My precious time

My music buying streak is back on. Someone gave me a gift certificate which I managed to spend in about three minutes. I did purchase one song a few days before the gift certificate appeared. It's really a guilty pleasure that I don't talk about often but I have a thing for R&B ballads (think Mariah Carey's We Belong Together) and so I bought Leona Lewis, Bleeding Love. Man, that ending when she holds that note out... sigh. The art of heartbreak.

Other singles I purchased:
Lesley Gore. You Don't Own Me*
The Shirelle's, Will You Love Me Tomorrow?

I bought a few albums too. Let's start with The Finches, Human Like A House. Sometimes other people's music fills me with jealousy and thoughts of "why don't I write songs like that?". This is one of those albums. Hopefully I'll learn a thing or two from repeated obsessive listening. I also picked up Bob Dylan's, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Mostly I got this album so I could listen to Don't Think Twice, It's Alright. Sometimes the harmonica gets on my damn nerves but every musician should have some Dylan in there.

Next up is The Dodos with Visiter. This album is weird. I think it's going to take a few listens for me to settle in with it. It's got a bit of a psychedelic folk thing going (are we calling it freak folk?) and I'm not generally into that kind of thing but I find myself drawn to their music nonetheless. It was recorded brilliantly. To round everything out, I got The Killers, Sam's Town. So far, I'm really impressed actually. I mean, there's this ridiculous bravado and please get off Springsteen's jock but I'm also really drawn to their weird bombast and Springsteen is awesome so...

*fun fact: Lesley Gore is my people (lesbian, not Mexican). She also sang It's My Party so you know, maybe it was more about Judy than Johnny.


Show review: Blondie's on Monday... again

So how was the show on Monday? First off, let me tell you I was tired. I'd been working on a little headache all day. One of those headaches that isn't so much painful as persistent and seven hours later, you're tired of the space behind your temple gently throbbing. I ate breakfast. I drank water. I ate lunch and still... I took ibuprofen and worked it out.

By the time the show came around, I was ready to go but when I got onstage, I second guessed the set list and started with Hot Bastard! instead of my originally planned number. Sometimes it's hard to stand up there and realize that most people didn't show up to see you and you need to win them over within the first ten minutes or else. Did I win them over? Well, maybe. It's hard to tell. It wasn't packed but at the same time I sold more merch and albums than ever before. So, it's a tough call but I like selling things so overall I'm going to call it a success. I meant to have someone take pictures. Next time.

There are a few people who come to damn near every show and it helps me tremendously to know that if all else fails, if everyone is too tired or comes down with a case of the Mondays I can count on this core group to come out and drink enough to make the bartender want me back. You know who you are. You know I love ya.

Despite the sparse population of this show, I felt good up there. I dug deep into the Cristina catalog, debuting a song that I wrote when I was 20 (its public debut though my living room has heard it for years) up to the song I wrote a few weeks ago. I even pulled out what was undoubtedly the hit of the show: my hastily cobbled together Billy Idol cover of Dancin' With Myself. Please note that I did not cover the part where Billy let's everyone know how he's all wet and he sweats and he sweats and sweats, sweats, sweats, sweats, sweats. Gross.

Speaking of sweating, I've been working my marketing muscles on the upcoming El Rio show. Literally, I took an exercise walk there tonight to drop off fliers for the August 5th show. Check it out below. I'm into skeletons lately.



I've had a hard time falling asleep this week, which is unusual. Normally if I'm going to have insomnia, it will be the type where I wake up in the middle of the night and have anxious thoughts until I fall back asleep. But this week it's been all about lying awake for hours until my body finally gives up. The reason why may be the dorkiest reason ever. I've finally done something that I've been telling myself (and everyone else around me) I should do for a long time. I created a dream journal and I've been excited to get new material.

There's been an element of self-mocking whenever I speak of this dream journal but the embarrassing truth is that this isn't even my first one. I'm a big writer but I wouldn't call them journals. I would call them disjointed thoughts written down for possible song use. But years ago, I used to keep a dream journal. I'm far better at recording events than making sense of them and dreams kind of make sense of events for you so when I read back through this journal, more than any other, I have a sense of who I was at that age and what I was going through.

Recently my wife brought home a small blank journal that she received as a free gift from a vendor. She'd had a choice between a journal and a tote bag. She choose wisely as we have twenty tote bags. I already have a regular journal going but it's hard to not write in a fresh one when it's just sitting there, the blank pages giving me that look like, "come be all crazy here." I realized that if I made this my dream journal I could start writing in it right away so I slapped a cover on it last Sunday, when I was dorking out with many creative projects (such as a wooden moustache) and decided to start recording what my brain thinks about when I sleep.

When I wake up in the middle of the night it is not because of anxiety. Sure, I have anxious thoughts but I have them every waking second so that's not noteworthy. I think the reason I wake up is because of Vina, the rottweiler. You see, Vina used to wake up randomly and bark her thunderous bark for no reason at about three or four in the morning. Eight years of waking up every night kind of made it a habit. She also used to wake me up with her disgusting, obsessive bed licking. Since she was deaf, it wasn't like I could just yell at her to stop. Instead I'd smack her with my pillow then make rude hand gestures. But she didn't sleep on my side of the bed so I'd have to lean over my wife and do this sweeping, pillow smack so that everyone in the room could be awake. I like sharing.


My people

I came across this short film the other day and found it really endearing. Plus a lot of it was shot near the area of the park my crew bunkers down in for The Dyke March. So, you know, represent.

