rattle and Hum in. sean hurley on bass (extraordinary) and Craig Mcintyre on drums (killer bad ass). we're doing the live drum / bass combo on seven or eight songs. things have been moving, but also somewhat scattered. there has been a lot going on for Alex, Nate, and I in our individual ways, and we've struggled the past few days to find our perfect rhythm together. we sort of started out of the gate super fast, knocking out songs in two or three days, but we've hit a different zone. i believe after today, when we have our drums and bass totally squared, we're going to accelerate again. not all songs are using "real" acoustic drums. many are electronica type things. this album is another step away from the singer-songwritery kind of thing. some songs (nothing in between) clearly have to be me and my guitar. others (encore, deja vu, sky god) are not anywhere in that zone at ALL. and i love both. bottom line is music is music, and my loyalty is to manifesting the fullest vision of a song, rather than trying to remain in safe, recognizable territory.

moved into a new house for the rest of the month. spent part of yesterday getting sheets and rugs and stuff at target. my wife and family arrive in a couple days, i want the house in L.A. to be cozy and happy for my three angels. it really made me happy getting stuff that i know my oldest daughter will love. the house is very spare, empty, but i find myself really loving that spartan / quaker / zen vibe. it's amazing how much we don't need. plus, whatever i buy has to travel across the country with me to Colorado when i leave at the end of the album (which seems a long way off, but i know time will fly). it will be our first cross-country trip as a family. i'm quite excited about it. i bought a hybrid car which gets great gas mileage. i ran my old into the GROUND. that flawless car went 200,000 miles without a single thing going wrong with it. blew my mind. this time around i researched and went with another car based on environmental points and family safety. kind of splurged and got a lexus hybrid. Insanely enviro-friendly. Each time I change vehicles, I feel It's time to look back at my car history.

When I started touring, almost 20 years ago (i'm 36 years old, I began doing shows when I was sixteen or seventeen) I drove a Ford Bronco II. It was marvelous, cozy, and my p.a. fit perfectly in the back. It was four wheel drive. My main memory of that car is having sex in it. Sort of a cramped space in terms of the nasty, but you could put the seats down in back and manage if you were nimble enough. Adolescent male bodies become remarkably pliable when intercourse waits in the balance. That car, I believe I put 100,000 miles on. Then I got a subaru station wagon. Very good car, adequate for sex, but I happen to hate two things above all else: Station wagons and the color blue. The Subaru was both, and how I was persuaded to buy one is beyond me. But it was incredibly durable and practical, and it went a long, long way without need of repair. 150,000 miles in that one, at least. After that I got an oversized Dodge Conversion van. It was horrible for the environment, but great for sex. It had an enormous bed in back. I had so much room, it was basically an apartment -a very dangerous and unwieldly apartment- on wheels. A sink, an area for my meditation cushion. Blinds, fridge, the whole nine yards. A lot happend in that van. A lot. Including narrowly escaping death on a half dozen occasions. That piece of shit rear-wheel drive monstrosity almost put an end to me in ice storms, floods, tornados, thuder storms, blizzards, and even dust storms. I simply abhorred it as transport, but adored it as mobile residence. Slept in it 150 nights a year, pretty much. Probably put 150,000+ miles on that thing. Toward the end of our relationship I developed acute headaches on every trip, and wondered why, until a mechanical type pointed out that the exhaust pipe was broken, and there were also holes in the floor of the van right above the hole in the exhaust pipe. The inside of my van was a vacuum, sucking all the fumes from the broken tail pipe up into the cabin, where I grew more benumbed with each passing hour. My dad and I took it to the garbage dump, where they CHARGED me to take it. I had to PAY to get rid of it. Sad. It was a shrine to promiscuity, in a way. But even that crumbles. After the "Dodge Mahal" as we called it, I got a Ford Escort Station wagon which I bought from my mom. What is up with the station wagons? That car simply would NOT die. It was exceedingly uncomfortable to drive, but of course, it was indestructable. A deer committed suicide on it once as I was on tour in Wisconsin. My favorite memory from the Ford Escort was the time I made out with a girl (who was in a different car) on the interstate, going 65 miles an hour. We stuck our heads out the window and kissed on the freeway. Total stranger. Long story short, it sounds outrageous but it's true. It is actually very hard to do, and our faces kept smashing into each other. Incredibly noisy too, the wind. Not safe, so don't try it. After the Ford Escort I had a Honda Accord, which went 200,000 miles with not one bit of trouble. Amazing car, but we sort of outgrew it as the family expanded, and my wife always regarded it with contempt. It connoted convention and pragmatism to her (*my phrasing, not hers), and she felt matronly behind its wheel. She won't lament its passing, but I will miss her expression of distaste each time she climbed in. Adieu, Accord.

speaking of the environment, looks like the movie i just did with Steve Brill is going to make it into Save Ourselves, and be seen around the World by millions. everywhere from Tokyo to.... other places. very excited about that.

going to get some painting supplies today. feel a bunch of calligraphy and crow work coming on. have to have my book finished this month (edited by Ken Wilber). it's almost there. just have to fill out the ending.

finishing my first screen play. very gratifying, writing in pictures.

let's see. what Hollywood gossip can I tell you? Don Was was walking around the lot yesterday. i mistook him for a homeless person. it's a fine line between music legend and hobo. uhhmm... what else? briefly met jeremy piven the other day. no luck on getting Mandy Moore to sing on my album, i think i'm going to release that dream of hearing her sing on Sky God ;-) she's got a new movie out with Robin Williams though. haven't seen it. i got an email from Marc Rosenbush, the director of Zen Noir yesterday, i'm very excited to see his film and we're going to hang out and talk movies and have fun while i'm here.

been meditating a lot, actually. something has really clicked in that zone. i feel so very lucky, and alive. have been re-reading Grace & Grit, and that book really has settled me into an open space of joy and clarity, with an understanding how incredibly brief it all is. i'm always blown away by Treya and Ken and their story. reminds me deeply to appreciate our friendships, our precious families, these wonderfully mysterious relationships we play in, with their ineffable beauty and acute pain; its all so incredibly transient. for the last six months, it has so deeply sunk into my belly how much i love my wife, my kids, my friendships. what an amazing privilege it is to get to participate in the Mystery, serve the Bodhisattva's vow, and especially at this time on the planet. our species is in such a blessed riddle; evolve or dissolve. i really think that's the case. Earth will be fine, evolution will continue, but...

it strikes me over and over again how we don't seem to grasp how utterly fragile and delicate civilization is. how oddly tenuous our very existence is as a species. that's what i love about Save Ourselves as an environmental campaign. it's the first I know of that has that message built-in. it's HUMANS that are in peril. the planet will bounce back. the biosphere will re-emerge in a few million years. there have always been meta-cycles to organic life in that regard. but we, the highest evolved self-reflexive consciousness, are also perhaps the most precariously positioned. and we have gambled with that role, wrecklessly. it won't take a nuclear war. it won't take meteor from space. the features of human life we take fore-granted, the aspects we assume to be our bedrock are actually wispy phantoms. they could evaporate at a moment's notice. society? civilization? the global economy, democratic governance? very very fragile. and i believe the next century or two will be decisive in a way most of us can't seem to imagine. that's the problem with lack of imagination. the incapacity to imagine better worlds can render the existing one undone. what is art, but that imagination?

i really love humans. i hope we make it.

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