It was a darker (than usual) night of the soul summer for me, finding myself having to navigate the aftermath of an epic mind-fucking break-up, along with the inferiority complexes that come from the mysterious fist of the publishing industry, as my book was cancelled a month before its scheduled release. There were many a solitary night were I felt I was floating in goddamned space. All I could do was keep busy, as the second I would stop working I would start to feel the floor drop from under me again, praying tentacles would grab on to my ankles so I wouldn't go floating into the black, unable to speak... just witness my future - what I thought was my future - slowly fading from view. Then, I flogged myself for letting the illogical, elusive paths of success, domestic and artistic, dictate my worldview - one of the reasons why I left L.A. in the first place - and there I was in the desert, doing that thing again... All I think to do was double-down so I wouldn't obsess over it, hopefully get over myself.
In August, full band rehearsals commenced for the new Jail Weddings alter-ego SIRENS IN THE NIGHT - our focus to our 60s girl group element but through a futurist lens. I bought my first synth - a KORG MS-20 - and began constructing the writhing, ecstatic tracks with Mary Animaux back in June. I stole the title from the Harlan Ellison sci-fi story for our first demo "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" a song about an abusive relationship - a subject then still too close to my heart, so I took relief in having the girls sing it in order to gain some distance and perspective. I am not singing in this band, just writing the songs / playing the synth. With all the illuminating upheavals we've seen recently, as women's inequality finally comes to the surface and becomes part of an international dialogue, it seems fitting to have Mary and now Rachael Ann (Bird of Paradise) be the mouthpieces for this project. Though at the risk of pandering - I would insist on them singing even if gender politics weren't so deep in the crapper...
(Top-Bottom) Rachael Ann, Marianne, and the rest - Seth Miller, Gabriel Hart, Rufo Chan are SIRENS IN THE NIGHT.
Around the same time I started to take the Amtrak into L.A. once a week instead of driving - and maybe as a result of this - I began to really reconcile my relationship with the city. Not that I would ever move back, but something about the timing of these contemplative train rides gave me a bit of neutral excitement to be "just passing through, folks!" One of the cooler nights in my life ended up being a great reunion of old friends as well as meeting new ones, when I got asked to take part in the Dead Moon tribute show for Fred Cole's 70th birthday - with Toody Cole in attendance, no less - at the Echo last August 28th. I picked my favorite DM song "Runnin' Out of Time" and I was one of the luckier ones to be able to do it as a duet with Toody. She was warm and sincere as always. I watched most of their Unknown Passage documentary with her before the show, and it felt so special every time she grabbed my arm as she leaned over to me, whispering various behind-the-scenes anecdotes in my ear. We were backed up by the Secret Stare, which is Sharif Dumani's new group who clearly did not fuck around, mastering the tone, mood and execution perfectly.