Couch Tomato

#1 - Ready for your constant state of celebration

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After watching tons of clack the one word that describes this show to me is Magical.

I can't wait to see the whole show live. I love how Clay controls the action on stage and I really love seeing just a bit of his heart. And wow, Clay can write good dialogue too.

ldyjocelyn, I love that Clay knows he's making people mad & he doesn't care at all. He's just gonna keep on saying what he wants to. Good for him!

I'm so proud that he is such a risk taker. He really is going to be his own kind of popstar.

OK I can't hold it in any longer, EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!

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So, based on having seen some of the Colorado photos earlier this year and the craptastic program for the JBT, I was feeling a little down about what the program for JNT05 would look like. Having seen some of the early scans, can I just say "GAH"? Clique, update that online store already, will ya? I need to have those pictures of Clay with the Christmas tree over his shoulder in my hot little hands sooner rather than later. I take back all the mean things I said about ya, and if you're quick, I might even order one of those goat things. Thanks so much.

Edited by bottlecap

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Hmmm. Mmmmmm-mmmmm. I am thinking. I am thinking hard about a skit to express my displeasure at Clay for interrupting my new favorite Christmas song. Because he does this on purpose. Really, he does. You just KNOW Jaymes asked him not to do this. Angela asked him not to do this. Quiana asked him not to do this. Choir teacher asked him not to do this. Jacob and small Clay substitute did not ask him do to do this because they are probably planning to superglue his lesson plan to his head.

Clay is gonna force me to break out the clack editing software, isn't he? Grrrrrrr.

I love him. But he still fills me with grrrrrrrrrrrrr, sometimes.

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From the Official Fan Club. Jaymes Foster has given her permission for her message to be reposted, as long as it is quoted in its entirety. The original post is in The Man thread - JNT05 Clarifications (Jaymes Foster) on the OFC message board.

It's been very interesting, after being gone from the boards for so long, to return to read the posts regarding Joyful Noise 2005. I know that there is a good chance that there will be a lot of contention after I make my comments, but Clay suggested that I go for it, so I will.

By working with Clay throughout his writing, directing, and rehearsing process, I have had a great opportunity to watch the evolution of this show, and understand the motivation of the concept and story arch that Clay has created. Please understand that these "notes" I give are not intended to tell anyone how to view the show. We all know that Clay would want each person to interpret it their own way. However, there are a few things that I have noticed while reading the posts on here that I feel might benefit from some clarification and insight into the true storyline of the show.

(1) There seems to be an interpretation, from what I have read, that Clay acts as the "director" of the show. In fact, this is not the intention. In truth, Clay, Angela, Jacob, and Quiana all play the role of "guardian angel" type characters who look after Beverly. Clay is a "lead angel" of sorts, and as you see him in the "flashback" scenes where Beverly is younger and she is meeting her husband for the first time, he has been with Beverly for her entire life. He was there in the dance hall and placed the ornament on the tree for her husband to give to her. He was there in the room when she and her son made cookies together when he was a child. He was there when she made cookies with Tommy. It's his character's work that allows Beverly to see that Christmas should be celebrated even without family present. In a sense, his character brings Tommy to Beverly's doorstep.

(2) This show IS Clay's personality. As someone who has been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to get to know Clay, I honestly can say that his personality shows through the words and acts of the characters more so perhaps than any other way we have seen. For me it was a tough thing to get used to, as well. As the rehearsal process progressed, I thought myself that this show may be lacking the "banter" and conversational style that we have all grown so accustomed to with Clay. I mentioned this to him, and he was very adamant that he wanted this show to be different. He knew that it would be a change, but he really wanted to try to express himself in a different way. It was, and still is, very important to him that his message, his script, and the storyline that he worked so hard on be heard through the characters on stage. It's a change. But it's what he wanted.

I know that for the most part, I am writing this to people who do grasp the concepts I talked about above. I'm sure many of you caught on and interpreted these elements in the way that they were intended by Clay. However, many comments that I have read are to the contrary, and Clay tells me that this message board is the best way to get the word out.

I think that it's important that we allow Clay to grow and develop as an artist. I know that it would concern him if he thought that people were not pleased by the show that he has worked so hard on. (And trust me, he worked harder on this show than he has on almost anything else.) But he would also be disheartened to think that his fans, who are of the utmost importance to him, have come to expect so much of him that they are unwilling to allow him to try something new.

