1-8-07, 11:32 AM -
Okay, so it’s been a reeeeeally long time since I’ve sent one of these things. Some of you have written, fearing that Life With Baby had so totally consumed me that I had decided to retire from the airwaves. Oh, that my ego were that easily shut down.
The babydaddy lifestyle has of course been very time-consuming, but it has been far from the only thing diverting my attention from correspondence. For starters, I’m still working on this new album. Those who have heard advance mixes are of the opinion it’ll be a hum-dinger, and who am I to argue?
There’s actually been more movement on the musical front than I had anticipated. In June, my website hit report tipped me off to the fact that Office Suite, Part I had been included as part of a YouTube video by someone named lonelygirl15. Those of you who’ve picked up the December issue of Wired magazine know that this was actually a bigger deal than I realized at the time. Lonelygirl15 is now something of an internet phenomenon, not to mention a new paradigm and all that fancy buzzword jive.
The good part is that I sold a lot of that song on iTunes as a result. The less good part is that the video has since been remixed with different music on lonelygirl15’s official website. However, the version with Office Suite in it is still up on YouTube, and gathering hits. Dig it if you wish.
The other new world order I’m involved with is of course Second Life, where I must say I’ve been having a blast. I now play at least 3 shows a week, and attend lots of other artists’ performances. What started out as an experiment has actually turned into me being a major part of the kind of supportive music scene I’ve always looked for but mostly failed to find in my First Life. My mailing list inworld is now larger than the one I’ve got out here, and so are my pecs. Hey, it’s a virtual world, I can do what I want.
My old friend deanpence and I have been exploring the Second Life universe (metaverse, as those in the know call it), and exploring possibilities for expanding our roles inworld. He’s selling his photographs, which by the way are quite awesome, and learning the ins & outs of building and development. I’m networking like a sumbitch, and seeing what there is to be done musically that hasn’t been done yet. I encourage everyone whose computers and internet connections can handle it to come see this thing for yourselves. Look up Matthew Perreault when you get there, I’ll be happy to show you around.
The past few months have been a maelstrom of upheaval and change, and I’m just now getting my bearings. For starters, I’ve had my head stuck up Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iranian ass. No, it’s not a pleasant image, and I can assure you it’s no more pleasant when you’re the one between the cheeks.
I signed up to do this 12,000-word bio on Iran’s president this summer, when we were poor. RrrrrrrrrrrREALLY poor. I’d say it was the poorest I’ve ever been, but I’ve spent time in so many depths of poverty that I can’t honestly tell what gauge I would use to determine that. Maybe it just felt poorer because I had a child in the house who needed stuff. It got bad enough a couple of months ago that I could really see no alternative to getting myself a bigass office job so we could afford full-time daycare and still have extra money to pay all the people what needed paying.
In fact, we went ahead and started Nathan in a daycare, just so I could spend all my time looking for a job. I ended up on the short list for a couple of fairly big earning admin things, and I was all ready to make the leap into hating my life for the next 5 years. But lo and behold, Pete the Almighty But Often Incompetent got off his ass, as he does every so often. The Wifely, who had been modestly looking for a job that maybe paid a little more, found and got one that paid NEARLY TWICE what she was making. Which was about what I would’ve been making in my admin pound-me-in-the-ass job. Thanks, Pete. I owe you a beer. Which I will drink right now.
About the time we got all of that sorted out, the holidays hit, and while the November-December period is crazy for everyone, it is even more so for those of us with little ones to shuffle around among all the cheek-pinching relatives. Who were very good to Nathan, incidentally, filling his toy chest full to bursting. Though as much as he enjoys his new toys, he still prefers a good cardboard box.
So anyway, here we are, having been spat out of the other end of the holiday digestive system. The book’s done, the job’s paying, the kid’s learning to walk, and the musical work continues.
