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Nov 30, 05 10:19 AM

Porto.

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I got an email from Portugal this morning.

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Some Portuguese woman, who had seen Soul Coughing in the mid-90s. She wrote:

i think for the "good sanity" of the history of worl music ... you never had stop, even agaisn't your wish, yes it should be an obrigation ... ok, don't keep furious with me, i'm concious that i should not say that, but i have it, sorry!!!

I think all artists resent being saddled with their old work. The classic example being Picasso abandoning his blue period. (and I don't rate myself on his level, believe me) Shouldn't I just let it go? Let the nostalgists have their nostalgia? Shrug it off and just make the best records I can?

I'm so weary of Soul Coughing. I listen to it, and I just don't like it. I think: Fuck, I could've done this so much better, really served the songs. (it would probably have sounded a lot more like the Beasties' Check Your Head, or G. Love, or Beck) And I find my vocal style, and many of the lyrics, cringe-worthy. To bite her line: I'm conscious that I should not say that, but I have it, sorry.

Sometimes I think I should just give in and get the fucking band back together. Despite the misery of that relationship. What a funhouse mirror version of a sellout move that would be: to go back to this more avant-garde band, and give up this thing which is so much closer to classic rock tradition (not that I still don't have my weird voice and lyrics; I don't envision myself ever singing at the Super Bowl). And it really would be a sellout move: abandoning that which enthralls me as an artist, in favor of what some people expect.

I might even make more money in a reunion. Pixies-style. Fucking hell.

I listen to Haughty, and I think: I love this. In every way. It's very, very rare in my life as a recording artist, both within the old band and without, for me to listen to a two-year-old record and still feel proud of it. I think: this is what I've been trying to do for years. Here I am at last!

I love the guys in my new band; Scrap, McNeal, Chen.I love the way they play. The way they surprise me onstage. I love being with them on a bus, having coffee with them, joking, being a gang.

I love the freedom of this second life that the universe has so bafflingly chosen to bless me with.

I love being alive for the first time in a very, very long time. What an unusal development, that I should actually be happy and comfortable in my own skin!

I am so, so grateful.

Why should I have to justify this to myself? How strange.

Stick to your guns, stick to your guns, stick to your guns.

Posted by Mike at November 30, 2005 10:19 AM