I’ve made two CDs as a solo artist over the last several years. One was big sounding and rocked and rolled onto some of the best radio playlists in Indie radio in the Midwest. Alas, it was well recieved by all but booking agents who couldn’t figure out how I’d get all that sound out of my piano. Okay, then….along comes CD number two – a stripped down affair that featured a more intimate, frequently solo performing approach. Well, it landed on somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 radio stations. Now, though, I’ve been asked to get back in the studio and put some production behind some of those songs to give them a chance to get licensed. Okay, then…..
Soon enough, I’ll be back in the studio, this time with acclaimed producer Dave Weber at Airtime Studios in Bloomington, Indiana. Dave has done the last several Carrie Newcomer albums as well as producing the music heard by millions on the internet recorded by Straight No Chaser. Dave and I have begun to assemble the various pieces of the project, including the studio hours and top flight musicians used in many of Dave’s projects at Airtime.
While I have many new tunes, the songs I’m redoing are: Transition Man (poppier version), and One Brother (bigger and with extended bridge). Others I’ve already recorded and probably doing new versions of include The Dream (full on production this time) and an old Burdons tune, Somebody Else’s Arms (never actually recorded in the studio).
Today was a very good day for Beyonce Knowles. She won a VMA award and saved the day for Taylor Swift with her very classy save of Ms. Swift’s victory, which had been upstaged by an ill-advised and tasteless bit of business by none other than Kanye West, who always seems to dance on the fine line between something great and something confounding. With today’s pop stars owning so much of the business they’re in (as Kanye West does), it took a lot of personal courage for Beyonce to do this, and I’m really impressed by it.
This is also the day I read that oodles of idiots have decided to chide young Rumer Willis on her perceived lack of beauty.
What is this meanness? Where has all of this come from? The answer that I’ve found over and over again with mean people is that they’ve intellectually shut down. They no longer have the capacity or the willingness to look deeper for more answers, resorting instead to the sort of simple logic that would satisfy a 5 year old. I want – I need – give it to me – you’re ugly – I don’t like you because you’re different – I don’t like you because if I do, others won’t like me.
Lazy, lazy, lazy. When our brain food is reality TV and nasty radio, and our discussion is merely others who think just like us muttering, “yup” over and over again, we’ve fallen prey to our tendency toward irrelevance.
I wish John Lennon were here to conjure up another, “Imagine”. But, alas, it is our job to right this misguided and persistent ship. How do we do this? How do we stand up and say, “Stop it!!”, “Stop the meanness”, “Love Again”?