Published: Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:11:01 -0800
Last Build Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:11:01 -0800
Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:11:01 -0800bit of a chord sesh
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 20:52:51 -0800We need more spoken word breaks in songs these days. Featuring my son George as the deep-voiced spoken word person.
Tue, 18 Oct 2016 14:58:19 -0800Acoustic guitar improv with ambient desert sounds. On the guitar I was trying to do bells by letting strings ring against one another. Recorded late Saturday night in the woodshed the the Soundcloud app on my Android phone. The guitar was my National Estralita. The ambient sound tracks are from Freesound - "A can rolling into the wind, in the desert of Atacama (Chile)." by felix.blume. "The Australian Desert at night." by "kangaroovindaloo" felix.blume Chile, desert » A can rolling into the wind, in the desert of Atacama (Chile)
Mon, 17 Oct 2016 09:33:58 -0800This little song that's somewhat about Don Draper sprung to life while rewatching the entire series of Mad Men. This is the audio of a video that's here, if you're into that sort of thing.
Sat, 15 Oct 2016 09:00:39 -0800Noisy guitar instrumental. Sort of melancholy. Martin Backpacker, EBow and a Preachin' Pipe.
Thu, 13 Oct 2016 10:06:22 -0800I figured out how to use the arpeggiator on my op1 (actually the 'endless' sequencer). Brings to mind seeing out from the home village on an epic quest.
Mon, 10 Oct 2016 17:19:14 -0800Getting real with yourself about self-medication.
Mon, 10 Oct 2016 00:53:43 -0800A little number about that orange-skinned lunatic who's running for president. Please listen. Or watch here.
Thu, 06 Oct 2016 10:13:40 -0800I've been cranking out a lot of songs almost involuntarily lately and many of them seem to sort into a genre I think of as "Tragicomic Americana," a traditional mode of American blues, country, and folk songwriting that ruminates on heartbreaks and losses exaggerated to such dramatic extremes, the effect becomes darkly comic, like Hank Williams's "There's a Tear in my Beer," for example. Well, FWIW, here's my latest attempt to make a minor contribution to that grand tradition... Lyrics: Every time I think of you my darling My heart just starts to hum a sad refrain I can't believe we walked through such tall flames To end up here: a heartbreak cliche. The heart loves to be broken Like the rain loves a parade We'd be worth a million dollars, Getting paid by the mistake To end up here: a heartbreak cliche Oh I'd be lying if I said I don't still love you But I guess it's time to find somebody new So I hope my lonely heart can stand To take the chance again So overused, this heartbreak cliche...
Sun, 02 Oct 2016 07:04:09 -0800My good friend and music senpai Jeremy Blake wrote and recorded a song called "My Heart as Your Home" that I immediately fell in love with. I recently got a chance to record a cover of it with my younger brother. He played ukelele and sang the lead; I did all the arrangement, production, and backup vocals. I think it turned out really nicely. (I've been told it sounds Steven Universe-y, which is just about the best compliment I could ever get.)
Sat, 01 Oct 2016 18:08:38 -0800My train rides lately have been spent either a) playing with my synthesizer, or b) playing through Super Metroid on my phone. This captures pretty nicely the feeling of wandering a submerged subterranean maze, looking for secret side tunnels while kinda low on life (though with a couple energy tanks in reserve).
Sat, 01 Oct 2016 17:57:58 -0800Post rock with guitar/cello.
Tue, 27 Sep 2016 08:35:59 -0800This is a lo-fi demo of a new song I wrote recently. It was an experiment in seeing what I could sketch out with the least effort just using my phone. I doubled and harmonized with my own vocals in the chorus, but didn't have any multitracking software on my phone to do it, so I used a freeware app that let me record and mix a second vocal as input to the waveform of my original performance. I also made a simple video for the tune over here on Facebook. Lyrics: What if all the broken hearted people Threw themselves a great big parade Would you save a place for me Beside you on the float For the most broken hearted people Ever made? Would the sun come out that day? Or would it always have to rain? Is it luck or just our fate To make limes from lemonade? What if all us disappointed losers Made a joyful music from our shame? Would you line up in the street To throw flowers at our feet? Or would you just Complain about delays? Would the sun come out that day? Or would it always have to rain? Is it luck or just our fate To make limes from lemonade?
Tue, 27 Sep 2016 07:10:28 -0800A few weeks ago I was asked to play at the wedding of some friends. I don't really have anything appropriate, but was (against the odds) able to write something for it. This is it. I don't know if it can be described as especially weddingy. No one seemed to mind, though. Certainly, no objects were thrown, so that's good. I've also uploaded this to Bandcamp, illustrated with a picture of me actually playing the song. I did this recording live-in-the-studio in the week following the wedding.
Mon, 26 Sep 2016 22:26:53 -0800Ambient bell arp single take performance phase music
Sun, 25 Sep 2016 21:08:24 -08005am ambient in dhoby ghaut, swingapore
Sun, 25 Sep 2016 19:31:56 -0800Regarding wretched, manic suburban excess.
