today I became an anime character
today I became an anime character
Shots of cool shit today in the city. Lots of colour.
It seems none of my songs are under 10mb anymore :/ uploaded to soundcloud as per the new norm.
Aright, let’s do it. Whole damn album. All four songs.
Actually the last one is kinda shit. I’ll only do three. As in, this is the last one.
So keeping with my blatant musical thievery of hugely prominent 1960s pop icons, I decided to take a smack at the long dead and decaying horse that is the John Lennon sounding ballad.
To be honest, this song was originally going to be a ripoff of a Verve track. It all came out of the Ooo’s, which was “inspired” by the Verve’s The Drugs Don’t Work, where they actually also do the exact same little line. The entire thing began as me trying to do a Verve ballad. You got the strings and the ambiance and acoustic guitars and stuff. Of course, everything I do is just a bit too plastic to sound like Richard Ashcroft’s sweet soulful pure ballads. If I had panties, they’d be dropped. The bottom line is that I really like that little bit with the ooo’s and the shalalala’s. It’s the second time I’ve attempted (and failed) to rip it off. The entire thing ended up sounding nothing like a Verve song and ended up working in a completely different way though, so I’m alright with that. I’m not cool enough to write songs like Richard Ashcroft.
Other than that, I also wrote this song as to add another ballad to any potential sets that I do play. I’ve got a single ballad which has some really difficult to reach notes in it. It’s cool if I pull off the song, but there’s a bunch of parts where it can suddenly crash and burn. As much as I enjoy the risk-reward feeling of people coming up to me and going “whoa, I can’t believe you nailed that one part, man”, I get really sick of playing my songs, really fast. I’m already sick of songs that I wrote a year ago. It makes me wonder how Paul McCartney feels after singing Yesterday, year after year, for literally fifty years.
This entire album is just sugar sweet love songs with me jerking off my Halifax Pop Explosion lyric dick, so this song is mostly more of the same lyrical content. After thinking about it, the order of the four songs on the album kind of works out to falling in and out of love with someone. You got the first song which is really naive and cutesy and energetic. That’s like, you’re totally infatuated with this person. Then there’s the next song (this one) which is a bit calmer, but like, totally devoted. Right? You feel like this person is the greatest person in the world and nothing is wrong with them. I tried to not take it too seriously and take some sappiness out of it with “I’m only laughing ‘cause I know you’re glad, that you’re here ‘cause you wanna be/and if you looked like Godzilla, then I’d still be in love with what I see” (actually the basis for the song). I’ve also got “Your friends are stupid, I’m sorry to say but I’m starting ike them anyway” which I feel like is a common theme when you fall for someone and then you end up liking all these people that you’d normally hate because you’re totally infatuated with this person. I realize there’s a totally cynical angle that you could take on that, but I figure there’s already more than enough cynical pop songs being made right now. Cynical pop songs are totally for tryhards and losers anyway. The third song is the stage where you actually can interact like human beings and you’re totally around each other all the time and your brain is going apeshit with dopamine, and then you got the last song which is the inevitable crash that follows when it ends and everything sucks ass and you get all existential. Does this mean it counts as a concept album? The previous paragraph is about 90% bullshit btw.
In recording this song, I made the deliberate choice of zero compression on anything (except the piano, which has brickwall compression because that sounds cool). The thinking behind this was that it was an acoustic guitar driven song, and I absolutely hate the prominent sound of compressed acoustic guitars. I’m aware that just about everything is compressed to some degree, but when you’ve got terrible douchebags like Nevershoutnever running around brickwalling acoustic guitars and it sounds like ass, and they sound like huge shitheads, it just … eghgh. I’ve come to associate that sound with guys who are named chad and seriously need to do a few more buttons up on their shirt. I’m aware that this song is extremely produced, but I think the sound of brickwalled acoustic guitars sounds way too produced in a robotic unnatural kind of way. It takes away any warmth. I’m not 100% on the guitar sound that I got here, but I think it’s got a certain amount of sweetness that is missing from those asshats playing their get-me-laid shit. Granted, I’m not above shoving some turn of a phrase in specifically to hear some girl in the audience go “awww”. (I swear this has happened. (once.))
All in all, I sort of wish I spent a bit more time on this mixdown. It’s alright on headphones, but it sounds a bit weak on speakers, and more importantly, the ooo’s aren’t prominent enough. I probably should’ve done like, four overdubs of that.
Oh, and I did like five takes and for the life of me could NOT get rid of my fucked up accent on “starts and ends”. I sound like I’m trying to a Jerry-Seinfeld-doing-an-impression-of-John-Lennon impression.
Like, what the fuck is up with that?
(the file was too big, so again, it’s a soundcloud upload. Apologies for shitty album art. I’m not so good at this kind of thing.)
So I just figured I’d post this. This is from my short and extremely produced EP. I wrote it a while ago, but I’m bored right now and I feel like I wanna post this song.
On the topic of production though, you wanna talk about influences, then these should be … less than subtle. By which I mean everyone’s favourite, completely insane, music producer, Phil Spector, who can’t ever be referenced without appending an apprehensive “but…” to your opinion of him. At any rate, I started listening to the Ronettes and the production managed to blow my mind without challenging it remotely. As far as straight forward pop goes … I just dunno, man. That guy gets things done. (but… )
At any rate, this is my 60s pop fetish in full force. I actually did a lot of things in the arrangement here that I would specifically opt not to do, but in listening to some Phil Spector stuff, it’s exactly what he did. There is, for instance, a whole lot of sustained chords that just pound the whole thing home. You’ve got your little frills, but I usually try to avoid having a string section and a choir just hold a chord. I did both at the same time in this case.
