Yesterday, in the early after-work-before-catalepsy slot at Fez, we celebrated the release of our new Home Office Records Ethan Lipton CD, A New Low. It was a wonderful night, with plenty of $7.00 tumbler drinks sloshing over the transom (they pour them strong enough, but remember when 7 clams used to buy you a drink with more than three sips in it?), a room that was full to squooshing but not to getting bothersome, and a night of sweet, funny, twisty music that made people smile and lighten up for a while.
In New York in early March, that’s something.
Nancy, who moved to Paris last year, is back from Paris, and we cajoled and muttered and otherwise enticed her down. It was nice to have a fresh set of ears at the Home Office table. She laughs at the parts we used to laugh at, before we jaded experienced hands moved on to laugh at the parts we laugh at now. Ethan’s songs are not so much comedy as they are comity, and in the place of coarse yuks there’s recognition peeping out of each one, alluring and sometimes a few layers down. So there’s matter there, if you choose to hear it. A bit of human condition, if I may.
Ethan was in fine form, surrounded by friends and new fans, riding the happy high of first-round success (we’re the #2 seller on CD Baby as I write this). Over the years we’ve done our share of CD release nights – this is the 7th – and only the very first one, for our Burner compilation, was as easy and breezy as this. It’s always slightly knockity, the CD release show, running on burnt energy and crooked deadlines, with egos flaring and the future ablaze with a terrible bright demanding light. For our first few years I made a point of staying out past late on release nights, drinking myself silly and proving to anyone watching that yes, this is rock and roll. Rock AND roll. Got it? Pour me another.
Last night was excited, yes, and that edgy tremble belongs there: it’s the unveiling. We’ve had A New Low in hand for some weeks now, and it’s been selling briskly. This is the point where we sit down with Ethan – new parents as we are – and look at our toddler. And gently, sweetly, tenderly, we panic. Whose turn is it to feed him when he cries?
Ethan did it last night, so I suppose next time it’s mine.
In other news, I put a box of baby blue peeps out on the partition by my Day Job desk, and nobody is eating them. What’s a guy supposed to do? Eating them all myself is not an option.