Spring in Minneapolis is your free-spirited ex-girlfriend who just moved back into town. “You’re back!” you say, breathless. “I missed you,” she whispers, sliding into your arms as if nothing had ever changed. Later that night, as you drift off to sleep in a post-coital bliss, you dream of how this time will be different, somehow your happiness will convince her to stay. But you wake up to find she’s gone, again, chasing dreams in a warmer climate while you lie stubbornly to anyone who will listen. Her absence doesn’t bother you. She’ll be back in a few weeks. You hope.
In honor of another (admittedly very mild, thanks El Niño and climate change) Minneapolis winter on her way out the door, here are a few things I’ve been working on, presented in meaningless order:
My friend Carl Broemel’s new record has just been mastered and will soon be released to the wild. Like his last record, it was recorded off-and-on over a few years, and like his last record it’s a heart-breakingly beautiful piece of work. I had the huge pleasure of playing with some incredible musicians on this, and can’t wait for you to hear it.
Speaking of incredible musicians, last month I joined Brandy Zdan for a duo show on her way through Minneapolis. I met Brandy last year while in Nashville; we recorded a few songs together in what turned out to be one of the most emotionally exhausting and creatively rewarding moments in my musical timeline. I haven’t written much about it—one of those cases where words are a letdown in comparison—but suffice to say playing those songs again was a joy. One of the most fun aspects of the show was taking on a challenge of performing multiple instruments—playing a keyboard to my left while playing drums; firing loops and samples while playing Moog and Omnichord parts; walking over to my bari sax for a solo through a multitude of delays. Special thanks goes out to my Macbook Pro for not melting into a puddle of silicon.
I’ve also stumbled into a few new projects; one that I’ve truly been enjoying is joining John Munson, Matt Wilson, and friends in the The Twilight Hours. The band is sort of a linear extension of their time together as Trip Shakespeare; the songs share a similar fearless, quirky, pop sensibility. They have a new record coming out very soon and some ambitious ideas planted—I’m excited to see what blossoms this summer.