Archive for September, 2009

Dear Prudence

September 27, 2009

Here’s the second installment of my White Album project. I will refrain from saying too much about it other than, I felt more in my zone with this song than I did with Back in The USSR. Dear Prudence was never my favorite song on the White Album, but after listening to it a hundred times I’ve grown fond of it. It’s a very sweet and charming song. Once again, I take full responsibility for any bad tuning or mistaken notes. Being a marginal guitar player, I opted for the simple piano part in lieu of pickin’ and a scratchin’ my way through the intro. Hope you like it. All comments are welcome, good or bad. Thanks again to Jim for making me sound better than I am.

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my piano

September 19, 2009

Jim went to the studio last night, so I had some time to mess around with Dear Prudence on the piano. He works at home so often now, that I hardly ever get a chance to play. I play the piano at my folks house when I visit. My dad likes it. It makes him cry. He has no idea who I am, but he walks over to me and puts his hands on my shoulders and kisses the back of my head. Then he sits down and cries. My mom bought this piano when I was 15 so I could have a proper piano to take lessons on. Then I quit my lessons and she’s never forgiven me. I am the only person in the family that ever plays this piano. She’s threatened to give it away to my sister. Linda can have it. Everyone should have a piano in their house. But if she does take it – she needs to remember that it’s still my piano.

One Down, 29 to go.

September 18, 2009

Here is the premier offering from my White Album project. The first song on the record is Back in The USSR. I finished tonight and I’m glad it’s recorded and over with. Now I can listen to Dear Prudence 200 times in the next nine days. My husband helped me record the drums, (thank you! XX) setting up mics and pressing the button on the computer a half dozen times. I can say for sure that I’m more than a little rusty-crusty and the song sounds a lot like Karaoke to me. But, Back in The USSR is like a Little Richard song. I love Little Richard but I don’t sing like him. I had trouble with the bridge and the backing vocals, so I skipped the low part. I wasn’t trying to reinvent the song but I was limited by my own limitations. I’m hoping that as the project progresses, I’ll be able to hear myself play better, be more creative with my performance. It’s keeping me off the couch anyway! My friend Ann told me that Beck is recording an album a day with assorted friends and musicians. He’s blogging about it too. I haven’t heard any of it, but he hardly ever disappoints me. I wonder if he saw Julie and Julia too…

me, me and more about me

September 13, 2009

A little bit about me…let’s see. I love playing music. Obvious, duh. I’ve played in a few Detroit ensembles: The Come Ons (mopopmusic.com), The Sirens (myspace.com/detroitsirens), Sunshine Doray (gangplankrecords.com). I love to write music, especially arrange songs and record. I hate writing lyrics. They don’t come easy. I don’t like to play the guitar because the strings hurt my fingers, but I suppose that will have to change in the coming weeks. I like to sing in the shower but I hate recording my lead vocals. I started my first REAL band at the ripe age of 26. We couldn’t find a singer so I became the default singer. I don’t feel shy on stage, but I never felt like a performer. That why this blog is a little weird for me, but probably a good thing since it’s making me talk about what I do. This White Album project speaks to what I love about music. It’s an inspiring collection of strange and beautiful sounds. It’s creative  and eclectic in ways that many records are not. My motivation here is to become motivated. To reconnect the musical wirings in my brain. To become a better musician. This was always my favorite Beatles record since I was a wee child. It was recorded at a time when rock musicians took chances and labels put out weird records. People liked them and bought them too! None of this samey-samey stuff you can hear on any popular release today. Listening on my ipod, (not the best for my ears, I know) I can hear parts I never noticed before. Some of these songs get so, dare I say, overplayed on the radio that it’s possible to stop really listening to them. The great horn arrangement in Ob-la-di Ob-la-da is a good example. What to do about Revolution 9? I have no idea yet, but that’s months away. It’s going to be complicated. My husband is a recording engineer and I have the technology at home. I just need his help with putting microphones in the right place and pressing the record button when i can’t reach it. He’s very busy – ALL THE TIME. But between figuring out all the parts and practicing, practicing, practicing, I need a little support here. Don’t you think?  Hopefully, I can con him into donating some time to this little project of mine by making him delicious cookies or buying him his favorite Bolthouse vanilla chai beverage. He just doesn’t realize how fun this will be yet.

The White Album

September 9, 2009

I pause before I write this. A long pause. Ok. This may sound corny, because it is, really, but I was inspired by a movie. The movie “Julie & Julia” inspired this blog. Not because I like to write. I’m not much of a writer (you’re already falling asleep…I’m falling asleep!) And it has nothing to do with food. But when I saw this movie it got me thinking, what would be the musical equivalent of cooking 527 recipes from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” within a year’s time? For me, it’s the White Album. I thought, what if I were to re-record this album, song by song, beginning to end? That’s kind of like cooking from recipes. Maybe. Maybe a little more complicated. And what would the parameters be? Well, I’d have to go it alone, recording all the instruments and vocals and hand claps myself. That’s where the challenge is. It wouldn’t be interesting to me or any listeners if I didn’t do it myself. But – I can barely play the guitar, not to mention the instruments that I supposedly CAN play I haven’t touched in months. Bass guitar. Drums. I’m a middling piano player too. I almost played “Sexy Sadie” with my friend Kate, her on piano, me on drums, for a show we had as Sunshine Doray, but she nixed that idea, probably after she realized that I wouldn’t be able to help her much. So, I guess that’s why I’m doing this. I’m a musician. I need a reason to play music. But I kinda suck. When you don’t play for a while, you start to suck. Maybe I’m bored. I’m doing this on a blog because it’s the only way I’ll stay committed to the idea. I’ve never done this before, this blogging thing, except with myspace, but that doesn’t really count. I’m hardly on there and I hardly update my blog. In fact, I’ve done nothing of interest to write about on myspace lately. I don’t have a band anymore. I haven’t played a show in over a year. So here is the White Album Project. It’s called Every Nine Days because that is one of the parameters…I have to post a song every nine days to keep the machine fed. My friend Patrick gave me that idea. You know, the whole number nine thing. Does anyone care? I hope so. In nine days I will have my personal rendition of “Back in The USSR” posted on this blog, IF! I can figure out how to attach a music player. I might also need to get some kind of publishing clearance…? I’ll figure that out later. Michael Jackson died, so he won’t care.

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