Sun, 25 Sep 2016 03:06:36 -0800Quick and dirty recording of a song about using the proximity of other people in the bath at the gym as a substitute for relationships. But please don't actually try to do a cannonball in a Japanese bath. A. It's not deep enough. You'll hurt your behind. B. The men of the grandpa generation would probably be really, really cross. ---- lyrics ---- The thermometer says 41, I JUMP into the bath. Someone shoots a glare at me but, I don't care about that. 'Cause the grand-pas they all smile; encouraging my youthful ways. We all know what we like; And we don't care if the sign on the wall says "Absolutely no cannonballs or waves!" It's been quite, some time now that I have slept, alone. It's been quite, some time now since I heard "welcome home!" ----
Sat, 24 Sep 2016 00:57:39 -0800A brief description of the song. Recorded 2015 early 2016 sometime and frozen away. Another song only ever played one time. Second motif arrives at midway. Layers sound better in headphones, better for the low end of the spectrum too.
Sat, 24 Sep 2016 00:55:57 -0800I felt like destroying something so I destroyed this tune.
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 22:56:21 -0800Sat down yesterday with my new uke, at a beach on the west cost of the Big Island, to revisit my Cohen/Elvis parody from several years ago.
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 17:51:22 -0800This is a cover of a song my dad wrote (that I actually found via combing through his post history on Metafilter after he died) There was always music and instruments in my house growing up, and as an adult music was something myself and my dad would talk about obsessively. I stole one, then two of his guitars. After he died I found his Mefi music channel and was surprised to discover a lot of recordings I'd never heard before. My roommate, who is a brilliant audio engineer, actually mashed up a little bit of my dad's original version with mine towards the end of this track. It's a little weird to be duet-ing with my dad across space and time, but I kind of like it and I think he would to. And I think sharing it here is fitting.
Thu, 22 Sep 2016 00:08:15 -0800A short song on a new ukulele about a thing I saw from a helicopter in Hawaii. Series of events: My wife's at an academic conference this week, which is happening in Hawaii, and so we're both in Hawaii for the first time in our lives, and on Monday we drove across the Big Island from where we're staying to Hilo to catch a helicopter flyover of among other stuff the Puʻu ʻŌʻō lava lake at Kīlauea and some lava flowing right into the goddam sea. You don't get a super close-up view in the helicopter, but it's still a hell of a sight. And the cloud of steam coming up from the ocean where the lava is flowing in is striking and visible from a long way off. Then, today, I went ukulele shopping and ended up buying a nice little koa-top concert uke from a tiny combination uke store/gallery and head shop in Hawi, on the north tip of the island. It's keen. But then also, a week and a half ago at XOXO, I ran into a1phab3t, the fella who runs Songfight, and I haven't done one of those in a looooong time and decided I ought to get back to it. And I worked on a song for the the title theme (and Peter Thiel in-joke) "Young Blood" last week and made some decent progress but didn't get anything put down on tape before I had to fly to Hawaii. But then I flew over a volcano! And bought a uke! And so things sort of fell into place and I wrote a whole other song, if a pretty short one, and recorded it in my hotel room this afternoon on my iphone, and here we are. This feels sort of like a companion piece to last summer's Rocket City—new place, new instrument, song about something from my first impressions—but sonically it's a lot rawer, sort of Guided By Ukuleles.
Mon, 19 Sep 2016 19:24:55 -0800If you've ever watched Masterpiece Theater on PBS, you've heard this Rondeau by Jean Joseph Mouret. The BBC site offers a little background on it. I used an E-Z piano transcription, playing different parts with different Yamaha MOX patches. The middle section was not included, and certain parts no doubt had to be jettisoned. The sheet music also called for a comparatively subdued tempo of 92. I decided to stick fairly close to the chart, and did not listen to any versions of it until it was mostly complete. This version is good enough for the purpose at hand, but if I were to do it over, it would be more brisk, might include the missing middle section, and would borrow some things from other arrangements, notably in the bass clef. It may be an easy piece (finger numbers! guitar chord symbols!), but I confess I still haven't made it properly through on piano and don't plan to work on it any further for now. If you want to take a stab at it and need the music, let me know. One huge cheat - the horn crescendo after the quiet part B was exaggerated with Ardour's "fade in" tool.
Sun, 18 Sep 2016 00:55:27 -0800Inspired by a turn of phrase in the first episode of the podcast "Roderick on the Line" (http://www.merlinmann.com/roderick/ep-01-keep-moving-and-get-out-of-the-way.html), starts at around the 45min mark. The guy is saying to God, why have you cursed me to this absurd (in the Camus sense) existence and God answers, just give up. You're just leaving enough for us to cling to and to keep on breathing we'll just gather up our reasons. You're barely leaving enough for us to cling to and to not stop breathing we'll just carry on believing. If you could not try you'd be left with relief. (Find some quiet) If you do it right there will be release. I know you're suffering. What did you leave us, blood and muscle in a cage? That's not enough to keep the fear at bay. When the horror seeps in, it's left broken, drained, and grey. And that's the wrong color for a heart.