1. (of a person or their behavior) unconventional and slightly strange.
Well….OK. I would say ‘particular’. But how does one know when they rode off the road of colorful and are listening to the rumble strip of the unknown. Being eccentric in some way feels likes its a gateway phrase. You’re not right, but your not particularly dangerous. How does one know?
A dear friend mentions it. Right. With that conclusion-y tone.
Anyway. It’s time. Welcome to the Spring Of Zen. Everything over the course of this past year and change….from the end of Grimm to the beginning of my personal walkabout….from the opening lines of the new record to the final mastering… it all leads to this spring. Where we take my very soul and see what it’s worth on the market. I’m ready.
A soul gets cocky if you don’t threaten to sell it every once in a while.
- I fell in Love and I got my heart broke. Particularly galling since I am such and expert on the framing and phrasing of Love. Or thought I was. Until.
- My band fell apart. OK, self imploded. CC is a nightmare.
- Which was timely since the material I was now writing was deeper and personal than anything I’ve done. And I knew I had to sing them.
- And started working with the wind beneath my black beating wings, Julie Kay, Cello.
And this was where it got deep. When I brought these songs out and we played them in a duo style, a sound came from it that was hushed and powerful, but equally raucous.
My expectation….following the traditional wisdom of art and creation and marketing of such things…was to create a vaguely middle of the road type record, something that takes songs over my career and records in their most sell-able state. Bass and drums and guest spots.
But first….Julie Kay and Me, and it changed all my directions. The dynamic between the plucked cello and acoustic, between the lyric and the weighty space a duo arrangement leaves took on an almost ‘Astral Weeks’ intimacy. And I’m all about that freaking record.
Now back to bullet point. I’m a formatting nightmare.
- My goal was to record this growing record as a concept record exploring loss, in all 31 flavors. It was therapy to start with, but gained mass as it grew. It was a narrative, my story about The Girl, but the songs cut deeper and revealed things I never said out loud. And it became clear to me that what I was creating wasn’t simply a unit to shift. It was a first aid kit for the self obsessed at times of heartbreak. And I know I’m not the only one.
- So I decided to cash in a Christmas bonus on a 32 track digital and write my Great American Novel. I knew the sound I was chasing.
- But I also have talented friends. I asked, cajoled, and requested ex Citizen Spy picker Adam Hagymasi to have us record the duo arrangement for half the record and let him add whatever he thinks is appropriate in his private studio. And he did, in spades. He created something beautiful and engaging and that rocks too. I’m excited, too excited, to share that.
- And to keep it true and faithful, I brought Dave Hogan in to add some vocals and guitars. He came ready to play. The effect of the ebow, balanced against the cello, makes a sound that makes me spastic with bliss.
Four players. 16 songs. 18 months. I’m not convinced the 4 of us have ever been in the same room before.
My next blog will be an exploration of a song on the record, where it came from, or just an anecdote related. It’s a process for me, a personal organization, that I will share publicly. To personally remind me how I got here. And that’s ‘The Girl’.