Friday, May 30, 2008

underneath the flood

I woke up with the sun this morning.  I didn't mean to, but after failing for several hours to nod off again, all the while allowing trivial things to gnaw away at me, I accepted that I was awake, got out of bed, and started a load of laundry.

Don't get me wrong, everything is going really well, but sometimes that's when you worry the most. I mean, when you got nothing, you got nothing to lose, right? So I'm not generally concerned then, but when it's all going good, I tend to worry about all that goodness that I have to possibly lose.  I guess I worry about how to hold on to it, and I don't sleep and don't even enjoy it.  How lame is that? Worry is such a useless thing.

Yesterday I heard Underneath The Flood on the speakers of the little two room studio that I have been spending my days at.  We did have two twelve hour tracking days on Tuesday and Wednesday at a crazy nice Hollywood studio though, where I saw the sun only on Wednesday and for only fifteen minutes, where Motorhead was tracking next door, and when I made some joke about Sheryl Crow having played the very piano I was sitting at, the studio assistant chimed in and killed it, "Actually she's definitely played that piano." We tracked all the bass and drums for all the remaining songs, but I tracked Underneath live with acoustic and upright bass and vocals, just a few takes. And I was so excited with what I heard yesterday with fresh ears.  It was just as I wanted it, full of flaws, full of pushing and pulling, so imperfect it felt perfect to me because I hit the feeling I intended, and was so proud and relieved.  There is no pro tools plug-in to fix feeling.  

I had been working on that song when I signed to Capitol.  I had the melody and the chords months before, but I wrote the lyrics that week.  I was getting my first taste for what the music industry really is, which is pretty much what we all assume it is, but seeing and feeling it for the first time, it sort of fucked me up.  I mean, any industry is about money, but art for the sake of commerce didn't quite click.  I felt pulled in all these directions by all of these people in my life, and everyone wanted something and I wanted everyone to have something and I had this feeling that Capitol would crumble before they could release my album, but I took the chance regardless and it did crumble, but everyone did get something and I got this song, this song that in my own ears is one of the most beautiful things that I will ever create, and hearing it for the first time, a song that would never fit on the radio or in a commercial or anywhere but on my own album, an album that probably not that many people will ever even hear, I turned to Mark and said, "Screw hit songs, this is it."  And that is it!  I waver sometimes, but I have taken so much time and exhausted so much effort to make this album just for me. Someone posted a comment the other day under one of my posts saying, simply, "you think you're great," and sitting there and listening to that song for the first time, a song that I had been working two years to record in a studio, well, I couldn't have said it better. Whether you let it show or not, despite all the times of doubt, you gotta be your biggest fan. 

I saw Jamie Lidell last night.  It was such a relief from the arms-crossed indie rock shows that I am so used to.  There were so many people dancing, dancing because they couldn't help it, and on stage that guy was doing what seemed to be exactly what he was put on earth to do. I wouldn't be surprised if he was having more fun than anyone else in the room, and that made me so happy.  That is just how it should be.