In the midst of all this, I have come to a decision. As much as I’ve enjoyed writing and sending these little missives over the past several years, I believe my life has finally reached the point where I simply cannot find the time to do them. Music news updates, sure, but slice-of-life postcards with enough effort put in to make them remotely readable, no way.
Thus it is that this letter formally ends the Letter From TX/NYC series. And its demise has inspired me to do something else.
By following the link above, you will find the new and streamlined matthew show website. It’s got everything that you need to keep a handle on what’s going on with me musically. For those who enjoy the trips down memory lane, or just like to laugh at homemade website design, I have saved the bulk of the old site here.
It’s a good document of a period in my life that I’ll never forget, and which I’m glad to have had the time to share with you.
The work I’m involved in now is hard in the best possible way. The amount of detail I’m putting into the new album is unprecedented in my life, and the amount of time spent building a new human being into a functional member of society is probably the most valuable thing I’ve ever done. Add to that the production work I’ve been doing to bring immensely talented friends of mine out into the light and my explorations into new media such as Second Life, and I can honestly say that I am the most productive person I’ve ever been.
In many ways, 2006 was the hardest year of my adult life. And that’s up against a truckload of competition, I’ll tell you what. True, it looks very different than I thought it would at this time last year, but in many ways it looks better. The little confused wailing lump I brought here on the plane last January has transformed into a big bundle of personality, energy, and curiosity (and knee-biting…they’re not kidding about that). The random bits and pieces of my second album that existed then are now a cohesive whole, just a spit and polish away from beginning life in the big world themselves. The state that gave me life has given me a new lease on it.
In 4 years of writing these letters, I can scarcely count the number of times I have cursed and spat the word Dallas. The name provoked a visceral reaction from me, causing fits of denunciation and fist-shaking the like of which Nikita Kruschev would be proud.
However, the last few months have made it necessary for me to reacquaint myself with that city, the legendary bane of those born to its west. And though it pains me to say it, I fear I have judged its evil unfairly.
Oh, certainly it contains evil. All cities do, including my beloved NYC (in no small measure, I assure you). But I find that what I have resented Dallas for through all of these years was its role as messenger. It was Dallas which had the job of informing me that the bands I was involved with in the ‘90s were not going to go anywhere. It was Dallas that gave me my early lumps in the music industry, both on the artistic and business side. It was Dallas that told me what I now recognize was an inevitable piece of news: You’re not ready yet.
This news could’ve just as easily been delivered by any city in the world. Geography and economy made my harbinger Big D. There are more evil and less evil cities in the U.S., surely, but when viewed through an un-angsty lens, Dallas is not quite the hell on earth I had long held it to be.
When you come down to it, Dallas has many things NYC does: Several fine independent movie theaters, several excellent music venues in amongst a bunch of crappy ones, a broad variety of restaurants, a very good public radio station, underrated local musicians eking out a living among overrated ones, some beautiful architecture, some beautiful people, and no shortage of horrid things to balance out the good ones.
I’m still not in love with the town, but I now find that my ancestral hatred of it is mostly unfounded. Wifely and I went out to Mockingbird Station a little while ago on a rare date, and we had a heck of a time. Irish vittles & beer at Trinity Hall, then the new Christopher Guest movie at the Angelika, then just hanging about for a bit. Quite nice, and I didn’t once see anyone spittin’ chaw into the flowerbeds.
Plus, most of the time she goes to work on the train, giving me car access for my sprout-handling. D/FW is evolving as it grows, and it’s hardly Detroit. It ain’t a bad situation, yo.
So I think that this January, a year after our crazy-ass move back from NYC, we can officially call an end to the drama. This particular drama, anyway. All future dramas will likely find their way into songs, which are more entertaining anyway. Though my suspicion is that a few non-musical ramblings will occasionally make it up on the new site regardles. Never say never. Ever.
As I mentioned, there will be more music news when I get it, so keep checking your Inboxes and the new website’s News section for the good word.
In the meantime, y’all keep your stick on the ice. Hello, 2007. Who the hell are you?