Archive for the ‘weird’ Category

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

Advertisements

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

p.s. the mailing list is here (updated weekly)

for the shorties

September 5, 2007

well, i’m not sure what to say about this week. i ran into MAJOR writers block for a few days, and was busy with the wedding of dear friends, and an awesome (and busy) weekend all around. so…what i came up with in between wacky time and creative stand-still was a series of five really short (and not very interesting) pieces for 5 or so vocalists. call me lazy, but i decided not to track with any “instruments” this week. no midi, no mic placement, plugging and unplugging etc…i also wrote as i recorded, and didn’t do much for multiple takes, which i think becomes evident at some point. 😦 in the same breath, there are some moments (mistakes and all) that i rather like, partly because they’re real, and/or screwy. AND…writing for all voices is really fun, and not what i’ve been doing recently, so i wanted to expand the palate a little.

bla bla bla here are the mp3’s:

voices

i’m so tired

fun park

hoolahoop

magic

(you can also stream them in order at www.jonsteinmeier.com)

i sort of feel like apologizing for throwing together some A’s and B’s and improvizing and/or writing goofy lyrics, but i won’t. one of the things about the “song a week” project is that it can be a look into my subconscious, and part of the idea/fun of it is to see what i come up with and then to look back and think about why. this is mostly a selfish endeavor after all; one that is based in part on what state i’m in at the time…in this case, borderline coma. that being said, i think there are some funny moments in here, that to me were worth posting (not everything gets posted). regardless, i hope you enjoy them for one reason or another.

disclaimers abound. 🙂

www.jonsteinmeier.com

beastern

August 29, 2007

hey kids! welcome back. whew…i’ve been writ’n a bunch a songs this week, the most recent of which is this guy…”beastern” (CLICK IT FOR MP3). this song is the “complex” part of a two song personal project i did this week called simple/complex. this is mostly in reference to melodic material, but carries over into arrangement as well.

after a conversation with mama steiny this week about the potential of running out of creative steam, she suggested that i write a simple song that just focuses on a strong melody. i liked this idea alot, and as i am prone to, started to think of it as a bigger project…LOGIC: if there’s a “simple”, there should be a “complex” and they should be released at the same time. whatever. “beastern” is the complex one of the set.

MUSICS

when i finished the basic bones of Our Universe (available at the detholz wordpress blog) i started playing with ideas for “beastern”, as a three or four part, single line, guitar vamp. i recorded roughly three minutes of these parts and added a drum track that eventually loops at different places and comes back to the original groove. i like the busy-ness and harmonic character of these parts, and kept them at the same root and parts for the entire run, as a drony “pedal” sort of base. i was considering writing lyrics with the melody, but decided against it initially. i used a melodica for the main melodic instrument, as i thought it fit the character (much like an accordian would) and because i have one kicking around. with that drony harmonic material, i needed a melody that was particularly “interesting” and starting playing AROUND the harmonic material of the accompaniment. the main scales that would be more or less diatonic to this accompaniment are A to A (white keys – or aeolian) and the same scale with a major THIRD (C#). i started the melody there, and then started adding F#’s and D#’s and resolving them to create an “outside” sort of tension in the melody. i think it created an odd, meandering character, but one that still resolves and gets back to it’s “home.” i made the main phrase 8 bars long before it repeated, but with two repeatable 4 bar phrases, that i broke up later (when the bass and vocals come in). then i split things up between melodica and guitar to give the ear breaks from the otherwise relentless melodica stuff. 🙂

WORDS?

i did end up singing a bit, cause i wanted the tone of the human voice to appear, to add more interest to the piece. once i taught myself to sing the melody, i used the beginning of the alphabet (see here) as the words, and wrote words similar to the sounds and pronunciations of the alphabet part:

IT’S EASILY
THE BEST C S I
JAY ATE A LEMON
DOPIE JEWELER CHEST

A BEE SEES ME
HE LEFT ME AND I
BECAME ELEVEN
O P TOOLER VEST

——————————

it’s a tongue twister!! TRY IT!

the next way that i decided to add interest was sort of cinematic. i used the alphabet idea and imagined someone seeing this song performed live and remembering to practice his alphabet. he steps outside the club for a second to hear himself, and goes through the alphabet once to make sure he’s still “got it,” and heads back inside for the end of the song.

i see this piece as an instrumental really, with the voice as one of the instruments, and the sounds (or words) as articulations. a fun way to write!

thanks for listening.

check out this weeks Special Exclusive Jon Steinmeier Song of the Week at http://detholz.wordpress.com