Hey gang. So I didn’t post my songs last week for no other reason than last Sunday I was like “nah, I don’t want to.” I was thinking I’d do it mid-week, like on Thursday or something because that seems like a better time to post things on the internet based on a vague memory I have of an article I once read about peak social media posting times. But then Thursday rolled around and I was like “nah, I don’t want to.” So here I am again posting on a Sunday. Only this time around, I’ve got two whole weeks of songs tailor made for your ears to enjoy! See you next week.
Happy Monday everyone! In honor of everyone’s least favorite day, I’ve come up with a musical gimmick to help me through this long year of daily song production. Because I’ll be honest with you, I’m 10 weeks in with 42 more to go, and this is already starting to feel like a chore. Yet it’s not the actual act of creating the music that is the hard part. The hard part is getting started recording the music when watching just one more episode of Breaking Bad would be so instantly rewarding, or missing out on fun social activities because I have to push my nerd glasses up on my face and make music in my lonely room, or recognizing that I’m putting a whole lot of hard work into a project that isn’t making me any money.
So in an attempt to make my life easier and hopefully ameliorate some of the difficulties I just mentioned, I’ve decided to turn Mondays into “Commercial Mondays!” What this means is that on Mondays I am going to attempt to create a piece of music that could be used in a television commercial. The parameters of this are that the piece will be 30 seconds long and easy to digest. So on Mondays, I’m not trying to create groundbreaking musical art (I’ll leave that for Saturdays), I’m just going for something that sounds nice and somewhat familiar. My hope is that these Monday songs will be easier to begin (because I have more clearly defined parameters), take less time to create (because the song is shorter and usually simpler than other days), and will potentially make me some money down the road (yes you can use this song in your toothpaste ad, let’s draw up a contract).
So all of that was the backstory to my Monday, March 5th song aptly titled “Selling Out.” I hope you like it. But if you’re looking for something a little more artful or substantial, I’d suggest looking to March 9th or 10th. Enjoy.
We had a little taste of spring this week in NYC—two straight days of sunny, sixty degree weather. Yep, after a long cold lonely winter, the ice was slowly melting. That is, little darling, until a vile, frigid, umbrella-crushing wind blew in some thick sloppy snow sludge just in time for the weekend. Still the dream of spring was planted firmly in my brain. I feel the warmth at the end of this icy tunnel. Plus, the terrible weather gave me a great excuse to just hole up in my room and record music. Life is good. Enjoy this week’s songs.
Hey! Is anyone awake right now? Its about 1AM at the crack of Monday— not exactly the optimal posting time for blog viewership, I know. But I’ve made a personal pact with myself to post something every week, and so its better late than never. Given a full plate of tasks and my predilection for procrastination, its been a bit hard to get everything done this week, and I’m a little worn out from trying. I think my appearance is hovering somewhere around Jack Nicholson level in the Shining. Therefore, seeing as how I’m very sleepy and just want to crawl in bed now, I’m not going to try to say anything profound or meaningful. Instead, I’m just going to cold stop talking and post my songs.
I’m good at procrastinating— like really good. A case in point: yesterday I slept in until around 11:30am, enjoyed a long breakfast of coffee, pasta, and eggs (I decided yesterday that its ok to eat pasta for breakfast), proceeded to play about 7 games of Super Smash Bros with my roommate, and then watched an episode of Breaking Bad. So by this time, it had begun snowing outside, and having been cooped up inside all day, I decided to go take a nice leisurely walk in the central park snow. So I packed up a thermos full of coffee and a book to read and set out. I found a nice dry perch under an awning (pictured above) where I could drink my coffee and watch the snow fall.
Now, keep in mind, I still had a song to record this day. I was just blissfully putting this off, the way any great procrastinator does. By the time I got back to my apartment, I had worked up an appetite again, so I had to eat a salad. This took me all the way up until about 7pm. Now, any reasonable person would know that they needed to begin their work immediately. And I did attempt to. I settled in front of my computer in my tiny bedroom/recording space with every intention to start working, but lo the Saturday spirit had taken too strong hold on me. So I made sure to stream some NBA All-Star weekend for an hour or so before I actually touched an instrument. I finally finished my Saturday song at about 1:00am, which as you kiddos know, technically isn’t even Saturday anymore. Oh well. I think it turned out pretty alright anyway. I hope you like it!
