The other day I made a Tumblr, found an interesting picture, and married it to some lyrics for a song I wrote that seems destined to remain stalled at the recorded-but-not-quite-finished stage. I thought about slowly building up a slew of posts featuring words, images, videos, and maybe the occasional song.
A few hours later I deleted the entire blog.
I can’t say I don’t know what I was thinking making it at all. I thought it might be worthwhile to have a more anonymous place to post random things on a more fragmented and frequent basis. But it also struck me that there’s a social networking aspect built in, not far removed from what eventually led me to deactivate my Facebook page. Why would I want to be easier to find?
Besides, I don’t need the distraction of trying to fill up a whole new blog with content that’s of a high enough quality to justify the blog existing to begin with.
Thus ends the short tale of how the most short-lived tumblelog there ever was came to an end before anyone knew it was there.
Shortly after the death of my Tumblr, I finally hammered down a song I’ve been messing with for more than three years. I’ve made at least six different mixes at different times, re-recording and altering just about everything but the piano and vocal tracks that make up the meat of the thing, and I never arrived at a mix that felt quite right. Spent a lot of time trying to nail the right approach behind the drums, only to hear the song really open up once I gave up on the drums altogether and added a few very simple textural touches.
Funny that such a simple song would take so long to get where it was supposed to go. I think this is one of the unexpected perks to taking such a long time to finish this particular album. The temperamental songs are given ample time to mature, so when the thing does hit the finish line, nothing on it will feel like it’s only halfway there. Where normally I would just throw a song on the out-takes pile if it didn’t seem willing to work with me beyond a certain point, these songs get to sit in cryogenic stasis until a random epiphany or a happy accident comes along to cure what ails them.
Speaking of Facebook, now that it’s gone I find myself doing other things with the “nothing time” I used to fill up by floating around on the Book of Faces. For one thing, I’ve been scanning a whole pile of handwritten lyrics and putting them up on album pages where there used to be typed lyrics. Even if you can’t read my handwriting, which varies pretty wildly in style and neatness, it’s fun throwing that stuff in there.
I think it’s a shame there aren’t more artists with blogs who go to the trouble of posting images of some of the physical components of what they do — not just lyrics, but brainstorming sessions, rough track lists, random notes, rough sketches, and the like. Seems to me it makes things more personal and a lot more interesting to look at.
I had a friend once who said she could almost tell what a person looked like just based on their handwriting. She felt it revealed a lot about their personality. I always thought she had something there. Still do.