I'll prepare for the imminent backlash, but...On his behalf, I encourage you to watch this show for what it is. Not a simple concert, but a full WORK.

Pay close attention to the characters. Pay close attention to the dancers. Pay close attention to the "backflashes" (shown in red lighting). They say so much about both Clay, and the story he wants to tell you.

This show is an entire piece of art that Clay has crafted for you, that can't be enjoyed in pieces, but must truly be enjoyed as a whole in order to be appreciated.

Jaymes Foster

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Yay! for State Farm and their generous Grant to the BAF.

Bottlecap- I'm sorry to say that a west coast concert is not in the cards for me. In fact, I won't be able to make a single concert this go around. I'm existing on clack (is it normal to be infatuated with sparkles on a suit?) and hanging on every word from the recaps.

I'm glad Jaymes posted and clarified Clay's vision. I would have never guessed that he was a guardian angel. Now the story makes sense to me. I love watching Clay start and stop the action, his hands are so expressive. Not to mention how drop dead gorgeous he is..rooster hair and all.

(Quick! Distract John D. so someone else can style Clay's hair! pleeease!)

Clay's version of CMH has turned me into a blubbering mess. It's one of my favorite Kenny Loggins songs, and as usual, Clay has made me forget what the original sounds like. I've been listening to Scarlett's mp3 for hours..his voice...so smooth..mellow, soulful. Just...Gah.

Can we share him?

I'm penciling him in for Friday nite's. (I wish!)

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I've only had time to check out a couple of videos, and I've burnt the whole show into CDs to listen to at work today. I'm anxious to get a feel for how the whole show flows, and to actually be able to hear the dialogue in the vignettes. I'm also looking forward to getting more video perspectives on the show, as the Clack gathers get a chance to cover the action from different angles. LuvTugs, I don't get to go either, so Clack will be my lifeline!

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For Couch Tomato and bonniemeadow and anyone else going to the Oakland concert.

10 Minutes in the Phone with Clay Aiken from Inside Bay Area:

10 minutes on the phone with Clay Aiken

By Leslie Katz, STAFF WRITER 

POP SINGER Clay Aiken brings his second "Joyful Noise" tour to Oakland's Paramount Theatre next week. Rehearsing last month in Southern California, the busy Aiken took a 10-minute break for a phone interview.

Q. We hear your new holiday show has theatrical vignettes. Tell us about them.

A. Last year's holiday show was my favorite of the year, and I was thinking, "What else could I do?" In my pajamas, sitting at my computer one day, I had this fancy idea to add theatrical elements to the show. My old high school chorus teacher plays a role. But the teacher from my senior year isn't in the show. (He got cut from chorus senior year.)

Editor's note: Each show on Aiken's tour features local thespians. He'll be joined in Oakland by performers — many from the Tri-Valley area — who appear with the Pleasanton Playhouse.

Q. Where's home? We hear you might be leaving Hollywood.

A. Home's on the bus. I'll be moving back to Raleigh, N.C., to re-establish myself. I sold where I was living in L.A.

Q. Are you working on any new material?

A. We've been working on quite a bit, slipping in what we can slip in (with the busy tour schedule). There was so little time to do the last CD. I've been able to collect a lot of stuff, and now we're looking at the problem of what kind of new album to put out — it could be Mexican folk songs.

Q. Last year around this time, you had a Top Ten recording, book and concert tour. Was that the first time that happened for any artist?

A. Um, sure. The book was therapeutic, an opportunity for me to reflect, sit down and slow down after such a full year.

Q. Who does your clothes?

A. Who "does" my clothes? I have people who help. I never knew anything about clothes in Raleigh. I went to Structure and I bought myself an outfit I thought was nice — that was the "before" picture. (The "American Idol" runner-up does say he likes designer Paul Smith and thanks us for complimenting him on the remarkable half-jacket/half T-shirt he wore when he performed in concert with Kelly Clarkson in San Jose.) I'm not known for my fashion sense.

Q. Do you have a dog?

A. Yes, she's a border terrier (named Raleigh) who travels with me on tour.

Q. What are you looking forward to?

A. I know I sound like I'm just trying to publicize my Christmas tour, but it really is an amazing way to culminate the year for me. (Christmas is) a month and half away and I'm already in the mood.

