Topic: An Album Called Leroy: Adventures in Faking This [RELEASED]
This is a blog. T'will be updated as updates ensue, feel free to reply and all that.
A couple months ago - on the same day, really - I lost both "Down in Front" and a five-plus year relationship. Two major projects that I had been enjoying in the blissful ignorance of jeopardy for a long time, gone or changed forever. If you've ever thought you had some amount of control in your life... a day like that will straighten you right out, let me tell you. I felt like a cartoon character sitting on the second-floor toilet when the house collapsed around me, leaving me suddenly vulnerable and confused, and stuck, with my pants down, in mid-air. On a pole. Life as rubble, and with no evident way of getting down and picking up the pieces. And I'm wearing heart-pattern boxers or something.
Life has a way of righting itself, naturally, and the whole [redacted] community helped me and Holden and the boys with our transition into WAYDM-hood, and a tremendous number of friends came through for me with showings of support about the break-up. One of the things that happens in those situations is you get offers from friends abroad to come and crash with them for a little while, get out of the city, clear your mind. I didn't really want to do that, I had no need to get out of the city or anything, and while I did appreciate the offers I had my current employment to consider.
But one such offer was very interesting to me. I don't know if the timing was intentional or not, but at the exact same time, my buddy Andy in Boston - student of the Berklee College of Music, fantastic musician, engineer, and old friend - said "hey, come to Boston for a few weeks so we can make you an album."
An... album. Like, as a project. As a vacation. Like, come hang out and we'll make an album. Andy is a very talented engineer and producer, who's about to have a degree in engineering from the best music school in the country, who has connections to proper studios and all the best young musicians in the country - including another of my buds, Alex, from that film scores episode. As informal and pleasant the exchange was, it was a serious goddamned exchange.
I've been fiddling with music "on the side" for a long time. I've put together crappy demo albums and written songs in many genres, made a weird little musical and written a couple more. I've done a bit of music on commission, and a few remixes, taught myself a bit of piano and guitar, and just generally dicked about. I enjoy the everliving crap out of it. Also worth mentioning is that I've never taken it very seriously, or even tried to. The thought of, you know, "trying" has occurred to me a few times over the years, but every time it did I didn't think I had the skills to pull it off. Songwriting is tricky, and singing isn't my strong suit, and a million other excuses.
But you know something... I'm not saying it's gonna be inspired, or even good, but I can confidently say that I have the skills to pull it off now. I can competently make it to the end of a project like this. My competence is brand new and will embarrass me later, but as of now I can do it... and as of now I'm going to try. If it turns out I don't have the skills, I'm gonna fake it. Let's regain some control.
I'm making an album. Andy's gonna engineer it. Alex is gonna do instrumentation. They're both going to produce. On the one hand, these dudes are way out of my weight class when it comes to music. On the other, they're both my friends and I trust the shit out of them. So let's not panic.
Had a Skype meeting with Andy yesterday where we hammered out our options and what we want to do, and the sky was the limit, really. I asked dumb questions and he asked me what I was thinkin,' and we played music for each other and settled in on something we think will work. We decided instead of doing 12 or 14 songs in a hurry, we would do 5 or 6 and really flesh them out. We have an idea of the sound we're looking for, and it's a bit deeper and more textural than you can get away with farting out in a hurry. So an EP it is. We're gonna record in a month or two.
Which gives me, say, four weeks to write the six best songs I possibly can. And then two weeks to rehearse and work with Alex on instrumentation and track out the songs and sing them into microphones and not shit myself. Also, I don't know what to write and I've never done any of those other things before. And not to put too fine a point on it, but I'm not exaggerating about the talent that will be in the room watching me be an amateur. But, trust. And competence. And faking.
We don't have a real name for the album yet, so just for the sake of conversation we decided to call it Leroy.
Right now, I need to figure out what I want to say with this thing. And then figure out how to say it. And then it's just a matter of not letting myself down. A lot of this blog will be me thinking out loud and extemporizing, but getting my thoughts in order has always been easiest for me in written form. And I need all the thoughts-in-order I can get.
So, hey. A journey. We're gonna make a thing.
Come along pls.
I have a tendency to fix your typos.