On the corner of Monmouth and Third, in the parking lot of the Genesis Educational Center, where the blood lines erase the color lines, a drummer needs practice. I wasn't expecting this. It might interfere with our listening session. The bad beats are hopping into my third floor window and making themselves comfortable, crowding the sweet spot. The singer, it seems, needs practice, too. And is that a preacher hollering the gospel, or a drunk abusing his wife? Around here, one can never be certain. Perhaps it's both...
The pairing has been likened to Mary Poppins and Satan. That's the easy and obvious way out, and it's a load of crap. It's much more difficult than that. They're much more similar than they are different, coming together to tell one story and filling in each other's blanks only when the reverb gets too thick. But I don't want to say any more about it. I'll now speak only of the differences I heard between listening in the office through my computer's Dell speakers and listening at home with the Musical Fidelity A3.5 system and Totem Arro speakers.
Okay. We just squeezed a full day's work into four tight and furious hours. The company granted us a half-day, so that we could all get a head-start on the holiday weekend. This, of course, is very nice. However, we started shipping the wonderful June issue just yesterday and had much work to accomplish this morning. In addition, for various reasons, we've had to accomplish that work without the help of an ad coordinator or production manager, and all while employing an entirely new pre-press system. Shipping days, as a rule, are intense. These have gone beyond intense.
I've mentioned, here and there, the lovely and romantic collaboration between Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell, Ballad of the Broken Seas. I should tell you that, when I first heard this album, my face went sour and my high hopes fell far and flat. It wasn't what I expected. It struck me as being a bit odd and aloof, foggy and cold; I wanted it to be easier, gentler.
I told no one about this, I swear, yet everyone seems to know. Word spreads like vermin. All eyes are up to the ceiling. As we walk down the halls of our Madison Avenue office, we hold a suspicious and trembling view of the dirty gray panels which hang, tentatively, above us. We are wary and watchful, cautiously anticipating the sudden fall.