The one difference is the place where I disagree with ol’ Phil. That guy has been on record saying that he doesn’t believe in stereo mixing because stereo takes control away from the producer and puts it in the hands of the listener with things like speaker position and room acoustics. Well now it’s 2014 and everyone know is a jerk who wears a big jerkoff headphones, so Phil Spector can suck it. I’ve got full control and can mix in stereo.
Really though, I feel like stereo mixing allows a whole lot more clarity. I’m sure with enough know how, I could have had all of these parts stacked on top of each other in a mono mix, but in a stereo mix it’s so much easier to make use of a wider ear space. There aren’t so many things fighting for your attention in the same place. Your brain has a much easier time concentrating on the full sound as a result.
So, in terms of songwriting, this song isn’t going to win any awards for originality. I’ve already mentioned the Ronettes, which the song was more than a little bit influenced by. At some point I realized I was ripping off an Arctic Monkeys song (see if you can guess which one (hint, it’s really really obvious)). I really did try to fight that, but I must have not tried hard enough.
I’m actually not 100% on this song. I like the arrangement, but I feel like the chorus falls flat. I was originally planning on having a big huge harmony but I couldn’t get a good harmony working for it, so I just kind of threw this together and I’m not at all happy with it. I feel like the melody in the chorus should be this big huge driving cathartic pop power punch, but instead it’s just kind of meandering and doesn’t really commit. Other than that I’m fine with the song, but this is a huge standout flaw that really bums me out because it feels like it just completely guts the song at a crucial moment.
I’ve finally finished my “slack rock” album, Chick Flix
It’s got some fantastic cover art by my friend Adam
So, this is a big deal for me. I’ve got the usual huge doubts about the album in that I suddenly feel like it’s 90% crap and my last attempt had way better songs and I’ve peaked and I’m actually moving backward.
Massive insecurities aside, the one undeniable thing about this is that it’s the first time I’ve actually put out a cohesive product of an album. Out of the three that I’ve made, one was a full 12 songs, and it was stylistically all over the place (I was aware of that even when I was making it). It just felt like a bunch of songs arranged in an order, but it wasn’t really for anyone. It was just kind of me trying a bunch of stuff.
This album is like - real. What I’ve got here are 12 songs that all feel like they belong with each other, but at the same time manage to compliment each other. There are small, medium, and large songs. Currently I’m not 100% on the quality of all of them so I’m not selling it yet. I’ll wait until it’s existence isn’t a novelty anymore and then I’ll see if I think it’s worthy of selling. That said, there are definitely a few songs on here (the ones I’d call singles) that I think are very good songs. It’s the non singles that I wonder about.
I think all in all, the thing goes back to the old 90s alt rock tradition of having stuff that a very certain group of people like, and everyone else goes “what the hell is this?” but then there’s a few songs on there that are much more poppy and everyone likes and remembers them.
So I encourage people to download this thing and tell me what they think of it. Tell me what songs you liked, if any. Tell me what songs you didn’t like. Don’t tell me that it sounds messy or haphazard because I’m already aware.
(apologies for the big fuck-off picture of me right here. It’s too large a file to upload to tumblr directly so I’ve got to link soundcloud and this is apparently what tumblr does now for that)
Alright. The slack rock is back in action. I’m actually hugely excited about this song. I wasn’t really writing much for a while, but recently I’ve written a lot of songs that I’m really excited about. While it’s nothing particularly groundbreaking in terms of my own style, I feel like I’m definitely a lot closer to getting the sound that I’ve always wanted to get. Basically it’s still just Pavement fetishism, but I figure it’s better Pavement fetishism than I used to write – maybe even crossing into the realms of “song”. That might be going a bit far.
I’ve actually been wanting to write a song like this for a while. I haven’t really had any ideas, but just the kind of feel’s been cooking for a few weeks now. I took a look at the candidates for “Chick Flix” and realized that I had maybe too many big dramatic rock songs. I like those, lemme tell you, I listened to Pinkerton for the first time recently and they get pretty tiring in large doses. I felt like a song like this one was missing. I had slow intimate songs, I had huge huge dramatic songs, but I didn’t have any radio friendly mid-tempo relaxed straight ahead alt rock songs. It’s weird because I’m a big fan of that type of music.
Lyrically, I had a lot of fun with this song. I made a lot of really stupid not-rhymes that I love so much. My brother pointed out that it’s probably because I’m a fan of Joel Plaskett and he tends to do things like that (I took my shirt down to the cleaners/and then they came back cleaner). In this case I’ve got things like “I’m losin’ weight/I can hardly wait.” And “I’m lonely too/couch sits two”. Granted there’s some lyrics in here that I think are actually cool or clever. Basically I’m co-opting the 90s indie-shithead lyricism style where you either roll your eyes or let out a hearty batch of hyucks.
This song, I think, is the first time I made a song that actually sounds like it could be on the radio, be it production, lyrics, or general feel. I mean, it wont, but this is definitely something that could be played on that CBC radio 2. I’ll submit it into the next songwriting competition. It’ll definitely deserve to win it, but it wont. Some girl who is a jerk will win it because she sings about riding moose in the fucking Baffin islands or something
bunker? I hardly know her!
This is actually how I feel while walking and listening to the Verve