The continuing saga of Kung Pao Kitchen.
The I-Ching says this:
"IT FURTHERS ONE TO CROSS THE GREAT WATER."
What does that mean?
It means that movement is life.
We try things. We succeed. We fail. And all our endeavors further us in some way.
Thirty million years ago we were writing songs for the fifth Nu Shooz album. It was a struggle. The label hated everything we handed in. We began to doubt ourselves. But I’m proud to say we didn’t stop.
Movement is life, and by moving, we know we’re alive.
Sink or swim, baby.
Sometimes the river fights back. Strong currents want to drown us. If we struggle, we only get tired. (There’s truth in the metaphor I’m beating to death here.)
We worked hard on the songs. I suppose I could use something about rowing against the current. In the end, the label decided to shelve the record.
So now it’s now.
We dusted off the tapes and hey, they’re pretty cool. We spent the next four months scraping them into little sandcastles, adding stuff, taking stuff out. It’s obsessive work…fun work.
"The album will be done in five more days!" Then…Blamp!
The computer is dead.
This is not just a computer. It’s a Mac Pro with a Pro-Tools HDIII system running the new Version 9 software. Only guys with really thick glasses know how to make this thing go.
"Don’t worry, no data was lost."
While this is going on, we received news that a key member of the band was diagnosed with cancer.
This put everything in a different light. Sometimes it feels ridiculous to work on music in the face of grim reality. And then...sometimes it feels like the only thing left to do.
Keep on moving.
The computer is running again.
The cancer has been stared directly in the eye. The Doctor said, “You’ll have to find something else to die of.”
Yesterday we opened up the recovered Kung Pao Kitchen tracks and listened to them. Valerie said she thought horns would be good on one of the songs. After she said that, other songs sprouted horns. It’s like the whole record went from three dimensions to four! Nothing was lost.
While we were busy fighting the tides, they were changing us, and changing the landscape around us. The roiling waters changed us in ways we couldn’t guess.
It’s going to be a great record, a different record.
We try things. We succeed. We fail.
And all our endeavors further us in some way.
Movement is life.