Saturday, June 18, 2022

My New Album "Lockdown Leftovers" Will Be Available Soon


Here's to hoping you're like me:  you somehow start getting into an artist, and you're excited when you hear they have new music coming out.

It takes a lot to make the leap into trying out something new, and particularly the older you get, because you tend to like what you like, and don't feel like you have room in your life to start getting into music you're not already familiar with somehow.

Sometimes people recommending music to you makes you want to check it out even less.  Sometimes you need something more to push you over the edge.  You have to like their image, or what they're all about.

For example, someone suggested Ryan Adams to me long ago, and I couldn't get past my first impression that he was "that jean jacket guy with the hair in his face."  I also heard he was one of those #metoo hashtag guys who had supposedly mistreated a girlfriend or wife.  

The combination of those made me way less likely to try out his music, but I finally got around to it, and I can confirm, the guy is a good artist, good songwriter, has a lot of good music out there to discover.

I don't have much of an image, but I don't have any bad press either.  I'm a good person, doggone it, and people like me.  ...and I have some good music out there, and I hope you've discovered it, and hope you'll be interested to hear there's more on the way.

It's even more elusive to get someone interested in a musician they know nothing about, haven't ever even heard of, and then with nothing to go on, mention they have a new release, and then by the way, the musician himself says it's not his best stuff, but you should check it out anyway.  Great sales pitch, I know, but such is the case.  Chances are you're not one of the imaginary readers, you're real, and you already know something about me already or you wouldn't be here reading this, so that should help.

June 21st, my birthday, is when you can listen to it on Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Pandora, and well, let's face it, you will only be using one of those services, not the millions of others out there, although my new album will be there too.  No links to share yet, just a "be on the lookout for it" heads up at this point.

I can tell you it will contain 13 new original songs I wrote and recorded in my home studio.  I also made an album cover:

You might like some of it, you might not.  Probably not.  If you even get to the point of finding it three days from now, you'll probably hit play on track #1, then tell yourself "nope" and then out of impatience, go listen to Ryan Adams or The Beatles or Journey or whatever instead.  Patience is hard.

Another album release announcement means needing to do more than just tell the world I'm putting more music into it.  I'm faced with telling people why they should be interested in such news.  Putting lipstick on a pig, as they say.

It's not very enticing to caution or warn people you're about to release some substandard music they might want to listen to.  Not very smart either, one might argue.  On the other hand, it is what it is, and at least I'm being honest.  When you write and record new songs, you think they're all better than they end up being, in your own opinion, after a cooling off period.

The real me would announce it the way I just did to my friend via email, which I've now deleted, but it went something like this:

"During periods of unemployment between 2019-2021, I wrote and recorded more songs than usual because of the extra free time, so I'm releasing a new album.  They wouldn't normally make the cut of my weeding out process, but the criteria this time was just that they sound close to being actual songs, without too many glaring errors or major mistakes.  I'm at the age, and we're in an age, when you never know if you might get the Corona and die, and you just want to know you got the songs out so people could potentially find them, maybe listen to them, and possibly enjoy them, whether any of that happens or not.  Both the song quality and sound quality are not up to my usual standards, but I'm doing it anyway."

In other words, just being brutally honest, no sugar-coating.  The more fake me needs to put on a marketing hat and make it compelling somehow.  It just so happens that I'm now used to the fact that there are no gatekeepers anymore in the music industry.  I forget how lucky I am that my hobby is one in which people who really have no business ever trying to sell what they create can try to anyway.  So much music in the world, how to get people to try mine, what does it all mean?

To me, it means I know I'm not good at music, but I do it anyway, and I can choose to keep it to myself, or share it with the world, and I choose the latter.  Does that make me brave or stupid?  I've wondered about that, and am unsure.  I've googled this kind of thing for reassurance, and here's some things I've found I should probably quote people on, but won't.

Heard it said:

  • If you can do it for joy, you can do it forever
  • Happiness lies in the thrill of creative effort
  • A man is a success if he does what he wants to do
  • Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world
  • The judgment of music, like the inspiration for it, must come slow and measured, if it comes with truth
  • The road of life is rocky and you may stumble too, so while you judge me, someone else is judging you
  • It's good to be bad at things you enjoy
  • You don't need to master something to enjoy it
  • It's perfectly fine to suck at something and keep doing it anyway
  • Being good at things is not the point of doing them
  • Being bad at something makes you an interesting person
  • To not excel at something helps shatter the notion that any pursuit must be a means to achievement
  • We are intimidated by the expectation that we must actually be skilled at what we do in our free time
  • Creating for the sake of creation, writing for the sake of writing, and trying for the sake of trying, is all invaluable grist for the spiritual mill
  • It's good to be mediocre at something you care about because it shows your commitment to enjoyment, and an understanding that you deserve the flexibility to go easy on yourself
  • The motivation underlying anyone's pursuit of a hobby is curiosity and the possibility of gleaning pleasure
  • If you truly derive pleasure from something, being good at it won't make a difference either way
  • If you enjoy doing something, it shouldn't matter what people think
  • There's a lot of joy to be found in doing things just for kicks
  • You'll find joy in embracing your willingness to be bad
  • The recipe for success is curiosity, kindness, stamina, and a willingness to look stupid
  • People will be inspired by you even if you don't crush it
  • Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly
  • Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm

There there self, I feel better now.  It's about building momentum, creating a buzz.  I dread this aspect of it, but at the very least, one must let people know the music exists, or will soon exist, and therefore, this post.  About all I can muster is a post like this for now.  Alright, so the next post I have planned will be the "official" version of this informal announcement, in which I will represent myself and my new album in the most favorable light in more of a press release format.  Until then, you've been warned.

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