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Friday, April 08, 2005

STONED AGAIN

That's the title of my little rock record that I've been working on. It's an ode to the band that most influenced the record, as well as an admission of the state of mind I was in while working on it, like that's news, anyway, my Baby asked me to write a little bit about who does what on the record, premature liner notes if you will.

There are actually six songs in contention, and I haven't yet decided whether they all will make the cut or not. I'm of a mind to keep them all on the record, but who knows at this early date. I do know this:

The first song on the record will be 'If'n You Say So'. I once saw a band open for the B-52's who played all instrumentals except for their closing number who's lyric was simply: "And I'll say just what I like". I found that highly amusing, and quite memorable (it was twenty-three years ago!). 'If'n You Say So' is my ode to that band whoever they were.

'Get It' is my attemp at writing in a style I fear may be gone for good, the early eighties metal song about fucking. Rob Halford is my all-time favorite belter of sexual swagger, and this song is my 'Living After Midnight'. I now have to convince myself that I am king god fuck man so I can sing these severely sophmoric lyrics with conviction. Hey, If Rob convinced a great many that he was into chicks, I can convince myself that I'm good in bed, right?

'The Women In My Life' is by far the most challenging number for me. It's one of the better things I've written, but the melody is sort of complex and for the life of me I can't sing the damn thing. I've contemplated farming out the vocal duties, but I'd rather get a take I can live with, or at leat one I can auto-tune without sounding like Cher or Madonna.

'Supplies' is a quirky number about hitch-hiking (another lost genre). Musically it's the most together tune, and I was successful in apeing both Keith Richards and Marc Bolan. Score!

'Stoned Again' will be the centerpeice of the record. It's one of those songs that wrote itself. Well, credit must be given to Rob Machold for divine inspiration. Rob is the preferred drummer at Smoke and Mirrors. One must understand what a machine he is to understand how this song came about, but suffice to say all I had to do was wait, and he gave me the song I was waiting for. More on this later.

'Long Goodbye' is heavily influenced by the Stones (Dear Doctor, Sister Morphine, and Far Away Eyes) and Pat Phillips' penchant for bluegrass/folk (Harlon, Long Black Veil). It's about a man dying from a war wound, and it tries to have a certain Kentucky flavor (or maybe Lynchburg Tennesee, though I'm a Jamesons man).

The way it worked was like this; Chris went back to work, and I didn't. I had some time, and some golden Machold beats. You see, when Rob comes in to lay down tracks, for whatever project he's working on, he leaves us with them. Pristene drum tracks all done to a click, and arranged. Though the arrangement is in his head, it comes through, and can be easily felt. The transitions are there, breakdowns, B-parts, you name it. All one need do is pick up a guitar and start playing along, before you know it, bam, a song is born. Rob is a gift. Manna from Rock Heaven. My method was simple. I wrote the chord changes on my 5-string Keith tuning Junior, and I'd record that. Then I'd write a second guitar part in standard tuning and I'd record that with my Tele. For amps I used either the Fender Bandmaster or the Marshall, with a Shure SM57 on the grille. Then I'd do the bass, direct, and re-amp through the Bandmaster. Hopefully by this time a vocal melody and or lyric would form. Then I'd get real high, and work out the words. Sometimes I'd improv on the mic to get ideas flowing. When I was comfortable with the lyric, I'd record my vocals, then I'd cringe on playback and curse my shorcomings as a singer. Then I'd get real high again and write another damn song. After a few songs were worked up, I approached Chis and asked him to mix it for a hundred bucks when I was done. This was an obvious ploy on my part to get around his ideas and still have his skill at my disposal. Chris saw through my ruse and has good naturedly teased me about the whole thing. Chris has also donated some backing voices (much needed!), organ, and two guitar solos (Stoned Again, Supplies). I'm hoping to get Andy Rock to play a lead on 'Get It'. I've treid a few passes at a solo on 'The Women In My Life', but my penchant for heavy guage guitar strings has come back to bite me in the ass. Being as I haven't been in a band in almost two years now, I'm afraid I'm out of shape, and man these .13's are hard to bend.

This record was a much needed release. After a year and a half of The Wall and Brain Shivers, I needed to something simple, and that I had more control over. My thanks to Chris for his patience and time, and when he wants to do the same, I'll be happy to mix it for a hundered bucks. He could save himself the cash and do a better job himself, but it's the thought that counts!

Tony, I've got work for you.....

Comments:
dear nephew ted-
great to have you back on the blog.i didn't know i was adicted uintil you stopped for awhile. i particularly liked STONED AGAIN. for all the reasons but particulaly because you gave us a feeling and a sense of intimacy of being there with you while you and the muse were building this album. things like 13s are hard to bend, b-parts, etc. the FLAVOR of it all. great stuff. someday i'll have to hear it as well

with love tommy
 
(Evil laughter)
HA HA HA HA HA! You can't escape my ideas! My skill, on the other hand...

Glad I can be of help. Remember, I'm not producing this one, just offering my ide- er, input.

Honestly, I'd forgotten about the hundred bucks, too.
 
Jackson, i'm back on line and very glad your blog is going strong. Savage is my favorite rock site...

so where can i get a copy of this little masterpiece.

best regards,

Hue
 
Hue!!! Glad to have you back!!! Jackson and I were wondering where you disappeared to.

Out on the road on a stadium tour we hope...
 
Hue! I'm glad your back. I'll send you a copy when it's done.
 
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