I’ve been spending many an afternoon in a studio down in Venice, CA, with engineer/producer Ryan Hewitt, who is mixing my album. Or, actually, unless I have some wild notion of changing something down the line (unheard of!), he has mixed it. It’s done. I’m very excited about the results. You’ve heard Ryan’s work if you’ve listened to either of the last two Avett Brothers albums, “I and Love and You,” and “The Carpenter,” which he recorded and mixed under the guidance of producer Rick Rubin; or if you’ve heard “Give Up the Ghost” by Brandi Carlile, or “I’m With You” and “Stadium Arcadium” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. No, he hasn’t made me sound like the Chili Peppers, thank goodness. But he has made my album sound really, really good. Moving forward, however slowly!
People of Los Angeles! I am going to play some songs with my longtime pals and collaborators, jazz trio The New Standards, at Largo on February 27th. TNS are upright bassist John Munson from my bands Semisonic and Trip Shakespeare, Steve Roehm who is all over my last album “Free Life” on the vibes, and my youthful rock idol Chan Poling of the Suburbs on piano. I produced their first two albums. ‘Nuff said.
I’ll probably sing three or four songs, including at least one with our mutual friend John C. Reilly, who is also guesting on the set. Lucy Michelle from Minneapolis rounds out the bill. Lotsa talent and good vibes at Largo. I can’t wait.
Pantages show was inspiring, more relaxed than Bryant Lake Bowl. Somewhat higher quotient of “drunken loud guy thinks he’s the show” than last night. But it takes all kinds I guess and you can’t hand pick them – they pick you. Thanks everyone for coming. Our mom enjoyed the round of applause you gave her.
My brother Matt and I talked with the City Pages about our upcoming shows at the Bryant Lake Bowl and Pantages Theatre. Read about our love for the Twin Cities, our admiration for Prince’s selling tickets to his drummer audition, and of the complexities of having siblings in a band.
ON Jan 24th I’m going to play a “Words and Music by Dan Wilson” show at Room 5 in Hollywood. These “Words and Music” shows are a chance for me to play songs I rarely get to play, and to talk a little more than usual about aspects of songwriting and my path as an artist. The last one was fun for me and hopefully interesting and/or inspiring for those of you who were there, and I’m excited to do it again.
Today I would like to share with you, in what seems to be the beginnings of a new holiday tradition, my illustrated video for “Are You Lonely Tonight, Mrs. Claus?” It’s a song I wrote a few years ago with Craig Wright of the Tropicals, and I will be showing it to you every year until they shut down the internet. I hope you dig it.
I greet you from bright and absurdly temperate Los Angeles, where I’ve now lived with my family for more than two years. For a couple of months I’ve been taking the lack of winter for granted. But today as I strolled across a parking lot to my car, it suddenly struck me very strange to feel the sun warming my shoulders on December 6th.
Christmas sneaks up on a Minnesotan in a hot clime. Living in southern California, my body misses the progression towards the holidays: the slow change in the trees and in the air from summer to fall, then the first delicate snows on brown grass, then an inward turning of the psyche into a wrap of protective melancholy, and then the comforting sound of hopeful, super-sad of Christmas carol melodies on tinny speakers of commercial zones.