Just turned 30.
Currently live in my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, which isn’t quite as bad as it sounds. Grew up in the Southern Baptist church, which is every bit as bad as it sounds.
Graduated from university with a degree in journalism, worked for several years as an award-winning staff reporter for alt-weekly paper in Jacksonville. Covered City Hall and the environment. Refused to write about music.
Play bass in Black Kids. I’m “the new indie bass gold standard,” according to the US Associated Press.
Growing up, music in my house was mostly limited to gospel, though I’d occasionally overhear my father’s Jimmy Buffett cassettes, to which I now attribute any early idea I had of the nature of The Pop Song. To this day, I fiercly defend Mr. Buffett’s pre-1984 catalogue.
I started writing and singing my own songs a few years ago.
I had a couple of duets laying around, and one day I thought of the spelling “duettes” (to connote short, small-sounding, detail-oriented songs). I thought this was so brilliant that I purposefully wrote a few more duets, and that’s the EP.
Song ideas mostly came during the deliruim of my two-hour, many-mile runs around Jacksonville. My personal record for the half-marathon is 1:33:13; I’m running a full marathon this December.
Songs were then written in my apartment, in the kitchen, usually with a five-gallon batch of beer brewing on the stove, or while waiting for pasta water to boil (always put in a fistful of salt, and for God’s sake, no oil).
The only guest singer I’d met is Soko. As for the others, I employed the sleuthing skills honed during my days as a reporter to find their e-mail addresses. I sent each the song I had in mind for her or him. They agreed to sing them with me, and I’m still wondering whether the universe is playing a trick on me.
I recorded the album myself, mostly in my apartment. When I say “recorded,” I mean that I stuck a microphone in front of whatever I was playing.
I played everything except for the drum set.
“I Miss The Shit Out Of You” makes reference to the delicacy known as the boiled peanut, one of the few things that makes me proud to be from The South.
“Gamophobia” includes what must be the first use of the term “in escrow” in recorded music. (“So long as you stay a gamophobe, these hips are in escrow,” sings my lover, vowing to withhold her body until I marry her.)
Regarding “Automobile,” I really do have a little Honda, and it’s paid for, and it has four doors.
“Reinheitsgebot” is the name of a 500-year-old German law mandating that beer be made only from barley, hops, yeast and water.
I chipped one of my front teeth recording the jaw harp on “Are Your Parents Still Together?” The tooth is still broken and will almost certainly remain so.
Charles Newman (Stephin Merritt's right-hand man) mixed the album
released 30 November 2010
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