Rehearsing ‘Almost Home’

And so it has begun. I just got in from my first rehearsal with Tony and Rosa in nearly a year. And I can report that the new record is off to a good start.

Rehearsals are intended to get us all in rhythm with one another. And rehearsals are used to block out parts: acoustic intro here, bass after four, drums at the prechorus. It’s no short order when so much time has elapsed, and when the front man — me — doesn’t read music but instead speaks in cryptic terms like ‘less notes,’ ‘more rockin’,’ or ‘funkier.’ But somehow it works.

And sometimes it’s unnecessary. ‘California,’ ‘I’ll Be Waiting,’ and ‘Never Be The Same’ came together effortlessly. They’re unplugged, but they rock. ‘Intent on St. Paul’ continues to find its legs. And we’ll tackle ‘Stay,’ ‘Radio’ and ‘Hollywood Arms’ Wednesday. ‘Shiver’ ‘Annalia’ and ‘New York’ are going to be solo acoustic (or some approximation there of).

But that’s straight reportage. How does it feel? Worrisome. Invariably the songs change once they breath open air, which takes some getting used to. And tense. I have to give resolute direction on parts, and creative people tend resist direction. And did I mention worrisome? Tonight cost $83 (rehearsal space plus Tony and Rosa’s time, subway fare and one 40 oz. El Presidente beer) which, while not a fortune, adds up quickly (studio time, additional musicians, art, duplication, promotion, etc etc).

But it’s not time to get bogged down with all that. This is exciting. This record will be my best yet: the most cohesive, the most mature, the most evolved. This process is like any great race: easier to manage if broken down into its individual elements.

Example: I ran the Stone Harbor Triathlon yesterday morning. It was just me, my thoughts, and my body. I focussed on the moment, and my available resources for it. I only worried about the next event in so much that I reserved enough energy to get through it. When I was hurting — and that was most of the time — I reminded myself that it wouldn’t last long. And it didn’t. I shaved three minutes off my swim, four minutes off my ride, and a few seconds off my run to finish in 1:05:13, 8th in my age group, and 50th overall. I crushed it.

As I will this new project, one step at a time.

Related Posts