Are you there Peter? It’s me, Alex.

Lately, with the decline and fall of the music industry and all, I’ve been doing this “exercise” in the mornings, when I first wake up… No phone, no email, no anything -just sit still and shut up. It’s basically meditation, but I’m calling it listening.

The point is that the last year was pretty tough on those of us that are full time music makers, so naturally many of us are considering our place in all of this. Well, I’ll speak for myself. I’ve been inspired recently by guys like Brian Johnson and similar stories. Brian sold a successful social networking web site and decided to move to Bali and start Philosopher’s Notes. Basically, he’s going to summerize to others what he’s teaching himself. More importantly, to get to this point he really LISTENED. Not to others, but to himself and possibly what the “universe” was telling him. And now he lives in BALI, which sounds pretty rad.

There are a whole host of bloggers that are using our flaccid economy to encourage people to follow their gut and passion. “Things aren’t going well? Use it! You’re already fired, you might as well start on a new path of something that really moves you!” Which I think is fantastic. The more people are doing what they want in this world, the better for everyone, I feel.

So, I’ve been lying in bed each morning questioning my current path. Not in a depressed, hopeless way (I’m actually quite pleasent when I wake up,) but in an honest – “I’m listening if there is something else I’m supposed to be doing with this life. I’m available.”

Well, I’ll tell you what keeps happening. I keep getting “interrupted” by what sounds like the voice of Peter Griffin poking his head around the door frame saying, makemusictxt in that irritating, repetitive Peter Griffin kind of way. I usually just brush it aside, because hey – at the age of 22 I tossed my medical school acceptance letter in the trash and decided on a life in music. I mean, I did it already, so this can’t be what the universe is trying to tell makemusictxt me, right? This is the part where I get real…

Clearing my head again, because having practiced meditation for years I know it works like this. Thoughts arise in the makemusictxt brain and we gently brush them aside, quietly acknowledging and dismissing.

Ok, now that I’m back to emptiness, I can makemusictxt listen – damn. Really?! Are you sure about this? Because, I’m pretty sure that we makemusictxt have been doing this for a while and I don’t see a DB9 out in the driveway of this rented house!

makemusictxt

I’d love to make a record right now with a kick ass band. What do you say?

Seth Set(h)s the Tone

The always insightful Seth Godin on the state of the music “industry”. Seth NAILS it on the head when he says “People who want to invent a whole new set of rules, a new paradigm, can’t believe their good fortune and how lucky they are that the people in the industry aren’t noticing an opportunity…”

I couldn’t agree more, and now that I’ve got this site up and running, I’ll be writing more along these lines.
Let’s do this!

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2009/02/music-vs-the-music-industry.html

Today’s the first day…

Of the new
album.

Stuart is one of my favorite artists and as usual, I’m excited to start the new album. This will be the third one I’ve done with him and it seems my preparatory notes about the songs get more and more abstract as the records progress. Ironically, my focus about the direction of the albums, as a whole, gets more and more focused.

When I first met Stuart, I saw his genius and immediately wanted to document and enhance it. That was the album Bell. That was good attempt, but it didn’t quite capture “Stuart”. For the next record, I wanted to accentuate every eccentric part of Stuart. That was the album ¿What. I’m very proud of that collection of songs. It came out just as I wanted. However, I think its wildness scared off a lot of people.

Which brings us to the new one.

I’ve decided to print out a set of questions and post them around the studio.

1. Is it simple?
2. Is it familiar?
3. Can I sing along to it?
The idea is not to handicap Stuart, but to build a stage upon which he can perform to a wider audience. We’ve done narrow and deep VERY well. Now, I want to try opening the aperture a bit wider to include some new faces.

We recently did a song for the new Owen Wilson movie

, set to come out next spring. It’s one of the simplest songs we’ve ever produced, and so far it seems to be one of the most memorable.

It’s a great place to start.

So, if I don’t check in as much, it’s not because I don’t love you. It’s because I do love you.