Sunday, September 27, 2009

In which I make fun of JT

Here's another song:

There are many terrible puns, but until I get a lyricist this is the best I've got.  

There are a few fun things at play here--not sure how to improve this one without somehow bettering the sound.  I think a big part of making a decent recording is making sure to build some kind of rhythmic groove.  This facilitates staying in time and perhaps gives a better overall feel to the song.  It's a tough thing to do though, cause I'm just one person and I don't really have any percussion.  If I could lay down some drums + bass to play off of, then maybe these songs might turn out less amateur-ish.  Using phrases like "lay down some drums + bass" really makes me seem musically knowledgeable, so that helps too.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

One or two songs

It takes a long time to make the videos and then to upload them, so probably will just be one.

I wrote this one because lately I've been feeling like I can just say whatever I want in interactions with people at work.   It might seem like I just way whatever I want anyway, but the lack of boundaries has grown more noticeable.  It's very interesting to note that I can say just about anything, and the world doesn't end--I can always excuse myself.  There are no nightmare endings to situations, and even if there were, it wouldn't affect me at all.  So I suppose then, that it's a detachment from perhaps reality that's led me to feel that I'm in a cushioned world.  

The chords are neat--G to E--something I haven't played too much with.  Also, this song is in stereo!  Turn both your speakers on!  wow.  

The song is too slow--but I never write slow songs, so I think that's okay.  I don't like where it goes though.  I never meant to have so much emphasis on the "dimensions not understood" part, but that's how it landed.  I am too lazy to fix things.  Pretty much everything is made up in the first take and stays that way.  Gotta keep fresh.

I guess I'll put this other song up too.  I wanted to use the Bo Diddley beat, and I threw in some Tom Petty-type vocals.  I'm probably putting this up prematurely, cause again, each track was the first take.  The guitar solo is terrible, and then I got so off beat that I had to cut the rest of the track.  As it stands, I should have faded out at around 1:30, cause then it gets redundant and doesn't hold together.  Things fall apart.  So maybe don't listen that far in.  
It is about my girlfriend, but she wouldn't like me putting her pictures on the internet so here are more cat pictures.  Each one looks like she just woke up, which makes sense because she is always just waking up.  The song could be about her too I guess.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pictures of the Cat

I recorded a few songs today--this was one that I threw together based on a fun-sounding riff.  I usually try to stay away from the I iii IV V chord progression, but I felt like the neat riff and the different midsection made up for it. The middle part goes Em A F#m Bm E7 Am F D7--I've been trying to incorporate slightly off-key chords in my songs (done it a few times in some of the ones below), not in a Debussy style, but in an attempt to emulate Marshall Crenshaw type pop.  And maybe the more I move out of a key, the more comfortable I'll be changing keys altogether, which I feel is an important next step toward more interesting composition. 

I'm not sure what the lyrics are about -- just made them up as I went.  I have a tendency to throw in either bizarre or overly mundane ideas in order to make the songs seem meaningful.  Short of slaving away at good lyrics, this seems to be the best way to go at it.  The "not alone" part is a little too much like rock'nroll suicide but hey there's a lot of songs to sound dissimilar to.  Sorry for that prep end.  

I think this song might sound better than a lot because I threw in some drum-sounds ( bashing mouse on table) and did away with background vocals.  I at first thought it might be a good song for backing vocals, but it sounded okay solo, so that's how it stays.  

Here's pictures of the cat! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

That last song was bad!

It was really bad.  Only the chord progression was good.  This one has a better melody and better lyrics.  I also tried compressing and equalizing it, so maybe it will sound  a little better too.  Maybe some day I will put together a song catchier than they say Swine Flu might turn out to be.  For now, here's this:

Sunday, September 6, 2009

More Music

This is more of a filler song.  Not much substance to it, but it's got a good chord progression.  The progression is:

G A A9 A A7
C D7 G
G A A9 A A7
D7 G

then the second part is pretty cool, and fell into place while recording the first:

Am G Em A
Dm C Am D7.

It has a nice feel to it, and with some good harmonies and a better melody it'd be a fun song I think.  I forgot to tune the trumpet, and there's some wrong notes, but they give it a fuller sound.  

Happy long weekend!

Handlin' the Mandolin

I aimed to do a George Jones type song, but I erred more toward Townes van Zandt and John Prine.  It came out okay, I think, but I never know how to write decent lyrics.  The pictures are fun.  I like the crazy color one of guitar-shot in Tracy Circle basement.  Then a photo-session with the cat!  Oh boy it's all happening here.  

I'd like to get a cleaner recording sound.  There's always all this background static even though my recording room is very quiet.  I'm not sure if I need a better microphone or a better interface, and both would be at least a hundred dollars.  And I will only spend a hundred dollars if the product was originally selling for more than twice that much.  As it stands, I'm not very motivated to work harder on a good mix when the sound quality isn't that great.  Too bad the lo-fi indie stuff isn't all the rage anymore.  Also too bad drums have regained popularity.  And I'll also lament the resurgence of singing on key and rhythmic precision.  I will blame the economy and by extension the President.  Keep him away from our kids.