Thursday, July 29, 2010

it's not enough

i remember the very moment this song came to me...

driving up the slope of our street
Gavin in the backseat
past a gigantic house on my right
with the yellow Hummer in the drive
and a giant inflatable Statue of Liberty
in the front yard

"get born, get ahead
snatch it all up like they's not enough"

April 2, 2oo8
i was leaving for Austin
to record with Billy Harvey
in about a week
this one came spilling out
in a flash
i made a demo for Billy right away
it felt good to write quickly again
"the Man Who Learned to Love"
had preceded this one by only 5 days
i felt like i was on a roll
going to make a record with a songwriter as good as B.H.
inspired me
i didn't want to show up with B-grade stuff
when i pictured myself playing him songs i knew were just "ok"
looking down at my shoes in embarrassment
and making disclaimers
the thought horrified me
i was determined (even with plenty of time constraints)
to show up with as many good songs as i could muster up

"it's Not Enough"
turned out to be the bear of the bunch
the most difficult one to record mainly because of the sprawling
song-within-a-song psychedelic middle section
we wrestled with that section up until the very end
i loved the harmony vocals Billy put in that part
i kept asking for Lars Goransson, who was finishing the mix on it
finally we just put Billy front and center
and shoved my lower vocal to the side
if i'd had it my way Billy's voice would have carried the entire bridge

"when i was a boy
laying in the grass
i would always dream
of what i didn’t have"

a subtle nod to the Nourallah Brothers "those days are gone"

"i’m an old man now
and the flowers are in bloom
and all the pretty young things
pass by my window
...i’d gladly give up my soul for another go"

another nod
but to Bob Schneider's beautiful, poignant and funny "Swimsuit Season"

the recording features our 1st usage of the Optigan
with a loop on the chorus we snagged off of it
Billy played the wicked bass part
i played the main electric guitar
i never cared for my lead vocal much on this one
so i kept having Lars and Billy lo-fi it up
with distortion and EQ
still wish i'd sang it again
oh, well...

ce la vie!