I know its been a while, but truth be told I don’t have much to say. I have had a SUPER awesome holiday, though. I have really enjoyed hanging around doing not too much of anything and i made out like a total bandit by pulling out both a brand new record player, a new car stereo and, the holy grail of christmas gifts (from my favourite lady in the word), a Paul Westerberg signature model guitar! Its amazing. So, it’s been extra fun/easy to be home because of all this stuff, but also - like I said - I have enjoyed doing nothing.
I have been in a weird spot musically lately. I haven’t written a song in far longer time than I care to think about. I don’t really have much to say, and its not because I cant get words down, so maybe saying that I have “nothing to say” isn’t the word for it, but I cant find an exciting set of chords to wrap around my words. Usually what happens is that every few months I hear an album that really lights a fire under my ass and I get inspired to write stuff. Or I hear something and I think “it is totally within my reach to beat that”, but I haven’t heard anything that is any good in a long time. I mean there are records that I’ve been digging a lot recently, but not enough to really make me pick up a guitar. I have been listening to The Gaslight Anthem basically non-stop since about April of 2007, but I haven’t played that kind of music since about 2005, and that’s not to imply that I was either cutting edge or that they are passé, because they are anything but. I really love that band, but I’m in such a funk that even that record doesn’t spark me. The last record that I actually can pinpoint as pushing me was Limbeck’s self-titled album from 2007. I must’ve written 15 songs after I heard that record. I also really dug The Damnwells’ last album Golden Days. Right now though, I have nothing to work with. Even the last Ryan Adams album was kind of boring. I know I included it in my year-end list but that’s a given. I mean, that man made me basically relearn guitar playing AND songwriting based solely on his 1997 masterpiece with the late, great Whiskeytown. I owe him a world of gratitude (another short lived, but great band) for that album alone!
Anyway, I lost my train of thought. I just started writing some songs with my friend Kevin Slack. I’m still going to be doing Dan Maxwell & His Band, and it will still be my number one priority, but its stale right now. That’s no secret. Things are getting better though. I don’t want to talk about it too much cause things are still
being figured out, but good things are happening. We sold our van to the boys in Good Old War. I was really happy about that. The van was costing us (and by us I mean Tom and Myself) a lot of money and we were hardly using it, more importantly than that though I was really happy to sell it to another band. I had some calls from a lot of weird people about it, but the GOW guys are friends and they’ll put it to great use. But anyway Kevin and I just started writing some songs. It’s a little more aggressive that what I usually so, which is fun cause I do listen to some stuff that DM&HB could never get away with playing if I were to start writing like that. Buts its also fun to write with someone else. I never really do that. It’s sort of relieving. So, we’ll see where that goes. I think the “plan” (do I really look like a guy with a plan?) is to write a handful of songs, get some semblance of a band together, play a few shows here or there and maybe do a slapdash EP. Kevin and I are so busy – he with his glamorous television career and i with school – that these “plans” are long term. Nonetheless, I’m excited to do something a little different if for no other reason that to remind me what it is about “alternative country” and the songs I have written that makes me love to get up on stage and play them whenever the chance comes along.
I’m excited for the new Bruce album, although it’s probably going to suck the big one. That’s just the pre-relase/first single(s) vibe I’m feeling. Other than that, I’m hoping for a new Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers album in 2009 and I’m looking foreword to hearing the new Wilco album. As I said to my buddy Paul the other day, it would be nice if Jeff Tweedy had a long overdue epiphany and remembered that he was in Uncle Tupelo instead of pretending there is merit to free jazz and electronica… there isn’t. I respect artistic experimentation, but Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was perfect, and when they went further, they pooped in my (and all of their fans’) cereal. Sky Blue Sky was good, but come on! Grab a that f**kin’ telecaster thats “leaning on [that] Marshall stack” (sick UT ref. lolz). I’m sad to say this, but I think the new Ben Kweller record might be the most promising release in sight for 2009 right now - except for the “Incredibad” upcoming Lonely Island Record which will be masterful for comedic reasons, not repeat listen reasons.
Here’s a new segment. Recommended albums for the day/week/month that this blog is happening:
Ben Kweller “Daytrotter Session” (<— This EP is free!!!)
Until next time, don’t wear your new shoes in the snow… you’ll ruin ‘em