First off, continuing last week’s theme, the taxes got done… finally, so that’s a load off. This was the first time since 1996, I think, that I used the convenient abbreviated 1040EZ form – nothing terribly complicated or funky to deal with. Now, I’ll just be on the IRS’ convenient EZ payment plan for a while… but it’s done, until next year.
Otherwise it’s been a slow week; I took a couple of days off and also helped a friend move, so no new finished songs this week although I began a couple that progressed fairly quickly, enough so that they have titles already… “Wind Down World” and “Dimensions of Consciousness”. As I continued to master already completed songs, I began to think about how the album will be sequenced – what the order of the songs will be. This is one aspect of production, determining how a collection of songs best forms a cohesive whole and establishes a natural flow from start to finish, even in the age of iTunes, Rhapsody, eMusic, et al. where listeners will, most likely (probably), cherry-pick the ones they like best. Ultimately you go with your strongest material and present it in its best light which is what I’m playing with right now. It’s that ‘strongest material’ part, among other things, that keeps me recording new songs, plus that’s the fun part anyway and it’s been a productive creative period lately… you want to keep it going.
The other part of ‘strongest material’ is that usually you go into recording an album with at least 15 or 16 songs; I’ve got 9 (clocking in at 61 minutes – I believe in giving/getting your money’s worth). So what you see and hear on my ReverbNation page is what I’ve got… so far. I had been thinking that 15, 16 songs was probably a luxury, but now I’m thinking that it’s a necessity. I remind myself at these times that Nights on Venus has been around as a band/entity “officially” for only 6 months. I like what Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate, The Baseball Project, among others) has to say about some of these things on his website:
“But at the end of the day you have to love writing songs. And you have to love making records. And you have to especially love playing shows and touring. And you have to love doing all of those things for their own sake… You should be able to honestly feel that the record you just made would be your favorite record of the year or that the gig you just finished was the epitome of your own idea of what a great gig should be.” – Steve Wynn
Update: As I understand it, the money raised thus far on the shiningstill.com website has been sent to Japan during this past week and has been allocated as follows: $2000 direct assistance to a Todd fan whose family suffered a property loss, $2000 to Japan Earthquake and Animal Rescue Support (www.JEARS.org), and $3050 to Ashinaga Emergency Support for Affected Children (www.ASHINAGA.org). The Todd Rundgren Fan Family Compassion Fund website will remain up and the fund will stay open as long are people are interested in donating. Visit the site for more info and/or to donate… http://vimeo.com/21082400. The goal is to raise at least $10,000. Also visit the American Red Cross to donate to the ongoing disaster relief and rebuilding efforts in Japan.