Pull up a chair, grab your coffee, or your lunch…
Reflections on the 90s, a new start and plans for the future
Hi. I’ve been quite delinquent on creating art lately, but I feel poised for a fresh start. You see, a couple of months ago I moved from Brooklyn, New York, to Portland, Oregon. Planning and moving and finding a place to live took 5 months of my life; time I planned to use writing the sequel to Rye and writing new music. That didn’t happen.
But there’s an upside to this move. The stereotypes are true: life is easier in Portland. Things aren’t as expensive, people are friendly, I’ll have my studio set-up again, and my son now has a house to grow up in. All great stuff.
I’ve been thinking a lot about time and what is important to me. I want to get back to the way things were in the first half of the 90s. Back then, the label and my music took up equal parts of my time. Thinking back on it, I created a lot of great music in the first half of the 90s: This lush garden within, Terrace of memories, two collaborations with Patrick Ogle in Thanatos, and I recorded almost half of Remnants of a deeper purity. Not too shabby for 5 years of work! In comparison, the last Blacktape studio album was 4 years ago, and the Passage was 2 years ago.
That’s what I want to do here in PDX: get back to work on art. Black tape for a blue girl, as well as solo electronic stuff. And also write the sequel to Rye: we must find out what the three of them do next!
I am often asked, “What’s going to happen to the band, now that you’ve moved?” The answer is that the band will continue, of course! The band exists so long as I feel like creating music. Back in the 90s, band members didn’t live in Los Angeles, they flew in to record, and that worked out quite nicely. I still plan to work with Athan and Laurie and Valerie. And play live again soon-ish (when there’s some new music to peform).
And I’m getting started with working on art. In the next week I’ll begin a Kickstarter to fund a 2-LP Vinyl edition of Remnants of a deeper purity. [ Update, the Kickstarter is now live ]. It is going to be very sweet! Very deluxe. I’m always asked about putting out vinyl, and this Kickstarter will let me know if the interest is there to support it. I hope you all will get on board to make it a reality.
The music business has changed drastically in the last 10 years. The way I see it (for underground artists), the music business is now a patronage system. Instead of Kings supporting the arts, you – the fans – are the patrons of the art you love. I have created three Kickstarters – all of which have funded – and I am amazed and thankful to have fans like you who care enough about what I do to support my art. During the 2nd half of the 90s and the 00s, I felt a growing disconnect. People stopped writing letters, and the internet didn’t pick up the slack. Now on Facebook, and through Kickstarter and Bandcamp, I feel in touch with you, again. I know many of my fans by name, and get to know you and what matters to you. This feels nice.
Also, going out and doing the intimate “Reading From Rye” events allowed me to hang-out and meet people. Which was a lot more fun than when the band is on tour, and I end up being a roadie and driver for my own band. I enjoyed the connection we made on the Rye tour: meeting new people, sharing a few laughs and a drink….
…(pause)…. Ok, I’m back now. I just got a phone call from my son. He had to update me on school today. And what his mom’s dog is up to.
Speaking of Kickstarter, Patrick of Thanatos has a Kickstarter to raise funds to record an album of all new songs [ Update: the Kickstarter funded. Thanks! ]. A little secret on this one: if he raises enough, I might get involved and play on a few songs. Patrick performed an acoustic show in NYC recently, you can watch clips at YouTube. “Red Rocks, Coyotes” live video.
I envision the next Black tape for a blue girl album will be an experience that brings you into the studio, providing insider access to work in progress, creative ideas, and serve as a place for us to privately discuss the creative process. I want to give those who love the music more than just “the finished product.” I want you to know what goes into the creation of the music. You will get to hear the songs evolve, and hear the scraps that get discarded, read the thoughts of the artist at work. Sure, that’s not for everyone, which is why there will be different levels of involvement. I imagine this as a “backstage pass” or “studio access” (I am still trying to come up with just the right word for this concept – suggestions?). Aside from downloads of music, I want it to have a blog component, and a once in a while chat, so you can give me your thoughts and reflections on what you are hearing.
This idea came to me while I was in the final stages of writing Rye. Once the novel had gone through the 2nd round with my editor, I sent it out to a few friends to read. I’d give them one section at a time, so they could report back their reflections and I’d integrate it into my changes. I realized it was really fun to read and discuss how they were experiencing the book and the characters. For me, art is about an exchange and about connection. And hearing thoughts on my characters helped me understand if they were getting their message across. It was surprisingly fun for me!
This new album will be an interesting experiment: sort of like a realtime reality show of the making of my album.
That’s something for 2014. But for now, look forward to a follow-up email in the next few days about the Remnants of a Deeper Purity Kickstarter.
And thanks for being a supporter of my art.
PS: Could you write a review of Remnants of a Deeper Purity (or your favorite Blacktape album) at iTunes. The one that’s up there now is pretty awful…. thanks!
PSS: Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s Facebook page. Join us!
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