I'm always pretty concerned with what I 'get done' in a given period of time. It works in strange ways though. Doing next to nothing musically in Santa Cruz this last year, I didn't feel so bad. Recording two certainly decent, maybe above average albums this summer, I feel a little bit incomplete. I asked Conner how many songs he thought we did these past four months and he said sixty. That's a complete song every other day. (Also James Rabbit has a rather low ratio of rejected:accepted songs, like 1:10).
Maybe I felt a stronger acceptance of what I did in Santa Cruz, possibly because I was doing it in public. I would get instant reactions, on pretty much the same level that I get delayed reactions to my recorded work, sometimes stronger.
Does this mean that all twenty seven (to date) James Rabbit albums are useless? Just exercises? I mean, I am not particularly concerned with the process of recording, the process of playing, the process of practicing, the process of songwriting, the process of composition, especially not the process of politics, the process of promotion, etc. The other day I realized how embarassing it was that I had done so many albums and not gotten any good at it. I mean, I'm terrific at recording just anything, but there's no meaning to my entire back catalogue if there's no progress, my songs are the same quality they've been since maybe the year 2000.
It isn't that we're rushing things, its just the way we work. I'll write a couple songs and then Conner and I will record the rhythm parts to them, as long as it sounds decent (which it frequently does) we approve the track for overdubs, which means keyboard, vocals, and other instruments. Guitar? Eh, I hardly play that much, and besides it doesn't have enough strings and I don't know how to work the distortion. For once, I'd like to have somebody besides myself in charge of things. Sure, Conner does all of the recording and pressing and stuff, I need a band. The reason that Sex Funeral was so successful (in its own way) was because I had nothing to do with where the band played or when or even if they would have a microphone there, it was just showing up and screaming and fighting with the other band members, I had no say in how the songs went, no authority during practice, I was like a stripper, I just got on stage and allowed my body to become some sort of wonderful musical vessel. It was great.
With Sex Funeral I didn't feel like I was creating anything though, except for some mixed-blessing social presence. Maybe I just need a marketer or something. And I know that the music of James Rabbit isn't as marketable as the Sex Funeral music or the Dying Within music or whatever band we've got's music, its just something that's in-between weak music and strong music, its maybe cop-out music.
So we did sixty cop-outs, if that's the way you want to look at it. I know some of it would look good on stage, but in the stereo, its probably just cop-out music, we aren't punk but for a few songs, we aren't experimental but for a few songs, we're kind of pop for most of the songs, but we're bogged down by not enough new sounds, and generally mediocre recording quality. Pah. ANyway, I'm probably just down on myself because I'm not doing anything AGAIn for the Drop, and I'm out of town come Thursday eve. Maybe I'll drop off a copy of each album at the radio station and maybe they'll play them despite the fact that SO WHAT we don't play any shows and FUCK YOU, it doesn't matter if you've never heard of us GO TO HELL because this is what I do and I don't know how to get it out there because apparently we need to be a social band that knows people and it doesn't work, it doesn't work like Steely Dan and XTC and OMD, my favorite bands that didn't play any shows -because shows are stupid and don't get you anything except for seen- and were just studio bands, it apparently doesn't work on songs alone. Not for me anyway.
I'll try to write perfect radio ready world swallowing songs from now on, but I'm afraid of commitment, I'll always want to write 'that shoegazer song that nobody will get' or 'that minute and a half where I let Grayson run wild with a KORG'. We might do an ep or something over winter break, and I hope we can do another album or two next summer, but chances are there that I might be doing more fucking school. School's nice, I get to see people and stuff.
Despite my disappointment, I'm convinced that I did Summer at least 96% right.