I’m finding that updating this thing takes discipline that I haven’t been forcing on myself, so here goes — every Monday I will just dump my thoughts out whether there’s a cogent post in it or not. You can read it or not. Eventually I’m gonna find something, hopefully a balance between the prosaic and the easy language of the “real” writers out there that draw my constant envy.
See? Like that, right there — it’s correct, but did anybody else picture me with a teacup and a raised pinky during that last sentence? But I freaking talk like that, constantly. Almost every person in my life comments on it — Ana says I have this way of throwing words into things like I’ve just learned them and want to try them out. I’ve found myself stopping in mid-type pretty often to make sure I’m using things correctly (I usually am), and apparently it happens in regular conversation, too, gliding a liiiittle cautiously over the word like it’s a new curve on an old lover that I want to understand.
Relevant news: I’m working on a new Song Monkey, the first of two “selfie” requests, meaning the person that donated submitted their own song. I’m hoping to carve out some time to get it done before the move at the end of the month (we’re changing boroughs, not cities), because there’s another that I’ve been delaying just because I’m excited by the new space and the fun video-making possibilities of a sunken living room. More space means more interesting ideas like the ones I did when I was at friends’ houses during the campaign.
Oh! Oh! There’s a new link at the top of the page, to the store. You can now pre-order “Two People Made This Mess,” and whether you order the digital or physical, you will get access to the digital copy the day I get my masters back. You will not have to wait for the release date. It will be yours. You can also order Song Monkey videos there, but caveat emptor: There are 15 in queue right now. I’m going to burn through them in the new space, but it’s going to take some time. That said, it will help my post-production along if you order one of these, which comes with copies of my last three albums.
To say I’m excited about the new album is dumb. Everybody’s excited about their new album. But here’s what I’ll say: I’m more sure of this album than I’ve been of anything since Glutton’s Dozen. Maybe it’s because I demoed the crap out of this one, maybe it’s because Brandon, early on, acknowledged that this is a co-production rather than a traditional producer-performer relationship, but there isn’t one song on this album that either of us feel like cutting or abandoning for time. I thought we were going to look at 25 and end up with 10 or 12 — we looked at 14 and have worked 14 and are feeling confident about every one.
On day 1, I was doubtful about “Why Are We Still On The Phone,” a song I wrote because I had a funny idea about a stupid situation and had the time and energy to expand the thought before I could abandon it for loftier ones, but he stuck up for it — conversely, Brandon was unsure of “We Caved In,” which is a pretty morose one to be sure, but then he started it up, and when the first chorus came along, he sang a harmony, and abandoned his reservations. (I quote: “Weeeeeeeeeeeyeah, never mind, this is strong.”) If I told you what was on the cutting floor from the last few albums, it would surprise you. If I told you what I had to fight for on the last album, you’d BALK. Most producers do a thing where they try to make you understand that you’re not Elvis Costello — Brandon almost makes me feel like I am. That’s how much he believes in this batch of songs, and it keeps me afloat.
I’m most surefooted right now because we mixed and mastered the single in the middle. I got to hear how Brandon’s production filters through Allen’s amazing mastering process, and I understand what my album is going to sound like at the end now, and how much room I have to play with it before we lift the pen. Anyhow.
I’m very excited, as well, about my variety of day jobs. Doing IT work has given me new insights into so many things, and having the freedom to do that as well as doing small production jobs (file conversions, conversation recordings, light stuff to start) and maybe tour a little in the summer, I feel liberated and awesome every day. Even when I have weeks like I had this week, where I was at a minimum of two jobs a day, I feel eight times better than I ever did working for “the Man.”
Our new apartment has an extra bedroom, leaving room for a kid at some point, but until that kid is too old or big for a crib, it’s my home office and studio and I’m going to use it every day to create new and hopefully wonderful things. I have lots of ideas for videos, both lyrical and Song Monkeyical, and some other creative ventures that are more about me learning new skills than anything. I also want to do some pet projects that I’ve been putting off, like making new versions of selected songs from my first three EPs, or making instrumental versions of older songs that I can license for background music (adding this instrument or that doing the melodies instead of my voice). I might even do another Album-A-Day at some point.
Anyhow, that’s me today. I’m spent.