Wednesday, March 30, 2005

John Frusciante

It's time for another John Frusciante post because the butterflies are going away and I feel like it. Here he is on the cover of Total Guitar.
I'm telling you, if you haven't listened to JF, you ought to try. Start with To Record Water for Only 10 Days or Inside of Emptiness or Curtains.
Here is a Web site of a photojournalist in Ventura who has shot not only John but also skateboarding -- two of my favorite things.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Go Skateboarding Day! June 21

This from Transworld Skateboarding.

It's a John Frusciante day

It's raining again. While I like the rain, enough already.
John is going back into the studio with the Chili Peppers to make another record.

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a recent story in Guitar World, typed by fans at John's fan site.


JOHN FRUSCIANTE opens a window to his soul on the intimate, acoustic CURTAINS

"There are an infinite number of great songs out there" , says John Frusciante . "I don't think we'll ever exhaust the possibilities of a few simple guitar chords." That the Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist truly believes this was made clear when he recently recorded a series of six solo discs, which he then released at a rate of approximately one per month . Embracing styles from indie rock to electronica to "unplugged," the recordings are a testament to the fertility of Frusciante's imagination and the breadth of his musical tastes .

CURTAINS (Record Collection), the final disc in the series, is an album of primarily acoustic guitar-driven songs characterized by their poignant melodicism, occasionally eccentric structure and lyrics that are both abstractly philosophical and emotionally resonant . While Frusciante has made extensive use of the acoustic on 2003's SHADOWS COLLIDE WITH PEOPLE and other solo albums, CURTAINS is his most fully realized unplugged work to date . The guitarist skillfully augments his crisp acoustic chording and expressive vocals with overdubs on synthesizers and electric guitar , and he benefits from his tastefully minimalist backing of stand-up bassist Ken Wild , Autolux drummer Carla Azar and The Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez-Lopez on electric guitar . But mostly we hear Frusciante , who recorded CURTAINS in his living room , strumming and singing songs that express his unique notions about the nature of time, death, and dimensions beyond our own .

Like the other five albums in the series, CURTAINS was recorded quickly and on vintage analog gear - in this instance an Ampex eight-track tape machine. Frusciante says he was out to capture both the warm sound sound of the pre-digital era and the inspired spontaneity of recordings from the Fifties and Sixties, when artists would typically have just one day to record a song and a few weeks to complete an entire album. One upside of this approach is that it enabled Frusciante to commit a huge body of work to tape in a short period of time.

"I write a lot of songs," he says, "and they mean a great deal to me and represent my growth in a lot of ways. But as the guitar player in the Red Hot Chili Peppers, I don't have the time to record my own stuff as much as I'd like."

So when the Chili Peppers recently took a half-year break after touring behind their last album , 2002's BY THE WAY, Frusciante made the most of the opportunity. "During those six months I recorded all the music that's been coming out ," he says . "It's basically material from the last three years, but each album also contains new things - half of CURTAINS , for example , was written during that break ."

Like Frusciante's electric guitar playing in the Chili Peppers, his songs are fresh, inventive and more than a tad off kilter. Frusciante recognizes this and regards it as a strength. "What I try to do," he says, "is make words say what they weren't naturally designed to say."

Monday, March 14, 2005

Deadly warning

Great story in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday about how a man ended up killing his wife, children and himself. The warning signs are always there. One big one is when someone talks poorly about their ex.