Here are some things that have happened lately:
Firstly, I moved in September, so my studio was upended for a month or so, but I’ve got it put back together and it’s ready to go. My new place is way more comfortable but not quite as flexible as the old place, mainly in that I can’t be as loud. Recording drums will be a bit more challenging, and/or I’ll be figuring out how to make electronic music with drum machines and whatnot. Either way it’s going to be cool.
Secondly, shortly after moving I went on a European tour with the Rodeo. It was crazy fun, you can read a somewhat exaggerated version of events here: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=408884. A few days after returning I left the band to spend more time working on my own music. It was sad to leave such a fun group, but the guys have completely supported me in this move. I get to go back to being a fan, and given the nature of our collective, an occasional collaborator. Thank you Brent, Tim, Sugar, Curtis, Mason, and Johnny for a great year.
Thirdly, I think I have a plan, and that plan is to stop making demos. In March it will be 4 years (!) since finishing my first album, and that’s long enough. Plans are good, right?
And finally, I think the new Radiohead album is awesome. It’s so mellow, it took some getting used to, but I like it better than the last one. Some neat things.. they left little imperfections in the performances, string buzzings, that sort of thing, plus recording-wise it sounds more like a band in a room, at times, than any of their albums since the Bends. Some strange things.. there are bits of the album that sound like other bands (strange for them maybe, it wouldn’t be strange for any other band). “Bodysnatchers” sounds like a Pearl Jam song almost, and “Arpeggi’s” “I hit the bottom” melody is just like one off of Vitalogy). And some bits sound like Moon Pix Cat Power, and some parts sound like some of that newer piano-driven Death Cab for Cutie. A little. Enough to make me think of it, but not enough to be litigious or anything. “Faust Arp” is like Nick Drake and Led Zeppelin. They reference themselves a lot too, and good for them.
Each new Radiohead album has been an event for me since I became a fan in 1999 (and probably for you too, if you’re still reading this), and they didn’t disappoint. It was crazy to see it all over the news for three days too, and not just from their innovative decision on how to sell it (though mostly). I don’t know what the future of the music industry is, I think I would still personally benefit from being associated with a label, but only because of the power a well-known label has of getting your name out there. Regarding letting people pay what they want for a download, I would copy Radiohead in a minute. Technologically I don’t have that option with Paypal as a card processor (I don’t think), but generating a random username and password for a download page wouldn’t be that hard. Definitely something to look into.. it’s way better than making your downloads free while offering a paypal donation link (which lots of people do), because it’s so easy to ignore the donation option. Making people pay at least a transaction fee forces them to consider the worth of what they’re downloading, and the chances of them adding a buck or two out of guilt go up considerably. Brilliant!
Oh yeah, I also have a show coming up November 9, at the Mars Bar. Mark yer calendars!