Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

The Black Sparrow is dead

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

So things changed for me yesterday. I was tagged by a stranger in a post indicating that the birthday party I had been hired to play at Black Sparrow was moved to another day/band. This was in addition to no longer having access to the place I’d anticipated staying for multiple weeks in the area, thus still being 750 miles away at a different safehouse and preparing to pack up and leave for the show last night.

I emailed the venue owner with the subject “I’m confused”, with a screenshot of said post which was said to ‘clear up confusion’, to ask how this might change the specifics of my show, like the cover charge and set lengths, mentioned I was just about to leave that night in order to make the drive, and that since the built-in audience of the birthday party would suddenly not be present, I would appreciate any local promotion they’d be willing to do in the meantime.

She responded by verifying that the invitations for the birthday party had mistakenly said “Saturday” the 12th, rather than Friday, and therefore they were moving the birthday party to another bands night to accommodate out of town guests coming on Saturday. She also encouraged me to cancel my show if I found that ‘too discouraging’.

I have based my tour map around this show, which, once I was able to set up my music rig, I have spent the last 9 days absolutely solid working on, including preparing an album to sell, buying stickers to give away, investing in a dual tiered keyboard stand to have access to both keyboards for the set, buying mastering software to help improve the quality of the album, buying blanks and sleeves when I discovered all my previous jewelcase albums are out of print, creating a poster, posting like a mfer on social media, etc. I was committed as hell to this performance, I thought I was playing somewhere known and safe, I was putting everything I had into it, and for a while now this show has been the focus of my life. I wasn’t ready to cancel, I just wanted to know wtf was going on and how it would change this thing I’ve been envisioning for months.

I asked for an idea of when they needed to know by, so I could work out my disappointment before making a decision (and also check in with my second show in February, which Black Sparrow was halfway toward, and by confirming or denying that booking I’d know better whether the trek was still worth it).

The venue owner responded by saying that due to the ‘tone’ of my emails, she felt it was best to cancel my show. The email included mention of every decent thing she’d done while booking me, from offering me one of her precious few dates when I contacted her (after she’d said she wanted me back any time after my first performance there), to negotiating a whopping $25 increase in guarantee from $50 to $75, said she was losing money on every show as a first year venue owner, and ultimately cited “I just don’t have it in me at this point to spend money putting a show that the musician isn’t thrilled to be playing. It’s not worth it for either of us.” as the reason for cancelling me.

I am hurt, frustrated, and angry. I feel impressively fucked over, and I am still reeling at the accusation of not being into my own show enough to be worth hosting. This tour was my bon Voyage to my two favorite venues, and the tour life I’ve been leading for three years now. I only had solid plans for the next two months of my life while doing that, and now those plans are obliterated. Green Door is battling on a day by day basis, and cannot tell me whether they will still exist by my booking on Feb 16th — and without the Black Sparrow show, traveling 1400 miles one way to play GD one last time is insurmountable. I’d anticipated finishing these shows in NOLA territory, doing a little more busking, and going from there, with loose plans to return to California at the end of March and potentially to Seattle in the summer, but now, I have no idea what to do or where to do it, my fragile confidence in my art is shattered to shit because of the crappy way this was handled, and I currently don’t know how anything that comes up out of this black hole might effect the small semblance of stability I had in my projected travels.

I am also really horrified at the manipulation I experienced yesterday, and am really fucking triggered by it. I haven’t been able to shake yet that I actually did something bad, that I’m in trouble for being bad, that the problem really is me, that once again I just wasn’t good enough, committed enough, nice enough, excited enough, HAPPY enough. That somehow, someone else fucking up their party invitations is ultimately my fault — for not staying in Taylor locally, for having the nerve to ask how these changes would effect my show, for having the audacity to be honest about being disappointed and sad to hear indirectly on facebook that my audience had literally fucked off three days before I performed, and for having the gall to be asking for time to deal with my emotions before deciding what was best for me to do.

This was all padded with praise and sycophancy, which made it even worse, and in the pressure of the situation I violated my own boundaries — which I presented when I asked for time to get my bearings before deciding what to do — and responded in exactly the ways that encourage people to play these fucking mind games to get the outcome they want but don’t have the fucking minerals to take ownership of — I thanked her profusely for all the decent things she’d done that any fucking venue owner should be doing, like actually booking gigs and being open to basic fucking rate negotiations for people who are touring, and agreeing to cancel the show while I was still disoriented and wasn’t ready to make that choice for myself, all while kissing her ass and failing to stick up for myself in the face of being belittled by her projections.

