Franki Chan Blog


IHEARTCOMIX 2005 YEAR IN REVIEW I’m getting back on the horse, or trying anyway. I feel like I haven’t written or drawn in forever. I can tell when it’s been a while cuz I start getting moody, and then I procrastinate forever before getting into it. I have to go into a totally different mode and remind myself to express. “Let it out, you asshole, let it out,” I say to myself. It doesn’t always come easy, usually preferring to keep my rants and awe inspiring speeches to the captive audience I have in my head (and you think these blog blasts are long). I’ve been digging through the old blogs lately. I’ve been having to go through everything because we’re setting up this brand new website. It’s quite the task. After years of disappointment, I’m finally gonna have one that works, but that means sifting through EVERYTHING. Years and years of throwing parties and shows, endless amounts of flyers, drawings, etc, all together in one place for the first time. I wish I wasn’t so anal about this stuff, but I am, and through digging through all of it I found all my old entries. First off, I was a much better writer back then. I pined about girls with no abandon. I guess the subject gets a bit more sensitive when you get an audience. (You can still see all that old stuff on my myspace {} or wait until the site is up). But while I was going through all of it (and I am getting to a point eventually), I discovered all my entries about leaving SEATTLE and moving to LOS ANGELES, starting FUCKING AWESOME, becoming partners with STEVE AOKI and meeting some kid I fondly called the “POLAROID SCENE GUY.” Obviously, a lot has changed since then. That first year in L.A. was way more than I ever could have expected. I began it living in my car and desperate for a job and ended it living off dj’ing. My second year in LOS ANGELES, last year, 2005, was even more dramatic. Ideas expanded and ambitions grew. I see 2005 as a big experiment, and for the most part it worked. It was a year of adapting to a new life style, while at the same time trying to find my place in it. I began going one direction and ended up going another, a path I thought was only a pipedream (starting a business). It seems like every time I figure out who I am or what I want to do something else comes up, but I get a little bit closer each time. It’s strange when you get hit with a left swing and then with a right. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting when I moved to L.A., but it certainly wasn’t this. I had to fall back on the old habits and go through that process to get to where I am now, almost to my 2 and a half year mark, and for the first time in my life, I don’t want to move (kind of been a reoccurring theme). I’m breaking ground, and also for the first time, finally figuring shit out. I’ve been watching a lot of the SOPRANOS lately. There’s a marathon on ON DEMAND right now leading up to season 5. I just finished the third season. I’d never see it before now, but had always heard great things. I’ve been hooked, totally wrapped up in the melodrama and amazed by the similarities to my own life. Really. Everyone loves CURB YOUR OWN ENTHUSIASM and ENTOURAGE because they’re so relatable. “That’s what it’s like to live in HOLLYWOOD,” or “My life is just like LARRY DAVID’S (I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that one).” I don’t disagree. I can’t tell you how many fucked up situations and misunderstandings I’ve found myself in. Half the time I feel like I walk around with “GUILTY” stamped on my forehead and a target on my chest, sometimes I do deserve it, but it’s a little funny everytime. THE SOPRANOS, on the other hand, has been more of a reflection of my L.A. experience. I’ve been relating to TONY SOPRANO in so many ways that it makes me feel uncomfortable. Maybe that’s my ego talking (who hasn’t romanticized about being a mob boss). I’ve never killed anyone, but the politics of being in a ‘family’ are so similar to the day in and day out of working in ‘the biz,’ that we might as well be carrying around guns and shooting each other (there’s certainly some moments where it could make life easier). I’m not trying to diss the lifestyle at all. I rather like it. There’s a certain thrill that comes with gambling your livelihood on a weekly basis, but I’m also not qualified for anything else. This year has been more about finding myself in it. The constant struggle between my former punk self (basement shows and being homeless in BERKELY) and my new HOLLYWOOD life (photos with PARIS HILTON). My roots are important to me. I’m afraid of who I’d be if I hadn’t hung out with the punks in PEOPLE’S PARK in BLOOMINGTON, IN and joined OPERATION: CLIFF CLAVIN. Most of you probably have no idea who my old band was, but for me, it defined my whole life and punk rock gave me a family and purpose. 