Why You Shouldn’t Move to Brooklyn?


I was strolling from the Holiday Inn to get some coffee, and I happened upon a church with a big Righteous Babe logo on a sign next to it; apparently it’s owned by my old running dog Ani DiFranco. Firstly, it made me smile that an old classmate that I used to trade riffs with on the roof of a shitty East Village tenement (back when East Village tenements actually were shitty) now owns a church. It also struck me that such a thing would be impossible in New York; too pricey.
It looks like Buffalo is doing a lot to attract young artists; festivals, gallery opening, rock shows in public squares open to the public. I was walking around the Allentown neighborhood, there were these awesome old houses painted in bright colors, like San Francisco Victorians in the 60s. I bet you could get by on very little money, and have loads of time to make art.
I love New York; I have this big renewed crush on Brooklyn, now that I’ve moved there, and live in a big nice place, and besides live in a neighborhood where hipsters fear to tread. (see the entry below, where John Kirby noted, astutely, that hipsters are people that are constantly complaining about hipsters)
But there’s not much to attract artists anymore. If you are an artist, you’re a designer, or a fashion person, or something like that (not to disrespect those professions, after all, I’m a professional myself); if you want to pursue something stranger and less commercial, you’ll have to do so in your spare time. Why go?
Philadelphia is sposed to be wonderful; I’ve seen very little but the clubs where I play, and South Street. (it’s a problem being a road musician, you tend to see only the downtowns where your hotels are, which, sadly in America, are often beat-down and unpopulated) Or Portland, the town so groovy I would very much like to have sex with it.

A Dude Complained.


A dude complained that he’s sick of seeing all the Eritrea pictures; buy a new camera already! The truth is, I’m enjoying the breather; actually experiencing the world rather than just taking pictures of it (which, believe me, is what life turns into when I own a camera).
Also: I have hundreds of Eritrea pix, most of ‘em not blogged yet. I’m trying hard not to post any pic twice.

First Day of This Tour.

First show is tonight.

We scarfed down a lot of Peter Luger’s before we got in the van for the drive to Buffalo yesterday. Their burgers are kind of like heroin, in that they sort of blossom in the mouth once you’ve taken a bite. Perhaps you’d have to be familiar with heroin to understand that. Their bacon is ludicrously thick and fatty, as well.
Our new piano player, the Courageous Youngster, John Kirby, was staying in Williamsburg (he’s a Los Angeles guy), and made cutting remarks about hipsters. But, Kirby, you’re a hipster, we pointed out. Kirby made the astute observation that you can tell a hipster because they’re complaining about hipsters.

“How Many Ice Cold Cokes Would You Like with That?”


I lived with a rich actress girl in the West Village in the early 90s, in the macked-out co-op her Dad bought for her to live in while she went to school. She paid for the food and let me live rent-free, and I bought the drugs. When we got high, she liked to videotape conversations and then watch them right afterwards.
We ate nothing but takeout. Sometimes we’d fight, and I’d go buy cheap pasta to cook, but she’d always relent and we’d order food that she’d put on her parental credit card. We would order one particular kind of food obsessively; Domino’s, for instance, two meals a day for two months.
The guy at Domino’s was some kind of budding alpha-male capitalist. After ordering a pizza, he’d ask, really enthusiastically and domineeringly, “AND HOW MANY ICE COLD COKES WOULD YOU LIKE WITH THAT?” Um, how about no ice cold cokes with that, thanks.

Shades from Walgreen’s.


I bought these sunglasses at the Walgreen’s across the street from the Holiday Inn. I left mine at home. They look like Terry Richardson’s. I know T.R. from around the way in New York, though it took me a couple years to put two and two together, that he was the guy who made all the high-art photos of famous models with cum on their faces. Which is a very interesting thing to find out about an acquaintance from around the way.
Anyway. I don’t like biting styles. But I dig the glasses. I always worry about this kind of stupid thing.

I Am Thirty-Six in Eight Days.

Caramel treats will be expected from all.

Chuck “The Legend” Radue, our sound guy, says of one’s 36th birthday: “It’s the last milestone. You can legally sleep with somebody half your age!”
I feel good about 36. I dig adulthood, and I dig it more, the more adultier I get. More confident and naturally chillaxed. I would like my old metabolism back. Other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing.
As my friend Brian often says: “Fucked up shit just keeps happening, and yet, once again, I just had the best year of my life.”

Trying to Avoid Titling This Entry ‘Computer Love,’ Or ‘Big Mac Attack.’

Yeah. My Mac dies, long live my Mac.

There was a cartoon in the New Yorker recently; a doctor consoles a widow in a hospital waiting room, “Don’t worry, I got in one last chance to scold him about diet and exercise.”
This reminds me of the Genius Bar at the SoHo Apple store; a throng of Manhattanites with broken laptops, all of whose appointments are two hours late (to get in line you have to sign in on their website, and your appointment will generally be five to seven hours after you book it, at the absolute soonest), who will eventually be granted an audience with a cheerful guy in an Apple t-shirt tsking them for not backing up their data.
(Maybe it’s different now that they’ve opened the 5th Avenue store, which is 24 hrs, and I’m sure filled with tweaked-out people with busted iPods at 4 am)
Due to a mishap–which was boneheaded, and my fault, and too embarrassing for me to actually tell you about–the keys T, Y, and 6 stopped working on my Mac. I briefly tried to live life without T, Y, or 6. Then I got a dusty keyboard from an antiquated iMac and hooked it up. The set-up looks so lo-fi I could cringe.
So I ordered a new MacBook–the sleek and chic new black kind. It’s extravagant, I know, especially after the whopping expenses–largely Ikea-incurred–of moving. I planned on getting it fixed, paying the $500 or whatever for a new keyboard; last year, I bought the ProCare card, which for 99 bucks buys you the privilege of making more convenient appointments, and, allegedly, quicker turnaround time at the shop)
But my ProCare card had expired. Did I want to brave the hordes at the Apple store? No. I just fucking ordered a new one. (admittedly, it didn’t take a lot of self-arm-twisting to buy something expensive and shiny)
I’m a Mac dude. (a MacDude?) I will not snob on PC people, but I like Macs. Here’s my problem with Apple: everything costs money. Want to backup your hard drive? That’ll be $99 for a dot-Mac account, please; it’s the only way to get the backup software without which you are unable to back your Mac up. Want to avoid the lines? $99 for a ProCare card. And, most egregiously, if you want to extend your warranty, it’s $249 for AppleCare, which is nice for the phone tech support, but which won’t help you much if something breaks–a friend was denied a repair on her hard drive because the headphones jack was loose.