June 29, 2000

June 29 finally, rain

a letter from obsessive delusion an email from a ghost a poem from a memory

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and I’m seeing you

but you aren’t here.

and I’m hearing you

but you aren’t here.

and I’m FEELING you

but you aren’t here

June 26, 2000

June 26

it’s a beautiful night. there’s a slight breeze. it’s dusk. i have music in my head …….and a heavy heart. it’s like just getting over ……or about to come down with ..an illness. you know what i mean? when you don’t have an appetite and your mind is racing?

going for a walk.

June 24, 2000

June 24 there comes the time when a decision has to be made and even if you are not positive it is the right decision, you begin to feel that in order to move forward, you will have to take the chance.

there have been so many horror stories circulating lately about the music business and all the ways it fails the artist.

in a quiet voice, a musician who is a friend of mine asked me the other day, “so is the answer just not to do music at all?”

i understand the reticence to have an ounce of faith in dealing with people in this business. i have seen a lot of things go wrong.

Something Robert Fripp wrote comes to mind: “Scepticism is a virtue, but risks becoming cynicism. Cynicism is a vice. Faith is a virtue but risks becoming belief. This is a weakness. May we hold scepticism close; May faith hold us closer. But let us not belittle the beliefs of others, for although beliefs are legion, they may lead to faith. And faith is one.”

(thank you for sending that to me, C.P.)

June 23, 2000

so that the loss of your heart does not kill me i’m pushing my body i’m forcing my lungs to breathe out fear wraps itself around my thoughts the panic that sets in is familiar but unwelcome i’ve been here before there is a romantic myth protected in the back of a young girl’s mind but the woman tells the story of experience you want your dream to be real but it isn’t and you wish the attention would return but the fact is your lover is by you it’s self confidence you earn

you cannot look to another for affirmation or identity. and it’s true that all love is free will.

and whenever contentment sets in: red alert. red alert. red alert.

this morning: I remember the gypsies on the Yugoslavian mountain top. And the outstretched arms of the scream approaching Laibach. *************************************************************************** *************************************************************************** ************************************************************

June 22, 2000

Is the magic and mystery of a performer and / or artist dimmed when they come across in a ‘down to earth’ fashion and make you feel so comfortable that you can approach them like an old friend?

When can you say ‘no’ without inner doubts as you battle the old foolish desire of wanting to be ‘accepted’ and ‘loved’?

What are the things that take you away from your creative center and what are the things that only do so in appearances? Which can as is said, be deceptive…..

There is only so much time and so much energy and as I sit at an unfamiliar computer writing this on a strange keyboard, I ask myself about the nature of comfort and famiiarity and the discomfort and the strange and what it means to be alive and what it means to see and what it means to hear and breathe and eat and let the restlessness of creation just be restless….

At our first concert in Copenhagen, we performed in an open field in the late afternoon before a nude audience. While we were setting up, people bounded and ‘bounced’….. in front of the stage playing frisbee. ….I was singing during the show and my eyes happened to look directly at a very elderly man sitting crosslegged in front of me who had large hanging hairy breasts.

Public nudity is not the norm in the U.S. and our ideas of how things ‘are’ were questioned by that experience just as it was by our 1986-7 excursion into Eastern Europe . I can still see in my mind the massive RED flags hanging from the buildings as we pulled into Prague at dawn………Being a touring rock musician gives you a very different experience of life and exposes you to numerous cultures. You are then part of an elite tribe and you are not like other people. The musicians reading this who have toured for years know what I am saying.

Tonight’s thoughts are for you, my tribe.

June 19, 2000

Monday June 19

Francis Ford Coppola : “If you are a serious artist, your work will be about you. There’s no other way.” I haven’t posted for several days because I have had a lot to absorb after attending CMJ on Friday and Saturday as well as numerous emais to my friends and mentors around the world. (You know who you are!) ………..It was especially terrific this weekend to talk with Megan Frampton of CMJ network and Amy Leavell from Capricorn Records. (Photos from CMJ on the site soon) It was also cool to read in the June 19 issue of the CMJ, Pellet’s (Relapse Records) list of favorite recent records which included Swans ” Various Failures ” compilation. Thanks, Pellet! ********************************************************************** Oh yeah— the SECURE ordering system is now done. Thanks so much to Todd the God Zino. ********************************************************************* Back to CMJ, I have been thinking about how to expand The Living Jarboe as a label because it is the only one that seems to define what I do. I am my own brand and what I do is BOLD. I do feel an alignment with Tom Waits and Tricky and PJHarvey for example, and certainly their intensity is not licensed to one particular record label/company. If I had a label where I was looking to sign other artists, I know what it would be about and the type of artist I would promote. It would be like the original days of Island or Virgin when companies had a distinct profile and you could buy every new release on that label with total faith that you would dig it. And at the same time, I would do my best to encourage and bring out the individual artist’s vision and not just impose my own.