2005, as exciting as the year was, what with all the travels, the events, the shows, all the people I met (awesome and famous), the new ventures, etc, the moments that have defined it the most have been in these last few months. I slowed down to take a breath and looked behind me. While panting, “HOLY SHIT,” I said, “Would you look at that.” I’d been going and going, running non-stop, and once I finally came to a halt, I realized I didn’t know where I was anymore. I was naked, alone, lost, and I may be exaggerating a bit, but I think you can figure out my metaphor. I think I just needed to remember why I began running in the first place. I began doing shows and parties in the first place because I wanted to make my little town a better place. It was about a sense of community and fun. When I moved to the big cities, first SEATTLE and then LOS ANGELES, I kept the basis, but then, slowly, attention, money and as funny as it sounds, fame, began to become a factor. I like all those things, I’d be lying if I said any different, but the one thing I learned the most this year is that once you base what you’re doing on any of those, you lose everything else. So, once I regained my breath, I began thinking about where I wanted to go from there. My first thought was, “I wanna go home,” but then I realized I couldn’t. It wasn’t where I belonged anymore. I thought about where I was headed, and I didn’t like how that sounded either. I decided on somewhere in between. My resolution for 2006 is to forge my own path. I needed to stop to regain my footing. I needed to remember my purpose. I’m sure I’ll trip a few times along the way, but with the new year, more so than any other time in my life, I truly feel that this is a new beginning and I’m so excited to see what happens next. I’ll leave this with some lyrics from my old band, OPERATION: CLIFF CLAVIN. These are from the three new songs we recorded in DEC 2004. CHRIS CLAVIN, who wrote these, always had the ability to express in a way that not only let me understand, but made me believe. These lyrics, more than anything I could ever write summed up entirely how I was feeling and made me remember why I got involved in all this mess in the first place. I may not be able to live up to them word for word, but I’m gonna try my best, and as I step out into the world and try to forge this new path, one thing is for sure, they will always be at the back of my mind. Xo The music is not important, it’s just the soundtrack to our friendships The music is just the glue, the music’s just my excuse to get in the van and drive to see you I’ll drive a thousand miles to see the smiles on your faces Of all the people that I met playing music in so many places It’s not about the songs being sung It’s not about the people singing them It’s not about knowing how to play Its more about believing in every word you have to say The music is the foundation The music is where we plant our feet The music is our invitation The music is just here to help us keep the peace So we can all sing along and know we’re not alone The world is a fucked up place, but we don’t have to face it on our own We will sing our songs of hope, we will sing our songs of hope and we will know we are not alone When you go to a show and see people that you know, doesn’t matter if you watch the bands or stand outside, this isn’t only entertainment There’s so much more to this than what’s under the lights It’s not about just making friends, it’s about building a community and making plans to make this world a better place, cuz things are not ok, ok I know that it is hard sometimes, but I know we have what it takes Cuz we’ve got hearts on fire, we’ve got hearts on fire And the flames reached up to our eyes and that’s why they burned so bright And we know that we cannot lose and in that way we’ve already won And the world might burn and we all might die, but they will never have our songs We don’t make records just to have something to sell We don’t consider a basement show a stepping stone We don’t sing our songs with the intention of wealth We do what we do all for ourselves It’s not about how much money you can make It’s not about how many hearts you can break It’s about making plans and trying to make that change Singing for our souls not for our pay We are building a community This is not a business, this is a family And the friends I’ve made mean so much more to me than any amount money Can’t you see we’re where we want to be We grow like the weeds, we sleep like the cats We climb like the trees, we eat like the rats We’re richer than kings, we work like the ants And the songs that we sing hit the night like the bats This is not producer, consumer This is not the crowd and the stars This is not just buyer and seller This is something we all share in our hearts We are building a community This is not a