Back in 2007, I introduced the Spreadsheet. It was my methodical way of getting down first draft vocals for Eponymous 4 songs. Up to that point, I had a 66 instrumental tracks and no vocals. That’s a lot of songs.
So I did what any self-respecting analytical person would do and prioritized the songs by range of difficulty. I thought I would be tackling the easiest songs first, but on a whim, I went straight for the hardest. When I managed to get through them, I got a boost of encouragement.
Over the course of the year, I managed to whittle down the number of unfinished tracks to two, both of them covers. That’s when the inertia hit. I had laid down initial tracks for my own material (many of the performances requiring more takes later), and I didn’t have much onus to work my way through someone else’s work.
So for the longest time, the Spreadsheet was 98 percent finished.
Today, I can report that it is 100% finished.

I tackled the two covers because, well, I don’t have anything else going on with Eponymous 4. I’m still not inclined to start working on a new album till I get the rest of the Work Release Program out the door. And in the time I’ve let those two covers gather the proverbial dust, I’ve actually recorded other covers.
Oddly enough, finishing those two covers got me thinking I could perhaps flesh out the Japanese cover album a bit more. I originally planned to record 12 tracks for the album but whittled them down to seven when I couldn’t scrounge up the band scores for five of those songs.
YouTube helped fill in the gaps. Some resourceful fans would upload themselves playing along with their favorite Japanese rock songs, and watching them was pretty instructional. It also saved me the time to figure those songs out by ear.
As a result, I now have an 11-track Japanese cover album.
But I’m also recording an English-language cover album. And I might even record a four-track EP of Robin Holcomb covers.
Yup. I’ve gone cover crazy.
All thanks to the Spreadsheet, which I can now retire. It has served its purpose.