August 2003 Journal...
It's August. I can't believe I've been in New York a year. I suppose I've been travelling for more than half the time so it doesn't really count.
I just got back from a little over three weeks in Germany opening for the Hooters. Remember "All you Zombies Hide your Faces"? It was fabulous!! I did 30 minutes each night, solo, acoustic, and then came back to sing "What if God was One of Us" with the band at the end of their show. They are an amazing band live, boundless energy, great songs, spirit, (and they're great guys!) and they're still massively popular in Germany so the audiences were a treat.
I've been completely loving playing solo again. So I've done a few dates in the States this spring and summer (Philly, Boston, New York). I adore the band, but it's also fun to explore the deep cuts, the songs I would never get to play in the band context. Revisit old Story songs, and try the brand new ones on for size.
And speaking of new songs, the record is coming along wonderfully. I had a good fight with the muse and I finally won. The new songs are vibey, intimate. I'm playing a fair amount of Wurlitzer and piano and bass, experimenting with samples and loops and weaving in textures and weird sounds. Making records is such a different beast now. No more months of planning and away time at the studio. No big budget. It's all about catching stuff on the fly, in the laptop at whomever's house, wherever. I travel around with my fire wire drive, full of completely tracked songs and it's so strange. Is this really a record?? No two inch tape, no huge assembling of people and players. I've been building it organically bit by bit.
There are a couple cool experiments with Eric Bazilian (Hooters, Joan Osborne fame) and Ryan Freeland (How Deep is Your Love?) The ever brilliant Mitchell Froom appears again on two songs, Goffrey Moore plays on a bunch of things and we co-produced a very hip little number. Darren Embry appears as well as Dorian Crozier. I'm very excited about finishing and sending it out in to the world.
The record should be done within a couple weeks. But I think we'll wait to release it until early next year. A lot of the biggest releases (i.e. Whitney, Mariah, Shania, Puffy, Foofy, you get my drift) happen in the fall, and so it will be better for me to wait until the field clears out a little.
I'm glad the initial part of the war is over. I hesitate to say more. My heart goes out to all the families here and in Iraq who face the loss of loved ones. And I hope the chaos in Iraq now will somehow be transformed into a viable new beginning for a country that has suffered so much. I was sad the web site became at times such a ridiculous display of the worst of our natures. I was tempted to shut the whole posting board down but chose to just stay out of it for a while.
Another topic I wanted to throw out there: bootlegging. I know it's controversial, so many people tell me it's the coolest way to spread the word. Don't get me wrong, I love the enthusiasm with which a lot of you follow my music and I so appreciate all the support. I'm just uncomfortable with stealing and the fact that there's so much substandard stuff circulating - songs and performances that if I had had the choice, would not be out for the taking...
It's a little strange when people come on my posting board looking for boots. I had no say over those recordings. I work hard at my records and my live shows, and hope that in the end the projects that I release represent the best of what I do. If I have a crummy night vocally, I don't necessarily want that performance running around the world. It just doesn't feel good.
It's like I've invited you to a party at my house, you really dig some of my things say, some silverware, knick knacks, a couple of vases. So you take them. Then there's another get together and you bring the stuff you stole back and start trading it with other people who were at the first party. Here, I've got five place settings, How about we swap for that blue bowl. Maybe I just never got the whole bootleg thing. I'd rather have a great recording with all that accompanies it, and go to concerts to enjoy the experience, if fleeting. I'm just old fashioned that way I guess. Bottom line is, I can't stop you, but I felt a little disingenuous not saying anything and feeling kind of violated.
For those of you who are really into the live thing, I would like to look into recording shows in the future and somehow making copies that I feel good about available. I totally understand that things happen live that you never get on a record. It would just be great to have some say in the matter.;
Stay cool, stay sweet, spread love. I'm psyched about these shows coming up, (I've got a few treats up my sleeve) hope to see some of you there.