Sep 222010
 

Looking into the future –

Bless me Father for I have sinned, it’s been 3 years since my last CD release!!! Yikes that is a sin!

Yep I’m gearing up for another CD release and I’m shooting for August of Twenty-Eleven. I thought that this time around I would blog about the process in order to keep me on target and as a point of interest to you all.

So where to start? Well I guess we start with the desire to put out another album of songs. I have more than a few that I’ve written since 2007 (the release date of ‘She‘) and a handful that didn’t make it onto the previous two CDs. I’ve made a list of those songs that I think would work well and now I am recording demos of those songs. Why demos and not the final recording? Well I need to get a sense of the songs to hear how they might work as a grouping and I also use the demos to work out arrangements. Later, I will give the demos to musicians that come into the studio to play on the final tracks just so they can have a reference. Some demos sound very close to what the finished tracks will sound like and then others will just be me and a guitar.

What I’d like for you guys to do is to help me out by commenting on the demos. Let me know if you like the song, if you think they might fit with other demos I’ve posted. You can tell me just about anything, but remember that these are not the final tracks so if there are mistakes or something doesn’t sound “finished”, that’s OK for now. But please let me know what is on your mind.

I thought I’d try my hand at a video for this demo and a little explanation. This is a new-ish song called “Still Life Painter”. I’ll put the lyrics under the video.

Enjoy and thanks for coming along on this ride!

~DG

Still Life Painter

An empty street
Every morning I walk through the blue
Then you appear
And the light is cast in a different place

Spun with colors
I watch you move through my life
Day after day
Until I’ve memorized your face

In line at the coffee shop
I catch a view
With the eye of a still life painter
I capture you
Casually I frame it all
And hang it someplace new
With the eye of a still life painter
I capture you

A pencil sketch
Done quickly as you walk on by
At another time
I’ll draw myself into the scene

I lean in close
To study the nature of my lines
A borrowed smile
But nothing more so it seems

In line at the grocery
I catch a view
With the eye of a still life painter
I capture you
Casually I frame it all
And hang it someplace new
With the eye of a still life painter
I capture you

A closer eye
Might strip all this beauty away
Breaking the spell
Like George Seurat
I struggle with a fine tipped brush
Resisting an urge
To look too deep

Waiting for the light to turn
I catch a view
With the eye of a still life painter
I capture you
Casually I frame it all
And hang it someplace new
With the eye of a still life painter
I capture you

Mar 142010
 

~ singles aren’t enough

I understand the new music paradigm. I really do. Big labels are dying, musicians are entrepreneurs, singles are the product to create and sell on iTunes and the album as a concept is DEAD.

RIP Sgt. Peppers.

Well I’m clinging to the edge of the cliff with my fingernails and hanging on to the album with my teeth. I’m not letting go even though I may then be saved. Saved? By what? An iTunes download? I love and admire the artist that can put together a cohesive album and I don’t ever want to see that part of the music world die. So when I go to iTunes for music I always download the whole album.

I wrote an essay a few years ago about how downloading singles is like buying “So-What Music”. Yes it’s a nice song, but so what? Here’s what I said about the album concept then:

The albums I bought usually had an arc to them and I would listen to the first side and then want to turn over to the other side to hear how the thing ended. “Born To Run” is a prime example and I can’t listen to just the song ‘Born To Run’ without humming ‘She’s the One’ right after it. It’s the next chapter in the story. These albums had songs that had depth and imagery and the albums themselves had an arc to them that demanded that I listen to the entire thing.

I still believe that, but I want to add more to it since I am now seeing the demise of the physical CD. One song is not representative of an artist. If you were to hear only one of my songs you might think that I write only country or only rock or only experimental. On my last CD “She”, the first half of the CD is very heavy with full band and distorted guitars and then the second half is more acoustic. You wouldn’t know that if I had only offered those songs as a collection of singles. It’s the concept of the album that created the linkage of those songs. Songs are much more interesting when they are part of a larger work and when they are connected in some manner to a greater concept than just the idea contained in that one song.

When an artist pulls a listener into the world of the album, they pull them into their broader world. It’s like the artist says, ‘Come in Listener and hear what I have to say from the vantage points of each of these songs I’ve written.’ I hope that artsts out there are still thinking about this and not being forced into thinking that the single is the thing. The album is micro and macro at the same time. What other art form does that? Tell me if you know.

At this time I am collecting my new songs and combing through a few older ones. I’m looking for threads. I’m looking for commonalities. When I find that path that leads through 12 or 14 songs, then and only then will I put them on to my next Album.

What do you think? Is the album dead? Please leave a comment.