Dotting I’s and crossing T’s, with the desert below and blue above the trees. And panicking, just a little.

Catherine and I are in Palm Springs for about a week, and I’m using the time to polish up lyrics for about 10 very-close-to-done songs. I’m feeling the heat (har) to polish for two reasons: one, babies are coming and my languid days of brooding contemplation are numbered; two, I’ve recently learned the hard way, twice, that I need to be finished and satisfied with a song before recording it. I don’t do well at all in the pressure session time limits. Equally bad, whenever I don’t feel quite right in my heart about a song, I’m invariably totally right -- at least in my opinion.

The first instance of knowing a song wasn’t quite right happened at Hyde Street last week. I had arranged for Elliot Randall and Heather Combs to track some vocals. But as Elliot’s arrival time approached, I was hunched over my lyric book trying desperately to fix a few a lines, lines in the fucking chorus, mind you, and I could not. Just could not quite make it. So Elliot showed up and we tracked and then Heather came in and afterwards I played a rough mix back ad nauseum and the vocals were great but I felt that dull dread deep down that the song was not. Thankfully, the only problem is the lyrics, but still... So, I’m working on them now.

The other song that I rushed to record when I shouldn’t have is Water Under The Bridge. I first recorded this song over a year back with Tim and Eryn Young at Hyde Street. I knew the chorus wasn’t quite right but I let it go. Fool! After completing an early mix of the song, I posted it on this blog and got some feedback and one friend, Chaco D, really nailed the problem, which was that the chorus wasn’t very dramatic. I agreed, rewrote the chorus and made a few other changes and rushed a demo over the Internet to Tim and he put down new guitars, then Sam Bevan tracked bass at his home and finally, just last week, Eryn sang it. I got the rough mix here in Palm Springs, played it, loved it, had Catherine listen to it, and she made one of those devastating critiques she’s so good it. And I agreed with her. So I got on the phone with Tim, who was not very pleased to hear that a song he has recorded THREE times still isn’t  right; worse, he thought Eryn was burnt on the tune and might not want to continue working on it. Ack. Tim and I concocted a plan, though, to win her over, which I think will work. No word yet. And I’m not going to rush anybody!

So, for the time being, I’m just going to chill (ho, ho, ho) in Palm Springs and get things right. Then, when Tim returns from his tour with David Mamet’s wife, Rebecca Pidgeon, we’ll get back to work. AND. I. WILL. BE. READY.