Archive for October, 2006

On VH-1 tonight

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Set your TIVOs: VH-1 interviewed me for their show ’100 Best Songs of the 80′s’ and they just tipped me off it will air tonight in the second hour. They say they will use soundbites from my interview here and there.

I generally don’t like these countdowns with the commentary in between. “When Angelina Jolie stepped out of that limo, everybody’s jaw hit the floor!”….. says some B-list talent, recalling the moment in such detail you’d think he was actually right behind Angelina on the red carpet, when in fact he just viewed it on a video monitor months after the event.

But I agreed to do it because a song of mine is actually *in* their Top 100 (hmm, can you guess which?) I reasoned that this gives me the credentials to be interviewed for sound bites without coming off looking like a complete no-hoper. Tune in tonight and judge for yourselves!

BTW they said they may also preview a clip from my upcoming DVD ‘The Sole Inhabitant’.

Doing the iPod shuffle

Friday, October 27th, 2006

I’m on my way to reception for tech writer Steven Levy who is publishing a new book about the iPod. It’s taking place at my friend Heidi Roizen’s ‘Kasbah’, a private underground night club on her estate in Silicon Valley.

I feel happy about taking time off to have some fun at the Kasbah because all of our CD and DVD submissions are now complete, and Discmakers have the manufacturing underway. In spite of hard drive crashes and other inevitable delays, I think we will make the deadline to release ‘The Sole Inhabitant’ on Nov 21st as scheduled. Initial reactions have been good: Apple may be interested in doing a feature on iTunes, and selling the entire concert as a download!

Which brings me back to the iPod. What a piece of tech history that product is! It was not the first: Diamond Rio and others had MP3 players out first, but Apple managed to marry hardware and software in an irresistable way. Tony Fadell was the catalyst–he worked with me at Beatnik, and has previously had a modicum of success with handheld products at Philips and elsewhere, but when he went to Apple he really nailed it. Timing is everything! I look forward to seeing Tony, Steven and others tonight to toast the incredible success of the iPod.

Masters Complete

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

I finished up a 22-hour session in the shed at 7am, getting ready to deliver the CD and DVD. I was hallucinating for the last few hours–not the good kind, just random flashes of green like the one you hope to see when the sun goes down into the ocean. A few hours sleep then I drove to The Plant in Sausalito where I’m doing the mastering. As soon as that’s done I will take one reference CD to InGrooves in SF where they will encode it and deliver it to iTunes, etc. The second reference CD goes to Discmakers who are replicating it. Johnny is on target to send them his video parts tomorrow.

In the meantime the layout guy says his computer won’t boot, and it contains the only copies of the Photoshop files needed to make the sleeve! Pretty ironic if that’s what makes us miss the deadline.

And as if that wasn’t enough: our proposed tour manager for December got in a bad vehicle accident and is recovering in hospital with a broken vertebrae in his neck.

But here’s the up side: Winding along the coast road today, with the sun shining and the radio blaring, and a finished album right there on my passanger seat, in spite of my exhaustion I felt a true inner joy that I haven’t felt in years.

Exciting news re: tour, DVD, CD !

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

We’re announcing today that my DVD and CD ‘The Sole Inhabitant’ will be released Nov 21st, and available here, on CDbaby and on iTunes. Following that I’ll be touring across the South, on a co-headlining tour with BT.

If you don’t know this guy you should. BT is credited as the inventor of several trance/house generes, and DJs massive gigs in sold-out dance clubs and festivals. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg: he’s also a brilliant record producer, and creates his own music software when the off-the-peg stuff falls short (sounds familiar!); and he composes film scores including ‘Monster’ which won an Oscar for best actress. I feel he’s a modern master and it’s great that we will each be exposing our core audience to the other’s work. BT has a cool 3-piece band, and will be playing live soundtracks to projections of the seven animated films from his current DVD, ‘This Binary Universe.’

