By the way, over 60 demos have found their way out into the hands of the public over the course of the last 10 days. Considering the scale i’m operating on, i’d say that’s equivalent to shipping gold the week of my debut. And, much in the same way last year’s demo locked me into playing “A Long Time Since” and “Other Plans” in generally the same way every time thereafter, i’m starting to feel some of the new arrangements locking in as i hear the cd more and more. And, furthermore, it’s finally opened up a chance for me to work on some new songs, some of which have made guest appearances here. But, anyway, i’m sure i have something important i’m supposed to be doing. See ya.
I think i’m trying to hard too write Ani DiFranco songs.
Let me qualify that. Ani gave some funny little interview in the last year or two where she said that “Out of Habit” is a bitch to play anymore because it has too many chords. All of her newer songs have less chords than “Out of Habit,” and so to make it match them she effectively chopped out half of the chord progression so now it sounds just like “Firedoor.”
It’s important to keep in mind after hearing this that “Out of Habit” only has eight chords in it, and they aren’t especially hard chords. And two of them repeat. The result of Ani’s elimination of 8-chord songs is that her music is much more hook-ridded then it first turned out, but disappointingly simple once you figure out what tuning and voicing she’s been using. Going through Relief the two most complex songs structurally are “Relief” and “Bridge,’ both of which just tack together several easy chord progressions and riffs to make one decent song. Am i becoming boring before i ever got interesting? Should i be striving for more complex and sprawling chord structures? Should i be looking inbetween the lines for the passing chords? Or, should i just stop second guessing what comes out of my head and enjoy it for what it is? One to think about.
An hour past showtime. I will never, ever, ever play into microphones outdoors ever again in my career as a bitchy little folk singer. The student tech crew could inexplicably not get either of our guitars to come in via our pickups, so we had to mic them both with microphones. Now, i dunno if you’ve ever seen me play before, but i shimmy around like a belly dancer with a cricket put down the back of my shirt, so giving me a stationary microphone to play my guitar at is the worst idea you could ever have. Furthermore, they couldn’t even get our vocal mics to come out of the monitors in front of us, so i couldn’t hear Gina singing anything directly, just from off to the side. After sitting there strumming a G chord for ten minutes while the sound guys did everything but get us any sort of monitor mix we could hear, we finally decided to start and see what happened.
“Punk” was a thankfully quick crash and burn, though at that point we were assuming the monitor problem would get fixed. In our naivety we managed to get some good harmony going. However, the set took a downturn during “Deadweight” when two obnoxious guys were standing directly in front of us having a conversation and we still couldn’t hear ourselves playing. I, of course, started directing all of the lyrics right at the conversationalists – which wound up getting their attention rather quickly (they especially looked up when i screamed “i can’t get rid of you even if i want to, cause your deadweight the way you serve no purpose”). “With or Without You” was quick and rather painless for me because Gina was singing, but i couldn’t hear her guitar so i didn’t know what the hell was going on. “Lost” sucked because i couldn’t hear my guitar over the reverb of our voices (which finally found their way into the monitor), so i basically just played it quick and angry (which generally works well). I stalked off to retune after that and Gina bravely attempted “Landslide” solo while the wind dueted into her microphone, after which i came jogging back onto the stage for a very brave attempt at “Under My Skin” (in which the solo was rendered totally moot because Gina had no pickup for her acoustic guitar so we couldn’t hear what she was playing). After that we were supposed to play another 20 minutes of songs, but i was basically just muttering “fuck” under my breath inbetween every lyric and Gina was totally frustrated, so we hammered out “Can’t Do” and walked right off the front of the staging area without even saying thank you. Yep… i’m a rock star in training; i’ve got the attitude and everything.
The next band’s instruments all plugged in fine and the band sounded wonderful, even though they had too much reverb. There was a chick guitarist in the last band, but i was too pissed to hang around much longer. Somehow i managed to sell fifteen demos in the midst of all of this, but that leaves me with mucho extra copies, so get your orders in now. Ugh.
Five hours. I just ran into Gina, so … she’s here. I also dropped off my rapidly fuzzing liner notes to be copied on stock paper – had i planned this out properly i would have had the liner done digitally for today, however when it comes down to digital liner notes or underwear to wear for your show the right choice is (usually) doing laundry. Also, Gina and I were just totally improbably asked to record songs for a play opening in D.C. in July that will be playing at the Philly Fringe Festival, which means we might get to perform live there. This is ultra-tentative, but if i pursue it i think it’ll work out. See how easy it is to network when you’re not just some random kid recording dumb little concerts for your website ;-)
Meanwhile, somehow i leaked the liner notes before the demo release (i know how: i am a dumbass), so people are starting to catch wind of the thanx they received. I’m probably going to change the inside liner notes for each “pressing” of the disc so i can keep straight which ones got made when, so hopefully there’ll be some continuing surprises. But, now i have to sit at my desk and stew for another hour while my copies are being done. What fun.
Six hours and fifteen minutes. The liner notes are finally done (i take this down-to-the-wire stuff seriously), and i’m just this bubbly giggly mass of idiocy every time i look at them. Sure, i’ve been listening to the demo for two or three weeks now on my stereo, and i gave Peter Mulvey the first virginal copy last week, but this is something wholly different. On my living floor there are 42 copies of my emotions waiting for an image to go with the sound, and i’ve got it in my hands. And i even lined it up on double sided paper with the admissions office copier! Love those DIY production values! So, anyway, i’m not getting very much work done, but all of my little demo errands are finished except for getting the liner notes copied and cut. More updates soon.