Monthly Archives: March 2006

indecision

i pick at cuticles and watch ‘cold case files’. murders in cellars and cadaver dogs. i do this to scare myself senseless… today i locked my keys in my car… the first time i have ever done that… today i walked for miles in the rain… i finished mundane projects and debated whether or not to go up to san fran… i am tired and hormonal… the scent of candles brings comfort… and further indecision…

in texas on tour

brady and i hold hands as our flight to los angeles takes off from austin, our first take-off together. a plane of rockstars and texas ranch owners, some complete with feathers in their ten gallon hats and suspected drawls. suze q, atom, victor, roo and buck sit opposite us and the rockstar antics are aplenty, pillow fights between aisles, random cow sounds… i haven’t stopped laughing since i woke up. i am also now in love with shaved black pomeranean dogs such as ‘boo’, the little bear cub thing that resides at porn and theresa’s house, our austin crashpad. we have family in every city, it seems… a family truly… roo buys me medicine, kj showers while i brush my teeth, clothes and tools are borrowed, the boys make bacon to rouse the others. we share grapefruit and blow up air mattresses all around the mighty grid of reason and order, the schedule that tells us the where, when and how of our travels and rockening, the measurements of stages, directions from home to crashpad to club and back, flyer images and timelines. brady and i find our way into closets and garages to make our crashpad nests. bedrooms are much coveted communal resting quarters. closets assure quiet.


our traveling circus at porn & t’s house
thursday’s show was at the ‘fox & hound’ in downtown austin, a very rock n roll place in an endless pub crawl of a town. standard red and blue lighting in the parking lot, humidity and ice chests making stains on the pavement. the sxsw festival had thousands of people in the streets going from pub to pub in search of new music to hear, to sign… a bunch of industry people and bands that flew from all over the world to be heard.

8pm hits and kid b rocks out… i stand in the back and watch people laugh in wonder at this man’s talent, a common premature reaction before they start losing their minds and jumping mad… bartenders stop in mid pour and smile thinking the sounds from kid b’s mouth must be some hoax… they look around and i smile… nope, it’s all live looping from our favorite beatbox freak. then mutaytor goes on… roo’s mom is in the audience sweating and cheering~ i put my arms around her and then continue on my mad search for new angles and full spectrum coverage…

as soon as their set ended, i grabbed my gear for my next show… i showed up at ‘stubbs’ to shoot the dresden dolls just after beastie boys did an impromptu set there. i heard people talking about it on the streets and quickened my step in anticipation only to hear another band had taken the stage and i’d missed it… half hour til showtime, i wandered around the outside of the club, thru the crowd heading to various places and i saw brian from the dolls with emily the tour manager. happy to see friendly familiar faces, i blew them a kiss and went to the gate to collect my photo pass. i was escorted backstage where i went thru a rustic wood door to a courtyard… amanda was there in dim light under a tree alone. we hugged big three times and cuddled… “LOOK! STRIPEYS!!” i said and we made an X with our stripey legs. brian banged on couch leather. amanda stretched and i slipped out to scope out angles and trouble. various layers of caution tape led to a perfect spot overlooking the crowd, the stage, all of it. hesitation being the work of the devil, i shot a quick look left, right, a feigned whistle and up i went under the tape, popped in my lens, crouched down and the show began. 30 seconds into the first song and a tap on the shoulder. i point to my vip pass sticker on my shoulder, assure him it’s kewl and my busy clicky clicky made him go away finally. exhausting that angle i jump down, sift thru the crowd low, security is rough, the don’t want to let me into the photo pit. i climb onstage eventually, perching stage right and watch one of my favorite bands rock out just feet from me with an audience out as far as the eye can see.

