Somehow I’ve wormed my way back onto the CJAM charts again, and now MEDIUM-FI MUSIC is at #11. How did that happen? The obvious answer is, “People have been playing my music,” but since when have we gone for the obvious answers? I think the real story here involves dinosaur fossils and peppermint.
Now, because you like lists as much as I do (don’t try to deny it), here are all the songs that may or may not be on the next album (I’m still not sure what I should call the thing) and what’s going on with them.
I took an improvised fragment of music from back when Max and I were recording piano/bass duets and built a song around it. The whole thing turned out better than I expected. This has been finished for a while. I just need to find an album it belongs on. If not this one, it should eventually show up on THE ANGLE OF BEST DISTANCE, whenever I finish that big hulking thing.
Finished, and slated to be the first song on the album. I keep feeling like I’ve yet to nail the mix. I either end up thinking the electric guitar is too loud and the vocals aren’t prominent enough, or it’s the other way around. There’s a solution somewhere. Maybe it’s liquorice.
Ain’t No Friend
If you pop in here on occasion, you probably heard this song back when I posted a video of the recording process. It’s finished, but I’m not sure if it’s quite album material, even though I like the way it turned out.
The Lexicon Is on Your Lap
A filthy electric guitar part led to an oddly catchy song. It’s most of the way there, but it still needs a little something. Maybe some acoustic guitar.
Sort of a shoegazey languid thing. I was originally going to sing on it but could never find the right words or vocal approach. Now I think it might work better as an instrumental. Mostly there, but needs a little more wallpaper.
Mail Order Bride
Just a working title. I wrote this song before even CHICKEN ANGEL WOMAN was underway (it kind of has that warped folky/bluesy sound to it), and the music came from a dream. I think it might fit in here for some odd reason. It’s pretty much finished. I just need to mix it.
Surrender to Thee
About forty seconds of complete insanity. Finished.
A rap song. Yes, you read that right. I don’t know if it really fits in with the other songs. Then again, I don’t know if it would really fit in anywhere. In the end, it amuses me too much not to be included. This one is also finished and CD-ready.
And I Failed
This was going to be the opening track until “Light Sleeper” stole its place. A song that’s beyond cynical but comes off sounding oddly happy. Finished and CD-ready.
Trauma of the Truth
Even if I never end up using “Bitter Bearded Balladeer” as an album title after all, at least I used the phrase in this song. It’s been just about finished for a long time. I need to add organ or some other glue and then mix it.
The ukulele returns. Again, this song needs a little extra something to glue it together, and then I can mix it.
Held Is Not Holding
I posted this song here not long ago. It be finished.
A really happy-sounding instrumental track with most of the rhythm made up of eavestrough elbow. Still needs a little something extra.
Drowning the Wedding Party
An endlessly shifting pseudo-ballad that cracks the ten-minute mark. The meat of it is there. I just need to add some sonic wallpaper. This could be a highlight of the album. There’s even a pretty ambitious harmony-drenched a cappella breakdown at the end.
Again, the important elements are there, but I think I need to re-record the drums with a different approach. Maybe I should take another pass at the lead vocal too.
Happy Backwards Guitar
Obviously a working title. I really like the music. I need to write/improvise words, and sing them, and maybe add other things too.
A sketch that needs to turn itself into a song.
Gift for a Spider
Almost made it onto the last album. Might make it onto this one. It’s one of those weirdly tender/macabre balancing acts I pull sometimes (see: “Peculiar Love”, “The Danger of All Things Adhesive”, “Slow Dancing in the Small Intestine of a Rather Large Animal”).
Talk to Me
Interesting piano thing. A little more sonic goodness and it should be done.
Working title. I recorded a rough take on it, but I think I need to take another pass. Very CHICKEN ANGEL WOMAN-ish and folky.
I think this one has the potential to be something pretty interesting. Grungy electric guitar meets floaty ambience, with a little jazzy dissonance thrown in for good measure. The words are there, but I need to find a better vocal approach/melody.
Returning the Favour
Sort of the flip-side to “Motivation Behind the Method” (off of MY HELLHOUND CROOKED HEART), where the woman kills the man. Mostly finished.
Liars and Salesmen
Another kind of shapeless piano thing. Maybe not album material.
And there are a few songs I still need to record, along with a few things I like that probably won’t end up making the cut.
I’m also thinking about playing live at the Shores of Erie Wine Festival in September. With a rhythm section. Johnny West with a band.