Who wants to read about th' creative processes of a deeply experienced artist?
Uh, who wants to read something insanely funny, true and fucked?
Who wants to hear some cool music by an uncompromising contemporary talent with a soul?
Yeah, that's what I thought. Me fuckin' neither! Idol's on tonight, right?
Folks, this blog may not be long for the world. Sorry. It is slowly becoming a little bit of an albatross to me. True, I do it for myself but I can make myself laugh without pouring all this time down a fuckin' hole. I can certainly
keep my pecker up without all th' lost time. Contributing to this culture is a little bit like having sex with sandpaper.
That said, I'm undertaking an intense and engrossing project this summer. I have unlimited access to a great studio space this summer with grand piano, drums, every amp and guitar imaginable, and some great acoustic spaces.
So I've decided to record my defining album- the one I've always wanted to and tried to make again and again. I got pretty close with my last burst of creativity in '05-'06 and the only thing that didn't cut it for me was an over preponderance of synthetic sounds borne of fiscal necessity. I can't stand listening to the digital piano on some of my coolest piano-driven songs and I want to record some songs with real sonic cohesion and real drums and piano and guitars and string sections and everything.
I want to take 15 or so of my best songs of the last 20 years and really pore over them and record spacious, acoustically unhyped, technically unassailable versions of them and just sing the fuck out of them and pick the 11 or 12 twelve best. And if in the process I get a wild hair and start writing then that'll be fair game too.
I want to dig through my catalog and find elements that unite my work and exploit those elements. I also want to identify whatever the consistent elements of crappiness are and remove them. I want the final product to sound really unified without ever lapsing into sameyness and I want it to sound just a little down-home sonically. Like a Michael Penn record or th' sort of tossed-off virtuosity of the White Album but with my sort of baroque neo-soul American Songbook thing. And yeah, some electronics like I dig. Some tone-distressing that serves the music.
But still with all my jiggery-pokery. Because that's what's fun for me. And I want to have good musician colleagues contribute in what I assess to be my areas of weakness. I also want to have some well-deployed string sections and some string quartet things which is expensive but totally doable. The better my arrangements and scores, the cheaper.
And I want to give it a few months. Maybe upgrade my rig a little, if at all possible. This is going to be my most important work, a summation of my output up to now. I'll almost definitely stay away from anything I've released for real with any band or that's been on the radio although "I Could Cry" is one of my top ten. Definitely many songs from my current run. "Station Road" would sound dope with real piano and real Rhodes doing the Eno sections. A live take of "PaulMcCartney" on a real grand piano would be choice. "Monday Wedding" and "Mystery" with nice, real-sounding, shambolic drums and guitar amps in rooms mic'd back.
I want to fall backwards into it like a pond. Backwards into music. Back and to th' left. I want to have a big, amazing, worthwhile achievement under my belt by the fall and maybe that'll fill my sails for wherever the fuck it is I'm supposed to be going in this consarned life. I think it'll help, I really do. I'm really trying to figure it out, I swear. I just love music so much. I'm not good at music because I have clever hands. Far from it. I have to love it so much to make it happen because it can be a huge struggle for me. I'm capable of hearing things and then being tortured by not being able to get them to come off of my fingers and I never give up because I love it so much.
It might be my last chance, man. I'm just starting to realize. I'm just starting to get it. It's sinking in. Everything we do doesn't have to be defining or carry that sort of baggage but it does for an artist. I have a responsibility to figure out how to be content and I feel like a huge part of it is going to involve the closing of a
window in order for some fucking door to open.
But god damn it is it going to be one beautiful closing window. I have the power to control that. I have control over that.