The story behind Freudian Slip (new album)

Click here to purchase my new album, “Freudian Slip,” now available (Amazon, iTunes, our record company direct, etc.).

Whereas blogging is all about the immediacy of the medium (literally and figuratively), writing, recording, and releasing an album is a long process whereby the initial inspiration is transformed through a complex and articulated series of steps to final track — composition, demo, recording, overdubs, editing, mixing, mastering, printing, distribution etc.

In January 2011, when I wrote and recorded the first demo of “Freudian Slip,” which became the title track of the new CD, I had just returned from Houston where I had learned that Cousin Marty had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. If you’ve been following along here at my blog, you know the avuncular role he’s played in my life since I moved to Texas nearly three years ago: not only has he embraced me with the warmth of a long-lost and newfound cousin, but he’s also shared with me his gusto for all things enogastronomic.

Growing up a teenager in La Jolla, California, I didn’t have much of a relationship with father Zane, Marty’s first cousin: a classically trained Freudian psychoanalist, Zane was estranged from our family after an inquiry revealed that he’d been having sexual relations with his patients: an egregious and bourgeois transgression that began before I was born and that emerged publicly when I was eleven years old — a family catastrophe that received brutal coverage in the local and national media.

Finding and forging a relationship with Marty was like being given a second chance to have a father, someone who rejoiced in my successes and shared the burdens of my challenges in building a new life here in Texas with Tracie P, whom he adores.

When I found out that Marty was ill, I became depressed and stressed by the anxiety (a bitter twist of fate?) that I would lose this happy relation so shortly after it had been born. Marty had already brought so much joy into my life and thankfully he beat his cancer with flying colors. But at the time, the prognosis was uncertain and I selfishly let my fear express itself in a dark song I called “Freudian Soup” (the title of the earliest version).

When I sent it to my writing partner, Céline Dijon (my good friend and sister I never had, Verena Wiesendanger), she set about writing the lyrics as a dialogue between Zane and the woman who most famously sued him, changing the title to “Freudian Slip,” acte manqué in French.

Today, when I listen to the track, nearly a year later, the cathartic drum fill that opens the song (by Julien Galner of the Paris-based band Château Marmont), chills still run down my spine.

All but the vocals for this track were recorded in my studio in Austin. The arpeggiated harpsichord is the very same one from the original demo.

When he finished mixing the record this summer, Jean-Luc Retard (Dan Crane, the third element in our writing troika, my bandmate and friend since 1998) suggested that we call the album “Freudian Slip.”

Thanks for listening and for reading and thanks for the support… It means the world to me…

Here’s the video for the new single, “J’en Ai Marre (Had Enough)”, a song that Céline and I wrote about bullying:

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