Thursday, October 29, 2009

tujunga's first album

here goes my first attempt (out of many, i'm sure) at explaining the debut album by tujunga. let's break it all down and see if this makes sense.

so i've recently begun making music under the name tujunga (august 2009). i have like 11 or 12 songs completed. i'm very fond of all of them, but i've recently decided that i'd like to put them to rest (either for quite a while or altogether; i haven't decided yet) and move on to new songs, new sounds, new music. but i feel like i can't move on to any new direction until i have a semi-definitive, quality recording of each song. (i'm afraid that if i move on to new music now i might end up not wanting to turn back. so i might as well record my current songs now while they're still fresh and in-the-moment and relevant. basically, while they still mean something to me.) once these are recorded i'd like to compile them as an album (i.e. CD-Rs that i'll give to whoever wants one---or that i'll just leave in random places like bus stops and library shelves), maybe with some minor artwork/packaging or something.

i find it difficult to even consider this an "album" since the songs don't have any particular theme or storyline tying them together. it sounds weird, but i can't help it. my father raised me on '70s rock records. i look for themes in albums that don't have them. concept albums are in my bloodstream. like catholic guilt and brooklyn accents.
and so i'm looking at the debut tujunga album less as an "album" and more as kind of just a compilation of the 'early works' of tujunga (the 'early months'?). i know it's weird to think that i only just started this project in late august and ever since mid-october i've already been talking about moving in a "new direction." (and this "new direction" will definitely not be permanent. not at all. i only plan on doing this new sound for one short album and then dropping it and moving on again, either back to the original sound or some third sound entirely. [i'll get into that another time.]) if tujunga keeps changing gears at this rate, who knows what it will become. just wait: by the end of 2010, tujunga will be some sort of hippie collective that does 20-minute noise drone jams.

how this album will be recorded is a whole issue totally unto itself. jarrod has offered to record it with me. that's really, really cool of him and would be so much fun. and ben noted that he and jessica would be willing to help record it, which is unbelievably gracious and amazing of them. so i really have some options to think about.

honestly, getting several people involved in this just makes me feel kind of sad and embarrassed. i don't think my songs are good enough to warrant several people dedicating however much amount of their time to recording them. like i'd just be taking up their time with my dumb songs. i guess i'll mull it over.
i almost might want to hold off and take ben up on his very, very kind offer whenever i go about recording the new, upcoming, yet-to-be-written tujunga material. i feel like i'd be more proud of that stuff; like i wouldn't feel quite as bad about taking up his or jessica's time.
i guess it really just comes down to me not wanting to take up other people's time. the thought of a bunch of people going out of their way to spend their day doing something for me that doesn't benefit them at all just makes me feel really bad. it's something that goes back to my days with my old band (and first real solo musical venture), the library. i just felt bad asking people to play with me. even making the phone call to ask if they'd be interested in playing at a show with me just made me feel so guilty---whether or not they had a good time doing it. i always did it, but i usually felt bad afterward. maybe that's why all my solo music post-library was just me by myself with an acoustic guitar or dulcimer.
(come to think of it, was that really the last time i performed solo music of mine with other people? wow. that was like march through september 2004. that was a long time ago.)

mackenzie and jarrod (and justin, too, one time a while back) have already practiced and performed with me as tujunga on several occasions and i'm really, really grateful. even that just makes me feel bad. i try to thank everyone as much as i can but i don't think i do it enough. and i still feel really guilty. i think i need to try doing something sometime, someday, that would just consist of me singing and playing guitar along to my roland 606 drum machine. guilt-free.
i like to be the guy who helps other people out. it just makes me feel embarrassed and guilty when i have to ask someone else to help me. that's why i usually try not to do it in most situations, whenever i can help it.

part of me is really liking jarrod's initial offer: the idea of buckling down with jarrod sometime toward the end of this year and bashing this album out on GarageBand super quick---ultimate DIY 21st century style. we'll see. i'm not ruling anything out. i have so, so much thinking to do.

i want to believe it would be a very simple recording process, however it's done, whoever wants to be a part of it. every song is super stripped-down and simple. that's the point. they're just cheap art-punk songs. i basically want it to sound exactly how it does live. there will probably a few small multi-vocal overdubs on like three songs, but that's it. voice-guitar-drums. i'll be doing the singing, and i'm probably going to do the guitar myself (that way i have no one to blame but myself), and jarrod is my number-one go-to drummer if he's down to do it (plus he's been playing drums [excellently] on like half the album's songs for quite a while. i can't even imagine trying to explain all of these songs to a brand new drummer at this point. that would be such a hassle).

i'm hoping (if it's at all possible) to record this thing sometime in late november or any time in december. that's the hope, anyhow. somehow the end-of-the-year timeframe just makes sense to me. new year = new tujunga. a brand new decade for a brand new version of the same old band. (but if recording ends up happening in january or something, that's cool. so be it.)

i thought this blog would help me sort these matters out, but i think i'm actually feeling more directionless. i really have a lot to think about.

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