Virginia Is For Hoverers: Part II is nearing the finish line.
John Carmack said that you can make anything you want if you have enough pizza and diet coke. I don’t have either of those things, but my apartment is a cave of wires and microphones and empty water bottles (I found out recently that soda is bad for you). Dirty dishes, darkness, harmonies coming from the headphones. This record began as another frustrating excursion into the world of no resources, trying to make a good record with no money, no time, no gear…..most of the pianos I have to tune myself. Most of the tracks were recorded in different places. I have to track vocals when the girl downstairs decides to give the dance-club-level hip-hop an hour’s rest. I don’t know if she has a job or what, but she’s up before 7:30 and she stays up all night.
So I started this record with the frustrating knowledge that I will be cutting corners. I was ready for a compromise. But something magical has happened…the obstacles have become beautiful. I’ve become so good at location recording, using cheap gear, EQ’ing out loud hip-hop….this is really the Chris Merritt sound, if there is such a thing, at it’s very finest. It’s quirky and raw…but the production quality is the best it’s ever been. I’ve been lucky enough to have some amazing people work on this record, too. Brett and I tracked a couple songs in a great studio in NY owned by our new friend Nathan, and then my new friend Andy, who is a producing genius, has been generous enough to do a few mixes and let me track some things at his studio. Brett has been putting great, crazy percussion on everything. Jake Thro has put his finest basslines of all time on a couple tracks, has produced the album’s finest tracks, and is mastering the album at this very moment. Well, actually, at this very moment he’s reading this sentence right now, aren’t you Jake? Get back to work you lazy-…. (That only works for Jake but I bet it freaked him out)
My intention was to release this album, and then make a “best-of” to start shopping to labels and other folks. But I’m starting to think that this record is a “best-of” on its own. Big words maybe…but it encompasses what I’ve been after….the lyrics are science-ridden, but I’ve also taken a sentimental turn back to cheesy love songs….there are biting rock songs….weird time signatures…..but also these pretty, poppy, embarrassing songs. But good embarrassing. If nothing else, these songs feel really honest.
The final songs are these (I had to draw the line….there were more I wanted to do…) White Boy, Surfin’, Radio, Pep-Pep, This Is Your Brain On Carl Sagan, Big Girl, Sugar, Wire, Spin The Bottle Champion, Pulse, Such A Long Time Ago, Donna, Margaux, Two Guitar Songs.
I know I suck with deadlines. My problem really boils down to bad prediction skills. Jake says the masters will be in my hands on Sunday. I’ll have everything ready to go and you can expect this new record on Sunday sometime. Please buy it. I’m broke as hell.