amanda’s brutal vaudeville stances, straddling her space, her sneers and comical eyes, her energy and drive coming thru unmistaken, her words sung as if conjured yesterday, the emotion raw. brian’s headbanging hair flips, jester stares, his precision and adoration… the music and the way it builds as they play off each other… and i look to the endless back of the audience and i look down at my muddy shoes and realize i am a lucky girl. just then i find amanda hunched low lost in her keyboard and i snap the photo… THE photo… the one that i now call my favorite dresden dolls pic of this set so far…

quick hugs backstage after the show as i head to rush to another stage. they were wiping sweat and make up from their tired faces. dates in japan and illness… we speak the same language of ‘too-busy-living-dreams-to-tailor-schedules-to-rebelling-human-suits’.

on the way i meet up with brady who had been watching a band from norway called ‘hurra torpedo’, an industrial spinal tap, a junk circus… brady enthusiastically reinacted his favorite parts of that show, pretending to slam freezer doors as a kick drum and wail on laundry machines singing ‘total eclipse of the heart’ in a norwegian accent. they ended their set by saying “you were great. we were ah-sem!” which soon became the most recounted mutaytor slogan of the week.

while waiting outside for brady, the 7 foot tall jerkhead from the audience that wouldn’t let me back into the photo pit approached me. i had been on stage when the tour manager asked me to go tell the sound guy that amanda’s piano level needed to be turned up… when i went to come back to the stage this jerkface jerkhead grrrr wouldn’t let me thru. “excuse me, can i get thru?” “no!” he said so proud and full. i knew they had a short set and i saw the empty space where the shots i should’ve been getting at that moment were going down and this little arrogant side-stepping prick of a man is doing this dance like a wall to not let me get thru. he wasn’t even shooting from the photo pit. i tried to get past again and when that didn’t work, i got scrappy… he got a swift faerie elbow of death to the ribcage. i could’ve lifted a car i was so mad. as he turned i pushed him with both hands back into the crowd behind him like an exploited show. “what is WRONG with you?!”. we got into a fight and i turned and ran on stage. i was shaking and angry but i got my shots. his post-excuse was “hey, we have to work, right?” he said he just didn’t want to move out of the way. i screamed at him what an asshole thing to do to another photographer, that he was twice my height and could shoot over anyone. after his apology i left him with a suggestion to give rushing people who jump from stages the benefit of the fucking doubt, that there is usually a solid reason… and furthermore, to get over himself.

brady’s solution for calming my brimstone was a ride in a pedi-taxi. brimstone duly tamed, we giggled and ran to find one. the streets were packed and it felt like beale street in memphis. a guy on a bicycle with us sitting behind in a chariot caboose thing pedalled us around. we stretched out, legs on legs, leaned our heads back to the night sky, trusting we wouldn’t capsize. back at fox & hound i found mutaynts either drunk and wild on stage with other bands or tired and appeasingly hanging out after load out. particle was playing and i snapped a few shots before i did something unusual… i just stopped, put my camera down, and had a convorsation with someone… a guy that was a dj at the radio station i managed in nyc was there. small world indeed. he had just gotten into art school and i showed him how to be a dj. from there he also took my job after i left at ridley scott’s company… he still lives in nyc but was in texas with the norwegian spinal tap guys… it felt so amazing to just sit…and talk… even though a stage was occupied. i might try it again sometime…

4am we get back to the crashpad and retire to our closet… i slept dead til a bit after dawn still mildly fighting my obscure plague illness… tried to work on photos on my laptop but instead went to visit the pygmy goats outside and had tea… went back to sleep… then a jacuzzi … my life doesn’t get more rockstar than a morning of pygmy goats and a bubblebath reading the marquis de sade thru sunglasses surrounded by fancy sculpted bottles of various soaps, oils and candles… …

then to the enchanted forest to set up for the next show… ksea’s energy was all over that place and i found myself walking all around that supernature, lost in thought and exhaustion, following paths and ducking branches to sit awhile and breathe alone…

at night we had massive amounts of fire in the show that reflected in a creek. brady breathed fire that singed the ends of branches and sent waves of giddy love down my spine. his muscles contract when fire billows from his face… and his boots and chest and mmmm! my dragon, mine! i sat on rocks and leaves in a packed audience and scanned people’s faces only to see my smile reflected in them, wondering if they see what i see when i look on that stage. ksea sent many sweet forest people to welcome me. hugs as messages… the forest soon turned crowded and our toiling lit by rope lights and chiggers proved difficult.

