Sequencing ‘Almost Home’

I have been listening to Almost Home all day, trying to sequence the tracks in an editorially and emotionally meaningful way — not an easy task. So it’s 11:21, I’m all squinty-eyed and tired, and I’ve missed tonight’s last Fed Ex pick up, but I think I’ve figured it out.

See, I think a record needs to stand tall from the start. It needs to put its best foot forward, but remain solid throughout. It needs to feel like a journey, a roller coaster ride, and maybe even some kind of process of discovery (which it always is for me). So I puzzled over it all day, moving things around, thinking about the words, the sonic statements, and I’ve come up with this:

1- California
2- Never Be The Same
3- I’ll Be Waiting
4- Intent On St. Paul
5- Hollywood Arms
6- Radio
8- Stay
9- Leaving On A Jet Plane
10- New York

Now, the attentive eye will note the absence of “Annalia (Come Back Home),” which is a fine track, but just didn’t quite fit anywhere on the CD. It was too upbeat for the middle of the record, and too weird for the beginning. So, I’ve decided that it will a be a bonus track for those of you who pre-order the record. I’ll send out a url for a secret page with “Annalia” and some other goodies as incentive to order the record early and often (I also plan to send out a bonus disc of demos and a very cool, very limited-edition Almost Home button to those of you who order early).

I also dropped by John Rosenblatt’s pad to look over his cover art photos. I’m probably going to go with the simplest — a red Monopoly house on a white background — but he took lots of neat shots that will certainly be used somewhere, sometime.

On Thursday I’m meeting with Sam of Tiny Factory, a boutique t-shirt shop who made the great Gothamist t-shirts. On Friday, Erin and I are finishing up the artwork, then its off to duplication early next week so I can get copies back in time for the ‘Living Room Tour.’ So far it looks like I’ll be swinging through Philadelphia, DC, Richmond, Charlottesville, Chapel Hill, Cleveland, and Indianapolis (though not in one fell swoop). It should really drive home (no pun intended) my intent to connect with the people who make this whole thing possible: you.

In fact, this whole record has been all about you. That is to say, I’ve never recognized more the import of my friends and family and musical community-at-large in this rock-n-roll night job of mine. If it weren’t for my brother shooting the videos (and every show), Kevin producing the record, John shooting the photos, Erin doing the art, my parents cheering from the sidelines, and all of you who are offering your living rooms as my stage, your couches as my Holiday Inn, and your emails of support and congratulations… well, it wouldn’t be worth doing. So thanks. I hope I do you proud with this one. Sure has been a nice journey.

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