Q. Do you have free time? What do you do?

A. I don't have any free time.

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Ansa I read your post at the CH regarding the removal of the Jaymes Foster thread and I couldn't agree with you more. As a matter of fact, before I went to bed this morning I was thinking the same thing. I read posts by some of these people on other boards and they might be negative, but they usually hold back a little, (probably because of board rules) but then they go to the OFC and use no filter at all. It does look like baiting. Then when others call them on the negativity, you get all of the posts about how, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I fully believe that people should be able to voice opinion, to give constructive feedback, but some of the posts over there are downright mean to other posters and to Clay. The fan club has 11,000 members now, and that's a lot of different personalities, lots of different opinions. I rarely go there, usually I go to read Clay's blog, but when I venture in to the messageboard, I feel like I've entered into some bizarro universe and I leave thinking, these are supposed to be fans??????

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Mexican folk songs now?? What happened to the Mongolian polka? Bottlecap just got the penguins trained!

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Mexican folk songs now??  What happened to the Mongolian polka?  Bottlecap just got the penguins trained!

I KNOW! [tm Monica Geller] To tell you the truth though, I was never able to get the penguins to do much besides waddle around in circles, so the style and tempo of the music doesn't matter so much. Now the problem is what to do with twenty tiny herring-scented accordians. Is it true that you can sell anything on eBay? And do you think I can find twenty penguin-sized guitars there?

______________________

eta: Skatejoy, did you see that Jerome was at the Portland concert last night? Fingers crossed that your paths cross in a manner that is advantageous to you!

Edited by bottlecap

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More album talk in the Register-Guard:

In between touring, Aiken has been working on his next album. Or, rather, he's been working on several of them.

"If I was being completely honest, I would say that more time has been spent on touring, but we are working on the album and we do want to have it out next year," he said. "We've conceptualized and recorded songs that would fit on four different albums.

"We have so much material now, which is great because last time I did an album we had such a short amount of time, it was like I sang these songs and that's what I did and when I was done we put out an album. And now we have four and five albums worth of material.

"We just have to figure out exactly what to do with it."

Dude, make up your mind! I have penguins to costume over here, and I need you to pick a theme and stick to it!

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I rarely go there, usually I go to read Clay's blog, but when I venture in to the messageboard, I feel like I've entered into some bizarro universe and I leave thinking, these are supposed to be fans??????

You are so right. That is what I do too. what I find generally disturbing about this trend is that the OFC is the first place new fans might go to when they join the fanclub. Some people may not be familar with the different internet community. What if their first encoutner would be at the OFC message board...I think they would run the other way.

At this point I really don;t know what the answer will be.

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I did see that Jerome was at the Portland show. Just one month until my first show. Of course, if he is not busting photographers, he has no reason to frisk me. So sad. Just another letter to Santa, I guess.

The great thing about penguins? Tuxedos are good for any formal occasions.

On the downside, looks like we'll be returning those penguin sized sombreros.

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I did see that Jerome was at the Portland show.  Just one month until my first show.  Of course, if he is not busting photographers, he has no reason to frisk me.  So sad.  Just another letter to Santa, I guess.

The great thing about penguins?  Tuxedos are good for any formal occasions.

On the downside, looks like we'll be returning those penguin sized sombreros.

Well Jerome was shining his flashlight in someone(who had a 'big honkin' lensed camera')'s eyes last night. Apparently he was just checking to make sure they weren't going to use a flash. I thought maybe you, SkateJoy, decided to fly to Portland & he recognized you and just had to say hello. ;-)

Ya, you wish.

So where is the different themed CD covers with dressed up penquins. Doesn't someone here have a con.nec.tion with a friend ***coughQuianacough*** of Clay's. Come on Couch Tomato, I'm sure you can come through for us.

Let's see, we know that Clay has recorded enough songs for 4 cd's. He has told us that it could be Mongolian Polka, Mexican folk songs or favorite love songs. So what's the 4th theme. Someone must know! Any ideas?

By the way, I absolutely love every moment of the show. I've downloaded every piece of clack & have watched it all multiple times. (My dh is in China for 3 weeks so I'm FREE to mainline Clack.) This show has so many small subtle touches that seeing it once would not be enough. Fortunately, Clay is allowing the clack to flow freely so I get to see it from every angle imaginable as often as I want. YAY!

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Isn't the fourth album covers?? Just think - a penguin done as Elvis, penguins as the Beach Boys, penguins as Neil Sedaka. I think Clay's hat from the 60s would look mighty fetching on a penguin!!

