“It just turned cold outside. What was warm is now less comforting. This is the world in which I write to you, just as it was back when I started to consider how – or even if – I could bring myself to make another record.
I’ve been doing this ‘job’ for a while, always with the same basic notion that I am sharing through songs – secretly, intimately – my ideas with my friends and loved ones. They were letters or postcards to those people I loved, respected and admired. Some were mentors, some touchstones, some critical advisers, others were teachers or likeminded doers. Do these friends know? Some do, some don’t. Vic Chesnutt did. He was the first to ‘get it’ and encouraged the correspondence, as it were. Through record after record, we’d send each other these coded insights or messages. It was how things were. It was our way, and no one needed to know but us. I mean, who would really care?
Vic’s loss came just as sudden and swift as the cold has set in, and went to the very core of my relationship with music. The idea of using it to communicate with my friends was called into question. I was at a point in my creative life where I was ready to come back around to the idea of painting again, and, by this sick coincidence, painting turned out to be the only thing I could do: a simple solitary act, as if I could pry life itself out of the action. But it happened that, through painting, suddenly the connection was made to music, and, in so doing, the pictures I was making began to have a relationship to the songs that I slowly began to write in conjunction with Vic. Or, rather, due to his absence. I didn’t set out to have them relate to the events in my life, but, in reality, how could they not?
As I worked, I was approached by Mark Nevers with the idea of making another Lambchop record. He had a concept of a sound and a method that worked with the tone of my writing. His idea was a kind of ‘psycho-Sinatra’ sound, one that involved the arranging of strings and other sounds in a more open and yet complex way. It was a studio creation, not a type of recording based on band performance, and this was a radical approach for us. He and I also discussed and shared Vic’s loss: we were all close, and Vic filled the air and the nights that passed. In the end we moved ahead: I felt Lambchop had one more good record in us, and this time I was going to do things as directly and true to my desires as possible. We were going to make the record Marky and I wanted to make, the way we saw fit, taking as long as it took. I was, in essence, ‘going for broke’, because I was broken and saw this as a last chance to get myself right. This time it was personal.
This is not an elegy or tribute to someone who was a friend and mentor. I’ve done that already, and it took its toll. Hopefully, instead, you can find a way to focus on the upside of such a true, soul-saving effort. This is a record of, and about, love and the healing, binding force that it represents. It’s the thing that becomes, more and more, the only thing worth living for as we move on through these years together, not alone. I’ve never been more grateful for the opportunity.”
Kurt Wagner, November 2011
Album: Mr. M
official site of Lambchop / myspace / wikipedia / Kurt Wagner site
Das neue Lambchop Album heißt Mr. M. Es sollte ursprünglich Mr. Met heißen, aber die Anwälte der amerikanischen Baseball Major League hatten damit Probleme. Denn Mr. Met heißt auch das Maskottchen der New York Mets. Lustigerweise sind sowohl Kurt Wagner als auch viele seiner Freunde (Ira Kaplan etc) ergebene Fans der Mets. Ein Schuss, der nach hinten losging. Kurzzeitig sollte das Album daraufhin den Titel “Major League Bummer” erhalten.
Für uns ist das neue Lambchop Album eines ihrer Besten. Es ist mindestens da oben in dem Triumvirat aus Is A Woman, Nixon und jetzt Mr. M.
Zum Glück ist es anders. So wie auch Nixon völlig anders als Is A Woman war. Es eröffnet neue Horizonte, spielt mit neuen Nuancen und die “Psycho-Sinatra” String Arrangements verleihen den Songs von Kurt Wagner eine irrlichterne Präsenz. Aber das ist alles nur unsere Meinung, und nicht so wichtig. Wichtiger sind die Fakten:
Eingespielt mit Mark Nevers in Nashville. Zur Kernband Matt Swanson (bass), Tony Crow (piano), William Tyler (guitar), Ryan Norris (guitar, organ) und Scott Martin (drums, percussion) stießen Streicher aus London und Austin, TX.
Das Artwork dieser Platte besteht aus einem Teil einer Gemäldeserie von Kurt Wagner namens ‘Beautillion Militaire 2000’ , die Kurt Wagner kürzlich in einer Ausstellung in Nashville vorstellte.
Lambchop veröffentlichen seit 1994 Musik auf Langspielplatten und haben mehr als eine Millionen davon verkauft.
Mr. M ist das erste Lambchop Album auf dem Kurt Wagner das Wort “Love” in den Mund nimmt.
Mr. M belebt eine alte Lambchop Tradition wieder, indem es zwei Instrumentals enthält.
Mr. M ist dem Andenken an Vic Chesnutt gewidmet, der am 25.12.2009 den Freitod wählte.