Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Sounds Of The Underground

OK: I did threaten some more songs, but you’ll be glad to know that these are “it” for now – mainly because my recording system: an old Tascam 488 tape system is on it’s last elbows (it’s already past its last legs)

This system is great so long as you want to record fairly basic songs, but the more you multi-track the more quality you lose: so whilst Phil Spector created the wall of sound technique and Phil Collins created the gated drum sound I have inadvertently created the “Man shouting into a bucket” technique.

So, in alphabetical order, a word about all the songs so far:

Bears
My main memory of writing this is just thinking about a book called “The Meaning Of Liff” which gives words to all the feelings that we have for which there are currently no words. One phrase that struck me was “any otherwise sensible looking adult walking as to avoid the cracks in the pavement in case the bears come and get them” – I liked this and realised it was something I did, so I wanted to write something upbeat and catch about those moments when you’re just in a world of your own.

Children
I’m a big fan of miserable music and this is inspired by two different Morrissey/Smiths songs – “I Have Forgiven Jesus” and “The Death Of A Disco Dancer” – not so much lyrically, but both seem to build up musically as they go: so when I was programming the synth I was thinking about building up the song. Apologies if you can’t hear the lyrics in places (see head-in-a-bucket comments)

Sacred Ground
A couple of years ago I was going through my old tapes to review my songs and I found this – I have no memory of writing it or what it was about: I think I was just trying for a menacing atmosphere – its one of my favourite songs.

(The mighty) Terracotta
My friend (she of the guest-starring vocals) and her husband came round for a meal one evening and we were talking about our respective trips to China. She had seen the Terracotta warriors, whereas I had not. It got me thinking about all the things we hope for and how easily they slip away if we don’t stick to them – I wrote this the next day and am very pleased with it. PS: the song is just called “Terracotta” but somehow it seems to have become irrevocably connected to the proceeding (the mighty)

Sadly I don’t have decent recordings of some of my most favourite compositions, so will have to try and do something to rectify that situation. I think the world needs to hear “Mad Axeman Blues” and “The Year Of The Gun” to name but two!

The good news is that myself and "Anne" (must think of a new nom-de-plume for her) are hoping to get together for a jam again soon - so if you are currently struggling with a bat infestation then the Pixie is available for scaring them away with his high frequency shrieking!

4 comments:

the watercats said...

fookin ell!.... finally got round to giving the rest of your tunes a proper listen!...Children is fantastic!... you're right, it's very morrissey, but there's nought wrong with that!, love the lead guitar.. it does a nifty stereo back and forth thingy too! also love the sentiment in your lyrics, very... cynical/hopeful/black humoured/monty python.. bits of all very good things.... Thank god I got time to listen! :-D soo.. when are you and "anne" off busking then!?...

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Watercats - i do tend to get carried away with the stereo thing!

We keep talking about open mike nights - but life keeps getting in the way

Lydia said...

Decided to pause in the day and finally listen to your songs (had heard Bears earlier). I'm really partial to "Children" but can't say exactly why. And I think "Terracotta" is musically very very beautiful.

I envision you getting together one of these days/months/years with the watercats and creating magic.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

Thanks Lydia

I think it would be great fun to get together with the cats... who knows, maybe one day!