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Nov 12, 04 09:21 AM

The Tube Lug.


Fantastic drumming made the day.


Eric Fawcett came over and ROCKED THE CORPOREAL PLANE. He did a track on "Looking at the World," and a cover tune that I will not reveal the title of just as yet. What a good guy.

We talked about the beard he wore when he played SNL with N.E.R.D. He regrets it. Dan and I strongly objected to his regret: "But you looked like a skater Levon Helm!" I exclaimed.

We tried a bunch of snares, which all had groovy names I can't recall. One of them was "the Tube Lug," so named after its tuning or tightening mechanism. We didn't end up using it--we found a nicer snare--but I do regret not being able to say, Great snare sound on "Looking," huh? That's THE TUBE LUG.

He complimented me for Soul Coughing and it made me anxious and weird. I don't do well with compliments. Particularly about something so long in the past that I feel so little connection with it (although I spose I do feel a very vital connection with a few of the songs, the ones I wrote alone in my room, and the moments and cirumstances in which I wrote them), I feel as if it were a different man doing that music.

I have such a complex about Soul Coughing, such a need to be on par with that work, and to be a vital artist--I feel that I've stayed away from the major-recording world for so long, it's really an advantage, those that instantly turn up with a début after their band disbands are short-changing themselves by overloading the public--and it took me so long, such intense soul-wracking work, to write these tunes--four years!--that I've come up with a compelling batch; there's intricate, subtle threads between the songs, and I'm just now beginning to understand just what it was I was writing about. This record, as I love records to be, is a really cohesive piece, a recording that kind of has its own world, if you know what I mean. A set of sonic rules and circumstances, a conjured bubble of mutual identity. But anyway, Eric knows only Soul Coughing, and when he praised it I became weirdly introverted, I feel like I was odd and antisocial with him. I feel badly about that, as I was so moved by his performances on my songs.

OK. And now I type an astonishing sentence. That sentence is: "I was in downtown Minneapolis, and I bumped into the Pixies." I was in downtown Minneapolis and I bumped into the Pixies! I met Charles/Frank/Francis about a year ago when we both guested with TMBG. A good dude. And Kelley Deal was there (just travelling with them, they're apparently doing a documentary and she's on the crew). I met her with Michael Azerrad a bunch of years ago, she didn't remember, and when I said, I met you with Michael Azerrad a bunch of years ago, she said, "Me? Kelley?" Yes, you, not Kim. Ha. I have a close friend who's a twin, that was a poignant insight into twin-dynamics.

We sort through vocals--a swamp of takes--make up a comp--and hopefully do some serious tracking on our Mystery Cover today. See you on the other side.

Posted by Mike at November 12, 2004 9:21 AM

Mike, your blurry profile looks vaguely Jude Law-ish.

Posted by: wymer at November 12, 2004 10:26 AM

soul coughing, solo all rocks.

Posted by: mike at November 12, 2004 10:29 AM

mike, no need to feel like you have to live up to anything. just as it has been 4 years since SC for you, it has been four years for us as well. we all appreciate and love things you did with the band, but when i think of mike doughty, i think of mike doughty, not soul coughing.
keep up the amazing work. you have a lot of people just waiting to be treated to what YOU have created.

Posted by: improvpete at November 12, 2004 10:49 AM

Soul Coughing was amazing. Soul Coughing changed my little 16 year old self (jesus, it really has been that long...) I didn't know there was music out there like Soul Coughing, it was that much of an experience every single time.

Soul Coughing is nothing compared to what you are doing now. There is so much more power and resonance in the music you've been creating on your own that Soul Coughing is a pale, pale comaprison. It was the prelude, the warm up, the prep work to the goodness that no one knew was still to come. There are still a few really great songs. You know which ones, you still play them, we still connect with them, but that's not where it's at. Where you are is where it's at.

Posted by: liz at November 12, 2004 11:54 AM

OK, so am I the only one who originally read the title of the post as "The Lube Tug" and got really, really interested?

Posted by: Ben Combee at November 12, 2004 12:16 PM

Mike, it's Freebird, isn't it? Freebird? I knew it.

Posted by: apoxuponme at November 12, 2004 12:37 PM

We all know that the cover is It's Raining Men, so no need to hide it anymore Mike. Nod your head and blink your left eye if I am right.

