Archive for the ‘vocal’ 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.



two get in

January 17, 2008

welcome to week three of year two. this weeks song has had a few titles in the last 8 minutes, and i decided finally to go with this one:

two get in” (click it, i dare you)


piano/vocal. a little tune and changes that i was playing with this week at one of the studios where i teach. i liked the sort of old-timey character of the changes, and wrote a melody around ’em. that’s mostly it on the music end. pretty straight ahead.


the words for this one went through about three versions, from bad to not quite as bad to not as bad, which is what we have here. also, the focus/subject of the lyrics changed a bit between versions, but were all leaning on this idea of independence/dependence verses communal/isolationist if that makes any sense. i’ll post the words below…right now:

i had a bike
i rode it through the night
through the cold

i never showed
but i’m allowed some cold

but i tell the tale
when that avails
something about me

and maybe i share
because you weren’t there
to see me

perhaps with breaking ties
growing up
or something

but i’m alive
only because i tried
and someboday
helped me

so we call it names
think of things to blaim
for our calamities

and this interests me
but i’ll wait and see



the “out” in the all-caps ending section is meant to be an object, a noun. “out” and “in” being focus or attention. i never know how far into “what’s it about” to explain, but i’ll field questions about it. think of it this way, the original version was about how people’s attention for each other is a strange mix of out and in, and i was claiming that most people’s is more selfish than they’ll admit. but these lyrics got pretty dark and made me depressed for an afternoon, so i changed them a bit, realizing that they were heavier than i actually feel. i wasn’t writing from my feeling, i was creating one. so, this one has similar ideas about dependence, which i call “community” in this case, of which i’m a firm believer. let’s also just say that i’ve been feeling sort of anti-social lately and loving it. trapped in my basement making music. 🙂 sometimes, for some reason, it’s brilliant to be alone.  any day now, i’ll need to break out and kick it with the peeps, and thems the cycles.  🙂