Sunday April 21 2013
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, M Class Planet Earth, Milky Way
Yes, It HAS been too long. I have taken full advantage of having not all that much to say for the past while since I came back from traveling the universe on the good ship Slash/Myles/Conspirators.
Earth is always strange when you return from space/time travel. To me the time I’ve been away is immediately erased. In many ways it’s as if I’ve never left and yet as if I’ve been gone for a lifetime. Of course everyone on Earth has carried on living their lives in my absence. Stores have closed, new restaurants have opened, couples have split up while single friends have coupled up. I float in and out of their lives like a ghost. Not just at home. We drift in and out of lives from Australia to Japan to South America to Europe. Like ancient ghosts of Anime legend. Never in one spot long enough for it to feel real yet I believe the connections we make due to their immediacy and briefness often force them to new levels of realness. This is why actors and actresses fall in love on film sets. They are locked in a journey together at such heightened intensity then jettisoned out the other side just as abruptly. Sometimes these connections last. Often not.
When life moves this fast you learn that you need to savor every moment you have. Though my life is full of goodbyes, that is not the way I choose to look at it. Rather my life is rich with hellos. We are all travelers. We come we go. Our paths intersect then split off all the time. People spend so much time focusing on the goodbye and the subsequent time apart rather than what is important. The time together. The time together again. And perhaps again and again and again.
They say that your dog thinks that every time you leave for work he doesn’t understand that you will be back 8 hours later. To him every time you leave you are abandoning him forever and always. How can anyone know this? I don’t believe this to be true. Plenty of dogs seem cool with this arrangement though they certainly show their appreciation upon your return whether expected or not.
Cats on the other hand could give a damn.
Are we more dog than cat? I don’t know.
I have neither animal in my life at the moment as I am away too much. The loss of my last dog has soured me from giving my heart to another for the time being. That’s not to say that I won’t open myself to letting another in. Just can’t imagine weighing that kind of goodbye over all those wonderful hellos again…in staying with the theme here.
Yes, I’m rambling. These are the thoughts of a man mildly uncomfortable with the simple act of being in one place for any extended period. It is hard to domesticate a stray. Even a stray that has assimilated domestic behavior only to find himself more stray than ever. I like to think I can adjust to most situations.
I have to admit my supposed ‘time off’ has been anything but ‘time off’. Upon my return to Earth I immediately transported to Vancouver to a decompression chamber of coffee, television and movies that was more necessary than I can put into words. I have spent the past 3 years in a constant state of motion.
Someone close to me pointed out that almost every working field cuts employees loose for ‘vacation’ time. What a bizarre concept. Employees are set free so they will return invigorated and perform more to their full potential. How very interesting. I’ve never understood the concept because my ‘employment’, if you will, is also what I would choose to do with my free time.
A friend pointed out that airline pilots and flight attendants are recommended more frequent check ups due to the stresses and strains from constant travel. The ongoing, never ending effects of jet lag.
I am a testament to that. I still wake up at crazy times fully rested then in the middle of the afternoon feel ready to curl up for 8 hours. The human body is the strangest instrument. So resilient yet so fragile at the same time.
I spent time with family not doing much of anything which is a bizarre practice. I recommend it to anyone once in a while. It’s good to sit and let seeds of invention grow in your heart and mind. I often believe silence is as inspirational as sitting in front of one’s keyboard or with instrument in hand. Sometimes more so. We step back from everything and can actually hear our thoughts and allow our creativity to play like children. Let it weave through the maze of developing stories or songs or poems or algorithms. Sometimes it’s on that long plane ride or bus ride with no book or magazine or movie or internet that one truly taps into so much more.
If there’s anything I wish I could convey it’s to let go of the expectations of others. To let go of the conventions of generations that have no relevance in the here and now. There is a you that you have always wanted to be and you lost that person in a quest for a house that is bigger than you need, for more cars than you need, for a 401K you may not live to enjoy. Humans have been trained to live for ‘someday’. Trained to start enjoying life at 65. You can’t be a cowboy or an astronaut or a superhero. Or can’t you? I actually think in many ways that I am all of those things. For every one of us that follows their dreams there are many of us that fall off the path. I have no judgement here. I have known many more talented people than I who have walked away from their dreams because something much more important than they could have expected came into their life be it love or children and I applaud that. Not everyone has to be an actor or a poet. A mother who puts her children before all else is the biggest rockstar on the planet as far as I’m concerned. A father who walks away from the dream of being a baseball player to fend for his family is worth a thousand Brad Pitts.
