Archive for the Phylr Category

LAck of Security

Posted in Phylr, Uncategorized on September 26, 2013 by jimcolemanmusic
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
Helen Keller


Posted in Cop Shoot Cop, personal histories, photos, Phylr with tags , , , , on April 4, 2013 by jimcolemanmusic

I was just going through a bunch of scans I did a while back and have run in to a number of various pictures which conjure memories:

philmore hallThis is Philmore Hall. He was my first french horn teacher, when I was just a wee lad. In my later years of grade school, and through Junior High School, I played in his jazz band. We would tour around various schools and also play  assorted events around the area. Even made it on TV. He was an early teacher of Dizzy Gillespie, until Dizzy started teaching the teacher. But every time Dizzy came through town (DC), we would go out to see him, and hang out a bit with him after the show. Philmore drove an old Chrysler Newport I think, or it might have been a Dodge Polara.

jim horn

And this here is me playing horn around that time. I still play a bit, but it’s rough. I use it in my recordings, but usually need to massage it a bit in Logic. That’s what happens when you don’t practice every day.

sculpture contact

This here is a contact sheet of several photos of the first sculpture I ever made. Well, maybe not the first. I remember making clay figures when I was in first grade. But this was the first “sculpture” I did, with focus and intention. It was actually a collaboration with someone whose name I forget.

locker in the earth

And these drawings were studies for the first performance I ever did. In the drawings, a full length locker is buried in the ground, with the front door facing up. I was going to lie in the locker. In the end, the performance ended up a bit different. It took place in a lounge that was actually in the building that we see in the background of the drawing. I had 2 lockers, lying down on the floor, evenly spaced in the center of the room. There was a table with linen and a chair by the window. The performance went from 9 Am to 5 PM. In one locker was a nude disembodied female mannequin. I lay in the other, in a three piece suit. at noon, I got out of the locker, went and sat at the window. A waitress came and served me a double martini. At one, I went back in the locker until 5 PM.

People got really pissed off. I don’t know why. They were trying to goad me in to responding to them, which I wouldn’t do. They opened the locker, yelled at me, kicked the locker by my head. And some of these people were friends. From 9 AM it took me a while to relax in to it. By around 10:30 I started getting in to the zen of it, it felt good. After the martini, it felt even better. Until about 3 PM, when I really needed to piss. This discomfort increased exponentially until 5 PM.

cop on cop

I have several photos from the days of Cop Shoot Cop. I’ll just put them up here with minimal comments.

This first one I always liked: lounging on the totaled cop car.

CSC coney

And out in Coney. This old parachute jump has always been one of my favorite pieces of NYC architecture. I wish I had been around at the turn of the previous century, so I could have seen the old Elephant hotel out there.


Natz, Phil and I soak up the local culture in Belgium.

Tour bus

This was our beloved low budget tour bus. Always loved this thing, despite it blowing out over 3 transmissions. I would live in it from time to time in Brooklyn. It had a pretty comfortable bed in the back.

csc option 1

From Option Magazine. I was in kind of rough shape at this time. I couldn’t make it to the photo shoot with the rest of the band, so I ended up doing a separate pick up shot.

cripple passport photo

And my passport from around that time.


I have more picture with more stories and experiences, so more to come…

This is Madness?

Posted in jim coleman, personal histories, Phylr, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 26, 2013 by jimcolemanmusic

Cyclonesandy coaster







Sometimes I think I’m losing my mind. This has happened several times through my life, in several different ways, and usually due to something that I could eventually track down.

Sometimes right before I get sick, I feel like I’m going nuts. Like everything I thought I knew and took for granted was wrong. Like I’m Jim Carrey in The Truman Show. All of a sudden, everything feels disconnected. There is nothing to hold on to, no firm ground, no certainty. I recall one time when I was home from college, I was in my parents basement, and that feeling came on instantly. It brought me to my knees. I didn’t know how to move or to go on in any way. An hour later, I had a temperature of 104, and was laying in bed. It was with a huge sense of relief that I realized I was just really sick.

I think I have told this story in another of my  log entries, but from a different angle. On a cross country trip I made in my 20’s, I unintentionally ended up in Florida in spring break. I was camping wherever I could. After finding a spot and pitching a tent, I went out and ate dinner, which included a bunch of raw clams. A few hours later, madness crept in. I had already gone to sleep in my tent, but after sleeping for an hour or two, I suddenly woke up in a different reality. Everything was threatening, every noise and light was like a razor. Nothing had meaning or reason. It mystified me why humans did what we did: why do we put on clothes, how is it possible that we ever figured out how to make things? Why should I move. Well, pretty soon I realized that I needed to move in order to vomit outside the tent, not inside. I must have vomited for over an hour. In the middle of that hour, I became really happy though because I realized I was dealing with food poisoning, not a mental breakdown.

