30 July 2007

28-July - Eddie's Attic (Atlanta)

w/ Kaiser Cartel

I sure did like them Kaiser Cartels people (it's actually Kaiser Cartel. I know that. I just like saying it like that). You should go listen and buy all their stuff. CONSUME! CONSUME!

Okay, now that you're back... seriously, they were really very amazing and good people. There's a song by the Tragically Hip called "Escape Is At Hand For the Travelling Man" that more than anything else I know sums up the strange sort of moments musicians sometimes have with each other when you're playing the same bill. The moments between sets and after the show, where you're just talking and being reminded that you're a member of this bizarre secret club with its own language and concerns. I sat and talked for a while with Courtney, who I think I will now simply refer to as The Kaiser, because between that conversation and the show itself I find myself with my current dilemma.

No, no, it was a good show. A really good welcome back. You made us feel great and I can't thank you enough. Oh, we were sloppy, sure, but it just resulted in more smartass banter onstage. A great crowd, a good show.

So, what's the dilemma? Well, music and I seem to be getting back together again. So now she and I have to sit down and have the conversation. You know, the one where we discuss where this relationship is headed.

I hate that conversation. And I blame all of you and the Kaiser for making me have it.

Disclaimer: No actual blame should be construed as being placed on either Courtney Kaiser or the members of the Arts and Sciences viewing and listening audience. This is a literary conceit Paul dreamed up pretty much just for the sake of calling Courtney "The Kaiser" because he found it amusing.

12 July 2007


Things slowed down in May and June while half the band rehearsed as the Susi French Connection. But now our actual "return" show is finally getting close. July 28th at Eddie's Attic in Atlanta. Kaiser Cartel, a great duo from Brooklyn. Come to this one because I have not, as yet, bothered to book anything else. Though I'll probably actually start trying in the next couple of weeks, but even that means probably another two months. I'm in no rush.

But I DID want to have new material before I played any shows and for a while it looked as if that wasn't going to happen, but luckily, things have suddenly started to come together. The writing process is totally different this time. Normally, I came up with music and let it stew for a bit and then usually wrote lyrics in one sitting. I came to the band with complete songs, with a few exceptions, and we spent time working out parts for the rest of the band. This time around, I wanted to deliberately break that pattern. So far, I've only brought in half-ideas and we've built songs from there, and now that they're taking shape I'm writing lyrics bit by bit. The better news is that this time around Lee's bringing in songs as well, and right now it's an even split between us as writers. You'll hear some of them at Eddie's.

Hope you can make it out.

02 April 2007

This may just be of interest to other musicians, but anyone else who's ever seen album art as some sort of artform might find it interesting, too. I know as we begin the slow process of building new songs and trying to figure out where to take them, this is something on my mind a lot.

Designers Work to Rescue a Dying Art Form -- the Album Cover

23 February 2007

Now that the housecleaning is out of the way, there are a couple of other issues...

During the layoff our domain name was skunked from under us. So, from here on out you can find us at either theartsandsciences.net or paulmelancon.com.

Also, during those salad days, I managed to lose our entire database of mailing list names. So, if you've ever signed up before, please do so again. Either at the form at the top of our website, or in the comments here, or any other location you think might work. All we need is a name, an email address and a city (so you don't get emails for shows that are on the other side of the country).


Hey there. It's been a while since we were all here, hasn't it? You've got so many questions, I'm sure. But to be honest, answers are going to be in short supply. Here's the simple version: just as we finished the last record my personal life collapsed due solely to me. The details are no secret and everyone around me is aware of them, but I'm not going to rehash them in a blog, let alone try to turn them into a marketing tool.

At that point the band took some time off between finishing recording and the release. When the CD release rolled around I really didn't have a lot of desire to go back out, but felt very obligated to Daemon Records for everything they'd done for me up to that point, so I did my best to follow through with the release. By the time the main push was through, though, I pulled out. For all intents and purposes I ended the band and quit music and tried to fix my life. I spent a year trying to convince myself quitting was the healthiest solution, until I finally did get to a point where I KNEW I was done and I had no doubts about it and found I didn't even miss it. The end.

Or, it would be, except that music won't let go. One of the reasons I quit, apart from all the larger ones, was I found my attitude toward what I was doing had become unbelievably cynical. During the last tour we did with the Indigo Girls I was doing my usual post show meet and greet at the merch table. People I didn't know were coming up and telling me how much they enjoyed my music, how it had reached them. And all I could think was, "yeah, that's nice, why aren't there more of you?"

Yeah. I know.

Anyway, it certainly fueled my belief that the best thing I could do was to leave music behind, if my reasons for doing it had gotten so mercenary. But a funny thing happened after I had finally reconciled myself to the fact that I was done and it was time to try something new. I actually started to miss it again. I started to wonder if I could reconnect somehow with the initial joy of making music.

And so, another year later, here we are.

In the meantime, Erin, our former bassist, gave birth to her second child. We here at the secret Arts and Sciences compound couldn't be prouder or happier for her and her husband. I do like to think, too, that she takes some satisfaction in the fact that it took two people to replace her.

Greg Partridge and Becky Shaw have both played in so many bands in Atlanta that there isn't much point in trying to label either of them as being from a particular band. So, I won't try. They're both amazing, and in the short time that we've been rehearsing things have gelled very quickly. And there's still myself, Lee and Chris, obviously. Our limitations are well known.

So, here we all are, as I said. I have no idea what the eventual goal will be for us, but for now all I really care about is writing new songs together and seeing where it goes. I'm not sure it will result in Lee's long-hoped for record all about puppies and shopping, but you never know.

I do want to take a second to thank all of the people who spoke to me or attempted to during the past 2 years. It's only been in the past month or so that I've been in any shape to appreciate all of you, and if I ever seemed indifferent at the time, please know I wouldn't be here now without you. Thank you.

I know, happiness makes for dull and trite blog entries. But it's a hell of a lot easier on your psyche.