I was sitting in my little office in the backyard at about 4:30pm yesterday thinking about wanting to record and that little chicken voice, the one Seth Godin calls the Lizard Brain, was giving me the usual crap:
but you need money; make money then you can relax and make music.
Suddenly I just took on board Godin’s whole message from “Linchpin” (brilliant book, read it). I reached for my iPhone, pressed a button and recorded this:
… and by the time I went to bed I had figured out how to convert the file into something usable and it was online and available worldwide.
OK so it took me about 10 minutes to make the cover, and it’s pretty lame – but I can come back and fix that later.
OK so it’s recorded in one take on a Dictaphone. OK so it’s technically sub-standard – but you know what? I don’t mind.
Listening back to it, I like the way it sounds; it reminds me of a Neil Young song recorded around a campfire back in the 70s. I even like the 20 seconds of nothing at the end (the world needs more quiet moments of nothing between stimuli). Polished recordings have their place but so do quick n’ dirty guerrilla recordings. And meanwhile, the lyrics are exactly perfect for the statement: it’s about contributing – now, while you have the chance – not passively consuming.
OK so just because it is available worldwide doesn’t mean the world cares, but that’s not the point.
The point is more people are going to care than if I don’t record it and, just as importantly, release it (Godin calls it “shipping”). Don’t record and release – move nobody. Record and release (however flawed) – move somebody, somewhere for sure. And as an artist, all I really care about is moving people with my art, making a difference.
So bugger off Lizard Brain, get thee to a nunnery and I’ll call you when I actually need you.
I’m going to record and release a whole album like this over the next week or two; the working title is “Recorded on my iPhone (in defiance of the Lizard Brain)’.
Thank you Seth, you moved me with your indispensable book.