I’m going to be doing some of my own ‘market research’ via the Swans subscription list. In fact, its already started. SO if you wanna be included, sign up!

J

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June 16, 2000

The responses to that last Artery were wonderful and actually….enlightening. I can’t thank you enough guys. Whatever sex you are…

Last night in my walk around the golf course on the Path especially for walkers, joggers, there were a group of Moslem women speaking Arabic dressed all in black from head to toe in this intense heat. (We are having a drought down here too.) It was surreal in the context of scantily clad runners speeding by to find these women strolling along. Tonight, two beautiful African men with skin the color of darkest blue ran by me speaking French. Later on, I heard Japanese as three Bjork-ish young girls in silver running outfits passed by… The other night, three hometown black women called out to me as I blasted past, “OOOOOH. Wobble wobble. OOOOOOH shake it shake it ! Bootie! ” (not sure how to spell that actually..).. Anyway, the point I’m geting to is : this can be a cool town and I love that Path!

On a different subject, as some of you know, The Living Jarboe was planning on performing at the big (40,000 paying fans over three days)Treffen Festival in Leipzig Germany this June. Well, I didn’t go and I was sad until I heard two days ago from Joseph Budenholzer (Backworld) who was there to perform about the SCANDEL. The promotors stole over a million dollars and ran away and are now wanted by Interpol. No one got paid and all the bands lost a lot of money . Joe will be writing about this on his website which you can find on my links page…but THIS SUCKS.

…………………………………… I’ll be at CMJ Change Music this weekend. Reports to come….

June 14, 2000

This is for the people who took the time out to post on the guestbook today. I carefully read what you wrote and I sincerely appreciate it.

So tonight, I am “going from the sublime to the ..” you name it:

Today was damn hot in Atlanta ——–and Renee (beautiful and talented singer and musician – bassplayer for the NYC Work In Progress ‘Living Jarboe’ show this last January) and I took a walk in the blazing sun through an intown neighborhood in the early – early – early stages of renewal. This was my first time to visit this area. Renee may be moving there…………. So as we are walking along sweating like pigs, (I had to throw this expression in as coincidentally I had just enjoyed a yum sandwich called “The Blind Pig” at a cafe ..) , a vibrant sexual comment was declared in our direction as we passed by some ‘heavy’ looking neighborhood guys (speculating about the shade of hair located in a private area of the female anatomy if you must know)… …I asked Renee what she thought was the motive behind the comment. She and I are perhaps similiar in that I am the type to analyze and reflect on this sort of thing instead of saying something sassy back ………She said the comment was to ‘objectify’ women. So I want to ask you guys out there reading this: what exactly DOES it mean in your opinion when a guy says stuff like this to a woman on the street? I mean, is it to impress his friends? And what if he is alone when he says it? Does it means something else if the skin color is different? Do some men think a woman is actually aroused by the comment?

(please post on the guestbook if you care to respond on this one!)

And I think my eyelids are sunburned.

June 13, 2000

So tonight, I’m wishing I had a big hug from you and you look into me with love. ….What is it like where you are? Is there music playing? What are you feeling? Frequently I think I feel things too deeply. I was thinking today about my brother who died when I was only twenty. I still think of him all the time and the emptiness left in me when he died, has never left. SOmetimes I think this is why I need music. And why some people say they can hear so much emotion in my voice…… DO we ever get over the insecurity we had as a child? If we were bullied, or unpopular, do we have a fear of being alone or left behind as the ‘laughing hipsters’ leave us in the dirt? How easy is it to be alone and LIKE it? What does it take to have so much self love that you don’t ‘need’ anyone else….you can take them or leave them because you don’t really care. What about being cold as a result of past rejection and hurt? Is it an advantage to be cold and unfeeling as a result of the discipline to make yourself that way? To make yourself invulnerable…… What about inadvertantly setting yourself up to be punished by another person? Does that happen?

I want to hear your emotional survival methods/secrets. Share them with me.

The guestbook on this site waits for you.