In the middle of all of the Grammy Awards hullabaloo, I stole away to Palm Springs. I packed my guitar, my laptop, a decent mic, swim trunks and flip-flops. And apparently, that was enough. I recorded five songs in less than forty-eight hours. On March 31, they will reach you as, 'The Desert Star EP.' The first to come was 'Flirting With Disaster.' The film of the same title was fresh in my mind thanks to Hertz renting me a silver Taurus. The concept was fresh in my mind thanks to this relentlessly paced life of mine. I strung together a pretty catchy chorus while I was running Saturday morning. You're flirting with disaster You're always on the run Your heart is beating faster, on and on and on You need a permanent vacation On the far side of the sun Three days of inspiration, on and on and on The second was 'Angels In The Atmosphere.' I kicked the title around in my head as I drove east on The Ten. Angels have been on my mind all year. Well, I think I may finally have found a place for 'em. And being that I watched 'Angels In America' Friday night, and I was in a place where angels probably dwell, well, it came pretty easily. There are angels in the atmosphere And the sky opens up when they're near And the air grows heavy with the light And you say, 'Glory, I'm alive' The third was 'Carmelita.' There's a street in Palm Springs by the same name. It got me thinking of a street in Beverly Hills by the same name. I've run on both, and thought both times, 'Hmmm, good name for a song.' She'll keep you safe And keep you warm She'll stay awake Through the thunderstorm And when day breaks She shield you from The blinding light Of the prying sun The fourth was 'Rainmaker.' I'm not sure why the word was in my head, but there it was. I was thinking about how we invest each other with powers we don't know we have. And how that can be disappointing. Bring me rain Let it wash me away Bring me rain Make me clay I can't leave and I can't stay Rainmaker wash me away And the fifth isn't mine, it's Wilco and Billy Bragg's 'California Stars,' the perfect finale. So I recorded five songs in less than forty-eight hours (plus three others I like a little less). They're all different. 'Flirting' sounds chaotic, all quick changes and minor keys. 'Carmelita' sounds patient and sad. It's good stuff. What's more, if you pre-order 'The Desert Star EP' today, I'll throw in the rest of the tracks I recorded, including 'Boomtown,' 'Take It Easy Tonight,' and 'Into The Sun.' Bonus! A guitar, and open mind, and a whole bunch of sun can go a long way.