business, this is a family And the friends I’ve made mean so much more to me than any amount money Can’t you see we’re where we want to be Back in 1995, you would have said I was a stupid kid Now it’s 10 years later and I think you were right, and I hope I still am Cuz I’m doing what I wanna do and about 50% of my dreams come true You say these songs I sing won’t change a thing, but I think they do, I think they do These silly songs have carried me from coast to coast, across the sea They’ve lead me to friends that mean so much to me so that’s why I can’t understand when you cant understand, when I say I’m not doing this for the money that’s not what I’m doing with my life how’s the kids, how’s the house, how’s the wife? That’s not what I’m doing with my life How’s the job, how’s the pay, do they treat you right? Does that big screen tv keep you warm at night? But the weekend’s coming up, so maybe you’ll be alright You’ll get fucked up with your friends and remember who you used to be one time Then on Monday morning when you wake up at 8am, you won’t remember anything about that stupid kid Part II No one’s checking i.d.’s, no one’s taking names No one says you have to leave, I swear my friends, you could have stayed If you wanna come back, it’s never too late The faces might have changed since then, but the songs are still the same And you can sing your own words, I’m sure you’ve got a lot to say Take the microphone from me and scream until you feel ok, ok, ok Why did you go, you know I miss you How much more do I have to prove I’m the same kid I used to be, you can be the same kid you used to be too And we can make all of our dreams come true HIGHLIGHTS FROM ‘05 -Getting written up in ROLLING STONE for SUNDAY-FUNDAY -Going to my first SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL -Starting my own business, IHEARTCOMIX -Convincing TRAVIS to start working with me -My best friend, ZANE, deciding to move back to LOS ANGELES -Going to EUROPE for the first time with MARK THE COBRASNAKE -The Start of LOOSE TOOTH -COMICON ‘05 -Spending so much time in NEW YORK -Moving into a new place that isn’t totally a trash heap -THANKSGIVING all day event -Watching the PROMISE RING REUNION SHOW in CHICAGO for FLOWER 15 -COACHELLA -ANNIE & PEACHES at SUNDAY-FUNDAY -Hanging out with JULIETTE & THE LICKS backstage at CONAN O’ BRIAN -Hanging out with BLOC PARTY backstage at DAVID LETTERMAN and then throwing an impromptu party later that night at BAR 11 -The infamous NEW YORK SNOW BALL FIGHT -EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH mania -ZANE’S GOING AWAY ROOF TOP PARTY in BROOKLYN -DAY 1 of MAGIC in LAS VEGAS in AUGUST -AUSTIN CITY LIMITS -MY BIRTHDAY WEEK that spanned across the world -Discovering DENVER and PHEONIX are pretty cool places -CMJ PROM MY FAVORITE ALBUMS OF ’05 (in no particular order) WE ARE SCIENTISTS- With Love And Squalor (virgin) GWEN STEPHANI- Love.Angel.Music.Baby. (interscope) MODEY LEMON- The Curious City (birdman) DEATH FROM ABOVE 1979- You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine (vice) BROADCAST- Tender Buttons (warp) THE PRESETS- Beans (modular) FEDERATION X- Rally Day (estrus) KANYE WEST- Late Registration (roc-a-fella) AQUEDUCT- Solid Gold (barsuk) FRANZ FERDINAND- You Could Have It So Much Better (domino) THE BLOOD BROTHERS- Crimes (v2) DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE- Plans (atlantic/barsuk) Q AND NOT U- Power (dischord) THIS BIKE IS A PIPE BOMB- Three Way Tie For A Fifth (plan-it-x-south) MINUS THE BEAR- Menos El Oso (suicide squeeze) THE GO! TEAM- Thunder, Lightning, Strike (memphis industries) A GUN CALLED TENSION- Self-titled (cold crush) QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE- Lullabies To Paralyze (interscope) THE MARS VOLTA- Frances The Mute (gsl/strummer/universal) INTERPOL- Antics (matador) DIAMOND NIGHTS- Once We Were Diamonds (kemado) ARCADE FIRE- Funeral (merge) TURBO NEGRO- Party Animals (burning heart) SMOKE AND SMOKE- Love Suffers Long (frenchkiss) LCD SOUNDSYSTEM- Self-titled (dfa/capitol) LOVE AS LAUGHTER- Laughter’s Fifth (sub pop) HOT HOT HEAT- Elevator (sire) BLOC PARTY- Silent Alarm (vice) TEGAN AND SARA- So Jealous (sanctuary/vapor) BIG BUSINESS- Head For The Shallow (hydra head) SLEATER-KINNEY- The Woods (sub pop) THE KILLS- No Wow (rough trade/red meat heart/rca) BRIGHT EYES- I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (saddle creek) SPOON- Gimme Fiction (merge) CLAP YOUR HANDS SAY YEAH!- Self-titled (self released) ANNIE- Anniemal (vice) M.I.A.- Arular (xl) AUTOLUX- Future Perfect COCOROSIE- La Maison De Mon Rev DUTCH DUB- Self-titled (record collection) THE HOLD STEADY- Separation Sunday MEAN REDS- Together At Last (record collection) GIANT DRAG- Hearts And Unicorns SHOUT OUT LOUDS- Howl Howl Gaff Gaff (capitol) TED LEO + THE PHARMACISTS- Shake The Sheets (lookout!)