I'm still unspoilered on audio or video from the concerts. Not so much a huge act of willpower as a necessity of being VERY busy with work and church right now. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun though. Looking forward to my getaway weekend in Dec. Must remember to pack big honking lens. Hee!

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....and your blinking "I (Heart) Jerome" tiara. Between that, your big honking camera lenses, and your cohort buzztechie, who I picture wearing one or two (cough*hundred*cough) Finding Clay Aiken Good News pins, you should be quite eye-catching.

So, if you are trying to remain unspoilered, I should probably not go on and on about how transcendently beautiful the religious music from the second half of the show is. I am almost afraid to watch the video, which has been oh so slowly downloading from ATCA to my hard drive. (Everyone in the Clay Nation must be hitting at the site at the same time - it is slower than molasses in winter.) Is it possible to wear out one's Window Media Player?

4 albums worth of material - I feel like I got that already this year, with all the music from the JBT and now the JNT05. I may have to look into buying CD-Rs by the pallet-load to keep up with my burning needs. [Yikes, that sounds like something that should be treated with a heavy-duty dose of antibiotics!]

Edited by bottlecap

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EEEEEEEEEE totally excited for Skatejoy...with your huge camera...there is a possiblity that Jerome would need to inspect it...oh the possibilities...

Wow...you are totally right bottlecap...truly, when I look at my ginormous music library...Clay is the artist that has the most titles in them,...worth so many CD's actually. To think that in some record company vault there are 4 or 5 cds worth of Clay Aiken songs...OMG makes me all a quivery... They better be smart enough to release all these songs in the future...cos you know that even mediocre to lousy songs can get better with Clay singing...

OK...once again, I tried to take a nap this afternoon in preparation for Eugene...but alas my mind was working over time and I wasted the precious hour of being childless in thinking about JFL's post....suddenly a thought occured to me...

Could it be that JFL is so invested in the acceptance of JNT2005 because it may be the key to unlocking Clay's inhibition with song writing? See I always believed that Clay is so expressive, so verbal, so opinionated that I doubt that he has never put his thoughts and feelings to paper...I bet he has tons of songs locked up in the laptop he carries around. I do think that he simply is too tough on his own work to really want to put it out in public. Maybe his work is so personal that he is afraid to bring it out in case it gets rejected. To him it is never good enough to take that risk. The JNT is a great leap of faith for Clay cause he has made himself totally vulnerable in putting so much of himself in this script. I think JFL is nervous that if this is rejected by the fans...it will set Clay back as an artist...make it more difficult for him to bring out his own compositions. SO for JFL its importatant for Fans to give this work a chance because she wants Clay to be more open artistically so that it will be extended into his musical work.

I don't think she wrote that to nurture the man but to nurture the artist in him...

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I'm sure Skatejoy will certainly require some assistance from Security in applying that Clay-mandated black tape. And if she accidently got stuck to Jerome, and had to spend the concert with his arm around her - well I'm sure she would be willing to "take one for the team" if it was necessary.

Ansa, the Aiken is certainly like an onion, isn't he; with unexpected layers appearing all the time. Who knows what secrects are tucked away in that magic laptop. [The computer people - not Waldo!]

I have spent some time listening to the mp3s of the first half of the show this afternoon. His voice is so rich and warm on those songs. Clay may claim not to be a particularly sad or angsty person, but he can certainly convey a very real sense of longing and loneliness in "Celebrate Me Home". The "Please's" alone are enough to break your heart.

I also had a thought this afternoon - this might actually be the last tour where it primarily is "just us". If the next album is as good as we hope for, and Clay gets the promotion he deserves, who knows where he will be by this time next year?

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Wow...you are totally right bottlecap...truly, when I look at my ginormous music library...Clay is the artist that has the most titles in them,...worth so many CD's actually. To think that in some record company vault there are 4 or 5 cds worth of Clay Aiken songs...OMG makes me all a quivery... They better be smart enough to release all these songs in the future...cos you know that even mediocre to lousy songs can get better with Clay singing...
I'm still waiting to hear all of "When I Need You" and all the other covers Clay recorded for MOAM.

OK...once again, I tried to take a nap this afternoon in preparation for Eugene...but alas my mind was working over time and I wasted the precious hour of being childless in thinking about JFL's post....suddenly a thought occured to me...

