Sunday, November 30, 2014

Les Rita Mitsouko

Were perhaps the greatest expression of French rocknroll (a perplexing idea) in the 80-90s. Here's my humble tribute to them: 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thank You, Mr. Briley

Just finished a workshop with the very talented Martin Briley. He spoke of the importance of "melodic shapes", referring to vocal melodies. The penny dropped. In recent years I've been writing this sequence:

Lyric idea -> Chords -> Vocal Melody

Whereas he's suggesting this :

Vocal Melody -> Lyric -> Chords

Duh. That's why he has gold records and why my mom still helps me out.

A Slow Fascination


to be ridiculous 
fun to play with
to work
without reason

Ice cream together
Listening to our
favorite music 
It's very important

Its where I get off 
It's a trick 
i know how it's done 
It still holds

I still do that
I'm still there
a slow fascination 
measured in years

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stage Fright

...suddenly melts away all at once. It's like I followed a breadcrumb trail back to my reasons for doing this and I'm at peace with all the psychological stuff. My musicianship has galaxies to go, but I don't doubt myself as I writer. I put lyrics and chords together. I sing the songs and that's enough for one person. Amen
.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Explaining Myself

In Professor Rose's Music Appreciation Class... So...I've never made a million dollars. I'm a middle-aged dude with no money in the bank. Why do I write songs? It's obsession.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Impasse

I've created workarounds. At some point, I learned that songwriters were not musicians, per se, but if one could fit lyrics, a vocal melody and a set of chords together, one could always find enough musical monkeys to make a song sound like a song. I used various metacognitive strategies after something would spill out of my unconscious- should I change the rhythm? Use new inversions? Change the key? The tempo? Pull my guitar out of the recordings? I'd like to think that I hid my tracks pretty well, although they all probably sound like my songs, regardless. Some chord suggesting apps have pro-longed the feeling of endless fecundity, but now, after 200-300 songs, I think I gotta finally surrender to the music police. I can't surprise myself anymore with my current knowledge base. This is where some people hang it up. Other people realize, this is where it's time to learn. The challenge with learning is that our lives move too fast at times to pause them or stop them altogether. We're adults. We're supposed to be experts. But it's all about the feeling, right? The music can't lie. If you can't feel it, no one else will. It's time to learn, to school yourself. There are apps, tutorials, youtube clips...no reason to embrace the arrogance of ignorance.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Saying goodbye

It was a rocky relationship. It reminded me of a teenage romance I had with a fretless. I somehow got it in my head that, without theory, switching to a five-string bass would give me more possibilities. It was a sexy instrument; I liked looking at it. When I picked it up though, I got confused and stayed that way. Was the low B-string too fappy? Possibly, but no, it was rather that the instrument stopped being intuitive for someone who played by ear. I thought I'd be sad, but now I feel relieved that it's gone.