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Where do songs come from? From the air. To those who can tune into its frequencies the very air – this room, the Fourth Street subway platform – quavers and trembles with the sighs and exhalations of subsonic angels. Incident on Bleecker Street (that great serpent that winds through the Villages of New York): A local alien has gotten off his bicycle in the middle of the road. Traffic stops. Horns honk, rude remarks fly. He doesn’t hear any of it, he’s tuned in to his acoustic ghosts. “A melody comes into my head ‘da-da-dah-da, show me some mer-cy’ and I start thinking is that some Motown song from the Sixties? And I go uh-oh, no it isn’t, it’s mine. I gotta write it down.” So he runs into a candy store and buys a Bic pen and a pad. And then he goes up there to his room, the timeless teen-space where everything stops, where he does his dreaming and his scheming, laughs at yesterday and puts it on tape. From the ELOish opener to the cosmic” Love Radiates Around”, from the Bardo- haunted love ballads to the drowning ‘Larry Stein’, from the dire conditions of ‘Cold Weather’ to the dire straits of ‘Desperate’, all the songs on this album were written, recorded and produced in that little 11x14 foot room high above Cornelia Street on a 4-track TEAC. It’s a little like making your own movie and playing all the parts. Clouds go by–no clock ticking–night comes down–guitars strumming–pulse of the street–drums smack–reverb–mix down to two track–crash ‘till late afternoon–call up to play it over the phone–can you hear the words? I’m hungry–wanna get a bite with me and walk around? But there’s a little of the mad scientist, too. “It’s where I get in touch with the thing.” Marc at the controls – turning all the knobs – he’s everybody in the whole universe and he’s blasting off. Head exploding ‘till it fits the whole room. Head is room. Room alive! “A song is a collection of the way a certain period of time feels,” he says. That’s where the real weather is, inside.

David Dalton

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