Saturday, February 9, 2013

February 6: Part 1

True story.
Basic recording - one guitar, voice.
I added some brass, but it's really low in the mix. I might fix that.
I am not sure if there will be a part 2. This is the back story for a couple of song ideas I have, but I don't even know if I will be able to bring them to life.

I am pleased with this song. Listening to it afterward I wonder if it sounds like I'm writing about sexual abuse. I'm not. Just regular psychological abuse.

February 5: Almost Happiness

Needs a remix. I'm mixing on earbuds. Good earbuds, mind you, but even so...
Inspired by early 80s English ska bands like Beat, The Specials, The Selecter; both in style and in content. I thought it odd that many of those bouncy dance tuned were really depressing if you listened to the words.
I am supposed to be resting my voice after blowing it out about three weeks ago. I foolishly tried to sing "Lola", and did so without restraint. As a result I truly injured my voice. It still feels like I'm singing through a fuzzbox and my pitch accuracy is wretched.
I haven't actually played bass yet - the first two tunes I'm just using synth.
And I'm tapping in the noted on the computer keyboard. The setup is still chaotic enough that I haven't got around to plugging in a keyboard.

Yes, you song a day cohorts with your studios and organization and discipline and workflow - I hate you deeply.

In case it isn't clear, the song is about being in love with a singer, who the subject will never know, but he believes he does because her voice speaks to him so clearly it's like she's there in the room with him.
It's a metaphor for the conflict and uncertainty in Russia following the reelection of Vladimir Putin.
No it's not.

Midnight in the Garden of Clean and Sober

The title popped into my head. I don't know why. It gave me some entertaining imagery: finding myself in some place that was unfamiliar and unwished for.

At this point I have to accept the fact that I have a system for writing songs. It's not a good system, but it's mine. It goes:
1. Have some lyrics, sort of
2. Have some musical sequence - chords, riff, shape...could be anything.
3. Record some tracks more or less blindly attempting to stick to (2)
4. Find unexpected inspiration during the process which lends color to the song.
5. Begin chanting lyrics over the instrumental tracks.
6. Repeat until melody forms. If necessary:
7. Make melodies mathematically by imagining notes in the chords, or not in the chords, depending on my state of mind.
8. It's finished.

So this song did start out as a simply strummed guitar chords. Next came the staccato thing. At the moment I decided, out of the blue, to add strings, the song became whatever it is now.

This is probably the only time I have ever written lyrics with someone else.
The chorus melody was inspired by Terry Taylor. You know, the leader of Daniel Amos.
I referenced a horrible song.
I broke one of my rules in this song, using a simile instead of metaphor.
I thought a lot about the garden where Digory goes to fetch the apple in "The Magician's Nephew" by C.S. Lewis.
The second guitar is also acoustic, just given a treatment in Logic.

2013: preparation

Hey, back in February. I cannot imagine how I am going to get anything recorded this year.
This year was going to be different: I was going to be prepared. With ideas, lyrics, riffs, even complete songs. As it turns out the leopard cannot change his spots, so February 1 landed on me with its full weight and found me utterly helpless to pick myself up and move forward.

I exaggerate. I had one or two ideas - a bit of lyric, a song title, and some hastily recorded iPad Garage Band tracks.

What I did not have was any idea where the recording gear was, or where I could set it up once I found it. Minor issues.