A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Monday, February 24, 2003


Information round-up!

The first bit of my secret assignment went well. Unfortunately, due to a miscommunication, I used the wrong sample file that was sent to me as my template—meaning when I was intended to write with a 12-point Times New Roman font with 1.5 spaces between each line, I used 10-point and single spacing. Meaning I wrote wayyyyy more than necessary. Ha! Live and learn.

I think I completed the afterword for J. Torres’ & Scott Chantler’s graphic novel Days Like This tonight. I need to sleep on it, and I also have it out for opinions. J. likes it, which makes me happy. I felt really rusty doing the music crit’ thing again, and felt very intimidated by having finished reading Nick Hornby’s Songbook last night. I need to stop paying attention to Hornby, because he makes me feel so inferior. I read High Fidelity for the first time shortly after I left the record store I was working at part-time in order to save money for Cut My Hair because I had saved enough money and the book was being prepped for printing…and High Fidelity made me feel like shit because it was so much better at everything I wanted to do. And now I read Songbook and I feel buggered because it’s a book I wish I had written, and it feeds into this suspicion that I am not very good at the straight-up writing-about-music thing. I think I had a particular problem in the past with starting my essays at one point and ending up somewhere else and never really making the journey clear. J. says that didn’t happen this time. One hopes not.

Finally going to get around to writing a pitch I was supposed to do about two months ago. Hopefully I haven’t blown it, or made the editor think I am unreliable. I am enormously reliable when I have a deadline, but open-ended offers to pitch are hard for me. I’ve had an idea for a couple of weeks, but haven’t had time to look some stuff up. Neelam Arora was kind enough to help, since she’d been looking at similar things. Cheers! (And this is a comics project, just so you know.)

Does anybody have the second issue of Dark Horse Extra with the Spike comic strips by me and Chynna? I just realized I never got that.

Jake says I can’t say “bitch” in children’s manga. I say the link shows who the bitch is.

Current Soundtrack: Suede, Suede (though I have the Japanese edition with the bit of burgundy suede in the CD tray and the piano version of "My Insatiable One")

Saturday, February 22, 2003


Hahahaha! I just realized that my last post officially qualifies me as one of those online diarists I hate. How damn angsty. I mean, last night’s post, that I could have gotten away with. It had a good metaphor and everything. But today’s entry! It sounds like one of those ultra-sensitive brooding types that live inside their sensitivity bubbles, and every tiny dust mote of stimuli is tragic and painful, and they must instantly share. The world is so far away, and they are so alone. Up next, my fantasies about meeting Morrissey and how he will invite me for tea under the statue of James Dean at Griffiths Park. (And even this will cause me strife, as I don’t like tea very much.)

It reminds me of being in high school and hanging out with Morgan Martin on one of those days where we’d decide to be morbid. We’d sit there with a quote book looking for quotes on horrible things and try to work up a black mood, to see who could reign in morbidity. I ultimately was declared champion when on Christmas he called while I was watching a movie and I got mad. He said, “I just wanted to call you because you’re my friend.” I replied, “Well, I may be your friend…” He filled in the rest, and I was declared king of the dark ones. (This is for all of you who like to protest when I tell you I’m an asshole. See? It’s true!)

Anyway, I am off to a good start on the secret project. I’ve moved to my Starbucks haunt, though, to see if I can really get rolling. I need twelve pages of writing by Monday morning, and I am at one-and-a-half. Move, bitch, get out the way!

Of course, I am stuck in an easy chair with an oompah-loompah table with no plug because the nearest plug is being monopolized by some sumbitch who has to plug in his computer and his phone. How does one say, “Cock” with one’s eyes?

By the way, one of my working albums today is the previously mentioned Massive Attack newie, 100th Window. It is so not the disappointment many critics would have you believe, nor is it the Mezzanine knock-off others have suggested. Sure, there is no masterpiece like “Unfinished Sympathy” or “Teardrop,” but it honestly doesn’t matter. What you get instead is one of the best chill-out records ever made. All the songs are mellow and slow, taking their time to work out and explore their groove. It’s different, but not in a bad way, and though I definitely miss Daddy G’s voice, I certainly have no complaints about what the band has given me. Their first three albums form a complete whole, whereas this one seems to fit in more with the No Protection dub album. Plus, it has Sinead O’Connor on three tracks, and that’s never something to complain about.


