Sunday, December 30, 2012

Borderline

When asked what to do during that dreadful week between Christmas and the end of the year, my dear friend, Michael DiBianco asked if I felt like coming over to his crib in Jersey and recording an idea he had for a reworking of Madonna's "Borderline".  Clearly, I jumped at the chance....

Here's what we came up with....

https://soundcloud.com/michael-carmine-di-bianco/borderline-featuring-james

I love what he's done with it.
Let me know if you like it.

Kisses,

J

Thursday, December 20, 2012

H. New Year.


It is the end of a year.
Several things have been put to rest.

You know, I spent much of last year picking up the pieces of a not quite broken, but severely fractured heart.  And I cannot thank 2012 enough for showing me how much joy there was waiting for me on the other side.  Of course, with great joy, there was a new kind of loss.  Both of my grandparents left this strange world this year.  High School sweethearts who wanted to be together for all of eternity.  And I know that’s what they’re doing right now.  I spend much of my time now trying to “live right” in honor of their memory.  Live right, and trying to recreate most of my grandmother’s absolutely legendary recipes.  I’ll let you know how that one goes.  I’m trying to perfect her hush puppies.

This little artistic journey I’ve spent the last year working on is oddly making sense to me right now.  What began as therapy for the aforementioned fracture has become something it seems that others want to hear almost as much as I love letting it out.  I’ve spent these on-stage therapy sessions (it’s so much cheaper than my actual shrink) sorting out my absolutely terrible track record in the department of inter-personal relationships.  Don’t worry, I still haven’t figured it out.  So there’s clearly more to come.

While at home in Boston over Thanksgiving I met with several different groups of friends who said several similar things to me over several different cocktails.  Things which I’ve heard over the years since I’ve moved away from home.  My friend “J” told me that he envisioned me living some fabulous, succulent life in New York City, at a different party every night, meeting fabulous people, and their fabulous, succulent hor d’oeuvres.  Another, a girlfriend from college, “A”, said, after a story of my seeing Katie Holmes walking through Chelsea the week before, “It must be so exciting!”

There’s a secret that I haven’t yet divulged to them.  Things here have not been nearly as picturesque as Instagram may lead one to believe.  I’ve, at times, been on a more Gatsbian trajectory.  Things have only recently began to make sense (as I rapidly approach my 11th year here).  The dreams are not nearly as lofty as before.  I do now realize that I cannot dig a hole clear through to the other end of this apple just because I have some fancy shovel…which they only make in the West Village, and you can only purchase (for far too much $$), after months spent on an exclusive waitlist. I have spent much of my time in 2 places.  Lofty Pursuit or Incessant Dwelling Upon.  There is not much for commerce in either of these towns. 

The good that has come from reading, re-reading, and re-re-reading old journals, wondering Whatever happened to _____?  (fill in the blank with any # of past relationships), and my almost 10 year pursuit of things that couldn’t possibly be good for me has become this new journey, this new art. 

As the year draws to a close, I will not say that I’m through.  It is not the end of days that the Mayans would have us believe (if they were still around), but it is the end of this particular time and the beginning of whatever is next.  Change and (hopefully) progress.  If you attend my show, you shock me.  I am still working through my deprecating wonderment of why anyone would think the stories I tell or the songs I sing are important, funny, or worthwhile, but for now, if I look and see you in the audience, I will simply say “Thank you”.   Next we’re on to Boston… This time I may have to tell them just how succulent their lives seem to me.  

Get yo' tickets here...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

This is happening in a few weeks.

Check out this link!!!!!

A.R.T. - American Repertory Theater


Yup, that's right... I'm heading back to Massachusetts, birthplace of the baked bean...and me.  I'm so excited to show y'all this thing.  The problem is getting y'all there!!  The box office at Oberon will be up and running online in another day or so, but you can still call to get tickets at (617) 547-8300.

I'll let everyone know when the box office opens on line.  All technical difficulties are currently blamed on the Mayans.

Let me know if you're planning on coming.  Sunday, January 6th at 7PM at Oberon at 2 Arrow Street in Cambridge, just off of Massachusetts Avenue.  I'd love to see you and catch up with some old friends.

-james

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Look who i ran into backstage at Joe's Pub

@JamesJaxxonJr: Studying still (and Full) life. I Love #BettyeLaVette and #joespub instagr.am/p/TJLY9qMMLt/ -- shared via UberSocial http://ubersocial.com

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

If the shoe fits....

Peace & Balance have been restored. The tree.  She's finally dressed.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Gratitude

Gratitude is a virtue.
Gratitude is often thought to be the parent of all other virtues.

In these last few days I sit and think of what I could be grateful and thankful for.  I think of the people, the actions, and things that make me feel gratitude.

You know, you don't do something or complete an action or service with the intent of discovering gratitude as your end result.  There are people that do that.  I do not have space for anyone in my life like that, but I am aware that they exist.  Their actions are dependent on the strength of the gratitude or "Thank you" they may receive.

There is an energy created between two people.  Sometimes good.  Sometimes bad.  There is an energy that you either wish to continue or not.  It is or can be a great game of volley.

Because you ARE this to me,
Because you make me feel this,
When you ____
I feel ____

It is never
Because I want you to do this
Because I want you to feel this

It is simply because 
You made me feel something,
& I want to keep the energy going 
between these two 
vastly different beings.

I think of anyone who would bother to come to my show simply because I asked them to.  I asked them as a friend, as an individual, and not as just a number or a variable in a social marketing word problem that no one is trying to solve.  It is an honor to witness that act.  The act of the individual friend taking the time to do the thing you asked of them.  And words do not convey the appropriate return-serve, but hopefully my actions will.  And thus, we keep the idea of gratitude moving.

Ingratitude can show itself at this time too.  Or it makes the non-action of others show you where you've been filed in their lives.  Do you help the friend in need?  I will always say yes.  When do you know you have been taken advantage of?  Do you help, for example, the friend by storing their belongings in your home when they have nowhere else to live?  I say yes.  Aware that therein lies the opportunity to be taken advantage of if the friend in question is not truly a friend or decent individual like those we've mentioned before.

Gratitude, for me, is simple.  Always be yourself.  Always be true to someone.  Always remember if/when someone makes you laugh.  If I follow these, I seem to end up surrounding myself with others that do the same, and we are able to share, and support each other, and to return the serve.  Anyone that makes you question one of those simple steps is not an energy force around which you should live.