I FIGURED OUT THE REWARDS TIERS. Spreadsheet tabs are your friends. I DREAM of spreadsheets. And that is not like me. Right now I am working on the project description for the Kickstarter page.
I think ultimately I will choose to do something different from the write up you see below you. But I like it for a blog entry or some such. So I am sharing it here with my beloved patrons.
The Write Up
This is my third solo album and my first Kickstarter. Like Acolytes of the Machine & Other Gaming Stories (2012), this new album will be recorded—has been being recorded—at Mystic Fig Studio in sunny San Jose,California. The cover artist for this album is Robert Bean of Huntsville, AL. His painting, Season of Sorrows perfectly captured the feelings I have about the album.
These songs are sad, funny, even sexy, and they are mythic. We’ve always told stories to ourselves to help us understand why things happen. We write and we tell, and we rewrite and we retell, changing details as we reinvent ourselves and our societies. We keep the bones of our favorite stories.
I guess it’s time to stop shying away from the fact that one of the major themes of my new album is death and dying and how important it is to enjoy the moment—to fight for every second you have—to strive and hope to thrive.
“October in July” is a song about the hope of cooler weather in the midst of the steam room that is Alabama in July. But the musical bridges comment on the need to appreciate every part of the year and understand the inevitability of dying and rotting.
“Remember Mister” is about appreciating your loved ones, gathering and remembering good experiences, and realizing that summer always comes back around. Reality is described in terms of painting.
“He Asked Me” is about how much it sucks to get older and how you worry about your loved ones—particularly your offspring and other people who depend on you. You worry about their ability to take care of themselves after you are gone. And you must fight these dark fears for yourself. For me, the only way to fight is by writing songs.
“When You Go” is not intentionally about death, but it is about bidding someone farewell. And perhaps you fear they aren’t leaving for the right reasons. (I was wrong about that.) This song was written for Gwen Knighton Raftery in 2004. I knew I would miss her and her stories and songs about fairytales and her wonderful wicked laugh—I would miss them so much when she moved across the ocean. And I do. Thank goodness for Skype!
There are also several straight up mythological songs, although most of them are strongly feminist and defy their traditional endings.
“Scattering Seeds on the Pomegranate Tour” is the title track. In it, several mythological women have created a Girl Band, left their families, and now travel to make music together. This is a bit like the Hero’s Journey of Joseph Campbell. Torrey Stenmark was inspired by the characters in it to create costumes for them and use her musician friends as models. I commissioned Starr Weems, the cover artist for Acolytes of the Machine to create a series of Bookmarks based on this song and Torrey’s ideas. We have gotten carried away and now are mining other songs on
the album for additional bookmarks. These delightful and stunning bookmarks
will be part of the rewards tiers for the Kickstarter.
“Courting My Muse” was supposed to be the title track of my first solo album, Courting My Muse. I was never entirely pleased with my arrangement. And I didn’t like how my voice sounded on many of the songs in that album. I now understand that the small sound booth in that particular studio was comb filtering my voice, making it sound thin and lifeless. Then I played the song with Betsy Tinney and Amy McNally at Conflikt in 2011 and fell in love with it all over again. I’m delighted it’s going to be in this album. “Courting My Muse” is a flirtatious loving song about romancing one’s own inspiration—courting one’s creativity.
“Pandora’s Box” is just really dirty. It’s also an angry declaration that “’no’ means ‘no,’ A**hole!” This one is really fun to sing.
“Meet Me at the Labyrinth Plinth” was the result of a song prompt from the Soulwriters2 group. The Labyrinth Plinth is a bar that cranky Greek goddesses go to drink wine together.
I have four songs that are from worlds created by me and one song from Seanan McGuire’s Toby Daye world.
“Coffee Cantata” is a happy celebratory advertising jingle inviting creative types into an establishment called the Coffee Cantata. This one is set in my D&D campaign world of MUSE. It mentions mooples, and I don’t explain what they are.
“Goliards” tells of the endless journey of a giant robot school full of teachers wandering a desolated world. It is set in MUSE too—perhaps far in its future.
“Patchwork Cliché” is a mad science murder ballad. My favorite quote about it was Seanan McGuire telling Tony Fabris at a filk circle, “That’s no metaphor. That’s a bone saw!”
“Coffee with a Friend” is my coffee with an elder god song. The plot creeps on you gradually as reality shifts from verse to verse. Seanan is going to be a gorgeous Shoggoth in a tentacular dress on one of the Kickstarter bookmarks!
“Jazz and Mai (Raven May Waltz)” Speaking of Seanan McGuire, this waltz is inspired by one of my favorite couple in her October Daye series, Jazz and Mai. I love their relationship, and this song might be one they would dance to at a Beltane Ball.
“Fairest of Them All” I KNEW I was forgetting a mythology
song! This is another cranky one. It’s about . . .wow. It’s about many things really. Apples, Jealousy, Sleep. But one of the themes is competition among women to be the fairest (whatever that may mean) and a bit about how f*cked up that is and how much it f*cks us up. It’s a cautionary tale. And . . . it won’t be enough caution.
This album grieves. It dreads grieving. It’s angry. It’s sad. It’s darkly humorous. It’s sexy. It meets me right where I am: worried about my parents and other loved ones, and fearing my own impending old age. The only thing you can really do when all your mortality crashes down upon your head at once is love your family and friends, try to be there for them, and make all the art you can. This album celebrates this. It rages against this.
And you can dance to it.