Blog entry

Agents In The Mystery

Song Of The Day: Hide And Seek / Imogen Heap
Word Of The Day: Widdershins / Anticlockwise; backwards, in the reverse order or direction to normal.

If you want an exceptional, soaring experience of just how cool music can be, go to iTunes and download Imogen Heap's song Hide And Seek. Holy shit. As in "that is the sacred consecration of one human voice making astonishing music." It's just her voice. No instruments (save a vocoder), and if you think accapella music is for doo-wap and barbershop quartet, think again. This song has no real category. But its so immediately compelling, I was magnetized to it in one or two seconds. Everything about it, the words, melody, rhthym, timbre of her voice- it's stunning and perfect.

I haven't blogged in quite a while, ya'll, and I'm hip to that ya'll. It's not that I don't like to blog anymore, but I've been on a non-stop rock safari for like two months. Never a down minute, and it's all been good good good. I spent the last five days on the lot at Henson Studios in L.A. finishing tracking on my new album. Yes, we still use the word 'album', as in 'collection of work'. Would you prefer I use 'opus'? Me either. Anyway, Alex Gibson, Nate Jenkins, Rupert Hine, and myself have been plugging away night and day to hurry up and finish tracking. And we did it! I finished my last vocal (Glass) about a half hour before I went to the airport. Tracks on this album at this point:

Innocent Three Way
Voodoo Dolls
Murder Suicide
Good Weird
Rape Game
Dirty Purity
Before Beyond
Parker Posey

In my opionion, Glass is probably the best song I've ever written. I aint' sayin'. I'm just sayin'. Anyway, it would be fair to say that concluding this epic project has involved an olympic donation of time, energy, money, and patience from everyone involved. For starters, my producer Alex Gibson has literally been working around the clock for months and months on this project and has yet to receive a penny for his brilliant effort and devotion. To the contrary, he's spent plenty of his own money to keep it going. Paying musicians, purchasing materials, acquiring studio time. Same goes for our engineer / band mate Nate Jenkins, who's created the time-intensive sonic scapes on songs like Easter and Before Beyond that constitute what Rupert (and us by proxy) call "MOOD LOCK DOWN". Cool phrase, huh? Yeah. It means the groove and vibe of a song is so strong and perfect that in the first few seconds of the song you get Mood Lock Down. MLD. And Rupert? He's been working for free too. In fact, Alex, Nate, and Rupert have not only all worked for free, they've donated 100% of the studio time to this project. We've recorded in three different studios on the Henson lot, plus Alex's home studio, we keep skooching through the labyrinth of Love, each new phase a surprising wonder. But this team effort has not been limited to the studio. To even make it possible for me to go to L.A. to finish this album, my angelic friend Brandy George FLEW TO DENVER and literally stayed at my house 24 / 7 for five days watching my precious daughter Ara. You see, my wife is an emergency crisis worker for Boulder County. When she's on-call, I stay home and watch Ara for that week or week and a half. When she goes off-call, I go out on the road and do shows. That way we don't have to get day care. We just don't want day care, no offense to those of you who use it, we just don't want to do that. So, our schedules are very, very tight. I only have about 10 days a month I can really tour and do shows. However, there was just no way on Earth that we were going to finish the album unless I got my ass to L.A. in August. Had to happen. But it couldn't happen. We tried and tried to figure it out, my wife and I looked at the calendar over and over, brain stormed, but the only period of time that would work for Me, Alex, Nate, and Rupert to all be together in L.A. was right when Marci was working. Unless one of our friends flat-out stayed in our house for five days and watched our daughter, it wasn't going to happen. I shit you not, if I could not have made it to L.A. to finish the album in August, it would have been delayed till next year. I considered myself totally fucked. On a whim- a divine whim, I called Brandy and said "uh.... would you ever... want to fly to Denver and baby sit for five days??" I was squinting, preparing for the inevitable "UM, I'm insulating my attic that week." But, she was like

"YeeeeaahhhhhHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!! I WOULD LOVE TOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!"

