Back in the saddle and a little rusty.
A recent partner in crime suggested that blogging more frequently might be a great way to boost my creative disapline, so I thought I would give it a go. So it's 9:15 pm on a Saturday night - sort of a random hour to start a disapline, but let's go crazy! I've always enjoyed dancing to my own drum beat anyway. I've missed the practice of writing in this thing daily, truly I have. The inevitability of the artist's day job has sort of gotten in the way of my not so early morning ritual, so maybe it is time to wake up a little earlier and do the deal. We will see how it goes.
Tonight, I'm grateful to be wearing flannel and feeling cozy in my bed. Fall weather has finally arrived in Los Angeles and the overcast sky makes me feel homesick. We may have some cool weather, but we sure miss out on those colors! This is the picture on my desktop right now:
Ahhhh New England. How I love thee, two seasons out of the year.
So now that the weather talk is out of the way...jeez I'm rusty!
I've been writing songs lately, you guys. Cool songs. Some of them are dark and sort of sarcastic and weird. Some of them are more like little gospel tunes. Some sound a little musical theatery. But I'm loving this shit that is coming out of me. I'm telling you, to create is the best feeling on earth! And to SING! To shout out to the cosmos! I'm in love with it. I'm so glad that I get to do it. I'm so glad that I've allowed my passion to 'just be' to express itself however and whenever. I'm letting it flow these days. Sometimes that flow stays within my bedroom. Sometimes I share it with my live audience or youtube - but it's always flowing out - and whoever lives above, below, and beside me is definitely getting an earful. Sorry guys! I like to sing...loudly.
The demo is moving a long pretty slowly due to scheduling, but it is sounding sweet and pure and beautiful. I have a few very special guests playing on various tracks to add some magic to the mix. Other than that, when you hear it in late November/early December, you will be hearing me and my songs. That's it. No fancy shmancy shallow production, just the shiz. The songs and the voice. I haven't quite decided how fancy or low-brow I want to go with duplication yet. If you have any thrifty ideas for good-looking/practical/cheap packaging, let me know. I welcome all and any advice on the matter. I want them to be pretty and eye catching - but there is no need for high drama or polish. The key is simplicity here.
To be honest, I've had a lot of trouble trying to choose the material to go on the demo. Because I'm writing more material each week, I'm constantly wanting to add and subtract. I'm reading this awesome book my boyfriend bought me called "Songwriters on Songwriting" by Paul Zollo. It's so amazing! Interviews with all my favorite songwriters! (except Joni). But one of them, I think it's Bob Dylan said that you are always most in love with your latest song. And it's sooooo true. No wonder Bob is always playing his new stuff and giving the finger to his early hits - he doesn't give a crap about them. It's all about the new! I don't care how great my older songs are, my latest is always my baby. It's like a newborn. I'm obsessed with it and protective of it and want to show it to everyone. I love it so much that I want to make it my facebook profile pic! I am also so sensitive about its infant state that if anyone says boo about how much it sucks, I lash out with a fury of a million Queen Bees.
This can be a dangerous state of affairs. First of all, we songwriters can be sort of blinded by the song's newness. We think, this is it! This is the best one yet. But it is mainly because the shine hasn't worn off yet, it's like a new lover. We are excited by every turn and surprised by the lyrics and feel of the melodies in our voice. Whereas, the old songs can feel sort of stale and played out in our minds. The problem with this when recording a demo is that you need to record your actual BEST material for the listener. The people listening have most likely never heard any of your songs ever. Each one is presented on the same level, brand spankin new. So how do I get un-biased enough to choose the right material. I'm too obsessed with my babies! I keep wanting to throw the oldies out of the ship to save the newbies. I need some perspective, people! This is why writers have editors and musicians have producers. We need HELP.
Granted, the more I write, the more skilled I get. I can definitely see the difference between my newest material and my oldest. I've grown as a songwriter and singer and my range is more exciting now. BUT the hits are still the hits. I just really have no idea what they are. A few months back I had my audience at Room 5 vote during my set for the songs they would like to hear on a demo. The votes were pretty unanimous. The problem is that NOW I have at least 10 new songs that I like even better!
So here is my idea. I say, I will choose the songs for the demo based on the votes, the work I have already put in, and my favorite current material. Something sweet will come out of it - something that represents the past present and future of this year in my music. That demo will go in to the hands of you, people at shows, new friends, producers, record execs, managers, cool people, musicians, anyone who cares, and my parents.
THEN. I will record and release little singles from my home studio. I am just starting the adventure of home recording. My bf, John, hooked me up with the top of the line stuff to make professional sounding recordings from my apartment! Once I understand the ins and outs, IT'S GO TIME. I will be able to release whatever I want whenever I want. And who's to stop me? That is the genius thing about being an unsigned musician. No one is telling you when and where. You sing and release as you please! How about a two-sided single of glockenspiel nursery rhymes. GO! The sky is the limit!
So, the point is. My new stuff will keep coming. The amazing thing about this era is the speed at which I can record and share my material with a large mass of people. It's really exciting! and I intend to take full advantage of that. There is no stopping point. If I'm waiting for a stopping point to choose the final play list for the demo, I will never finish. I might as well, get'er done and move on.
Who's with me? Let's do this.