Isn't it funny when things you always hear about but never thought would affect you, begin to impose on your everyday life?
The recession, recession, recession is all you hear about and you then realise that being unemployed in the literal sense of the word but being a full-time musician, is damn tough. Would we be in the same position if we made music 2 years ago? I think, probably not. Even upto a year ago, there seemed to be more money floating around in the industry. Go back 5 to 10 years and if we'd been in the same economical and musical climate then I'm sure there would have been no Lily Allen and Arctic Monkeys. They just broke through at the right time and I think they will be the last of the major artists for some time. Yes there is Florence, Little Boots etc but they have all rushed out at once this year and I don't think many will be remembered in a year's time. They are all of the same ilk with little that separates them I feel.
Currently, swine flu has hit Shoreditch life. At least 3 people I know have it and usual faces at my club night send me apologetic 'I really think I'm coming down with swine flu, I'm really sorry' messages. This damn global pandemic is now infringing on my social life! What I want to know is, what are the risks of dying from it now that Cherie Blair has it and more importantly, what the hell happened to Bird Flu?! Wasn't that meant to wipe out the entire planet last summer?!
Boy. Times are hard. Life is hard. It's like the plagues of Egypt all over again. Plus there were flying ants all over Shoreditch today! Sin city definitely feels very sinful...
During our stay in Chicago, we had access to lots of DVDs in the studio we stayed in. I was incredibly happy when I saw a copy of 'An Angel At My Table' which is the film version of Janet Frame's autobiography.
I'm a huge fan of Janet Frame. I have a real connection with her work and those of other confessional writers such as Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. I love raw, honest, passionate writing and find it very inspiring to be able to write about your feelings to the world in such an open way.
If you have yet to check out any of Janet Frame's writing then her novel, 'Owls Do Cry' is a great starting place as well as her poetry.
The Suicides It is hard for us to enter the kind of despair they must have known and because it is hard we must get in by breaking the lock if necessary for we have not the key, though for them there was no lock and the surrounding walls were supple, receiving as waves, and they drowned though not lovingly; it is we only who must enter in this way.
Temptations will beset us, once we are in. We may want to catalogue what they have stolen. We may feel suspicion; we may even criticise the décor of their suicidal despair, may perhaps feel it was incongruously comfortable.
Knowing the temptations then let us go in deep to their despair and their skin and know they died because words they had spoken returned always homeless to them. Janet Frame
D-Bird has posted up a few photos in a previous blog entry and as she mentioned, yes we look so happy! We had an amazing time over in Chicago and I have been bending any free ear around me to talk about how spectacular the city is. We ventured downtown and admired the Chicago skyline on an open top double decker. The city looks just how you would imagine it to look in the days of Al Capone. I took a few photos of the city which will be up once I’ve finally gotten over the jet lag. I’ve been slobbing it the past couple of days in bed and waking up just in time for quiz time on Channel 5… with all the other insomniacs. I’m usually an early riser so I’ve been somewhat out of sorts the past couple days since landing home. I’ve also come to realise how annoying the presenters on those quiz time shows are and in my delirium have had to strap my hands down in order to stop myself from dialling in on the shows in an attempt to win the £30,000 prize for guessing secret numbers and words on grids etc. It kind of takes me back to when I became mildly obsessed with Deal or No Deal…oh my.
Back to Chicago…the whole place for some strange reason reminded me of denim, the stone washed kind. The street lighting gave the whole city a completely different hue and atmosphere from London. As much I love London, Chicago had a warm feeling about it- it could be because we were there in the summer and not during their arctic winters…but I loved it! The people were so friendly from people on the street giving us directions to acquaintances and new friends we met/made during our time there. There was a sense of openness I haven’t really experienced in any other city I have visited before. The city shared the feeling of a 'don’t just save a smile for your friends' attitude which I have to admit I was compltely sucked in by. Hook, line, sinker- I was smiling and saying 'Hello' to strangers on the street and in our hotel by day 4. Being open, friendly, kind…major basics in forming long standing relationships at times in the past had eluded me not out of rudeness but more out of shyness in turn making me appear stand-offish/rude/etc, etc. These are aspects of a personality I most definitely do not share but through ways of acting with certain people in the past and at times present has meant that I have been viewed in a not so flattering light leading to words and actions becoming misconstrued and misinterpreted. I’m not the most self-centred person I know but I am not saint enough to say I haven’t been on many occasions. What struck me the most whilst being out in Chicago was the open friendliness of the people there, whether it was for landing bigger tips or an actual genuine act of friendliness the point that stands is- if you smile the world smiles with you. No more of this I hate the world, my world, my life, bullshit. If I am ever in that state of morose mind then I’m not going to sit on my arse or fester in bed and blame every social aspect surrounding me for making me feel this way. I’m going to face it head on with a big up yours to social deterioration, after all my finger is better up in the air than stuck up my arse.
We arrived back in Heathrow this morning at 8am and landed smack bang in the middle of London rush hour. Drove past all of London's tourist sights and sounds on the way back so that made me fall back in love with it quite quickly.
I've had one of the best weeks of my life. We all had such an amazing time in the States. I've come back elated but also a little sad it all came to an end and we had to leave. C'est la vie, non but I couldn't have wished for anything more. I have 3 living idols and I've met them all, 2 of them since being in this band. I never ever thought I would let alone work with one of them. He was everything I thought he would be and more. A true professional and a true gentleman.
I've uploaded some pics from the trip that I took on a $10 digital camera that's the size of a keyring that I bought from Walgreens, our favourite store over there. What struck me the most, is how happy we all look in the photos.
Good times...So thrilled we had this opportunity...