Saturday, May 8, 2010


There are a few different ways I record song that I write.
  1. eMac. Yes, it's an ancient computer at best but it still works really well and when I use it to record I can easily convert songs over to MP3 and then listen to them in my car. The idea here is that I'll eventually edit them down someday, rewrite lyrics, perfect bridges, etc.
  2. iPhone. I have a little recorder on there, the sound is shit but I can actually email the file to myself and throw it onto my iTunes. It's my "in a pinch" go to though. It takes about 5 minutes to set up my eMac and sometimes I'll forget in that time. So I'll pull out my phone and take a quick little recording. This is also my means of keeping one line songs alive, these are the songs I write in my car whilst working; driving around with the radio off singing to myself.
  3. Video Camera. When my aunt died I got a corgi named Moanna (pronounced Mona - was named Mitzy or Bitzy when I got her though) and a shitty camcorder. I'm not sure if it's even made by a company or just made by the early 90's itself. It's the kind that records to mini tapes that you then physically place into a larger tape which will play in a VCR. The reason this works out well is for solos (note: I have never written a solo in my life) and playing weird chords that I don't know the name to. Basically if I don't think I'll be able to remember the song, without a visual aid, I turn to the camera. It's between eMac and iPhone.
  4. Old School: I have a digital 16 track recorder with 2 inputs. I use this as my mixer for the eMac, it holds up. At one point, it was all I had and it was really when I started recording music. I spent $1,000 for it at the time, it may still be the single largest purchase I've made to date. I've never even bought a car that cost that much.
From 1999 through 2003 I recorded somewhere around 200 songs. I'm not sure if they were country, indie, pop, punk, or what...probably a mix. One day I wanted to bounce these songs over to my eMac so I could edit them. It would have taken about 5 days to record each song into it's own track so instead I was going to put them onto CD and then import them. I had to format the hard-drive on the recorder in order to do so. I did. It was the last time I ever heard any of those songs.

Now, I understand they were probably 99.9% shit (especially now, as tastes have drastically changed) but they were mine and now they are totally gone. Seriously I was crushed. A few weeks later I happened to rent "Comedian" and was inspired to just say good bye to my music. A brief rundown, Jerry Seinfeld throws away all of his stand up and starts over...I'm not Seinfeld so I figured it would matter even less.

It was easy. I threw out papers, forgot songs. Went along on my way. Shortly after my tastes went way more indie and way less punk. None of this is the actual point. The point is, I've been trying to write an album since probably 1997 when I wanted to do a choral christmas album with my friend Jon. Today, 13 years later I've spent several hours pouring through songs to come up with a list. It's a working list. Some songs are old, some new, some will be lost, some fixed, but I'm pretty determined this time to finish something.

I have a CD made now that is a collection that spans very rough to nearly finished. The songs are:
  1. Nervous Man. This is the last song I've written and I honestly like it.
  2. Boring States. Circa 2004-5. It's stuck around because I have a soft spot for it.
  3. Die Young. Wrote this just after New Years 2006, it's extremely rough, I forgot about it but I like the form of it.
  4. Good Eye. Second song I ever wrote on banjo, mid 2006.
  5. An Instance. The first song I wrote after "throwing out my library."
  6. National Anthem. I have a sneaking suspicion that this song will fall short of making the cut. Written in 2004-5.
  7. Play On. Sometime just after moving to CA.
  8. Royal. Old song, has been reworked so many times I have no idea what I originally intended it to sound like.
  9. The Slipping Kids. I'm not sure why I kept this one on the demo. I don't think I like it.
  10. Trouble 2-Step. First song I ever wrote on banjo, first day I bought my banjo. I like it, it could work.
  11. Be The One. Wrote this in the waiting room to find out if I had cancer in my leg. Not as sad as you would think it would be, given the situation.
  12. The Way I Left. It's new, I have no idea.
Beyond this there are about 15 others that need to find their way onto my eMac somehow over the next few units of time. I'm not sure what those units are though.

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