Could it be that JFL is so invested in the acceptance of JNT2005  because it may be the key to unlocking Clay's inhibition with song writing? See I always believed that Clay is so expressive, so verbal, so opinionated that I doubt that he has never put his thoughts and feelings to paper...I bet he has tons of songs locked up in the laptop he carries around. I do think that he simply is too tough on his own work to really want to put it out in public. Maybe his work is so personal that he is afraid to bring it out in case it gets rejected. To him it is never good enough to take that risk. The JNT is a great leap of faith for Clay cause he has made himself totally vulnerable in putting so much of himself in this script. I think JFL is nervous that if this is rejected by the fans...it will set Clay back as an artist...make it more difficult for him to bring out his own compositions. SO for JFL its importatant for Fans to give this work a chance because she wants Clay to be more open artistically so that it will be extended into his musical work.

I don't think she wrote that to nurture the man but to nurture the artist in him...

Wow, Ansa, you may be on to something there. Last summer during an interview Clay said that it was easier to write the book than a song because you don't have to get 'flowery' with prose you can just write it straight. That tells me he has most likely written songs but I think he is more 'judgemental' with his own ability to write 'flowery' lyrics. This play is very much like a song. It tells a story through emotion & while Clay is using others lyrics he still had to weave the story together. I'm sure he feels vulnerable in putting this out there. While many people did not think Clay was serious about wanting people to post nice things when I watch that on video I see a man desparately wanting reassurance. It's a moment of open vulnerability. I wouldn't be at all surprised if JF-L posted because she wants Clay to get the reassurance to take the next step as an artist.

While I have always enjoyed Angela, Quiana & Jacob's support during Clay's concerts I've not always been a fan of Jacob's and Angela's melisma. I couldn't stand Jacob's during the NAT & I love Angela's voice but I have had trouble when she starts into the, for want of a better word, shrieking. When I listened to the cellstream I was disappointed with Angela's solo. Well today I watched the whole play and when it got to Angela's part I saw & heard it very differently. The song has such intense emotion & she pulls that emotion out and I was bawling by the end. When she went into the serious melisma I heard intense crying rather than shrieking. I have a different appreciation of her now.

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I've just seen a few pictures from Eugene so far, but I like the white outfits, and the striped socks are cracking me up. Just as long as they don't get too creative, and end up wearing red or bright green outfits at some point - that would really be over the top!

Also, I am irrationally in love with the five buttons on each sleeve of the long DSIAFCD jacket. Details like that just reek of expensive hand-tailoring. Nothing like a man in a cutom-made suit to draw a woman's interest......

So, Couch Tomato and bonniemeadow, are you guys getting excited about Oakland yet? Are you running around in little circles and squealing to youselves? Remember, I want to hear all the details, from a description of the merchandise tables to waving at the buses. I'm living vicariously through you guys for this tour!

Edited by bottlecap

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OMG yes the pictures and Clack are marvelous...Clay in white is just luminous...I love it...

I also love the girls outfit...so flattering to them...love it.

I am enjoying the clack so much...

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diamondjake2001- I agree with you about Jacob and Angela's melisma from the NAT. As I watched clack from that tour, I grew more and more annoyed by it. So much so that I skimmed over clack that featured their songs. I even went so far as to put vids in Moviemaker and edit them out.

I haven't seen much clack with Jacob and Angela this go round, but from what I have seen and heard, I like very much.

But I really came here tonight to talk about Clay. *g*

I am now in love with white suit, white tie, brown suede, Wizard Of Oz striped socks wearing Clay. I thought I would love to marry the sparkly black suit, but realized that was just an infatuation. The white suit is my true love.

I can't tell you how many times I have watched Scarlett's (Oregon) clack. Really..I've lost count!

Thank you Scarlett for the to..die..for..closeups. Your lens captured the most beautiful man that ever graced a concert stage. He really is breathtakingly gorgeous. Between his perfectly sculpted cheekbones, twinkling green eyes, and expressive hands..I. Am. Toast. Really just a crumb..I was toast when I viewed clack of the first show. By the last concert I'll just be a speck..but I'll go with a smile on my face.. *sigh* I'm just so damn fangirly right now, I think I'll explode.

I really want one of those t-shirts where Clay is throwing the snowball. He looks so frigging cute in that one!

I wanna play in the snow with Clay! In a couple weeks or so, we're gonna have plenty of the white stuff here in ND.

Maybe we could build a snowman or two. Or I know! A snowfort where we could cuddle inside and share secrets! Mmmmm...

I just love a Clay fantasy, don't you?

Thank you to all the clack goddesses.