Anyway, I really hunkered down and did my thing. I have plans with my friend Lara Michell (the songwriter quoted at the front of Cut My Hair) tomorrow afternoon, so that was an added incentive to be done. I just really needed to see if I could handle this—and I think I can. I think I did okay. If nothing else, there were some challenges. I found transitions between the different sections to be rather tough, and had to do some problem solving to figure them out. (Sorry I can’t be more specific. It actually would be fun to talk about, but I just can’t.)

But, man, am I beat. There is a comic book show in Portland tomorrow, and Randy Bowen is having a party for all the guests (though among them, I think I only know Devin Grayson), and I am just two tired to go (somewhere, Denny Haynes is weeping with jealousy). Plus, it might not be a good idea to be in public when all the coffee I drank catches up with me. Two cups at home, and then two grande Vanilla skinny Lattes at the ‘bucks. It’s not going to be pleasant when they hit the lower intestine. Yum!

Current Soundtrack: Prince, Parade



The ants still haven’t found their anthill.

I am not sure what is taking me so long to decompress. These past couple of week’s—the ordeals with Cheat and various other day-wasting problems—are not things I want to relive, and they’d be boring to read about anyway. It’s just sometimes it seems we end up cramming several months worth of crises into a regular week at Oni.

And I am not sure if this electrical activity in my chest is hanging on due to the anxiety of starting this new project, or if the stress of the week is transferring itself and making me anxious about the project. Or does it really matter, because are either possibilities really that different? Anyway, babysteps…we may as well start the work, let our fingers do the walking. The Smiths are on (Best I. I wanted to hear “Half a Person.” You should here the rendition I belted out while taking a piss…).

Current Soundtrack: Cowboy Junkies, “Dead Flowers”

Friday, February 21, 2003


I woke up this morning at my usual 5:43 A.M. (I can’t wake up on nice numbers like normal people), ready to go to the gym, and I found Sadie sitting in front of the refrigerator, mesmerized by an invasion of tiny ants. I think she had pawed them some, because they were running around in circular patterns and didn’t seem to have much purpose. They would bump into each other and essentially looked like they had no idea which way to go. It’s a perfect metaphor for my brain at the moment.

I thought last week was bad, but this week is pretty bad, too. My monitor frying on my laptop was a nice spike in the center on Wednesday.

But Gravitation vol. 1 is in (in fact, it was a day early), and none too soon, as another writing assignment has fallen in my lap, and it should be challenging. Only thing is that due to the nature of it, I can’t talk about it. (And don’t flatter yourself that you’re special enough to e-mail me and ask what it is, because I guarantee that you’re not. Unless you’re Marie Du Santiago or Faye Wong, I guarantee…) It should also take up my time pretty heavily, even though I’ve got two used Crackterion DVDs that just arrived that I should watch to make sure they are okay. Crap.

Current Soundtrack: Fiona Apple, Tidal


Sunday, February 16, 2003


A lot of randomness this weekend, obviously.


I watched a DVD of all the videos from The Strokes—or more precisely, three videos and two live tracks. I really want to like The Strokes more than I do. Their music is gloriously empty, but sometimes that’s okay, especially when you bang out some really spectacular tunes, which The Strokes occasionally do. Unfortunately, there are two many ironic contradictions to this band—including the fact that I don’t think they know how hollow they are—that make it impossible for them to ever be great to me.

There’s the video for “Someday,” where they are filmed by Roman Coppola hanging out in a dive bar with Slash. It’s almost like, “Look at how famous and normal we are all at the same time.” It’s a pretty banal display of expensive slumming. This footage is intercut with them playing Family Feud against old man sadbags Guided by Voices, and it gets even more ridiculous. In another group’s hands, you could see it as a great display of a sense of humor, but with The Strokes, it makes you feel like their rock music is a bit like the spoiled brats from the private school going to the public school to sell drugs, getting richer on the backs of the poor. Isn’t it all just a laugh?

All from a band write a song like “New York City Cops,” where the most intelligent observation they can muster is that said cops “ain’t too smart.” Beyond that, it was a pretty easy sentiment for them to turn their backs on when it was more commercially viable to do so in the wake of 9-11. Now they seem to trot it out and stick it on things just to say, “Look, we’re naughty. We’re rock ‘n’ roll!” But how rock ‘n’ roll was it to change your album cover from this to this just so Wal Mart would carry you? (Normally I don't care about such things, but you know, if you're going to have the image...)

And with all the people getting all purple with whining about which pop kid can sing and which one can’t, why doesn’t anyone ever ask why Julian Casablancas can never perform without filtering his voice through a muffler?

