Archive for March, 2008

“cover me” second draft

March 29, 2008

MP3!

here’s draft two.  thanks for the comments and suggestions!

i ditched the old bridge, and am pretty happy with the new one.  and a better ending i think, although maybe a bit abrupt.  i dunno.

j

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“cover me” first draft

March 27, 2008

hey kids! welcome back!

this week i’m posting something i consider to be a draft of a song. an unfinished project. a POP SONG! i’m working on a couple right now, for reasons i won’t explain right now. 😉

cover me” (mp3) was approached as a dancy pop tune. changes and melody came close together, but i think changes ultimately won (it’s not a race, changes). i went for some standard movement, with a fair amount of “color,” and a couple of less ordinary movements, especially that one in the chorus, the one on “lover, be” i think. that one i’m pretty happy with. here are the changes:

verse: em7, Ebdim/Eb, Ebdim/Gb, CM7, bm7, em7, am7, C/D

chorus: G, Bbdim, C, EbM7/Bb, BbM7, G, CM7, C/D

what i mean by “color” is notes that are added to a chord in addition to it’s original three notes. for example, a C major chord is comprised of any combination of the notes C, E, and G, and adding some color to it could include adding a B natural somewhere middle or high in the voicing, and therefor creating a C Major 7 chord, aka CM7. also, some of the color in this tune comes from those “slash mark” chords like C/D or EbM7/Bb. think of those this way: the first letter (let’s take C/D) is the chord: C. the letter after the slash is the BASS note, or the lowest note you should play underneath this chord. notice though that D is NOT usually in the C chord, and THIS is where we get color! if you have a piano around, try playing a C major chord in your right hand, and a D, or D octaves in your left hand, all followed by a G major chord. 🙂

form: well, this song has a bridge, but it already got cut. being a pop song i’m gonna try and keep it as direct and to the point and “hooky” as possible, and will probably rewrite said bridge with something more like the chorus or verse. keep’n it simple. the first draft of the bridge (now cut), can be heard here:

bridge idea (mp3)

lyrically, this song is made up in sooper cheez love pop song styleTM. oops!! this is a first draft for lyrics too, so they may undergo some surgery in the next week or two.

that’s all for now! thanks for tuning in! i hope this melody sticks, but lemme know if it does or doesn’t. feedback is great! i’m working on this through a couple of drafts and really trying to iron out a solid pop tune, so i’m welcoming critique.

thanks for listening,

jon

p.s. videos are here (including a new live version of “our universe“)

p.p.s. detholz tonight at Abbey Pub (chicago)

p.p.p.s. mailing list is here

legs over easy

March 19, 2008

legs over easy” (mp3)

knowledge

truth

relativism

nihilism

history

legs

cause there are just few things that you can really know.

laughter carries far

March 15, 2008

laughter carries far

lyrically, this started for me on a night recently where i sat for a long period of time (tipsy perhaps), wondering if i’m stupid (moreso than i thought at least). wondering how i would even know. i could be filtering my life through completely different eyes and ears than everyone else and i wouldn’t know it. it snowballed a bit from there, but the idea got me pretty emotional, as i assume (but don’t know that) it does any number of us (humans) from time to time.

so, lyrically, i wanted to tackle a bit of that feeling, that fear, and i started thinking about fourth grade at South School in Jefferson City, Mo. and the horrible feeling of being laughed at by swarm of “pretty girls” cause i had my friend’s shawn and adam ask one of them out for me while i hung out (or hid behind) the jungle-gym. funny now, but not so funny then; and i think i’m still connected to moments like that in my life. in the same way that i’m connected to fond memories and encouraging or gratifying expereiences and relationships. it’s all building you into someone. but in this song, i focus on the fear of being stupid. 🙂

lyrics:

this feels like fourth grade
monkey bars and growing pains
hang’n like the three amigos
hid’n from a wolf-gang

and when i asked them to
my boys had follow through
ran upon the girls
and asked her just what i had asked them to

and laughter carries very far
when high voices know who they are

who they are to me (big C chord)

i’m at the club again
whiskey just mixes in
hang’n like that guy from bands
you like he’s got a funny grin

a conversation has
endless potential
as it gets a little later though
everyone starts to laugh again

and laughter carries very far
and i can hear it from my car

drive it out clean it up like
old (times)

time and time again
the things you know
live in a world you cannot know
and time again
swings make amends
for reckless useful thoughtful men
boys will be boys
girls will be girls
it’ll all comes out in
the wash
in the end
friend

