Sunday, August 16, 2015

My Tunes

The itch to release new music has turned into a fire. After years of sporadically recording songs just to get them done, I realize I need to 'drop' a new album, for my own sake. Of course, I'd like it if you wanted to hear it, too.

Even before I finally finished and released Joy in the New in 2004, I had additional songs written, and several months later I'd begun recording again. The goal was to put out a second album, to be called Tougher Than Flannel, within two or three years. I lost momentum, and a little more of my sanity, however, and as the years passed, I still wrote the occasional song, and recorded as the muse dictated, but the idea of "the album" seemed distant and vague, and eventually I lost whatever commitment to it I might've had.

In late 2014/early 2015, after I recorded "Everything's Different Now" and made my first video, I started thinking in terms of completing an album again. Though the title Tougher Than Flannel still gets a grin out of me, I felt like the songs were generally going to be a bit more somber and dark than I'd originally been anticipating, and I decided I'd name the collection I Can't Possibly Give More Than I Can Give instead. Kind of a throwing up of hands in resignation and also a poke at those who exhort you to "give 110%!"

Lately, however, I've been rethinking the whole idea. I'm starting to feel this next release will be my last in "album" form. I will probably continue to record, but I think it would make more sense to put out the occasional EP with three to six songs on it than to agonize over larger sets of songs, especially when I don't have a fanbase clamoring for them.

With that in mind, I started considering the songs I've recorded thus far, both the new ones and the ones on Joy. There are some that I really enjoy and think are great, but others that frankly need either more work or discarding.

So... what I believe I'm going to do is take the best of the Joy songs and the newer material, re-record some bits where I feel it's warranted, finish another song or two, put more effort into mixing it all better (and actually try my hand at mastering, now that I've got software for that sort of thing)... and put it out as a new, defining album. Possibly a double album, if I feel there are enough good songs to justify it.

I have yet to sit down and cull the material into a list. (As you may have heard, I did some tinkering with my MacBook Pro's disk partitions the other night, and rendered it unbootable for a few days.) I'm going to get to that shortly, though. I've also changed my mind on a title again.

Before I'd completed Joy and settled on its title, I'd contemplated several options, one of which was Straight Outta Nutley (where I lived while some of the tracks were being recorded). I know the "straight outta" thing is simultaneously popular and reviled right now, but no, I'm not going to call it Straight Outta Lyndhurst. Go ahead, sigh in relief... I'm leaning heavily towards The Unfortunate Truth, a line from "I'll Live" (which will definitely be included). I also like Signifying Nothing, however (and award yourself 17 points if you get the reference). If I do end up making it a double album, I could conceivably use both in a double name... we'll see.

I was hoping to complete the album before the end of 2015, but I'm going to shoot for having it released by the first quarter of 2016; if it's ready before then, so much the better, but I'd rather not rush myself. I may set up a GoFundMe with a modest goal, $1000 or so, where every donation of $10 or more will get a copy of the album. Haven't really made a decision on that yet, but if I do it, it's going to be to help with the costs of getting CDs (and maybe posters or buttons or something... maybe even some vinyl?) made, not for pocket money.

That's my story. What say you? I'd love to hear what you think about me putting out a new album, my title ideas, any of my particular songs or my music in general... Please let me know, thanks!

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