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What’s Up With JM – April 20, 2018

For a while now, I’ve been mentioning that there have been several recordings in the works- most of which are near the end of the mixing stage and ready to be released. My band has been making sure that I don’t let too much more time go by before the next show; which they suppose might be at a traditional venue and I have been thinking might be on the web.

For a while now, I’ve been kicking around the notion of a multi-cast; as I’ve been wanting to do a concert online- though there are surprisingly almost too many ways to do it in 2018. When I started my career, there was no alternative to doing a concert in a venue like a theater, short of maybe a living room or a bonfire sort of situation. Now, I see a way for both home recording and live performance to join together in ways unprecedented.

This means I want to record not just the audio as we’re making our next album, nor just the video, but I aim to multi-cast the sessions across several platforms at the same time that allow for live video that connects to a community in real-time. Video would be shot episodically, and it would be possible to tune in live and watch a replay later; such as the case with many podcasts presently.

We have been setting up to do this at my new place, though we’re still more set up to do it at Derek’s house- my bass player. Derek often has Pro Tools running with at least one HD angle- though it doesn’t go out live because for the last couple of years, we’ve been trying to streamline the look and sound of what’s coming out of the board. Enticing as it might be to just go live without any real planning, we’ve made huge improvements with each session, and are approaching the sort of consistent quality we can all be proud enough of to post on a weekly basis.

Another approach to video we’re taking in 2018 more from the label side of things has to do with including outside content and creating our own “bookends” for it; context, introductions and such. Think of the heyday of MTV VJs- whenever that may have been… probably the early 1990s. We have been shooting contextual footage for our own content and intellectual properties, though also commenting in the same footage on a lot of other classic and current music that hits the eardrums of the majority.

In that same or similar spirit, my band has been working on our own versions of cover songs- music and lyrics by other people that we’ve been adapting to our own style. We have recorded some of these covers to get a true idea of what they sound like, and for the most part they’re turning out very well. The recordings make it clear what we can and can not quite pull off, and also make me glad upon playback all too often that we don’t post every single thing we record. The reason for that being if and when anybody happens to hear about John Maxfield Band, Tantrum Niche Records, or any of our respective works; we want to make sure that most of what they’d find or all of it is very good and unique.

Now that Amber and I have our taxes done, we’ve been looking toward the future and thinking about our two boys- and talking a lot about how we can help each other help them. It’s been great, because we’re both very supportive of one another, and I feel- for instance, that she really believes in me where it’s been really easy for other people not to. Some people never did and never will, others have lost faith somewhere along the years- but she’s in it for the long haul and really helping me think hard about how to make our dreams come true. It’s good to have a confidant and a collaborator like her, and our two boys are beyond our wildest dreams already. Everything you see us do from here on is about giving them the best life possible, and living long and healthy beside them as much as we can.

I can feel how being a father has changed my life, and it is a good change.

I don’t want to lose any sacred parts of myself to being a father, and as hard as it is not to think that a lot of myself has disappeared into the diaper crap, I sense strong lingering ambitions to make everything work better than it ever has; in terms of my music career and associated financial stability. Any success I have had in the past has been due to a juggling act of exploiting as many trades as I can stand to do simultaneously for less-than-average compensation. If I am simultaneously producing three records of varying genre, several videos, writing a script, writing a novel, making a new album of my own, working on a live project with the band, cataloging and archiving the label’s IP, managing and coding web sites, teaching private music lessons, producing and hosting a radio show, booking and promoting musical acts, meeting with lawyers and accountants, and countless other stuff like that; ALL AT ONCE AT ALL TIMES, it doesn’t work as well as having a little to a lot of help with all that stuff, and if people don’t really believe in you- they can’t really help.

This can be a sad thing to realize, because often the person who makes said realization notices some genuine talent in some gifted artist, though it’s always misread as tragedy- this talented fool is doomed to failure because being the idiot that he is, he believes in himself. He’s not accepting enough- he’s reaching beyond. Schmuck.

Luckily for me, I have been doing this long enough to have weeded out most of the people who would sooner slow me down with their best intentions and worst pessimism. I’m beyond lucky to be with Amber, who is willing to believe in my success and our success. She has been working hard at getting her degree, and throughout the course of our relationship- she’s once changed majors to something that turned out to be a much better fit that has painted possibilities of a more exciting future for her. She had been feeling a bit doomed by a previous decision to get into education. Part of her heart was really in it, though not enough of her heart to persuade her mind not to switch majors to something that was potentially much more lucrative. She’s into computer-aided drafting now. I also can proudly add that she’s been doing well and having fun with it.

One of many things that I love about her is how she refuses to do anything that’s too easy. There’s nothing she jumps into that she can do in her sleep. She knows her limits, and challenges herself to the very edge of them, knowing those edges will be expanded by her efforts. She has great and ways of exercising her body and mind, and can let neither go to waste. She is a tremendous partner to me as well; loving, trusting, kind, patient, affectionate, hilarious, down to dance and other great things. She’s a good mother to our boys, too.

So before anything too terribly new goes up, we’re going to post some of those works from the last two summers at Derek’s studios- both around the Ladue part of St. Louis. There’s also quite a bit of photos, footage, and recordings I’ve been finding good bits from that I’m setting aside for a near-future upload. Amber will help me decide what’s actually good, what’s oversharing, and if perhaps I’ve been holding back too much good stuff. My feeling is that it’s a lot of stuff with a few good bits, though she might convince me otherwise. Eddie the drummer has been telling me for years to just upload everything. He thinks I shouldn’t bother doing any post-production or being in any way selective about what goes up on the web site, but I just don’t think we’re ready for that quite yet. I may, as I said, be wrong- and if I am, I am sure Amber Webb will tell me.

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Apr 20
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