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But If I Did....
03 August 2014 @ 10:15 am
I still have a large number of songs in need (IMHO) of better-quality recordings than what currently exist. For that purpose, if none other, I've started designing a third album. In addition to being another Bandcamp release, it's also going to contain songs that don't necessarily need complex arrangements or other people's contributions.

The songs I'm selecting tend toward ones that have had a decent reception but which I don't play often for one reason or another, some a bit long for circles, some "funny once", some that friends like better than I do, some I like in spite of their reception…[shrug].

Picking a phrase from a song to use as a title, I came up with "The Downward Slope" from "Basketweaving". That sounds appropriate. :)
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But If I Did....
26 July 2014 @ 09:37 am
When I created my Bandcamp album a few weeks ago, I arranged for album downloads to be free, but not individual songs. The idea was that, since Bandcamp puts a monthly limit on 'free', I didn't want it to be used up on singles when the same quota could be applied to the album as a whole. That turned out to be unnecessarily (and uncharacteristically) optimistic.

I've now set the base cost of individual songs to zero, so if there are particular songs someone would like without the overhead of grabbing everything, that's an option. (It's probable that I'll revert to the previous setup if the limit is ever approached.)

But If I Did....
24 July 2014 @ 07:10 pm
It's now just over three weeks since the release of "Mix Until Absurd" and the people who told me I couldn't give music away were wrong. Unfortunately, they were very, very close to being right. :)

At this point…
Paid album downloads: 11
(Thanks…you really didn't have to.)

Paid single download: 1
Free album downloads: 6
(Forget your arithmetic lessons, that's the number that's odd!)

Single plays 90%+ of a song: 65
Single plays 10-to-90% of a song: 75
"Make it stop!" plays <10%: 82

And, in spite of that, I'm still glad I did it.
But If I Did....
01 July 2014 @ 02:19 pm
“Mix Until Absurd” went live on Bandcamp this morning.


Here’s how things work…. The full album is set up as a “pay what you want…no minimum” download. Though it may seem odd, individual tracks do have a minimum cost. The point of that is, free downloads are limited to 200 per month and I’d rather not have some people miss out because that number was reached for single songs.

The purpose of this exercise is, first and foremost, to get the songs heard. I don’t want anyone to ever tell me they didn’t grab them because they couldn’t afford it. (I don’t want anyone to tell me they didn’t grab them because they expected crap…but, still, I’d find that much more tolerable. :) )

If you do decide to contribute, a few good things happen: Bandcamp makes some money, I’m motivated to acquire more musical toys, and someone else gets to use one of those free download slots.

For help in creating this, thanks go to other people who performed, did technical audio things, or both: Jane Garthson, Sue Jeffers, Tom Jeffers, Ken Lalonde, Deborah Linden, Karen Linsley, Amy McNally, Devin Melanson, Bill Roper, and Peggi Warner-Lalonde.

(So…what will I put on album #3? :D )
But If I Did....
29 June 2014 @ 10:29 am
Yesterday's accomplishment was finishing my maybe-final mixes, including a "mastering" pass to balance levels among the various songs. I've burned a candidate CD to listen to on the good stereo and I'm recharging my iPod so that I can load things there for another test listen.

Meanwhile, I'll be putting together a lyrics/credits sheet to accompany the Bandcamp upload. Even though it is a digital release, I'm considering how to create a small number of physical copies (20?), including sleeves or cases and printing, for the people who contributed to the making of this thing and other special purpose uses. It will happen, though maybe not soon.

My goal from mid-May was to have a release in the June 30 - July 3 window so that I'd be free to dive into 50/90 with a clear conscience. Surprise, it just might happen!
But If I Did....
12 June 2014 @ 07:46 pm
Our latest winner in the "let's make Phil's songs sound better" contest is Debs of Debs & Errol fame. Over the past two evenings, I've download background vocals from her for two of my songs: "Other Side Of The River" and "Found You In Time".

Because these are both somewhat introspective, she told me she wanted to create something light. As I suspected, that's one of the things she does very well. Her harmonies add an airy touch where a different tone might not have fit in.

When I released my CD, I was happy with the amount of variety in the music. I think this collection is going to be similar in that way -- in great part because of the various friends who are adding their touches to the songs.
But If I Did....
08 June 2014 @ 09:44 am
Last weekend I received a package of tracks from sexybass and sposter that was made up of background vocals, guitar, mandolin, and cittern for five of my songs. (For those who enjoyed Tom being on fourteen of sixteen songs on Rain on the Sand, this may be a disappointment but remember that we're all still looking for a Stone Dragons CD soon!)

During the very little free time I've had since then, I've managed to do basic re-arrangements for all five of those songs -- what comes in where and with what volume -- and a detailed version of two of them.

When the biggest problem is deciding which of two mandolin tracks works best in a song, it's a good day of mixing. Thanks!
But If I Did....
24 May 2014 @ 05:39 pm
In spite of all my stalling, indecision, distractions, and those things that make up "life", I'm making one more push to get this done. I've sent email to the various people who have expressed interest in helping with the project at one time or another, essentially saying that I'm going to do final mixes with whatever is on my computer on June 20 (2014). Which actually means, if I had to go with the component tracks I have right now, I could live with that.

There are two weekends between that deadline and the start of the 50/90 songwriting challenge (July 4). My assumption was that if I didn't get the album in release condition by then, it would be back on the shelf until October. That puts my projected Bandcamp release date for the album in the June 30 to July 3 time slot.

Today, I was having a bit of fun:
MUA Cover

"Take a lion and a bird,
 And mix until absurd.
 I'm your need to, I'm your yearning to, believe."
But If I Did....
16 November 2013 @ 10:41 am
Time doesn't just fly; numerous pieces of it have been known to gather into flocks and migrate south.

With the best of intentions, I planned on replacing my remaining scratch vocals and some guitar parts with better versions while waiting for tracks from other people. The only requirements for me to do that are: I'm feeling reasonably healthy, I'm not scheduled for some other event, and the house is not unreasonably noisy.

Life has now failed to meet those requirements for 24 straight days and doesn't look to improve soon.
But If I Did....
22 October 2013 @ 09:19 pm
I had an excellent weekend...except for the part where it started with a wisdom tooth being pulled. :)

Karen Linsley was visiting and we had a little time for recording on Friday night, then an afternoon of it on Sunday. There's now a second one of my songs with her singing lead. This is the one based on the character "May" from Seanan McGuire's Toby Daye series. I really like this rendition.

As mentioned, Karen wanted to do another take of the lead part she previously did on "She Bleeds For Roses" even though nobody else was sure how she was going to improve it. She found a way.

The other three new mixes are songs where Karen has added harmony vocals. She does that well too.

I have one more song on my list to fix before the traditional OVFF car ride and road test, maybe tomorrow. As well as some musical adjustments, there's a lyric line that has come to annoy me after twenty-or-so listenings. I think a rewrite on that is a good idea.