This is what capitalism does. This is how people trying to survive this economic paradigm — even people who say they care about what they’re doing and say they care about what you’re doing — treat one another while fighting for scraps to survive. Now that I’ve stopped cussing and yelling, all I can seem to do is cry. I’ve tried to go back to work on the album, making it even better now than I could under the timeline I had when I had this show, but I just.. can’t.

Some days, I really feel like I’m living my calling by carving out this weird life and making all the shit I make. Other days, like yesterday, and today, and probably more than a few tomorrows, literally none of this shit I am doing seems worth it.

SOLD!

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

at Mr Darcy’s Opening Night​

curated by http://crystal-barbre.com

Current inspirations:
http://www.clockworkart.com
http://reddwalitzki.com

Shutting down this mailing list!

Friday, April 14th, 2017

Thank you to everyone who has been keeping up with my meanderings via this blog list. I don’t use this blog for public posts much anymore, so I am shutting this portion of my list down. I will continue to send mails when I update the neevita.net main site. Please join my Patreon to keep up with personal and behind-the-scenes posts in the future, at http://patreon.com/courtnee

Take care of you,

Courtnee Fallon Rex

Traveler, and Doer of Things

Fight

Friday, November 25th, 2016

As I sit here speed dialing the fucking government as a last ditch harm reduction and pressure tactic I am thinking a lot about how much our methods for protecting and advocating for the vulnerable are going to have to change. And I am thinking of how long that’s actually been the case.

I will not ‘wait and see’.

I will not ‘give him a chance to lead’.

I will not fall in line with this latest example of our normalized fucking insanity, or the compulsion to pretend what is about to happen isn’t what is happening.

Make art that feels fucking scary.

Make time and space for your people.

Brush up on CPR, first aid, de-escalation, self defense — then use those skills to help others.

Revisit basic survival techniques, and things like how to change a tire — then use those skills to help others.

Fund immigration, LBGT, health care, and anti-racist orgs.

Utilize encrypted, decentralized communication methods.

Pay attention to POC organizers and activists. Contribute, and follow their lead.

Protest.

Ignore the attacker; be present with the victim. Most times, this will be enough. Be prepared, for the times it may not be.

Divest from relying on the militarized police state to help you or keep you safe.

Rest. Whenever. You can. Be creative; Snatched moments are better than nothing.

Google alert your local representatives, and CALL THEM to hold them accountable.

Do the inner work you need to do to support yourself through the discomfort and fear. Prioritize this highly. Have your own back.

I fight with my pen, my phone calls, my local political involvement.
I fight in the street with my fist in the air and tending to wounded.
I fight with my freely given cigarettes and my freely given skills and my freely given knowledge.
I fight by taking care of myself.
I fight with my solidarity and my travels and my artistry and by putting my future and my body on the line to resist this impending holocaust.

If you can’t stomach doing all that yourself, THAT IS OK; support the living fuck out of those of us who can.

There is a lot of judgement floating around regarding how best to show up for this time in history. Fact is: We need our quiet ones (not to be confused with silent), too. We need our funders and our snitches and our safehouses and our people who remain under the radar.

Bottom line: this shit is here, now, and a goal without a plan is just a wish. Resist the confusion. Resist the ‘I wish I knew’ and ‘I wish I could’ or ‘I wish I were brave like ____’. You belong here, now, in fucking reality.

We need you. Sharpen what you have, and fucking use it.

#bloated

Friday, June 10th, 2016

I notice my body changing.

It happened in my 20’s also, in a specific shift, when I went from being sedentary to active.

This time, it’s the other way around. Things are softer and they are settling. I have begun to show my age. I notice it, especially, during the times in my cycle when I’m bloated and retaining water.

I’m so fucking thankful that I reached this stage in my life having done the work I needed to do not to be crushed by this hyperawareness. Long ago, I thought not being young and pretty would have been just about one of the most soul crushing things imaginable.

I rarely use mirrors anymore, and I am also the most well adjusted I’ve ever been.

The number of lives I’ve lead, even just so far, staggers me sometimes.

Revisiting pencil

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Going a layer deeper in my pencil skills. I feel as though I used to have this down pretty well when I was younger, but I need different drugs now or something. These are both within the last few days.

