Q: How many times can you sing the word “ooh” without sounding like a monkey? A: Eight.

The flurry of activity continues. I haven’t accomplished this much in such a short period of time since…well, it’s been a good few years at least. It’s sort of like 2002 all over again, only this time it isn’t being used as an emotional chew-toy that’s driving me, but sulphuric acid. I’ve got it on tap over here. It’s about stinkin’ time I got back on track.

At this rate, that CHICKEN ANGEL thing will be finished within a week or so, and then I’ll just have to get the packaging sorted out. It’s going to have more songs on it than any single-disc album I’ve ever made, so be prepared. A lot of them are pretty short. Most of the really tiny songs are being held behind for other things (and a lot of them just haven’t been recorded yet), but there are a few that make too much sense on this album to go anywhere else.

Take the one I wrote and recorded today, for example. It’s about forty-five seconds long and features banjo picking that sounds like it belongs at a hoedown nestled alongside…beat-boxing. I can’t say I’ve ever done that before. It’s pretty demented. I keep listening to it and laughing.

I’ve been giving a bit of attention to another one of those neglected and quirky instruments — this toy ukulele I’ve had for a few years but never used on a recording before. The intonation is pretty dodgy, but sometimes a perpetually out-of-tune instrument is the right sound. And sometimes it’s close enough to being in tune that you can even throw some other instruments into the mix without suffering irreparable tonsil damage. Assuming you still have tonsils. I don’t, but that doesn’t mean I’m immune. It just means the out-of-tune fungus rats alter their route accordingly and search for someplace else to go.

I had a dream the other night that I was playing a live solo gig at a place that seemed to be Phog, improvising a song on my Teisco. For some reason I was standing up while playing — pretty difficult for me to do without something to lean on, given the way I play. Though the song only had two chords, it got pretty intense. I wonder if that means anything.

In the waking world I’m still not really feeling the whole live performance thing these days. Way too much anxiety involved. And if I were going to play anything off of this new album I’m putting together, I think a lot of the songs would be a whole lot less interesting (or at least they would be for me) if you just stripped them down to banjo or guitar. I’d need to put a band together in order to get them across properly. The chances of that happening are about as good as the chances of Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro making a good movie again that stretches their acting muscles. I guess Righteous Kill, with the two of them playing partnered cops, could surprise everyone, but sharing the screen with Fifty Cent doesn’t seem to bode well.

It would be kind of neat, and amusing, to put together a band that could “ghost perform” the songs — meaning I wouldn’t perform at all, and someone else would be up there singing in my place while I sat in the audience. But that would be a lot of work to pull off, and maybe impossible.

I will at least be sharing the CD with more people than usual, because I like where it’s heading so far and I’m in a sharing mood. Long live asparagus, and so on.

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