This week has been a more challenging week. The fun of the dynamic between the great players passed, now we have to listen carefully to our visceral as well as intellectual reaction to what we hear. I tend to be a doubter, the producer is very optimistic. So he shields me, in a way, from my own … doubt. That being said… two songs are not quite there, one in particular I believe needs to be recut, readdressed. The composition of this song is intricate, complex, daring, and so of course might fail because of that, but I believe if we can hit it we will have a masterpiece. If we don’t hit it we will just have a unique song. Bon Iver, Cat Power, these kinds of productions are part of my own template. I also dig a straight ahead shuffle, and I don’t like to dress things up, either me or the song, in attention getting garb. I just don’t. I like to paint it, sure, I love painting with sound, creating architecture, but I think that it’s easy to slip into a thing where the film stock is dictating the movie. So much of stuff people do today starts with a drum sound, not a vowel sound. Not a word. Not a melody. But the Sound quality. And yes, that’s valid. But after, you make the dang song!
I had two lovely guests this week, my ‘guests’ are the pledge music winners who gave a lot of money to come to the studio and hang for the day. Yesterday was an overdub listening day, so I could not have them in the whole time or they would have heard the whole record, and I’m not ready to reveal that! But I did include them in conversations and overdubs and listening to three or four songs, I think. They got to watch me wave madly at the producer, John Porter, trying to get his attention because he had the talk back turned down I guess. Or else he was ignoring me. But many times my guests were included in the process!! We ate poboy sandwiches and talked metaphysics. There was a songwriter singer there, she gave me her new cd. There was a sculptured installation artist there as well, a woman from Chicago. We shared ideas about the nature of existence and turns out the untaught in tangents are floating around in more places than my galaxy. Out there where the universes are, we think we are looking out but we probably fold inward and find that the deep space is actually the inside of our own heart.
I believe we have 10 or 11 recordings, with one or two more songs to record, me alone or with a banjo or something. We will have more than enough for a good record, and if there are good extra songs I will save them for a movie or a Japanese We Are Special web site. I am getting excited now. I am checking myself every day, making sure I am not holding on to the process…you know it goes by so fast.
I do wish I had another week, really two, with the producer. 2 1/2 weeks is really an outrageously optimistic amount of time to create a record. Yet he does amazing things by himself. He really is a bit of a wizard. Maybe he will bring it in before he goes. Wow. It’s like it’s all been waiting and fits. Well maybe it is.
I came home last night and the police had the street blocked off and would not let me go home. “Someone might be in your house ma’am.” I was struck though at the attitude of the cop. He told me to turn, but I didn’t. He said, “You can’t come in here,” but I sat in the car saying, “Uh, I live there. I live there, right there.” Finally he came over to the car and spoke quietly and calmly and politely. “Where?” “Right there.” He turned and looked at my house. That’s when he said someone might be in the house. And he didn’t even want me to park here, go around the block and park down there. And I thought, if I was in LA, this cop would have not only not explained to me, nicely, but he would have gestured rudely an perhaps threatened me with arrest. This man called me ma’am and explained why I could not go in my house 15 feet away from where we were standing. I accepted his explanation and said Be careful, will you? He said yes, thank you.
So I went over to my friend’s and watched some of the President’s Address, something I would never have seen otherwise. I noted how right I seem to be to her views. I have always been very left wing, been not in all things, certainly. I am way more left of Polite. I am way more Common Sense than Correct Courteous, and I see that I am reactionary lately. Too many murders. Too many bands of men hurting women and children – and other men. I listened to the address and saw there was a RATING of the address as it was taking place. Now I do not consider the president or his crown sacrosanct, but come on! Let us listen. Don’t tell the people what they should be thinking based on what others are thinking which is what they seemed to be doing. Ok, so anyway, I like all that discussion as long as it ends with live and let live, which Mary and I can do ok. The president gets to the part about insurance and people clapped but I could not help but feel it was Hillary they should be applauding.
photo: Joe Shoemaker