Leverage Models covers the Everly Brothers’ “Christmas Eve Can Kill You” alongside 13 others in the extended Hometapes family. The compilation or any individual track can be downloaded for free, but pay what you can and it will go to a fine charitable organization. More information at Hometapes’ bandcamp.
Our next and final show of 2013 is this Friday at Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn, NY. There is a curfew — so we play precisely at 8:30pm. We’ll be playing music and Shannon might say something inflammatory and many of us will be wearing flowers and all of you will be alive and vibrating with tensile force and majesty.
Very excited to be a part of this. I’m going to subscribe. We are also making new music for this. What a lineup, what a community of interest, what’s up?
Last night I was broken. I probably said some stupid things in between songs. I sincerely hope I didn’t give the impression that I did not value that each of you chose to spend your evening with us. It really does mean everything in that moment. And afterwards. So many bands in Brooklyn – everywhere really – are so good at saying only the right things, moving the right way, wearing the right things, putting everyone at ease, a perfect theater. And we need that theater. We need to be removed, elevated, ecstaticked. And I too want to entertain, edify, please, take you somewhere. Those other artists, I admire, I enjoy, like the showroom pieces, the designer homes that they are. But honestly I am not a showroom piece or a designer home. I really hope nobody took offense at any awkward, defensive, black-clouded or off-putting thing I said in between the songs that I — and we — put everything we had into — out of respect and love for you. If I chose to be the sort of performer who was going to MAKE IT, was READY FOR PRIME TIME, polished their ambitions and practiced moves in front of a mirror for hours a day, spoke by script, then we might have all been a little more at ease. I value the Justin Timberlakes et al. I value the staged spectacle. But these are not the things that inspired me originally to make music, and they aren’t the things I aspire to be. And I make what I make for, among other things, those kids who were like me. I know my production suggests a sort of widescreen slickness, but that’s half the story. The combination of polished and ABSOLUTELY FUCKED is part of this music and part of me. Leverage Models wants to entertain and wants to move you and to make you dance and to touch you with some stories about other places. But the music is delivered via a broken mouthpiece. That’s not a PR bullet point or a cute show announcement. That whole “tonight I break down for your benefit” isn’t a clever tweet. It’s the only thing I know how to do. I hope the missteps can be redeemed somewhat by the fact that this is not an act. I am not an actor. I think it’s a form of respect for you not to try to change that about myself. I don’t think I could if I wanted to. I try my best to connect. And sometimes I fail. Sometimes, like last night, I’m standing outside of myself seeing clearly how stupid and insecure and not-endearing every little thing I say is…I’m willing myself to be otherwise. But I will fail with some frequency. I felt good about our performance though. That’s something I can promise and have delivered even for audiences of two people….I will never, under any circumstance, give anything less than too much. You’re choosing to spend a piece of your life standing in a room with us and that’s what we owe. It’s just that opening those valves wide can also have adverse consequences when the music stops and I am the ugly deer in your bright and beautiful headlights and I don’t know what I want from myself or what I can give or who you are or who, in that moment, I should be. I’m trying. I’m pretty grateful to anyone who values live performance, and can accept that, not being a Broadway performer, my de-composure might come with the territory. This matters and you matter and while it’s happening, it’s all that matters. If you were at last night’s show, I wanted you to know this.
shot on an iPhone by Rob & Puloma. No money, lots of friends. Swept.
Reading about the velvet underground and andy warhol’s factory scene and interviews between lou and lester bangs are all things that, growing up pre-internet in kansas city, showed me that not only could life be larger then what I saw around me, but that young humans could go somewhere, re-make themselves, re-make their world, and do it all with a bad attitude, unwilling to accept any other prescriptions for life and how to live it. music ruined me. lou ruined me. the factory scene was terribly frivolous. but when frivolous things upset the order they rise in importance, there is an emergent property that is more important then the self-absorptions of all the little artists at the bottom. and there it is, it matters. earlier this year I produced a record for one of Lou Reed’s favorite new playwrights, Young Jean Lee. The record is called We’re Gonna Die. Lou loved the theatrical version. I’m sure he had both a genuine and a perverse thrill at looking around at the Joe’s Pub crowd lifting their voices in a singalong of “I’m gonna die”. He was supposed to read one of the monologues on the record but fell too sick. And so I had my near-brush with working with Lou Reed, indirectly the reason I moved to NY. It didn’t happen but he did hear the record. He said the vocals should have been drier and way up in the mix. merci, RIP, thank you for living your train wreck in slow motion and at an altitude that we could all see.
Thanks for paying attention to words. They matter.