I am sure plenty of better critics have said all the same stuff before. But man, I am not sure the last time I was turned off that much by 17 minutes of video.


An interesting note about Gravitation: I’ve reached the first big kiss between Yuri and Shindou, and up until that moment both of them are pretty much denying they are gay. I am not sure if there are cultural differences I should know about when it comes to how homosexuality is viewed in Japan. Or is it that little Japanese girls are more turned on by straight boys kissing, much the same way some gay men find it attractive to see a heterosexual man stray over to the other side? Either way, I am trying to play the book for the appropriate drama, play up the confusion that at least Shindou feels and tone down some of the outside reactions—while at the same time being true to the text. What a balancing act!

Current Soundtrack: Suede, "Obsessions” DVD b-sides; Manic Street Preachers, “Australia” CD1



I am Jamie, and I have an addiction.

Many of my friends know this. They were plagued by it last week when, in a mad rush, I attempted to keep a particular high from slipping away.

I am addicted to Criterion DVDs. Let’s call them Crackterion. The Crackterion Collection. There are over 150 ways for me to shoot up with Crackterion, and I haven’t tried them all yet. Last week I found out that one of those ways, How To Get Ahead in Advertising, starring Richard E. Grant, was going out of print. It was already going for about double retail on eBay. These things go out of print and the other freaks start paying outrageous prices for ‘em. Salo is the most expensive, I’ve seen it sell for $300 to $600, despite no one liking it very much (it’s one of the two OOP titles I lack). So I was e-mailing people in different states, saying, “Call your local Tower or Borders. Let’s find this disc!” I couldn’t turn one up, though my addiction partner, Christopher McQuain, who now lives in Seattle, found it right away in an outlying suburb. He needed it for himself, though. It’s luck, I guess, because when the Jacques Tati films disappeared, I found Mon Oncle at a closing Tower on it’s very last day of business and got it insanely cheap. (I finally got Advertising for a so-so price on eBay, and if any of the two I have on backorder show up, I can make my money back easy.)

What is so special about Criterion? Here is how they describe themselves: “The Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films, is dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements. Criterion began with a mission to pull the treasures of world cinema out of the film vaults and put them in the hands of collectors. All of the films published under the Criterion banner represent cinema at its finest. In our seventeen years, we've seen a lot of things change, but one thing has remained constant: our commitment to publishing the defining moments of cinema in the world's best digital editions. * The foundation of the collection is the work of such masters of cinema as Renoir, Godard, Kurosawa, Cocteau, Fellini, Bergman, Tarkovsky, Hitchcock, Fuller, Lean, Kubrick, Lang, Sturges, Dreyer, Eisenstein, Ozu, Sirk, Buñuel, Powell and Pressburger. Each film is presented uncut, in its original aspect ratio, as its maker intended it to be seen. For every disc, we track down the best available film elements in the world, use state-of-the-art telecine equipment and a select few colorists capable of meeting our rigorous standards, and take time during the film-to-video digital transfer to create the most pristine possible image and sound. Whenever possible, we work with directors and cinematographers to assure that the look of our releases does justice to their intentions. Our supplements enable viewers to appreciate Criterion films in context, through audio commentaries by filmmakers and scholars, restored director's cuts, deleted scenes, documentaries, shooting scripts, early shorts, and storyboards. To date, more than 35 filmmakers have made our Director Approved library of laserdiscs and DVDs the most significant archive of contemporary filmmaking available to the home viewer.

If the Criterion name is on it, I will gamble with a film and buy it. Even if it’s not an instant favorite, or if the film is flawed, they usually have picked it for a special reason. Because of them, I know now who Douglas Sirk, Samuel Fuller, Wong Kar-Wai, Lynne Ramsay, Rene Clair, Yasujiro Ozu, and the Maysles brothers are; I have tried Fellini, Bergman, and Truffaut; I have seen films I had never seen before from Preston Sturges, David Lean, the Archers, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Luis Bunuel. And they don’t just do art pictures. They’ve done classic ‘50s horror like The Blob, they’ve released Michael Bay films (yeah, I know, but no one is perfect), they did excellent editions of Chasing Amy and Wes Anderson’s last two films. Their double-disc Beastie Boys anthology may just be the best music video compilation there is.