another late night and back to the house. i woke up and chatted quietly in the kitchen for hours with porn… about his childhood, about his rebelliousness-with-a-smile, about creativity… mostly about his awesome kids who were chiming in as i told them how much i respect the life he’s living… huge fancy house with skeletons and barn doors, a fun happy life, a solid burner family where the kids are used to many different kinds of people, very social and well-adjusted, playing sports and finding comfort in events and others… his son told me that his dad is like his brother most of the time. the smile they shared then really affected me. i want that kind of family love… where it’s not fear-based, control-based the way mine was, where there is understanding and laughter and leniency. i just love this family… there is a one-eyed pitbull outside to guard the goats… they call her a pit-fish because she gets so excited when anyone comes to her that she wiggles her entire body like a fish.

the goats, the pit-fish, beale street, the pedi-taxi, the dresden dolls, boo, the mutaynt laughter, the pillow fights on airplanes, the forest… just being somewhere as surreal as texas… it was just ah-sem… happy to be going home though… i’m tired… and i have 1,500 images i’m dying to tear into….

invisible in the enchanted forest

dusk in ‘the enchanted forest’, an art community in the woods. random baby heads and dragon toys on the tips of branches, a wedding dress suspended between trees. we make ready the stage next to the creek, trees with tentacles, dogs that look like seals with nervous tails, a hearse as a living space. tarps the only shelter, homes made from rusting creative junk. faerie lights and leaves suspended by spider silk. rocks hung from branches, feathers peaking out from ferns. a dome is our backstage area. a rusted can of bug spray hangs at its entrance. my favorite spot of this land is a clearing where an antique chest sits. its delicate hinges mirror the timelessness and creativity of this place. amps are plugged in. guitar levels are tested as music bounces thru the trees. there is a chance of rain… mosquitoes already dominate my skin. i borrow kj’s red rockstar barberella pants to give the critters a challenge. nobo on the megaphone says “do not remain calm. please panic at this time. thank you.” and soft giggles spread under tree tops. bird nests on breezeless perches. i watch mutaynts thru branches feeling pleasantly invisible…

driving from LA to SXSW

music like serious seasaws brings us closer to austin for the sxsw festival. we run into other bands at truck stops that have traveled farther than us. we exchange show information and exhausted smiles. flat red highways, overcast sky. we are in the middle of no where…

time for flying rockets
for silver jets
for surfing bombs
surfing on a rocket
i’ll be back one day
just pray for me
i’m on my way
(air ~ surfin on a rocket)

the song lulls us each into our own headspaces. i breathe health into mine… my head is stuffed, the road is endless, my eyes are tearing, antibiotics are useless… clouds are blissful distractions though. we drive thru a rolling bowl of strong nature, surrounded by dark blue mountains in the distance like mirages. i get lost in them… eye level with a fading horizon of pastures and worn red barns… this is america…

i track desert trees by the foot of mountains and feel my heartbeat. bells and guitar and the sound of the turning of pages. the coat of honey that i poured down my throat at lunch dissipates and illness comes back in full force, pinning me to the seat. i calm the beast with nyquil, rub my eyes and wish desperately that i had taken a flight instead. meh…

backstage at music box


musicbox theater ~ hollywood ~ 3/10/06
sipping red wine backstage 3am at the musicbox theater. i am in love with my friends, in love with this band, high on the show. in the crowd i am grabbed, hugged, accepted, encouraged… how i see them is no longer a secret, clicking as a spectator in the crowd and then putting them away as i did just two short years ago… i am a walking example of what mutaytor does to people… i hear brady’s chains on his boots. we try to find an empty dressing room to no avail. there is so much love right now… all of us exhausted, toiling, stepping over puddles, loading the van. next stop… texas… and we do it all with bellies sore from laughter, throats sore from screaming… tonight tears for amy, group hugs and roses… crunchy’s voice is reassuring… knowing she’s here… her omniscient presence quietly permeates… random important things are accounted for. there is so much love here… knowing we made people smile tonight…

