Most of the time I find it helpful not to think too, too hard. About what makes up our insides. My insides. When I was younger I would sometimes stare directly into the lines of my hand and try to rationalize them being there. The skin and the hair and the blood beneath and how it all worked and why. And the hand itself. And then the rest of me that's connected to the hand. It's an exhausting exercise and I would not recommend it.
But sometimes you have to touch base with the inner workings, to keep them up to code and not forget the parts of yourself that you truly like. It's easy to forget about that, amidst the loudness.
"Solid Brass" is an attempt to self define, who I am in the morning, at night, and when I'm staring up a giant wall. The song spins my eyes to look inside my own head. And "Nina" comes when the eyes have done a full 360.
The chorus to "Nina" belongs to Nina Simone. Everything she touched came alive and was ferocious and I am blown to pieces by her. Originally this song was split down the middle between Nina's energy and milagros, which I learned about in Mexico City walking through Frida Khalo's house. Milagros are ceremonial offerings left to bring truth to a wish, or good luck to bad luck. They are often realized as small figurines of amputated limbs.
Both of those women were basically built out of broken bricks and made magic come to life from their fingers. Both of those women were probably never, ever happy.
This past weekend I hosted a memorial service, honoring a friend, a young friend. It was as uneasy as it sounds. On an index card I tried to write some notes, right before it was time to begin. The room was full of people who cared and more than a few of them had children with them or were pregnant as hell. And I wrote:
So maybe I am defined by my hope to oversimplify. Maybe I am defined by the lava that grows fluid in my veins whenever I hear Nina Simone sing a single note and touch a piano key. Maybe I am defined by the way my voice sounds in the bathroom mirror. This is all I've got, for now.
from The World Is A Loud Place
released January 20, 2017
Written by Adam Schatz and Landlady
Produced by Adam Schatz
Recorded at Figure 8, Black Lodge Recording, Spaceman Sound and home, by the incredible Jake Aron
Horn arrangements by Adam Schatz
Mixed by Jake Aron and Adam Schatz at Doctor Wu's, Brooklyn, NY
Mastered by Heba Kadry at Timeless Mastering, Brooklyn, NY
Guidance by Sara Padgett Heathcott & Adam Heathcott, Endless Endless + Hometapes
Art and animations by Jesse Jacobs | jessejacobs.ca
Creative Direction by Endless Endless | endlessendless.com
Adam Schatz - vocals, Farfisa, piano, Moog, tenor sax
Will Graefe - guitar, vocals
Ian McLellan Davis - bass, vocals
Booker Stardrum - drums
Ian Chang - percussion, vocals
Kevin Moehringer - trombone
Aaron Rockers - trumpet
Alec Spiegelman - tenor sax
Angelica Bess - vocals
Kristin Slipp - vocals
Karlie Bruce - vocals
Sarah Pedinotti - vocals