Posted by: Eric at November 12, 2004 12:54 PM

oooh! mystery cover? i likey that!

on a personal to mike note: dude, i know it's useless for one fan to say in a blog comment that you may or may not read that you shouldn't try to live up to anything, not even soul coughing...but fuck it! i'm saying it: don't try to live up to anything, not even soul coughing. i agree with the person who said that your music now has more power and resonance behind it...because you've come out of some dark damned times man...and you can tell us all about it now with an amazingly poetic clarity.

i told you this when i met you at vasar, and i'm sure your humble little heart dismissed it...but you truly changed my life man. soul coughing's stuff showed me a light...but you know what? it was YOUR WORDS that carried the beacon. your voice. your melodies.

and when i got home from nyc and slapped my very own copy of rockity roll into my car's cd player, i damn near cried...well, okay, i have since cried when listening to some of the tracks, but anyway, it was sheer poetry.

the only answer slays me every time. every damn time i hear it i get gooseflesh mang.

sorry this is so long. but damnit mike doughty, you are on my top 5 all time influential artists list, and you just make me gush.

Posted by: james the s at November 12, 2004 1:30 PM

He already did a cover of It's Raining Men for me when I asked him to in Dallas. SO THERE.

Posted by: Bassey at November 12, 2004 1:34 PM


the show was insane. good, no GREAT. no, there has to be a better word for what went down in that room.

i'll leave that to your imagination.

kelley was watching the datsuns set and i thought she was kim but, she wasn't. weeee!

Posted by: nimrod at November 12, 2004 1:37 PM

I was introduced to your music after I the magazine I write for sent me a copy of Smofe + Smang to review. I'd heard "Super Bon Bon" and "Circles" and liked them, but didn't make the connection when I was first listening to Smofe + Smang. I loved the songs so much that I went back to the Soul Coughing versions... and didn't dig them as much. I liked them, but didn't love them. I'm still going back to the Soul Coughing songs on iTunes to see if any spark the instant connection that Smofe did. But if "Move On" is any indication, I'm probably just more of a Doughty fan than a Soul Coughing fan.

Posted by: drew at November 12, 2004 1:53 PM

Mike, how about an impromtu appearance somewhere in town (mpls)???

Posted by: CMo at November 12, 2004 2:03 PM

Also, I hate to play the mystery guessing game but a Book of Love recording would really be spectacular.

Posted by: liz at November 12, 2004 2:23 PM

A couple days ago you mentioned a song title, "I Feel As If I'm Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well."

When you are looking from the bottom of the well, are you holding a baseball bat and sporting an infant-sized handprint on your cheek?

Posted by: oturf at November 12, 2004 2:37 PM

Yesterday Kelley/Kim/Breeders "Cannonball" came on the radio and it's been in my head since. And then you bump into Kelley. Do-de-doo-doo....

Mikey Man, I think the string theory of your life is pulling your past up ahead of you and it scares you to be reminded of things you once did, things you sort of enjoyed, things that scare you now. The mention of SC is always going to remind you of all sorts of things to filter out. "We who blog" understand what was you in SC and what was 'the band', it's evident by your solo stuff and by...well...the message. At least we 'think' we understand.

It sounds, though, that you're in a groovy place. Any of us who do creative things, or job things that we're passionate about, know that feeling of things clicking and rounding out, and it's so kick ass!

The photo of you reminds me of a line from School House Rock, the one about Adjectives..."this boy can grow up to be a huge man, but still have a boyish face...."

Posted by: Deb (lotsa cleavage) at November 12, 2004 3:44 PM

So, when I first got a Rockity Roll, I listened to it non-stop, and then one night a friend of mine and I went down to our neighborhoood dive, got totally shit-faced, and ran into the bathroom at closing time and started screaming 27 Jennifers at the top of our lungs... To which the bartenders replied "Quit singin' and get the fuck out!" Rest assured that your new stuff inspires such acts of wild rebellion.

Posted by: Lauren at November 12, 2004 5:18 PM

Mike this is so awesome. I can't wait to hear what you have to offer. Last time you were in chicago, you ripped it w/ the doveman and the jazzy drummer. I don't think that show could ever be topped.

Soul coughing brought me to you. Now your solo career keeps me close to you. You are still around and greatly sought after. No need to think about the past and what SC is or was or won't/could have be(been).

