Sorry I’ve been so quiet the last while. I’ve had a number of irons in the fire, only one of which has been finishing up any kind of records. I’ve been trying to figure out how to weaponize hyperfocus as a skill instead of an impediment. Taking stock of stuff I’ve done and not done and figuring out where to go from here. Figuring out how to put food on my family. It feels as if my particular middle age reckoning came a good decade late, unless of course the new lifespan is a century. In which case yikes, no thanks. I shall ask my doctor if Quietus is right for me.
But in between all my Mergendeiling I’ve had time to start many many new songs, music more than lyrics as I’m trying not to fall into all my established persona tropes as I continue working on myself. Perhaps I need to turn to a good lyricist. (Know any good lyricists who aren’t already busy? Message me.) With all the recent advances in AI, I suppose it’s only a matter of time until someone comes up with a HalDavidBot™. The thought of that just gave me the shivers like you wouldn’t believe. Not sure if they were the good kind.
Bit I digress. In any case, it’s good to have a well rounded perspective and occasionally ask questions like “what exactly have I contributed to the culture of human civilization?” And the answer—as it always has been—is 42.
I dropped by Chapel Hill hyper-local radio station WCHL 97.9 studio last month to chat with Aaron Keck about #Coronadrops, how those turned into making a proper record, and my summer of funrecovery from surprise heart surgery. We even spun (do we still say that about digital files?) three as-yet-unreleased songs from the new record, provisionally titled The Pains That Come With Age.
This will take approximately 25 minutes from your life. Enjoy!
It’s great to hear the songs for this album becoming an actual album. With an actual title. And actual performances from a bunch of great musicians –– some you whom you may already know and love from my other records, and a few lovely new contributors on board this time, and still some late game assists as yet to arrive in ye olde droppe box.
Despite the largely remote-recorded nature of this record, it hangs together surprisingly well, almost… well… live sounding. My singing is as great as ever. </rimshot> But seriously, everyone on their press tour usually says “This is my greatest work to date/these are my greatest songs/I am the greatest blah blah blah” and they mean it, but the odds are against them or else they wouldn’t have former glories great enough for them to end up on a press tour, amiright? Bottom line: As of this moment I am the least ambivalent I have ever been about making music, and for me that’s saying a lot. So thanks for your continued enthusiasm and patience. Hope to see you again sometime soon.
Here are five full weeks of the deluge of unreleased songs I released daily at the outset of lockdown. Most were old and unfinished, performance and/or production-wise, but there hopefully are a couple of bangers in there.
They are free to download as individual tracks, but when you download them as paid ”albums“ I get to buy Bakugan and Beyblades for my ten year old.
Yes, yes… 2020 has been a bear. A few more weeks left, that’s all. The horizon is finally in sight. This may be no comfort to those who have lost loved ones, or the doctors and nurses who will struggle with PTSD for years to come, but I assume if you’re reading this you’re still here. Thank you for staying with us. And thank you, Science.
Please stay safe, keep following protocols until enough of us are immunized, keep the holidays to your immediate household, and keep the schools closed a little longer where needed.
And let’s all be vigilant for the next one should it come in our lifetime.
Here is a master page of #coronadrops: a whimsically-chosen series of previously unreleased songs—released daily(!)—until the quarantine is over, or until i run out of decent previously unreleased tracks, or quite possibly even die of this thing.
All of these tracks have explanatory notes in the individual song pages, as most are straight out of the archives warts and all and may require a little justification, although I have tarted up a few things when possible. There are even a couple of fairly recent things amongst the detritus.
Looks like we made it… to our fifth week. And things are starting to sound a little too ratty to air publicly (to my ears at least). But like the kids say, the songs are still mad decent.*
Week Five: (and a couple of post-facto stragglers)
you are welcome to play and download week five as individual tracks for free over here
Week Four: (“covers week” apparently)
you are welcome to play and download week four as individual tracks for free over here
Lovely article in this week’s IndyWeek by long-time Db enthusiast Brian Howe. Who’d have thought #coronadrops would lead to my first actual press coverage in a decade? Man, this awful year just keeps getting stranger.
As some of you probably know, I have Brontë lungs already weakened by a double-smoking-parent childhood followed a half-life of evenings spent in smoky clubs. Little known fact: I am also the wiktionary definition of the word sedentary. So I must confess I have sorta kinda been keeping an eye on this whole Coronavirus business.
For the past two decades I have oscillated between writing some pretty good pop songs, recording them in various contexts, generally hating said recordings and/or my performances, and then not releasing, or occasionally banishing said songs from my thoughts. Self-deprecation and insecurity are hardly unique amongst songwriters (or artists, in general) but I had somehow managed to turn it into a ridiculous, crippling trail of unfinished business.
But then I lost a songwriter friend to the Trump Virus. On Tuesday I heard he was on a ventilator. Wednesday, he was gone. And I couldn’t help but feel that there was still this constellation of ideas, melodies, hooks, words there in his mind and suddenly they were GONE just like that, in an instant.
And also kind of like that, I realized that I need to stop taking this stuff quite so seriously. I need to stop needing things to be perfect or great (or as close as I ever get to that, though that’s another conversation) and just get on with the work with whatever time I have left on this planet.
So I’m going to empty my drawers and post one unreleased song a day, for the duration of the quarantine, or until they start to suck.