I’ve never understood the story they sold and continue to sell. Birth, school, work, death. That equation just doesn’t work for me. Most people wouldn’t trade places with me because they can’t imagine missing their weekly bbq on Saturday and bowling on Wednesdays. And I’m not judging. I get it. We’re not all supposed to be the same. We’re not all supposed to like the same things. BUT we are supposed to be tolerant of these differences within one another. The color of skin, choice of faith, fashion…whatever.
Not for a moment do I think to myself, “well, I’m a grown up now I guess I should start wearing khakis and a polo shirt.” Nor would I expect Mr Executive to start wearing Misfits tee shirts.
What I want for all Earthlings is to not feel slaves to a system put in place by people that don’t know any better than you do.
It’s all over way too fast. Take care of yourself. Take care of the people you love and you’ll be fine.
That’s my 2 cents.
You know they don’t even make pennies in Canada anymore. Weird.
My web mistress, Norma, just put the smack down on yet another fake Todd on Facebook who was adding up my friends and family as friends under the false pretense of being me. I barely have the time to be me. Who has the time to be someone else? Super creepy. Get your own life and live it well. I got mine sorted. Thanx.
We are heading into the final stages of artwork and mixing preparations for the new album. The most important news is that a name change has been put in place.
Yes, that’s right. I’m changing my name to Dr Funkenstein.
When this whole thing was conceived a project name needed to be attached to it. Hello Cruel World was that project name. To me it embodied so much of what I was trying to say. It’s an old clichéd, cartoon expression of the person having enough of life and the world and saying ‘Goodbye Cruel World’ where the simple change to ‘Hello’ to me was an acceptance of, yes, life is cruel and hard and often doesn’t work out how we would like but there is strength in saying, ‘Hello, I’m embracing this and I’m gonna live this life regardless of the challenges laid before me’.
So much of this record was inspired by my dear friend, Greg’s illness and subsequent passing that to me there was a true acceptance in life being so unexpected and not always in a good way.
As Greg was suffering through the punishment of chemo( often the ‘cure’ is as bad as the illness) I had mentioned I was thinking of doing ‘that acoustic record I always talk about’. Greg simply said, ‘Do it’. From the lips of a man facing the end there was a weight and poignancy that really made me want to make this talk a reality.
Now it exists and it is dedicated to Greg’s memory. People come into your life and inspire you. Greg’s effect on my life is more than I can say here and one of those ways is the forthcoming album.
As the time has passed a number of other ‘Hello Cruel Worlds’ have been brought to my attention though I’m sure they were never named for as impassioned reasons as mine This caused me to grow distant to the title and it’s almost cynical nature.
It has been renamed for a while but only announced here. The new album will be entitled- Borrowing Trouble This is a term I have used most of my life. It means to worry unnecessarily. To take on other peoples’ problems. To worry about retirement, death and all matter of no fun thinking.
It goes back to everything I’ve written above. Life is to be lived NOW. Sure, I’m like you. I have no idea what life will be like when I get old. Will I get this or that disease? Who know? I do know there is very little I can do about it other than the obvious.
We are in the midst of mixing the album as I write this and I’m very excited about it.
Here is the track listing-
1. Nothing Personal
2. The Devil In Me
3. The Maker
4. This Changes Everything
5. It’s Always Been You
6. Hey Summer
2. So Close So Far
3. So Scandalous
4. Come Back To Bed
6. You Can Always Go Home
Of course the exclusive pledge EP is still intact with more songs than initially intended. This is only available to the good people who have pledged. If you didn’t pledge then I hope you enjoy Borrowing Trouble in its entirety.
The EP is a collection of acoustic versions of songs from my past. Some of these will be brand new to some people. To others these are new versions of songs you hopefully have enjoyed.
