Song 44 - "Water and Whine"
Couldn't get a good verse going on this one. Probably will get scratched in the long run but, as always, 'twas a good lesson for me.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year and etc. . .
Song 43 - "testing the methods"
!!!Warning!!! Experimental, ambient noise up ahead. Proceed with caution.
Spent the weekend messing around with my loop pedal after a long hiatus from it. When I woke up this morning, I created some pretty magical stuff. I wasn't able to quite recapture it though when I recorded this afternoon.
Song 40 - "Masquerade"
Catchy. Maybe with a chorus/bridge, it might end up as something. Speaking of ending up as something, I tried my hand for the first time at taking a serious stab at some of the song ideas I've posted here. Twas a bit frustrating, but I think I'll be able to get something together in a couple months or so.
Song 38 - "Who Am I"
Given how exhausted and frustrated I was today about my music in general, I am more than delighted with this, which felt like it poured out of me from nowhere. I do seriously mess up the bridge, and you can hear me laugh about it at the break.
I am working on a list of my top 10 or so songs from the year and will be posting a player here or possibly on my facebook page in the next couple weeks or so with the reworked/finalized versions. Exciting stuff :)
Song 37 - "Leave Mr. Johnston Alone Mr. Devil"
Learned "Walking the Cow" this morning and watched some interviews with Daniel Johnston.
P.S. You heard me Mr. Devil. Move along now.
Song 36 - "Goodmourning"
This is certainly one of the roughest sketches I have posted in some time. That's a nice way of saying it's a dire mess. The verses need to be shaped up, and I need to record during the afternoon so I can belt out the chorus and give it body. You can clearly hear how restrained I was, and that high in my range cannot be performed with hesitation (there's a newborn in the apartment next door, okay!?). Better rhythm would be nice as well.
All this being said, I'm going to work on it this week. I think that adding the right beats, synth noises and a couple falsetto oohs and ahhs would lend to a really good indie pop/dance tune and take away some of the morbid ambiance.
Finally, if you have a good set of headphones, this audio file posted by Seed Magazine is a nice jaunt into the true wild. Of note, number 7 in the slide has a bird that sounds electronic.
Song 34 - "Little Round Box"
Had just watched Solaris(the '70s version, not the one with George Clooney, which I haven't seen) before coming up with this this morning, so you could say I had some otherworldly influence going on in my imagination. Going to do something a little different this week and actually post the lyrics. They aren't necessarily set in stone, but they are what show up in this version. So here you are(forgive messy puncuations):
"Maybe I could town you down and throw you up and you would tell me
Maybe I could cut you open tear you out spill you out onto the dance floor and spread you around and you eyes they would open, they would adore the dollared tune
Maybe I could make a Xylophone out of your brain and grow so wise
But what's to say, who knows, who knows
Maybe you'll go hidin in a white guitar, and then i'll break it down and go out. Maybe you'll break your heart, and hold it up, and shake your pans around
And you'll shiver and you'll shake as you make love to yourself in heart, hard times
Thank you, I thank you for saying, we can stay in love in a little round/brown box. We can stay in love with the antelope.
I bet your hiding, I bet your hiding and you don't know where to go or hear what to say. Probably all that excess, you take it into your brain and you don't even love yourself anymore.
A little be higher, and then you break it up, and then go over to I, and yet you make it up, and you got a lie, but you hate it all, and then you've got to die."
Song 33 - "The Next Mistake"
This needs another take, but I am simply out of time.
I spent a lot of the weekend reading about the Egyptian Book of the Dead, the Tibetan Book of the Dead, and the pineal gland. While perusing these topics, I stumbled upon this speech by Alan Watts, whom I had never heard of prior to today, but I will be listening to more as he is quite the fellow.
Song 29 - "Never Ever"
Song 30 - "Let the World"
Song 31 - "The Gods Have Gone Home"
Song 32 - "A Beatle on His Back"
So, evidently, I had four ideas building this week and decided not to horde them. This could be a sign of absolute foolishness or extreme productivity. I guess we'll find out.
