beantownbubba wrote:I've been saying for a while now that it is a mistake to wait so long between albums. In light of the enormous respect and admiration I have for Patterson's business acumen, I find the delay both puzzling and worrisome. If there's a business that's more capricious, more "what have you done for me lately?" or more dependent on capitalizing on momentum than the music biz, I don't know what it is. Especially when the issue has not been a lack of new material or, for many months now, even a lack of new recorded material it's hard to understand why the band has chosen this this approach. But to state the obvious, none of us know all the facts and circumstances so we're really talking in the abstract here.
I think it's hard, in troubled times and a difficult economy, for a political band to dodge becoming a Political Band. The former is what you are if you're a concerned citizen; the latter is if politics is your first concern. American Band was perfectly timed for the moment of a Hillary presidency. It was heartfelt and not strident, with the vital optimism of a better day ahead*. The rest, as they say, is history and, after what sounded like some difficulty with new songs--which is telling, as Patterson is ample in his writing and the songs seem
to just burst out**--we got The Perilous Night, a concerned citizen's Political Song, and the new songs started coming again, both political and not, or so it seems on reading what he's said. When you have to write about certain thing, you have
to write it or else
, for certain people, and doubly so in certain times.
Patterson has said the next album is still political but from a more personal point of view, and the one after less political; if the material for the less political album had been there, I think it'd've been released first, and sooner. Two political albums in a row push you toward becoming a Political Band--which can be limiting--even if the second is less so than the first, but that's how the material came. Holding the second back until you have a more personal album to follow it with pretty quickly makes sense, given the options available. The only thing I can see that would have been a reasonable alternative would be mining or re-recording some of the older gems that haven't been released and putting that out. I think the material is there--The Distance, Blue Light Blues, The Kids Are Gonna Love it, Don't Be In Love Around Me--and maybe a cover or two to fill it out. But that's what bands do when they're out of gas; DBT is so not
beantownbubba wrote:The 6 nite Brooklyn run was a whole 'nother thing and I'd love to have access to inside info about how that audacious decision that I loved and worried about in equal measure was made and what the expectations for the shows were but I don't think it's particularly relevant to this discussion.
I thought one three-night run was probably enough myself. Washington or Chicago might've liked one for themselves. On the other hand, if a venue makes the right offer, it's awful hard to say no.
beantownbubba wrote:So far the band has split the difference by introducing new songs into the live shows but that's a 2 edged sword; it spices up the current shows and stirs interest among the already converted, but It may reduce excitement for a new release and it may reduce the typical shot of adrenaline that normally results from a new release.
If we'd heard more than one new Cooley song, I'd put more weight on this, but I'm pretty anxious to hear what he's been holding back from this record.
*That wasn't my
feeling about a Hillary presidency, but my politics are different from most people's. My optimism was about what came after she inevitably disillusioned people. But I was still buoyed by the idea of a fighter in the White House. Even if she wasn't going to fight for what I most wanted, she'd've been more effective than Obama in going up against the Republicans. Now it's the Trumpublican Party and all the calculations are different.
**They burst out in much the way you can be an overnight sensation after twenty-five years; there's a lot of labor, brains, and sweat underneath that veneer.
The sooner we put those assholes in the grave&piss on the dirt above it, the better off we'll be