Archive for June, 2008

venus

June 27, 2008

welcome back to the “song of the week jon steinmeier composition blog awesome”…or Sotwjscba!

this week i gave floyd a rest and got “funky.”

“VENUS”

“VENUS” is one of those i’d put in the “serious” category lyrically, but not without some bits of irony and sarcasm. cause irony and sarcasm make you sound smart AND confident.

MUSIC

drums and bass were made first on this one. then other “percussion” sounds and noises. then perhaps that little sine wav line. all of the fundamental groove stuff. fake strings. a guitar doubling the synth bass that reminds me of cake (remember them?). real drums on top of the fake drums, which added some human feel, new sounds, and room noise!

my favorite part, musically, is probably the bridge keychange (about 2min 10sec in), where i used the second chord of the progression as the ROOT of the new key, but did it at the point WHEN the chord happens in the progression so you get a weird key and downbeat shift together. i like how different the bridge material feels, but it required some craftiness to get back to the original key and feel. i did it step by step: key first, then time (feel). it still ends up being a little suprising i think. and then…everything ends rather abruptly, because i’ve figured something out. DING! 🙂 i’m pretty happy with that stuff. what do ya’ll think? too weird? too repetative? bad melodies in the bridge?

WORDS

these were really fun. i started out with a completely different vocal idea or two before getting to this fast and steady one. i approached it like hip hop word play, trying to get two or three rhymes in each line and use words that sounded good together over the basically steady eighth note. i also tried to annunciate so all of that would be understood. mom? i went through three quick drafts of lyrical ideas, all basically coming back to the same story. basically, it’s a song about dating (boring!), but moreso, a song about how i occasionally operate in that universe. i play a little with the “boys are from mars, girls are from venus” bit, but focused obviously on girls being from venus and how strange and wonderful they are. and strange. 🙂 what do ya’ll think? too busy? too obvious? bad lyrics in the bridge?

DING!

thanks for listening,

j

p.s. if you want to get weekly email updates about the song a week sign the MAILING LIST here or shoot me a message and i’ll add you. thanks!

Interview in TimeOut Magazine

June 18, 2008

THIS JUST IN!

TimeOut Chicago interviewed me briefly about the song a week project, and it’s in today’s issue.

you can view it here: http://www.timeout.com/chicago/articles/music/32721/jon-steinmeier

floyd sleeps in

June 18, 2008

click here for the jonsteinmeier muzik player

Floyd Sleeps in

welcome back friends! i’m staying on the floyd-ferry for the time being, and in this episode, he sleeps in a bit late. “snoozes” if you will. this track is a mix of orchestral instruments and environmental sounds, some of which are INSIDE floyds half-awake dream, some of which are outside, in the real world.

i see this entire floyd series as “music for film with no film”, and as always, would love to hear anyones interpretation of this one, or any of them for that matter. any images or ideas they inspire. if they don’t, that’s good to know too. 🙂

it’s funny, i end up with some pretty specific ideas after each of these, and many of them have to do with WHERE things are happening.  what the room looks like for example.  where the window is.  things like that.

next week, i may get more into a full on dream floyd has. stay tuned!

as always, thanks for listening, and come out to Stan Mansion this thursday night for Mucca Pazza’s cd release show, also featuring Chandeliers and Baby Teeth! it’ll be a raucous night fer sure.

j

my song for jimmy carrane on WBEZ

June 10, 2008

“my song for jimmy carrane on WBEZ”

hey friends,

this “song a week” project usually includes songs written specifically for it, but there are often other bits that get written along the way that don’t show up on the site. this is reason number THREE for this weeks posting. it’s a song that i wrote for jimmy carranes “studio 312” program on chicago public radio a week ago, where i was the musical guest for the program. it was a real good time. i like that jimmy carrane, despite the content of my song (ahem).

reason number ONE for this weeks posting, is that some friends and family haven’t been able to find the posting on the WBEZ website, so i thought i’d post it myself, editted down into my bits (ahem).

reason number TWO for this weeks posting, is that everytime i post something, i get to TYPE about it.

i love typing.

thanks for listening!

j

p.s.  check out the video steve niketopoulos took of my birthday suprise party last friday.  it’s embarrassing how giddy i was.  see it here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoaV480nN6w

thanks to everyone involved, it was really an honor.  i’m humbled by my friends, including the ones that couldn’t be there.  thanks everyone.

floyd goes to the open mic

June 5, 2008

episode four:

floyd’s really nervous about going to open mic night.  he’s got some songs he’s been dying to try out live, but he’s nervous that they won’t go over well, and generally has a hard time with social scenes.

listen, and see how it goes.

ABOUT:

this was another experiement for me, initially to find a way to combine a lots of instruments without maxing out my computer completely.  i ended up with a lot of instruments, all generally playing minimal parts.  i wanted lots of different color’s, and wanted to play with more instruments than i have been.  so i started a session of about 5 or 6 orchestral instruments or sections, then 5 or 6 more in another file, and so on, until i had about 4 sessions going, that all got mixed into the final live recordings.  the last step (live stuff) was the melodica, some sound effects, guitar and vocals, and mixing the end to sound cinematic, with volume and panning choices.  considering the number of things going on, and time it took, it feels very short to me now, but hopefully effective.  let me know what you think!  this was also fun, because it started without any clear idea, just sound and idea searching.  the one thing i wanted was the sneaky/creapy/pensive thing, which influenced some of the instrument and note choices.  the entire openning of the piece takes place inside floyd’s head, until he gets out of his head and into a bar at the end of the piece, and makes his decision on the “open mic” experience.

thanks for listening!

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and see detholz, baby teeth, danny black, and dj bobby conn at hideout this saturday night for a benefit for lena yohey’s trip to Nepal this Fall!  http://tmt.detholz.com/yohey-fest.jpg