And you know how they sucker me? They number the spines. Yes, they get the old comic book geek in me by making it so I have to have them all or I will be missing something. Someday I will have to buy Armageddon or risk not having a #40, of having a hole between Suzuki’s Tokyo Drifter (#39 – which I still need) and Olivier’s Henry V (#41 – got it). They even give you a scorecard in the package, so I can sit there with a Sharpie and mark off the ones I have and look for the ones I need. I have an eBay system set up, with the prices I want to pay to get a good deal on the particular films (they are priced at two tiers--$29.95 and $39.95 retail, depending on the set; I try to get them cheaper on eBay. If I buy retail, I go to Deep Discount DVD or DVD Planet, as they consistently have the best prices). It’s really sick. They prey on obsessive personalities like mine.

I am not admitting my addiction because I wish to overcome it. I only seek understanding, patience. I will not change. As I was typing this, Amazon notified me that my copy of the Crackterion Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas that is coming out Tuesday just shipped. It gave me a thrilling jolt. I refuse to let that go.

Current Soundtrack: Tricky, Juxtapose; The Who, Odds & Sods


Saturday, February 15, 2003


Duran Duran, “Stop Dead”

Jeezus! I don’t think anyone has every knocked on my door before (I don’t get visitors, thankfully). So I was a bit startled when someone was pounding on my door at 10:30 this morning. It was the mailman with a big box, registered mail from China. Rebecca went overboard in loading me up with Faye Wong CDs and other Chinese pop. I am quite startled. There are a lot of discs here. She is never one to do things halfway.

On the Faye Wong situation: I heard back from Sony Hong Kong. She is recording her new album right now and so isn’t doing any press. Hopefully, they will keep me in mind. If not, maybe the next Wong Kar-Wai film will come soon, and I can latch on that. I may still try to write something for the next issue of Kitchen Sink, as it’s a stalker theme, and maybe I can make something out of my hunt for my pop obsessions. I told Laurenn McCubbin I will try, but I am not sure what my time will permit. I need to finish Gravitation, and I also have to finish my essay for Days Like This. I feel a bit like a swimmer in a drowned world lately.

Rebecca also sent me a Mashi Maro comic. He is a rabbit who walks around with a plunger on his head. I don’t know why. But it’s really funny. A lot of toilet humor. I guess that’s something the Chinese have in common with the British. I’ve got arrested development, so it really makes me laugh.

Current Soundtrack: original soundtrack to Hero, or at least something that purports to be it--it's got Faye's theme for the movie, and movie artwork, but the rest is a Faye Wong album. Ha! Chinese releases are really bizarre. I have all sorts of albums now that don't appear in her official discography. Maybe if the movie comes out over here, I can get the real score (it's been nominated for a Best Foreign Language Academy Award). Rebecca is my hero right now anyway. (Awwww...this from the guy who last night called everyone a fucker.)



Chynna asked me why I go to Starbucks to hide and write. Not why as in what purpose does it serve, because she knows it protects me from the freelancers like herself that would seek to suck me dry every hour of the day until there is nothing left for myself. Though that’s not Chynna these days. She’s actually been pretty on top of Blue Monday: Nobody’s Fool and Scooter Girl. No, the sort that feels that my schedule is built around them, that because they can’t work an eight-hour day or get things done at normal hours that my nights and weekends should be in service to them. I mean, if they’re working, I should be, too…yes? (Bitter? You bet your ass, fucker.)

No, she wanted to know wasn’t there someplace “cooler” in Portland. Well, I suppose in a land of self-invented cool, yes, there is something with better self-invention. But coolness isn’t really the point. I come here because it’s convenient, mainly, but also because the less cool places are much better to visit if I really want to do any decent people watching. Hipsters don’t need to be observed, because they’re easy to make up. Real people, on the other hand—they’re the reason someone had to coin the phrase “Truth is stranger than fiction.” Of course, there is no one here right now to prove my point with, but frankly, no one is paying for the pleasure of reading this blog, so you have to accept what you get. (Still bitter? Does the Pope have saggy nuts? It’s been one fuck of a week.)

Besides, hipsters need to be noticed. Quiet work is not possible when there is a guy with a horrid ski cap and an ironic T-shirt for the honest-to-goodness Johnson High School Athletic Support Crew explaining what he thinks of Adaptation to a college freshman co-ed too busy wondering why her new chin piercing still stings to realize he’s wrong. Sometimes stupidity is too difficult to ignore.

And yes, normal people are pretty damn stupid, too. But I don’t have time today, and more of the Portland unkempt made it difficult for me to drive home quickly and safely today than the hoi polloi, so it’s their turn for my ire.