Near Life Experience
1. My True Love
2. Heathrow 4am
1. Broken Record
2. Arianna Incomplete
3. Indian Summer
These will all be available in multiple forms. Pledgers get exclusives cuz they are essentially my record company! Shareholders, if you will.
My label has been officially named and all subsequent releases will bear the seal of- CaiRip Records.
There will be the full 12 song version of Borrowing Trouble both in cd and vinyl form and of course the downloadable version as well.
There will be for pledgers the double vinyl set of Borrowing Trouble/Near Life Experience plus there will be the Borrowing Trouble cd along with accompanying Near Life Experience on cd available as well.
All of these forms will feature variations in album artwork though unified in a complete set with photos by the amazing Ski Bassham and layout by the brilliant Lee Bishop. All overseen by the mega talented Norma Young.
Our little CaiRip Records family.
If you want to get your mitts on the double vinyl or the Near Life Experience EP you have about 30 days to pledge.
Speaking of the pledge. We are over 200% which is beyond a dream. I was completely satisfied at 100% and we reached that within 24 hours. There is a significant chance that we could get close to 300% which is completely mind blowing. I cannot thank you guys enough.
I will get a lot more detailed with the songs once the album is released. I like to really get in there and let you know where a song came from and how it was made. Look forward to that if you like that kinda thing.
Went to see Evil Dead yesterday with my bro, Mikey Ramone, the 9th Ramone (he is in no way affiliated with The Ramones ™) and it was a gory, gnarly blast. I’m a big fan of the original and this doesn’t really surpass my relationship with that film but it was fun.
Gonna be a big summer…
Iron Man 3
Star Trek:Into Darkness
Man Of Steel
Kick Ass 2
Yea yea yea nerd fare and I love it! Every summer there’s a new batch of big, bold fun for me to check out! Bring it on!
I have decided to take a leave of absence from the Sinners due to flat out exhaustion. I don’t think a lot of people fully understand but it’s what I felt I needed to do. Every once in a while you gotta take care of yourself.
The amazing Zach Throne is out front of the Sinners these days and Doc Ellis is back. I haven’t seen it but I bet it rocks. Those guys are some of my dearest friends. I have nothing but the utmost respect for them as musicians and people. Zach sings on This Changes Everything, and is incredible by the way, while Ellis appears on Nothing Personal. Rob Cournoyer, Sinners drummer, appears throughout on percussion. Brent Muscat hung out one day but didn’t make his presence known on ‘tape’.
Conspirators are too damned busy to make an appearance. I’ll be holding them to it next time.
Speaking of Conspirators, Brent Fitz and I just got back from doing an amazing benefit show in Winnipeg. This was our third year in a row raising money for Children’s Wish and it gets better and better. Cory Churko from Shania Twain and Kelly Clarkson was back on guitar. Last year we had the amazing John Angus from Canada’s The Trews. I’ve known Cory for something like 25 years. He’s from Saskatchewan like me. Moose Jaw to be more specific!
On bass, again, we had the amazing Spider from Loverboy and Streetheart. He is simply the best rock bass player in the world. I shrivel in his presence. There is no one better. Google Streetheart’s version of Under My Thumb and listen to Spider tear it up at the end. Unbelievable.
Our guests included Kenny Shields from Streetheart, who is a legend where I come from, and Chris Burke Gaffney from Orphan and the Pumps who I loved as a kid. I covered songs by these bands in my first band.
We play nothing but Canadian classic rock which is very specific to the audience we are playing to. Any outsiders might be left in the cold but not in Winnipeg. Well, they are left in a very different kind of cold. Actual cold.
Another amazing success and an immense amount of fun.
I am now getting artwork and mixing/mastering together before reconvening for another trip into space with Captain Slash of the USS Conspirator. This time we head to the far east-Phillipenes, Shanghai, Tokyo, Korea…gonna be amazing.
I thank each and every one of you who has chosen to take the journey of Borrowing Trouble with me. This is going to be a blast. Can’t wait for you to hear it. I hope you enjoy it. It’s an acoustic record so it’s pretty different from what people have heard of me in the past. I’m extremely proud of it and very excited to share it with y’all.
Anyway, back to work. The CaiRip shareholders are waiting on their RAWK!
Your loyal and humble servant