So Thursday evening I was all set to play a show with my band Kangaroo when I learned that the venue double booked the stage that night. They had recently moved their weekly drag show from Friday to Thursday and somehow that fact didn’t reach the ears of the guy who booked us to play. And apparently the drag show has a little more clout than four unknown Brooklyn rock bands because they got the spot. I wish I could say that this is the first time one of my bands got bumped for a drag show… but its not.
The good news is this gave me more time to work on my daily songs. Hope you enjoy them!
A couple weeks ago I predicted that my biggest challenge as I tackle this goal of recording a song everyday would be to overcome the discomfort of sharing work that I’m not exactly proud of. Well, you can call me Nostradamus because my prediction came true. I flat out do not like two of these songs, one of which I considered playing completely in reverse, because at least that would be artsy and cool instead of bland and lame (but I chickened out of that). If I wasn’t so stubborn I wouldn’t share these with you. But I am stubborn, and so I’m sticking to this goal I’ve set for myself.
Luckily this week also produced two of my favorite songs I’ve made during the course of this experiment, so I think it all evens out in the end. Now I’m not going to tell you which songs I love and which I hate, because you might love or hate a completely different set of songs, and I don’t want to sway you in anyway. However, I do want to introduce a simple new element to this project of mine: I’m going to start naming the songs. Because who wants to listen to a boring old song called January 31? Not me. But do I want to listen to a song called January 31st — Bumpin’ Gumballs? You bet your britches I do.
This morning I read a profile in the New Yorker about the writer William Melvin Kelley (pictured above). There are many remarkable things about Kelley’s life and personality— the fact that he attained literary success with his 1962 debut novel A Different Drummer when he was only 24, that he was a black man who often wrote from a white perspective in order to expose white America’s contradictory views on African Americans, or that he essentially coined the term “woke” that we all use so much today. But the thing that I admire most about him is that every day he sat down at a desk facing the wall and wrote— first he would write in pencil, then he would edit his draft with a pen, and finally he would type it on a typewriter. He repeated this ritual everyday, even after he fell into relative artistic obscurity later in his life. The man simply loved to write. As I tackle this task of writing and recording a song everyday it is helpful to draw inspiration from other figures like Kelley who have gone down a similar path. I really don’t know where this path is leading, but I do know that, like Kelley, I just love to write and record music. Hope you enjoy this week’s work.
Alright kiddos, this week I want to talk about string theory. Just kidding. I’m going to talk about myself. So tomorrow marks the first day of my last semester of grad school at NYU. And thus begins the true test of my New Year’s resolution of recording a song a day. It has been relatively easy to record these songs these first few weeks because I’ve been able to spend as much time on them as I’ve needed. Now begins the difficult task of spending less time on each song and still managing to create something that I feel is worth sharing. Or, more likely, thus begins the even more difficult process of creating things that I do not feel are worth sharing, and still sharing them. Because dammit, I made myself a resolution and I’m going to stick to it. Anyway, here’s this week’s batch. Enjoy!
I was at the Comedy Cellar over the summer when one of the comedians (I wish I remembered his name) told this joke: “So I saw a girl crying on the subway recently. Whenever I see someone crying in public in New York I always think the same thing… Why aren’t more people crying right now!?” I thought about this joke a lot this week. Because in addition to the usual high levels of rats, rabble, and rent, it was also just painfully cold. But come to think of it, the question “why aren’t more people crying right now?” is probably valid anywhere in the world. Life is hard man. It’s ok to cry about it. And at the same time, it’s ok to dance about it. So watch this video if you need some bodily inspiration, and be sure to check out week two of my daily song project below that! See you next week kiddos.