Yesterday was the official release day of my second album, The Whole Other Half. It sold modestly, and I shouldn't be disheartened by the low sales figures. I just hoped it would draw a little more attention, maybe even from just a few more friends. I certainly hoped it would appeal to a few people who have thus far stayed away.
Hoope it amuses. The good version witht he cleaned up instruments and arrangement stuff will only be released on the album, out in June, if all goes to plan.
I’ve been thinking about reintegrating my blogs into one for a while, and this brief brush with the fans of Julian Lennon finally convinced me that I let a golden opportunity slip through my fingers by not having my blog optimized to capitalize on an influx of strangers who might be curious if I just give them something to look at.
So today, we made some changes to the back end of our host sites, and I imported all of my blogs into one. It’s over HERE .
Naturally, I invite you all to join me. I may work out a crosspost feature if I can, but I don’t have one yet, and I’m going to be pretty busy over the next little bit, so I’m not sure when I’ll have one in place; best just to assume this is the last post, and follow me or let me go accordingly.
In case this really is goodbye, I thank you for your patronage, silent though it has mostly been. I’ve enjoyed trying to make you smile
So I recorded a new set of vocals for a song I demoed a few weeks ago, but which I didn’t like playing for anyone because it was so rough. I thought I’d ironed out the faults, but I was wrong; it still sounds rough, so it’s back to the drawing board.
In other news, I’ve also put the upcoming album up for pre-order on Bandcamp, though only two completed tracks are available for download. They’re sort of my double A side, really, but I’m including them in the album nonetheless.
There’s so much happening behind the scenes right now, but it has to remain under wraps for now. I might do another video soon, if the weather holds out and I can get the gang together to shoot it.
Thank you for reading,
There will be people who will doubtless hear the flaws and wonder what I could have been thinking, releasing the material before it was perfected. The simple answer is, it was time.
Time to let go, time to stop obsessing, time to open up, time to receive feedback (positive AND negative), time to accept that the first proper album is going to have flaws. I could sit and tweak and rerecord and perfect those tracks to within an inch of their lives, but it wouldn’t be any fun for me any more, and I’m sure that lack of fun would translate. A ll I can hope for from the process is that my abilities increase enough in the making of the new album (already in progress) that there will be fewer imperfections and more fun will be had.
A funny thing happens when you listen to a flawed track enough times: either you learn to hate the song and refuse to listen to it any more, or you learn to like the flaws and love the song, warts and all. What I learned from this process was to fix tunes that have problems I don’t like, and when I get to the point where the flaws start sounding good to me and the rest sounds great, I stop and move on. It’s the only way I can keep sane.
The important thing for me to accept is that, at this point in my life, I’m not a true professional musician. I’m an impoverished writer, artist and songwriter, and I play a handful of instruments passably. That’s it. I haven’t spent the last thirty-something years of my life honing my musical skills to the peak of human perfection. I’ve been a dilettante, picking up whichever instrument suited me when it suited me, or as is more often the case, when I have a song that needs to be recorded to get it out of my head.
For me, it really, truly has been about getting songs out of my head. Recording is my version of compartmentalizing. It’s therapeutic, really. I believe they’re really good songs, or I’d just keep them to myself, but I can’t allow myself to sit on them the way I have been, as if trying to hatch them. It doesn’t help, and it doesn’t suit my work style, either. I can be amazingly proficient if I just keep working at speed and try not to sweat the things that can be polished up later.
I’m not an Autotune kinda guy, either. I’d rather you hear the flaws than hear artificial perfection. I know we’re all conditioned to expect flawlessness, but when I hear Autotuned notes, I cringe. I can hear it, and most of the time, I don’t like it. Better to cut it out entirely than to leave in this artificial artefact that has no way of properly blending with the rest of the real performance without being conspicuous. It’s like trying to ignore a fake moustache. Once you know it’s there, you can’t NOT look.
So that’s it, really. I just reached the point, after listening to the tracks for two years and change, where I realized I didn’t have enough people clamouring for me to go back and polish up the tracks any further, so I went back and remixed the tracks I couldn’t live with until they sounded palatable , and let the rest do the heavy lifting. It’s a flawed album for flawed times. And I like it.
No, correction. I love it. Just as it is.
Well, except for the gaps between the tracks. I might go back and fix those.
Out Of Time
This is not a dream
This is a… nightmare
All we thought we were is gone
We cannot stop the change
We have to come to grips
We’ve seen it coming for so long.
They’ve closed the factories
They’ve locked the metal doors
The keys to this town have been sold
There’s no more steel here
There are no jobs for us
We need that paper made from gold.
And the skyline looks so clear
As we peer across the lake…
We tore Red Hill apart
We built the road to nowhere
So people could avoid this town
They tell us things will change
They tell us things will grow
But still the city’s shutting down.
And our neighbours look so good
As we hit the Linc to go…
We used to be a home to businessmen and artists
Back when this place was in its prime
This used to be the town that everyone else turned to
But now we’re running out of time.
It was never paradise
But it’s getting hard to call home…
We used to be a central pillar in this country
Before we withered on the vine
We cannot bear to leave and we can’t afford to go
And we are running out of time.
Out of time
Running out of time
Out of… time
We’re out of time.
©2010, 2012 Lee Edward McIlmoyle
Etcetera Thesis Music
for the upcoming album, ‘The Whole Other Half’
I live in a factory town that has been experiencing some pretty serious growing pains as it transitions from factory work to medical and service sector work. The programs and institutions put in place to keep this place running smoothly have been eroding, along with the roads and the public trust, and it occurred to me that I’d never written a protest song about my home town before, so I figured I’d try it now. The recording isn’t perfect, and neither is the video, but I think it sums up the situation, and I did it all myself, so I have only myself to blame. Plus, I work for really low rates, so I can afford me.
More stuff, particularly including the band, to come soonish.
...about what I'd like to be doing in the next while. I want to scoot ahead and finish The Back roads of Limbo and maybe Poison Pen Letters From Limbo, so I can publish them and mayb emake some dough. Same goes for Hot Nights in Limbo, which I think is also nearer to completion than the next LinkTales book.