April 18, 2004

Back in Nashville...but I'm now almost done with what will be my last trip for several weeks. I thought I was done back in late March, but it turned out I was needed to be part of the final editing and mixing process, and now that we've done it, I'm certainly glad I was here.

It's been amazing to see the development of these songs and I am thrilled with the *nearly* finished product. We're done with mixing, and I'm spending these last few minutes before Steve and I get in the car for the eight-hour drive home writing a blog about this great weekend.

The last time I left Nashville, I was homesick and just wanted to get back to Michael, home, friends, the band, etc. This time I am appreciating and savoring the experience, knowing I will miss it. I feel at home in this house (that's what spending nearly two months somewhere will do to you) I love Matt's family, and musically there has been SO much I've experienced and learned, so many incredible people I've met.

I spent all last evening (and into the wee hours of the morning) mixing 'People on a Train' with Matt and Steve, but the entertainment lawyer, also named Steve, was there with us, and it was incredibly fun. He had some fantastic ideas about promotion and several different career path ideas I've never even considered. I will expand on those when I've got more time. Suffice it to say I'm excited, and a little overwhelmed by what awaits me.

After being in the studio ALL DAY until 11pm, we decided to cut loose and go to several venues in town at which I might want to play in the near future. We went to 12th and Porter, The Mercy Room, and Exit/In. The problem was, we weren't floored by what was being offered music-wise (an oddity in Nashville) and the Exit/In wanted $15 per person for a DJ. I respect what DJs do, so don't get me wrong, but a live band of 5 or 6 people only draws $10 per person, and I don't think that's quite fair. We did, however, linger for several minutes in the other 2 rooms, and it was definitely an experience of 'counter-culture' in Nashville. Wonderfully, I left the Mercy Room to discover that my eardrums WEREN'T bleeding, they only felt like they were! :)

I'm about to go pick up my audio CD of the final mixes of the 5 songs. Some of my earliest predictions about the songs we chose have proven to be true; some have been turned on their head. For instance, I've always felt 'Calls From Springfield' was one of my most mainstream, catchy songs, and this version is no different. I am thrilled with it, it's perfect for radio, it's strong and punchy and doesn't lose any of its integrity. I hoped for and expected that outcome. 'People on a Train', however, I was cautious about re-doing, because my Columbia band and I really give it a great go when we perform it live. I was scared cutting several minutes off of it would do irreparable harm. It has turned out to be, arguably, the strongest song of the 5. However, when we play the tracks for people, most find 'Brave New World' to scream out to them, grab them, and not let go. It will probably be top pick for shopping to labels, searching for investors, etc. 'My Friend' was one I was hoping would be transformed, and it was, but I had no idea how much I would love the finished product. Finally, 'Sometimes Sun, Sometimes Rain' turned out not to have the straight-forward commercial sound we thought it would, although it is still strong, and fun.

I'm pleased with all the tracks, and ready to let people hear them!

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