For as long as I can remember I have want a back yard where I could grow food, play guitar and drink beer. I’ve lived in some pretty cool places, but I have never had the back yard I have been jonesing for. When Becky and I moved into our current digs in Brooklyn last summer, we checked out the back area with mixed emotions. It gets a ton of sun, has plenty of space to grow food, yet it also has a non-connected kitchen sink, some mattress frames, scrap metal, cinder blocks, basketballs, and a bunch of ladders used as fences. I started dreaming up some possibilities for what it could look like if our VERY kind and generous landlord agrees to let us have at it. Here are the plans, before on the left, and hopefully ever after on the right. You can see that we are going to have our work cut out for us. Wish us luck!
Favorite parts about the CD release show last night at Union Hall:
Jason Harrod dance moves to Broken Hearted Stranger while he was up there singing harmonies with me.
People dancing in the back of the bar, waving iPhones, and the sing along that magically happened as we played “I Only Dream of You.”
The lushness of the string section (Katie Kresek, Maxim Moston, and Dana Lyn) playing along with Natalia Zukerman’s lap steel and William Berlind’s tasty keys on “Surprise Me.”
Being buoyed along by Jimmy Sullivan’s bass playing (and facial expressions!), his wife Mary Bragg’s beautiful harmonies, DP’s soulful drums throughout the night.
Seeing people I hadn’t seen in years, and some who I had, and feeling the love in that room.
I don’t know what was my favorite part, but the whole thing left me feeling so lucky to be here, to be living in this great city, in this community, doing what I love. At the end of the night when I had to talk with the manager at Union Hall because they couldn’t find my credit card to close up my tab, I wasn’t even that annoyed. “I am not that concerned,” I said. “We’ll find it.” I got four hours of sleep last night and I am completely hung over. I am not concerned. I am basking. Thank you!
“There’s always someone dignifying a song by taking a woman into his arms or getting through the night. That’s what dignifies the song. Songs don’t dignify human activity. Human activity dignifies the song.” Leonard Cohen
Not only does that man know how to write songs, he knows how to write ABOUT songs! See, music is a two way street between listener and musician. Last night when Neil Young’s “Helpless” came on Pandora while I lay in bed listening to it before going to sleep, I dignified that song somehow. I don’t know what Pandora paid Neil, but I paid him in karmic royalties.
As I release this album, whatever that means in this digital age where everyone in the music business is running around like chickens with their heads cut off, I humbly ask that you dignify this music with your daily activity. Put it on while you make dinner, work out on the elliptical, come home late at night on the subway. Any time at all, no activity too small. It all dignifies.
Please join me for a very special show to celebrate the release of “Yellow Brick Man.”
Friday February 17th, 7:30
702 Union St,
Brooklyn, NY 11215-1209
To avoid the possibility of getting left out in the cold on Union St. with no beer and no music, purchase advance tickets here.
JP Bouchard directed this video and we shot it on a hot July day in Long Island City. We had been talking a lot about the opening sequence of Donnie Darko, Midnight Cowboy, Jaques Tati’s 1960′s show “Mon Uncle.” For this video we wanted to create something that felt half awake or dazed by some sort of crash… a dreamy resurrection that felt apocalyptic and whimsical at the same time. Here’s what we came up with.
The very talented JP Bouchard made this video for the final song on my new album. The song is called “South Second Street Serenade.” Every time I watch it I see something new in it. Don’t let the baby dolls at the end scare you. It’s all just pretend, I promise.
Got some gigs coming up with the lovely and talented Diana Kazakova. Come on by and enjoy some tunes and Flaming Hibiscus Margaritas!