Sunday, April 3, 2011


This is a tough new section of trail. It curves around the Ives Trail throughout Western CT. Each 2.25 mile loop has about 700 feet of elevation gain, which is plenty for an East Coast sissy like myself. There were some mishaps along the way involving cute girls, metal gates, and hateful left knees. Let's get to the girls/metal gate first...

Somehow I managed to not split my ridiculous head open on this:

And This:

But while crossing a little road to get to where the trail continued I got a little bit distracted by some girlie girls that had just finished running and ran into this:

A little bit closer:

And more specifically, this...

Resulting in this...

I'm sure there's a lesson to be learned in there somewhere, but for now I'm too lazy to figure out what that lesson is. On second thought, maybe it has something to do with women being poison? Not sure.

Speaking of women and poison, it's been a weird couple of days. I've been playing in the same band for 22 years. We're a bunch of musical Neanderthals that barely know the names of the strings, don't know the names of chords, and absolutely cannot read one note of fucking music. For the first decade of the band our bass player was my ex-wife. To be clear, when I mention poison alongside her name, I am the poison. We played hundreds of shows together, released two albums, and shared a nearly telepathic sense of communication, both in and out of the band. My selfishness, illness, hubris, and I did our best to destroy that perfect union, and we did. It's a long story and it is really for another time but last night Vince, our post Michelle bass player, made me a DVD that contained a bunch of shows from Philadelphia and Albany circa 1992. They were part of a big box of memories that I wanted to be rid of and he has become the gatekeeper. In these shows I was 27 and she was younger. We looked the way I'll always want to remember us; young, hostile, feral, and the four of us locked tight in the sound of our sonic hysteria (the greatest description of the band was "beautiful, repulsive, hateful, and soul wrenching"). Until a year ago it would have been far too painful to look at these memories. I still find it unsettling that I can watch myself age on Youtube and in personal show videos, that I can track the way we succumbed to the hard lives we inflicted upon ourselves, or that I inflicted upon her, if I want to be honest. But for today I sat here for a half hour or so and took in her astonishing beauty, raw talent, and savage grace. It made me smile to know that we ever were what I remembered, but it also makes me miss her terribly.

This is something I wrote for her this morning:

Murder In Technicolor 4/3/2011 Brewster, NY

We met when she was a teenager and I wasn't. She was a collection of fallen stars, here to grace the savage runoff of my life. Our union was what can never be described, the constant reminder of the frailty of our language, the failure of the connection between the most profound of moments and this empty page. The words fall away more quickly than the memories, and on the mornings when I am blessed, I can relive those early days with pinpoint accuracy. To even attempt to describe it, though, is treason; the natural curl of your hair like a nest of resting hornets, lips beyond language, the curve of your hips, and the eyes that said,'don't worry, Todd, it will be okay'.

And I can't help but think that if I were a better man, if I were even half of what you hoped I would be, we would not be sitting here or there, in our own silences, remembering the lifetimes upon lifetimes that those years gave us as gift; the stages we shared, the boardwalk we stalked in the late Fall, the nights at 13th and Spruce, that night in Rittenhouse Square, the way you held my wolves at bay for so many years. It will always be you.


  1. Hey Todd. I'm a big Starkweather fan from way back (got into you guys back in 1994). I'm from the UK and now live in Australia. I like checking this blog from time to time. I'm not a big blog follower but I think you have a refreshing honesty to your writing. I know you often downplay your musical ability. However, after 20 years of listening to heavy music I still find your playing one of the most original, textured and interesting styles I have heard. Thanks for the great music over the years, and its nice to read how you got your life back on track. Cheers, Adam.

  2. Hey Adam-Thanks for the kind words. Starkweather is such an insular band that it's hard sometimes to imagine that anyone still listens to us. It's especially weird when my running life and band life intersect. A fan from '94? Wow. Pretty fucking impressive. Most people that we know from that era have sailed off into middle age, so it's good to hear from you. About my musical ability... I'm a pretty shitty guitar player as far as skill and technique are concerned, but with the help of the other 3 barbarians we are able to create some pretty interesting and challenging music. I'll never be the guy that walks into a music store and dazzles everyone with my skills but I'm probably the only dude in there that has a bunch of albums out and has toured Europe. Thanks for listening. We have a HUGE stockpile of recorded material in the pipeline right now. Wait until you hear the song "Drug Holiday" that I've talked about on this site. It's my crowning achievement in SW. Best Wishes.