Welcome to August

Happy August 1st, everyone! August doesn’t have a national holiday so this year I am going to try and make it feel better by acting like every day is an extra big deal. No I’m not. I’m just so happy that July and its constant rain is over. Granted, August might get constant rain too, likely will thanks to climate change, but for this one, sweet, shining morning, August is dry and I am happy about it.

I wore a mask at my mother’s house yesterday. Not all the time, just when I knew she was near me. We are both vaccinated, but she ain’t catching jack shit from me. The MA department of public health is recommending vaccinated people wear masks when they are indoors with other people around because we can’t tell who the morons who aren’t vaccinated are and if they aren’t going to do anything to protect their own health, then we the vaccinated have to do it for them. Because they are stupid. Because they are morons.

Thanks to the never ending pandemic of the unvaccinated we are still using instacart for groceries and they screwed up big time today. We had to go back for a second round. All in all I am happy for the service, they are right a crazy high percentage of the time, but every once in a while… We asked for hamburger patties and got pumpernickel bread. Riiiiight.

What else is going on on this fine Sunday morning in August that hasn’t seen any rain yet? I broke the music mold a smidgen today. We slept kinda late. Not super late, I was up at about 8:15, but for me that’s pretty late. I wanted to do some car music but the aforementioned instacart delivery was on its way, and I had some things I wanted to do before I left so I didn’t get into the car until almost 10:00. I do my car music in a movie theater parking lot, and due to the idiotic decision to re-open the state despite the never ending pandemic mentioned in the previous paragraph, the movie theater was going to be open at 10:00. I rolled the dice. I park in the back parking lot so hopefully anyone going in early to catch the delta variant and a movie would probably park in the front. My risk paid off.

August 1st

I did park in a different area of the lot though. I recorded four songs. There were two technical problems but neither stopped me. First, I use Trello to track my progress. The songs I needed to work on are on a list called Complete Lyrics/Melody on a board called 2021 50/90. My normal workflow is to bring up the Trello app on my iPhone and use that to let me know which songs to work on. The last couple of times I’ve done this though, the iOS app wouldn’t refresh. It’s showing me the board from about two weeks ago. Nothing is up to date. I had to turn my iPhone hot spot on and bring it up on the Mac. That is annoying as all hell.

The second technical problem wasn’t a problem but I would have had I kept going. The temperature outside was in the mid-70’s but the sun was out and shining bright and damn if it didn’t get roasting hot in that car. I’d open the windows but then people would be able to hear me “singing” and ain’t no way that’s happening. About halfway through my little “session” the Mac’s fan kicked on and it never shut off. I don’t know how much longer I would have been able to go before it started to overheat but “fortunately” my voice ran out of gas after about an hour and I had to stop.

I did manage to finish four songs. That’s one more than I had planned. I had three songs with the guitars finished and I wanted to pick those off. I also had six songs with lyrics and melodies already written that don’t have guitars yet. A couple of those have MIDI guitar tracks acting as place holders. I did one of those.

So the plans for the rest of today include, but are not limited to, cutting some grass, recording some guitar parts, having a cookout for dinner (weather permitting, of course, though July is over so the weather will be glorious), and hanging out with my step son who only has a few weeks left before he moves to college.

Of course, as I type out that to do list I am sitting at my computer reading twitter, making fun of creationists, and thinking that it would be really nice to just sit and watch movies with Harry and Jen all day. That might be the better to do list.

Welcome to August, may it stay sunny and dry. Good luck, folks!

50/90 Update as July Ends

Harry is out of the house right now. I’m exhausted like you wouldn’t believe but I really want to be awake when he gets in so I am trying to do stuff to keep my brain functioning.

July is going to end in 90 minutes. That seems like a good time to give a quick summary of the 50/90 project. Today is day 27. How am I doing?

I have 13 songs finished and listed on my account page. There are another 12 songs in progress. Three are ready for vocal tracking, and I am hoping to do some car music in the morning. Of the other nine, the only recording that has been done so far is bass and drums, which are done on the computer. Based on that you could make the argument that no actual recording has been done at all. Whatever. Six of those nine songs do have lyrics and a melody already written out. I usually don’t start working on that until the rhythm guitars are down, but with all of the trips to my parents house, I haven’t had as much guitar time as I would like and I have had to do things out of the normal order.

50/3=16.66666667. Fifty songs, three calendar months, that means 16 and 2/3 songs per month, right? I like to break it down to 16 in July (because the challenge starts on July 4th so it misses out on three days and is therefore shorter than the other two months), 17 in August, and 17 in September. I’m at 25 right now. I would say that I am ahead of the pace.

Not bad, Robert. Not bad at all. The question is, can I keep it up? We shall see, Robert. We shall see.

Car music in the morning. It’s a moral imperative.

Music… kinda stalled

I haven’t had a lot of time for music over the last few days. I’ve snuck in two new song ideas but that’s all. I have three songs ready for vocals so maybe if I get that done in the morning it will kick start things a bit.

I have 13 songs mixed and another 12 in progress. I’m so far ahead of the minimum pace that it’s nuts.

Rock and roll, eh?

Headphones

Why did I put two pairs of headphones into the bag of stuff I took to my parents house for my nana sitting shift?

On the left we have a pair of AirPods Max that Harry loaned to me. They sound awesome and are great for everything I use headphones for on my computer, iPad, or iPhone… with one glaring exception.

They are bluetooth and bluetooth has one huge drawback. It is slow. Incredibly slow. The lag is ridiculous. Watching video or listening to music is fine but actually recording music… no way. Too much lag. As the track is recording you are hearing and playing as much as a full beat after where the computer is actually playing. When you listen back everything is grotesquely out of time. Bluethooth headphones are absolutely useless for recording purposes. Hence the second pair, which actually plugs in.

So when I watch a video (like the episode of The Flash I just watched… Covid protocols are doing season seven no favors), or when I mix a song (like the one I posted last night) or when I’m listening to music or a podcast, I’m using Harry’s AirPods Max. When I am recording something, like the guide track for the melodies I added to two songs earlier, or the bass and drums I added to a new song idea, I am using the cheap little Sony things that I bought at the Orlando Airport a couple of years ago.

How’s that for a fascinating blog post, huh? You learn so much when you read my brain farts. You’re welcome.

Better

It took a while but things are a little better now. She’s in her room but I don’t think she’s actually gotten into bed. I checked a few minutes ago and she was still sitting up, but she was dozing off. Here’s hoping when I check after I post this that she’s in bed and done for the night.

While I get up to check on the situation, you can enjoy this terrible song that is not as bad as I usually write. There’s a gimmick in the lyrics. Each section (stanza?) of the song is a haiku. Does that make me the lamest of all lame lames?

Probably.

Bluesy Song for a Monday

I promise I am not going to post every crappy song I write this summer. It’s just… Monday, and this is a 12-bar blues (in 3/4 time because I can’t help being weird leave me alone).

We’re back from the Cancer Center. As expected everything is fine. Good news. Now I have a little time before my brother comes to relieve me so I am going to sneak in a mix or two.