One thing I did this week that was definitely not foolish, was that I heeded the advice of a friend and made a point of writing down real lyrics and making them 80% to 100% understandable (he advised 100%, so I still let some of the fool win). I put a piece of paper and a pen in front of me each time I played, and, surprise, I was able to be much more productive with the lyrics than I have before. Enjoy.
Song 27 - "SilenceViolenceDebts"
Song 28 - "Blackground"
The weekend is over. Booo.
One of these is angry. The other is influence by Bon Iver.
Song 26 - "In the Bottom of a Well"
I had quite the inspiring weekend this week. So much so, that I did not even go to sleep last night. I thought this would make writing something for this week harder, but, in fact, it made it easier. I don't know if this is because my senses are dulled, and what I think sounds good is actually complete crap, or if things just worked out well.
Needless to say, there is something about this one that I like a lot and will look forward to nurturing into a fully mature piece. This recording is the third take of basically making up everything as I went, and while it is flawed, again, I feel something raw about it that I like. Then again, maybe after some sleep . . . I had to finger pick, because my cat stole all my picks :)
Song 25 - "Burninghouse"
I took voice lessons this week. It doesn't show here, because, well, we didn't get into all that much. But, I'm hoping it helps to take me to the next level this coming second half of the blog.
This one is a rough sketch, somber but lingers in my head when I put it down. Always a good sign. For me at least.
Song 23 - "Missing for the Train"
Song 24 - "Should We"
Again, two more songs this week, which means I am finally caught up and back on schedule! I definitely feel like I am making progress. These two work much more within the framework of what would be considered standard songwriting. The lyrics, as usual, are a little fumbled, but the melodies flow and transition quite nicely. I have also committed to playing only songs from this blog at open mics from here on out in an effort to get some traffic flowing through here. Speaking of, I think I just saw some tumbleweed.
Song 21 - "There It Is"
Song 22 - "Infinite Web of G"
Two more songs this week. "There It Is" is short and to the point, while "Infinite Web of G" starts off with a broken and rough melody and goes on forever. Not necessarily keepers but had a good time making them. Enjoy!
Song 20 - "Settling"
Been coughing for a week, and my pipes are torn, so I took it easy. I will try to rework things when I'm better. In the meantime, things flow rather well on this one. I will be revamping five songs soon and any feedback is welcome as to which ones those should be.
Song 18 - "Nightmare"
Song 19 - "We Were Dying"
Posting a little earlier than usual for my overseas friends. These are two promising numbers. The pieces are there, just still a little jumbled.
"Nightmare" rambles a bit. I don't know that I would want to change that, since most nightmares do anyways.
"We Were Dying" is more prototypical of what I have been doing; it's more upbeat and subversively optimistic. Came up with the riff at Nola's Cafe on Friday.
And no, they aren't dance numbers like I had hoped last week. Feel free to dance though, should you be inspired to do so. :)
Song 17 - "A Pretty Lie"
Apparently, I am destined to live in the emergency room. Had to take my mother there tonight, so this week's song is, by all means, completely raw.
I rally rally(misspelling intended) want to do a dance number next week. Maybe we can make that happen.
Also, check out the song by Patrick Watson on this episode of All Songs Considered. It's the first song, so you don't have to listen to the whole show. Very ethereal, and the drums drive and drive and drive.
Song 16 - "Down to the Desert"
I have a friend who is traveling Tuesday to the Middle East. This song is for that friend.
I was running around all weekend, so I had to come up with this one and record it late tonight, hence the whispering into the mic. It certainly rambles on and is loosely put together, but it is one I will keep.
Song 15 - "Loophole"
I bought a looping deck this past Friday and have been lost in a black hole of fun ever since. In case you have never heard of a looping deck, it basically lets you record loops and build layer on top of layer of audio. The song is far too long, but I could definitely cut it down. Or, I could leave it at its length, work on details and try to achieve a sort of acoustical Mogwai thing. Never heard of Mogwai? Don't know how good their website is but here they are.
Happy Belated Birthday America!
Song 14 - "A Birthday Song for Summer"
An idea for a birthday present I'm working on. A very upbeat song for an upbeat person. They like trees. Didn't really get the chorus like I want it until the third time it comes around in the song.
