I woke just before my alarm this morning. The sky outside my windows was great and bright. And when Satirius Johnson told me that the high today was going to be fifty-two degrees, I smiled right there in my half-sleep. Then I hit the snooze bar, rolled over, and snagged a few more minutes.
And I needed the extra sleep. See, I got a little too much party (and ice cream) on last night. I joined the newly wed Sheas at Jeff Jacobson’s solo performance at Kavehaz on 26th Street. It’s cool little jazz space right next to Funkadelic Studios, where I recorded “Crash Site” back in the late 90s. Back then, it was a quiet little vacant street. Now it’s dotted with cool little clubs and coffee shops and high rise apartments. Progress.
Anyway, I turned to Casey three notes into Jeff’s set and was like, “I quit.” ‘Cuz my man is so talented. He’s no hack strummer like me. Jeff’s a really accomplished classical guitarist. But he plays with a pop edge. His tunes are hooky. And his voice is warm and deep and dying to be harmonized with. I couldn’t help myself. I was singing along under my breath. And playing drums on the table. And imagining how he’d sound with a full band.
Of course, not every singer/songwriter wants to play with a full band. But me, coming from playing in rock bands with bad names like Neoteric Youth, Underground, and Smokey Junglefrog, I crave the volume, the energy, and force of all that moving air. One guy and a guitar can’t move that much air. Which is one of the reasons I don’t perform solo that often. It’s a different thing. It makes you wanna’ sit and drink tea and talk quietly. I want people to want to dance and to drink beer and yell, “Isn’t this great?” to their friends.
I have my chance at Rockwood Music Hall Friday night. I’m rehearsing with Dough tonight. Dough moves air, for sure. Have you seen ’em? They really know how to use empty space to punctuate their full-on guitar attack. Which makes them sound like a metal band, which they’re obviously so not. They’re a great pop band. And lucky me! They’re my backing band! And they’re playing a set after me!
I was listening to Friday’s set on my iPod last night (yes, I listen to myself on my iPod) and I was like, ‘Dude, how are you gonna’ learn all that in time?’ See, we’re tackling not one, but two new songs (“Harder To Believe,” “Do It Again”) plus a new cover. And the fact is, I don’t really know “Love & Other Indoor Games” songs all that well. ‘Cuz I’d much rather write new songs than practice old ones. And lately, I’ve been writing new songs so quickly that if you don’t catch one of my New York shows this year, you’re likely to miss about 90% of the “Love” song cycle. ‘Cuz I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to record a new CD. Despite the fact that “Love” has only been out for four months. Wack.
In fact, I was thinking about a new album as I walked to lunch yesterday (my daily five minutes of fresh air). I’ve been kicking around recording it this fall in Chicago with my cousin (unbenounced to him), but lately, given how much I’m diggin’ my home studio, I’m thinking about recording the basic tracks with Dough at their Tribeca rehearsal/recording studio, then tracking the rest here, and mixing it back there. I figure I could have a new one out by summertime, in time to tour with The Nadas a little bit more. Oooh! And I had a great idea in the shower for a contest to promote the new album, whatever it is, whener it comes. But more about that then.
I mentioned this in The Morning Mix this weekend (download “Milk & Honey” if you haven’t). I happened onto this guy named Dr. Wayne Dyer on PBS on Saturday afternoon. He’s something of a self help guru type, but I was pretty into him, kinda’ nodding my head and writing things down. He said a lot of cool stuff that made some good sense to me, but the thing I really liked, that really resonated, was “Don’t die with the music left in you.” Which is pretty unlikely with me, or Casey, or Jeff, or Dough or The Nadas. It’s some pretty fine company to keep.