Archive for April, 2008

in the cans

April 24, 2008

hello faithful readers/listeners. thanks for stopping by!

this weeks song, “in the cans” (mp3), centers loosely around my Christian faith, the commandments, death, and wanting to KNOW things that ultimately require FAITH because we they’re not provable. it’s an old dilemma for me, and an old one for humans in general i rekon. i don’t think i bring any fresh insight to this necessarily, but it’s been on my mind.

MUSIC

guitar, bass, drums, a coupla synths, and strings. the strings are new samples i’ve been working with, trying to get to sound realistic, which is tough. they’re a little fake in this one too, but i’m excited about figuring out ways to make ’em more believable. this music was written primarily from the piano, which often, for me, means that it moves around a fair amount harmonically.

LYRICS

i used a recording session as my backdrop or metaphor this time, which was fun. the main idea is that the process of learning how to live is similar to making music. the trial and error, the listening (through headphones in this case), copying others, and making mistakes on your way to a salvageable or even excellent take or idea. your guidance can be other stuff you’ve heard, friends who listen to your drafts, and rules for harmony, rhythm, line, etc. all the while though, there’s something you can’t explain about what you like. what sounds good or feels right.

action jackson

April 17, 2008

welcome back. i’ve gotta be honest with you song-of-week-team. i’ve had a hard time mustering the energy for my self-imposed song of the week lately. and, while i’ve had the occassional inspirational “ooh! i need to make something like this” moment, it’s been hard to sit down and do it. probably for a handful of reasons. but this one came out in a fit of restless, busy-bodied, energy with no direction, a feeling i call being “rammy.”

action jackson” is really intended for picture…action sequence, or comercial, etc. something relatively short. i’ve posted a longer version of it than i probably should have, but added miscellaneous german voice over (or “voice under”) to add interest, in that background music sort of way. anyone wanna translate?

what i MAY do if i get time, is use this music under another action sequence sound design! that sounds fun, and probably more appropriate. i’ll just plug in machine gun fire and car crashes and myself yelling for my sexy co-star to get down, etc.

while it’s a bit repetative (like this blog), i’m pretty happy with the main elements and the sounds, including roughly 3 1/2 drum tracks.

what do ya’ll think? does it make you wanna jump over a table full of flea market goods and tear through the square to your sports car, with which you then weave your way through the city alleys dodging bullets?

and then, does it all of a sudden make you wanna take a tour of berlin?

and then, does it make you go over the whole conversation with that old german guy in your head over and over again, slowly putting together the plot, finally realizing that you need to get somewhere very quickly and heroically again cause you’ve figured it all out!?

or what? dance?

thanks for listening as always.

j

mailing list is here

cha cha cha

April 8, 2008

welcome back! this weeks song comes to us from where my funny bone meets my dance bones (there are a couple of ’em). and, after the “pop song” project of the past couple of weeks, i must say that writing “cha cha cha” was really satisfying. i just needed to get goofy again. i needed to make something weird. at least MORE weird. maybe next week i’ll make something EVEN MORE WEIRD. i digress. “cha cha cha” is this weeks song of the week and it welcomes back one of my favorite characters, MC Def G.

MC Def G is a hip hop super star from the streets of Jefferson City, MO. he grew up fast, and learned at a very early age to say things in a way that makes them sound important, or even urgent. unfortunately for Def G, he’s not able to think much deeper than said delivery, and therefor rarely has anything of substance to say. he’s not brilliant. he’s not quite an idiot. he’s some strange combination of the two…well, he’s mostly an idiot. questions you may be asking, i’ll attempt to answer below:

why should we say “cha cha cha”?

well, mostly because MC Def G said so. and also because he told you to. don’t hurt his feelings, play along.

why did you write this song?

i didn’t. occassionally, the MC and his “crew” take over the studio for a while and i just have to deal with it. this was one of those cases.

what’s he talking about?

in this case, i think it’s the following things mostly:

chicago

stunt doubles

having wings

godzilla having a cell phone

being rich enough of have someone poor toxic acid on your skin

convalescence

dancing while thinking

banana muffins

how old is Mc Def G?

no idea

are their pictures of him?

nope.

is he real?

totally real.

—————–

thanks for listening!

j

mailing list ist hier

“i can dream” – pop song number 2

April 1, 2008

hey kids! this week i’m posting another song i finished LAST WEEK, for my “write straight ahead pop tunes” project. this one’s the ballad of the two.

i can dream” (mp3)

LYRICS

wartime. a letter from home to a loved one overseas. we don’t know how long the soldier will be away, or how long he/she’s been gone. we get to know little bits about the current events here at home in the verses, with a focus on the simple, beautiful things we may take for granted. the chorus focuses on dreaming that you’ll be together, and that this soldier will be safe. this song was a stretch for me in a nice way. i went for the real life drama, love, emotion, loss, heart stuff…which i don’t often do, but also made it up. as the “characters” developed in my head the lyrics became easier to write, but i also got a couple suggestions and edits from family and friends. anyway, here are the lyrics:

ever since you left for war
everybody’s kind
tonight the johnsons treated me
to dinner and wine

i know letters
might not make it through
but i hope they get to you
and you write some too

and i can dream tonight
by the candle light
i love it that you love me

and far away tonight
by the morning light you hold
my memory tightly

and i can close my eyes and here you say:

“don’t worry,
i will hurry free
while you dream”

tonight the neighbor had another date
billy finally got time to fix the gate

when you get home
i’ll take care of your things
just think of me when it’s getting late

i can dream tonight
by the candlelight
i love it that you miss me

far away tonight
darkness turns to light
and suddenly it hits me

i may never see my love again

i worry
lover hurry please
while i dream

i can dream

i can dream tonight
thank my lucky stars i
dream

i can dream

MUSIC

the b section (i can dream tonight) was the first thing i wrote of this, THEN the C section (don’t worry, i will hurry), and then the openning Verse Sections. i think these verse sections may the weakest of the three, but i don’t mind them being less interesting, and more text driven. the question then becomes whether or not the text is sober enough to drive (if you will), or interesting enough to carry the verses. i’m still not sure. i AM happy with the ending though, the tags, and the repetition of that B Section “i can dream” melody. i also am pretty proud of the “thank my lucky stars i dream” line. i think this really wraps up the piece for me, as seeing stars is one of those connections people can have from wherever they are in the world, making it feel a bit smaller, and being thankful that your imagination gives you hope. aw….

thanks for listening as always team.

love,

j