Hope your holidays were good. Heck, it’s been so long since we reached out from our hiding cave deep inside Mt. Winner (or even appeared in public, released new muzak, took a band photo...), we hope your ’90s were good.
(Is this viewable on your Mosaic browser? Is there still a spoken-word tent on the Lollapalooza tour this year? We tried calling your Iridium phone but got your machine.)

Timing being all, we patiently waited, wanting to synch our reentry to active indie rock with a worldwide economy primed to the absolute peak of its consumer-spending power.
(I’m about one phone bill away from standing on our corner with a cup in one hand and mp3’s in the other).

In spite of that, I think it’s looking to be a good year for us. To quote an email just gotten from the lovely & talented Chris Mills, 2009: the Year of Doing Stuff.
Us too, Chris.

20th Anniversary Gift:China

First of all, 2009 marks our 20th year as a band. Shocking, I know.
But, in with one Bush and out with the other, I always say.


Our First New Song/Recording in 10 Years

Secondly, we have a new song just released last Thursday, “Pulled Fences”, that we recorded live at Abbey Road studios for a live radio/internet broadcast called the WorldSpace Sessions at Abbey Road (WorldSpace who are, as a sign of the times, now in Ch. 11 bankruptcy (did I mention “Bush” or “out” at all yet?)).

“Pulled Fences” marks it’s own anniversary for us – the first time in 10 years that the four of us were in one room working on new music together (Jerry’s drums for the meadowlands having been tracked in spring of ’99, he was then free to live out the remainder of the next four years as a father, husband and bread-winner).

The recording itself was also something of a low-wire act in that it’s a song of Kev’s that none of the rest of us had ever heard or played before. So what you hear on the single is us - also hearing the song for the first time - trying to fake-up some coherent parts while scrutinizing chords scribbled on notepaper like unprepared schoolchildren on test day, all while wearing ill-fitting – yet stylish - headphones.
That it came out even half-ok, you’re also hearing us getting lucky.

(I think you’re also hearing some made-up lyrics, but what do I know.)

You can buy it and read more about it (and our sad pact to make up a song on the spot should we ever hit big-time network tv) here.
We’ve even hand-made a shirt to commemorate the whole thing. ended early with Buy-it-now

Then there’s the new website itself – you can read more about that and the folks who’ve helped along the way here (looking at you darling Ben Durbin).

The hilarity of replacing our old Welcome sticky with this new one is not lost on us, in that the two say almost the same thing. Some of the particulars may be different, but the objectives are all still the same, Oh and it’s two-and-a-half years later.

A lot of the site’s still under construction so watch your step. And much of what is up & running is operating at the level of the Victrola-powered chicken rotisserie in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. But like recording at home, that’s the fun of doing it yourselves.

We’ve updated the discography to include more of the old weird out-of-print stuff, brief stories about most of the records (from what we can still remember), new foncy-ponts mp3’s, lyrics, even mp3’s of computers reading lyrics . And we’ll be adding more as we move along.

All that to be followed by mountains of pointless blogging and poorly-lit band photos, to mp3’s of new songs-in-progress and live video from our basement...the usual.

New Muzak

Lastly, about that next album…all this stuff - the single, the site, the new bowlcuts – is a way for us to kick off making new music. And with all the work we’ve done behind-the-scenes in the last couple of years to change & streamline how we go about doing the poopoo that we do, there should be plenty of it. Stress ‘should’. But Kev has already demo’ed over 100 songs since we showed him that microphones are “like your ears, Kevin” last summer.

So all that’s the typically long-butted way of saying that a week from Monday – that’s the 19th – we reconvene in the basement and start recording music to follow-up the Meadowlands.
And we’ll see you in Austin in March.

Thanks as always,

the wrens