Archive for the ‘live drums’ Category

floyd gets about some business

May 28, 2008

firstly, two shows i’m doing this weekend:

1.  friday, may 28, with sad brad smith and friends, at Heart of Gold, 10p.  i’ll be playing drums, piano here and there, and bass guitar and melodica at the same time (it’s never been done before).

2.  saturday, may 29, mucca pazza plays Do-Division Street Fest at division and damen at 7pm.  http://www.do-divisionstreetfest.com/

—————–

now, floyd: episode three

i actually just decided that this was a floyd episode, as i didn’t approach it as orchestrally or intentionally as the first two.  but, the melodica has sort of become my instrument of choice for floyd’s character, and, having bought a new melodica last week, i’ve been using it a lot.  this one was also an opportunity for me to play more with all live instruments, except for that fake honky tonk piano and a fake keyboard sound.  here’s the layout:

2 melodica’s

bass

drums

cowbell

conga’s

tamborine

piano sample

wurly sample

this track is interesting to me, but more repetative than the last couple.  for that i appologize (especially if it bores you)  but, the goals were as follows:

live drums – decent sounds, but i’m still working at figuring out how to get better live drum sounds.  this was not a total success.

live percussion – a success in this case, as i havn’t recorded a live three instrument (or more) percussion section in my little home studio.  worked pretty well i think

MELODICA! – my new melodica is pretty satisfying.  and i’m loving how expressive it is, as a wind instrument, but easy for me to play, as a keyboard instrument.  i also just love the character of it

eastern modal melodic work – this is a little vague, but by ear, i just used a lot of lowered 2nd’s and a couple of other little minory eastern sounding notes in my main scale for this piece.  i also went for some flourishes in the part that were characteristic to my ear.  this worked pretty well.  sort of, almost phrygian.

groove – i’ve been feeling like making something a bit “funky” (as the kids say now), and this was another influence on this piece.  the piece is really the product of a short “to-do list” of musical and sound ideas.  the way that they all came together isn’t exactly what i expected from any of them individually, but that’s part of the fun of it, i think.

thanks for listening, as always.

also, my interview and performance on chicago’s WBEZ 91.5 FM aired on monday night!  thanks to all that tuned in.  i’ll be posting clips from the show shortly!  so stay tuned!

j

clik hier fer thee maling Lyst

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busy body

January 11, 2008

busy body (mp3)

hey kids! welcome back.

here’s a song with the “asshole” word in it. yay!!

for this song, i used a borrowed upright bass (thanks ari!), two drum kit tracks, glockenspiel (bells), accoustic guitar, and one brief fake wurly track. the main goal was to groove with that awesome bass. super fun to play.

lyrically, i decided to make the lyrics super awesome. i went with the tested and true “write them in a notepad document while thinking about them and looking at them” approach, and wrote about feeling like a real busy body lately (months). it’s true, that i don’t handle boredom very well, and learning that about myself has helped me figure out productive (and a few non-productive) ways to keep the wheels turning. this song, lyrically goes after that bit of me. specifically referencing some recent events and situations. this is something i’ve gotten excited about in listening to last years song of the week songs; that they serve in some vague sense as diary entries, even if they’re cryptic or ridiculous. my free-associations tend to have a few recent real life references. i also mention some list of things about me, as this song is a bit of a “who am i now?” sort of entry. maybe a bit weird and neurotic but i can pull it off cause i’m amazing.

and then, of course, being a busy body, i thought the quick delivery of lots of words made sense.

the real point of the tune is to get sponsorship. i’m look’n at you k-mart! and you starbucks! throw me money. i’m name dropp’n all over the place in this song. i even say the word “buzzy.”

hope you like it

happy new week.

mailing list is here

happy new year

January 3, 2008

hey lovers.

welcome to the jon steinmeier song a week turbo-toasting automatic static processing class blaster robot handkerchief chug-a-lug bug blog, and happy new year.

this weeks entry celebrates one solid year of “song a week”ing and is called “0708,” really obviously and unimaginatively of course. CLICK HEAR (mp3)

the openning material was written over christmas time at the steinmeier HQ in jefferson city missouri, and started as an ode to 2007 (really, i’m serious) that i was going to develop into an ode to ’08, or just to the idea of marking a year in the life and having hopes or expectations for the next period. i got caught up in the moving lines of this openning theme and it quickly ceased to be programmatic. i came back to chicago at the end of last week and continued to flesh it out a bit, tweeked and expanded, and recorded it.

the second “half” of the piece was originally going to represent 2008 (stupid i know) but then i realized that i don’t know anything about 2008, so i just made it a rocker. maybe a bit butt-rawk at times, but hey, live a little.

throughout the piece i use the same bit of thematic material, which i think helps it feel like one piece instead of two. it’s an A and a B, a jeckyl and hyde, a before and after, etc…of the same theme that’s presented in the first 2 or 3 bars of the piece. i love this approach of taking a small idea and using or overusing it from beginning to end of a song. beethoven did this a lot (far better than i), taking a very short idea, and expanding it into hours of masterful orchestration and developement.

also, the middle section of the piece is in 7/8, meaning it has seven beats in every measure and feels funny because we’re used to hearing 4 or 8, some even number of beats. this originally was going to be a transition from 7/8 to 8/8 as a symbolic turn of the year marker, but ended up being a transition from 7/8 to 14/8. oops.

it’s a total failure. hope you like it.

j