Archive for the ‘rock’ Category

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

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weaf hear

December 23, 2007

weaf hear” (mp3)

well, the title was originally “we fear” and was lyrically brilliant and awe inspiring, but i hated it. so, it turned into a guitary instrumental, that i like, changed the title to “we fear instrumental” as that version of the protools bounce, and then to ‘we fear instrumentals” as the new title, hated it, and changed it to “weaf hear” which means nothing and makes me smile (not on the outside, on the inside).

it’s written about the birth of jesus, of course.

merry christmas. tune in next week for some new years songwriting magic.

j

EVERYTHING IS PERFECT

October 16, 2007

well, not exactly. this song for example, is not perfect. but hey! welcome back to the weekly song a week for the weak songy song-time leek seekers song blog!

everything is perfect” is a three part diddy i wrote over the past week (give or take), and started with the idea to just make a guitar rocker.

PART ONE:

once i came up with the rhythmic idea (drums first), i looped it and added the crunchy, dissonant guitar chunks. i liked it because it was confusing and sporadic, but that’s a funny thing about writing and recording a song, that as you know it better it gets a little boring to you. this is part of the reason this openning is so short i guess. it also made sense to me to keep it short, cause it’s so noisy and high energy that it sounds like a scream in my memory, which i like. (“run-on”, sorry english buffs).

lyrically, this guy got pretty cheezy to me, but you should’ve heard the first version. 🙂 the “we’re gonna be ok!” shout chorus just made sense to me hearing that repeated “chorus” at the end. i was thinking teeny-power-emo-punk a little here in general. the openning is so convoluted rhythmically, that i found the straight ahead chorus to be a pretty satisfying break. so…”we’re gonna be ok” was easy, repetitive, common, and the lyrical break from the tense, worrisome “verse” lyrics before that, which are appropriately TENSE. in general, these are all general lyrical ideas, actually about some other characters that i neither am nor know. (man, i think my writing is really confusing right now, sorry). bascially, the lyrics were written by high school kids.

PART TWO:

i wanted this MADNESS to go in to something totally polar. i opted for a little organy sound (actually a sine wav) that reminded me of a not-so-memorable prelude or offertory in church. something that was relaxing and unobtrusive, to contrast the openning section. i thought of singing choiry reverbed four part over this, but decided to go “super stripped down simple style” for effect. i like this section a lot acutally, in the context of the whole piece. the calm after the storm.

PART THREE:

this part, started with the drums again, and i went for another pretty different character altogether. the electro element for one, the light and clean guitar parts, and the pitch shifted spoken parts i’m such a fan of these days. the joke of the piece is in this section, but it’s not actually the voices, although chipmunk steiny always makes me laugh. i was thinking of singing over this section as well, but ended up liking the little skit with “lucious” better, imagining who this weirdo is and why he’s in my room when i wake up and why that doesn’t seem to bother me at all. 🙂

but, i guess it’s because everything is perfect.

thanks for listening!

tune in next week for one of a couple of ideas:

1. a piano trio doing an original steiny JAZZ number

2. another boring pop song

3. some sound design

4. maybe something for strings

5. maybe a recording of me eating a burrito.

-j

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