Friday, March 13, 2015

The Final Spin

Well, the nagging need to expand "Winter's Salve" and rewrite the cello on "Introducing..." has led to this: another alternate version of Progress Report with an alternate version of one of the alternate tracks from the Alternate Spin. As it is, I'm now treating the previous Alternate Spin as an experiment that was an excuse to try out a promotion gimmick. The alternate tracks from that release are now available to download as separate entities at my BandCamp site ( so people can create a playlist with those tracks inserted if they so desire. And right on the heels of the release of those tracks, I rebuilt "Winter's Salve," expanding it, recording new material, and remastering it into a version that I find much more satisfying. Hence this Alternate Spin having an alternate track of an alternate track. Does your head hurt yet? Mine does, but I've been working on this for two days with brief catnaps here and there.

I'm calling this the Final Version of Progress Report, but that is not to be confused as the intended vision of the original project, which the original release still very much is. That version tells a linear story through sound, with each song intending to convey a sequence in that story. This version is arranged by sound entirely, and I'm not entirely sure that the track list is in the right order, but I had to stop juggling it and settle on something. And now I really need to break my attention away from Progress Report and these songs that I have now heard literally hundreds of times each; each bar, each measure, each instrument, each arrangement. There's a single chord on this new version of "Introducing..." that bothers me and that I can't get right, but I need to let it go. And that's what this final bundling of these songs is really about. A last hurrah before I make myself turn my attention elsewhere, whether it be on different forms of art, or on getting songs written for my first full-length album, Nothing Left To Lose.

For the most part, I'm satisfied. I finally downloaded Photoshop and have been playing around with it this last week, and I'm excited to have put together artwork and liner notes for this Spin. I'm particularly enamored with this cover. All of the artwork I used is by John Jude Palencar, whose work I first encountered as covers for novels by one of my very favorite authors, Charles de Lint. This piece was used as a cover for the book Someplace To Be Flying, which I love and reread every couple of years. His work has also been featured on the covers of books by Octavia E. Butler, Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, and several other authors of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. These works inspire me and have felt very true to the vision that I'm trying to convey with Progress Report. This cover is practically a self-portrait, as is the anonymous guitar player who appears in the liner notes and all over my Facebook page.

I hope you all enjoy this new track list, the new versions of the songs, and this new polished little digital package that wraps it all together. It's only available for download and streaming from my BandCamp page and BandCamp embeds, as well as the BandCamp app that I call Snail Tunes on my Facebook page. I'm offering this all for pay-what-you-will, no minimum, in the spirit of true cyberbusking (I think I just coined a new term!), and any tips you're able to toss my way can be done through Paypal. May all your inner snails prove resilient and determined.