somehow i have 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 is going on with them.
upright — 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.
light sleeper — 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 licorice.
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.
cold rain — sort of a shoegazey sounding 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 — 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 40 seconds of complete insanity. finished.
pizza pockets — 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 just need to add organ or some other glue, and then mix it.
sexual vertigo — 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.
slow birdies — 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 10-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.
apex predator — again, the meat is 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.
night side — 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. 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 — working title. interesting piano thing. a little more sonic goodness and it should be done.
i’m dyin’ — working title. i recorded a rough take on it, but i think i need to take another pass. very CHICKEN ANGEL WOMAN-ish and folksy.
brother monoxide — 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 of “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.
in other news, i’m thinking about playing live at the shores of erie wine festival in september. with a rhythm section. that’s right. johnny west with a band.