10/27/2008

Onlooker - The Closest Distance NEW DEMO

There are a couple of songs that I wrote a while ago that died on the table when i brought them to Vince for new Close songs or when i tried to record them myself as new Boar tracks (see "Helping Hands" for a good example - that one died again with the Magic Babies. oh well.)

One in particular, The Closest Distance," managed to get played once or twice at a close show; but, it was a little to torchsongy - or maybe too emo - but definitely too personal to sing on acoustic guitars to a cross-legged crowd of 15 acquaintances. The subject matter is probably more elusive than I give it credit for - nobody ever said anything about it (although Vince kindly forgot to include it in additional sets) - But then nobody ever says anything really about any song, do they. Not a bad thing - but with this one in particular, I felt funny enough or too close to the topic that i needed to shelve it.

It's been long enough and it occurred to me that Onlooker is just the right project to give it the attention it deserves (I do think it's a good song at heart, it just needs guidance). Travis may or may not know what it is I'm singing about; but, he always knows (or guesses closely enough) where I'm coming from and (i think) he takes pleasure in this sort of vague portraiture.

Right Click and save to hear an extremely rough take and mix.

Lyrics:
--
The closest distance possible
between two lonely people -
the smooth communion
of inhibitions -
it is the point
where communication
can
break
down
your best defense.
Your closest friends
are nowhere around.
Please, forgive me.
Find a reason
to do this all again.
This isn't how this ends.


-
a light romp, eh?

It took me a few days to get the vocal delivery right (although the quality needs to be examined for peaking in some parts). The rang on this song is... well... soaring - It used to be that at "are nowhere around" I crept further up the scale. That is precisely where the emo lived, i think.

I recorded this all to a metronome at 100bpm to allow for Onlooker madness to ensure. I hope that it does. I think this will be a good start to a new 2 song EP (to follow up Folow Me Down / 93 and Cry).

I hope you enjoy this very early version.

10/22/2008

Onlooker - shoulda posted a while back - 2 new songs (rough mixes)

93 and cry (right-click or control click for you mac users and save)
This electroacoustipop jam was named for the BPM and a Bowie song. But, if you take it a step further and infer stuff from our separate personal historys, you can paint some rather bleak possible snapshots of what this song might be about (93 was the last year we lived in Michigan). I think whatever think you imagined, though, would be more of what the song is about for you and little to do with what it means for either Travis or myself.

Acoustic guitars, Etsy pump organ, fruity loops, ebows, banjo, vocals. dig it

-

Follow Me Down (right click blah blah blah)
Finally finished this one. It needed a new vocal recording. I may have posted about it before; but, basically, this is a song about floods, the river styx, bad choices, futility. oh, and good times.

Acoustic Guitars, iBook's garageband string patch through LabSeries Reverb channel, banjo re-recorded vocals.

I love the end of this song - the "space out" section.
enjoy.

Close - Arrowhead

This is a new (better) mix of Arrowhead. The ending was lacking something. Turns out it was lacking lack. Dripping the gleeful tracks out was just as effective as plopping them in, it turns out.

Arrowhead - Oct 22 - right click (control-click for macs) and save for listening.

The ending vocals is a mixed down EQ'd low-level mix of 8 of my redonkulous vocal harmonies. The vocal harmonies are precisely the trapping i referred to in the Muted Post Horn post - the things i needed to get away from for a while. Not that i don't love making far too many vocal tracks, but after 3 or 4 songs in the key of D, i was getting a little redundant, i think.

enjoy this Arrowhead track. It's another of Vince's fine snapshots of childhood.

Close - Swamp Fox

As eluded to before, Vince penned another winner called Swamp Fox. It's another song in D (thanks to his new love, the open tuning).

right-click (control-click if you're on a 1 button mouse) and save this, if you like:
Swamp Fox - mix Oct. 22

There's a lot of vocal tracks in there that are not necessarily buried, but placed to add texture. Two guitars. And tuning doodle. and a chicken shake. that's it.

I enjoyed writing the harmonies for this... although i felt a little silly, like it was getting too close to the Eagles at times - but that was when they were high in the mix and up front for recording. Now they're nicely tucked away.

The hard part here was to get the guitars to be at the right volume throughout. although the part is repetitive, there are bits and pieces that were jumping out. I had to stop thinking of them as guitars and more of hypnotic loops...

enjoy.

10/16/2008

Close - Muted Post Horn

If you like 10 minute ambient acoustic drones, have this:

Muted Post Horn - right click and save or if you're on a one button mouse, control-click and save.

I have had a very strong urge to forgo traditional songwriting and my vocal pitfalls and record a stream of consciousness piece with Vince. He indulged me. We've got 4 tracks total here. 2 Vince acoustic guitars, 1 me acoustic guitar (with eBow), and one Nord on an organ patch (Dear friend Brian let me borrow this for temporaries because my Wurlitzer crapped out during a Magic Babies show).

Vince has been playing in an open D tuning, so i re-tuned to an open A for giggles. I think the swells, as unplanned an un-choreographed as they were, turned out to be very natural and aesthetically pleasing (in other words, fly).

I definitely need to do more of this.
Enjoy. Sleep well.