The framed piece on the right will be given away next month. $15 and above patrons who are signed up by Monday 5/30 get their names in the hat for this one. Good luck! She’s a stunner.

Gratitude post

Thursday, April 28th, 2016

Appreciating my community today. I’m connected with some damn fine people. Here’s to you all, the strong vulnerable women, the writers, the musicians, the weirdos, the men whose souls I’ve stolen, or want to steal, the supporters, the appreciators, the activists, the carers, the empathic warriors who see what the fuck is going on. We will find our place somewhere. In the meantime, I am glad that you exist.

ROAD UPDATE: Pensacola

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

Originally posted to my Patreon community at https://www.patreon.com/posts/4413008

Mississippi: OH EM GEE you’re heeeeere omg yay! Here, have a welcome center with all kinda free camping with picnic benches and spigots and shit and a FUCKING NASA SPACE CENTER!!

Alabama: Fuck you. Welcome center closed.

Florida: Fuck you. Show us your vegetables. Then welcome center, maybe. Also toll roads. Also palm trees. Also fuck you. — Facebook

The above selfie was taken in the divey bathroom at The Handlebar last night in ‪Pensacola, where I played an impromptu show for a tiny, tiny audience in a mostly empty bar. I got a nice fueling practice in and made my beer money back.

New Orleans shaped me as a musician. It is different now; stronger. More solid. More joy in it. Truly beginning to embrace and simultaneously transmute the darkness. Thank you for that. I like being a performer. I just needed to figure out what kind of performer I am. It’s taking a while, but I think I am well on my way, now.

Here are some amazing pictures of me doing my thing, taken by an amazing man: http://neevita.net/louis-maistros-lower-decatur-street-new-orleans/

And here is some soul healing no nonsense darkness for anyone who might be feeling the pitch lonely creeping in today, or know someone who is: http://blog.neevita.net/archives/14927

I plan to be in Florida playing and enjoying the weather/beach for a bit, then moving up northish. I’ve shifted my long term plan, and will be back in WA state this summer rather than heading all the way up to the NE. I need to see a doctor about a few things and get my motorcycle sold.

Keep Going is a year old today. It is an album I released last valentines day about healing, heartbreak, patriarchy, sexism and rape culture, which is surprisingly soothing and, if I may say so, well-crafted. It’s well suited for the day particularly if valentines gives you the intense desire to side eye the fuck out of everything.

Http://courtneefallonrex.net

In a somewhat fitting turn of events, on the same day as Keep Going’s first birthday, Wounded was played on That Indie Thing with Rob on sinwebradio.com! As far as I know, this is my first radio play from the album. https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1182534628424252

Also, Reverbnation keeps sending me emails complaining that my ranks are slipping. So, this seems like a good time to mention that there’s a pretty decent sampling of original music up there including most of my originals from Keep Going and a couple of my old ambient electronic tracks. It is representative but also not too long. If you wanna go stream ’em and give RN something happy to mail me about I wouldn’t mind. :)

I’ll be picking from my Feb 14th random pool of $15 a month and above potential art receivers and notifying the winner today. $5 and above Patrons: Also look for another Seven Deadly Days of Naked (SDDN) post in a few minutes.

Glad you’re all here with me,
-nee

Still pooping on rape culture

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

So I was told yesterday that comically centering my own nonsexual nudity in any of the constant reminders I post about my patreon existing is disingenuous, because I rail against rape culture.Mmmkay.

I was told that it’s ok to use nudity in my art, which I have done for over 20 years, but it’s not ok to make a joke about posting boobs on patreon so haha sign up.

Mmhmm.

I was told that harnessing my own agency and inviting people to support me in a way that ever centers that portion of my body of work devalues everything else about me.

*files nails*

A man, who has been at times clearly conflicted with his own attraction to me, which is what he centered when stating his ‘honest opinion’ about his perception of not being able to afford to see my tits (the image is public, actually, in my modeling portfolio) told me this, and claimed to be trying to point out what he viewed as internalized sexism.

*yawn*

He told me I couldn’t have it both ways, that I couldn’t critique and work to transform a culture which seeks to objectify and shame my body without my consent, and ever consent to being gazed upon with my nipples showing and having the audacity to suggest that it’s possible to be financially supported in that.

