HEY WORLD, do you completely hate yourself? are you lonely as all get-out? do you spend basically all of your energy trying to be as delightful and charismatic as humanly possible to the general public because maybe [just maybe!] if you keep actively making other people happy, you’ll quiet down your needlessly vicious inner monologue for a little while?
HEY ME TOO! LET’S NOT TRY AND GET TO THE ROOT OF OUR VERY REAL AND TROUBLING ISSUES, LET’S WRITE AN UNCOMFORTABLY CANDID SONG ABOUT IT AND POST IT ON THE INTERNET INSTEAD!!!
so, i wrote this song over the summer. it’s specifically about being a photographer, but also, you know, being an observer in general—being the one quietly watching as everyone else does all the brave things. it’s an interesting and emotionally conflicting thing to be that person—i feel so lucky that i get to capture all of these tiny important moments in other people’s lives—and that i’m good at it—but sometimes it hits me that while i have books worth of other people’s memories, i’ve got too few of my own.
this recording was a long-distance collaboration with my crazy talented and generous friends lee wiggins [drums/mix] and bill shaouy [glockenspiel] in atlanta, as well as my friend john fremer III [bass] in boston. i’m on guitar, vox, and melodica. i know nobody clicks on videos, but if you happen to, maybe go fullscreen/hd for this one. the video’s a nice collection of pretty photos i’ve taken. i hope you like it.
the other night, i couldn’t sleep, so i decided to record a cover of one of my favorite neko case songs, “i wish i was the moon.”
SYLVIA PLATH ‘The fig tree’
in which a couple of my best boys [keith klingensmith, joel boyea] and i cover nick lowe/carlene carter’s 1983 hit “time wounds all heels” and i channel my inner sassy-80s-soulpop-backup-singer. we call ourselves Four-Eyed Soul. :o)
joel’s running the show here, singing the lead vocal and playing All The Things—guitars, bass, keyboards, drum programming, as well as the mix wizardry and video. [the bits of the video where he’s pushing all the little drum buttons are fascinating to me! i wanna play with that thing.] keith and i just showed up to emote! oh, the outtakes from those videos. nerrrrrd alert. <3
i was completely unfamiliar with this song before joel asked me to sing it, and i at first listen, i was like “nope! i’m gonna RUIN that.” but then it ended up being the most fun i’ve had with a song in a while and i am totally in love with our version of it! i know i say “most fun i’ve ever had doing a song!!” all the time, but it’s true. which means i’m doing pretty well re: music/fun.
what did i DO before i started making long-distance music with people?? i just love that the three of us created this in our after-work hours for the heck of it. these projects are so great because so much bonding goes on during the process. the hours of hilarious group chats, the tossing around of arrangement ideas, the excitement of seeing the first couple tracks pop up in the dropbox folder, the “OH MAN!!!” moment you hear the first rough mix and realize you’ve stumbled onto something special, the trust circle that happens when you send out often embarrassing raw video footage to your band [haha!], the mutual admiration between the other musicians you’re working with, the “wtf, did i seriously just get to recreate one of my favorite songs ever??” moment, and then—when you finally post the video to the group and sit around waiting for the first comments to come in…it’s just so effing fun. EARLIER THERE WAS NOT A THING, BUT NOW THERE IS A THING. i just like that so, so much. and it’s the same kind of excitement when watching someone else’s video for the first time and being so proud [and often totally jealous, but in the best way] of what they’ve made. :o) we’re not anybody, but who cares? making more music has made me so much happier, and the people i’ve met via theme music are some of the best i’ve met in a long time—it’s THE BEST to have a big ol’ handful of talent-based crushes.
also: next weekend’s my birthday weekend [thirty-three on september 3rd, WHAAAAAAAAT?!] and i’m going to spend it in michigan, recording with these very two. though we’ve done a bunch of songs together, it will be the first time we’ve met in person! the internet, man! joel invited me out to record a couple of my originals. i’m kind of in love with his mixes/production and can’t wait to see what he can do with my humble little songs. equal parts terrified and excited to have to play music *in front of* these guys, as i never play for people over five years old and also i am huge fans of both! also also, i mess up an average of 782387 times per song. but they are really sweetly supportive of me and my music, and they understand that i’m a crazyperson. cross your fingers that i can suck up my all-encompassing fear and make it go!
this week, i got some of my best dudes together to cover one of my favorite new pornographers songs ever, “sing me spanish techno.” i’m almost a year into the long-distance collaboration game and it is still THE BIGGEST THRILL IN THE WORLD that this can happen. featuring the many and varied talents of:
atlanta’s own lee wiggins [drums, shaker, glorious mix] and bill shaouy [piano, pump organ, video]. new jersey’s matt brown [electric/acoustic guitar]. california’s michael simmons [electric guitar]. washington, d.c.’s very own jeff jensen [harmonica, and at one point, nose harmonica, just for me. haha]. michigan’s kyle richards [bass] and keith klingensmith [lead vocals]. and i’m here in chicago singing all the backups, being as neko casey as i can manage.
SO! MUCH! FUN!
the fact that this made me sob and feel completely sick to my stomach prooooobably means that i’m doing some things wrong right about now. [it is suuuuuuper lovely, however.]