February 19, 2004

Today provided me with another example of why I love the night. I woke up SUPER early this morning (okay, so for me EARLY is 7:00am - but still) and was raring to go, but I still had some stuffiness in my head from this cold I'm just getting over. I laid down final guitar tracks on 'My Friend,' then decided to go for a vocal take on 'Calls From Springfield.' Well, we got some acceptable, good takes, but things just didn't quite fall into place as I had wanted them to, and I think a big part of that was trying to lay down my most emotionally-effective vocals at 10am. It just wasn't happening. I am a night owl, and I am usually onstage at night, when all emotions seem heightened, and I needed to capture that in the studio.

I spent several hours this afternoon watching Matt work his magic on 'Brave New World,' (he's added some amazing guitar licks and also used a special effect that synthesizes the natural voice - sounds almost like strings, but very cool and subtle and is built directly from my ACTUAL voice) and I was so inspired I asked him if he'd mind going back into the studio after dinner to let me have a go at final vocals on 'Brave New World' and possibly 'Calls From Springfield.' Magic happened in the hours between 8 and 10pm. I can honestly say I may have delivered some of the best vocal takes I personally ever have. The emotions were there, right on the tip of my tongue, and I was able to recall why I had written these songs in the first place, as they came alive to me again. It was fantastic. It wasn't about absolute technical perfection, just raw emotion.

I feel this week has gone very well. We've run into a delay getting Jerry Kimbrough back into the studio to lay down some more guitar parts, but I feel very confident in how the songs are shaping up. Apparently, especially after tonight, so does Matt. He said I had 'made him a believer' tonight with my vocal performance, which meant a lot to me and was a relief, since my voice has been so sub-par lately with this cold. However, having just a hint of rawness from the illness adds a touch of pathos. Ask any member of my Columbia band who has worked with me on past projects and they will say I've got at least one song on every album recorded when I was, to some degree, ill. (It's a state of being for me - allergies, colds, etc.)

Anyhow, I will take this opportunity to say that even amidst all of the great musical creativity and excitement I am a part of down here, I miss home. I miss my band mates, whom I had gotten used to being with nearly all the time since we spent the last few months touring. I miss Michael. I miss my cats, Biko and Dewey. I miss my friends in Columbia. This project is necessary and it will be a vital part of the growth of my career, but leaving home, even for only a month or so, sucks. But I let that pang of sadness drive me on. It's great creative fodder...

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