*side eye*

He told me this in response to the first post I’ve penned in almost two years in which I centered my nudity, much less in good humor, and, even though he is a fucking therapist, failed to recognize how deeply vulnerable and brave of a step that reclaiming was for me in my healing.

*scowl*

This is an aspect of rape culture. That women are not allowed their own pride, agency, or to make money with their bodies, as long as any old man who gets a boner doesn’t have free license to objectify her any time he wants.

It’s a part of rape culture to hold the belief that a womans figure, nudity, sexuality is consumable only if she’s giving it away freely, and doesn’t expect compensation unless she sits down and shuts up.

I am officially on record as not here for that shit.

I’m not here for being shamed and diminished by some creepweasel fingerwagging shitbiscuit just as I’m rising from ashes and reclaiming an openness about my own fucking body  — an openness that has brought me joy and exhileration and freedom and makes me laugh and allows for me to return to a more complete expression that I’d long since lost to fucking trauma.

I am not here for shaming nude artists of any form, including my friends who are porn stars and sex workers, or even remotely implying that their willful participation in that negates their stances or validity as rape culture critics/consent culture advocates.

So you can thank this asshole for the verocity of the flood of nudity that is likely to become present in my immediate work.

And you can sign up to support that work, along with my book, my music, my neverending nomadic journey, at http://patreon.com/courtnee

*sips tea*

Process of a digitally edited watercolor

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

This is a 6 inch by 4 inch watercolor postcard. I used watercolor pens, tea, ballpoint and pencil. I used the above self-photograph image as a reference.

IMG_7562

http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7562-768x1024.jpg 768w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7562-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7562-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7562.jpg 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> I started with pencil to sketch the basics


IMG_7563

http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7563-768x1024.jpg 768w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7563-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7563-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7563.jpg 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> Then began adding watercolor pen to the dry paper

IMG_7564http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7564-768x1024.jpg 768w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7564-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7564-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7564.jpg 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

IMG_7565http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7565-768x1024.jpg 768w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7565-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7565-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7565.jpg 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

IMG_7566http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7566-768x1024.jpg 768w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7566-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7566-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7566.jpg 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />


IMG_7567

http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7567-768x1024.jpg 768w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7567-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7567-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7567.jpg 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> Now time to start adding tea and blending

IMG_7568http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7568-768x1024.jpg 768w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7568-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7568-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7568.jpg 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

IMG_7569http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7569-768x1024.jpg 768w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7569-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7569-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7569.jpg 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />

IMG_7570http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7570-768x1024.jpg 768w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7570-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7570-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7570.jpg 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" />


Adding ballpoint

http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7571-768x1024.jpg 768w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7571-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7571-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7571.jpg 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> Adding ballpoint

IMG_7572

http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7572-768x1024.jpg 768w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7572-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7572-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7572.jpg 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> Adding more watercolor

IMG_7573

http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7573-768x1024.jpg 768w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7573-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7573-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7573.jpg 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> At this point, I realized my facial dimensions were off. I had made my eyes too small, and too close together. I tried shading and highlighting to make up for the issues.

IMG_7574

http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7574-768x1024.jpg 768w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7574-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7574-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7574.jpg 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> At this point I realized that not only were my eyes too far apart, but my mouth was too small and too low, also. These are very typical issues for me to have when I am working from a portrait reference.

IMG_7576

http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7576-768x1024.jpg 768w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7576-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7576-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7576.jpg 1152w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> Once finished, with added highlightsI knew I wouldn’t want to use this as my avatar representation as I’d planned. Though it’s a good painting, it just didn’t look enough like me. The eyes were too small, too close, and the mouth was too small and far away. In addition, the head/hat was a little wonky, too.

IMG_7576 adjusted

http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7576-adjusted-768x1024.jpg 768w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7576-adjusted-261x348.jpg 261w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7576-adjusted-688x917.jpg 688w, http://journal.neevita.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/IMG_7576-adjusted.jpg 1536w" sizes="(max-width: 550px) 100vw, 550px" /> But then I remembered I have digital art skills too, even though I’ve never used them to fix watercolors. So I adjusted it in Photoshop. :)

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Friendly neighborhood reminder: With the exception of odd, inconsistent jobs as I travel, I survive directly on crowdfunding. Patreon is how I eat, write, create, and Keep Going. If you follow my posts/activities please consider signing up to support me there.

Http://patreon.com/courtnee

Adios, Austin!

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Leaving with an expanded resume, a touched heart, my hands full of new helpful tech, and a head full of ideas.

