Out Of My Head

More than one of the new kids at work has said to me recently, ‘I didn’t know you were a musician!’ So apparently at least a few people are wondering what’s going on with my singer/songwriter career.

Well, I’ve been listening to the new Fountains of Wayne record, ‘Welcome Interstate Managers,’ a ton. It’s genius adult-oriented, mostly-acoustic pop. “Valley Winter Song” and “Hackensack” are beautiful acoustic ballads. And I love love love the last song “Yours & Mine,” and all of its 1:20 acoustic guitar, vocal, and chintzy keyboard glory. And it got me wonderin’…

It got me wonderin’ how my own brand of “acoustic pop in heavy syrup” held up in contrast. So this morning, I popped my 1996 LP, ‘Out of Your Head,'< into the CD player and had a listen for the first time a loooong time. I was kinda’ surprised. It’s actually pretty good. I mean, well… lemme’ explain.

I recorded ‘Out of Your Head’ with a bunch of Boston-based musician friends in 1995-6. I had just moved to New York, so I was basically writing freelance for Rolling Stone and The Saratogian during the week, then taking the bus to Boston to record on the weekends. We were doing a lot of drugs a lot of the time. All kinds of stupid shit: pot, acid, mushroom, Clonapin. Hence the title. And the sound of the record. It’s basically producerless. There were at least three of us passive/aggressively giving direction at any given moment, and it sounds like it. It’s chocked full of weird sounds (Dorito bags as percusson, Meletron feedback), but mixed with no authority. Everything’s in the background. nothing’s in the foreground. That said, the songs are some of my best (if you don’t mind me saying). “Used,” “Another Saturday,” and “Way” are pretty darned catchy. And even kinda’ fun.

So. What’s my point?

Well, primarily, I guess my point is that I’m returning to the studio in the coming weeks. With Kevin Anthony, who has helmed a bunch of projects for me. And I’m looking to do far more of an acoustic record than ‘Crash Site.’ Something that fuses the acoustic pop sensibilities of ‘Out of Your Head’ with the polish of ‘Crash Site.’ A record with the band (drummer Rosa Avilla and bassist Tony Maceli). A record with acoustic guitars, shakers, strings, piano, and oldie timey-sounding keyboards.

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