November/December Answers, Part III
1/15/2010 (updated 1/15/2010)

How about a cover of Joe Jackson's 'Different For Girls'? You'd do a good version of that! It's a thought anyway.....Glyn, Swansea, Wales

Very prescient of you, Glyn. The song was shortlisted for the last 1000 Years tour, and probably didn’t make the cut because it would have been a bit too different for the girls in the band, i.e. nothing to do.

This article talks about trying to use one of your songs for Robert D. Siegel’s movie:

‘You’ve expressed your admiration for early-’70s American cinema. Were the soundtrack selections — like John Cale’s “Big White Cloud” — a deliberate nod to that era?’

‘I wanted songs that were affordable — John Cale is surprisingly affordable, though he was a replacement for a Richard Thompson [song] I couldn’t get. You learn a lot about what our society values by song-licence prices. You’d think John Cale — legendary founding member of The Velvet Underground — would cost more than Skid Row.’

Not to get too deep in to your business, but was this director unable to obtain rights to your music due to not offering sufficient funds or due to your personal choice not to allow the use of your music for the movie? Do you have any control over uses like this, or would the record company? Adam

These negotiations usually happen with my publisher, and I’m not always aware of them if they are unsuccessful. I think our rates are pretty reasonable, although it seems not as economical as John Cale, and we take into consideration the budgets of independent filmmakers, special festival licenses, etc. I don’t know the reasons this didn’t work out, but I shall dig around a little.

It seems you have gotten away from album titles derived from track selections (Hand of Kindness the last?). How do you arrive at an album’s title? Is it the prevailing sentiment from the collection of songs, a turn of phrase that sounds right, or just plain whimsy? Been a huge fan for a long time. I still owe you a picture of the real racehorse Both Ends Burning, which I promised to send you when we met at Stephen Talkhouse on Long Island in the early 90’s. Irwin Cohen, Saratoga Springs and NYC

I think song titles as album titles can work fine, but when I’ve done it in the past, I’ve always felt a little lazy. Of late, I’ve been looking for something a bit more inclusive, something that expresses the overall spirit of the endeavour. There are endless ways to arrive at titles for albums. Unhalfbricking?

Do you like Fender's Jaguar and Jazzmaster guitars ? They are my fetish and i think their sound might suit you ...

I like the sound, but hate the bridges.

- any recent film that you are fond of ? in case you like cinema ...

I enjoyed An Education…oh, and Hurt Locker

- since you are in my top five guitarists list ,i was wondering what do you think of the others ones:

Tom Verlaine
J Mascis
Marc Ribot
Nels Cline

Why, a bunch of mere children!! I enjoy Marc Ribot’s work a lot.

- what software do you use for home recording? have you tried Steinberg's guitar rig? AMILCAR AMARANTE

I don’t use any guitar software, just record amps. I use Digital Performer recording system.