Spotlightlover, jojoct, Scarlett, heavens2, elfe350, moaf99 and everyone who brings us these precious videos. *muah*

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Hee, LuvTugs and Clayton-in-the-White-Suit sittin’ in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g….

Clay’s snowball hits LuvTugs, and she very convincingly starts to cry. When he comes over to comfort him, she yells: “Sucker!”, and grabs his scarf and takes off running. Clay has almost caught up to LuvTugs when she hears: “Hey, where’s the remote?” LuvTugs lets out a low growl, and considers burning Senior Master Sgt. Tugs’ dinner….

Clay, now on the run from an angry and jealous Mr. LuvTugs, stumbles into a clearing in the forest, and up to the isolated cabin located there. It is actually a science station, where bottlecap is researching the very rare and almost unknown North American woodland penguin. bottlecap is intrigued by the pale stranger with the spiky hair and well-fitted jeans. She sends him out into the forest to collect greenery to decorate the cabin for the holidays while she bakes cookies. As she is pulling the first batch of buttery, cinnamon sprinkled snickerdoodles out of the oven, she hears a most beautiful sound. “Pleaseeeeee, celebrate me home…”. It is the luminous stranger, returning to the cabin with a huge pine branch over his shoulder.

Just as bottlecap’s heart is about to burst out of her chest, she hears the lovely Canadian-accented tones of Ansa’s voice asking: “Is there going to be any content to this post, or am I going to have to start banning people, eh?”

bottlecap heaves a heavy sigh, and scurries off to check Lycos. Maybe there be an article where Clay threatens to record a number of Romanian waltzes…

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Sorry I haven't been around lately, but I have been doing a lot of business and personal travel recently. I just got back from a week in LA!

buzztechie, I keep running across your pictures from JNT04 on other sites.  What concerts are you and your pal Skatejoy going to this year, and how soon can we expect the Clack from you guys?

I am going to several of the concerts in and around NYC. I think I am now going to 5 total. Lets just hope the NO FLASH rule is still going well by the time they hit the NE. I have some really good seats and I finally got my brand spankin' new digital SLR that I would like to try it out at one or more of the concerts. EE!

And boy howdy did I find Clay's lengthy blog on the photo policy kind of hot! It is nice that he recognizes that photos and videos are so important to the online community so he is gonna allow it.

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More album talk from Jam Showbiz, but not much new. Clay is still refuses to commit to a time frame for the release, and seems to indicate he will not be doing any writing. Could you try to be a little more vague, dude? :P

An excerpt:

"More important than what it sounds like is what is says to me," Aiken says of the next album. "That's why we're taking our time. I want to make sure that what I sing represents something that I know something about and I feel. Some songs we find and we said, 'That is it. We're gonna do that' and so I've gone and recorded them. And then there's been some other ones where we've gone in and we've liked the song a little bit; we wanted to change it some and see if we could make some modifications.

"So it's all up and down, completely across the spectrum, where we are as far as each song goes. Some have been recorded; some we have been listening to submissions and we continue to get them daily."

Still, in his quest to forge the direction with which he's happy, he's won't be co-writing any songs as many singers are wont to do after first-time success and freedom.

"I'm not much of a writer," he admits. "A few lines I can pull off in a song. I know there is a lot of people out there nowadays who say they've written a song and that means they've written a line or so. So it may be possible that I'll go in and change a line or two, but I don't think it's fair to take credit for writing songs, if I just change the line (laughs).

"So I'm not really going to do any writing, but we've taken our time and focused on finding really good stuff and, as a result of that, we've found a lot of stuff (laughs), so the problem now is trying to figure out which songs make the album and which don't, or do we want to put out a larger project or multiple projects, or do we want to do the best of the best? So right now, we're in this quandary, exactly what we've found do we want to go with."

When Aiken reconnects with Foster after his tour concludes, they will get down to picking the final track listing, but he still won't be swayed to put a deadline on it.

"We'd like to have the album out in the first half of next year, and I know that's a very broad time frame, but more importantly than saying we want to have it done in January or February is saying that we want to make sure that what we put out is something that I'm proud, and that we're all proud of, all the people who have worked on it," says Aiken. "So I'd hate to say February and then we realize we should take some more time on it."

In other news, yeah for our Joyful Noise Oakland peeps, Couch Tomato and bonniemeadow. You guys have a blast tonight! Ansa, thanks for the cellcert updates. I can't follow along live until the tour moves back east into my timezone, but I do read your recaps first thing in the morning.

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