Mission impossible


Been trying to record “Angels Don’t Really Fly” (EP-BeatBad Records) out at Winterland Studios for the longest.  No matter how hard I try, no matter what vocalists I rope in to work with me on the cut. It turns to sh*t. God’s got a grudge against me, pure and simple.  The first was Stephanie Devine of The New Congress and The Devine Collection.  She came in, laid down tracks.   Then, I gave both bands an unflattering review.  So, we fell out.  And I scrapped her vocal.  After that was my good buddy M.J. Kroll.  Who at the first rehearsal, thought she could change the lyrics.  Love Mary Jean to death, but: Next!  Ace veteran Stanley Kipper of New Primitives sang on “End It All Over Again”.  Why not bring him back for this?  Got in my head to arrange it along the lines of what James Taylor and J. D. Souther did with “Her Town Too”.  Tight harmonies, leading vocals switching off, bleeding into each other.  My money got funny and couldn’t book time.  Between then and now New Prims’ new album was released and I panned it.  Not the best conditions under which to invite the man to join me in the studio.  This last singer (out of professional courtesy and personal esteem, no name), tells me my vocal doesn’t work for her.  But she knows how to fix it.  Next!  Though, ain’t no next.  I have no intention of spending my life getting this one song right.  Never thought I’d live to hear myself say this, but, Joe Salgado (producing engineer) can fix it in the mix.

At this point, I’d as soon leave it off the disc.  Just too much aggravation.  But, how much sense do it make to call the thing “Angels Don’t Really Fly” and leave out the title song?  So.  It stays.  After all, it’s not like my vocal is awful.   It’s not nails scratching on a chalk board.  Bottom line, I’m on key.  And, if it’s one thing I’ve learned in all these years.  Sing on key.  The rest is subjective, anyway.  Actually, after a few drinks, I don’t sound bad at all.  Will talk to Barry Knoedl at BeatBad.  Maybe we’ll figure out a promotional deal with Jack Daniel’s.

Win, lose or draw, about to be done recording.  On this next session, all I want to know from is mixing.  Getting close to finished as 3 hours allow.  Not that I don’t love making music.  Just, nobody paying me to do that.  Got a new book deal, though.  So, three guesses which direction I’m leanin’.

Adam Wahlberg from the legendary MN Law & Politics crew raised up on me, askin’ do I has enough material left over from Something I Said (Papyrus Publishing, Inc., thank you please) for another book.  You kidding?  Between what couldn’t get squeezed into SIS and new material, there easily were enough stuff.  Thing is, Adam wanted, quite understandably, social issues commentary.  Neither of us, though, wanted to put Son of Something I Said or Something I Said II.  Dan Sullivan came up with the idea to make it a memoir.  Which me and Adam both jumped on with all four feet.  So, Moments: A Memoir is the same thing only different.  Well, actually, deeper.  More social commentary.  Just with where it’s rooted in the author’s life.  Cool beans, long as the check don’t bounce and my name get out there (you don’t think I write for the sake of public service announcement).

Well as Something I Said sold, Moments: Excerpts From A Life & Career (Think Piece Publishing) looks good before it even starts out the gate.  Getting advance pub.  And interesting folk writing dust jacket notes.  Including Lissa L. Jones.   With Anthony Porter interested in doing the foreword.

For the pure hell of it – as if the plate weren’t already full – took on a p.r. assignment at Mad Dads (Men Against Destruction-Defending Against Drugs and Social-Disorder).  It’s a bunch of work off the top.  You ever been to Mad Dads’ office in Minneapolis?  Step into the conference room and it is a publicist’s wet dream.  Still kicking myself for not charging double.  Picture on the wall him hangin’ with Magic Johnson.  Autographed headshots from my girl Sheryl Lee Ralph, one of them Winans sisters and a slew of other big black folk.  Some white folk, too.  Surprised somebody ain’t beat me to this.  The shot to publicize country-wide institution Mad Dads under the auspices – yes, dammit, auspices – of national president, one and onliest VJ Smith. Who, I have it on good authority, puts in overtime on overdrive committing to the community yet don’t forget to take his own space and, for instance, relax this past 4th of July with the wifey.  Good for the both of them.  My man knows when it’s time to say a hero ain’t nothin’ but a sandwich.  And chill. Out of self-preservation.  After all, no point killin’ yourself over the community to the extent you don’t have a life.  Old Chinese Proverb.

So.  As the expression goes, That’s all the news fit to print.



Singer-songwriter Dwight Hobbes featuring Mark Dorshak at Corner Coffee, 514 No. 3rd St. in the Warehouse District, Downtown Minneapolis