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November 9th, 2005


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02:28 pm - As long as it's on my mind:
Incidentally, November's MP3 of the Month has been up since last Tuesday, but I keep forgetting to mention it or putting it off in favor of mentioning it somewhere more appropriate. Now that it's been more than a week, I should probably say that Sleep Tight is part of a much larger work, blah, blah, blah, may not be finished anytime soon, blah, blah, blah. Check it out, though.

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[User Picture]
From:seanorange
Date:November 9th, 2005 10:58 pm (UTC)
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I might as well repost my gushing praise:

It sounds great! Those key changes seem pretty effective, and I always appreciate a decent piano part.

A couple of parts make me flash back to our combined orchestra/band groups, and the palpable chagrin of those players whose instruments only came in a couple of times during a piece. Screw 'em -- this is computer generated!

The more I hear this stuff, the more I want to provide a medium for some new work...

~Away!!
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:November 9th, 2005 11:51 pm (UTC)
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Hey, thanks! So the piano part is "decent," huh? That's flattering. Sometimes I use my keyboard for figuring out chords, and nothing beats playing with the keys for inspiration, but I play really badly, and I do everything by putting the notes on the staff. I do my best to make it sound good, but for every decent piano part I write, there are several is just plodding along, one note at a time, no chords.

So um, speaking of music, is the bass something you just picked up, or is it something you've been doing for awhile and I just wasn't aware of it? Bass seems to be a common choice among those of my friends with no music experience because a good bass part can also be incredibly easy to play. With your experience I assume you'd be pretty good (or at least, capable of becoming pretty good), so it doesn't surprise me that you're learning interesting Paul McCartney bass riffs. I'm not generally fond of the man's songwriting (not that there aren't excecptions), but he sure knows how to elevate the bassline beyond being an mere anchor.
[User Picture]
From:seanorange
Date:November 10th, 2005 02:12 am (UTC)
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Poor, poor Paul... no respect. Yeah, even if one doesn't like his music, I picked him for the reasons you mentioned. I figure Chris Squire of Yes fame is also a good choice.

I just picked it up recently, as in a week ago tomorrow. I figured the violin experience would come in handy for fingering, position shifts, and the general theory behind crossing strings. Now that I've monkeyed around with hte instrument some I can say it's definitely a good starting point. Having any kind of musical background certainly helps learn faster than, say, someon who's never read a piece of music before.

My friend Jay, the bass Expert who helped me pick out this fine instrument, admitted that he can't read music, just guitar tabs. Since bass players don't normally do chords, it's EXTREMELY easy to read a bass tab, which also lends towards it being a good instrument for beginners.

I'm interested in being a good bassist. The impetus was originally to get a crossover instrument to guitar, but I think if I do that it'll be a ways off.

I guess I just like doing things that people don't generally think much of, and then try to make it awesome (TRY being the operative word).

For the record, I meant "decent" as a basement minimum -- your piece in particular is something I'd be interested in trying to plunk out myself if I had a keyboard handy. Not many musicians get that kind of compliment from me! Not that I play terribly well... just the thought, I guess.

~Sean
[User Picture]
From:seanorange
Date:November 10th, 2005 02:14 am (UTC)
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That's still not clear, is it...

"Decent" means someone obviously put thought into it, and that's the minimum where I get interested. "Good" is when it's decent AND does something I find musically interesting, and that's what I think your bit is.

Clear? Clear. Good? Good. Monkeys? Bananas.

~Sean
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:November 10th, 2005 05:57 pm (UTC)
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Now that there's absolutely no question as to what you meant, I stand by my statement that I'm flattered.

As to Paul: I should have said I'm not overly fond of his songwriting, as opposed to "not generally fond" of it. I do think he's in it primarily for the money, but that's not a bad thing since he's also very creative. I do think, though, that George and (especially) Ringo don't get enough credit as far as the Beatles are concerned. They were forced into a lower level of visibility in comparison with John and Paul. Ringo's contract stipulated that he was allowed only one song per album. Based on the quality of his solo work, I get the feeling that he probably wrote a lot of good material during his tenure with the Beatles which was passed over in favor of merely acceptable songs which would fulfill his desire for exposure without elevating his station. George (accidentally) avoided the same fate by falling in love with and borrowing from Indian music.

It also annoys me that John is overrated as a genius. Being clever and pissed off does not qualify you for deity status, but apparently being clever, pissed off, and a well-marketed musician does (that's the difference between Johns Lennon and Seckman). When we were a couple, Lindsay and I had a lot of discussions in which she pointed out that the real Beatles fans were the ones who like John best. I my opinion, those are the John Lennon fans. The Beatles fans are the ones who like the Beatles.