Know that you are the one that has put it all together, and in that, you should believe.


Posted by: Zew at November 12, 2004 6:27 PM

i'm always so amazed at your/md's frankness.

Ahh, compliments - say thanks and quickly change the subject. Have a subject ready to go. my dad does the whole changing subject trick when he doesn't like something we are talking about... like when he realizes he is really wrong. actually, now that i think about it, he usually has a stupid joke on hand that he throws out and that usually throws people off.

but hopefully you can look at the person complimenting you as saying, "hey, you had this really positive impact on my life, and i appreciate you for it" and try to appreciate their interpretation of s.c's music as completely separate from your experience of it.

or you could pull a henry rollins and f'in freak out when someone says anything about s.c.

ps. re the whole happy thing: i recommend watching the film "braincandy" starring the kids in the hall.

Posted by: no14 at November 12, 2004 6:56 PM

this is the best thread yet.

Posted by: rob from grand forks at November 12, 2004 7:32 PM

I met Charles/Frank/Francis once (Cult of Ray period). It was at the El Dorado in Sacramento(now closed)..I passed him on the way out of the bathroom and said something stupid like "Hey, whats up.." Hope your encounter went better than mine.

Anyway nice to see that being a SC/Doughty nut and Pixies/Frank Black nut isn't as odd of combination as it seemed only moments before.

Posted by: Inits at November 12, 2004 11:16 PM

Mike, I've been hooked into your music ever since I caught SC playing at a Horde Fest in Saratoga, NY many years ago. As much as I like the SC albums, I've gotta say that I've been digging your solo material a lot. I can relate to what someone said earlier about "The Only Answer" being a special track to them because I still get that "whoa" feeling whenever I listen to it. The track has helped me during some tough times when I was getting over a break up with my ex-girlfriend. Though, I still think the song is great aside from that connection. There's a bunch of other solo tracks of yours that I'm a big fan of that I can't think of because my mind isn't working at the moment (plus I have the new Interpol album playing in the background), but Grey Ghost is one of them. Keep on rockin' and cranking out the solo stuff....I'm looking forward to your upcoming releases.


Posted by: db at November 12, 2004 11:17 PM

I get how the Cough material can be weird for you, but you created amazing music during that time, and you still are. You blow my mind with astonishing regularity. Your music- all of your music- inspires such unabashed joy. There aren’t many artists I’d trek from Long Island to Philly for (the last time I tried to get to the Black Cat in DC left me too creeped out to try again #^__^#).

Posted by: ikichi at November 12, 2004 11:19 PM

Well, now I don't have to have any considerations about being simultaneous a Soul Coughing/Pixies/Interpol fan... It's kind of odd how such different bands can bring in same people.

I wouldn't worry about it too much, Mike. The new stuff is just as excellent in it's own way. I still have days when I'm wandering around singing St. Louise is Listening or Soft Serve, but just as often it might be Language Barrier or Rising Sign. Hell, that whole album was a masterpiece in its own right, and as bummed as I might get about getting into SC too late, I'll always have your solo shows and material to look forward to.

Posted by: Jay at November 13, 2004 1:19 AM

"A compliment is like a kiss through a veil." -- Victor Hugo

Posted by: Kevin at November 13, 2004 2:19 AM

Follow that man's shirt and go to Muddy Waters on Lyndale for some joe. That's my joint right there.

Posted by: Spenny at November 13, 2004 2:44 AM

This is not the first time you've written about not doing well with compliments. It's a weird thing that (and not even that deep down) we all wish for people to think well of us and see how awsome we are, and yet most of the people I know get very uncomfortable when the compliments start flowing their way. I just hope that you Mr. Doughty, (with all the gushing adoration that your posts bring in), choose to take in all positive (OK down right loving) responses, and not just skim them over. You must have worked very hard to get to be who and where you are (we can't stand the wait for the fruits of your labor) so I hope you really read these, because you deserve the full impact of all the above posts. A side note: I also vote for "Book Of Love" for the next cover. Thanks Mike

Posted by: Another Seattle Fan at November 13, 2004 3:12 AM

I was thinking yesterday that "bat rastered" is an excellent spoonerism. I just wanted to write out "bat rastered" before I forgot it.

Posted by: dave at November 13, 2004 11:17 AM