So……We've been working hard on all the extra tracks for the BEGN/Executive Edition of Challengers, the new album by my band The New Pornographers. Let me tell you about them. They are sounding really good I think. I'm kind of bummed that they didn't make the album but they will be available to all the people who splurge on the Exec. Edition. They are:
Silent Systems: This one was troubling me as a demo but then we decided that we should give it a Fleetwood Mac "Second Hand News" feel, and it fell together nicely.
The Speed Of Luxury: Scott Walker sang about luxuriating like planets in one verse from "The Girls From The Streets" and this entire song is about luxuriating like a planet. That is its literal meaning, it doesn't go any deeper really. This song is for the people who think that there aren't enough "rock" songs on Challengers. When we were working on it, Blaine suggested that it be the first song on the album, but it sadly ended up getting cut. It DOES pain me that we had to leave these songs off the record. I really like all of them. It's just not right, though, to put out a 65 minute long record. That is the kind of excess that is killing our society. Killing music. And yet, 4 CD Executive Editions are totally right-on. Because that is a choice.
Fortune: It was a shocker when this one ended up getting cut, like when Melinda Doolittle got voted off AI. This song is about my old neighborhood, Carroll Gardens, and the girl that I fell in love with there, much like the songs Challengers, Unguided and Go Places. Actually the song starts off in Greenwood Cemetery and then ends up in Carroll Gardens. Same difference.
Fugue State: As we mixed this, Josh said that it reminded him of Love. Nice of him to say, since they are my favorite band ever, but I don't believe it. I'm not sure how to describe Fugue State which is probably a good thing. Probably, I said.
Go Places (alternate mix): Usually I think alternate mixes are bullshit but I really like this one. It strips the song down to just the pretty instruments, no drums, bass or electric guitar, to a very nice effect I think. It's a little more reverbed out. If someone told me that they liked this version better, I would say "You have a valid opinion there."
I really want to add a few more extra songs for the Exec. Edition, but I can't talk out loud about them right now. I have to convince the band to learn and record them first. Yes, it's weird that the album is already available as a stream, and that I am still thinking about what songs to put on the Exec. Ed., but those are the times that we live in. Just know that we're trying to make your Challengers experience as pleasant as possible, and that this album, like your heart, is an open book.
Now I have to practice with the New Ps, then we fly to London for three club shows and Glastonbury, and we're also going to play a couple of songs at David Cross, Todd Barry and Eugene Mirman's comedy night at the 100 Club. Basically the London version of Tinkle. Tinkle, the comedy show. Both the Sex Pistols AND The Stingrays played the 100 Club. The Stingrays ruled. You should all go buy whatever Stingrays records that you can find. There is a CD retrospective called "From The Kitchen Sink" that is quite awesome. Do not be fooled by the other shitty bands that have called themselves The Stingrays. Only one of them ruled. Should be a fun little UK vacation.
You know who else was awesome? Opal. And Francoise Hardy.
That is all.