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Friday, February 26, 2010

Weekly Update 2-26-10

Howdy Howdy!

Todd here with the weekly FP update. Part of me feels like these last two weeks have been unproductive, but now that I look back I find I am mistaken. Quite a bit mistaken actually....

1) Jake has finished up two very difficult Chorus sections and two-thirds of the bridge sections on 'SOY' ('Some Other Year'). That was major. We got hung up on those sections two weeks ago, largely because Jake's bass parts needed to closely follow Matt's kick drum timing. And Matt's kick drum patterns on the choruses were kind of crazy. Pure genius. But crazy. So Jake had to have more time to get the timing patterns memorized, which I might add he nailed with aplomb. Funny thing is now I need to restructure my guitar parts to make room for the synergy between the bass and kick parts. No big deal. But this is the part of recording that I love. The need to adapt and get creative in order to make things work makes the entire process exciting for me. I love it....

2) We finally got 'Sycamore' sent off to iTunes, Amazon, Napster, Rhapsody, eMusic, LaLa, etc.. I made some last minute adjustments to the mix (mainly sibilance fixes on the main vocals and a slight volume boost on the bass track during the instrumental bridge section). And that exact version/mix of 'Sycamore' is what we have linked on our blog here as well as what is streaming over at our FaceBook Fan Page. We're trying to work out a workable solution of how we can provide our friends, families, and local supporters with free access to our song mp3's while at the same time being able to charge for downloads made by the general public. In so doing that, we may end up taking away our direct links to the song downloads, and if that happens we will try to work something out for our 'inner circle' to have access to private (non-public) download links (perhaps via email or some other similar method). But our biggest concern is having a sellable product available for the general public once we start promoting our band a bit more by way of company endorsements, music reviews, editorial write-ups, etc.. I think we are planning on completing the next two or three recordings before we try to make a bigger splash on the market, but once we get those two or three songs complete, we'll begin to push the marketing a bit more. Having our songs ready and waiting at various places like iTunes, Amazon, etc will be essential to that big splash. Of course, we have plans beyond that stage as well, including live-playing, but for now we are solely focused on recording our initial material. And we are enjoying this leg of the process....

3) And speaking of making a splash, we commissioned Matt Lamb of www.customyoutubepage.com to design a really sweet-looking YouTube Channel background and YouTube video 'splash' for use on our upcoming video blogs. You can check out our YouTube Channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/theFPband

And here's the video splash he made for us:



Not bad for our first splash....

4) And now to explain why I have felt like we've had a less-than-productive week. Or rather why I haven't had a productive week. I think that I've had that mentality because I'm still not 100% back to my normal energy and creative levels due to my emergency appendectomy a couple weeks back. I've weened myself off of the Vicodin pain-killers and I am 90% mobile again. But I have been very tired these last two weeks and foggy in my brain. And if you know me very well at all, you'll know that I hate being like that. And so I get dark or gloomy, and suddenly nothing seems like it is working out (even if things are going wonderfully). Frustration. Plain and simple. Nobody likes to get slowed down, especially when there are other people involved, and that is how I have felt these last two weeks. Worn out and tired. But I also realize that my recovery has been excellent and that I have pushed myself to get back into the normal routines of life, and I've had a lot of people tell me how quickly they have seen me bounce back. Not bad for a 38 year old I suppose. But I still feel frustrated because I am still waiting for my 'edge' to fully return and frankly I am being impatient. Yada yada yada. But there's a honest peek into my mental and emotional state right now and I've allowed you to see me in a vulnerable, telling light. But that vulnerability is what makes life real and authentic, and it is also a huge contributing factor to my creativity. I'm not always a strong and purposeful person, and many days I feel like pouting and giving up on anything that requires difficult work or extra effort. But everyone I have ever known has ongoing struggles with the exact same thing in their lives, and we all have good days and not-so-good days. That being said, I do need to confess that these last two weeks haven't been bad at all. To the contrary, I feel like God has especially blessed me these last two weeks, if for no other reason than the fact that I am still alive and I managed to survive something that could've potentially killed me if certain situations would have gone awry. That's a very real thing to be thankful for. And I am indeed grateful for my life. I just wish I wasn't as tired as I have been. But things could always be worse, right?

5) Having whined about my lack of 'zip' these last couple of weeks, I will admit that I have hardly touched my guitars, nor have I attempted to sing and practice my vocals or whatever. Again, the lack of energy is the culprit. So consequently this week Jake, Matt, and myself (along with my two sons) opted to make a road trip to Terre Haute (in lieu of our normal band rehearsal time) to get me a new half-stack guitar amplifier that I have been eyeing for a while. I ended up trading in my Mesa Boogie quarter-stack that I have been hit-and-miss with for several months and I was able to get a new Line6 SpiderValve MkII half-stack. I've owned a big Line6 Vetta amp/cab(s) rig for several years now and I love it for live playing. But as time goes on that Vetta is aging and it's anyone's guess as to how much more life it has in it. It could keep on truckin' for another 20 years or it could give up the ghost tomorrow. And so a fresh amp rig has been on my wish-list for a while now, and so now I should be good in the event that something dire happens to the Vetta. Having more than one amp rig is a luxury for sure and it is like having a safety net for me. As such, the new amp rig is crazy loud and powerful and it sounds and feels really good. Now I just need to break in the speakers. Better get the ear plugs out....

So that's it for this week. Thanks for tuning in...

Peace...

~ Todd

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