Also I learned that sometimes there ARE good reasons, to water dirt.

Get updates at http://patreon.com/courtnee

24 hours

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

The artwork I’ve made in the last 24 hours. About 12.5×6″ Ballpoint, ink, watercolor.

From top, my friends:
Fedora El Morro, Eliza Skeffington, and Dreadful Jonquil.

For Kirsten

Saturday, August 1st, 2015

I told you so

There is nothing
So precious
As a sisterhood
That softly cautions
Of ones ability
To disregard
Our profound knowing
Instead, to fill
His jagged caverns
Brimmed in untapped dark
With the naive light
Of our hopeful
Imagination

CHB: Week one

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

I have survived the first week at camp, and it was basically spectacular.

And then I survived the hours it just took to write about my first week of camp, too.

Read about my epic adventures at http://patreon.com/courtnee

Let me get Pretty for you.

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

Friday, February 27th, 2015

Last call for:

Pay what you want Keep Going (digital version): http://courtnee.bandcamp.com

Be entered into a drawing to win a free copy of limited edition Keep Going CD by signing up to support me at patreon by Feb 28th ($15 or more a month) http://patreon.com/courtnee

As of March 1, Keep Going will be $10 to download.

<3

Valentines 2015

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

“I am too intelligent, too demanding, and too resourceful for anyone to be able to take charge of me entirely. No one knows me or loves me completely. I have only myself”
― Simone de Beauvoir

This Year of the Nee valentines day, I am celebrating myself, my accomplishments, my efforts, and the fruits of those efforts.

Most pointedly, I am celebrating my album release, my release party performance (which was fucking amazing.), and having finally, finally learned, deeply in my guts, the profound difference between woundmates and soulmates.

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

Thinking about becoming a patron of mine? Sign up at the $15 a month level or higher before the first of March and I’ll enter you into a special drawing for one of the limited edition versions of Keep Going. Also, my bi-annual art giveaway for the same support level is coming up April 2.

My Patreon campaign: http://patreon.com/courtnee

The album: https://courtnee.bandcamp.com/album/keep-going

Stay Focused. Keep Going.

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Been trying to narrow roots down lately. You know, to save my sanity. Been thinking on this a bit, and I’ve come to the conclusion currently that all the shit I’m mad about and think needs changing leads back to two things: Capitalism and Patriarchy.

So, if considering the main sources of our current social problems can be traced back to Capitalism (classism, ablism, racism, production-based human worth) and Patriarchy (sexism, rape culture, devaluing of bodily sovereignty, feminine ideals, and care work), would it then suppose that the root of what we must shed and transmute in our social evolution is simply: Toxic Masculinity (supremacy, domination, control, emotional disconnection, and power based upon fear of that wide spectrum of physical and emotional violence)?

And how is it that people generally wake to their realities of these issues, even when they’ve already known they are against the patriarchy and or capitalist ways of operating?; They then suffer a period of deeply adopting toxic masculinity themselves to manifest the ‘power’ needed to stand in their resistance without being annihilated while in transition. And some will never make that transition.

Ghandi was a sexist rape apologist. Mother Teresa was against violence unless that violence attacked the sovereignty of women’s bodies. The toxic masculinity permeated these people as well, people who vastly and fundamentally inspired and changed the world and are widely considered saints, superhuman. But organized religion, the cause of which so many wars and so many saints have rallied behind, in and of itself is based upon what? Toxic masculinity, that’s what.

And here we still are, dealing with the deep rooted tendrils of the same old shit.

Every once in a while we erupt in toxic masculine (and deeply cathartic) violence, making a tiny baby step by forcing the patriarchal empire into changing the rules a little in order to make that toxic masculine a little less obvious (see: The civil rights movement). But it, that toxicity, is always here – piled over our grief, stuffed in the corners of our coping mechanisms, whitewashed away by the lies of our generally accepted history. For centuries of conditioning and ancestry, it is deeply, fundamentally, here.

I wonder that toxic masculinity is a game that is subconsciously perceived as must being played in order to survive this world, much less overcome and thrive. For all people, including children.

And I wonder that this here is the impetus, the toxic masculine that goes beyond patriarchy which centers around gender and seniority of male lineage, beyond capitalism which leverages these teachings for the gain of few at the expense of many, rather than simply another symptom, of why we’re all so royally fucked.