As I write I am in ‘Le Funky Shed’ finishing up the final mixes for the CD. I decided in the end to use different performances for the two products. The DVD concert was filmed at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston, while the CD was taken from two gigs at Martyrs in Chicago. The set list is the same for both, but I felt that while Boston looked very nice (thanks to Berklee’s own video production and lighting crew), the Martyr’s gig had that warm feeling which pervaded my Spring tour.

On Wednesday I will finalize the ‘mastering’ of the CD at a studio in San Francisco (balancing levels for each song, trimming gaps etc) whle Johnny DeKam is hard at work color-correcting the video and authoring menus for the DVD. On Friday the whole lot goes off for manufacture. I should have the discs in my hands by Nov 15th, leaving me enough time to sign and number 1000 of each (grunt!) and ship them to CDBaby. Apple, in the meantime, will be delivered the tracks for iTunes, and I hope they’ll see fit to do some sort of feature about me.

My poor family are getting used to seeing a zombie wandering around in his bedroom slippers, oblivious to the real world. I’ve had very little sleep, but it’s exciting to be in the final stages of this project! Can’t wait for you all to hear it.

Preparing for the DVD

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

Life’s been so busy! I know I’m usually rude about them (and a lot of it is justified) but putting out a DVD and CD without any record label help is a lot more work than I anticipated. Here’s a list of what I’ve been up to this week:

-Editing a 60 minute interview down to 30 minutes

-Chopping pieces out of my lecture/clinic at Berklee College of Music to use as ‘Special Features’

-Creating legal documents to clear the video rights, FedExing them around the country

-Meeting with potential online marketing companies and settling on InGrooves

-Meeting with podcasting/video podcasting companies

-Mixing the soundtrack for a separate CD

-Working on the sleeve design with the artwork/layout person Dorian Leslie

-Finalizing the sleeve notes with music journalist Kurt B. Reighley

-Setting up album sales accounts at CDBaby, Amazon and elsewhere

-working with my agent to tie down 18-20 concerts between Thanksgiving and Christmas

-Psyching myself up for a possible live national TV appearance in just over a month!

It’s all going extremely well, but I am close to overwhelmed. I think next time I will treat myself to a personal assistant, at the very least. And maybe a personal trainer, masseuse, and chef.

Suffice to say that I think ‘The Sole Inhabitant’ DVD and CD will be a fantastic thing! It’s going wrap up what’s been a great year for me, and provide an excellent look back at the first 30 years of my music; and it will draw a line in the sand beyond which lies… NEW music.

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[Pic: Mark Owens]

Black and White Ball

Sunday, October 8th, 2006

This was a first for me: I was playing outdoors, close to midnight, with no roof over the stage. It was a clear chilly night and the dew was so thick that when I came onstage my equipment was completely soaked. My fingers splashed across the keys. And the venue had no towels–none! My head was steaming in the night air and I could see my breath. I almost felt like I was back in England. It would have been a great night to sing ‘Airwaves’…. ‘Knee-deep in water/under a pylon/how still my heartbeat, how this the air I’m breathing in.’

(Well okay I know *any* night would be a good one for me to sing ‘Airwaves’ as far as many of you are concerned. Sooner or later…..)

Canal Room video

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

Ross Leung shot some great video footage last week at my concert at The Canal Room in NYC. Here’s a clip from it: ‘I Live In A Suitcase.’ It’s all a single handheld shot, so it’s a little less sophisticated than the Sole Inhabitant DVD will be in November. But feel free to download and redistribute, and if you have a video iPod, it’s already in the right format.

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Pics from Boston

Sunday, October 1st, 2006

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The very glamourous Lunesse (above) took some nice pics while we were on the road last week. Here’s our rental truck, with its advertisement craftily defaced by Darin and Justin.

[ERRATA: I am now informed the vandals were Lunesse and our host, Bob.]

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And a couple from my performance at Berklee School of Music in Boston…

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Incidentally, the Boston Herald published a very nice review of the gig here:

http://theedge.bostonherald.com/musicNews/view.bg?articleid=159930