At this time of year, when the noise from around the world is concerning to say the least, it is right and fitting that we are all taking a day to give thanks for what we have and the incredible blessings that we were all given. It’s a moment to hold family a little tighter and to tell friends how much they mean to us.
Our little band has a lot to be thankful for, especially with the first album done, the second being recorded, and – given that we’re doing all this independently – great support from our (non-existent) record label!
But it’s very grounding to be back in NJ where my own previous musical history lay. This is where Tunnel 18 recorded and played local venues, and where I learned I could write songs and then get up in front of an audience. And it’s where family and friends helped make that possible.
My very first guitar – a hand me down from my uncle – is still in the basement. No longer playable, but it’s there.
Spent a little more time recording last night before hitting the road, and we think that you’ll like the results. Both “Pleased to Meet You” and “Alice’s Dream” demos should be available in the next two weeks.
If you ever find yourself in Geneva, NY (a great little city in the Finger Lakes), you must go to Area Records & Music. Ask for Jeff. He gets it. I just walked in there a little while ago and talked about guitars, small guitar stores competing with the big guys, how Gibson and Fender are completely alienating their customer base, and why you make music in the first place.
He told me about how so many of the kids come in and they want to make money and impress girls. Invariably, these are the kids who come back in a couple of weeks wanting to return the guitar because it’s too hard to learn how to play. Anything that’s worthwhile doing is hard at first.
On top of that, the reason you learn how to play music is not to make money and to impress girls. That might be a useful side effect later, but the reason that you learn to play music is because there’s music inside you that you need to be able to play. There’s something inside you that needs to get out, and the instrument is the way it gets there.
The instrument is the tool that gives voice to your soul.
Shifting gears entirely…
The guys from Rush once said that they never had any outtakes from any albums, because why would you ever work on a song that you weren’t going to put on an album?
Kinda wish I had that discipline.
Instead, the first album had at least four songs that didn’t make it onto the album. Some of them made it onto the Soundcloud site, but will never actually make it to disk. (They’ll be those “deep tracks” we pull out for extra special audiences live…)
And, already, Robbing the Cradle has been cut from 13 songs down to 11. Largely because the other two just don’t fit. It’s one of the struggles about writing an album rather than writing a song. The songs need to work together. They need to be of a theme, and of a feel. There are each like scenes from a movie, and need to hang together in order to tell the overall story.
So, what I’m getting around to saying in a fairly long way is that the album is taking longer to write, but is getting much better as it goes along.
The good news is that production has started on a couple of songs, and with a little bit of good luck, maybe we’ll have some new music coming your way before the end of the year. And buy new music I’m not just talking about one song, but maybe a few so you can get a flavor of where we’re going.
And don’t forget in the meantime, time and motion is available at CDbaby and you can listen on Spotify.
A few pieces of news over the past couple of weeks, all of them good. First of all, just found out that our album is up on Spotify. Yay! Didn’t actually realize that was going to happen but I guess that’s all part and parcel of the CD Baby thing. Really very cool!
Also, looking to add a few open mic gigs in the Newton, Mass area (west of Boston) sometime over the next couple of months. We will post these as that all becomes a little bit clearer.
Finally, I found out quite to my surprise earlier today that some of our CDs have been making their way around Portland, ME a little bit. I sent a couple up to some friends, and they’ve been showing them around. Walked into a room earlier today and somebody said: “oh you’re the guy with the band, and that album! It’s really cool stuff! Classic rock?”
So, this next thing is going to probably be a stupid question: What do you call this stuff, anyway?
With been trying not to be too pedantic trying to classified as anyone thing. To me it’s always sounded like 90s alternative rock. Maybe y’all think it something else?
The Time and Motion webstore is up and running (at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/steelingtime1, so please go and check it out. Really great stuff. Promise). All is good with the world, and we have a lot of good CD’s ready to go, or downloads as you like.
(as a complete aside – anyone interested in merch if we go that route? T-shirts? Beer cozies?)
The bad news, or at the very least the things that are annoying us tonight:
1) Not having a drummer.
As mentioned in an earlier post, we’re in the process of final writing and the start of recording for the next album, to be called Robbing the Cradle. However, our musical tastes are – shall we say – eclectic. And by eclectic we mean… odd.
When you have a regular drummer, you have someone who speaks the same language you do, and you can start an song and they find that pulse you need to get it to all fall together.
When you don’t have a regular drummer, you search through dozens (hundreds) of drum loops played by people who don’t have your feel or your vision or… physical presence, really. And you try to find something that has the beat you’re looking for. The ethereal pulse of the creature you’re trying to bring into being.
And if you don’t find it. Well….
So the songs “Friday Night Girl” and “No One’s Coming” are really, really trying to be born, but….