So I figure this is it. This is the part where I give the album out to as many people as I can before I run out of cds or patience or response. This is usually how it goes: Them - oh you make music? Me- kind of, here's a cd. THem - thanks. *** a week later **** Them - I listened to your cd. Me - how did you like it. Them - it was \good/. This is kind of painful. Its like there's not enough response, negative or positive to warrant anything other than \good/, maybe they don't realize that this is my life.
I mean, isn't this my entire life? What else do I exist for other than to make records? The typical reaction is like 'yeah, this is decent background music that I like to hear and think to', screw that. I want a freaking sing along with you and your friends in the car, the guy in the backseat is hitting the guy in the front seat's headrest, but he doesn't care, because he's trying to remember the lyrics to "Confidence". This goes into the difference between pop music and intellectual music. The problem is that people think I am making intellectual music. Intellectual music = stupid music. It is stupid because it misses the point. Music isn't about 'subverting the dominant paradigm', its about exploiting it. Its not about 'aren't we smart..' its about 'how about lets dance.'
Anyway, I make pop records. I'm sorry if I fail. I will try and continue to try.
Le Fou is a flawed CD. There are pops and scratches in the bass, the handclaps at the end of "Confidence" are terribly trebly, the vocals in "Community" are a full half step flat for like four beats (also in forty guns but a smaller pitch difference), the jingle bells in "Static" are way too loud and trebly, other singing parts are off, and we probably should have worked a little bit more with the transition part for "40 Guns". More severely, there are tempo problems, every song structure is almost aggravatingly the same, the singing is flat and unemotional, the melodies are automatic, the lyrics unmemorable.
Le Fou is a good CD. The introduction to the third verse of "Goes Wild" at 2:45 where the CD sounds like anything could happen, the bass and drums starting at 2:40 in "Obvious" where it seems like for a minute I might make a decent bass player some day. The chords in the backing vocals from 1:16 to 1:34 in "Crashing Slightly". The rise and fall of "Community". The almost constant chaos in "Isolated Mines" and "Static", the percussive "Lately You've Been Independent" the universally liked "40 Guns", the fucking 1999 of "Temporary Love", parts of the end of "Better Luck", moments of genius in parts there.
In parts. Le Fou was supposed to be the great genius record. For as long as I've been making albums, I've wanted to make albums better. And I have. Despite several missteps, the quality of my music has been getting better over the years. If I had heard Le Fou in 1998 or even 2002, I would have been the happiest guy ever. Its like what GBV wanted to do with their major label records! Its like YHF but better! Its James Rabbit DELUXE! But I hear it now, more than halfway through 2003, and its like I know I can do better. I can write much better songs, I can write better arrangements, I can dedicate myself more, and I can be less of a Nazi to my fellow musicians. I am a lazy person, I am a vain person. Sometimes I feel like I can rise above all of this, and sometimes I do, but Le Fou is an album clearly made by a mortal human.
Maybe I have already created the great James Rabbit album. Between Sidewalk and Stars is almost flawless, though nobody else seems to like it. Shordata is an almost embarassingly accurate picture of me at the time. Archeological Bloopers and Sea of Tranquility will always be the pop albums. Number Destroyer is Central California's greatest punk album, especially when it gets boring, but especially during the pop parts. The high school albums are about big things, the college albums are about big things, they are all both too short and too long in duration.
I have a ton of different albums too. We're All Winners is like the beginner's album you hear before the band does their first major label album. If Sea of Tranquility is that major label debut, then Turbulent Turbulent is the sophomore slump, its too normal. Let's Mayhem, Space Rock Record and The Blizzard are each a sort of London Calling, with their theme songs and great moments. Utilice Los Machetes sounds like a B-sides collection, even though I swear its a real album. There's a trilogy, the Picasso albums, which I still say work, even though you have to listen to them and instead of hearing a guy and guitar and keyboards, you should listen real careful and add the reverb and phil collins drumming yourself. There's the bad album, Distracted. The keyboard album that nobody will listen to (even though it contains 1-4 brilliant songs, but oh no, keyboard sounds), Justice Poets in the Dark. There's the what the hell? race-against-time-challenge albums, Miracle of Modern Silence, Versus the Strings, and Hello London. There's the transition album Heart of Gold, and there's the raw percussive punk album Trauma Season.
And maybe these other ones... I have ideas for this current one, but we only have one two minute song done for it. California Adios is kind of a mess. If we do it the way its going now, it will be Le Fou part 2 with better guitar solos. Le Fou one took six months. I have, as of this date, 22 days to record whatever I want to get out, less computer problems and repairs. Conner and Grayson have no free time, Ian has no interest, but I've got plenty of ideas. And that's what I do, I have ideas.