Or not? I just submitted a song to the Grammys again this year. I took off last year…
A) Because I did not have the money to record another album (that costs a shitload of money – and most people just take – taking music for granted, i.e., they feel it is their right to steal.)
B) I felt more compelled to write my book! (which they can’t steal.)
So it’s been 2 years. 2 years! That certainly is enough time to come up with at least a song!?
I’ve written several, enough for a new album in the past two years…but not enough to record them all properly. Having the Rock Doc pay for my Grammy Nominated album, was short of a miracle. (And so was the nomination.)
But it sure was nice having that money to not take short cuts. To do it right. To not rush. To go back to the drawing board if something needed tweaking.
Which brings me back to my submission. I’m sitting on my couch tonight, beating myself up. Is it good enough?
I know the song is good enough…but the recording? I didn’t have all of the luxuries. I’m second guessing myself. I went through four different versions of the song! I pissed away what money I did have to record it. Although, many involved freely contributed their talent and passion for the project, which I am very grateful. But a few did not…so I am broke.
After listening, I get really excited one minute…and then I start freaking out. So, is it just because I am a neurotic Jew? Is it because I have anxiety? Some people involved in the project liked one version…some another. I felt like I was being tugged. I COULD NOT MAKE UP MY OWN MIND! But I finally did. I had to. The deadline arrived.
I went from L.os Angeles, to Nashville, to Los Angeles again, and the New York to finish.
I guess I’m just frustrated that I had to record with compromise, because of my small budget. Like I couldn’t hire an entire orchestra, like my fellow nominees in the category where I submitted. I’m still singing for my supper. I guess I was meant to be a starving artist like 99% of the rest of us slobs. (Tiny violin). Yes! There is violin in the song! I could at least pay for a real violinist!
Now I’m hungry. I’m going to eat some ice cream and admire how much fatter I am now, than when I walked the red carpet, as I sit on my couch in my underwear.
- Walking away with a Grammy nod on my last album, is a good place to be. If I get back in the ring and I fail…I am just setting myself up for disappointment. The rules have become much more strict since my last nomination. The Recording Academy is diligently trying to plaster up all of the cracks any Indi can possibly slip through, to get a glimpse of the other side. (I’ve seen it! Wiggle, wiggle of eyebrows…it’s nice back there.) The gates have been Chornified. But they may do the right thing and make a few adjustments to re-level the playing field. I am rooting for them to fix the problem, rather than fixing it. To be determined by the end of the week.
I am certainly not assuming I will get nominated, regardless of whatever rules stick.
Part of me just wants to give up and not even try, so that I can’t possibly fail. If you’re not in it to win it – you don’t lose…you don’t play. That’s the safe thing to do.
Since when do I ever play it safe? Since I’m getting older, and don’t give as much of a shit anymore?
I must say, I really do enjoy writing. I think I like it as much as I do singing. When I sing, I am me, but it’s this dimension of me that you don’t see when I am on my couch.
I. Am. On.
On stage, I am pleasant. I have an audience. I am the person that represents how I want to be seen. I morph into this part of me that is…just happier. Yup. I guess I am happier when I sing.
Not by coincidence, the song I submitted is, in fact, “When I Sing”.
I wrote it after seeing a very famous performer who sings like an angelic innocent child. But when she is not singing…she is an angry, hurt person. Even on stage. The escape she makes when she sings, is miraculous. So that inspired the chorus.
There’s just one thing that makes me feel as light as a child on a swing
Where no one can hurt me
When I sing
Additional inspiration came after my nomination. All of the bullying I received from those behind the crack pulling the strings, and those way outside of the crack that had nothing else better to do, gave me the energy to use the trick I learned from the angry woman.
Then I thought about old boyfriends that hurt me and tossed it all together in one pitiful song! And for some reason, people cry when I sing it! I love making people cry!
And I first recorded it during Grammy week, in Los Angeles, in a fancy shmancy studio. (The one with the silver toilet.)
But we just did piano and vocals. We had one night. One block of 6 hours.
I thought it was appropriate to enter this song. But then I wanted to make it bigger…more of a production. I can’t possibly just put me and a piano in the Grammys! Can I? Did I? No.
I added some stuff.
I hope I didn’t fuck it up.
There’s always next year. But maybe not… They could change the rules again to completely eliminate any unknowns from having a shot.
As it is, I will know for sure on Friday, if I even have a chance in hell. Friday they will announce all on the ballot. I submitted “WHEN I SING” into Best Pop Solo Performance. Yup. The same category as Adele and Katy Perry. (The one’s who can afford an orchestra.)
This category is still a democracy, believe it or not. There is no special committee to decide the final five nominees. It is purely by vote of the members. So I have a teeny-weeny shot.
Now if The Academy decides to move WHEN I SING into another category with one of these, what I refer to as “cockblock committees”, I am a gonner. I won’t even bother wasting my time asking for consideration.
So, here is the song, which you may download for a buck. (Just 2,500 and I’ll break even! What a business!)
…And the video. DIY style as usual. I made it with my iMovie. We shot in three locations, Park City Utah, The Great Salt Lake, and Tucson. Scott and I shot the footage in Utah, and renowned film maker Evan Grae Davis shot in Tucson. And the adorable little girl is Maggie, a friend’s daughter.
Producer Linda Chorney
Co-Producers – Arlan Feiles, Robert Xeno. Ed Roth
Musical Consultants and all around nice guys – Eric Liljestrand, and Paul Speer
Vocals – Duh
Keyboards – Arlan Feiles and Edward Roth
Orchestral Arrangements – Glen Spreen
Violins – Chris Tedesco
Engineers Robert Xeno, Eloa Xeno, Arlan Feiles
Editing – Linda Chorney
Mixed by Arlan Feiles
Mastered by Mike Fossenkemper
Words and Music – Linda Chorney