Oh my, up at 7.30 AM for a sesh with NJ Brian. It’s only a couple of weeks till he will be here in Texas and we have all kinds of musical things to sort out. A busy time for him and since I’ve been in Texas he’s had to speak early and early for him is even earlier for me. So I go to bed at 3 AM, get up at 7.30 AM, go back to bed at 9.10 AM, and get up in the afternoon just in time to miss the football games. This strange period between Christmas and New Year, the no-man’s land on the calendar, a wasteland, a time of not getting started on anything. Usually, I might be in the studio, but Sarah is sick with a worse version of the same thing I had with the eyes, so we decided let’s wait till Jan 1st and start again at zero.
It was strange to see the sun below the trees, a different light. The garbage men came and took away the remnants of Christmas presents, crumpled paper, originally, fastidiously, geometrically, exquisitely fit around a present, only to be ripped off in an impatient frenzy. I suppose it’s not always like that, people open presents differently, some are crazed animals, others carefully separating the tape from the paper and slide the present out so you could almost use the same paper next year. I only ever want records so it’s easy to know what’s inside, but people also like to guess when they see the shape of the packet. When the present giver is there and the receiver is a slow opener the anticipation can be too much for the giver, the giver almost wants to whip it out of the receiver’s hands and rip the paper off, they can’t wait any longer because they know what it is – the receiver has all the time in the world to savour the mystery.
I remember my mum was really hard to buy a present for. I never knew what she wanted. She didn’t like anything that wasn’t directly for her. I remember one year I got her a carved wooden teapot stand, she hated it, and didn’t hide the fact. I thought it was lovely but for her, it was just another household item, it wasn’t personal. Having said that, my dad had the same problem, even with something personal that he thought she’d like. I remember one year he got her this great chunky piece of jewellery to hang around her neck. She just looked at it like it was a monstrosity, it kind of was, it might have looked good on a Masai tribeswoman. In the end, I think we all realised that she liked perfume, Estée Lauder and that was the only thing you could be sure of. She was a smoker and drinker, so a bottle of whiskey and 200 cigarettes might also have worked, but it always felt a little too unsophisticated to go there.
I spoke to Polyphonic Spree drummer Jason about the NJ Brian Valley of Salt project as we make plans for who comes in and when to get their instrument down. We had dinner and carried on with Killing Eve.