You don't know what life is until you've been through hell.
Holes in my heart, shells in my hand.
I learnt to steady my breath, knowing I could never cry out.
I've forgiven them now
I carry the world on my shoulders,
not knowing how to live life for 'the now'.
There are days I just want to burst,
observing the world all around.
I’m a surgeon with all the answers:
I brace myself; look for the present, live by the clock, wait for the next bomb to drop,
not understanding what direction it came from.
I splay shrapnel when clearing my throat, the tired strings from my chords... another hole in my belt. I forget.
All I know is how to play from the soul to sail abroad, plant a seed, then i taste the salt; I'm washed up again.
But these tiny grains can make glass. I'm shattered.
I won’t wallow anymore: I have so many dreams and places to be, fings to learn and people to see.
I regress; shy away, shudder, mask... whimper.
Maps for my keys are now like finding tears in the ocean... I don't even know who owns 'em.
A needle in a hay stack. Same shit, different toilet.
You learn to live with holes in your heart, it’s just physicality.
I see them every day much worse off than me,
And the pain is deeper than anyone can see.
But yours are yours, you own them, those beautiful shells.
And that makes it okay, we're only human. Wear 'em like a crown.
Unscramble the chromatic into singular waves, it makes sense.
Put 'em up to your ear and you’ll hear them again.
Deep breaths, count to 10.
I need a patient flame to dry my face, wake me up, we can be one.
But a flame can spread and burn and brand...
A chance I'll take when hand in hand.
Thursday, 19 July 2012
Friday, 13 July 2012
Pretty is never beautiful. The dark side is not something most people think is inside them. Some of the most wonderful people are the ones who don’t fit into boxes. Every place you land in life has a reason and a lesson. There is value in everybody’s gift. No matter how hard it is to find or how strange it is. I love being a hermit. It’s about realizing, painfully, you’ve kept that voice inside yourself, locked away from even yourself. And you step back and see that your jailer has changed faces. You realize you’ve become your own jailer. You just get so tired of your work being rejected. It was about belonging. It was a time when my individuality wasn’t working for me—or so they said—so I cut it out. Then you realize that you’re not guaranteed anything else but your individuality. You know you can at least wake up with that and your self-respect. The truth is that anybody who exercises power, whether it is a partner, a government, or a religion, only wishes that the others remain fools. I was kind of in a place where I needed to find my own fire, because in truth I had been stealing a bit of fire from some of the men in my life. Wonderful things happen when your life falls apart, your personal life, when soul mates come and go. At the time I wanted to roast these boys over the fire, but now I see it quite differently; in a sense it’s given me freedom. There are only a few people who really, really know me. The friendship with them is almost holy. To be there when the other needs you, that’s what it is about. Most people would rather be sheep and have company than stand out on their own with antlers on. For many years, I shut down that place inside myself that needed to rage, cry, ask questions, and basically just express herself. I’m a winter girl; I like coming out when things are desolate and everybody’s ready to slit their wrists. For thousands of years women were not the creative forces, not the Da Vincis, not the Mozarts, just the muses. You really didn’t get a lot of lightning rods that were the women. You don’t hear about the great sonatas written by the great female composers. And of course, they were out there somewhere, but there wasn’t a place for acknowledgment. Now the dam is broken. It was pent up for so long and now there’s a deluge. Suddenly women are the creative forces that we wanted to be for thousands of years. One day you will open your eyes and see her. –from the sleeve of “Strange Little Girls” She forgets him utterly and forever. –ditto All your tomorrows start here. –ditto I’ll tell you something that I’m very aware of: my work doesn’t relate to the masses. My work is really for the elite. And when I say elite, I mean the mental elite. I can smell a rat real quick when someone tries to tell me their way is the way. And see, I don’t think my way is the way for everybody. You just can’t expect someone to see it your way. How are we going to be open if we’re not able to see different perspectives? You have to remember that I love the nerd. I have a really deep place in my heart because I was one. Not that I’m not one now, but I really understand people who excel in one area but might not feel good when they walk in a room. I’m the queen of the nerds. I love being in a skirt and boots. It goes back to the librarian-principal look. I like the idea of carrying books around in a skirt. The way I see it, the men that I’m with, whoever they are, it’s like, look, you have to accept that I like ice cream, and I know it shows up on my hips but if you can’t accept that, then leave. Go away. Toodles. It is non-negotiable. I’m a musician first, a food-lover second, a dirty mouth with feet, and a girl last time I checked. I believe in eating. I think women especially have this fear of eating, and I think there is a whole euphoric plane you can rise to when you have a good meal. You sit down and with every bite you honestly just say thank you. I played the percussion of Cruel in the shower on my excess fat. It sounded really good—it made me feel good when I’d have that next bag of potato chips. I’d say “Look, Cruel sounds great in the shower. You eat those chips, girl!” All creators go through a period where they’re dry and don’t know how to get that plane ticket back to the creative source. Where is that waterfall? At a certain point you say, “I’ll take a rivulet.” And you find a place. I don’t fall in love much; I mean, I fall in love every five seconds with something but I don’t go from boy to boy. I go from archetype to archetype. There is a level of the vampire in me—which is ok—and then there’s a part of me that’s a nerdy girl who watched her best friend get the guy she wanted over and over again. I really respect anybody who stands by their truth. A really important thing I always want to say to young people is that there’s a huge value in—I don’t want to call it failure—but in things not working out well. How’s that? It makes you ... recognize yourself and recognize your weaknesses ... I don’t think “negative emotions” is an accurate phrase. Emotions are emotions. We can’t look at them as positive or negative, they are what they are. And they are your reality. All you have on your plate is your reality. You decide whether you look at your reality or live pretending these feelings don’t exist. The problem is that eventually these feelings become like that alien coming out of [Sigourney Weaver’s] stomach. And you’re praying Sigourney will walk into the room. If you call me an airy-fairy new age hippy waif, I will cut your penis off. I feel like a work really has many sides to it when people have such extreme reactions. When a work is greeted with just, “Oh, you know, it’s nice,” then it’s not affecting people. So love it or hate it, that’s okay. That’s exciting to me. “Fresh start” is not something I use. It’s a cliché. I don’t want anything to do with it. Everything in my past is part of who I am. There are calluses on your hands. Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it. ... the idea that there’s a consciousness beyond us that can express us itself in a song seems weird to many people. I say, though, how can you not believe that? Especially if you’re an artist, it’s pretty egocentric not to give credit beyond your own talent and intellect—basically that means claiming that you are the sole source of your own inspiration. I don’t accept that. I know that my role as an artist is to provide an opening for voices and stories that go beyond my own small, private existence. ... I’ve always been reticent about the concept of “Happily Ever After.” The garden will have weeds and pests that may damage crops; it may even have pestilence to contend with once in a while. But with the right combination of elements, including bees and butterflies, the garden will pollinate and become a garden—not an emotional wasteland but a place of sensuality and balance. So it may need a good beekeeper; all complex gardens do. Somebody will come backstage and go, “You saved me.” And I will have to say, “Stop right there. You saved yourself.” I see the dream and I see the nightmare, and I believe you can’t have the dream without the nightmare. I’d like to think that my work has multidimensionality. That I can change a pair of shoes in the middle of the song and it’s OK. That there is no structure that says I have to wear the same pair all the way through. As long as I’ve got feet, it’s all right. Women must understand that simply attacking or hating all men is just another form of disempowerment. A woman has to realize that when she makes a man crawl it doesn’t give her power. All it will do is make her puke eventually. Rather than say all men are bastards, let’s say all men are infants, until they decide to be men. Calling them bastards is boring at this stage. I refuse to be a victim of not having a wonderful sexual experience again. And you are a victim when you can’t allow yourself to have sexual pleasure again. I refuse to put all men in the same category, as I was doing. When something like that happens you do want to punish men, punish the ones that crushed the flower. But no one should choose to hold onto that hatred. It choked me. Hatred for men, en masse, is as poisonous a feeling as shame. What I consider a powerful man now isn’t a guy who has power over somebody or who wants to have power over somebody. For me now, it’s somebody who’s a safe place, where I’d leave my daughter. It’s somebody that’s a good listener. That’s a powerful man. But when there is an intimacy between two people and one person starts to feel invaded by the other person, that is personalized terrorism. As we all know, the battleground between two lovers, or two friends, or two coworkers, can be vicious. Painful. Heartbreaking. And bloody. The sense of loss is such a tricky one, because we always feel like our worth is tied up into stuff that we have, not that our worth can grow with things we are willing to lose. To me, happiness—true happiness—is when you can really dance with sad. I found a way to dance with sorrow. I am a real believer in looking at pain and taking it out shopping. Betrayal happens in strange ways and comes from strange corners sometimes. Some days life can feel pretty normal, so to speak. Then there are other days that make you think you’ve walked into a Hermann Hesse novel. To have some honest moments is a rarity. We’re not encouraged to really look at what we’re feeling. Give the kids tools, so they can go build their own houses; not the blueprint of what the houses should be. I quickly realized that I had some kind of calling. But, just as quickly I realized that what was most important to me was following my own path—and not the one that was laid down by others. … when you are thirteen, you don’t want to be faced with a pitiful smile all the time. So I began to destroy the part in me that is actually creative. Instead, I became very cynical, disguised myself to become popular, to be loved by everyone. But actually that was nothing else than a game of hide-and-seek. You can be a bigmouth without having anything to say. At that time, I definitely only had the wish to be an in-chick. Today I know that you should have your own thoughts and that you have to stick to your point of view. I was raped once and thought at the time I was going to die. I didn’t think I was going to make it out of there alive. The idea that I hadn’t had the chance to tell my mother goodbye was the thing that really kept me thinking and focussed and saved my life. Anger in that sort of situation doesn’t work. Anger is not what gets you out. I was kidnapped and sexually violated. You feel like your boundaries have been crossed to such an extent that there is no law anymore, that there is no God. You feel like the Mother in you will do anything to protect the child in you from being shredded before your eyes. You’re thinking “I gotta get out alive, I gotta get out alive.” With Me and a Gun, I hope that attackers as well as victims are listening. As well as judges, as well as lawyers. I want you to taste in the back of your mouth what it was like to be in the car with that pervert. I’ll never talk about it at this level again, but let me ask you. Why have I survived that kind of night, when other women didn’t? How am I alive to tell you this tale when he was ready to slice me up? In the song I say it was “me and a gun” but it wasn’t a gun. It was a knife he had. And the idea was to take me to his friends and cut me up, and he kept telling me that, for hours. And if he hadn’t needed more drugs I would have been just one more news report, where you see the parents grieving for their daughter. And I was singing hymns, as I say in the song, because he told me to. I sang to stay alive. Yet I survived that torture, which left me urinating all over myself and left me paralyzed for years. That’s what that night was all about, mutilation, more than violence through sex. I really do feel as though I was psychologically mutilated that night and that now I’m trying to put the pieces back together again. Through love, not hatred. And through my music. My strength has been to open again, to life, and my victory is the fact that, despite it all, I kept alive my vulnerability.
Friday, 6 July 2012
Having been a long standing fan of Dallas Green's work (under the moniker, 'City and Colour', for those who aren't familiar) and couldn't help but take notice of the growing following of people he's shared the stage with over the years. Introducing Daniel Romano (you can't miss the customised guitar with his name on)