• When playing a tune for friends, it's nice to have NICE speakers.

To the left is a photo of a genuine JBL 4300 Series studio monitor, the series that has ruled recording studios for years, starting in the 1970s. I'm not sure of the exact model at left, but it doesn't really matter. All 4300 Series speakers rock. Still do, in fact.

I snapped this photo last night, after dinner had been et and I had cajoled my hosts into listening to a few numbers. I played Here Comes The Weather first, since it's the only track that's finished, and as Toppe Secret's voice emanated forth from these JBL jewels, I felt an oh-so-rare feeling for me when it comes to my music: a touch of pride. For these speakers pulled every nuance of emotion from every note of Sam Bevan's piano and bass, every hit Andy Korn's drums, every electrical signal of Jaime Durr's engineering and every breath of Toppe Secret's voice, and did my song true justice.

So, thank you JBL and thank you Fred, the mad Frenchman who owns the speakers. Oh, and thank you Sam, who made a truly amazing meal for me and Catherine, and set the perfect stage for a song. Or two.