In college, I was doing a bunch of experimental films, performances and installations. One of these installations was called Short Wave Funk Muzackackack. This took place in a small planetarium  which was just an open space, it didn’t have any of the projection equipment in it. I had recorded hours and hours of snippets from late night radio talk shows and mixed these with cut up excerpts of funk music. I gathered 10 boom boxes, had 10 different 45 minute cassettes of these mash ups, and distributed the boom boxes evenly around the circular room, facing upward, right at the base of the dome. The door was open to the outside, and it was freezing cold. There were no lights. At 8 PM, the first tape started, and every 4 minutes, another tape was started. So at the 40th minute, all 10 were playing. And then they automatically shut off in succession, until just the 10th one was playing. The problem was that I had taken some mushrooms at about 7 PM. At around 8:45 or 9 PM, I had a solid plan that mad perfect sense. I knew what I needed to do with my life. Quit school, and voluntarily sign myself in to a mental institution.

Drugs, especially hallucinogens, definitely took me in to various states of madness and mental despair. Some places I would have gladly languished in forever if I could have. Other places lasted way longer than I wanted them to. The first time I ever felt the effect of LSD was like that. I was best friends with this  hippie couple when I was living in Hartford, CT. They were really great people. Very open and loving. I still have a real place in my heart for them. They were throwbacks to the 60’s though, no doubt. They had tripped hundreds of times. So I felt like I had seasoned guides. I had actually tried acid before this, but hadn’t felt anything. We arranged to trip one day. It must have been late morning when we each swallowed three tabs. I while later I was having this awesome time, everything was fluid. Some hours later though, it got in my head that I would not ever come down. That this state of mind was now permanent. Life would be like this from here on out. I expressed this fear to the girl, looking for some consolation that it would pass. But she said, “Yeah, I know. I feel like that too.” Oh, fuck. I sank deeper in this. I figured out eventually how I would survive. Within a few days, I should acclimate. I should be able to go down to the deli and get some lunch meat… I did eventually come down (I think). But this trip lasted through the next week, with varying degrees of intensity.

For sure, acid was no friend of mine. Every time I took it, I had some fear. I didn’t know what would happen. One time I remember being in a fetal position in a huge cold loft in Philadelphia, certain that death would come that night. When I finally shared this feeling with my girlfriend, she laughed in my face. On another occasion, I was on a complex chemical mixture that included LSD. We thought it would be a good idea to drive to Coney Island. Once there, I got lost from the friends that I had driven there. I bought a ticket for the roller coaster, then waited in the line for a while to get in to a coaster car. While on line, I lost track of my ticket. Then I recalled that I had had a deep discussion with the guy behind me (who I didn’t know). And in this conversation I had given him my ticket. So when we got up in line, and it was time to board, I asked the guy for my ticket. He looked at really weird and said he didn’t know what I was talking about. I realized at this point that my perceptions were off, and I mumbled sorry and stepped out of line. But when I got outside, I started getting really pissed, thinking that this dude had gotten over on me and still had my ticket. Motherfucker. I waited at the exit with the intention of having it out with this guy. But by the time he come out, I had wandered off somewhere else. Later on, I drove home. At the front door, when I reached in my pocket for the house keys, what did I find? Sure enough. Ticket for the roller coaster.

Relationships can make me lose my mind. Thankfully, I am now in a healthy loving relationship. Given the wreckage of my past, and the fact that destructive behavior at times feels like gravity, I’m amazed. The relationship I was in prior to this one drove me nuts. I’m not saying that flippantly. Nor do I mean stark raving nuts. It’s more like I became somebody else. I was stuck in quicksand. I didn’t have the courage or strength to get out. I tried but it never worked. We were both unhappy for a long time. Maybe it’s that we stuck together out of fear and out of habit. Like the hell I knew was better than an unknown reality. Fear and habit. Addiction. I talk a lot a bout the drugs, but they are just a symptom. The addiction underlies anything and everything: drug use, relationship & sex, money, eating, and on and on. There are endless ways to be addicted. I know that unless I deal with the addiction and not just the symptoms, I’m a goner. And it’s an ongoing process. Anyway, when I finally got out of the aforementioned relationship, I felt so light, so alive. I had chosen to live in this dark cave for too long. A place where in some weird way, I felt like an amputee. Like some part of me was cut off. It was definitely madness of a sort.


Posted in jim coleman, personal histories, Phylr on January 31, 2013 by jimcolemanmusic


Beth B’s film EXPOSED will be premiering next week at the Berlin Film Festival. The film documents the stories and lives of several extreme performance artists coming out of the NYC Burlesque scene. It’s a really awesome film that was a labor of love for many years. It gives me hope in Spiritual and Creative energy to see it come to life in this way. I’m pretty involved, as I have a lot of original music in it, and supervised the creation of a bunch of other music tracks for it as well. Keep your eyes out for it, you should have the chance to see it somewhere down the road.


Scenes from Downtown NYC

Posted in jim coleman, photos, Phylr, present day, Uncategorized with tags , on August 29, 2012 by jimcolemanmusic

First off, Here’s some stuff I’ve seen in NYC over the past couple of months:

This girl is not one to risk having anyone overhear her thoughts, or risk having anyone put their thought in her head. Because there’s a lot of that going on downtown.

