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January 2, 2017
This message comes a little late. Forgive me for spending New Years Eve and New Years Day snowshoeing and hanging with amazing friends instead of getting my ‘socials’ in order.
We’ve seen a lot of rough politics and world events in 2016, as well as the deaths of many of our collective heroes. We also saw a lot of shows of solidarity and love, and that’s what I choose to carry into the new year.
I took in a huge amount of inspiring music this year. Despite these constant reminders that there are hundreds of amazingly talented and worthy artists out there, I am grateful for my own endurance – the ability to turn that admiration into inspiration rather than defeatist frustration. I am grateful for my persistence of vision and my modest and ongoing mastery of the tools of my trade.
On the morning of NYE I finished the last few lines of Patti Smith’s M Train, a beautifully personal and inspiring read. Coincidentally, I found out that Jan 31 also happens to be her birthday. That coincidence, combined with the fact that Patti Smith is more celebrated than ever in her 70th year, is about as good an omen as I need to seek out.
Let’s all keep making stuff as if it matters, because maybe it does. Love to you all.
PS – Here’s the news from me (in case that’s why you were reading):
– Perhaps most relevant to this newsletter, I have come a very long way toward a new Michael Feuerstack recording. I’m guessing you’ll be able to hear it in the Fall or so. It really is almost done already, and I can barely stand the idea of sitting on it for so long. I just want to make sure it’s as amazing as it can be, and that we time it just right so that the highest possible amount of people will get to hear it.
– I spent a lot of this year making music with the Luyas. I feel pretty lucky to make some of the best, weirdest music of my career with some of my bets and weirdest pals. You can look forward to our full length, Human Voicing, on Paper Bag Records in February of this year.
– Camille Delean’s debut record, Music on the Grey Mile, will see release in 2017 as well, finally. I co-produced, mixed and played on this lovely work, and I hope you’ll keep an ear to the ground for it. We’ll be playing shows too.
– There were many other collaborations. Besides chipping away at a new recording with Bell Orchestre, and occasional contributions to the work of Paper Beat Scissors, I also was lucky enough to be re-united by SappyFest this year with my dear comrades the Wooden Stars for a one-off show, as well as a re-mount of our collaboration with Julie Doiron.
Pure luck all around.