Archive for the ‘education’ Category

freaks of nurture

July 9, 2008

hi friends! thanks for tuning in!

Freaks of Nurture

“freaks of nurture” is a poppy little romp through my last few weeks, and simultaneously through years of field work in the area of relationships and human interaction.


this was another song written from the “guitar.” this is often a good bet for me, if i give it time and enjoy playing the instrument. as a keyboard player and drummer, the guitar is both a nice break and an environment with welcome limits. the verse section of this song is a testament to that: very simple and melody driven. the “chorus” has a “strange change” that i think helps get its’ point across, even though the “nothing new under the sun” theory still applies.

for the geeks: i go to the the four chord for the chorus, but make it it IV, IV/I, #IV. what the hell?.

also for the geeks, or anyone who feels like singing along, the melodies in the verse and chorus start exactly the same way…with the same four notes, but in different keys! yay!! this is one of those “continuity” issues that i was really happy with.

after writing the core of the song on my back porch with guitar and voice and verse one lyrics (and coffee), i went to Ableton Live and laid down the fake drums and keyboard parts. i was going for simple, synthy, and a bit funny. i then added guitar, bass, and background vocals that were vaguely in my head from early on, but as usual, came together during the recording process.

WORDS (also known as “lyrics”)

whew…ok…well. this is another song in the “serious” category, which i’m getting increasingly comfortable with for some reason. while it’s understandably vague (i think), it stems from a short list of things:

1. the maplympics (july 4th weekend of events here)

2. girls

3. human nature, social verses innate

4. a funny compound plural noun coined years ago by my friend, steve williamson: “freaks of nurture”

5. a couple of recent dates i’ve had.

woah. dates? i won’t get into it here. but let’s say that i know some lovely people. this song isn’t “about” anyone but me ultimately, but touches on some of my “romantic” relationships, and the conflict and joy therein. in this song, it’s something that reminds me of how wonderfully humans are made (creationist theory), and how interesting and tricky it can be to operate as one (inherently).


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if you don’t, thanks for your patience.



the weakness weakness

February 28, 2008

the weakenss weakness” (mp3)


i’ve been thinking recently about my Christian faith, and about the Christian church more lately than usual. in part, having been reminded how lazy (wimpy) i am about knowing WHAT i believe and why. i won’t get into my theology here in the blog, but this thought process has inspired the lyrics for this weeks song, “the weakness weakness.”

the main idea behind the song is that myself and so many people have opinions and beliefs that we know so little about, but still tote around and try to have firm stances on. we do it with politics, religion, etc…the BIG topics that we feel are important. important enough to take stances on, but i think rarely more important in our daily lives or pursuits than television, diet, drinks with friends, our jobs, money, etc…

i had a conversation about this with a friend last night, and it inspired the phrase “everyone’s arguing on things they havn’t read about,” which doesn’t appear in the song, but is kind of a thesis for it. here are the lyrics:

in AD 2008 (twenty 08)
i don’t know You

Anno Domini i’m a
busy dude

can’t read
don’t read
i wouldn’t know
don’t sing
until the show


but now i know i don’t know now
but as we speak i’m getting through
to me…i think

i hardly know my family
without pictures

God has an uncle Larry
Holy Cow

praise god
praise god
grey saab
chase card
gay wad
hot rod

can’t read
don’t read
i wouldn’t know
don’t sing
until the show


the middle, “bridge section, of the song is my joke about how exclaiming “Praise God” can feel so meaningless when i say it or hear it…partly because those two specific words are just part of the Christian vocabulary, almost like slang. the motivation for proclaiming such a thing might naturally take different forms, but this one is easy, common, and widely accepted. my point is that it can be an example of not really engaging with your faith, but merely going through the motions. doing “the things christians do.” in my own experience.


i went for variety in this doodad. more material, more sections. it started with a decending guitar line that i doubled on piano and used in the intro. the guitar was my writing instrument on this one for the most part, laying out the groundwork, melodies and chords with it before arranging it for a bigger “band.”

listening to some of my older material recently, i realized that i don’t have a lot of patience with endings sometimes. they often just, sort of…end. i intentionally repeated the last phrase of this tune more times than i would probably have to combat that tendency, realizing that when i’m listening on my commute home in traffic i sometimes want that groove to just sit for a while. in this case it still feels a bit short to me, but the idea is there. the “boys choir” sample is pretty satisfying to me too, albeit a bit fake. 🙂

i hope you like the song! thanks for listening.

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