It’s been too long since a new post (not counting the last one, a gig-related update), and the last big entry was pretty inside baseball. The last few months have been quite busy. There are myriad reasons, but the largest of which is likely the prep, execution, and recuperation from the Borghi | Teager East Coast Tour. It was a grassroots, DIY affair and it couldn’t have gone better. Seven shows in four days (not including the bookended days of driving and one day of rest), many of which were in different cities and times (from 4:00 PM to 4:00 AM), including radio sets (both live and pre-taped), genre shows, and non-genre shows. We slept on floors and couches and a few beds and managed to come home with small but comfy profit. Now we’re home, the new studio album is out, and we’re already busy scheming away for 2015 (including a big show in Muskegon – a homecoming of sorts – I’ll plug more at a later date).
But I’ve also been busy teaching and working and attempting a family/social life. And The Fencemen are also quietly rumbling away, dusting off old tunes and writing new ones. And I’m raking leaves. Yada yada…
So I figured I’d perhaps doing a quick roundup of miscellaneous thoughts and notions and updates:
• I actually listened to U2 Songs of Innocence – yes, the free iTunes album everyone was typing in ALL CAPS about. This was about a week ago, actually. I didn’t hyperventilate over it as so many others did. I watched the initial announcement (which was after their performance at the Apple Event) and thought it was more odd than anything, particularly because I thought the song they performed was pretty weak. Granted, I’m a mostly passive U2 fan. I had three albums (not to mention the Batman Forever soundtrack) before Songs…, and I listen to them occasionally at most. I wasn’t too offended that the album was available to download in my account (it didn’t appear on my computer without my authorization), but I was very skeptical and slightly disturbed at the notion that the “freemium” culture had now achieved total corporate saturation. My best case (and hopeful) scenario is that this is hopefully a jumping of the shark of not paying for music. But we’ll see.
Anyway, why did I listen? Because I had read and heard so much about the calamitous PR surrounding and released of the album and almost nothing about the actual content. Well, after one complete listen I can report that most of it didn’t stick with me, save for a couple decent moments. And considering all the hype around the immediate announcement of the album, those moments should’ve been much more than “decent.” I’ll be removing Songs of Meh from my library. I had considered doing a full New Listen going through each song, but that would’ve been more about the act of doing it than caring about the actual music. Which I don’t in this case.
• No matter how big or small a genre or scene may be, I’m continually amazed at the lack of unity or community. You’d think that all would band together and that a rising tide would lift all boats. Instead it’s more like a rising tide is an opportunity to sink your neighbor…
• I recently performed in a chamber recital, my first in a couple years at least. It was lovely to revisit that world and aesthetic, and it has me wanting to possibly do more.
• I’m continually impressed with and amazed by my friends and colleagues. It sounds cliché, but I’m surrounded by some damn talented folks. Some of my favorite music was (and continues to be) created by them.
• The Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross score for Gone Girl is quite good.
• PRISM Quartet’s The Singing Gobi Desert has been nominated for a Grammy. I was happy to see that, as it’s a great release. You can read about it here.
• I should mention again that the new Matt Borghi & Michael Teager effort is out now. Shades of Bending Light is our second studio album. Among many other things, it marks my official return to alto saxophone in a non-classical or musical theater environment. I’ve kept that horn separate for years, for whatever reason. It’s nice to have it back in the fold.