Beauty in the Breakdown

Saturday, January 24th, 2015

I had come to the title for this piece while it was in progress a couple weeks ago.

It’s fitting that I finally finished it today, which was largely spent processing through a complex and incredibly irrational emotional trigger.

I figured it out, and figured a few side notes out, too. Like that my ex now represents abandonment for me rather than my mother — he shows up when my little is feeling desperate and lonely — and no matter how grown up I get or how professional I act or how ‘correct’ the response is, it hurts and is deeply scary as fuck when someone I care about doesn’t seem to care too much about losing access to our intimacy.

While I was finishing this watercolor, I sobbed and wept a lot, and I sipped through the last of the discontinued tea that marked intense bonding and sense memories from my last romantic relationship. It felt like the right time to officially complete that part of my life.

These hideous and beautiful and incredibly uncomfortable processes helped me figure out what was happening with me today, and what needed to be done to balance it. Hint: I’d forgotten an important step in completing a grief transition.

Always comes down to that, doesn’t it.

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Say Something

Saturday, January 10th, 2015

“Some are quick to use the crabs in a bucket trope, but it’s important to remember that crabs were never meant to be piled in a bucket.” – Ryan Dalton

Fuck your fucking bucket. Fuck your fucking fear. Fuck you for trying to keep me in it with you. Fuck you for trying to hold me down and stop me from climbing out. Fuck you for trying to erase me and minimize me and manipulate me away from my truth. Fuck you for giving me no other choice but to leave you behind.

Fuck you for not coming with me.

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Related: Rock Lobster: Finding Home.

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Today’s work

Monday, January 5th, 2015

New watercolor in progress. Done for today. Now on to music.

Finding Amanda: An internet love story

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Amanda Palmer and Courtnee Fallon Rex Photographed by Steve Kuhn The Art of Asking Book Tour. Sat, November 22, 2014. First Unitarian Church – Los Angeles

When I was young, I thought I had all the answers. Or at least, I thought I knew the problems, the deeper causes of the things I was seeing in people, that needed answering.

And I thought, since I seemed to be the only one who really *saw* what the problems were, saw them and felt them in my guts and talked about seeing them and feeling them in my guts, I was naturally responsible for fixing them, too.

All of them. Everywhere.

That turned out to be a bit of a problem for me. One I’ve since largely solved in my growth, accepting my role as a healer, an activist, and learning about boundaries.

Back then, I kept wishing I had been born earlier, so I could have been a part of the uprising in the 60’s, when “shit mattered”, when the ambient rage against this profoundly sick world order had a focus and a voice.
Now, I really really miss the 90’s.

I did my best to rebel and find my own way, but internalized a contempt for my own perspective and an intense hate for my sensitivity.

As a tiny girl I had started cussing and spewing sexist racist shit like a motherfucking truck driving military sailor, and I basically hated everyone. I lied about my age (when I was 11 I was 14) and hung out with older boys. I started smoking when I was 9, drinking when I was 10. I stole shit and resold it at school. I experimented with drugs.

In middle school I had found my niche as a leader of a small group of nerdy weirdos. I, like most middles schoolers, was bullied and pushed around, once by a large group in my own front yard.

I was the girl who peed her pants laughing, daily, at lunch. I was the girl who responded to being given flowers by immediately eating them. I was the girl who stayed at school until 6pm hanging out with the uncool teachers because they cared about me and I didn’t want to go home to an empty house and I secretly loved and adored them even though that wasn’t cool and I don’t think I ever told them how much they meant to me and I wish I had now (Thank you Mr. Pericone, Mr. Ebi and Mrs. Wollard).

By the time I was 15 I was so acutely aware that the system was a sham, I was going insane. I saw so clearly the dynamic of perpetrated violence in society, and in my life. I saw the pain hiding in peoples eyes, but I didn’t have the support to find my ground to stand against it. Everywhere I looked what I saw was how we were killing each other, and how I unconsciously contributed to that cycle.

I hated High School, even though I barely attended, and once I went there, I immediately fell deeply into drugs. I’m talking deep. Few know how bad it was. I quickly dropped out to join the workforce with a fast food job, so I could go on USEnet and use my minimum wage to buy Nirvana bootlegs, and more drugs.

I had no direct examples of self-supporting ways to cope with the cruelty of the world, and if I did come across them indirectly, they weren’t cool or appealing anyway because they weren’t ‘powerful’ like domination and violence seemed to be.

