I realize, pretty much every time I return from doing a festival show, I write about it. But I suppose there is a reason for that. This weekend, I took a trip to a festival an hour outside Austin, Texas. Aside from the typical festival disarray that comes with every Hippie/electro event I’ve ever performed at, it was actually pretty nice. Since I don’t have a particular story to tell about it, I figured I just give a power point run down of random thoughts and events that went down.
1)This was the cleanest festival ever.
In general, the festivals I play have a noticeable layer of filth covering them. This is because, well, they’re usually held in the woods in the middle of nowhere and the majority of the attendees are hippies on a shit load of drugs. That combination tends to lead to less than pristine grounds. This show, however, looked like a painting. I don’t know how they did it, as the clientele was certainly no different than other festivals, but I applaud them. It was almost enough to make me wanna get a tent and actually camp out. That is, if I had even the slightest interest in that kinda shit.
2)How to not bond with me
I’m a fairly lax dude in real life and I never really get into it with people. Truth is, I’m just not easily offended and fairly passive. However, there are a few stupid things that get under my skin and will occasionally lead to an awkward conversation with someone I don’t really know. Embarrassingly, many of my personal issues have to do with other people and how they talk about New York City. I realize this is childish and lame but , what can I say, there’s really nothing else I relate to and hold close to my heart like being a native New Yorker. Far beyond my stupid ancestry , my family or my music , I’m a new yorker first. So, when people who aren’t from there speak ill towards it, it immediately pushes my buttons. With that said, I’m also not unrealistic. I realize NYC is not for everyone. It’s certainly got a shitload of faults and I’ll never deny that. But here was a situation that rubbed me the wrong way.
So, anyway, I was talking to this girl in Austin. She was a driver for the event I was playing. She was a friendly, short girl in her mid 20’s who was obviously very involved in all things artsy. She mentioned being from new york and I immediately was curious. She kept referring to herself “being from New York” and how , now that she lives in Austin, it’s a different ball game . Cause, you know, she’s a New Yorker and New Yorkers do New York shit. Listening to her talk, I assumed she meant she grew up there. Looking at her, however, I didn’t really pin her being from there. Not in a bad way. She was perfectly nice. It’s just there aren’t really a lot of native new yorkers out there who are heavy into Burning Man. Even our biggest artsy hipster types don’t play that shit. So, I ask her a few questions and it turns out she’s actually from Pennsylvania and lived in NYC for 7 years prior to moving to Austin a year ago. Well, this is one of those things that drives me insane. People who moved to and lived in NYC claiming they are , in fact, New Yorkers. As we all (should) know, this simply means she lived there , after growing up somewhere completely different and , therefor, will NEVER be an actual New Yorker. nope, she’s just some girl that lived there for a little bit. Sorry. But that is the rules. Now, if I was some dude from another place who had never lived there myself, this would obviously not bother me. But being that I am a native, the shit made my blood boil. Well, my head then almost exploded when she told me she hoped the place burned down to the ground. WHAT????!?!?!?! This is a person who had lived there for 7 fucking years…and apparently hated it. Keep in mind, her complaints about NYC were all valid. It’s way too expensive. Yes, there are roaches and rats. But why would you stay somewhere for 7 years if you hated it due it’s high prices? it’s not like she had a serious job. She’s a starving artist. I realize this all seems super petty but this girl stepped over two lines, shitting on NY and , at the same time, claiming NYC as her home. Get the fuck outta here with that shit.
So, for the record, now you know how to immediately piss me off if you ever meet me. Speak out of your ass about the city I love. Aside from that, good luck for , otherwise, I’m a brick wall of dead emotions.
Whenever I do these festivals, the question “What do you mean you’ve never been to Burning Man?!?!?!?!” comes up. This boggles my mind. I understand why they’re asking , as it is the norm for people in the scene to be all about that shit and , to no fault of their own, they really don’t know me. However, if they did really know me , they would know how hilarious the idea of me attending Burning Man is. There are few things lower on my “to do” list than that. It’s a few notches above “Eat a shit omelette” and “Skinny dipping with my family”.In fact, one of the top things on my Bucket list is “Never go to burning man”. So, if you’re one of these Burning Man people ,with all due respect, allow me to clear the air so there’s no need to discuss this any further
1)I don’t camp
2)I don’t do hard drugs
3)I don’t dress like a molested pixie
4)I sweat a lot so a boiling hot desert is not a good look
5)I don’t like any type of music that generally plays there
6)I’m a fan of comfort. I like having internet access and Tv. Phone service. Food with no sand in it. You know, the simple things.
and to the people who ask me why I don’t play there, well, they don’t pay you. As far as shows go, I’m way past the “doing it for the love of the game” portion of my career and if I’m gonna put myself through some shit like Burning Man, I’d have to come home with money pouring out of my asshole.
I realize this all sounds harsh but , honestly, it’s just not for me. If you’re into that shit, have fun. It’s just funny that not once, in all the times I’ve been asked why I don’t go, someone has responded “Ah, yeah. i can see how you wouldn’t be into that”. Not once. In fact, my indifference towards it has only been met with jaw dropping shock from whoever asked the question. The thought of someone NOT comprehending how someone might not be into that kinda shit is pretty hilarious to me but, hey, more power to them. It’s just a great example of their dedication to what they hold dear.
4) These fucking names!
I literally met a dude named “Paper” last night. That was his birth name. I asked. Amazing.
It feels like every other person I meet at these things has a name I’ve never heard before. Which leads me to believe that , when naming your child, there’s a good chance that name will define their existence. For instance, if you name your kid something like “Todd”, there is a good chance he will end up wearing a vertically striped shirt and drinking Jager. But if you name your kid “SunDoodle”, you can rest assured that that motherfucker will be tripping on Molly at an electro/hippie jamfest at some point in his/her life.
5)Being the outcast
Without fail , when at these festivals, I’m WAY too normal looking. Jeans, t-shirt sneakers and a hat , might as well be a polo shirt , pleated dockers and boat shoes. I’m looking like it’s a tuesday evening at home and there are people walking around looking like a cross between Braveheart , candy corns and Pharrell on Extasy. And those are the tame ones…It’s strange to be so far removed from something and thrown right into the center of it. I feel like I’m an explorer infiltrating some bugged out rave based inuit culture that’s never been seen by outside eyes. It’s actually pretty interesting and, as the search engine of this blog will tell you, very fascinating to me.
No matter how many of things I go to ,they’re always a trip. And as much as they are all the same, they all manage to be their own machine. This kinda shit makes me feel like a low level sociologist…and I like that.
In the end, I can’t be mad at any of this shit cause I imagine my lifestyle is just as strange to them. The difference being that some of them might actually be open minded enough to see the good of where I’m coming from, while I’m old and pretty much over everything so, that shit isn’t flying over here.