Alright, so the good news is that ANTI-HERO is mixed and in the can; I.E. one down, 8 to go! The bad news is every time I practice this RAVINIA set all the way through, all 2 hours-15 and 27 songs worth, it wipes me out. So much so that I'm worthless for the rest of the day and begging to go home. Which is probably best, as David and Howard don't have to listen to my innumerable theories on rock and rock and they can just get on with the biz of finishing this album.
Currently, DORIAN is on the dock, and reports are favorable that it'll be dusted by this afternoon. Which allows me to be interviewed, so that someone else gets to hear my innumerable theories while the real men of rock finish this album. Not to say I'm over it (for don't forget I've got the rest of my life to play-not play songs from MONUMENTS TO AN ELEGY, or defend it, or hear about it), I'm just excited to have it d-o-n-e. As is The Shredder. As is T Lee.
One small story then from yesterday. I came in to hear a final balance of ANTI-HERO, with a tape machine ready to roll should I give the thumbs up. My comments were sparse: snare too big, vocal too loud. "That's my fault," said Howard. "I asked David to turn up your voice." A frown from me. "What can I say?" he defended. "I like loud vocals!"
I went out to the kitchen to drink whatever green goop it is that I drink daily. "Ok," Howard said coming out. "He thinks he's got it"; meaning, David's sorted out my requests. "Did he turn up the vocal?" Jeff joked. "Yeah," I jumped in. "You know: loud enough to blot out the guitars AND the Sun."
Back to the RAVINIA set for a moment: although it has been a bit frustrating for me at times to try to define, as the general songwriter for so much of this work (GISH to MONUMENTS, if you will), who it is that I am in the process; and how that translates into what gets played at a solo show, it has been (like any artistic journey) a revelation. Because as I've often gone on about in public, 'branding' is where the future is whether we as creator-types like it or not. And the brand of BC is a muddled one. So where does one turn? The music. Because the music always provides, for me, the answers.
Take for example what we're calling the MELLON COLLIE SUITE, where smack dab in the middle of this show Jeff and I take on 9 songs from the era in a stripped-down, demo-esque fashion. And that's just 9 songs of the 50 + that I wrote, if you can believe that. Anyway, I saw doing RAVINIA as a chance to play something that's never been played, and for that I choose the song METHUSELA (which is on the MCIS BOX SET). Fair enough, right: a big gig, play something special for a special night. But it's not so simple, because in learning the song for the first time I asked myself, once more, why I never played the demo for Flood or Alan?
The answer lies in the song's lyric, where a son asks questions of and has a dialogue with his father. Now, these days, my relationship with my Pop is the best it's ever been, and we talk almost every day. But back then I'd say our communication was next to nothing, and I was walking around with a lot of hostility, etc. Playing the role of the typical, angry young man. And I'd say the reason I never played that demo of METHUSELA for our producers is because it was TOO personal. For even know the lyric sends chills up my spine.
As a song, METHUSELA is good, not great, and I ask myself if I shouldn't be playing something more familiar, assuming that many in the crowd would be more familiar with: like 'LILY', or even 'IN THE ARMS OF SLEEP'; songs that I know without a doubt will work live. But that's more an SP mentality than a BC mentality, and that's where I'd say the difference lies at this moment. SP is for others, and BC is all I have left for me. Not to indulge (that's saved for the synthesizer!), but to share a more personal take on my own arc through these songs. Which explains why 2 + hours of that has me wanting to curl up into a ball and take a long sleep. Like dear 'ol Methuselah.