Monday, August 04, 2008

304. where did July go?

I honestly can’t believe a month has gone by without me posting anything.

I mean I knew I was behind but I had no idea I was that far behind.

Sorry about that.

First some news to catch you all up:

1. I’m done mixing the new CD for my band, Harrison. I don’t mean to say that the CD is finished, I mean I’m done with it as in I’m sick and tired of working on it and so it’ll have to be just what it is. I’ll have more to say on this further down.

2. Uh...that’s kind of it.

I thought there was more to it than that but really, I think that’s really the only big news in my life right now.

And I guess it is kind of a big deal, I mean this project basically took up a whole six or seven months of my life.


But unfortunately, I’m not really happy with the way it sounds. For lots of reasons.

For one thing, I don’t think working on a mix for a few hours every night after work is a very good way to mix. A lot of times I’d be in the studio after work and the way I would know it was time to quit, go home, and sleep was when I’d snap awake after dozing off (again) and realize I had no idea where I had last left off. I mean I was dozing off all the time at the studio because I was seriously sleep depraved but most of the time when I awoke I could remember what I had been working on and so could continue but when it came to the point where I’d wake and have no idea what I was doing - that was my cue to save for the night and go home.

In the end, I just got sick and tired of working on the damn CD. I know it could sound better. But I got to the point where I was no longer willing to sacrifice all my free time for it. And so I finished off what I could the best I could and basically said that’s that. There were a few more minor tweaks I took care of after the band listened to it but those were minor and relatively easy.

And so now I’m done with it.

And on the one hand I’m glad to be rid of the damned CD because I finally, FINALLY have some time to myself again.

But on the other hand, to have worked so long and hard on something that I’m not happy with - well, that sucks to a degree that I just don’t know how to express with mere words.

It feels stupid.

It feels like this: Imagine working on a huge, tedious, very detail oriented project. Maybe like building a house by one’s self. You spend all this time hammering away at little pieces - a little bit here and a little bit there, whatever you can do in whatever time you have. Day by day it’s one nail and one piece of wood at a time. You’re there on your knees working on this bit then working on that bit.

Finally you get to the point where you can stand back and see your work as a whole. You walk across the street and see the house as a whole for the first time and then realize something is amiss. It’s not quite square. It’s not something you can put your finger on but it’s just off. Not so off that you can’t see that its a house, but off enough that you know it’s not right.

And at this point, you don’t know how to fix it apart from tearing it all down and starting again from scratch. But there’s no way you’re going to do that and so you just say, "screw it," and declare the job done. It was a helluva lot of work but not something you feel you can be proud of.

That’s how this CD feels to me.

And it sucks.

When it came time to write the liner notes for the CD jacket, I didn’t list myself as the person who did the recording. I just wrote, "mixed and recorded by Harrison."

It’s pretty disheartening to say the least.

But it’s done...or at least, I’m done with it.

If I try to be reasonable, I’d say that it’s not awful. I mean, it sounds better than our first CD...but here’s the thing. I wasn’t shooting for "not awful." Whether it’s realistic or not, I was shooting for major label, big studio sound. I had a list of a few songs that had a kind of sound I was shooting for - songs I’d reference while mixing to make sure I was on the right track but somewhere along the line I missed a turn or something. At first I felt like I was getting closer and closer to that professional sound but at some point it was like everything I was trying was making the mix worse...well, not specifically worse, but at the same time, not closer to the sound I was shooting for.

But I’d already given up more than six months to this project and while I’m pretty sure I could have done a better job, I just didn’t have it in me. I was sick of working on it.

And so basically I gave up.

Anyway, we’re almost done with the graphics and the CD should be out by August or September at the latest. We’re also going to try and get it up on iTunes and a couple other on-line retailers. If you want a preview you can head over to our MySpace site.

In closing, don’t worry about me. I’ll get over the CD and my disappointment with it.

Part of my not blogging for over a month has to do with me sort of decompressing from all the work I put into the CD. I feel like I’ve been motoring away at 110 percent for over half a year and so I’m kind of taking a break. I’m going to try and take on as little extra responsibility as possible for the month of August, especially when it comes to the band. I feel bad about this because I have some big ideas on how to really make this last year and a half with the band a productive one. The music industry is in flux and I believe there are tons of never before seen opportunities for bands to blow up HUGE. Of course the only way to capitalize on never-before-seen opportunities is to try never-been-tried-before tactics and I have a few ideas tucked away in the back of my mind - promotional ideas that I’m dying to try out.

But not yet.

I need to get this damn CD out of my system. And so those plans will have to know, one way I’m going to know that I’m over the CD is when I stop referring to it as the "damn CD."

But blogging, that’s not part of this rest period. To the contrary, I actually feel a little better about the CD having written about it here.

That’s what writing does for me and I’m glad to be back at it.

Anyway, take a listen and (try to) enjoy.

Thanks for your patience.

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