I sat outside at The Trident coffee shop where white hippie stoners pridefully stroked their dreadlocks the way Park Ave. princesses stroke their pearls. They talked in smoke-filled syllables and cackled endearments like “duuuuude!” and “mannnnnnnn!” as I pressed the cell phone closer and pluged my right ear with a finger.
Tim White, Editor in Cheif at Billboard was calling to tell me he loved my album! “It’s original and strong,” He commented before suggesting I take out the first song “The Complaint,” explaining, “It’s not as strong as the rest of the record.”
He recommended putting “Red Room” first then “Tomboy Bride,” then” In My Mind.” I scratched notes on a napkin. Everyone has opinions on song sequencing it seems. I’m grateful for advice. Dad recommended making a tape recording of the first and last 15 seconds of each song and patching them into various orders. This is a brilliant strategy. His sequencing suggestion is the following:
“Do you need help finding a record deal?” Tim asked me before we hung up.
“No,” I cringed as I said it. It felt heretical to be turning down such a once in a lifetime offer. “I think I’m gonna do this music thing on my own for a while. But thank you. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for your help and advice Tim.”
“Just promise me you’ll perform your best every night whether it be to one person or 100,000. That way I can gloat when people come up to me in the future and say “You know Timmy, you were right. She is awesome.”
I drove to rehearsal at the warehouse with the band formally named “Not Eric,” recently renamed “Tiny Yellow Ducks.” Inside the refrigerator of a rehearsal space, I found Tom, Dave, and Jeff fighting over what an awful name “Tiny Yellow Ducks” is.
Luckily, today a bass player named Kenny Castro left me a message on my cell phone saying he’d love to hear my tape and would I meet him at “Albums on the Hill” record store to drop it on him. I left rehearsal early, frustrated.