Anyhoo…today’s mission is Gravitation. Volume 1 is due in a week, and I’ve only dented it. It’s a good dent. I am taking to this book quite easily. I was the right choice for it—which is as close to an ego chest-puffing statement as you’re going to get with me—and I am quite enjoying it. Hopefully the batteries on my MP3 player will get me through the night. Massive Attack’s Blue Lines is the current choice. I am gearing up for 100th Window to arrive in the mail. I haven’t read the reviews, but something is in the air, and I am scared it may be their first time to fail me. So I am making sure their greatness is fresh for me, just in case, so I can be prepared to cut them some slack.

This place is also good because it will close right about the time I should be getting my ass home to catch Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Hopefully 100th Window won’t be to Massive Attack what Criminal Intent is to Dick Wolf. (Though that show seems to be finding sturdier legs. And I’m pretending Dragnet does not exist.)

Primal Scream, Evil Heat for energy. The Lord is My Shotgun.

Wendy James, Now Ain’t The Time For Your Tears for pop trash attitude. “This is a test, and it’s going to cut you down to scale.”

The main character of Gravitation, Shuichi, is an aspiring musician in high school. He makes techno music, and is a frustrated teenage poet. There’s a certain amount of fun in drawing on my past as a brooding adolescent (I know, just last year) and play around with his mood swings and overwrought lyrics. Even funnier, though, is that the object of his affection, Yuki, is a novelist. I got to write the lines, “Writers sit around in their underwear all day. They’re all perverts. I’ll bet he’s losing his hair, too,” with all the confidence of someone who is still fully coiffed and wouldn’t care if he wasn’t. Though if I were not here, if I were at home, I would likely be in my underwear. I probably will end up posting this in my underwear, though—which is a nice personal detail for someone who told me that she wished this journal was more personal. She also thinks I’m one of the biggest perverts she knows, but another female friend says I’m not nearly as perverted as I think. Guess it depends on which side your ball gag is buttered. (Editors also get some jabs in the book, and I got to appropriate a line I used on Kelly Sue the other day: “Editors have brains of death.”)

A bunch of Bowie covers by the appropriate ‘80s folks—Big Country, Duran Duran, Ian McCulloch, Polecats, Edwyn Collins, Blonde. Is it any wonder?

I hope I am using the word “oeuvre” in a manga for the first time. I want to be a pioneer.

Arcadia, So Red The Rose. Because I feel pretty. And I’m moody and gray, I’m mean and I’m restless (so restless…so restless indeed).

Current Soundtrack: 808 State, Utd. State 90

[This was written last night, Valentine’s Day, but I didn’t go online when I got home. My MP3 battery conked out as I was walking home, just after Arcadia ended and I was trying to play Starsailor’s cover of “All or Nothing.” It is my loyal friend.]

Monday, February 10, 2003


I'm on the stair-step machine or whatever it's called this morning, reading the CNN ticker-type, listening to Faye Wong, and trying not to leer at any of the pretty women working out, and suddenly last night's problem of where to go next in The Everlasting is no longer a problem. It's totally clear. In addition, it solves another issue where I was trying to bring a periphery character back into the narrative. I'd call myself a genius, but Princess Comics told me my horoscope said not to be cocky today. Or as she basically said, no more cocky than normal.

On the Faye tip, I resent my e-mail to Sony Hong Kong. Stay strong.

Current Soundtrack: Death in Vegas, Scorpio Rising

Sunday, February 09, 2003


I just did something I really, really hate in other people’s work. I’ve always hated it, even when I was a kid.

I made my way back to The Everlasting today, and read over where I last left off. This was the scene where Ashley goes to Lance’s apartment to check it out, to see if the boy she is choosing is the right choice. It’s followed by another e-mail from Lance to Tristan about how they have porn star names…no, actually, it’s about a sensory memory, a flashback to a more idyllic romantic time triggered by listening to Duran Duran’s Big Thing (try it, it’s ace!). And then I realized why I probably wasn’t rushing back to this manuscript. I don’t know what’s next.

You see, I essentially have to get through the relationship with Ashley to get to the point where Lance meets Mandy—which is actually already written. Funnily enough, I already wrote the transition from Mandy to Quentin, too. I just need the middle bits, the actual relationships.

Now, obviously, I can’t show every single date. I can’t chronicle every tiny moment in the lives of these characters. I would have to be Marcel Proust (or at least my understanding of Proust; I’m not going to lie to you and pretend I've read him). It would be a massive, massive book. So I have to choose the right moments. I think I wrote before about the quandary of making sure I show how these characters fall in love; then I have to write about how they are in love; and then I have to kick them out of love. But that’s no straight plot line. That’s more like a map of the stars, and I have to figure out which ones make a constellation amongst all that mess.

