I want to send warm wishes to any of my regular readers who likely have stopped coming by for irregular posts from me, their perfidious bastard host. I have not one but two excuses for my slack postings, but one of those things might have finally paid off for you, at least if you’re a fan of my music. Of course, fatherhood has kept me from being as engaged with both blogging and pop culture as I used to be. My son needs more from me as he gets older. It bears mentioning that our family lost a very young member this year (a second cousin of Xander’s) in an ATV accident and I realize even more now than ever (even more so, if possible than after my mom died) how precious this time is with my son. So I am sorry, my faithful readers, if you feel as if I have treated you as second class passengers.
When I do have spare time, I’ve had to use it wisely on the many art forms I dabble in, and this autumn, that has meant a return to music. The album I recorded, “The Mechanical Bean,” is now complete. OK, that’s a fairly big statement considering that some of the songs could use remastering and maybe even another pass at a vocal or two. But the bottom line is that I was racing to finish this album by next year, and instead I went through a highly edifying, fruitful period of arranging during some late night hours and lunch times over the last few months and my fervor to finish reached a torrid frenzy in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Last night, it happened. It’s ovah, as they say on Long Island.
The result is now on your left. The first 22 songs on my home page are all the songs from “The Mechanical Bean” in chronological order. Click through each in turn and this is how you are meant to experience the album. I tried to make the styles different enough that you could shuffle the album’s songs and still have fun listening to it, but you’ll have to wait until I get them on ITunes. That is, in fact, my next order of business.
The album mixes the silly and inane with the polished and serious. I think I’ve become a better singer, but it is part of my aesthetic (nay, it’s the very suggestion of my blog’s name) that amateurism, accidents, trial and error and first passes still have a place in art and that beauty is indeed imperfection. I worked hard to make “Test Tube She” sound polished. I worked hard to make “A Man With No Name” sound the opposite–so stupid that it still embarrasses me a bit. But if an artist isn’t willing to embarrass himself he’s probably not interested in the holy act of discovery and therefore doesn’t deserve the sobriquet “artist” in the first place.
I have more songs to record, but for a while I’ll likely just be fiddling with these or turning back to my literary endeavors. I should probably take one of these art forms more seriously, but then again, being unserious and capricious is sometimes one of the nicer things about being alive. And being alive is, still, what I’m most thankful for this year. That and my wife and my son.
And you, if you’re still reading.