Monday 5/?: My Entire Brain Is In This Post

I’m not going to fall into the habit of making this a bi-weekly thing, I promise.

First things first — there’s a new Song Monkey video up, you should click the link on the homepage and go look at that. You can also, as of today, either use my site store or bandcamp to pre-order “Two People Made This Mess,” either digitally or physically (physical copies cost a bit more but come with a download as well), to be issued day-of-arrival. You’ll get it before it exists!

You may have noticed that the site has a new look to it! I’ve invested in a new theme, and I’m wrestling it to the ground and getting it to do what I want, bit by bit. Right now I’m pretty psyched about the way the events page looks, but I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me. Good thing I’ve got a home office now!

Today and for the last week or so, I’ve been listening to preview mixes of Heather Kropf’s new album, Chrysalis, in order to learn the male harmonies for when I open for her at her CD release party at the Pittsburgh Winery on June 22 (click here to get tickets!). It’s really great, like everything she’s ever done, lush and relaxing. I have a lot of good memories associated with Heather, like the time Dead Pressed Flowers sat in the Sinatra booth at Club Cafe for the release party for Sky, or the time I visited WYEP to volunteer for pledges and she was doing her intern thing, rolling through stacks of CDs and doing quality checks (man, did I crush on Intern Heather.) I remember being absolutely astonished the first time I heard her play at Café au Lait, and how mindblown I was the first time I heard her sing the first verse of String (that sweet voice singing “I think that I was an asshole and you were a cannonball” creates a paradox — you’re certain you misheard her the first seven times you hear it). There was this one amazing show where we sang songs off of “What Else Is Love” and did a great duet of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” where I updated the lyric to “Queue some MP3s while I pour” — rehearsing with her band was a fun night — and lots of singer-songwriter nights where I got to turn some of my friends on to her stuff.

Boy, am I glad she’s still in the game and that we’ve worked together so much! This is turning into an egobiscuit.

Life in the Bronx has been an adjustment. Being a person with noise issues in the first place, I’m constantly in the practice of checking my ire at my surroundings against societal norms. Am I pissed at the ice cream truck, or my upstairs neighbor’s stereo, because I’m a misophone (even though they’re not standard trigger noises), or because it’s an unchecked nuisance? That debate is settled by NYC’s excellent 311 website, however, whose submission form not only has a category dedicated to ice cream trucks (it’s illegal in NYC for them to play the jingle while stationary), but whose knowledge base educates anyone who wants to know about things like the noise code. When it comes to neighbors, they actually have a section called “Common Courtesy” where they make the case that one person’s ceiling is another person’s floor, and so on, which seems silly until you have a conversation with somebody who doesn’t get why you’re complaining about their thumping subwoofer in the middle of the day.

Overall, though, this apartment is beautiful, and is shaping up nicely. I’ve been hard at work in my office/studio, doing website consulting and recording various enhancements for the new album, and playing around with some ideas I’ve had kicking around for a while. I’m kind of becoming my dad in a way, and I can understand now the pull of his home office. Being able to just close a door and buckle down and work is a privilege that I’m thisclose to abusing. I have to remind myself that there’s another person here and that she needs sunlight and water and love like a plant, and it’s a great thing to remember, because it’s fun to bring her all of these things. Break time isn’t just a highlight of my home office time — it’s a responsibility, and one I am endeavoring to address with more effort. She’s worth it. :-)

Once I get that sorted, though, I really need to get a proper mouse pad — I’ve been using my high school diploma (it was a two-fer because I went to CAPA, so it sits in the “leather” billfold it came in), and that’s just not right.

I’ve had the good fortune, since the last time I posted, to find myself clearing the air with not one but two pivotal flames in my past — one because she sent me a message on facebook, the other because as it turns out, she’s been working in the same building as I have, three floors above my head, for three years. I don’t know if it’s the universe trying to help me get my affairs sorted out, or if I just got lucky, but the whole thing was cathartic and warming. I have a tendency to beat up on myself about my past, because all joking aside, I know I’ve been a common denominator in my previous disasters, but talking to both of these people, at least I understand that I’m not the solely causal one.

Think, for a second, of a friendship or a love between two people as a child they parent together. Scary, I know — but that’s how I’ve always seen things, at least since I started caring about whether I had them or not, and it gets me in trouble, because when one dies, I spin off into a crazy sad place where songs get written (you’re welcome) and tissues get wrecked. Talking to these two, filling in the blanks of my rhetorical conversations, it’s like those kids are at least still alive. They’re not doctors, but, I mean, they’re not dead. I didn’t kill anybody.

It makes me look forward to making a real one with my amazing fiancée.

That wasn’t an announcement, calm down.

Well, I’m spent,


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