Because It’s My Blog, I Can Write About Whatever I Feel Like

This entry was posted by on Tuesday, 12 February, 2008 at

Someone recently asked me if there was anything as a friend that they could do to help me. (You know, because of the… stuff…) It so happens that what immediately popped into my head was, “You can buy my CD!” Followed almost instantly by, “Okay, don’t say that.” For this was a serious conversation, and that was just silly. I do not even have a CD.

One person asked me why I did not make the “Trilogy in E Minor” songs available for download. The reason is that I was actually considering making and selling a professional CD. It is very possible, and as it turned out, right around the time that I was looking in to all of this, a friend of mine coincidentally did the exact thing with his band. The problem I had was a question of how much could I reasonably charge for a three song CD, and with the numbers I was coming up with, it seemed highly unlikely that I would even break even on the project. (Plus the fact that I was not planning on doing any performances or promotion of any kind, and ultimately could probably only expect to sell a handful to friends and family- if any of them would even be willing to pay for such a thing.) Of course, I could go the purely digital download route for a minimal up-front cost, but what I really wanted was to see my [stage] name on a physical product. Eventually I let the matter drop.

A couple of weeks ago, I was again in a musical sort of mind and in a flurry of inspiration began concurrently working on four new Purple Robe songs. (Technically it was only three, but one of them started developing in two different directions and I could not decide which I liked better.) Taken along with several other fragments and ideas, plus stacks of unrecorded old songs, I figure that if I actually finished everything I would have about three albums worth of material. It occurred to me that I therefore ought to be able to at least come up with one single CD of tracks that are actually worth listening to. The problem is, the sets are very distinct in my head. The “Scarecrow” songs came from a certain period and are of a particular mood, while the “Purple Robe” songs are something else entirely. As far as fictional band histories go, I like to think that “upon the disappearance and presumed death of the Scarecrow, the Creeps went on to become the Purple Robe.” As such, the Purple Robe is not about guitar or vocals, just the “other stuff.” In reality, the modus operandi of the Purple Robe is “I found this musical toy and this is what I did with it.” The third category is for ideas both new and old for “real” songs that do not exactly fit under either title, or that could be both as in the case of several unfinished songs from years ago that were of an experimental nature that at that time were limited by the available technology, but which I now have.

I feel that trying to consolidate these songs would result in something like “Kid A/mnesiac”, with a lot of good songs interspersed with a lot of “What the crap is this?”, which is something I would like to avoid. Also, to return to my earlier CD dilemma, I have been thinking of ways to add value to my three-song set, so that I could charge more in good conscience and potentially make a profit. While I obviously have no shortage of other songs that I could potentially add, I want to preserve the integrity of the “trilogy”, because I really feel that those three songs make a complete unit by themselves. I have a few different ideas toward this end, all of which have downsides, and are generally the sorts of thing that an established artist could easily pull off, but as a first (and potentially only) effort out of the gate are probably not going to fly.

I realize that I may be far too concerned with the sanctity of “the album.” Does anyone even buy CDs anymore? I have not purchased one in years (though I have been given a couple). However, I am not exactly the best judge considering that it was a such a big moment for me last month when I actually purchased “How Far We’ve Come” from iTunes, since the last song I bought was U2’s “Vertigo” … in 2004. (I tell you, that Matchbox Twenty song has single-handedly restored my faith in popular music.)

Anyway, at the end of the day, I have to remind myself that I am not entirely sure that there is actually anyone out there who even likes my music.

*As a fairly irrelevant note, I wrote this entire post with “cd” in lowercase, which my spell check did not like. I thought that “CD” looked a bit pompous, but when I typed it into Google, the first five pages of results almost unanimously had it capitalized when referring to compact discs. So if you got nothing else from all of this,there you go.

2 Responses to “Because It’s My Blog, I Can Write About Whatever I Feel Like”

  1. timoth

    More of the Same:

    I was playing around with the sounds on my computer and found a drum patch that I liked. I thought it would go well with a particular song from back in the day called “Dilemma.” I had actually recorded the guitar parts years ago, and awhile back I salvaged the audio files from my old computer and spliced them together in GarageBand. (Which is exactly what GarageBand is for, actually. If only I had had it back when I was creative and motivated!)

    So after working with it for awhile yesterday, I came to the realization: I’m not sure that I actually like this song at all. Even with the new techno-waltz beat (or – because of the new…?)

    I always considered this song to be a sort of illegitimate child, as I was deeply involved in a collaborative music partnership at the time, yet wrote this song completely independently and never brought it to the band. (I would later have many such solo efforts, but these were generally birthed during hiatuses and many ultimately became LiM songs.)

    On this particular song, I was experimenting with some rather extreme guitar sounds and even a bit of backwards-recorded guitar. The result, however, makes me slightly cringe. Eesh, what the heck was I trying to do there?

    Interestingly enough, the song vaguely reminds me of U2’s Pop album, which if I remember correctly, was released in the same year that this song was written. I find it fascinating to see my influences shine through so blatantly.

    Anyway, I am not sure that I like this song enough to even bother finishing it. I only bring this up because I mentioned before that I was not sure that anyone even liked my music, and I can now add “including myself.”

  2. Anonymous

    …please where can I buy a unicorn?