I make music every year, but February’s annual RPM album creation was slightly different for me. After many years, I finally went for a new geographic locale, which is nice. Then there are the thoughts of starting a fresh career direction in life when there’s an apparent recession in the area. So I’ve discovered a few things recently:
bigger cities are artistically exciting and necessary for weird-scene seekers (yours truly)
money, earlier not a priority issue for me, is actually really important to extended survival
at my age, job seeking has become much pickier and more difficult
the need for specialized skills is immense, and I seem to have the wrong ones, or not quite enough of the right ones
Thus the title and inspiration behind my new release, Future Success Stories. A life in flux is scary business for anybody, but also liberating in its freedom to choose whichever path you wish. I wonder how long before I know where mine leads, and how much debt that requires? Ultimately, artistry is a road to poverty, but I rather enjoy making art because I can’t help myself. So for now I’ll just give you that something I love doing, and deal with figuring out my most desirable day job at a time in the not-so-distant future. What a story. Maybe I’ll make my own.
RPM Challenge 2014 has got to be some of the most prolific work I’ve crafted thus far, but has it been challenging? I did get an early start in February working with Ableton Live and the Launchpad Mini/LaunchControl in set preparation for Prototype 5, which I deemed productive idea creation for the album. There was, however, plenty of downtime for birthdays, family visits, nights out to party, watching the tube, etc. Instead of being stressed about being behind in the recording process, I took time out on a couple of weekdays (mostly in the last week) to finish up some working projects and polish the mixes. I also managed to record a Robot Scout session for RPM submission, too. Does it mean I like to procrastinate until the final possible minute? No, but it does seem to end up close to the wire most of the time. It’s always challenging to create under a deadline, but these days I’ve streamlined the process to make it easier to operate quickly and efficiently. Hence, I can afford to take my time with some things or choose to break from it with the knowledge that it’s simple to come back to. I’ve done the RPM Challenge for a number of years now, and likely would have made yearly records anyway, even if no challenge existed. We make our own challenges, and I consider this one to be more of a necessity. I make art, and that doesn’t change. The challenge is making art you’re happy with. And even though I endorse a certain amount of improvisation in much of my work, it’s satisfying when it sounds composed.
So, here’s my first post since early February, when I’d begun recording “Blue Demo Lichen One”. You can now find the new album at losbeatniko.bandcamp.com. I’ve been busy over the last month polishing up sites and links and content and such, to hopefully provide you, the reader/listener/viewer/public with some entertaining insight as to what I’m about. I’ve also been thinking long and hard about what my next steps are. It may very well involve running steps outside of this rock I’ve been dwelling on for some time. Everybody should understand that reflective time in yr life where you wonder a little too much on what yr really doing and why aren’t you doing other things. It’s called getting older, younguns, and when you get to a certain age (not that I’m friggin’ ancient) and realize there’s more you’d like to do and see and experience, you really have to do it sooner than later. And if I line all my ducks in a row, crossing t’s and dotting i’s, then maybe sooner it will be. Planning my escape and recording a new story for myself may be just what I need. I’ll keep you in the loop as to my whereabouts. And what and how!
So it’s Groundhog Day, and by the looks of the snow blowing around the house, the rodents are staying put for awhile. Prime time for another RPM Challenge, where musicians (and non-musicians) are invited to participate in the personal goal of completing an album in the month of February. It’s my fifth year running, and like last year, I’m upping my challenge to finish multiple records. 2013 will produce a solo los beatniko disc (highly DJ-ed), a fresh Robot Scout release, and an original album with the Beatles cover band I’ve been playing drums with for years (finally). I picked up a few new toys to play with, notably the Kaossilator 2 from Korg (incredibly fun!) and the compact Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 to capture all the action.
So far, I have one demo from yesterday that I’ll tweak to my liking. And after I post this, it’s back to working on more. What other fun-filled activities do I accomplish today? Shoveling? Nah! I’ll stay inside and create. Until later.