Hello, all...

John here. I'm in Baden Baden, Germany. It's been far too long since I've
slept and even longer since I've written you. The not writing you will be
resolved much sooner than the sleep, I'm afraid.

So 'Heavier Things' is out. That's a new feeling that I'm still getting
used to. I really need to say thank you for picking it up. Will you do me a
favor and take a little piece of the congrats that I've been given all week
for the #1? I know that some of you reading this knew the songs from the
last CD (the name escapes me) since the day it was released, and it's
amazing to finally redefine what it sounds like to hear myself sing a song.
I should never go that long without a new work again. Or at least
*something* to carry you through. (Cartoon voice guest? Celebrity archeology
report?)

I'm getting a kick out of reading what people think about this album,
professionally scribed or otherwise. The part that makes me laugh is that
depending on which magazines or papers you pick up you would think I was
either an absolute genius or a pandering, wannabe scumbag. (hint: both!) As
long as you guys appreciate where it's coming from, I don't care who writes
what. Is the record growing on you? Has 'Home Life' hit you yet?

It's also been interesting hearing people's interpretations of the new
songs. I think the lyrics on the last CD (still drawing a blank) were very
self-explanatory, so the only people who asked me what the songs meant were,
shall we say, not clued into the context. This time out I didn't hold myself
responsible for explaining everything, which I like. Like in the second
verse of "New Deep": "Is there a God?..." I'm not wondering that stuff. I'm
lampooning people who actually begin back-deck party conversation with those
questions. Some people don't get it and think it's my actual attempt at
getting deeper. Man! That's frustrating. But that's the wonderful trade off
of people being able to take away their own vision of where 'Clarity' takes
place. Notice there's no mention of time or place. But you still know
exactly what it looks like. It all comes out in the wash, I guess.

I was looking on the board before I wrote you to see if there's anything
that would spark conversation. And I have to tell you, some of you need to
relax... do smiley faces *really* offend you? If this is true, is it to say
that you are so thin-skinned that you spend lots of time in public making
fun of harmless people in your mind? None of my business, I guess.

I do not own a dog. My friend Kevin bought me a plant and it died in
what I'm sure was record time. You guys are so cynical when it's generally
useless, but somehow stop right before your cynicism would serve you. I'm
laughing at you because I love you.

Looking forward to the November shows. These set lists are gonna get a
shake-up. Bring your tape recorders, y'all. No more "bored" feeds!!
hahahahahahahahahaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahah.....((clears
throat))....uh... Huh. Are you gonna go buy Teitur's CD "Poetry and
Airplanes"? It's so much better than who you like right now. I'm listening
to the new Outkast, and it's amazing. I'm just going to say that now before
anyone else says it, at which time everyone will say it, at which time I
will deny having ever said it.

The Chad and I are hard at work inventing a revolutionary new card game
called "Nevada". You know you've been traveling a lot when you start
inventing card games.

If you think the live version of 'Come Back to Bed" is overall a better
song than the one on the HT, you're wrong. The live version might be louder
and fiercer than the disc, but loud and fierce does not a great song make.
The album version feels like it should. You're in bed, half asleep, there's
a candle just about to smoke out, and it's making the dozens of shadows in
the room move like a scrambled cable signal. Her hairbrush is right over
there... If you think that feeling is better articulated by way of speed and
overall intensity, okay. I love the live version. I just think the disc's is
better. It's intricate and subtle, and truer to the song. I blow my load
live. I can't help it. However, you seem to like my load, and that's why I
want you to be my lady.

I must be on my way, but I hope this finds you well and fit...

I would be lying if I still told you at this point that my life hasn't
changed. But remember this...

Everything has changed, and nothing has changed.

I'll be around.

JM