Because today’s Internet culture is so obsessed with brevity and sound bytes, writing these pieces has been really fun for me. It’s nice to say as much as I want about this project to anyone who cares to read it.
I am currently sitting at LAX, waiting in a layover to London. TSA workers to my left wait for coffee in a long line next to frazzled men in suits checking their watches. There’s a guy in a denim blue shirt to the right of me talking loudly on his iPhone. “‘I guess I can’t swim’,” he says. “That would be funnier if he said that. I like a joke there, I just don’t like that joke. Any time you hear movie tropes, it’s always tricky.”
I’ll be in the UK for most of the summer, playing a few club and festival shows, working on my new album, potentially shooting a part for an indie movie in Scotland. It still surprises me how many times I get to keep going back. It will be my fourth consecutive year playing Slam Dunk – the first time was with Weerd Science in 2011 and we were blown away by the response. The club audience turnouts have definitely waxed and waned over the years, but the festivals have always been amazing. I really love about traveling in the UK in May – the weather is always really beautiful. As Chaucer once put it, when spring comes to England, “longen folk to goon on pilgrimages”.
I was ready to leave LA – I’ve been doing really cool stuff with some of my producer friends down there, but I have so much of the music ready that now it’s time to write the lyrics. I find I write better when I travel. California is so dry and hot right now. Anyone who still denying climate change needs to (1) realize that their political agenda is affecting their appraisal of reality and (2) open a window.
I posted on Facebook and Twitter a few weeks ago that I’m not on Warped Tour this year, but I keep getting people hitting me up asking me if I am. Kevin likes to change it up and not put the non-headlining acts on every year. I hope to do it again soon if they ask me back (2015 maybe?), but this summer, like I said, I will be in the UK. So many artists I love will be on Warped this year though, so if you’re going please say hi t: mc chris, Watsky, K.Flay, I Fight Dragons, the Protomen for me… it’s going to be a great one.
As I sit in LAX finishing this update, I think back to the dozens of tours I’ve done over the year. I think about how important it is to stay relevant and topical. I met up with my old friend and former manager Tom Gates at Nettwerk when I was in LA; he’s always been a big inspiration and supporter and we talked about the need to put time into your art but not disappear for too long between projects. I feel like sometimes these days, I run the risk of “running into the ground” songs that are over a decade old (“Mr. Raven”, “Hurricane Fresh”, “iGeneration” etc.) and that’s why it’s nice to have this time to work on a new batch. This tour I might bring out some really obscure older songs (“Make Way for Ducklings”, anyone?) just to keep the set interesting and fresh. I checked out the Spotify “MC Lars Artist Radio” the other day and laughed at some of the random things of mine that came up. If you’ve never heard the original “Lint Song”, check it out – the wrong mix got pressed on a kids’ comp and it surprised me how hilarious it was that that version ended up on a kids’ comp.
These days, I only want to do the really good tours and shows and spend more time writing and creating, less time chilling in a van reminding people about songs I put out in 2004. I think that’s only natural for any artist who wants longevity – my Dad always reminds me about a song called “Garden Party” by Ricky Nelson about a singer who goes to a gig an industry party where Dylan, Yoko Ono and a lot of ther people are only want to hear his old songs. “If memories were all I sang,” he sings, “I rather drive a truck”, and that because “ya can't please everyone… you got to please yourself.”
RIP to Bob Hoskins. I had some tears yesterday about that. He will live on forever in his movies, Who Framed Roger Rabbit will always be my favorite film and his performance in that was genius.
In happier news, I’m stoked about the new shirt, stoked about the new songs, stoked about the fact that I can read the new issue of MAD magazine on my tablet as I fly over the Atlantic Ocean tonight.