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13

Jul

The Emergence – Please Rise 2

In November I broke my pinky finger hanging temporary shades with wine. I put one foot up on the radiator and the other on the arm of a reclining chair. The chair tipped over of course, and I caught my fall on the top of the head rest of that chair creating a ‘minimaly displaced fracture of the distal fifth phalanx’. When I looked down and saw the tip of my left pinky finger bent back a bit beyond a perfect 90 degrees I immediately grabbed it with my right hand and SNAPPED it back close to straight as I collapsed with a scream down to my knees. It didn’t quite make it back into place. My pinky was still curved a little bit backwards at the tip. I sat there for half an hour bending my finger over the back of a spoon trying to get it to pop back into and stay straight; all the while thinking, “this is going to make recording the rest of my guitar parts really f*$k!@& difficult!” Eventually Amy convinced me to go to the E.R. to get it looked at. They looked at it, x-ray’d it, declared it broken, declined to snap it any straighter, put a $0.50 splint on it and told me to go the Drug Store down the street to get a better one. They also sent me to a hand specialist to get a custom splint made. Apparently hospitals don’t specialize in splints. Everyone was amazingly nice to me, cut me deals, slowed down and were present with me (who has no health insurance) and honestly seemed concerned about my musical ambitions. I felt somehow blessed to live in this place.

My finger is still crooked………………………. but I can play just fine 🙂

I made the page of ‘Nine Fingered Tasks’ above listing things that i could accomplish on the album while on the plane ride to London ten days later that only required nine of my fingers (no guitar). I did some pretty intense time correcting, granular editing, mixing, vocal comping and arrangement of parts. All in all, The album ended up taking about a year and a half, from deciding to start writing to CD in hand. Not too bad me thinks.


About a year and a half ago I showed up at David’s house in Boston with a contract which we signed with each other stating that we would write and record a CD within a year and then give away 1,000 copies. This included us each writing a song a day for the first 30 days. I live in New York City, David lives in Boston. The plan was to make this a The Postal Service style project sending each other pieces of songs to work on, except instead of the mail we used ftp transfers, email attachments, shared google documents, flash cards, notebooks, skype video chatting and any other means available to communicate. We even got together in person at times to write and play.

Directly upon returning from that initial trip to Boston I found out that my entire building had been vacated. Basically, over 200 people, largely artists living and working in loft spaces we had built out, had been kicked out of our homes and work spaces by the department of buildings. So I found myself suddenly homeless, though my cat Agape was actually padlocked into my aparment. For the next 30 days, while staying with my sister, friends Amy and Logan and in hotels and while at my office I wrote, recorded and sent David a song a day……for well over 20 days. At some point it just became ridiculous (the laptop I was using for recording died). But the time was fruitful for both David and I. Many of the 19 tracks that made it onto the album came out of this time.

David and I met back in 2000. I was DJing at raves and clubs around New England and looking to get back into making my own music as opposed to just playing others. David was making noise in various bands and looking for a more spiritual project to engage. The first time we got together to play the very first thing we did was write a song. I said something to the extent of ‘fuck playing covers, let’s just write something’ and then started strumming chords. David just started singing and within a short while we had written GA, which later appeared as a hidden track on the Hunger Dreams soundtrack. We wrote songs, scored theater, played shows, collaborated on the recording of another project and then went our separate ways for a while. I had moved to North Carolina, dug into my career a bit and recorded some bands on the side. David became a Jewish Studies teacher and later the director of a Jewish school, got married and had a daughter and played in a few musical projects of his own. This album represents us asking the question of whether or not music is still an integral part of our lives and our relationship. I think the answer is a resounding yes.

Over the last year and a half we worked with 25-30 songs exploring themes of love and spirit, of loss and despair, of transcendence and embrace, integration and dissolution; reaching a new level of collaboration between us. This manifested as an amazingly fluid writing process. We co-wrote both the music and the words on this album with an intense openness, vulnerability and clarity often times tearing each others work down only to get together and rebuild it. We recorded in Brooklyn and in Boston and finally had it mastered in Manhattan. We are now in the process of giving away 1,000 CD’s. We invite you to find us on Facebook or on MySpace, become a fan or a friend and ask for your free album. You can find David in Boulder, CO this week and in the Boston area after that. I am in and around Brooklyn, NY. We would love to share this music with you. If you go to www.NoAffiliation.com and make a donation of $5 or more to cover shipping I we will send one to you.

This is project NA0018 from my label NoAffiliation. The CD is free, but we are accepting donations to help fund this and future projects.

  1. Amy

    It has been a pleasure to watch this project happen from its conception to its birth. I remember when you were borrowing my guitar and taking it with you to work on songs from your hotel while in training at work. Your dedication to a song a day during that crazy homeless time was inspiring.

    I’ve listened to the entire album and I think it’s beautiful.

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