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May 18, 06 10:00 AM

Is It Soup Yet?

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I have this gigantic music room in my new domicile, far out in Brooklyn where hipsters fear to tread.

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I think I'm done writing the record. I go to the music room (I'd like to call it The Parlor but I have absolutely no justification for that), where all the keyboards and the amps and the drum machines have been set up and are ready to go at a moment's notice, just switch the amps on--my old Lower East Side place was so small you couldn't have all the gear set up at once, you practically had to set up the Moog on the kitchen counter--and yet I go in there, and sit, and pluck around on a guitar, and: nothing's coming.

It's not a block--that's an entirely different feeling, you're panicking, you're writing busloads of stuff, it's all just halfassed--it's this innate knowledge that everybody's already shown up to the party.

I have the list of songs which are awesome, and then I have a bunch of tunes that are essentially life support systems for killer lines. I extract the lines and plug them into a new tune, but that tune ends up sounding kind of flat. Sometimes I come up with a tune that's utterly stuffed, like a Stars on 45 cavalcade of homeless killer lines, and it just sounds bizarre. A drag queen lipsynching the 11 o'clock number of a Broadway standard.

"Is it soup yet?" is something Sekou Sundiata used to say in the poetry classes I took with him at the New School. We'd cut, revise, cut--he was pretty merciless, especially to a bunch of artsy college kids to whom every word was precious. Is it soup yet?

Maybe it's soup. Let's go.

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Posted by Mike at May 18, 2006 10:00 AM