Archive for October, 2007

the wind dance of satin nightingales

October 25, 2007

welcome back weary travelers! for this weeks tune, i have traveled to the Peruvian high Andes with Frenchmen dressed as Inca kings and toting cigarette holders and 50 year old cognac.

the wind dance of satin nightingales” is steiny’s first real attempt at “exotica”, inspired in part by the halloween party here at maplewood on saturday night. i have heard many of these tunes in my roommate stevies magical party mixes, and finally got inspired on saturday to write in the style.

the instrumentation is as follows:

two pandero’s (small frame drum)

tambourine

shaker

drumset toms

percussion

upright bass

guitar (tremolo)

piano(s)

cellos

xylophone

misc. jungle ambiance and bird calls

some french guy (from a french language program)

jon steiny vocals

rachel steiny vocals

EVERYONE GIVE IT UP FOR RACHEL STEINMEIER! rachel came in just today and whipped out some magical vocal lines, some composed and some improvised. i told her to go for “kermit the frog sings opera” and she rocked it. in case ya’ll don’t know, my sister is a talented and trained vocalist, with a great ear and great range, and will also be appearing in the Detholz – Jukebox of the Dead show halloween night! NEXT WEEK!

well, not sure what else to say about this tune. i’m pretty happy with it. i hope you get transported to a mysterious place (but don’t freak out).

thanks for listening!

j

p.s. a barrel of laughs for anyone who can translate the french

p.p.s mailing list is here

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EVERYTHING IS PERFECT

October 16, 2007

well, not exactly. this song for example, is not perfect. but hey! welcome back to the weekly song a week for the weak songy song-time leek seekers song blog!

everything is perfect” is a three part diddy i wrote over the past week (give or take), and started with the idea to just make a guitar rocker.

PART ONE:

once i came up with the rhythmic idea (drums first), i looped it and added the crunchy, dissonant guitar chunks. i liked it because it was confusing and sporadic, but that’s a funny thing about writing and recording a song, that as you know it better it gets a little boring to you. this is part of the reason this openning is so short i guess. it also made sense to me to keep it short, cause it’s so noisy and high energy that it sounds like a scream in my memory, which i like. (“run-on”, sorry english buffs).

lyrically, this guy got pretty cheezy to me, but you should’ve heard the first version. ๐Ÿ™‚ the “we’re gonna be ok!” shout chorus just made sense to me hearing that repeated “chorus” at the end. i was thinking teeny-power-emo-punk a little here in general. the openning is so convoluted rhythmically, that i found the straight ahead chorus to be a pretty satisfying break. so…”we’re gonna be ok” was easy, repetitive, common, and the lyrical break from the tense, worrisome “verse” lyrics before that, which are appropriately TENSE. in general, these are all general lyrical ideas, actually about some other characters that i neither am nor know. (man, i think my writing is really confusing right now, sorry). bascially, the lyrics were written by high school kids.

PART TWO:

i wanted this MADNESS to go in to something totally polar. i opted for a little organy sound (actually a sine wav) that reminded me of a not-so-memorable prelude or offertory in church. something that was relaxing and unobtrusive, to contrast the openning section. i thought of singing choiry reverbed four part over this, but decided to go “super stripped down simple style” for effect. i like this section a lot acutally, in the context of the whole piece. the calm after the storm.

PART THREE:

this part, started with the drums again, and i went for another pretty different character altogether. the electro element for one, the light and clean guitar parts, and the pitch shifted spoken parts i’m such a fan of these days. the joke of the piece is in this section, but it’s not actually the voices, although chipmunk steiny always makes me laugh. i was thinking of singing over this section as well, but ended up liking the little skit with “lucious” better, imagining who this weirdo is and why he’s in my room when i wake up and why that doesn’t seem to bother me at all. ๐Ÿ™‚

but, i guess it’s because everything is perfect.

thanks for listening!

tune in next week for one of a couple of ideas:

1. a piano trio doing an original steiny JAZZ number

2. another boring pop song

3. some sound design

4. maybe something for strings

5. maybe a recording of me eating a burrito.

-j

p.s. the mailing list is here (updated weekly)

uncle debunkle

October 11, 2007

uncle debunkle” (click for mp3)

hey kids! welcome back to the steiny show. this weeks song is a slow, grindy, old-school hip-hop tune, about an imaginary (or is he?) uncle who is surrounded by folk lore and hearsay.
i wanted to rap again, cause it’s been a few weeks, and for this one, i sort of channeled some combination of the beastie boyz and fresh prince. it’s pretty simple, rhymy, goofy, and deliberate. i kept thinking about that line from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-air” – “and i yelled to the cabby ‘yo holmes! smell you later!‘” and that helped keep me inspired. ๐Ÿ™‚

lyrically, the uncle debunkle character just openned up the possibilities to talk about a bunch of ridiculous things, and fit them into a rhyme scheme. pretty fun to write, and a really easy starting point/subject matter, cause it’s specific to this character, but also totally open ended.

the string quartet at the end is based on the high sine wav line from the main track. a variation on a theme sort of thing. also, i just can’t avoid bringing a little theater into the mix these days for some reason.

hope you dig it.

thanks for listening!!

-uncle debunkle

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mikey

October 2, 2007

mikey” (click for mp3)

welcome back to the jon steinmeier song a week super blog blitzkrieg. this weeks song, “mikey”, is a fun little electro dance sci-fi cinema sound scape.

i felt like doing a little semi-programmatic thingy this week, and play a bit with sounds and atmospheres. i get into this zone sometimes, inspired in part by sounds that i find. in this case, i’m using some of the same “kraftwerkesque” drum sounds from last weeks song “berlin” but in a more instrumental way, and playing more with atmospheric samples.

i like that the piece is a bit ADD, and moves from idea to idea and back in a pretty short space. and it’s a different sort of “composition” that i’ve gotten into a lot in the past year or so, getting away from chord changes and song forms a bit.

it’s also the sort of piece that i imagine a video with, as the main focus of the piece. in that sense, consider it “unfinished” until one of you brilliant videographers wants to take a stab at it. let me know! i can pay you in hugs.

thanks for listening!

j