Posts Tagged ‘bass’

Nine of Diamonds: South Carolina

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

The Nine of Diamonds is essentially a Neem song. The Neem, my band back 10 years ago in St. Louis, wrote a bunch of State Songs (before John Linnell) and we got through only about eight or nine, seven of which we recorded. (New Jersey is lost forever.)

So this song is about South Carolina. I got some facts from the internet and from my brain and went for it.

I sincerely hope you enjoy... South Carolina.

Jack of Clubs: That’s How You Act, That’s What You Get

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

That's how you act, that's what you get. What did you expect?

This is another African-flavored ditty. I think it's fun to add the drums and percussion to tracks like this.

Six of Clubs: Featherlight

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

I thought of the chord progression for this song on the A Train coming back from the Cloisters on Sunday afternoon. I was able to record it into my phone so I could remember it and it became this song. It's my pop-punk hit of '09. Rock it!

My good friend, Ben Lord, came in to play drums on this song. He and I were in Up The Empire together and run The Cougar Label together now. Thanks, Ben.

Five of Clubs: Bad Day/Song

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Last Monday I had a bad day. Things we just not going right for me. I'll spare you the details, but suffice to say I was in a rotten mood. I started this song that Monday night and was going to make a bad day song or bad song day or some kind of bad durge. The bad day continued right into the night and I had a problem with my computer and I had to stop recording. Ugh.

So, I finished the song today, Sunday, and since that badday Monday, I have had a few much better days and I was not in such a bad mood anymore. So, this song is what happens when you start it on a bad day and finish it on a good day.

This song is influenced by a bad day, Steve Reich, and Jim O'Rourke.

Three of Clubs: After A Day At Coney Island

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

It was a beautiful day. It felt like Summer had come ahead of schedule this year. I spent the day in Coney Island with my fiancée and some friends from Boston. I've been living in Brooklyn for about 9.5 years now but I'd never ridden on the Wonder Wheel until today. I am glad we did it. And of course we took a ride on the Cyclone; that is not to be missed. After a Nathan's dog we came back to my part of town.

This 'song' was made all in one take. There are no overdubs at all. I did it at the space this evening. I've been into Robert Fripp and his "frippertronics" in the last several months and this is influenced by that in part. Also, if you've seen Up The Empire you might have seen me do something similar to parts of this at points in the set with my bass. Things that I would recommend checking out if you like this: Brian Eno: Discreet Music, Fripp & Eno: No Pussyfooting and Evening Star. Those are all excellent albums.

(the crackling you will hear on the left side at about 8:10 is the signal coming in too hot. I could choose live with it or do the whole thing over again. I chose to live with it.)

Six of Spades: The Sun Rises, But Shines Not

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

"The sun rises, but shines not," is a quote from Walt Whitman about a certain battle early in the Civil War. The Union lost this one and it set everybody in Washington in a pretty bad mood. This was Whitman's assessment of the morning that followed the battle. Because the battle was so close to Washington, civilians, including Congressmen and their families had picnics on a bluff from which they could see the battle in action in the distance. As the Union Army retreated they panicked and the streets back to Washington were clogged with soldiers and the spectators alike.

President Lincoln told General McDowell before the battle that "You are green, it is true, but they are green also; you are all green alike." I used part of this quote in the song as well.

This is the second song that I have used eight tracks of vocals (5 and 3). It's definitely "something."

Three of Spades: Letters Home

Sunday, January 25th, 2009

The Three of Spades is a bit more ambitious than the previous two songs. This one kept me in the space until four in the morning. A move that I regretted for the rest of the week since it was a Monday night. I don't think I fully recovered until the weekend. Regardless of my complaining, I think I came up with something cool, if not just unusual. I have been reading Team of Rivals, a book about A. Lincoln, and it's influenced the lyrics of this song. It's a bit about a man in that era that has to travel away from home to serve in government. The travel is slow and hard and he has to stay for several months away from his wife and family. The lyrics are contents of letters home to his wife.

What makes it a bit ambitious is the number of tracks on the song. Aside from all the percussion and the guitars and bass, I recorded eight vocal tracks. Five of them are in unison for the main part and the other three are all in unison for the harmony part. (There are some variances as far as unison is concerned: the "oohs" are not all in unison.) For one track of the percussion I banged on an electric fan with a drumstick; see if you can hear that.

It's got an African sort of feel too it, particuarly the guitars. I was previously playing in a band called Intermissions where our inital goal was to make our take on  African-styled music so I started trying out some African-ish sounds on guitar back then. Note to purists: I am not trying anything traditional here, I'm just doing my take on things.

I hope you enjoy it.