New EP here:
(An EP is a possibly archaic term that means mini-album.)
According to git, I have been working on a long programmatic piece of music since March 22, 2022. And it is still not done!
So, I thought I’d take a break and finish up these songs, which are a nice contrast to that piece. They’re all buoyant, manually composed tunes, and despite what I thought between the ages of 14-30, I think we need those sometimes.
I — and a lot of people out there — had an exhausting 2022. We all deserve a break. You deserve a break even if you didn’t have a year of sustained stress. So go on and have it.
The cover is by Katt, and incidentally, she’s currently available for hire!
Naming and overthinking
I didn’t want to clog up the newsletter announcement of a fun album with a bunch of handwringing, but for some reason, I feel it’s OK for the weblog? So, here it is.
I hesitated to put Let’s Have Fun Why Not out under my real name.
I was afraid that if I put out fun stuff, then I would no longer be taken seriously and not have the small audience I do have for when I put out a piece that explores lesser known territory later this year. Ultimately, I found these reasons why I should go with it anyway:
- I’m not sure I’m taken all that seriously anyway.
- I would have to come up with another band name if I was going to release this under another name.
- Part of the reason I started releasing music under my own name is that I’ve eventually hated every artist name I’ve come up with for myself.
- I liked what Hannes Grossmann said about jazz artists not bothering with that stuff. (Sorry, he said it in an audio interview, and I can’t link to specific parts of it.)
- Hannes was the drummer in Necrophagist and Obscura, but he’s also put out really good progressive death metal as just “Hannes Grossmann”.
- He made the point that Chick Corea was just “Chick Corea” no matter what he was playing. Chick Corea did not need to come up with a new name every time he played in a different style.
- This would have been a form of brand protection, which is gross.
- Put your brand up on the altar and burn it as a sacrifice!
- I’d like to see more of people just being themselves.
Out of nowhere: A Pantera digression
Now that I’ve written this, I feel a strange empathy for ‘90s Pantera.
I remember getting Far Beyond Driven back when it came out. In addition to the music being a disappointment for me (though I’ve recently heard people I respect say it’s their favorite Pantera album), there was this strange paragraph in the liner notes.
It pre-emptively defended the fact that they had covered Black Sabbath’s Planet Caravan. It had a jarring vibe.* As a teen, this seemed like remarkable insecurity to me. Man, you don’t need to apologize for covering a classic just because it’s mellow!
But now I understand that humans have a tendency to jealously hoard respect. This is why people have trouble coming down from whatever spot on the corporate ladder they’ve gotten to.
At that pre-ubiquitous-internet time, information about metal and especially underground metal was scarce. So, for a lot of people Pantera was one of the heaviest bands they knew. And Pantera probably thought this was where their respect came from. I can see how it must have felt scary to lose any of that, especially considering that they had a previous life as glam metal band. (Again, this was pre-ubiquitous-internet, so this past could be hidden. Although over on Usenet, people could not stop linking to pictures of glam Pantera.)
I have nowhere near as much to lose as they did. A few people have said nice things to me about the Sound of the Far Future. But I find myself not even wanting to disappoint that handful of people! And yet dishonesty won’t do them any good, either.
OK, I have now sufficiently overthought a lark, so I can pack up now! Catch you next time.
* At the time I had no idea, but this note was babycrimes compared to the wrongdoings Phil (the vocalist) would go on to do. And yes, I’m guessing the note was his. It had that Phil-style defensive vibe mixed with his way of misusing big words.