————————–

music

live instruments! guitars! bass! drums! guitar wallowing in effects! fake drums in the background that served as a click and kept in! wow!! what fun!

this one, musically, was written from the geetar. zowie! alright!

mix

if anyone wants to volunteer to mix this one, i’d love to hear it. i had a hard time accounting for the space and volume once the vocals got in there. let me know. i’ll bake you dinner.

thanks for listening,

love,

j

p.s. mailing list ist hier

“emerge and see” revision

March 4, 2008

hey folks, all the same links (below) work for the new version of this song (most of you prolly never heard the original), but i wanted to post a notice on it cause i like typing.

also, thanks to Annie Quick for the critique! really helped me trim some fat out of the tune.

love,

j

emerge and see

March 3, 2008

get it? play on words. thanks.

emerge and see” (mp3)

welcome back! this weeks song fits into the “serious” category of my songwriting, and is basically about age and knowledge. i wrote music first again, which is more often than not my route these days. MUSICALLY i was inspired in part by the latest Radiohead album, “in rainbows” and sought after interesting electro sounds, a couple of long melodic lines, and a 5/4 beat. i can’t say that i based it specifically on a Radiohead sound or technique, but that listening to the record for the first time inspired me to write. it was fun to play with the 5/4 beat, and play AROUND it with the vocal, keyboard part, and the noisy “chorus” section, which is in 6/4 over the 5/4 drumbeat. also, again, i went for a fun “common tone” element here, where the keyboard (rhodes) plays a steadily repeated C throughout the verse of the tune. i realize i may be overusing this bit, but i still find it to be pretty satisfying. the END section also does some of this common tone business for a while, and was written as a proper “bridge,” but ended up going and going and ending the song. i like ending with different material, or a new section, and never necessarily revisiting the original material, partly to keep thing interesting, partly as the next part in the story, and i think it can create a nice feeling of foward movement, during or after the fact. also, this end section’s LYRICS and vocal melody were improvised, as apposed to the composed and tweaked first half of the piece. i get really excited about this when it works. just hitting record and going for it, even if it’s just a scratch and gets some ideas down. in this case, i kept my original improvised take of the end, and then doubled it with another singy steiny. fun! another example of improvised lyrics is “idiosync“, which is available at www.jonsteinmeier.com from a few months ago.

ok…here are the lyrics:

EMERGE AND SEE

by the time you’re old enough to read this
you’ll know what you missed
you’ll know what you failed to recognize as total bliss

worry wakes the weary
makes the metal grind

hurry shakes the sleepers
anger makes men
takes the shape of wondering

takes the shape of paper planes
flattened out by time

slow down
slowly
i can’t see
slow down
slowly
i can hardly breath
slowly
slowly

and if i fall down on my face
i’ll slowly rise up to the sky
i don’t know why

but it’s nice to know
where i’m going to go
sometime

———-

i think this one speaks for itself for the most part, topically. but it’s basically a mourning of the feeling that youth is replaced by wisdom as we grow old. the “if i had known then what i know now” trouble, as well as a “well, still, i don’t know jack, i just know that the more i figure out the more i realize that i’m dying” sort of feeling. sounds pretty dark, but i don’t think of it entirely that way. it’s one of those things that you understand, but wish were different somehow, maybe. also, the end lyrics (the improvised ones) i think are really about not understanding things, and just appreciating them, and appreciating somehow that you don’t get it.

bla bla bla…thanks for listening.

have a good week!

j