Monday, February 23, 2009

Where do spiders live?

Elliott has a love/hate relationship with spiders. He loves to find them and discover where they live, but isn't so sure he wants to have anything else to do with them once he locates them. I can't blame him - the spiders that inhabit our yard certainly aren't perfectionists in the "web spinning" department. Our spider webs are all about function and not form. They are matted down, dirty, full of empty egg sacks, the whole bit. You get the picture.

Elliott has made it pretty clear that any light cover or object in the yard that has been sitting for any period of time has been subject (and is probably inhabited by) SPIDERS! The Airstream has a set of decorative lights that drop from the side to a stake in the ground. Each of the lights has a small metal cover that reveals extensive traces of (you guessed it)...SPIDERS!

As such, there has been some quality time hanging out in the backyard, turning over each light and checking out the the habitats of our 8-legged guests. Enough time was spent that I became convinced that Elliott could readily identify the location of any and all spiders that crossed his path.

This being the case, I was somewhat caught off guard when Elliott stopped me last week, pointed a finger towards one of my nostrils, and said with conviction... SPIDERS!!! I guess it's time to bust out the nose hair trimmer.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Addressing the Gap / A Historical Record

Following the birth of Elliott, life as I knew it morphed into a space that was equal parts exciting and "oh no"... To be clear, I am incredibly selfish with my free time and very protective of what I deem to be my "artistic streak". I can't apologize for this - even my Mom told me I was selfish about my free time as a little kid...she was right. I want to be able to disappear when I feel like it to chase this muse - for better or for worse, with or without tangible results. Since I have no control over when it comes and goes, it makes it very difficult to plan for. Adding a wife (let alone a child) short-sheeted my proverbial bed. I felt like a part of me was headed for cruel and unusual punishment. As such, I tried my best to just work the system as much as possible to wiggle out some breathing room. The results (while inducing initial frustration) turned out to be a redirection of sorts. As soon as I let go of the fact that I simply couldn't leave the house at bath time, I became present again. While we have taken a bajillion pictures of our son, his exposure to and appreciation of music has been priceless. The following material is the loose link between my return to work in late July of 2007 (following Elliott's birth) and now.

Elliott & the Thanksgiving Song
Shot on Thanksgiving morning 2007, this was classic Elliott at the time - simply sitting still and hanging out at 5 months old. While there has been pressure to recreate/re-produce this song, I think this version is the gold standard.

Elliott & The Checkbox
This was a Christmas present for Mommy in 2007. Elliott was in the studio sleeping in his bouncy chair for the entire recording. I liked the whole montage idea to get his first few months organized. I would love to shoot more video, but I just don't feel present looking at things from behind a camera. I don't think the song has been played since.

Elliott vs. The Vinyl
Shot in mid-2008 by my wife, this was obviously done without my permission. My guess is that he's looking for something to play, but I'm not sure what. My favorite part is about halfway through when he looks directly at the camera with a cold stare and continues on without remorse. It reminds me of that footage of Bigfoot where there is that split second he/she looks at the camera and continues moving through the tundra. The bottom shelf was sealed off with a bungy cord shortly thereafter - another fruitless pursuit that has only delayed the inevitable since bungy cords are also easily removable when there's a "will" and a "way". I'm sure there will be casualties to follow - but they're his records anyway now... right?

Elliott & Paradise City
A tribute to my air guitar / air drum roots, this was shot coming back from Old Town on a sunny San Diego day in September 2008. I especially like the "mouthing of the words" and the fact that he picks his feet up when the song escalates.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Letter to Motley Crue

Dear Nikki, Vince, Mick, and Tommy -

I just wanted to drop you a line and offer some feedback based on the opening night of your "Saints of Los Angeles" tour in San Diego. Let me begin with a little history... "Too Fast for Love" came out when I was 12 years old. As a 12-year old white kid growing up in a suburb of Los Angeles, I found myself riding my tricked out Schwinn Hornet up to the local music store (Music +) to kill time. I loved looking at the record covers, reading the sleeves, and trying to work out how much I needed to save up to come home with a new piece of vinyl.

Prior to "Too Fast for Love", Billy Squier "Don't Say No", Rush "Moving Pictures" and the 45 for Queen "We are the Champions" were monopolizing the all-in-one turntable I had. I remember thinking you guys looked insanely cool on the back of the album and that the music must sound great as a result. Makeup, spiky hair, skulls, weird-shaped guitars, AWESOME!!! I wasn't disappointed when I got home either - I was right... and it felt good.

The US Festival in 1983 sealed the deal. On Sunday, May 29th 1983 you guys followed up Quiet Riot and were on your game. Followed by Ozzy Ozbourne, Judas Priest, Triumph, The Scorpions, and Van Halen - it was clear that you were destined for big things in the rock world.  AWESOME!

The love affair continued with "Shout at the Devil". I remember staying up countless nights waiting for "Looks That Kill" to come onto MTV. I remember staying at my aunt's house and making her stay up so that I could show her how crazy Tommy's drum playing was - it was unlike anything I had seen previously.  I didn't necessarily get the whole pentagram thing, and that part where you herd all of the muddy women into a corral seemed a bit strange, but fire and skulls were still cool and you guys rocked.  I wore the tape out on my Walkman.  AWESOME!

Well, it's 2009 now and there have been *25* years and *7* full studio albums since "Shout at the Devil".  I may have had one of them on cassette and that "Home Sweet Home" video was pretty cool, but the train had officially jumped the track.  I know it's important to be relevant - it's just a shame that it had to come from VH1 specials about snorting ants, drinking urine, grainy boating videos, and stealing clothes from homeless people.  Nikki - I know you get it too.  You speak fondly of your first two records and refer to the last 25 years as the "new stuff".  I'd look for a way out and hide behind stories too if my name was in the liner notes for "Generation Swine".  

I get it - you are rock stars and you will do whatever you choose. Maybe I'm just jealous. Your legacy *is what it is* and I spent $35 to see what has become of you last night - the joke is on me for keeping your dream alive.  Your upcoming movie based on "The Dirt" will simply seal the fact that you were a decent band that has spent the last 25 years milking the system with crap.  I'm going to go see that too and then I'm done... unless you re-master "Too Fast For Love" and re-release it with a record sleeve made out of dirty owl bones and cigarette butts.  Then I'm really done.

You should be too.  


Canceled Check