So, Brandy flew to Denver as I flew to L.A. and watched our daughter for five days while my wife did her emergency work, pulling kids out of Meth houses, crack houses, and the like. And I made rock and roll. My wife is the biggest star of all. She's had to deal with unbelievable challenges to facilitate this music, this album, this career. I'm gone gone gone, travellling. She and my daughter travelled a lot with me last month, going to New York and Pennsylvania with me on tour, which was so, so fun, but also hard for a little two year old girl. When they dont' travel with me, my wife wakes up at 5am every day, takes care of our daughter while doing paper work, fielding emergency calls, cleaning the house, doing the landscaping and yard work, paying the bills and keeping our lives in order. I watch Ara days that I'm home between 3 and 8 hours a day, but my wife has carried an enormous responsibility caring for our daughter to make it possible for me to tour and make music. All told, I'll have spent over a month in L.A. making this album. My wife and daughter will be with me about one week of that. It has taken donation and support from dozens of people to make it possible. Starting with all the people who supported the project financially, putting up tens of thousands of their own money to pay for studio time (the parts we had to pay for), to those donating time and energy, to those working on the album for far less than they deserve (Andy McEwen, Brian Dillon, and the other singers, drummers, and musicians who came in to track for little or no money).

My point is just this: There's no such thing as 'Stuart' making a new album. It takes dozens of people helping in innumerable ways (most of them anonymously, from a simple devotion to the Mystery) to get such a thing off the ground. It truly is an integral event. I've experienced on album after album, but it seems to have reached a whole new order of depth and dimension on this particular album. I may sound like a new age wacko, but I'll tell you in complete sincerity that I feel a presence and larger purpose at work on this album, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be a participant in its unfolding. I'm not sure what it's up to exactly, but I sense it's really, really cool and kick ass, and it has to do with the Mystery. I know for sure that the work we do in this chamber -the chamber of vibrational transmutation which is constituted and conducted through this set of relationships- is a metaphor, to a degree. The album itself is a sort of decoy, or symbol, like everything, including your face and the computer screen you're staring at to read this. I don't mean to freak you out- well, yes I do- but you're face and the computer screen and the author of these words are in all actuality a fluxing singularity. Very often working on this project and in particular working with Alex Gibson, I have this distinct, unmistakable experience of the Mystery flat-out fucking WINKING at me. Just moments, they're like Deja-Vu but not quite. They're more like episodes where the I-Outside-Of-Time lifts several veils in an instant, and my identity becomes nothing but a peculiar flash-recognition of what's operating before, beyond, under, behind, above, and below the convincing assembly appearances that 'Stuart' has once again mistaken for reality. Then, it's ALL animated, every person, every object, every quality, is fully inhabitated by the Mystery -IS, God, Buddha Nature, whatever you want to call it- and it's just hilarious. I'm one of those things which is also all of those things. My soul, my essential Self (that which migrates from life time to life time) easily registers and orients itself in this context. It has no resistance or vertigo, it's perfectly resonant with it. My frontal structure (my personality, my body-mind, the vortex of preferences which establish themselves through oppositional boundary) on the other hand, is like "HOLY SHIT... WHAOOOO...JESUS....WHA????". And that's all cool. As it should be. It tends to walk around for hours, talking to the subtle and causal bodies going "did you SEE that? did you fucking just SEE THAT SHIT???" and the subtle and causal bodies are like "yah. like, for the billionth time, our practice is the self selfing the self and the self selfs the self with the self by the self for the self. k?"

remember that scene in Mulholland Drive where they're watching that lady, with the incredible, mind-blowing voice sing acapella in the theater, and it's so deeply transfixing, and then the singer fucking collapses, and the music keeps going, and its a recording? yeah. it's all there.

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Without exaggeration, Stuart Davis is one of the most fascinating and exceptional songwriters in modern music.

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