the old and the new

It's been an interesting conjunction. The EP I recorded and distributed without spending a dime has been received better than I hoped and is getting spread by word-of-mouth and blogs. It's been so exciting. I'm just giddy with the possibilities it's opened up.

Meanwhile, I've been wrestling with radio mixes for the new Caedmon's single. We've got the album version, a version the label commissioned and a version Shane and I did because, well, we really didn't like the one that was done for us. It's led to some very frustrating, but interesting, conversations about radio, who listens, who buys, what will work for the mainstream, what won't, etc...

It all leads to compromise. The great excitement killer. It's very closely related to tolerance. One of the worst goals for any society. It makes us bland, too easily summed up in a word. No one wants to be tolerated. We want to be loved.

I don't want our music to fit in just like every other song on the radio. I want people to hear it and be like "yeah! That's music! That speaks to me!" I don't want people to buy our music because the song sounds like the other music they think they like. I want them to buy it because they heard it and it slayed them. It made them think in a new way. It wouldn't stop ringing around their head.

I'm not saying our radio single won't do that or that my EP does. I'd like to think they're both good, but I'm way too close to both of them to be objective.

Right now, I'm just soaking up the two different worlds. You and me, we make something together, we support it, you chip in a couple bucks and an encouraging email, I go and write and record more and do all I can to play in your town. That's the new world. The old world is office buildings and talk about demographics and market tests and a one-size-fits-all approach that nobody hates but nobody loves.

The worlds aren't completely separate yet, but both sides see the end. I've got a foot on both continents and the stretch is getting more and more uncomfortable. The unexplored vista is appealing, but I'm not ready to go all Lewis and Clark on it quite yet.