Emotionally, I was broken open and rawly empathic, connected with attrition and the damage we inherently do to one another simply by existing, and enraged at my impotence in fixing it. Physically, I was, frankly, killing myself.

I hadn’t lived enough then, well enough, to have the decades of varied experience and intense healing it would turn out I’d need in order to break out of my patriarchal conditioning and trust the instincts I was trying to snuff out. I was going crazy in part because that’s what I believed I was.

A new (digital) hope

In early 1995, in Sacramento California, from a commodore 8088 connected to a shell account with crl.com on a screechy modem with an actual WIRE, my dad showed me how to get on this Internet Relay Chat thing he’d told me about.

CRL’s root .ircrc file had a bunch of dead servers referenced in it, and I’d spent likely not nearly as long as it felt like I had being suicidally-frustrated with trying to figure out how to get the fuck online. Dad swooped in, figured out there was a /server command, and my life thus changed forever.

There were words on a screen attached to real-yet-fantasy humans who, when they weren’t talking about overthrowing governments and anal rape, were telling me I was not alone. That the social system we inherited was fucked and we were going to unfuck it by fucking it. There was a space, suddenly, to tell people what I saw.

There were vulnerable conversations about emotion and loss and pain where the ‘real’, world had been about image and learning how to be an expert on being fake. I’d found people who weren’t afraid to talk about the despair we all felt, through a medium that protected us better than any person had.

That was where, I thought, I found salvation. And for a while, I suppose I did. I wasn’t a sad sack high school nerd druggie statistic everyone fucking picked on, I was a social engineer in the thick of a god damn underground hacker revolution that only some people picked on.

My social life was with criminals on IRC, where I could explore my rage, screw the man, and say whatever the fuck kind of offensive abusive shit I wanted. I spent my time on meth and anything else I could find, listening to The Prodigy, chain smoking reds, fucking around with linux and waiting for the years to cycle to the next DEFCON.

I started maintaining my own web pages, gnashing my teeth about the worlds fuckedupedness (and how it caused me to feel), in 1995. I was one of the first webcams on the internet. I had my own irc channel (#nee). I had fans.

People emailed me often to tell me they’d found my site and how much what I was writing mattered to them. That my words mattered to them. I kept expecting waves of hate. They sent me fan art. They shared their stories. They told me I had saved their lives and that my spews of misery and hopelessness gave them hope. They told me I helped them feel less alone.

The first time someone told me I should write a book of my life I had been alive 15 years. I was a social advocate without really knowing it, a musician without accepting it, a community leader without being responsible for it, a digital artist. A flawed and miserable human being, with an intimate community online that fueled and supported me, nodding, saying; I see what you see, thank you for saying it.

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As a musician I had a bit of a business on the original mp3.com in 1999/2000, but had started recording cover songs long before. I went by the name Not Applicable, and I insisted, vehemently, proudly, that my music would always, always be available for free, on my site.

But things change, and so did all that.

The RIAA destroyed mp3.com, and with it, my faith in the world supporting my niche-y emo-enya never-gonna-sell-shit-for-sony music. I went from identifying as an empowered independent artist with a support structure that validated me, from being featured and interviewed by ABC news (and my cam images being used in the original piece as well) regarding the success of the movement I was a part of, to feeling displaced and bullied and utterly rejected, with my dreams in flames at my feet.

With the fall of mp3.com, I also went from being a part of a community of artists and musicians who were, once again, revolutionary, by collaborating worldwide via audio files online, to drifting alone in space. I was always in the top 3 of the ambient electronic charts, and many people sent me remixes of my work and collaborated with me by finding me there, including one of the trance musician idols I’d had at the time, and lots of unknowns who are still unknown.

We were a creative artist economy birthing cross-pollinated artwork existing inside the payback for playback and DAM CD models for making money. It wasn’t going to make us all filthy rich, but it was a god damn fucking internet revolution utopia all the same.

I shrugged it off and didn’t let myself think about losing that community part all that much. I spewed anger at how unfair mp3.com’s demise was, and suddenly focused on the money, the wopping $2700 I’d made in a year, because of course it was just weak and selfish and shitty to want support and connection and love from people.

