Currently holed up in a hotel room in Jacksonville, way off in east Texas. The drive out here revealed east Texas has some sort of intense dislike of our president Obama. Many angry men yelling on the radio and even a few ladies voicing their displeasure in soft cadences. On the drive into town I saw a hair salon called "Texas Hair-itage."
Here is a photo from the badlands, taken by John this summer:
I've been holed up for quite some time at my new studio, called Baby Blue, and been mixing tracks for upcoming releases.
The first release is a straight up drone record, with some parts arranged for strings and brass. It's music that doesn't much have a point, and isn't really looking for one. The music seems to be doing o.k. right where it sits, and not even I can convince it to become something more. But I think it does fairly well within its own limitations.
The next album is shaping to be somewhat folky, with a heavy dose of absurdity, nihilism, and some hope sprinkled on top. I think on previous Sunset releases it was perhaps pushed back a bit, but here it will be less produced, more noticeable. The songs explore different places, smaller places, sadder places, and could even feel like something of a hangover from the creative explosion of 2008. Not the case, though. It's more like a rebirth of sorts, a pressing of the "RESET" button, a chance to sever old ties and close old chapters, burn old books, digest the thing I've been chewing on for years. I return to folk music before heading off into even farther out directions. It's like a reminder of sorts, a returning to base, a firming up of the foundation.
A little farther along, more albums percolate, growing from roots set forth in our live shows. Piano based, weird chord changes, recurring imagery. I hope it all comes together as well I imagine.
Josh Duke lives in the studio and we split rent and bills. Josh is helping my friend Red make his next album at the space. Josh has also set up a darkroom and has developed some excellent photos. During a marathon recording session, Josh provided invaluable advice while I recorded a dub reggae version of Cindy Lauper's "Time After Time." Look for that to be released.... never. Actually, o.k., if you mail me a SASE to here:
2906 Westhill, #A
then I will send you a special tape album filled with cool random junk on it, like my dub version of "Time After Time." It's actually not really dub music. I like aiming for music that I can't possibly actually make, and seeing how far off the mark I go. The "lost in translation" aspect is what really appeals to me. There's no way in hell I could make Jamaican music. But the failure is itself kind of interesting. It fails in the traditional sense, but comes through as personal and unique and successful in its complete wrongness.