As of this past week, the vinyls have started being pressed! They’ll be finished by sometime mid-October. Once I get a firm date, I’ll set a concrete release date. Tentatively, I have it listed as October 22.
Ben Kesler did an incredible job mastering the album. I had mixed it as good as I could, and repeatedly went back to make the mixes better and better. Somehow “The Profesler” just made them another letter grade better. The bass is much more clear and pronounced, and some of the grittiness in the highs that I could never even out was made clean. It sounds clear and seamless, and I’m completely content with how it’s turned out.
There have been a lot of odds and ends to take care of on the back end of this. It’s certainly been the least fun part of the whole process. I won’t bore you with too many details, but the past 2 weeks I got all the copyright, publishing, distribution, UPC and IRSC numbers, and PRO info lined up. It was a lot to think about, but the process wasn’t too hard actually. Publishers like CD Baby have made the process relatively easy for independent musicians these days.
Since I’ve had to make a few dozen pictures of myself and the album artwork in all kinds of shapes and sizes for these online hosts, I may as well unveil the front cover art for the album. There is no writing on the outside cover. The vinyl pressers asked me several times to make sure this is the outside cover. (The artwork is by Ashley Kopp Wenzel.)
The idea behind having no writing is that I want the viewer/listener to be focused on the art and drawn to all the nuances, symbolism, and hidden images within the picture. Hopefully this draws them into searching for the hidden symbolism and images scattered throughout my music.
This is only half of the entire image. When you open up the record like a book, you’ll see the full, rectangular image (24″ x 12″), and the rest of the story will make more sense. The resolution here is also much, much lower than what will be printed, so you’ll be able to see more detail on the real deal. But they’ll probably slap a bar code somewhere on the back half anyway 😦
Right now, I’m considering doing a live show on the release date, or near it. The hurdles here are that I don’t yet have all the musicians lined up that I would need to pull off a decent show. At that point, we would still need to schedule a couple rehearsals. And then paying the musicians would be the fair thing to do, which I could do… but I couldn’t afford to pay them fairly. I go back and forth day to day between either doing a social get-together where people come and buy the vinyl, including a possible casual listen, or going through the hurdles of doing a live show and booking a venue and sound guy and everything. Still undecided.
In related news, I haven’t been an active performer on the guitar front the past few years. I had a good stint in 2011 with some good gigs, but it’s been very little since then. So I’m brushing up my guitar skills, exercising my voice, and gathering up a bunch of cover tunes to play small gigs around town. I’m writing out lead sheets for 1 song every night and building a book of soft, folky, acoustic cover songs that would be appropriate to play in restaurants, bars, or coffee shops. Yeah, that’s not that exciting. I’m very comfortable performing as a trombonist with a group, or as a guitarist with a band, but I’ve never been my own front man, or sang in front of a large group of people. The thought is terrifying, really. Being the sound guy is a much more comfortable chair for me. So I figured I’ll brush up on small gigs where stakes are low and develop some comfort in performing this way.
I’ve got some ideas for coffee shops and restaurants, but I certainly don’t know every place in St. Louis. If you have ideas for places for me to play, send them my way! It will probably be pretty tough to get in the door, I’ve tried it before with no luck, but something will open up at some point.
That’s all the updates for now! Exciting times ahead.