So, after we go to meet the face of Boe, I was thinking of a midnight stroll through the alabaster gardens of Jalenysh. It's a planet with a bright blue sun that burns for 39 of the planet's 48 hour day.
haha, choice! have you seen the red nose day mini episodes?
#-017 TONIGHT YOU BELONG TO ME (PATIENCE AND PRUDENCE COVER). you know how there are some things that you love so much that it’s part of the fabric of your being? this song is one of those things for me. i was hooked from the moment i heard it for the first time when bernadette peters and steve martin sang it in “the jerk;” and even more when i finally heard the slightly creepy original. (the song is also included in an a compilation called “a date with john waters,” which i particularly enjoy.)
it had been stuck in my head recently, and i actually sang it for my friend E about a week back. jake (the lead voice in this track) sent me a link to his cover of the same song just a few hours later, not even knowing that i’d already done it. yes, he is a wizard.
anyway, that pretty much settled the discussion we’d been having recently — we’d been wanting to sing a song together but just couldn’t find one. thank god for patience and prudence.
last weekend was really all about spending time with my dad before he leaves me (i know i’m being melodramatic; can’t help it, sorry) for CA. 3-6 months, OMG.
that being said, i didn’t accomplish much in terms of music. i did run through the 5 cellar doors songs that i need to do harmonies for, so there’s that. i was planning to write the rap verse for “it’s alright” (the newest cellar doors song has me rapping, oh god) last saturday, but transitioning back into that mind set is hard as fuck! i haven’t really written anything hip hop related in ages.
i’ve got some melodic ideas down for the first original collab with radio wire empire. i also worked on that song i’m laying vocals over for almost technicolor, though — i have the melody down pat, and half of the lyrics done. i’ll probably record that this weekend. three cheers!
the biggest musical achievement last weekend was probably the collaboration i did with my friend jake (whose voice is GOLDEN — yes, that deserved the all caps). we’d been looking for a song to cover for ages, and last sunday it just all came together. i’ll post it soon. really looking forward to working more with him.
other than that i’ve just been getting used to the steel string acoustic. i’m loving it, but some of the tuning knobs seem to be a little loose so i’ll have to get that checked this week. and i keep on scratching myself with the ends of the strings near the head! haha. clumsy, i know. oh, and i’ve been tooling around with some of the improvised tracks i did — might turn one or two of them into actual, well-thought-out songs.
that’s about it for last weekend. ‘til the next one!
when I asked me to join the cellar doors as a secondary vocalist, one of my main concerns was how i’d be able to properly interpret his songs. sure, i’m not the one singing the melodies — he’s obviously singing lead in his songs — but as a songwriter myself i’m very conscious about stuff like that. I and i (yes, i know it’s confusing, but i use initials instead of names, and his initial happens to be I) got to talking about this late one night after a couple of hours spent recording rough study tracks of the band’s songs (for me to listen to while i figure out harmonies). I reassured me that he would speak up if he didn’t like something, and he urged me to speak up if i felt the same.
i don’t have much experience with this sort of thing. the vast majority of my music has been solo; and when i did work regularly with other people it either involved a lot of compromise or it was with sessionists who deferred to me. or, as was the case with most of my collaborations done during my past musical incarnations, there was always the feeling of imbalance in terms of the song’s overall concept and feel (which wasn’t always a bad thing, to be honest).
it’s only been recently (first with S and then with C, especially) that i’ve felt like i was completely on equal footing with a bandmate/collaborator. it’s probably just because i’m older, wiser and a bit more assertive now; and that we just naturally have that musical chemistry. however, what i’ve realized so far is that this sort of connection doesn’t happen very often — if it did, then wouldn’t it have happened a gajillion times over during the songwriting camp i went to last year? instead i am working with people who are continents away. such is life. some people can just jam with anyone and it’ll click like peanut butter and jelly. i’m not one of those people.
anyway, going back to the cellar doors. it helps that I is a good friend, and it helps that my brother is the bassist. i’m going to have to get used to this setup; this is all brand new to me, and though it’s mildly anxiety-inducing i’m loving every second of it. i can’t wait to run harmonies at band practice later tonight.
#-024 NOT YET. "not yet," off snailhead’s yet to be released EP, is the first collaboration i worked on after coming back from my 6 year musical dry spell. a very patient, very agreeable musician, snailhead was the perfect person to work with at the time. this collaboration didn’t demand too much from me — the backing track and the lyrics were done, all i had to do was come up with a melody and sing the words — so i wasn’t intimidated…much.
i actually tracked the vocals on this song with the intention of it being a rough study, but as i worked on it i eventually added some harmonies and it became significantly more solid. thankfully, snailhead seemed to like the end product.
procrastination will be the death of me. out of the 6 songs what i was planning to work on over the weekend, i barely managed to make progress with 4.
the cogs are turning — since the songs i’m working on with almost technicolor and the genesis project (respectively) are both electronic and have a similar feel, i’ve sort of paired the two tracks in my head and accordingly conceptualized related lyrics. there’s a rough draft for each song, but i’m still working on it. suffice to say it’s like the two songs are talking to — or talking at, to be more accurate — each other.
the rest of the weekend was spent trying to come up with something for an original collaboration with radio wire empire. my main difficulty when it comes to collaborating with him is that his compositions are so.. um. let me think of a proper way to describe it. oh! they’re so compatible with the way that i sing and compose melodies that i end up just thinking of dozens upon dozens of ways to sing over the backing tracks that he sends me. it overloads my system so much that i can’t even begin to choose which melodic lines sound better than the others, and never mind starting on the lyrics.
yeah. 4/6 isn’t good, but it isn’t bad either. give me a break; i found out last sunday that i’m not going to see my dad for 3-6 months. oh, sad little me.
alright, that’s it for my post weekend update. over and out!
#-025 TRY ME (JAMES BROWN COVER). this is the first of several collaborative efforts with radio wire empire — a twee as fuck cover of james brown’s “try me.” haha! this track also holds the distinction of being the first publicly released track to benefit from my recent hardware upgrade (audio interface and dynamic microphone).
for starters, i figured it would be a great idea to start a blog in order to track my music workflow and progress. i admit that i can get absentminded and scatterbrained, especially with matters involving the creative process. hopefully, from hereon out i’ll be more organized and motivated.
there’s so much work to be done! it’s terrifying and exciting and intoxicating; these days i am constantly wrapped up in a ball of complex — sometimes conflicting — emotions and priorities. as of tonight, the standings are: 6 band songs, 9 collaborative WIPs from 5 different artists, and 5 solo WIPs. this brings us to a total of at least 12 songs that i need to work on over the next two weeks: 6 harmony studies; 5 rough melodic/lyric studies; and at least one final version of an original track, to put up on my bandcamp.
most of my vocal tracking is done during the weekends, so for WIPs the basic melody and lyrics should ideally be somewhat fleshed out by the time friday rolls around. this is probably why i’ve been listening to two particular instrumental backing tracks on repeat the whole day. i really want to get their studies done tomorrow night, and i’ve yet to write down a set of lyrics i’m satisfied with for either.