So I realize that, as keeping up with journals and blogs and other updates goes, I’ve been rather AWOL lately.
It’s not because nothing of note has been going on, but rather the opposite – perhaps I’ve been biting off a little more than I can chew.
As most of my readers and followers know, I’ve been talking about releasing a new album later this year. In fact, I think I’ve been going on and on about that since last Fall, when I started demoing for it. Once I finally got a chance to sit back and take stock of what I’m really looking at as the slate for the rest of the year, it does not appear in all practicality that I will be able to get that out as I had initially planned. It’s looking now as though that may be a better fit for Spring of next year – maybe even Record Store Day. I’m okay with that if you are.
Part of what’s kept the recording of the new album at bay (apart from having a really difficult time focusing at home), is the detour I set myself on back in February when I decided that I was going to celebrate the release of my third album, Lemonymous, with a ten-year anniversary re-release. Because I want to get it right and there are a ton of things involved in handling this (from ensuring good remixes to developing artwork to raising the funds to making some media and retail connections), most of my music-related focus has been centered around it. I made nearly $500 in a friends and family only fundraising campaign, and as of this writing I’ve just crossed the $400 mark on my latest Kickstarter campaign (with which I need to raise at least $1000 before May 18 in order to keep the money). I’ve decided I’m going to proceed regardless of what happens, but I haven’t figured out how exactly yet, and I know if the Kickstarter route isn’t a success it will be at a much slower pace. I’d rather it not be.
And while this seems like an unnecessary detour, let me first argue its merits.
For one, I’ve been out of the “music game” for a few years. As a result, I’ve lost a lot of the traction I had built up to that point. Now it’s kind of like starting over from scratch. I don’t have a built-in fan base, so I don’t have a lot of people awaiting my next move. And I don’t have a lot of press contacts so I don’t have an easy in-road to promote myself. My feeling is that if I want to put the time into recording and releasing a brand new album, I need to build up some buzz first. An anniversary release of Lemonymous seemed a ready-made way to do that – without having to put the time into all the recording that a new album would entail – just, for the most part, a round of new post-production.
For two, when my previous albums were released (from 2001 through 2005), I was making up the rules of how to do everything while I learned – the end-result being that when all that work finally saw the light of day, the mixes and the final masters were not quite up to snuff. They sounded more like “glorified demos” (which is what I nicknamed them for a time). Anniversaries give me a really great excuse to go back and fix the sound. To make them sound as they always should have.
For three, none of those afore-referenced albums had proper releases. The first two were put out on mp3.com and Lemonymous through CafePress. Back in those days, I didn’t have the kind of access to the tools that I have now. CDBaby, Diskmakers, and all these other digital release platforms were simply something I couldn’t get my hands on (if they existed) back then. Now that I have access to these things – and for very little cost, comparatively, I might add – I can get these songs out in all the ways they should have been pushed right from the outset, in all the originally-intended packaging and artwork.
And who knows, maybe with the music videos I had always intended.
So it makes sense to use these anniversaries as a means to not only celebrate my past work, but also to define them in the ways they should have always been defined. Not just to remind the few out there that I’m still here and that I’ve already actually accomplished quite a bit, but to introduce myself to folks for the first time, as if I were starting right now. That’s why Lemonymous is getting re-released, and that’s why my previous work will be given the same treatment over the next few years. Trust me, it’ll be exciting!
But that’s not the only thing I’ve been doing.
This past Fall you may remember that I helped produce and did the editing for my wife, Emily Steele’s, first short film, Are You Listening. Now that the film is starting to see its way into the festival circuit, I have tidying up to do in order to prepare it for public screening and further release.
I also just got off a seven-straight-day shoot for a pilot, where I acted as First Assistant Director.
And of course I play bass in a band called Rutherford.
And that’s all on top of being a Dad! Hoo boy!
So while it may seem as though I’ve got nothing to say, I think perhaps the problem is that if I really wanted to boil things down to specifics… I have too much.
But as soon as the Kickstarter campaign ends and everything starts moving forward, rest assured you’ll be hearing from me a whole lot more often.