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Nov 8, 04 05:22 AM

En Route.

graffitidoor:springst:nov3:2004.jpg

Today I fly to Minneapolis to start work on the record again.

We're going to be done before the end of the year.

I've been working on this record for nearly four years--two years writing it, eighteen months recording it (whenever Dan had time to spare, flying to MN and doing a few days, a week or two, whatever)--and the prospect of completion is exhilarating. Letting go of the process--being done--on the other hand, is pretty scary.

I remember reading that Marianne Moore had revised a poem forty years after its original publication. You're never done; at some point, you choose to let go.

My excitement was unusually literal in my dreams last night. I had to wake up at 5 am to get ready to fly--I kept dreaming I was waking up at 4 am, too early, going to some weird dream-world hotel lobby affixed to my apartment and bumping into old friends and movie stars. When the alarm rang and I woke up for real, I was well-practiced for it.

Posted by Mike at November 8, 2004 5:22 AM
Comments

Here's my theory... you should have some sort of fan-club pre-release of the record. Then those of us who have followed you forever can enjoy the record for a brief moment without the imminent threat of you becoming so popular as to not be accessible to us anymore. Sigh. Although I wish you success, I will miss the intimate concerts in the small venues. I have no doubt that Mike will "catch on" in a huge way... the world HAS to be ready.

Posted by: shannon at November 8, 2004 5:51 AM

It'ss sad to say that Mike's music hasn't caught on yet. I wish him big success if this becomes his signature record (being hooked with Dave's label gives him a better shot). Hey, its better if MTV Cribs takes a look at something better than his bucket o' shoes right? Maybe his crazy pimped out brand spankin new ford escort? I must add that your fame is starting to catch. All my friends for years have asked me who is blaring through my speakers. They're starting to catch on and spread the love. Now, twice this week I hop into a friend of a friend's car and I hear your voice hitting me. Amazing. I also saw one of your 'robot' t-shirts on someone when I was walking through central park the other day. Totally put a smile on my face.

Posted by: Kas at November 8, 2004 7:57 AM

last night had to be the night of unrest for the world. i too woke up at 4:18 thinking it was 5:18. my clocks were all screwy because the power kept going out.

Posted by: marie at November 8, 2004 8:10 AM

That's great news! I hope you guys have a blast putting the finishing touches on your music.

I know it's difficult knowing when a piece is done. I have to keep stepping back and resisting the urge to add more layers. Sometimes I have to take a complete break and do something completely different and come back to it fresh. Sometimes it's frustrating that my original concept isn't completely there and the piece has developed a life of its own, something new, or a blend. I thought I had finished a painting months ago, and I put it away for safekeeping, only to find myself thinking about it while i was having a Sunday rest, having learned strokes from a new painting and wanting to go back to it. It's a fine line to know when to stop, to let something have some rough edges still. You don't want people to think you're lazy and didn't care about them, but you can definitely polish the soul out of a piece.

So like everything else, that balance has to be found, and you have to go with your gut and your deadline and let it go when it's time.

Posted by: Amy at November 8, 2004 8:31 AM

Whew! Marianne Moore beat me! I've been holding on to a nearly-finished script of mine for 16 years, and it still nags me! On the other hand, my recent spurt of 'men-in-my-past' poetry flies *splat* onto the page like some sort of chicken-cannon from my brain. Funny what we choose to obsess about. Have fun in Minneapolis, and bring warm clothes...it's frickin' cold out here in the Midwest!

Posted by: Deb at November 8, 2004 8:45 AM

"Then those of us who have followed you forever can enjoy the record for a brief moment without the imminent threat of you becoming so popular as to not be accessible to us anymore."

I'm confused, are the recorded sounds of M.D. going to somehow change after he becomes popular?

Posted by: ItsJustDave at November 8, 2004 10:04 AM

Welcome to MN. You miss a great Northern Lights display last night. I hope they will be here for your visit.

Posted by: Ali at November 8, 2004 10:20 AM

I heard on the radio once the commentator discussing the difference between discovery, invention, and creation. His bent was that creation is the highest form of work/expression of them all. If Edison had not invented the lightbulb, someone else would have because electricity has always been around just waiting to be harnessed. If Tesla had not discovered the magic of alternating current, radio waves, etc.. then, someone else would have because those things were always there. If Mike Doughty had never formed Soul Coughing, had never written any music, had never become a performer, then the world would surely have been less magical because no one can do it like Mike. :)

Posted by: Lauren at November 8, 2004 10:25 AM

i can't wait for the new record! it's going to be so rad. and i'm going to rush out and buy the double-set as soon as i can as well! for some reason i've been listening "the only answer" a lot lately. i think it's the messy breakup i had...ha ha.

anyway, congrats on the impending conclusion mike.

Posted by: james the s at November 8, 2004 1:01 PM

Mike, I don't know how near and dear Minneapolis is to your heart, but 1st Ave (the place you have played your last few gigs here in Minneapolis at) closed down last week. Good luck on finishing the album, and I can't wait to see you again live.

Posted by: Sean at November 8, 2004 1:44 PM

Ecitied to hear the new record too.

Hmmm, I wonder where that picture was taken... My garbage can here in SF has that same frog tag.

Posted by: carma at November 8, 2004 4:21 PM

Welcome back to Minneapolis!! We're in a state of mourning re: First Avenue. Sucks.

Cool things to see: Big Brain Comics on Washington Ave in Mpls (not just comics... a kickass place), Wild Rumpus Books in Linden Hills on 43rd St... (the best made of kids but perfect for adults... plus, there's an inhouse chicken), and Improv A Go Go (Sundays at the Brave New Workshop, 8 p.m., $1...) www.improvagogo.com... I promise you'll laugh)... Minneapolis misses and welcomes you, Mr. Doughty. :)

Posted by: Jen at November 8, 2004 5:06 PM

hey, itsjustdave... what I mean is that I want Mike all to myself... MINE MINE MINE! I don't want to share with the rest of the world!!! I like going to the small venues where you can actually shout songs and he responds. And afterwards, you can get a signed copy of the cd. That type of thing. Kinda like if you liked I don't know... John Mayer when he was first starting out and you could see him at the local club. Try getting close to him now, right?

Posted by: shannon at November 8, 2004 8:09 PM

Shannon, if I were Mike reading that last post I would be seriously fucking creeped out. Besides, he's been working on this record longer than Bush has been in office... I think you've all had a chance to catch him in the local watering hole.

Posted by: Tepper at November 8, 2004 10:02 PM

IF you are still in MN on 11/19, go check out Matt Nathanson....

I was going to fly up from Chicago that night, but my friends are trying to get some fan base for their band down here and they need the support more than Matt....

Can't wait to hear the finished product on the album. I guess every day I will say something about ATO.... good job buddy!

Posted by: Matt Benoit at November 9, 2004 1:57 AM

where is Matt Nathanson playing? I'd like to check it out.

Doughty - if you like orange juice I have found the place in Minneapolis that has the best orange juice ever. My dear neighbors, Cafe Barbette make something that looks like orange juice and tastes like perfection on your tongue. Their other food is not so bad either.

Welcome back to the fair North.

Posted by: luna at November 9, 2004 5:31 PM