Album attempt #135

So, I have a blog, and you are here reading it, that’s a start. I shall attempt to make this slightly less boring than it sounds.

3266_bigIt’s going to be about my almost certainly useless attempts to make an album, so it’s pretty similar to the website I had about 10 years ago. The main difference is it looks nice because I didn’t design it myself.

I have been hit by a fresh wave of determination regarding my music. The pivotal moment for this came on my recent holiday to Cuba. Upon winning the holiday resort karaoke competition, it occurred to me that having spent A LOT of time on music in my life, the three best reactions I have ever received for anything musical have actually come whilst performing Will Smith’s ‘Wild Wild West’ at karaoke. This is a slightly soul destroying revelation, and one I am desperate to rid myself of.

So I am going to record an album, and it’s going to be great. Yes, I said the same last year, and the year before that, but this time it feels more serious, a bit of a last attempt really. If I don’t pull it off this time I really think I will just sell all my musical gear and take up a less expensive hobby such as baking or knitting.

Now, you may well be thinking “what’s with the angst, just record an album if you want to”. But you would be vastly under-estimating the levels of uselessness which follow me around. Generally my previous efforts have gone like this….

1 – Write one song, really like it, record it, really like it, get enthusiastic.

2 – Write another song, like it, record it, still like it, feeling even more optimistic.

3 – Try to write another song which fits with previous two, dislike everything, doubts kick in, go back to previous songs for inspiration only to find I now hate them too.

4 – Realising I am basically rubbish at everything, give up trying to take myself seriously. Record a song about a baker who is secretly a ninja, place over a low effort trip hop backing track, release on web, give up for 6 months.

So as I have said, this time IS going to be different, and I hope this blog will help me keep things moving, even if nobody else reads it, I will read it.

So what am I going to do differently? Well, to demonstrate my new found determination I have been for a singing lesson. I should have gone for a singing lesson in 1998 but I tend not to get round to things very quickly. Often I write songs only to find I can’t actually sing them very well, and this is something I need to sort before I start recording this album.

As for the lesson itself, it was scary, but I learnt quite a lot in one hour (including the fact that I have a choirboy-esque falsetto I didn’t know about). I have another lesson next week so hopefully that will go equally well and before we know it I will be singing like Shirley Bassey, but less welsh and female.

I am also in the process of writing songs, and I may use this site to upload the odd snippet of demo’s etc so anybody reading (thanks Mum) can massage my ego and tell me it’s not completely shit.

In my attempts to find inspiration I am currently listening to a lot of the following…. Laura Marling, Nick Drake, Iron & Wine, Cathy Davey, Adem, Belle and Sebastian. That should give you some idea of the direction I’m heading, unless of course you have no idea who any of those artists are, in which case it probably won’t help at all so I will just say acoustic guitar based stuff, but with sythesis probably, maybe.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laura
    Dec 10, 2010 @ 10:36:57

    I was thinking last night at the Belle and Sebastian gig if you would be inspired by the lead singer (I’m too out-of-touch to actually know his name) when he was covering a wide range – happy to know I’m in tune with your thoughts. I would like to say that you do run yourself and your musical abilities down as you always got really good reactions from your Jagaver and JCPop gigs in Brighton (admittedly, probably most noticablely at Lizzie and Matt’s wedding mini-gig, but that is because most of them already knew that they liked your style). As well as working on improving your range and turning our spare room into a recording studio, you should work on your confidence because you are really very talented and I am always excited to hear about what you have done next, be it parading badgers or the good old indie/punk/rock of Me Grimlock.


  2. "Sick Note"
    Dec 10, 2010 @ 11:41:39

    Sounds good james i will keep an eye out for your updates! Good effort on the singing lesson, not that i think you need it, juuust because that sounds like the most unplesant experience i could imagine my self in, that after drowning in a sea of spciy bean burgers. Are you going to be busting out the Kazoo again? 🙂

    Hope you and laura are good!


  3. Dave
    Dec 12, 2010 @ 17:56:34

    Consider this your first pre-order of [Album title here] by James Consterdine.

    Good luck to you! I can’t wait for 15 falsetto odes to Belle & Sebastian. But it will all be about the secret Will Smith cover track 😉

    P.S. (Private joke) Also, this is definitely the second-best designed website you’ve ever had.


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