Archive for January, 2010

Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?

January 23, 2010

Ok. This is a silly song. Perhaps a silly love song? But it’s exactly as long as it should be – 1:42, as opposed to Ringo’s simple song that was way too long (3:42). I’m half way through my project and I have 4 1/2 months to go. I’m looking forward to recording I Will and Helter Skelter and Savoy Truffle. But this song, I don’t mean to sound like I’m making excuses, didn’t give me much to work with. I don’t sing in a deep growly, bluesy voice. I tried to belt it out and it sounded silly and affected. So I layered on 6 tracks of vocals and had them panned every which way.  That didn’t help much. I need to find a job.

I saw video clips of Sir Paul at the Golden Globes this week. There is speculation in the entertainment news that he’s going to get married again. Who cares, right? It seems his fans are very concerned about his finances and fiances, considering that he was taken to the cleaners by the last wife. The guy is obviously a hopeless romantic, and by the sound of this song, maybe kind of a horny monkey too. He wrote all the beloved sweet and sappy Beatles songs, after all. Though I wonder why people feel like they need to get married at his age. It’s not as though either of them need the financial security or health insurance. Maybe they need a new set of china.

I was on the fence for many years about marriage. Considering that I didn’t want to have children it seemed unnecessary. I was never that girl that fantasized about a fluffy white wedding gown and flower bouquets and 20 bridesmaids. I always felt that big wedding shebangies were a waste, but they sure can be fun when you’re a guest standing at that open bar… Who wants to do the chicken dance? How many people do I know that have spent thousands of dollars on a wedding for a marriage that didn’t last? Too many. Last count, I have 3 divorced siblings. It’s amazing that I’m not cynical about marriage in spite of the fact that I didn’t have good role models growing up and it could have gone the other way. All I can say is, my commitment to Jim is the same now as it was before we got married, even if I did keep my last name. (Mom!) Although, I’ve noticed that he seems to behave differently since we’ve made it legal and I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but it’s a good different. I do love the little bugger, but ultimately I trust Jim more than anyone I’ve ever known. So if I’m lucky enough to grow old with him, or unlucky enough to get sick, or lose my legs or my eyesight, I know he’ll take care of me. He’s a good man.

My friend Mike sent this link to me a few weeks ago. When it comes to simple songs about love, I might have to say I like this song best:



Don’t Pass Me By

January 14, 2010

I like this song by Ringo. It’s very simple and I like it’s country blues feel, although, I think it’s about 1 minute longer than it needs to be – especially my version, since I didn’t play fiddle on it. Honestly, I attempted to play acoustic guitar, electric guitar, casio violin, harmonica and whistling in place of the violin on this song. They all sounded terrible. I’m just not a solo-ing kind of girl. I think that requires a particular personality. Maybe lessons would help too…I tried to add a second drum kit, playing loud distorted fills. Stupid. I had more time to work on Don’t Pass Me By since Jim was at the Tempermill all week recording Jeremy Spencer. Unfortunately, more time did not produce amazing results, but I tried! I did add some backing vocals that I thought the song was just begging for and tried to channel Harry Nilsson for that task. Considering that Ringo was a friend of Nilsson and played drums on his recordings it seemed fitting. Coincidentally, as I write this I’m watching The Daily Show Wednesday night and Ringo Starr is John Stewart’s guest, playing with Ben Harper and Relentless 7. He played a new song called Walk With You from his new cd Y Not, then he performed A Little Help From My Friends from Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. I just love his voice. I know it’s getting tired and crunchy but he is going to be 70 this year, after all. I hope I’m still singing at 70 if I’m still alive. Maybe not Beatles songs like Ringo, but my own songs. A handsome frenchman once suggested that this project should inspire me to write some songs that The Beatles didn’t write for the White Album. I can’t imagine yet what those might sound like, but I thought it a generous suggestion. It’s great when others have faith in you. It helps you to see it in yourself.

Rocky Raccoon

January 5, 2010

Well, it’s after midnight and Jim just finished the mix on this one. I have to admit that this is not one of my favorite songs and I felt mostly uninspired to record it. However, like Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, I ended up having fun once I got down to recording it. The guitar was kind of a pain because it’s the same pattern of chords, over and over, relentlessly digging into my pinky finger, holding down that high G. I think I did 16 takes last night and I kept messing up so I waited until this morning to re-record it, give my pinky time to rest. I bought a new harmonica today so I could play it on the song. I’ve had harmonicas in my possession for years but I only pull them out once in a while and never seriously taught myself how to play. I gave one of them to my dad a few months ago. He doesn’t remember that he has it in his drawer, but when I visit, I try to remember to pull it out because he seems to really get a kick out of blowing into it. It’s like an effortless instrument in one sense, if you don’t care what comes out – perfect for someone that’s always wanted to play an instrument and never learned how.

Rocky Raccoon is rather corny, especially Sir Paul’s country drawl. I’m not much of a vocal flourisher, so I left the “come on Rocky boy”s out of the mix. I added hand claps because I think they make everything sound better. Oh! and the honky tonk piano was played on a different Casio this time, one that actually has a button for “Honky Tonk Piano” and it cost me $1.81 plus tax at Value Village many moons ago. I think it sounds pretty great considering its cheap plasticity. I can’t play piano like George Martin anyway.

The first song of the new year is lucky number 13! (only 27 more to go – oops! I mean 17. It just feels like 27) Enjoy!

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