hello!

it’s a blog!

first things first–we have july for kings shows this friday and saturday in cleveland and cincinnati. please consider coming out if you are in the area. with any luck, they will not suck. that is the endorsement. go ahead and tell your friends you heard from the singer the show will “probably not suck”. it’s good to start with low expectations. if your friends need more convincing just keep upping the bar. best to stop just short of “amazing” though. we haven’t played a show in months. but we are looking forward to it! keep the facebook “attending”s comin’.

i have been working hard on solo album. okay that’s not true. i have been wishing i could work hard on a solo album when in actuality i’ve been carving out a couple days a week if i’m lucky. although i did have a short period of mania a couple weeks ago where i worked on it a lot but only slept about an hour a night. until school is out that is kind of the only way to do it. it is going to be great though and i think about it everyday. i began with 15 to 20 songs; the best 11 or so are sounding pretty good although some are still without vocals and some are lacking bridges. i think i just need ONE more song to round out the album. i need a really upbeat song. i need something great to happen to me. or maybe just a sunny day with nothing else to do but record. i have a mood in my head. i have so many moods in my head.

in some ways the album is more adventurous than curvature. the tempos are more varied (or at least i am trying…). there are two songs in 5/4. the instrumentation is more varied. the concept has been to use earthy, acoustic and wooden sounds against modern sounding electronic and ambient elements. i think it may be slightly more accessible though in that it won’t mope or brood quite as hard as curvature. it is a little bit sappier…maybe more melancholy than dark. i know all this basically means nothing until you hear it. i guess this is just a reminder to you (and myself) that it exists. i am hoping to block out most of may 8th-27th to finish it up. last summer we did july for kings monochrome. it is a little crazy but i actually think i could do an album every year, now that i have enough resources and know-how to arrange and record most of it on my own. writing songs has never been a problem for me. it’s just capturing them in the right way.

lately the lines between songwriting and production have kind of started to blur. doing curvature with blumpy really opened me up to a larger world of sonic possibilities, and to the idea that a song is more than lyrics and melody. on the album i am working on, there are a few passages of just music without vocals. maybe it is partially that i have been listening to my own voice for so long… it is a bit of relief to have some space that is more about the instruments and chords and textures. texture and layering has become more and more important to me in music in the last few years. i think there are a lot of parallels with my visual art.

and speaking of visual art, i had a gallery show of photographs recently at the covington artisan’s enterprise center in covington, ky. you might recognize this image:

july for kings monochrome album cover photo framed print

this was the most involved exhibition i have ever participated in. Karen S. Chambers wrote a really nice review of it here at http://aeqai.com/, possibly the artsy-est publication in Cincinnati. the review is a good overview of the aesthetic.

it was almost like a solo show, in that i had twenty photographs in one area. the other artists was holland davidson, a talented abstract painter from florida. it takes quite a lot of time to print, cut, cut mat board, tape, matte, take apart frame, reassemble frame, cut wire, and hang x 20 pictures. so the whole experience of the show devoured a lot of energy for a month or so. i have been working on this series off and on for a year or two, but of course the process of trying to sell art is much more involved than actually making art, which i have always found to be somewhat easy. we finally took down the show the other day, so i have made the photos available at joehedges.com, at least for limited time. these pictures may be too abstract for a lot of people. but we did not sell all the photos and i don’t really have any use for ten + frames at the moment, so i may also try and sell some prints of some of the monochrome alternate covers, or some more straightforward black and white things i was working on in 2007-08.

i am also working on a series of expressive portrait paintings of friends and family. i am just rounding out the series now at 10 or so. after a lifetime of intermittent drawing and painting i think i have finally arrived at a personal style that is unique and cohesive and mature. this is saying something. i will put up these paintings in the next few weeks. i am going to start looking for another local gallery who may want to show them.

if you need art, buy it from an artist! not from wal-mart. it is dumb the amount of money people spend on silly wal-mart artworks when there are so many artists out there who are sacrificing a normal life to make art. the people who make art are crazy about making art. you have to be crazy, i guess, since nobody wants to pay for it. and if you don’t like my art i will put you in touch with other artists. and if you like my art but i’m the only working artist you know, even better! i would be so happy to be the one artist you know. it is good to have an artist in your life. or at least, four out of five people in my life are happy about it last time i counted and that seems high.

you know what i need? is more scientists. also magicians. i tried making friends with a magician i found online recently but it didn’t go so well. so if you are doing science or actual magic, hit me up. those are two of my favorite things.

joe