I’m still writing a lot and not recording anything. That’s not much like me at all. Usually I’m both writing and recording things on a pretty continuous basis, and the momentum keeps feeding off of itself. At this point, my goal to get four albums out there this year is looking like a pretty serious long shot.
I could blame the unusually protracted break on messed up sleep, or that breakup album taking more out of me emotionally than an album usually does, or wanting to avoid the trap of getting too comfortable and falling into a musical comfort zone, and they would all be valid reasons. But I think it boils down to something a lot less complicated, and really I’m just in another one of those places where I’m over-thinking things again, trying to plot my next move when I don’t work that way at all. There’s a need to challenge myself, but after all the things I’ve done and all the different places I’ve gone musically, where does that challenge come from, outside of making a thirty-three-minute album with ten songs on it that all sound the same and have no discernible innards?
The obvious challenge would be to put a concerted effort into finishing that ANGLE OF BEST DISTANCE thing before it gets away from me completely. But that’s a daunting thing to even think about, given all the work there is to do.
Maybe it’s good sometimes to have a plan without mapping things out too much. So here is my current plan, in four easy steps.
1 — Start working on ANGLE again with no particular method to the madness. Pick a song, finish it, pick another, finish it, and repeat the process until maybe, just maybe, the finish line starts to materialize in the foggy distance.
2 — Start writing at the piano more often. These days I almost always end up writing on acoustic guitar, because there’s always at least one hanging out somewhere in my bedroom and it’s right there when I feel an idea bubbling up. I don’t think the piano has been the dominant force on an album of mine in quite some time now, and it’s about time it reasserted itself.
3 — Record another song that’s built from the drums up, just to get things bouncing around in a different way. The only time I’ve really done that before was with “Raccoon Eyes” on MY HELLHOUND CROOKED HEART, and that song turned into an album highlight for me. Now I have a very different rhythmic idea in mind…something a lot more propulsive and uptempo, with the rhythm repeatedly fragmenting and tripping over itself.
4 — Put a bit more effort into finding someone who may be interested in making some sort of genuine music video just for the hell of it.
Throw those three things in a blender, and something interesting should transpire before too long.