It was a very hot summer indeed. Hot enough to melt things that don’t usually melt (and I’m not talking about your heart).

At Spring and Lafayette, with no water in sight, not even a drop.

I love this one, someone is keeping it real, straying away from the cute and nice. This takes me back to the old New York, the non-sanitized years where what you saw was what you got, and the empty buildings crumbled under the weight of anticipatory tourism.

And this one speaks for itself.

Silent Scream

Posted in jim coleman, personal histories, Phylr with tags , , , on August 24, 2012 by jimcolemanmusic

I remember once reading the instructions on an airplane for what to do if the plane is going down. I frequently us the analogy of getting my oxygen mask in place before you help someone else. That’s just common sense I think. How can I save you if I can’t breathe? But the direction given after getting your oxygen mask on, and after placing your head between your knees, was “5 seconds of silent scream”. More practical real world advice. Relieves stress, gets your ya ya’s out, and it doesn’t freak out other people around you.

Lakeside / New Hampshire

Posted in personal histories, photos, Phylr, present day on August 4, 2012 by jimcolemanmusic


Greetings from Lake Winnipesaukee, NH. Live free of die.

I’ve been coming to this lakeside cabin since I was around 3 years old. My father’s parents had this cabin built, and there was nothing around. Now it is somewhat surrounded by year round multi million dollar ticonderoga style “log cabins” with numerous guest suites. Some kind of alternative gentrification, a bit different than what I’ve lived through (and participated in) repeatedly in urban environments.

I realized that this place has been with me longer than most anything else in my life, except my parents and sister. I’m not sure I can attach a meaning to it, other than feeling that people and places don’t last. And they don’t, of course. We’re all only here for a short time, bla bla bla.

It is kind of funny sitting in a room where I was once a little boy, yet I’m here now with a daughter of my own. I do feel like I’ve gone through a circle of some sort, closed a loop. There was a simplicity to childhood that I recall, maybe an innocence. I did a pretty good job of burning that innocence in to the ground in my 20’s. But just recently I’ve been feeling like that innocence has been being re-born, the hateful self abusive cynic is not in good health. I’ve actually been happy and optimistic and that’s felt okay.

To give you a sense of this area: Oliver North runs a syndicated column in the local paper. There are only 2 options for transportation: 4X4 pickup or a harley. But you can’t wear a helmet. One of the big articles in the newspaper was about a fundraising effort by a local family to get money to replace their daughter’s lost glass eye that fell out when she was swimming. Don’t get me wrong. I empathize with the girl and the family, and I don’t mean to make light of their situation. It just feels like an alternate reality.

I recall one trip here with my dad. This was back in my days of self destruction, as so many of these stories are. Sometimes I feel like I lived through that life just so I could walk out with stories. And shit, this isn’t even a story so much as a memory, a recollection, a reminder of how things were and why I try to make better decisions today.

Anyway, my dad had come down to NYC to see my band Cop Shoot Cop play at CBGB’s. I think Motherhead Bug was also playing that night. In those days, all types and everyone would show up. At this show there were 2 simultaneous girlfriends (which was not common), and 2 of my drug dealers (more common, sad to say). My dad was introduced to Joey, who pulled out a huge roll of bills to buy him a drink. At which point my dad said that he must be in construction.

A quick aside about Joey: Joey was a corner dealer, Bedford and South 2nd in Williamsburg. This was prior to Williamsburg becoming what it now is. Sometimes I would work with him as a watch out. He had a good heart but was definitely in the life. He would sometimes keep stuff at our house. This included an Uzi for a while. I’d also drive around with him, just hanging out while he did pickups and deliveries. I ended up pawning his beeper before going in to rehab. When I came out, somehow he got me to get in his car and threatened to break my legs. Luckily, this never happened. And I still always liked the guy. I hope he found his way out…

And, back to CBGB’s. After we played that night, my dad and I drove up to Lake Winnepasaukee. That’s closing in on a 7 hour drive, and we left NYC at 2 or 3 AM. I had my stash with me, but not enough. I mean, there will never be enough, really. But I stayed wired, driving through the night. When we got there, it was one of those weird things. I’ve had this happen in a couple of places. Places from my childhood, places of peace and innocence. I arrived there a mess, looking for some remnant of that lost peace. The echoes that I heard only served to remind me of how far removed from it I was. If I was religious, I would say my presence was a sacrilege. But I’m not, so I won’t.

I couldn’t get to sleep. Because I knew that once I woke up, the magic would be gone. I would awake in a full tilt depression. All would be dark. There would not be enough chemicals to save me, to allow me any kind of pleasure. I hated that fear of sleeping, of the inevitable dawn.

A few years later, I was free of all chemicals, and I went back to the lake with my dad. Some deliberate one on one time, to search out what was inside him, and me, and our family. I don’t quite know what I had in my head, but I did end up realizing that what I saw was what I got. There was no magical bond that was revealed, no “AH-HA!” But this, in it’s own way was eye opening. It became a bit more possible to be at peace with life, and our relationship, as it was. Acceptance. Lessening the fear.

Now, for a swim…