Sunday, January 27, 2008


A few weeks ago I watched a movie I hadn't seen in many many years: True Stories.
I had been wanting to re-see it for a long time, ever since David Byrne became a regular part of my household via my aforementioned practically daily listening of Sand in the Vaseline. The film is a weirdo-vision look at a small (fictional) town in Texas in the late eighties, but also very much a examination of post-modern consumerist culture through an ironically naive perspective. David Byrne narrates as the outsider he tends to be, touring different parts of town in a giant 10 gallon hat as the people prepare for their big festival for the state's sesquicentennial. Of note is the speed-lip synch scene where people of all demographics jump onstage sequentially to dance and lip synch to a few seconds of the Talking Head's "Wild, Wild Life", the "Puzzling Evidence" musical sequence about TV, conspiracy, and religion, and named after my friend Doug Wellman's long-running radio show, as well as the incredibly Burning Man-esque fashion show scene that takes place in the new mall.

But the thing that was most interesting to me in this strange little movie is that the plot, as much as there is one, follows John Goodman, who plays Lewis Fyne; a man vainly in search of a bride. He has a lit-up sign like the kind in front of cheap movie theaters or liquor stores that advertises his search and he runs a commercial on TV with the number 844-WIFE for interested prospective brides. He dates many of the local women, and even plans to perform a song he's written at the big sesquicentennial festival as self-promotion, but can never quite find what he is looking for...well until the end of the movie, of course.

I had TOTALLY forgotten that this was the major sub-plot of this movie, since I hadn't seen it since I was a child, and it was so bizarre to see myself reflected in the 'traditional yet modern', good-natured Texan, Louis Fyne. Is my repetitive exposure to David Byrne's music somehow influencing and shaping my actions in Byrneian patterns? Does this explain at all the fact that before moving to California I was staunchly anti-Texas and yet have mystifyingly dated at least five (5!) Texans since 2004?

Just what the hell is going on here?

When I think of posting a personal ad, I often think of just posting the lyrics to "This Must Be the Place". As I told my friend on Friday night, its one of those songs that feels likes it crawled right out of the center of my heart and then into the brain and out of the mouth of some other guy. (Have I mentioned my very ambivalent feelings about Senor Byrne? Based on what I've heard about his narcissistic and assholic personality? And how I can't fucking stand that artists who are deemed to be geniuses are often then excused from being decent human beings? And how maybe, that's actually how you get to be an artist deemed to be genius? And how much I fucking love his music despite it all!?)

I was talking about how my big job, my main goal for this next year of my life, is to really get the self-love shit figured out and firmly down, and the retreat I went to in Oregon (Heart of Now) where I made that realization. We're driving in the rain, looking for parking in his maroon station wagon, and right as I'm explaining the theory that if I can just fully open the channel to my deep internal well of self-love, everything else will be fine, "This Must Be the Place" comes on the radio. And part of my practice of concrete self-loving actions is singing that song to myself as I walk down the street; it always fulfills me and makes me serene. And then at the end of the song the DJ comes on and tells a story that he read about how David Byrne wrote that song in the early art-punk days of the Talking Heads, but kept it from the band for years, always fearing that it was too normal, and not weird or cutting edge enough.
What a perfect story!
And then I got to go to a Girl Pile orgy. Which just goes to show you.

So here are the lyrics to my little heart song, for anyone who may not be familiar, and just think of as my 844-WIFE.
(Oh, and I know it's "burn with a weak heart" but I always sing "born with a weak heart"...)

Home is where I want to be
Pick me up and turn me round
I feel numb - burn with a weak heart
(So I) guess I must be having fun
The less we say about it the better
Make it up as we go along
Feet on the ground
Head in the sky
It's ok I know nothing's wrong . . nothing

Hi yo I got plenty of time
Hi yo you got light in your eyes
And you're standing here beside me
I love the passing of time
Never for money
Always for love
Cover up + say goodnight . . . say goodnight

Home - is where I want to be
But I guess I'm already there
I come home - -she lifted up her wings
Guess that this must be the place
I can't tell one from another
Did I find you, or you find me?
There was a time Before we were born
If someone asks, this where I'll be . . . where I'll be

Hi yo We drift in and out
Hi yo sing into my mouth
Out of all tose kinds of people
You got a face with a view
I'm just an animal looking for a home
Share the same space for a minute or two
And you love me till my heart stops
Love me till I'm dead
Eyes that light up, eyes look through you
Cover up the blank spots
Hit me on the head Ah ooh

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