Better than a rowboat to China:
Recently I’ve tried to cement a few ideas into some semblance of creative expression, though nothing has come to fruition. Now at the tail end of my second solo show, I feel depleted. At first when the show went up, I had incredible ideas and energy: new compositions were still coming and I was working towards finishing several pieces I started while preparing for the show.
Now I spend hours in my studio into the late night, with half finished canvases staring at me in mockery. The mouths of half formed figures laugh at my impotence; fingers from disembodied hands point accusations of fraudulence. Is it over?
In times like this, I honestly feel like I may never finish another painting again. How can I have nothing left to do with so much to say?
While I recognize this has happened before, I cannot escape the finality of this feeling. I remember when it happened last and being on the phone with Tonka outside of the office building where I was working. He suggested meditation as a method of clearing/centering my mind. It helped a bit, but sometimes nothing seems to kick start the creative engine.
Contention breeds creativity, but this is ridiculous.
I continue to sketch during the day, working out possibilities over coffee, milkshakes, and sammiches. Some ideas have potential, yet they soon dissolve into ambivalence when I consider them mere minutes later. Now it seems as I am trying too hard, which never works…
Puscifer – Palace of fine arts, March 16th
I will start with the second category here…
Extremely excited to catch his show, I bought VIP tickets as soon as they were on sale. Unfortunately, the experience left me feeling less than important. $100+ for a signed poster, a small canvas bag (made in china!) and a quickie two song acoustic set. Now the acoustic set was great, but overall the experience left me with a bad taste on my mouth. I work hard for my money and expect a nice return for VIP experiences. Even OHGR chatted us up and hung out a bit during his VIP event. And Puscifer being a bit of a class act, I feel could have offered us a bit more. Not even a handshake after you are so anal about no cameras/videography/cell phone use (more about those devices later). Yes, the two song performance was intimate, and your version of Fleetwood Mac‘s “The Chain” was spectacular, but for some reason I still felt a little cheated. I will not buy another VIP package for a future show.
This experience was exasperated by the venue. I cannot say if this was part Puscifer‘s fault, but we had to leave the pre-concert area while the extra special VIP wine tasting event was going on (I wasn’t quick enough to drop even MORE money on this delight). Now, if the Palace would have kept us in said area they would have easily made money. I alone would have bought two or three beers and at $6 for a draft, multiplied by the twenty or so others that would have also indulged, that is some serious dough. They could have made payroll with the VIP event alone. Do you know what the return is on a draft beer pour? It’s seriously ridiculous… but I digress. This multiplied by the rain made it worse, but luckily I came prepared. Oh, I almost forgot – we were offered to hang out in the lobby (that makes up for the rain) but, for an hour until doors officially opened? I declined and made my way to a local pub.
My foul mood only slightly numbed with two beers, I returned to catch Carina Round take the stage. This probably would have gone over a lot better, I admit I was still cranky, but her set wasn’t sitting well with me. I expected more melody, but really only heard her howling generic guitar-pop. And then she berates two guys in the audience (I could not see them, allegedly not too thrilled to sit through the opening act) by saying things like ‘it’s hard up here in high heels’ and ‘just relax, you only have ten more minutes before MJK comes out….’ in a condescending tone. Well, guess what bitch… no one forced you to wear high heels, at least in the audience, and you are the supporting act; you HAVE to deal with some people not into your music. It’s part of the game. After all, you sang a song with a chorus of ‘I really miss you, I do-do-do-da-do-do-do’
After that torture subsides, I am thinking to myself Pusifer has to pull out the major stops here for me not to go all Sinead on their ass… And well, THEY DID!
A spectacle from beginning to end, they shredded time and space, pulling out the full arsenal that is their new album, Conditions of my Parole, along with several favorites off the first. The levels were great, the musicians wailing, and the harmonizing between MJK and Carina Round was fantastic. I was loving “DoZo” (complete with ninja animation), “Momma Sed”, and a great power infused version of my personal favorite off V is for Vagina, “The Undertaker”. I enjoyed them playing modified versions of a few songs, though the heavier version of “Horizons” was a bit too much. I was really hoping to hear “Oceans”, “The Weaver”, and “The Rapture” and was lucky on all accounts, reduced to tears with “Oceans”. Also, the video inter segments of Billy D and wife/cousin Hilda were hilarious (two characters dreamed up in the mind of MJK that opened the show via video, a throwback to the V is for Vagina‘s tour).
The most impressive part of the show was the way it started. MJK came out alone pulling a tractor trailer and started setting up. He spoke about sustainability and what it means (not in the bottom of your menu kind of way) for us as humans to sustain life, how we panic when we realize our own mortality, and ultimately the point of Puscifer – “that life is too short not to create something with every breath we draw“. Brilliant.
A note about the no recording/pictures/cellphone use rule: I totally agree that they are distracting to the performers and should be turned off, but after the fifth reminder or so, I felt like I was being treated as a child. Now I know this has to be done, courtesy of the one bad apple that will ruin the bunch, but it all seems to teeter a bit on the elist edge. I understand MJK is a very private person, and I can respect that, but it just gets insulting. Ask once, say it again, and then just start kicking the assholes out. If there is one thing about MJK fans, they respect him (some to the point of obsession) and I am sure we all would have obeyed. I wanted to deck the usher when she directed her ‘child voice’ my way: “You know Maynard doesn’t like cameras or cell phone use…”
And here comes the ugly.
This has nothing to do with Puscifer and little to do with the venue. The fucking noisy bitches in row D about seats 26-24 that couldn’t shut the fuck up for a full song. Sometimes a response was more than valid, but seriously, if you are going to be that obnoxious, walk your dumb ass into oncoming traffic before a show.
Overall this show was awesome and redeeming of the bad initial misgivings. A solid 8 out of 10!