Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Unidentified Flavors - Live Active Cultures (Assorted Fuckups 2005-2009)

After a lot of internet drama and creative frustration, freshman year of college I decided I was done with videogame arrangements. I always wanted to do more songwriting (because pop music has always been what I really want to do), and I finally got an excuse to do more when I decided to make an EP of songs for a winter term project (in January 2006). Half of the month was taken up by a pretty miserable swim team trip to Florida, and then I ended up rushing out the songs at the last minute (like I usually did). Most of the songs have terrible playing that I tried to mask with a lot of effects, and the lyrics were taken up with hating people in my freshman dorm. My setup was so frustrating - using an external program to record wavs, and then importing them into Reason and trying to get the timing just right. A couple years later, Reaper would solve those problems. I also hated my voice so much that I felt like giving up halfway through most of the performances, because I knew they'd never be what I wanted them to be. I've never really got over that feeling. Now I feel like I have a very beautiful and feminine voice on the inside, but what ends up coming out sounds like vomit.

A year later, I was spending a very depressed six months at home. I was trying to work through all my self-loathing and guilt and deal with the fact that I felt like a woman while being in an unstable relationship. I didn't really finish anything during that period, but I did record a lot of demos of songs I more or less made up on the spot. Some of them actually have interesting parts, which I"ll probably use in the future. A few of them became songs on here.

Most of the rest of the stuff was done the summer before my senior year of school - June 2008-ish, another period of intense self-loathing and frustration that I still mostly directed at the (what I saw as) spoiled rich kids at my school. The most out of character ones were done September/October 2008, for a weekly songwriting competition on the Electrical Audio forums. Another one was done around Feb 2009, for the same competition, and then I "finished up" an old song around June 2009.

Around Christmas 2009, I was out of school for 7 months and had floated around to 2 different places before my apathy about being a filmmaker landed me back home. I felt like I absolutely had to move on from the darkness of absolute frustration of the time these songs came out of. I thought the best thing would be to make a compilation to send it to friends and just move on. The album isn't sequenced in chronological order - it's more some kind of very loose narrative. I saw 1-12 as the first "side" and then 13-20 as the second. I never really wanted to send it to anyone but close friends, because I didn't want these songs to be seen as representative of me, and I felt very ashamed to be the person with the crackly, nasally voice singing them. I still feel like most people won't understand from this that, although everything here is from me, I'm a woman, I'm feminine, and this is not how I would like to sound. But putting basically everything into one document has at least led me closer to closing the chapter on that part of my life.

After getting a lot of positive comments about the Dys4ia soundtrack, I decided I might as well put this on bandcamp and let people hear it. I'm sure someone, somewhere will get something out of it, even if I want to distance myself from it as much as I can.

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