I may have mentioned this already but I've discovered that the key to Pride is never having to use the bathroom, which can be difficult when you've had a few cans of Modelo. The reason that peeing at the Dyke March is such a hassle is that since there are no corporate sponsors, there's not enough money for the rows and rows of Portas that say, the Castro or Civic Center event can afford. This equals the longest wait of your life for a chance to hover your ass over a stinky, wet hole, praying that there are a few squares of toilet paper left when you're done. But you know I'm all about taking it back from corporations. The key is bringing your own toilet paper. I passed this tip on to the filmmaker, Shae. Shae posted this advice on her blog and well, that just made me want to put her film up here all the more. Plus it's nice to come across people in your city who are doing cool stuff. Go get 'em.

Also, this whole exchange between Shae and myself reminded me of this ecard I ran across recently. I'm so easily amused.


Latchkey blog

I know, I'm posting twice in one day because I feel badly about how I've been neglecting you lately. It's hard when you work and are really popular too. Last night, I was double booked for drinks with a friend and then a trip to the circus. I managed to do both. The show I went to was a fundraiser for Circus Bella and the reason I went it because the founder and trapeeze artist of Circus Bella is my old housemate and current friend, Abby.

Abby and I have known each other for years but somehow, criminally, I had never seen her trapeze act before. I mean, I've long admired her arm muscles but I'd never seen them in action. Trapeze is intense, especially when done about five feet away from you in a club. There was also a slack rope act, some juggling, a giant gay blue bunny and a tight little group of musicians. It was packed in Amnesia. I laughed. I yelled "woo" liberally. I had more fun than I should have and got home way past my bedtime. Yet, I blog on for you.

I didn't ask permission but this photo is from High Flying Abigail's website.

Doesn't photograph well

Pasted below is a new weapon in my marketing arsenal: press photos. The magnificent paintings behind me (I've been calling them Good and Squirrel vs. Blue Jay) are by an artist named Grant Olsen, who I believe lives in Boise. I tried to stalk Grant in order to find some type of website for him but all I found was an article in which he said he would use some grant money he was awarded for his art to visit the dentist so clearly, he's a man after my own heart.

It's taken forever to get a press photo that I actually like because I don't photograph well. I'm way hotter in real life or at least, that's what my wife tells me and by "tells me" I mean she nods her head when I say it. Seriously though, put me in front of a camera and I'm all gums, double chins and acne scars. Apparently the key is not smiling. I'm ugly when I smile is the lesson I've learned. Anyway, now I've got to print these suckers up and get them in an envelope. The press must know about The Heated.


My nerdly pursuits

It was when I began learning quantum physics that my faith in hard science faltered for the first time. At some point I realized that everything was just a guess on where particles might possibly be. I lost a bit of faith and decided to stay away from physics and veer more towards biology. My thought at the time was that I couldn't base my life on what might possibly be true but could also be not true. If it can't be proven, why should I care? I've always been like this, very black and white, but lately I've had to admit that quantum theory is a metaphor for life. You go in with your expectations and best guesses and sometimes they're right and sometimes you need to travel in a big circle and try again. I'm trying to be ok with this idea.

I've got a few new songs that mostly seem concerned with the usual subjects that I love but I've been feeling this undercurrent of other thoughts in there, more universal thoughts about what draws one person to another and what pushes them away. Not just romantically but the big picture, all of your relationships. Because it's kind of like everyone is a magnet but depending on circumstance, you're either pulling someone in or repelling them. I've had this attractive force on my mind. It's made me want to read up on electromagnetic theory and see if I can pull some correlations together.

After I wrote one of my recent songs that ends with a phone call placed to a number that has been disconnected I went out for a walk. I like to take walks when I've got songs in my brain or big thoughts to work out. A lot of my songs are probably the same tempo as my gait. Anyway, in the song, the phone being disconnected stands for the larger disconnect that can happen between people. Out on my walk, I was thinking these "connection/disconnection" thoughts and I passed a weirdo talking to himself. As I passed, he said "those signals, they won't go through anymore. Once they're gone, they're gone. It doesn't come back". It reminded me of the other gentleman who told me about the stars talking to him. I think of these weirdos as antennas, relaying their messages when I draw near. Do these types of things happen to you?

Besides electromagnetic theory, I've also had a desire to learn more about quantum theory. Don't you ever think about what they taught us about atoms and how they're mostly empty space and wonder how we all hold together? Maybe it's just me. I've been thinking about all these things and keep coming across news articles that correspond with my complicated theories about the nature of the universe. Here are some of the articles I've come across:

The Stroke: a woman loses her ability to be too "left brain".
Important quote: ... being unable to tell where the atoms and molecules that comprised her arm stopped and the atoms and molecules that comprised the rest of the world began.

The Experiment: will a giant atom smasher create a black hole?

Important quote: David Francis, a physicist on the collider's huge ATLAS particle detector, smiled when asked whether he worried about black holes and hypothetical killer particles known as strangelets.

The Noise: the earth itself makes noise that we can't hear

Important quote: The sound is awful.

I've been printing these articles out and highlighting the "important" parts. I fear these may be the first, small steps towards becoming a bona fide weirdo myself. But anyway, that's where I am creatively right now. I have hopes to put up some demos of these songs soon.



I first saw this on Your Daily Lesbian Moment, which you should probably visit if you enjoy giggling. Anyway, just thought I'd share because it's been at least a few weeks since it was first posted and I'm still laughing. Thanks, Kentucky.


Even when I was 17

I made this little number up to give to members of my street team ("Little Helpers"). By street team, I mean my friends... they could be a team. It covers three months worth of shows cuz I like to plan ahead.