“…that gave us leave to be as we inly are.” (Emerson)

April 27, 2005

Minneapolis, briefly; reactions; mingle-dom.

So Haughty Melodic has been clicking with some people out there, and I’ve been running around doing radio stations and print interviews. I went to Minneapolis on Monday to do a few appearances, and stayed at Dan’s; the first time I’ve been there since we finished the album. I woke up the next morning and instinctively felt like we should be getting to work again, like, Hm, OK, well we can start by trimming the solo on “Looking”–I had to shake myself out of that mindset. Like one of those apocryphal Japanese soldiers, still stranded on Pacific islands decades after the war’s end, still believing the war is on.
The nice thing about shilling for this record is that it feels really complete to me; I really like it. I hear it and think: Yep, that’s what I meant. Nice feeling.
Reading some reviews out there on the intraweb, and they fall into three categories: 1. It’s awesome! 2. It doesn’t sound like Soul Coughing! 3. (and this I find the most intriguing) I’ve been listening to these songs live for ___ years, and I thought this would be different!
It’s funny, the last time I heard that reaction was when Soul Coughing put out Ruby Vroom; the crowd that used to go to our gigs in New York, and knew the songs backwards and forwards were disappointed in the album, it didn’t live up to their ideal of the songs. For months I felt like they might be right, and we didn’t nail it. It was only at a Boston show, at the Middle East, a long time after the record’s release, that I heard the whole crowd singing along with “True Dreams” and reconsidered.
I’ve been playing some of these tunes for five years, a lot longer than Soul Coughing was an unsigned New York band, and I guess it’s to be expected. The audience I’ve had in these past few independant years has been a real gift, and it’s unnerving to think that they’ve developed ideal versions of the tunes in their minds, and they feel I haven’t lived up to it.
I know there’s an audience out there that haven’t experienced these songs yet. Trying to keep my eye on the ball.
I’m newly single, and it sucks to a big degree. A new loneliness, the loneliness you never expect. I’ve gotten so used to reporting my life to my girlfriend that things that happen to me don’t feel real because I’m not telling her about them.
And I keep flashing on that one billboard in the opening sequence of Futurama: BACHELOR CHOW.
But, I’m mingling. Went to a SuicideGirls party at the Hotel on Rivington, that monstrous/stylish structure they put up in my neighborhood. I’m focussed on my work. Keeping my head down and taking it as it comes.