I am finally happy, quite incredibly tired enough with the whole thing to announce the release of my second album, And you will regret it. Recorded now over a year ago, Stand Up! Records, the label to which I sold the rights to the album, and I are communicating through lawyers alone, as I cannot take them anymore in my life. Though never have I received anywhere near so much financial support for my comedy--purchasing one album, a second; paying for a visa, a tour with a friend to shoot a tour documentary; flying me down to Austin and back for a comedy fest; and so on--at a certain point professional and other relations break down. In other words, for some time now the album has been finished, and yet I have repeatedly been denied a release date, so I am in effect releasing it myself.
It's not that I feel the need to air publicly whatever grievances for their own sake, but because in my opinion the incredible, unaccounted for, and continued indefinite delay in the release of the album hurts me in many ways: as someone who cares to put into the world good and meaningful comedy; as someone who attempts to make a living by way of his comedy; and as someone who has a life in which there are others to be cared for and considered. There should never have been the need to present some stand-up through such an over-extended framing, but I feel that at this point I am left with no good choice. The album has become far much more than just the comedy itself, but rather for me an endless (ethical, existential, contractual) ordeal. And so I write this in an attempt to somehow most fully represent what I am trying to do in the world. That is, there is no way to understand what this album of comedy is, or what this, its offering, means, without this, its very long-winded situating.
It's not at all that I would have wished for an hour of comedy developed in part now over two years ago to come out only today, but this is the best that I am left with. It kills me especially because this is material that was so much directed towards what was going on in culture and comedy at the time. Not that this is to say (sadly) that we have moved on completely from whatever human excesses and stupidity, but that this album now is in part something only of a cultural artifact.
In the past, reading about musicians' differences with labels or management conjured up very romantic reasons for their partings of the ways; in reality, though, it can turn out to be the most utterly basic and banal of human discourtesies and -regards (e.g., having the amounts of money freely exchanged to you for your work constantly thrown back into your face as some sort of a reprimand; having your work left to rot behind a procession of endless, inscrutable delays; and, most bewlideringly, being insulted for the work that you put out in collaboration.)
Skipping over a whole lot of stuff, I reached my limit upon the refusal to provide me with even a pre-release date in light of the birth of my child. To throw away my own stupid fucking album is one thing, but, with no regard, to do less than nothing for the fact of my girlfriend's one year of mat leave and our planning for it, I am totally done with it.
All that said, of course, is that the other thing is that Alina and I are due to have a little baby girl (any day now--this past weekend, in fact). It's a crazy thing, and how do you talk about that, but I suppose that at this time things are quite good and lovely and warm, and it's hard to understand how things are shifting, and what place or role comedy will play in the future, etc. That said, though, I'm sure that a whole lot of you have met Alina (on the road, at house shows, in New York, all over) and know how amazing and cool and wonderful she is.
Oh, yes, and thank you so much to the so many countless people and friends who have done and do so much for all the ridiculous comedy/life stuff: every night getting stoned or not with comics, sleeping at god knows whose place, those who come out to shows, those who hang out at shows, those who give something to comedy and the comics so generously, and those just who provide for and comprise the scene.
I guess, to close, the album is called And you will regret it, for now myriad reasons. If you'd like to pre-order a copy, you can get in touch with me, as I will personally have what may be a limited number for sale--video, audio, album art, liner notes, all that stuff--and I'll also include some other album-related miscellanea. Finally, the album is basically about all of the barbarians at culture's gate. Kind of comedy at the end comedy, though not so definitively. (How can anything but comedy address questions of comedy in a way proper to comedy?)
David Gelston, confidant, but also director, editor and cinematographer. Sean K. Robb, whose cover shots my really insisting upon arguably started off this whole falling away of relations. Ram Krishnan, for the Grumpy's home always; and Santosh Lalonde, too, for the music. Chelo Suarez, keeper of the sound and sound editing. Pier Yves Larouche, for the spectral/ephemeral eventual album cover, I can only hope and imagine. Guy-Philippe Bouchard, mon avocat. Alina Maizel, beside me right now.