It had taken such immense courage for me to share my deeply personal and vulnerable music, music that made me cry from being so good and double over in pain for being so raw, music that rose out of me from a dark place I didn’t understand. I kept waiting for the hate to come, especially after I joined the mp3.com community from sharing my songs by DCC sending to friends in my IRC channel.

mp3.com was my taste of vitality as an artist. It was the first place I was confronted with irrefutable proof from strangers that my music was good. It was my bridge, back when I was still the only Courtnee on the internet, and the internet was all the connection with the human race I had that fucking mattered to me. It was a community that I’ve never found a comparable replacement for.

The hate never did come. Perhaps because it never had the chance to. For my efforts, for my courage, I received virtually nothing but waves of acceptance and love, feature after feature on the site praising my work even though I was a screwed up crazy hermit making weird whiney sad music that would never end up on the radio.

Losing that relevance changed me, reconfirmed my doubts in myself. I utterly loathed the music industry, threw up at the thought of playing shows. With mp3.com, I had let myself open up, and feel some hope. The loss of this flow of connection for me was staggering. And because of it I hardened.

I turned to the other revolution I was a part of for comfort and belonging while grieving my artistic self, to find it wasn’t there anymore, either. The geeks, the remaining foothold of my revolutionary home base, are no longer the underdog freedom fighters, and they haven’t been for a very long time. They’re the ruling class in the same system we despised.

It hurts to see your revolution become the system. Maybe even more than it hurts to see the revolution get flat out crushed by it. It’s a fucking betrayal I can only barely wrap my head around, but I feel it in my body. It’s a fucking betrayal I keep seeing over and over again in my life. Seeing the entropy, seeing the fear, seeing how the people who are doing what is most needed in this world are getting fucked and assimilated.

It got under my skin when the powers that be managed to napalm the countryside we were beginning to settle with mp3.com. Feeling like I almost had it, like I was almost valid — and then I closed my eyes and covered my head while the power in the world which already had way more than it needed clubbed me, and when I opened them again everything was different.

I didn’t realize how much I was still hurting. Not until Amanda walked into my office.

I can articulate now, after a lot of processing, and galvanizing our connection a few weeks ago by performing for her and her fans in Los Angeles, I hated Amanda Palmer because she represented for me the person I was who died with mp3.com and the internet as I had known it. Died “because” I didn’t have what Amanda Palmer had — a stream of fanbase supporting her when her conventional link to them [a record label], which I knew would have fucked me, fucked her, too.

She represented who I could be now if I hadn’t divorced from my core and spent years of my life chasing money and stability betraying myself in the tech industry before finding my way back to myself.

She represented for me the damage I did to my soul by choosing to take that path, for going through the motions while shutting down who I really was, for taking the RIAA attacking the home I’d found in mp3.com so unbelievably personally.

She represented the pain in becoming even more isolated and quiet as a musician, my most vulnerable and profound form of art, the paralyzation of being introverted and insecure and losing my foothold.

She represented the reality of only knowing how to be a solo musician making music in the safety of my dark little cave and posting it on the internet.

Healing is a pretty important aspect of being a revolutionary. It’s hard to cheer someone on who breaks through the glass ceiling you’re still concussed from smashing into and weakening for them.

In the rise of the digital music revolution, the unsigned artists of mp3.com got royally fucking fucked. As we grew in closer path alignment over the years, Amanda served as a screen for me to project that disembodied grief.

I had it first. I was there first, I had it, I had the following, I had the waves of love, I had the future, I WAS the future, I was AHEAD, and then I fucking wasn’t. In utter projective emotional simplicity that makes little logical sense, I was an Amanda Palmer before Amanda Palmer.

And then I wasn’t.

In the decade after the blow of mp3.com, and countless other events that knocked my fragile sense of self around back in those days, I am finally beginning to feel and trust in the ripples of reward for the tremendous amount of exertion and surgical accountability it’s taken to come back to where I am ready to step into myself again. Into my seeing, into my caring, into my vulnerability, into the vivid authenticity that steams off of me as a performer and a music maker and a singer, into my talents, and into my contributions.

It’s been a long decade.

Finding that I was still so emotionally fucked up over a website going down a decade before was an embarrassing reality to resign to in order to write this, but it’s just the honest truth of things. The impact to fragile hiding 22 year old me, losing mp3.com and what it represented in my life, at that time and at that point in my delicate career, caused a painful rift between me and myself that has taken a long time to sew back up.

Thank you for helping me heal it, Amanda. Thank you for helping that part of me come back.

A. M.

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014