I’ve put together a tracklist for my album. Most of the songs are newer; some I haven’t finished recorded yet (“The Big Darkness”, “Scatterlings And Refugees”, “Entropy”, “After The Ice Age”); there are a few older ones (“Sleeping In Flame”, “Sky Blue”, “Redwood City Station”). With only a couple of exceptions, I’ve decided to re-record everything again, because I finally feel like I know what I’m doing, for the most part.

The album was going to be titled The Big Darkness, but on reflection I’ve decided to call it Travelogue, because that’s basically what it is: all of the songs are about travel and exotic places and motion. The linchpin of the whole album is “Scatterlings And Refugees”, which I just finished writing, and which may be the prettiest thing I’ve ever done. It’s also the song that owes the most to Paul Simon, both in lyrics and melody. (Have I ever mentioned that Graceland and The Rhythm Of The Saints are two of my favorite albums of all time? I must have.)

I started writing it for somebody I fell in love with; that didn’t work out (or actually work at all, or even get hired to work in the first place), but the song is about the good feelings involved in that, not the sad feelings. It’s a flat-out love song, a hopeful song, which is something rare for me — especially since I’ve decided that I’m not going to open myself up to those feelings anymore. It never works out (or gets hired to work in the first place) and it’s not worth getting the shit kicked out of me again.

But hell, maybe the song will work for somebody else. 🙂 That’s the best you can hope for as a pop musician, I think: to write songs that make other people fall in love.

I want to get this finished by the end of the year. Which, with my current roster of work projects, means I’m going to be invisible for the next few months. I’ve got a tentatively-scheduled work trip to Germany and Turkey in November (the details of which I’m not at liberty to talk about yet), and I may be spending a few weeks holed up in Nowheresville, Utah, also for work. I’m also hella broke, so I don’t have a lot of money to spend on socializing.

So don’t expect to see me. But I’ll post fragments of what I’m doing. And I’ll leave you with a bit of “Scatterlings”:

I rang the New Year in In a field out in the suburbs somewhere outside East Berlin I watched the fireworks burn the night And I wondered where you were and if you were alright

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