Friday, May 23, 2008



The process here is, I believe, a fairly typical one of putting together music that is exciting in the studio, running through it a few times to get the general flow, and then having things go a bit haywire during the actual performance. Ultimately then, how much does the process affect the final substance of the music? I think that’s hard to pin-down. But when I listen back to this show, it most definitely is a musical snapshot of my emotions at the time.

I was very deep into trying to find the right way to present my concept series on The Vacationist. I had this atmosphere in mind, tracks that fit that feeling, a narrative, and this beautiful artwork. It was all quite clear to me, but making sure that was communicated to an audience was proving a bit trickier than I imagined. There was some degree of that internal tension going on during this gig, and yet it captures what I’m trying to do on the label quite well.

The music here is a healthy combination of new ‘live-only’ tracks, some older material, and a few things which will be out later on The Vacationist. In particular, I was test driving the songs from part-two in the series. This EP, “The Ventrilquist & The Mime” was recorded in a couple of different studios in Barcelona, and I think a little Spanish flavor comes through (even if the music was composed by an American and a Scandinavian).

Back in the process side of things, I had been on a long and at times frustrating transition from my old all hardware setup, though a brief all laptop configuration, before landing at my current hybrid environment. This night, I felt as though the equipment I was using had finally faded into the background, and I was once again just feeling and performing the music, not worrying about the various technical details. That way, any craziness that goes on during the performance is purely musical and not because of some malfunctioning gear or user error, and the show just becomes a natural expression. Its really special when something new comes together during my set, something that I’m hearing for the first time (and is obviously new for the audience as well). There is definitely some degree of that happening during this recording.

Also, affecting things are the club itself. This show was recorded at the Arena Club in Berlin. The club is relatively small and sounds good (due to a dedicated sound-man), so the vibe was pretty intimate. It was also a Persona Records party, and it was great to be playing with my label-mates and be among friends. Is that part of the process or the substance? I’m not sure.

00:00:00 Service and Reward
05:24:64 Quick Rides
08:22:14 The Walk Home
13:22:50 Red with Freckles
17:53:27 Cranky Mother
21:11:29 Empty Rails
24:00:17 Attraction in Boots
27:32:22 The Vacationist
30:12:09 Blessed
33:44:48 Black Beer Memories
38:01:11 Oil Mist
41:29:27 The Three Sisters
44:51:22 Arrived Not Landed
50:02:35 Trust Her Drones


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10:10 PM  

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