Archive for the ‘song of the week’ Category

0439

March 23, 2009

this is a track i made for 411God, a project that i compose music for weekly.  this one was particular satisfying for me.  prolly in a couple of weeks, you can hear the final version with the voice-over at http://www.411god.net/archive.php

i’ve been writing for this project for a little over a year now, and it’s been a great way to get lots of short ideas out and expand my pallate as i go.  it’s essentially what’s replaced the “song a week” project for me.  perhaps i’ll post some more of these favorites as i go.  maybe weekly!  i always appreciate the feedback and support of my friends, and it’s a nice way to review what i’m making and how things are progressing (or not).

thanks for listening!

http://www.jonsteinmeier.com

j

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a bird

July 3, 2008

“A BIRD” (click below these words on the little arrow thingy)

eh…this was one of those weeks. i’m not gonna spend much time dogging my own composition, but this one ain’ exactly the mona lisa of songwriting. 🙂

words

ridiculous

music

sort of a three parter. the main electro-groove happens at the top, and again at the end as a more deviously minor version. section two is essentially a synth solo, which i did often a few years ago on sessions for “black gloves”, a collection i never released. i do love playing with synth sounds and improvizing ‘sound solos’ with ’em. it’s always suprising to see what sounds happen as you tweak nobs. section three is the accoustic guitar/drums bit. it’s so different musically, that i wanted to make the instrumentation completely different too.

i had some real trouble in mix land with this one, but if anyone else wants to take a stab at it, let me know. 🙂

SPEAKING OF WHICH!!!

i will soon release two remixes of “laughter carries far” made my Neil Arsently and Steve Niketopoulos. STAY TUNED! they’re great.

thanks for listening, as always. and happy independence day. 🙂

j

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!

sign up on the mailing list here

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

in the cans

April 24, 2008

hello faithful readers/listeners. thanks for stopping by!

this weeks song, “in the cans” (mp3), centers loosely around my Christian faith, the commandments, death, and wanting to KNOW things that ultimately require FAITH because we they’re not provable. it’s an old dilemma for me, and an old one for humans in general i rekon. i don’t think i bring any fresh insight to this necessarily, but it’s been on my mind.

MUSIC

guitar, bass, drums, a coupla synths, and strings. the strings are new samples i’ve been working with, trying to get to sound realistic, which is tough. they’re a little fake in this one too, but i’m excited about figuring out ways to make ’em more believable. this music was written primarily from the piano, which often, for me, means that it moves around a fair amount harmonically.

LYRICS

i used a recording session as my backdrop or metaphor this time, which was fun. the main idea is that the process of learning how to live is similar to making music. the trial and error, the listening (through headphones in this case), copying others, and making mistakes on your way to a salvageable or even excellent take or idea. your guidance can be other stuff you’ve heard, friends who listen to your drafts, and rules for harmony, rhythm, line, etc. all the while though, there’s something you can’t explain about what you like. what sounds good or feels right.

cha cha cha

April 8, 2008

welcome back! this weeks song comes to us from where my funny bone meets my dance bones (there are a couple of ’em). and, after the “pop song” project of the past couple of weeks, i must say that writing “cha cha cha” was really satisfying. i just needed to get goofy again. i needed to make something weird. at least MORE weird. maybe next week i’ll make something EVEN MORE WEIRD. i digress. “cha cha cha” is this weeks song of the week and it welcomes back one of my favorite characters, MC Def G.

MC Def G is a hip hop super star from the streets of Jefferson City, MO. he grew up fast, and learned at a very early age to say things in a way that makes them sound important, or even urgent. unfortunately for Def G, he’s not able to think much deeper than said delivery, and therefor rarely has anything of substance to say. he’s not brilliant. he’s not quite an idiot. he’s some strange combination of the two…well, he’s mostly an idiot. questions you may be asking, i’ll attempt to answer below:

why should we say “cha cha cha”?

well, mostly because MC Def G said so. and also because he told you to. don’t hurt his feelings, play along.

why did you write this song?

i didn’t. occassionally, the MC and his “crew” take over the studio for a while and i just have to deal with it. this was one of those cases.

what’s he talking about?

in this case, i think it’s the following things mostly:

chicago

stunt doubles

having wings

godzilla having a cell phone

being rich enough of have someone poor toxic acid on your skin

convalescence

dancing while thinking

banana muffins

how old is Mc Def G?

no idea

are their pictures of him?

nope.

is he real?

totally real.

—————–

thanks for listening!

j

mailing list ist hier

“cover me” first draft

March 27, 2008

hey kids! welcome back!

this week i’m posting something i consider to be a draft of a song. an unfinished project. a POP SONG! i’m working on a couple right now, for reasons i won’t explain right now. 😉

cover me” (mp3) was approached as a dancy pop tune. changes and melody came close together, but i think changes ultimately won (it’s not a race, changes). i went for some standard movement, with a fair amount of “color,” and a couple of less ordinary movements, especially that one in the chorus, the one on “lover, be” i think. that one i’m pretty happy with. here are the changes:

verse: em7, Ebdim/Eb, Ebdim/Gb, CM7, bm7, em7, am7, C/D

chorus: G, Bbdim, C, EbM7/Bb, BbM7, G, CM7, C/D

what i mean by “color” is notes that are added to a chord in addition to it’s original three notes. for example, a C major chord is comprised of any combination of the notes C, E, and G, and adding some color to it could include adding a B natural somewhere middle or high in the voicing, and therefor creating a C Major 7 chord, aka CM7. also, some of the color in this tune comes from those “slash mark” chords like C/D or EbM7/Bb. think of those this way: the first letter (let’s take C/D) is the chord: C. the letter after the slash is the BASS note, or the lowest note you should play underneath this chord. notice though that D is NOT usually in the C chord, and THIS is where we get color! if you have a piano around, try playing a C major chord in your right hand, and a D, or D octaves in your left hand, all followed by a G major chord. 🙂

form: well, this song has a bridge, but it already got cut. being a pop song i’m gonna try and keep it as direct and to the point and “hooky” as possible, and will probably rewrite said bridge with something more like the chorus or verse. keep’n it simple. the first draft of the bridge (now cut), can be heard here:

bridge idea (mp3)

lyrically, this song is made up in sooper cheez love pop song styleTM. oops!! this is a first draft for lyrics too, so they may undergo some surgery in the next week or two.

that’s all for now! thanks for tuning in! i hope this melody sticks, but lemme know if it does or doesn’t. feedback is great! i’m working on this through a couple of drafts and really trying to iron out a solid pop tune, so i’m welcoming critique.

thanks for listening,

jon

p.s. videos are here (including a new live version of “our universe“)

p.p.s. detholz tonight at Abbey Pub (chicago)

p.p.p.s. mailing list is here

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 for realz – slight revision

January 4, 2008

i’ve added some werds for you werd nerds.

they’re all about some version of me that i met once while fishing for compliments.

0708 (click it)

or visit www.jonsteinmeier.com for all the songs.  all of them.

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