I'm not really sure where that whole rant came from.
[User Picture]
From:crabmoon
Date:November 10th, 2005 06:19 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I remember saying that. I always thought the Paul fans were people with sappy tastes, who remembered the mop tops. However I will agree with you on the George/Ringo part. George really didn't get the spotlight he deserved, I really liked the stuff that made it onto every album. But Ringo, personally, anyway, I didn't like any of his stuff. 'Act Naturally' and "Don't Pass Me By" is just too 'twangy' for my tastes. But your right. The Beatles fans are the ones who like the Beatles. Absolutely.
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:November 10th, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC)
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I think Ringo's later, non-Beatles stuff is really good, but I'll concede that I really only know the songs that were released as singles. It Don't Come Easy is a great song, but the rest of the album might suck -- I don't know.
[User Picture]
From:seanorange
Date:November 10th, 2005 10:10 pm (UTC)
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I don't see why prefering one over the other has to be a big deal (and/or exempt someone as a Beatles fan), or that you even HAVE to like one over the other. They complimented each other, and even helped write one another's bridges when they got stuck. No reason for fans to get caught up in a personal dispute, if you ask me.

Yoko Ono recently spoke at... something... and relayed a story of John: John once asked her why everyone plays Paul's songs but he's not played as much (I assume he meant cover bands and personal stuff, not airplay), and Yoko responded with something like, "you're just so creative, people are afraid to mess up your song.... and you don't rhyme 'afternoon' with 'spoon'".

Ouch, Yoko. Ouch.

I can say this -- McCartney puts on one HELL of a show; I can safely say I never got bored. Aging rockers who can still rock totally ROCK. I count Bowie among them.

~Sean
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:November 11th, 2005 12:04 am (UTC)
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I think I'm just gonna agree with your first paragraph because I like the Beatles -- all of them -- especially when they were working together -- and we can just leave it at that.

As for afternoon/spoon: Apparently Yoko's actual quote was June/spoon, which I only know because I was Googling to find the song she was referencing. As it turns out, Paul never used either rhyme, but really, if it works in context, who cares? My favorite Crash Test Dummies song is called Afternoons and Coffee Spoons in reference to a TS Eliot poem, but the rhyme doesn't seem clumsy in either work.

My favorite bad rhymes have to come from Blue Öyster Cult (who still rock and who shuffle through different positions on my list of the top five bands ever). BÖC has a tendancy to do things like rhyme "death" with itself three times.
[User Picture]
From:seanorange
Date:November 11th, 2005 12:48 am (UTC)
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Actually, I bet you I was thining of Afternoons and Coffee Spoons when I wrote that. Have I mentioned how I seem to be the only Crash Test Dummies fan in the world? I own all their albums, save the Christmas one (still tryng to track it down), EVEN the really, really crappy one I can't remember the name of.

How did they devolve from writing songs about the strangeness of human existence to sex and drugs? Or was it all just ironic? Wouldn't put it past them.

~Away!!
[User Picture]
From:sacredspud
Date:November 11th, 2005 04:11 am (UTC)
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I don't really know their work beyond God Shuffled His Feet which is easily one of the ten best CDs I own. I remember that A Worm's Life got very negative reviews in the places I was looking, so when I took it out from the library, I gave it a quick cursory listen and decided I didn't care for it. I might feel differently now. Anyway, after that I sort of ignored their new stuff. Maybe I should scour the used music stores for their albums. The more I listen to something I don't think I like, the more I change my mind. I'm also more likely to listen to something all the way through if I've paid money for it.
[User Picture]
From:seanorange
Date:November 11th, 2005 04:38 am (UTC)
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The first album, The Ghosts That Haunt Me, was very folksy, and had the great "Superman Song".

God Shuffled His Feet and A Worm's Life are, to me, two halves of the same album. I don't know if I'd listen to A Worm's Life to rock out, but it's good driving music.

Give Yourself a Hand... I don't know WHAT that is. I think it came out the year after you graduated High School, I think. "Who let the doggy in the dog house?" and all that. I thought that song was so hilarious that I HAD to get the album, and I actually liked it. Go figure!

I Don't Care That You Don't Mind was faux-country, and maybe that would turn people off, but there's something oddly catchy about "drink your wine, listen to the crickets / it's so fine out here in the thickets / sittin' on a tree stump, that's the ticket! / Uh-haw / (deep bass) Uh-uh-hAAAAAAAw"

I honestly forget the name of the next one, mostly because it was an attempt at an album of laments, minus the whole "faith in God will see us through" and just misery and death. That wouldn't bother me if I found it musically interesting at all.

Puss-n-Boots is, I think, the most balanced of all of them, and probably comes in as my second favorite behind God Shuffled His Feet, followed by Give Yourself a Hand. There are some hot licks in that one. HOT.

~Sean
As long as it's on my mind: - Garmonbozia for the soul.

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