Refrain of the Record-Making Process, with Apologies to S. Sundiata.

(pic by Nillazilla)
Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet? Is it soup yet?


(pic stolen from listener gloryglorycatchacory)
If there’s anything I’ve learned making records, it’s that tambourine never makes anything sound worse.

Refreshing Self-Awareness of Thai Junta.

(Image by the Independent’s [S.F.] Misha Vladmirsky)
From the B.B.C.:
Thailand’s coup leaders have banned go-go dancers from performing for troops on the streets of Bangkok, fearing soldiers may be distracted.
“We have to maintain the seriousness of the coup,” a military spokesman said.

Have I Neglected to Mention?

(photo ganked from listener Spage)
We’re all back in Minneapolis, cutting a few more tunes, and a re-cut of “27 Jennifers.” We have rented a Chevy Aveo, and Kirby and Pete have been spending their evenings bowling with their friend Bastille.

Goodbye Burma; Hello, Berlin.

(this also ganked from Spage)
It hit me like a ton of bricks the other day that I was obsessed with speaking German, and Germany, and yet I’m spending December in Burma? I’ll get to Burma eventually. I called United, cancelled my flight to Bangkok, got my frequent flier miles back, then managed to blag a business class ticket via Warsaw (hard to get a Christmastime ticket using miles this this late in the year).
Part of the Burma thing came from a determination made six years ago, the last time I was in Cambodia, that I would save up enough miles to afford my own business class ticket to Bangkok. I felt obligated to a six-year-old decision despite the fact that my fascinations had moved on.
Strangely, later on the same day I cancelled the ticket, tanks were rolling in the streets of Bangkok; a military coup.
Two weeks in the middle of Europe in the dead of winter. Itinerary (so I’m thinking at this moment): Berlin, Vienna, Leipzig, Munich. Riding trains, writing in notebooks, drinking coffee from very small cups. Also: currywurst. Sounds like a party to me.

Process of Distillation.

(another by Spage)
I realized that all the frantic writing that I did over the past month, trying to come up with songs for this session, resulted in just a few songs. I had no idea until I got here, into the studio, and looked at the list.
I think I have all the songs that I need. But I feel like I spent the Summer in a frenzy of writing. Get up early, make coffee, start messing around with the guitar; working until noonish when that morning energy began to wane, walk around Prospect Park. Keep myself distracted until the early evening, when I would get another jolt of creativity, fool around with words and melodies for a few more hours.
Then, at night, I would lay in bed with Garcia Marquez novels and a pen and underline words that I liked. I spent a couple years’ worth of journals on the last batch of songs, so I was trying to write with a depleted supply. I would read and underline, and the next day I would write them down in mixed up order on legal paper (kind of a lo-fi cut-up style) and refer to them when I needed lyrics to plug into the melodies.
I’m surprised I don’t have more. I guess the songs I have are just really distilled.

Do Girls Buy Rock Shirts?

mark husson 2.jpg
(Pix of the Denver gig ganked from listener Mark Husson)
Girls: do you buy shirts with names of rock bands on the front?
My haircutter Mimi was lobbying me about this yesterday. Saying that the girl shirts bands sell are generally lousy, and that mine, well, really haven’t been very good at all of late.
She said she bought a Dixie Chicks shirt recently, however, and it was cut fabulously. But that’s natural, right? Girls ought to make good shirts for girls.
OK, women: I ask you to do me a favor: send me pictures of your band shirts. Would you please? I’m totally serious. Preferably pictures of you wearing the shirts.
(I realize this sounds mildly suggestive. Dear Mike’s girlfriend: this is not mildly suggestive.)
Just the ones you bought and that you love! Not, like, the ones your boyfriend gave you and you sleep in. And if there’s a bunch of shirts you dig, send multiple photos, would you?
Seriously, it would be awesome. I want to do well by girls. I’m:
md (at) mikedoughty (dot) com
mark husson 1.jpg

Kirby and I Have Landed in Denver.

Tonight’s show at the Soiled Dove. I looked it up online to try and it from the hotel, there are like nine branches of the Soiled Dove here; I haven’t figured out which one we’re playing yet.
I thought “soiled dove” sounded dirty, so I looked it up. Turns out it’s an Old West term for a hi class whore.
Kirby is looking fine, with new ludicrous but charming hair. Looking forward to listening to him every night.
I got recognized (unironically!) at Starbucks this morning.

Fearmongering Perhaps Best Left to Cable News.

I just woke up and CBS News straightfacedly reported that al-Qaeda released a video exhorting Americans to convert to Islam. I’m sure CNN and Fox News are all up in this by now, so my worry here is unoriginal, but just the other day I heard that bin Laden was criticized harshly by other Islamists after 9/11; you’re not supposed to murder infidels without first giving them the option of converting to Islam.
To me the slice of the video CBS showed looked weirdly lo-fi Christian network-ish, with a pleasant American-born terrorist named Adam recommending Muhammad, and a mild al Zawahiri endorsing Adam’s endorsement; very benign and inoffensive and unlike the work of murderous sociopaths.