September 2007

Josh and I realized that before we release the full-blown supersonic miasma that is my “solo debut” we had to record some of the acoustic stuff that is floating around, and if not released now, may never find a home, short of some awful “b sides and collectibles” nonsense that I would have to go Supernova to have matter.

So the last day we had available to record in the sauna with our Avalon pre’s AKG’s and Rode NTs, we threw down. Eight songs in all. The album, which will precede the “studio” record is code-named “box”. It will likely still be called box when it’s released which should be within the month.

Lots of red wine, starry nights pacing around The Balcony, and shoving audio cables in boxes that squeak and grind more than S.A.M. the robot from Sesame Street and we are starting to find something pretty darn interesting.

My dad also bought one of those vinyl to CD thingies from a Skymall catalogue and I went totally apeshit digging through all the warped 45’s from my childhood. I have to say, the two and a half decades worth of dust buildup and scratches make them sound way better. Some of that may find its way onto the acoustic record. I can’t help myself.

So in a few days I fly back to LA – land of Sushi, chronic perfect weather, and SocialNetworkObsessedMeloDrama. And then I can hear what this all really is; framed by the boundaries of marketability and cult of personality, the experience Outside will finally show its strength or weakness.

Either way, this thing is coming out in a month.

I hope it makes you feel something.

ps. Josh, you rule for putting up with this crazy shit we do.

My friend Emanuel Pereira came into Toronto from Vancouver to see two films on which he was post-supervisor working with Brightlight Pictures who, consequently, have their first two films ever in the Toronto Film Festival.

Tonight we saw “American Venus” starring Rebecca de Mornay as a freakishly control-crazy mother and Jane McGregor who plays her anxiety-ridden but highly sympathetic daughter.

Pic starts off as a dark comedy in the spirit of American Psycho before taking a more serious turn that examines topics – addiction, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression and type A domination over another.

The film’s score sounds like a direct Thomas Newman lift, which was my primary complaint seeing as the title already feels derivative of the Allan Ball pic. The other point of contention however – the unusual, deliberate pacing of the scenes, where the simple act of going through a stack of cheques unfolds as it would, rather than time-cutting, ultimately won me over.

Rebecca de Mornay gives a tour de force performance. She digs in and commits fully – giving us full reason to believe that she indeed is addicted to unloading a mag from a 40 .cal just because it helps calm her nerves, and will go to any length to get her fix, even in a place like Canada where getting hold of a gatt isn’t so easy.

Jane McGregor, as her daughter is heart-achingly fragile and ever so lovely. I can’t to see more from her as her star inevitably rises.

All in all, an engaging and unconventional perspective on an old idea, I’d tell friends to put down a ten piece for it. 3.5/5

Monday we go see Manny’s other pic from Brightlight – “They Wait” – a psych thriller featuring James King (oops, it’s Jamie now).


The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – I auditioned for the role of Robert Ford while I was shooting the L Word in Vancouver. I wanted it something firece. Lost the part to a better man. But this one will do well, I think. Of course because of Brad Pitt, but it’s a solid script and a great take on an old legend. Top five for buzz at this festival.

Lars and the Real Girl I think the journalist who implied Ryan Gosling might smell Oscar hype over a role wherein he is myopically in love with a silicon blow up doll is a bit of a reach, but I certainly must believe that director Craig Gillespie must have done something right. Yep you guessed it – I read for this part as well, when I was shooting “Cake” with Heather Graham in Toronto back in 2004. I don’t think I quite understood how this was going to play – as a Farrelly Bros. comedy or as a straight piece like Edward Scissorhands. I am hearing it’s somewhere in between. Worth checking out either way. High on the buzz meter at the fest among critics.