Recording The JFK/LAX Demos

Kevin and I worked in the studio from about 7pm to 1am, demoing ten new songs while consuming a six pack of Saporo and two Dominos pizzas.

Hanging out and catching up with Kevin is always fun. We’ve actually done a ton of stuff together over the years — a Christmas single (David Gray’s “Babylon” and John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas”) in 1999, last year’s “Summer’s Gone” Remix EP, and now this. But it’s not really fun, per se, when he says “Rolling!” I start sweating, and getting overly conscious of my performance, and things like lyrics and chord changes slip away.

But after struggling with six aborted takes of “California” (surely the lead track on whatever this new project shapes up to be), I fell into a groove and knocked out the remaining nine songs pretty quickly (some of which I had to write lyrics for on the spot).

Themes and threads emerge as I listened myself singing all the new stuff. The word “struggle” comes up at least three times. Notions of flying — and unlike previous records (hello, “Crash Site” anyone?) — landing were prevelent. The ocean.  Home.  And of course, Hollywood in specific and California in general, both of which make appearences.

The Midwest is accounted for too: St. Paul (where the antognist — or is it antagonist? — of “Intent on St. Paul” wants to flee), and “Shiver,” which I always imagined to take place in Kansas or some similar “In Cold Blood” or “Badlands” type place. So, interesting. Here’s everything I tracked:

The Albatross
Intent On St. Paul
Hollywood Arms
Being There
Golden Wings
She’ll Come Undone

So I’m flying to Los Angeles in the morning, demo in hand. If for some reason I’m unable to update from the road, have a great week. Know that I’m thinking of you, and rocking on…

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