Archive for April, 2011

Esquire Magazine

April 26, 2011

Ok. Here’s the link to the “Last Night in Detroit” songwriter challenge from Esquire Men’s Magazine. I got the line wrong. Good stuff!

Last Night in Detroit


The Beach Boys

April 25, 2011

I did not grow up loving the Beach Boys. Maybe it’s because my older siblings liked hard rock and the Beatles. They were hippies and burnouts that smoked pot and did other assorted recreational drugs. That didn’t really fit in with the Beach Boys sound. As an adult, my un-appreciation only grew. Those ubiquitous songs “Fun, Fun, Fun” and “Barbara Ann”, played endlessly on oldies radio when I’d rather it was a Motown song by Stevie Wonder or Marvin Gaye. Then, playing in bands and hearing other musicians talk about the great Brian Wilson, the amazing vocal harmonies and production on Pet Sounds, still I couldn’t wrap my head around it. I think I could never get past the grating falsetto. Maybe the silly, light-hearted lyrics had something to do with it too.

I’m not going to say that my opinions have changed much. I’m not announcing that my next project will be covering Pet Sounds from beginning to end. I would rather eat a raw pork chop. But I will concede that Brian Wilson wrote some pretty great songs. The best one, by far, possibly one of the best pop songs ever written (I think Paul McCartney said this too) is “God Only Knows” from Pet Sounds. What can I say, but the song makes me cry.

The reason I’m blogging about the Beach Boys is because I recently recorded a cover of “God Only Knows” in my little basement studio. Last year, I was introduced to a friend of a friend who is working on a documentary. Filming herself, her family and her father as his brain is slowly consumed by Alzheimer’s disease, the story is personal and painful. Her name is Joleen Firek and she is an accomplished writer, director and film producer. She needed music for the trailer and will hopefully need music for the film once funding is secured.  Her father loved the Beach Boys and they shared many moments on camera, dancing and singing together through the painful progression of his illness. Here is the link to her blog where she talks about her dad. I am grateful that she asked me to contribute music to her project. I’m still working on a few more covers of the 1960’s pop variety and hopefully they will fit with Joleen’s vision for the film. My Tambourine Project is on hold for the moment, but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy this song…
God Only Knows MP3

Tambourine Project #2

April 2, 2011

The E.N.D. Tambourine Project presents the second installation of musical collaborations for your listening pleasure. This time I worked with my old bandmate, Bryan Foreman, an affable guitar player and good friend. He had an idea for a sweet little chord progression that he wanted to write a song around, so he passed it along to me and the fun began. The song he wrote – “T. Rex, I Love You” – totally rocks. I get the song stuck in my head and it makes me want to shimmy-shake!

Bryan and I co-wrote two songs in this very same fashion on the last Come Ons cd Stars. Bryan had some ideas for two songs so he gave me a cassette with a home recording on it. I proceeded to destroy both songs (I am Deanne the Destroyer, afterall) and then rebuild them again with somber, melodramatic song lyrics.

Since I’ve launched this new musical project, my dear old friend Patrick told me about something Esquire magazine is producing where a handful of song writers (all men, by the way) get together and write songs around a specific lyric line. I don’t know who comes up with the initial idea, but the first one is called “Somewhere in Missisippi.” Here’s a link to the video.

So the moral of the story is, no matter how special or interesting you think your ideas are, all over the planet, many people are having the same idea as you.

The next Esquire production is supposed to have Detroit songwriters (I think they’re all boys too) write a song around the lyric “Bury Me in Detroit.” I heard that Brendan Benson and Ben Blackwell were appointed to write songs for this project. I look forward to hearing what they come up with and if I find a link, I will post it here.

It’s officially Spring now. Play ball!

T Rex I Love You

Pepper Sand

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