Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Not such a fine man tonight

I can't do this. "Fine Man" is getting the best of me, I swear. The last thing I have to record on this record is a vocal for fine man, probably the oldest song of ours that will be appearing on the record. It was the first thing that matt and pete and I worked on together, the first new TtW song of that lineup change. The first song we ever recorded together, up in my old apartment attic studio, as the weather got colder and december drew in, bringing that year's holiday record with it.

as we've been working on this record, this song seemed to stand out as needing something...more. We eventually narrowed it down to the vocal line. Something needed to change. We hit this song early on, figuring it would be easier for me to sing and we'd breeze through it (especially after the days of work on "came to you"). And that's where the diagnosis started.

The whole song, for me, is about trying to do your best and somehow just not measuring up. Trying to grasp that intangible balance of hard work to do what is necessary and fulfill your goals, and the appreciation that follows - both your own and from elsewhere. Now, I don't care who you are or what you do, when you've worked hard, it's nice to hear "good job" in whatever form. And what i'm working on here in my head has become wrapped up in something so intangibly lofty I don't even know what it is. For myself and for what I'm standing for, all I know is I want it to be good, and I'm just tied up hearing the errors. The future fixes. The "its not blowing me away"s. My guitar that isn't synced for technical and performance reasons.

"...when you're pressed for time/want it to be perfect..."

so I've been putting this song off and off. Occasionally coming back to it to see what I can come up with. Nat and I went through the first verse with a fine-toothed comb (as I had with greg) to try to set some precedents to be followed. But now i'm here, after two months, feeling like it all comes down to this, and having trouble feeling as though anything is working. I've been killing myself over this record, to the point where when I have a night off, I don't know how to go to bed before 2am. Really. It happened again sunday! And at the same time, I'm mad at myself because I feel like I'm playing the "poor me" card, and I hate it. Like it's more than just a source for self-degregating comic punchlines. I am very lucky to be able to do what I do, with some really really excellent individuals and musicians. But times like tonight I just can't see past this: the other guys in the band seem to like this song I wrote, and say they do, and have pulled out a great performance on it. I just want to be able to bring it to their level and not let them down with sub-par work. And there is no time left to procrastinate and imagine that it will be better...

"I'm just getting so tired/of running myself down/.../I've been waiting for this moment/to show my life's in gear/Now I feel it failing me/After 28 years"

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