Archive for the ‘cigarettes’ Category


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” 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.


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?


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?


thanks for listening,


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November 8, 2007


machinery” is this weeks trek into “song writing,” as well as working with HORN samples. this was a fun one. i’m pretty happy with it, although i could see myself re-writing the lyrics at some point. i like them well enough, but i feel like i never got that “thing” that i wanted, content-wise.


let’s start there. my subconscious loves to throw in some combination of days or weeks of real life material that i’ve been compiling, without letting me know about it before hand and just seeing if it works together in one way or another. in this case there was an interesting level of “meaning” that appeared to me after they were all written. the goal in writing them was more sound and imagery than meaning, but i ended up connecting a couple of dots in my head after listening to the “final” take.

1 . the smoking a cigarette imagery is just something i generally like, and in this case everytime it happens, it’s the context in which the character (me) gets contemplative…having a smoke and thinking on something.

2. references to motorcycles i think came in part from my friend nadia, who bought one this year, in part from the image of freedom associated with them, and i just loved the idea of jumping on one and leaving your “past” behind you. cinematically of course.

3. the reference to a heart attack is also something connected to adulthood, and maybe therefor “freedom” to me. although, i don’t consider this song to be ABOUT “freedom.” if anything, it’s about how a machine is supposed to operate verses how real life operates, and how sometimes the machine idea is really exciting to me in my “productive” states, and looking at a community of people as some sort of intelligent, organic machine. i love it. i have no idea if this makes sense. the heart attack though, is a personal concern of mine, for one reason or another. as is being “mean”, like in that same, first verse.

4. masks are probably a reference to a recent short play i did with sharon lanza, where we both wore masks and slowly (and brilliantly i might add) removed them throughout the show. but, as in the case of the play i think, the masks are symbolic of people’s “masks.” really though, in the context of this song, i think it’s a nod to how it doesn’t make sense, how we operate like machinery sometimes cause that’s what we know, or because we’re being task oriented and “productive.” we’re machinery in a different sense now. not really conscious of why we’re doing what we’re doing, but doing it nonetheless.  and that’s not always bad…it just is, sometimes.
man…i’m floating away into drug induced art philosphy or something here…

WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT…is loving creating things…and understanding that sometimes the “control” you have over what you create is limited, for any number of reasons, but that this can be a brilliant thing for the work, and for you (me) as a thinking person.

(sorry about all that – i just got abducted by aliens and they uploaded some sort of “artist statement” into my fragile brain to see if it made me hungry)



hip-hoppy dance beat – awesome

two basses, one midi, and one real, with an octave pedal for SUPER LOW time – awesome

rhodes – awesome

guitar – real, and key for the character

HORNS – ok, this was really the fun of it for me. i used different samples recorded at different times by different people, and worked them into hooks and hits, and tried to make them sound like one horn section. i think this worked for the most part, but if you listen closely enough, you can probably tell they’re all a little different (maybe i should keep my mouth shut). but this was really fun.

put your hands in the air.

thanks for listening!


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