It has just come to my attention that the eighty-second Academy Awards are being broadcast on television on Sunday, March 7th, an hour after I’m scheduled to start singing and playing stuff at Mackenzie Hall.
I think that would be the most hilarious possible excuse not to attend my show. “Uh, well…I don’t want to miss the Oscars on TV. Sorry dude. Can’t make it. Some person who was in some middling movie might win some now-meaningless trophy.”
I don’t think it gives me much reason to reschedule the show. I figure the people who really want to see me play live will be there regardless of what’s on the idiot box. But I do think it’s a pretty funny thing to compete with. You’ve got an awards ceremony that happens once a year and will almost definitely be full of almost no surprises at all (at least in terms of who wins what), and then you’ve got a live show that’s also only going to happen once this year, in all likelihood, where no one really knows who’s going to take home the award for “best mid-performance monologue”. You can always videotape, or DV-R, or —hot tamale —TiVo the Oscars. I’m not sure it works quite the same way with a live gig, unless you get someone to capture the whole performance with a video camera and then they give you the tape.
The Oscars have the edge in terms of star power and production values, but I have a grand piano and a melodica. Who will come out on top? I wonder what the Vegas odds are.
I’m not saying people who want to watch the Oscars should come see me instead. People should do what they want to do, like on any other day. I just think it’s funny how it worked out.
Personally, I haven’t had much interest in watching the Oscars in years. It was all downhill for me after Brad Pitt thanked the makers of Kaopectate sometime in the mid-1990s. I mean, how do you top that? I did tune in last year for the first time in many years, mostly because I wanted to see Mickey Rourke take home the Best Actor award. He didn’t, but I did end up writing “The Penultimate Kiss” on a seventy-year-old parlour guitar in bed while chewing on melancholy liquorice, so at least something came out of it.
In general, I think the whole thing is kind of a joke. Half the time the actors and artists who deserve some recognition don’t win these days if they’re even nominated at all, the majority of what Hollywood has been doing in recent years doesn’t interest me, and once again I realize I’m probably in the minority here.
Maybe I should have a post-show Academy Awards house party or something to capitalize on the occasion. It would have to be at someone else’s house, though. Someone with a big living room.
Album-related stuff keeps moving along. Turns out there are two songs I still need to record, not one. One song needs to be remixed with the vocals a bit lower. Another few songs need to be mixed. Then I need to find out if the sequence I have in mind flows well enough. Then it’s insert-printing, CD-making time, and after that it goes out into the world for whoever wants to hear it.
Things should probably be finished by the end of the week, and then I just need to take care of post-production matters. So it’s possible the thing will see release sometime in the first week of February.
That’s not as soon as I wanted to get it out there, but it’s probably going to be a better album for being given a bit more time to find its own identity. It could have been many things, and they all would have been different from what it’s turned into. It could have easily been an insanely-crammed CD on par with CHICKEN ANGEL WOMAN, in terms of the number of tracks and the runtime. I ended up having to shave things down from about forty new songs, which could have led to a double CD if I hadn’t been more judiciously juicy. But it ain’t quite time for things to get that epic yet. It could have been a much stranger, more difficult album, but I came to understand it was better to let the music go where it wanted to go instead of going out of my way to make it difficult.
I still think it demands more of the listener than anything I’ve done in a while, but it isn’t impenetrable. There’s a lot of melody, and a lot of catchy moments. They’re just leavened with more curveballs and tabasco sauce than usual. The catchiest, least-messed-with song on the whole album is sung to Jesus, if you can believe it, and it’s not all that ironic. Another song that would probably be the first “single” off of the album in an alternate universe is made up of equal parts catchy piano pounding, demented falsetto singing, and synthesizer flatulence. There’s an instrumental track that isn’t over in a flash and is probably as close as I get to ambient music. There are three songs that are about eight minutes long apiece and keep tearing themselves down and rebuilding until they dissolve. There’s one song that was written in a dream. There’s a closing track that isn’t like anything I’ve ever done before and seems to sum up the whole album without summing up anything at all.
I won’t be able to say how successful it is as an album until everything is finished, but I like where it’s going so far.
There’s also no proper cover art to speak of aside from the album title. That might come off looking like some kind of anti-album-art statement, but really it’s just what feels right in this instance. I’m too lazy to try and figure out what in the village of Intercourse I’m supposed to do for album art that would feel appropriate for the album title. Maybe every six years or so I need to put out an album without proper cover art.
There really is a village called Intercourse, by the way. It’s in Pennsylvania. Something about the idea of a sign that says, “Welcome to Intercourse,” cracks me up.