Ran across some Of Montreal music videos. I've never seen one before, and they certainly are visually delicious. Click here to check 'em out.
Song 11 - "Again"
Song 12 - "Hellven and Snobbes"
Song 13 - "Surely to Grey"
In posting Week 17's song, I managed to make my first grievous error and posted over Week 16 instead of creating a new one. I don't remember what was on my mind last week, but here are the songs:)
Song 10 - "Famous Face"
First order of business: My really good friend launched a website today that you must check out and promote avidly. It is called Speaksake. It is a rather ingenious idea. Something that is almost as good as "Kitty Does Laundry".
Second order of business: A comment on the phrases I will hear about my upcoming week from co-workers when I ask them how they are doing. Monday: It's Monday. Tuesday: At least it's not Monday. Wednesday: It's hump day! That much closer to Friday! Thursday: I wish it was Friday. Friday: At least it's Friday.
I learned tonight that if I wait long enough after posting on the archive, the home page for the song will become more intricate with a player and the ability to download in mp3u format.
This song is based off of a riff I came up with months ago but never fitted with a melody. It worked out alright. I know that I promised multiple postings last week. I will no longer be making such false promises.
Song 9 - "Eroding"
So much of this project, thus far, has circled around the endeavor of posting on a consistent basis. I have come to realize that I need to focus on this aspect of the project and not "writing good music". Point being, I have to post every week, even if it is garbage. I have skipped some weeks because I didn't want people to have to listen to crap. And when I say crap, I am focused more on the production quality than anything else. Songs kinda form themselves I think, but making them worth listening to is a whole different task. In any case, I was reviewing some of the stuff from the previous weeks that I recorded, but didn't post, and I decided I will focus on revamping them this week and do another multi-posting next week. So here's to succeeding at this project, even if I fail along the way:)
Song 7 - "All is Done"
Song 8 - "My Poor Friend"
In an effort to surpass the results of my procrastination, I'm putting up two songs this week. I'll try to do it again next week and that should pretty much catch me up. The first one is more of a "song" than the second, but the idea of the second one is definitely worth something.
A couple interesting things from my week:
1. I read an article in Rolling Stone about Bob Dylan, and they describe the president of France meeting him backstage and how excited Mr. Sarkozy was to meet Mr. Dylan. It was a great argument for the support of the arts. Even presidents look up to artists. It made me understand who truly occupies the throne in this world. After all, even artists look up to artists.
2. I found out I have a ruptured disc in my neck, which explains all the weird feelings in my back and left hand. It was soul crushing news though, because in all likelihood, it will get worse and, as you all know, playing the guitar requires use of your left hand. Of course, only time will tell, but it has me worried about enjoying the pain free/guitar filled present as much as possible. It's okay though, I'll just have to learn to do this.
Song 6 - "Blue Ridge Luv"
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy . . . Did I ever have the best weekend ever. Fun after fun after fun.
In customary fashion, I made up the words as I went along. I think I'm actually getting the hang of on the spot rhyming and phrasing. Someone said I was holding back. Clearly, that's still the case. However, the beat is a little happier. I know, that doesn't mean anything. It does mean I can sound a little less sorrowful.
"One day I'll learn to write happy songs" - Elliot Smith
This is the most complicated piece I have put together mixing/tracking-wise. With that in mind, it wraps around a crappy vocal/guitar track I put down. Still learning.
My father is currently undergoing his second week of chemo. It's a much larger storm than what I had seen on the horizon.
I was without personal time this week, save yesterday which I used for a spontaneous trip to gville. Therefore, this is rushed. But at least I'm meeting my deadline and producing work. And that, of course, is the entire point of the project in the first place.
Apparently, some people have been experiencing difficulties when trying to listen to the link. If this happens to you, please drop me an email with a description of what you are experiencing. I'm looking into it this week to make sure things are running as they should.
No music tonight. Just a moment of inspiration I stumbled upon looking up presentation tips for a meeting I have tomorrow.
Hear, hear Mr. Glass.
