Archive for October, 2009

New Dance Moves

October 30, 2009

This was just brought to my attention:


I think these moves are illegal in most states.


Wild Honey Pie

October 25, 2009

Too much reverb in the wrong hands can be a dangerous thing. I don’t belong in the control room. One of the rules I made for myself, upon embarking on this project, was that I couldn’t read up on the song I was working on. I want to approach each song with my own personal experience. Wild Honey Pie was an exception. Playing the White Album on vinyl most of my life, I never realized that the spanish guitar bit was an outro to Wild Honey Pie, not an intro to The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill, until I listened to it on my Ipod. So I looked it up. I read about Paul playing around in the control room while everyone else was off doing something else (that describes the antics I’ve been up to this past week). I also learned that Wild Honey Pie wasn’t even supposed to be on the record. It’s not much of a song, but it’s a weird way to blot out the sugary-ness of Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da. I always thought it was a John Lennon song too! Oh, Wikipedia. What would we do without you?

What I do not make an exception for is the other rule I have about not learning a song until it’s time, only having 9 days to figure out each one. Sure, I listen to the music and sing along like I always have, getting ideas for future arrangements. But, I never sit down and learn the song on an instrument. No skipping ahead! My husband has been out of town all week and I knew I was going to have to put on my engineering cap and take careful instruction over the phone to put fairy dust on the mix. It’s not a masterpiece. The Spanish guitar part has been modified to match my ability, or lack thereof. Some of the guitar I played on the song sounded so wrong to me, I just embellished it with my trusty Casio SK-1. I don’t know how I lived before I discovered that piece of plastic machinery.


Life Goes On

October 16, 2009

Sometimes I get so many ideas in my head, I want to do too many things at once. Then I wonder if I do anything really well at all. Like when I played in four bands at the same time. It’s not this Attention Deficit Disorder that afflicts me. No. I have parents that raised me to THINK that I could do anything I wanted. That’s a blessing and a curse, as they say. I still haven’t found a job. Seems that most companies want your brains and your soul only to pay barely above minimum wage. So, what else can I do but try to occupy myself with interesting projects? Unlike Molly & Desmond Jones, I don’t have children to lovingly suck the life out of me. Does Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da have some deep message for us all? As I recorded the song and played it over and over, it became sort of infectious. I found my self smiling and genuinely laughing as I recorded the vocals. It seems that many people (including John Lennon) don’t (didn’t) like this song, but it was a huge hit! What does that say about us? The life depicted in this song seems very ordinary to me – work, children, marriage – yet, it’s kind of romantic too. And dear Molly sings in a band. She’s a mom but I think she has a few dreams that she’s not giving up.

I gave my dad a sneak preview of the song yesterday. He was in a crabby mood  and I wasn’t looking forward to spending the day with him. He barely gets moving these days, so he’s cold all the time. The weather has changed in Michigan and he’s not adapting well. But he still likes to get out of the house and go somewhere. Anywhere. I always play the oldies radio for him in the car because he loves popular music and my mom doesn’t play anything in their house but church music. I told him that I recorded a new song and played it for him. He actually said it was “beautiful” and clapped his hands along to the music. I don’t expect ANYONE else to have the same reaction as he did. He may have dementia and not know who the hell he is half the time, but he is still my dad.

Many Thanks…

October 9, 2009

to all the generous listeners who give this project a chance. I was a bit overwhelmed on Wednesday night when I checked my blog to see so many comments from people I didn’t know! Thank you to Pop Candy for kindly mentioning the blog. I told my husband how many hits the blog got that day and he said “You’ll have to start taking this more seriously, now.” ??? Well, I am taking it seriously. I wouldn’t have made such a commitment of time to this project if it didn’t matter to me. Husbands…

F.Y.I., although I appreciate the requests, I’m not in a position to distribute mp3s of these songs. I don’t even think I’m supposed to be recording them. But, my intention is to play music for anyone who wants to listen, like friends in your very big living room, sitting at the piano. This is a personal exercise for me, learning songs by ear, studying song arrangement and lyric writing, becoming a better player. I’m digging into a record that I listened to so much all my life, and yet, I didn’t really know it well at all. I don’t mean to sound self-deprecating on this blog. I know that’s not very sexy. It’s just that I realize that The Beatles are a really important band to many people and these songs carry a lot of weight too. I set a lofty goal for myself (shouldn’t we all?) and I’m aware of my limitations. But, as the project continues, I hope those limitations become less apparent. It’s encouraging to read the comments from everyone. Thank you , thank you.

Happy Birthday John Lennon.

Glass Onion

October 7, 2009

Well, it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t have a job. It’s even stranger to consider how you got anything done when you had to go to work everyday. Unemployment is for the birds, but I refuse to be idle. So, here is the third musical installment in my White Album project. Nine days ago, after I posted Dear Prudence, it occurred to me that I had created quite a task for myself for the next 252 days.  I’m sure I’ll get some kind of job between now and then. Maybe not so sure. But in the meantime, I can practice the guitar and write poems about my cats, watch the Tigers lose, vacuum the house.

It seems that everybody has a favorite Beatle. Paul McCartney was mine. Not only did I think he was super cute when we were both younger, but his songs were always a little old-fashioned. My kind of music. Glass Onion is a John Lennon song and I think it’s like Dear Prudence in style. The way things are going, three songs in, I think John’s songs are going to be easier for me to play and sing. Does anyone know if John or Paul wrote songs for the other to sing? I can’t think of any off the top of my head (it’s kind of empty up there today) but, I imagine there has to be.

I recorded everything myself this time. I did some Pro-tools editing too when I made a mistake and didn’t feel like playing a part for the 15th time. The first drum take was pretty good, then I realized that the washing machine had been spinning the whole time and I thought, I can play this better…mmmmm, not exactly. After several takes, I finally got through the drum track. It starts to mess with your head after 5 or 6 times. I loved playing that Steve Cropper kind of guitar on this song, but I’m having the hardest time playing with a pick. So, I just used my fingers. Same with the bass. I cannot play the bass with a pick. I just realized that I left out some other guitar parts. Oops. Some strummy guitar, some weird backwards piano. I whistled on this song. I’ll take any opportunity to whistle on a song. If you stick around, you’ll probably hear more whistling. I had a request for more multi-track vocals. I don’t know if this is what you meant, but “chupa-chupa”…

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