Drawing For My “Songs From the Ballroom” Project
Here’s a drawing I made for my song/clip giveaway project, “Songs From the Ballroom” (see link below left) – a kind of phantom album cover for an all-digital, non-simultaneous, open-ended collection of rare & unreleased tracks. In the thick of making it, I thought the illustration was starting to look nearly as grandiose as I hoped, but in the light of day, it’s just as silly as all of my pictures. Still, I’m really excited about it and wanted to share.
Update on Dan and Matt Wilson live album-in-progress
Update on Dan and Matt Wilson live Pantages/BLB album project. I’m either suffering badly from “the Ikea effect” (we love those little tables and bookshelves way more because we put them together ourselves with the little screws and pegs), or this is turning out to be a really special document. I’m in love with a lot of the versions of the songs. Here’s what’s happened so far.
The song sequence. Both shows had the same setlist, except for the encores. My hope was that between the two shows at the Byrant Lake Bowl and the Pantages, we’d have one great version of every song we did. I was thinking we would almost end up alternating between the two shows on the download sequence – a song from the BLB, a couple from the Pantages, etc etc. But in fact, almost all of the versions from the Pantages were better. So it’s going to be mostly Pantages versions sprinkled with the occasional BLB version, all in the same order as the set list of the shows.
DW Album Update: Mixing With Ryan Hewitt is Done!
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!
DW to Guest with The New Standards at LA’s Largo, 2/27/13
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.
Dan & Matt Wilson in the City Pages
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.
“Words and Music by Dan Wilson” Show January 24th
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.
She’s Back! “Are You Lonely Tonight, Mrs. Claus?” and Other Holiday Traditions
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.
“Words and Music by Dan Wilson” LA show at Room 5, Nov. 14th
DW’s Nicest Album Credit Yet
Here’s a good reason to buy a physical CD. Everybody gather ’round. I’d been listening to and loving the new Ben Fold Five album, “The Sound of the Life of the Mind,” but listening to it online. Back in the spring, Ben and I got together for several days to play music, listen to stuff, and talk. We didn’t write any songs, but a lot of good talk happened, partly about his upcoming BFF album, and partly just telling tales and comparing notes about being musicians. Anyway, the other day I went into Amoeba Music and bought the album, and was delighted to see this credit in the insert. “Philosopher.” I’ll take it.
Pink and I Wrote This Song: “The Great Escape” Lyric Video
Here is a song I’m really proud of, “The Great Escape.” Pink and I wrote it together in a funky and cool hippie hang-out studio in Venice, CA, and every time I listen I’m blown away by her vocal performance. I produced a whole 60s country AM radio version of the track, a la Skeeter Davis, but in the end she wanted me to make it vocal/piano/orchestra. A good call in the end.