Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Perils of Perfectionism

Note: To those who subscribe to this blog, kindly subscribe to my new blog, which is now hosted on my newly redesigned web site. For the next month or so, I'll continue to cross-post here as well.

Something curious this week happened with my music. Frustrated with the MP3 player provided by Amazon, I decided to give Google Play a try, and somehow—and I’ve really no idea how this happened—my entire music catalog appeared on my smartphone. I never uploaded the music stored on my computer to any kind of Google cloud storage, so I’ve absolutely no idea how every single piece of music I own is now on my phone.

But I’m not complaining, and instead delighted by the accident, as when I saw the covers of my two albums, I decided to give them a listen after years of not hearing a single song. In fact, I dare say I’ve not listened to the entire disc of My Life of Crime since it was completed in 2002, as back then, my perfectionism caused me such agony that I couldn’t bare to sit with it, as all I heard were its shortcomings.

I thought it so flawed, in fact, that I remember sobbing to my friend one night on the phone, knowing that I’d reached the end of my budget, which was way overblown already, and thus would have to live with what was, no matter the outcome. In short, I was heartbroken, feeling that years of work had basically been wasted. It was an epic fail, and that was that.

In the ensuing years, even the thought of the album caused me pain, so for all this time, it has basically sat on the shelf. I did promote it somewhat shortly after its release, but illness soon set in, which in a weird way got me off the hook, as I didn’t believe in it as much as Daddy’s Little Girl (1997). I was relieved.

This all brings me to this week, when the sight of the cover on my phone prompted me to hit “play,” and I have to admit, I’m flabbergasted. I can’t even remember what I thought so wrong with it all those years ago, and instead heard nothing but clear, striking songs; lush arrangements; crisp production; and a shocking amount of talent from all the musicians who lent their gifts to the project.

I dare say the latter is what struck me the most, leaving me humbled and honored that people of this caliber made it affordable for me to hire them. Of course, they wouldn’t have sounded so wonderful without the gifts of the engineers involved, too, who recorded tracks that could go head to head with anything put out by a major label.

And so I’ve been listening this week not as a heartbroken perfectionist, but as a fan, as a huge part of me feels like I didn’t even write these songs. To this day, I feel like they came through me, from some source I can’t explain. I simply had to be patient for the song’s arrival, upon which it was my job to peel back the onion layers, under which was a beautiful baby song…bright, shiny, innocent, and perfect.

As my new web site doesn’t have a jukebox, as my old site did, I’m loading my songs onto ReverbNation for the time being, so that I have a place to direct people in case they want to hear my work online.

I’m so thrilled that for the first time since its completion, I can share My Life of Crime as my pride and baby who has been patiently waiting in the wings for me to come around. I can’t believe it sat under wraps all this time.

I’m slowly building my ReverbNation page here. Five songs have been uploaded so far.

All of my songs are available on iTunes.