One of the great privileges of living in Florida, other than copious amounts of sunshine and half-naked girls, is that you can pretty much see the shuttle launch from anywhere. I am at a particular advantage as I am 20 stories up. I was actually able to watch it rise into orbit until the Earth's rotation pulled it down into the layer of smog that covers Tampa every evening.
So this makes song number two. It might stick, though I'm not convinced yet. I was able to work my first lead guitar part in, which was a challenge in and of itself. Still getting comfortable with the idea of using a mic, and singing for that matter.
Baby steps, baby steps . . .
In the spirit of Saturday night, I was playing with some deep house beats and got a little carried away. It was also my first time mixing more than two tracks. So, a little messy and far from anything complete. By the way, did you happen to see that the world is falling apart? Apparently, it's a big deal or something.
I started playing with the effects in GarageBand, because now that I am hooked up to an interface, I can plug in headphones and essentially listen to the effect of the effects on the spot. This allows for a darn good time.
I found a pretty good echo effect and tweaked it a little. Since I really only have played acoustic, it felt like magic messing around with it. I just wish I knew what I was doing.
After playing it back, I could hear that the reverb, when turned up, created some rather pleasant tones overlaying what I actually played.
Apparently, one cannot simply go out and purchase a mic. One also has to purchase an audio interface, monitoring headphones, microphone cable, and a pick-up for the guitar so that the vocals and the guitar can be recorded and adjusted separately. Also, like many other things in this project, set up requires a vast amount of tinkering/troubleshooting. The combination of this and family issues kept me from being able to sit down and work on this week's song until tonight at 8:30pm. I've crammed for tests before, and it's pretty much the same feeling and yields similar results, i.e C+ performance. But, hey, I've got 51 more weeks to get better at it.
Speaking of 51 weeks, as further motivation to not give up on this, I am going to put on a show at the end to display my final audio portfolio. Tickets go on sale now. Payment can come in the form of constructive criticism or a simple, "Keep it up/Good luck". I also accept briefcases full of cold, hard cash.
This was something that came to me a couple nights ago, but I couldn't get it uploaded to my media-host. I happened to be recording and haven't had time to rework it or anything. A few things to note:
1. Again, the vocals still need to be brought up and made clearer. I plan on getting a mic system set up this weekend.
2. The only real lyrics in the whole thing are "This house, it made a mouse, out of me".
3. Chimes courtesy of my cat, Joaquin. When he gets bored, he enjoys playing the wind chimes. Adorable, I assure you, for only a short period of time.
So I have realized I must lay down some more structure if I am truly to make use of the next 52 weeks. I am officially starting again. The last post was a trial run. From now on, I will post an idea at least every other day. On Sundays, I will take the ideas of the week, review them, and work on something inspired from sum total of the week's ideas/writing. This way I am guaranteed to stick by my posting schedule and continue to be. To be on being. Beeeeees. Bzzzzz. Where ARE they going anyway? Did anyone ever figure that out? I know it was big news about a year ago, but I never heard anything since. My guess is the flowers are all dying, leaving the hives insolvent, and a majority of the bees are making a run on their own hives and heading to Mexico, where bee's wax is trading at an all time high. Greedy bastards.
I actually came up with this idea a couple weeks ago, but I can't get the idea from last night up and running on my media-host, so take this. . . and like it.
So I heard Wilco's "Impossible Germany" at the mall today. Talk about mixed feelings.Anyways, I have decided, in an effort to spur the creative horse in my life, to start posting music. This will force me to start taking song composition a little more seriously. The goal is to post at least one song per week every Sunday (and who knows, maybe more). I figure this will yield, at a minimum, 52 songs at the end of the year, of which, HOPEFULLY, 5 or so will be good enough to play to death. In making this first post, I have realized a couple things. One, I need a mic as the vocals just aren't clear enough over the guitar. Two, getting a player to work in the post isn't worth it, so I'll just link to the coolest music database on the internet. And, three, songwriting is hard:) I'm not posting lyrics to this one, because I'm still not sure what they are going to be. It's catchy enough of a melody though. Goldendays sounds like a nice enough title too.