Limping Back To Hell’s Kitchen

Ouch, a thousand times, ouch. It seems I can’t spend an evening in Kevin Anthony’s recording studio without incurring some inane injury. As I type, my left foot is soaking in scalding saltwater following a home surgery reminiscent of Civil War amputation.

I don’t know what it is, or what caused it, but the pad of my left foot is purple, and aches to my ankle. I tried to lance, extrude, or otherwise remove whatever’s there just below the skin with a safety pin and nail clippers, but to no avail. It seriously f’in’ hurts.

So, how are you?

Today was more VMA chaos, punctuated by a few cool moments. The coolest was sitting in a conference room overlooking the big New York Times clock (a huge very Buster Keaton-meets-Hudsucker Proxy type thing) planning for the MTV newsroom of the future: all digital and efficient. We like to think is right around the corner.

Kevin and I listened to a few reference tunes I burned for him — Fountains of Wayne, Wilco, Beth Orton, you know the drill — as points of departure for my record. It was really fun sitting there drinking beers and just talking about music, elements of sound, instrumentation, mixing and the like. My day job, despite the moniker, is oddly devoid of such discussion.

Then we started listening to my tracks — California, Hollywood Arms, Never Be The Same, Radio — and discussing where to take them sonically. We tried some keyboard sounds, midi sounds, blips and beeps and such, and arrived at some cool ideas. I call that stuff the ‘powdered sugur’ (which I hope wasn’t insulting to Kevin, as it’s his skill set)

I had to laugh as tracked my acoustic guitar parts to ‘California.’ Here I am making a record about falling in love with California — the state, the mindset, the woman — as the state sinks into absurdity, and the relationship sinks into history. As if I predicted it when I wrote the lyrics almost exactly one year ago:

California slips away
Another sunset gone to waste
Lost in time and lost in space
I promise I won’t forget you

I laughed, cried (not really), hopped the Uptown NR, and limped back to Hell’s Kitchen.

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