So to get into the groove, I’m fussing about. I have a sequence that doesn’t yet have a home, where I detail the travails of Lance’s roommate, Roger, and his affair with a keyboard player in a fictional band, and how this musician has to play straight to the press, despite being gay. (His name is Paul Multiple, which, if I remember, is actually a bit of a nod to my buddy Matt Fraction. I needed something that sounded like a guy who would be in a retro synthpop band. Ha-ha! Fuck you, Fraction!) I’d like to use this sequence as a parallel to Lance’s situation, but haven’t yet found out where to put it or if it will even make the cut.

In my writing, wadnering Antonioni-like, I go from there to another sequence, a little device that popped into my head to show some contrasting moments in Lance’s time with Ashley, and I find myself typing “he's known her for four months.”

And that’s the part I hate. Whenever an author or a filmmaker or whoever does that to me, I just get mad, because I feel like they took something away from me, almost like I was cheated. Stuff happened in those four months, and I want to know what it was, dammit!!! But I have to do it. I actually have to get my characters from where they begin, around March of 1999, to New Year’s Eve before the third act can even start, so I am going to have to be jumping ahead in time. And I did do it in Cut My Hair already, when I move from Mason and Jeane’s first dates to several months later (something people often miss when they criticize their fast relationship – yeah, they fell in love fast, but then they stay together and have grown before you see them again; perhaps an error on my part not to show more? which doesn’t help this monologue). Once again, I am stealing several months from my reader. It's like when you read a history of a recording artist and they mention a legendary album said artist recorded and shelved. You can't do that! Give it to me, fucker!

I further hate to admit that I did all this based on what movie they are going to see in the particular section of the book. I needed a movie from 1999 that Lance would hate. In short: eat me, George Lucas. Only thing is, this can’t be the next chapter in the novel, because Lance has to turn 25, since the book is a book about being in love at age 25…and that has to happen before that movie could come out for Lance to be a Gemini, like I want him to be.

Fuck, how needlessly complicated. (Let’s blame Matt Fraction.)

On a side note, I pulled out Big Thing as a result of reading that sequence. It really helped shift me into the right mood. I followed it with Duran Duran’s second self-titled album (also known as The Wedding Album), their early ’90s comeback, which is sounding pretty good right now. I haven’t heard it in a while. (Odd memory that just struck me. The first tape I bought when I went to college, purchased at a Target down the street from the campus, was perhaps almost their worst record, Liberty.)

Current Soundtrack: Duran Duran, Duran Duran II


Wednesday, February 05, 2003


It’s amazing what a couple of toffee nut lattes, a laptop, and an MP3 player can inspire a boy to do. Faced with the task of somehow working my last-minute assignment on Man of Many Faces around the other things I have going on this week, I went down to Starbucks last night and just hunkered down. I think I got about ¾ of the book done before they closed, and finished up the rest before going to bed. I don’t think I could have done it on a more complicated book, but the main characters are aged nine and six. They speak with a wisdom beyond their years, but also with a directness and naivete that made it a bit easier to adopt their voices. It’s a cute story. And it’s kind of nice to see that I can still focus and really go to town when it’s required of me.

The Faye Wong dominoes are beginning to fall. Andy’s connection in Japan bounced me to a person in Hong Kong, and now I am waiting. Could be quite cool. I picked up a couple of CDs at Amoeba in San Francisco over the weekend, and Rebecca apparently sent a pretty healthy package of stuff from Beijing. I should actually be able to interview her with some authority if this comes off. I recommend the Scenic Tour album as a good introduction. It’s what I have in right now. It also has a great package, some of which reminds me a little bit of Bjork’s Post (I would guess Bjork has some influence on Faye, at least from an image standpoint and the desire to try many things).


I also managed to catch the Johnny Marr & The Healers show at Bimbo’s in SF. It was fairly what I expected. Some of it was quite good, the rest was relatively mediocre. There seemed to be a shyness that was holding him back—which is maybe to be expected in the vocals, but not so much in the guitar. He never really let loose, and so it just came off as standard bar band stuff (even with the awesome Zak Starkey pounding drums). The highlight was certainly his cover of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” which he recorded and released on an Uncut magazine compilation this past summer. It had the right amount of gentleness, and his vulnerability ended up being a strength.

Current Soundtrack: Faye Wong, Scenic Tour -- also, it seems, known as Chang You, according to Amazon, but I have see it as both; I'm finding getting the right names of her songs requires a littel effort