June 25, 2023.

The album is coming along nicely.

It feels overstimulated and paranoid. It feels like I am throwing every single idea I have into the pot, and although usually by the end of the process some stuff falls out, it really seems like most of it is staying in this time.

I am a little worried about the disparity between the more Normal songs and the Absolutely Bonkers songs. There's stuff like Millennials Are Killing which has already gone out, which is just a power trio and little a saxophone (as a treat). And then there's stuff like ๐Ÿ•ดโ€‹โคต๐Ÿ•ณโ€‹ which has also already gone out and that is every instrument I own plus a bunch of samples.

Despite that, I feel like the album is sort of developing a sonic identity, more than my other ones. It seems like almost every song has alternate versions where the percussion is entirely a samba ensemble, or entirely a Casiotone drum module, or entirely a rock kit. Every song has either saxophone or xylophone, most of them have both. I wonder if this will be a disappointment to people who are used to hearing my older things where every track has its own identity. Or maybe, conversely, people will think "finally they settled down." I wonder if people are going to get tired of every other song having a skeleton-playing-its-own-ribs solo. I wonder if people are going to immediately tire of the samples that, half the time, are mostly just punchlines. Some of these punchlines are there just to obfuscate the horror of the lyrical content, to make it more palatable. Some of the samples are there for lyrical relevance. Sometimes the samples are there just to make a point about the medium of digital music.

I've got a lot of music written and recorded now that doesn't have enough lyrics yet. I'm not super worried about it, when I am playing these songs to myself I sort of just stream-of-consciousness improvise words to the melodies and rhythms and it's fine, but some of the other songs are So lyrically deliberate, I feel like it's gonna be a crazy grab bag. I've also got a few pieces of music recorded that don't even have melodies yet, just interesting things to do in a bed, or like an instrumental hook with nothing else connecting the other parts yet. I try not to think about that, or if I do, I try to think of that as a good thing. This album could be 10 songs long or 20 songs long.

I have too many ideas. I do want to do the Aaron Carter cover with my silly friends from Connecticut and with my friend from the internet and also with another friend programming the vocaloid, I do not know how to fit all of them into it.

I really want to do this one song that I wrote like 8 bars' worth of lyrics to and then, one day, popped into a Markov chain (nowadays they would call this an AI Completer). This was three or four years ago before AI was a big talking point, I do not know where it got its source materials from so I do not know about the ethics but to be honest I do not especially care. I think it is funny to have a song that is 90% written by me and then the last verse is written by a robot, and I think there's a few interesting ways to put that across musically as well.

I remember reading the output from the robot a few years ago and thought "the robot's writing is more poignant and emotional than mine," and I thought, it is nice that the computer is interested in helping me seem more human than I am. And I thought something along the lines of: I have learned that if you include one song where you reveal you are a human being with a still beating heart, who bleeds if you prick them, it makes the rest of your songs about feeling like a robot have more power. People like the songs I make that have a modicum of sincerity. I don't know if I have much sincerity in a vulnerability style to share on this record, but the robot surely did.

I just don't want to stick my head into any AI controversy. I hate the tech bros who are trying to replace human artists, and also I want to hear what the robot has to say. Why can't it be both. I want everyone to be nice.