releasing

every year i redo my files as a way of resetting my intentions and acknowledging where i’ve been. every year i throw things away and conjure the new… the living room is an absolute mess… last year i had much to throw away, this year i have much to add…

the floor is littered with pay stubs of jobs i will never fall slave to again, documents in hebrew, freight shipping insurance forms, citizenship papers… it’s time to throw those away… three years since returning to america and my israel file gets thinner and thinner… i skim old letters from tsafi, distanced now from all what’s happened as if it happened to someone else… i curl up and prepare to indulge time when a small page falls out… it is tsafi’s last letter to me, a year after i left him…

“a new year will start tomorrow,good time for new beginnings, good time to start over, good time for forgiveness, yom kippur… i would like to ask for your forgiveness for all i have done to you when we were together and more than that to ask for your forgiveness for all i haven’t done for you and i should have, as you were my chosen one, the love of my life… we had a hard year and it all started on this date last year. i can’t tell you how ashamed i am and wish it would not have happened but i cannot turn the wheel back, just learn and go on. i can only regret and say again, i am sorry… i will go tonight to have dinner, the first year without you, closing the year that shaped my life forever… take care and be a good pixie… tsafi”

i take it and glue it to the folder and i shut it away softly… i do forgive him now… he was just a stupid, careless boy… he held me back so much… i would’ve never been able to live the life i am leading now with him, this life of purpose and creativity, not sacrifice and control… in a threatened foreign country where you have nothing, it is easy to feel the ‘us against the world’ that seemed to be the blinders i kept on, immune to the withholding, to cling to love as a form of survival, a future where something would soon make sense being the carrot held out in front of me for years. after he got physical with me, i felt tricked and angry, so angry for so long… but i forgive him now…

i open old travel documents and let them fall to the floor without a moment’s hesitation… i will never travel to the middle east ever again… a friend over there recently invited me to visit her and it scared me the fire in my voice when i told her i would never return… those years of my life will always haunt me… the world was upside down… i didn’t belong there…

release is a process like everything else…

the song ends, the clock ticks, afternoon passes, hummingbirds mimic bees, masks are brightly lit, exposed from underneath and all my cycles catch up all at once… physical burdens are lifted, test results come back negative, exhaustion fades and i feel lifted, rested and released. i finish my work, burn the last of my recent photo shoots to cd for the library of congress… i shred the pages on the floor, some by hand violently… some by machine carelessly… i put papers in new files as a way of stating intention and put it all away to simmer…

a long bath… and then brady calls to tell me of the good news… more upcoming set design and prop work… “keep this up and we’ll be living together soon!” and we talk excited about loft spaces and homes… of family and travel… we talk in a way beyond wishing… we talk to make it real… to feel the seeds soon bursting from all our hard work and hope… we are a team, a gang… a solid ball of purple and blue spinning and growing… to think of how thick my walls of protection were for the entire first year that brady was in my life… replaced now by such bursting and hope… no need for the guarding anymore… we are of the same spirograph mold… animaniacs on fire… and of places we are different, we understand and allow each other the freedom and space to sort it out… there is nothing more familiar to me than brady’s presence in my life… he still makes me laugh hysterically every single day… he is a funny monster, a supportive muse, a friend to me in the best of ways… opportunities come now in rampant succession and we hold onto them as they are all what we hoped for, right on time, and we show them off to each other disbelieving and proud… “i’m flying to canada to shoot video for paramount studios!” “i’m working on set for david la chappelle!”

dreams are wishes set aflame with intention… dreams will happen in the way they are meant to… our only job is to prepare for twisting roads ahead and beleive in each other…

this love encourages such creativity… to be allowed to ask for time to geek out… to hear him in his room on his guitar… to be able to write in bed while he reads… to know we would never hold each other back from creativity… this love is a gift…

as we find our grounding, more gems shimmer into place… an exciting tetris, an escalating current… things fall into place with action and opportunity, with desire and positive thinking…