Mr. Bird Saves the World

 

One day I was bugging my 11yr old niece to draw me a picture. She has a natural talent at it, but she doesn’t really draw all that much. So she started working on a picture of two birds that she chose from one of her drawing books. The second bird was not lined up correctly with the first, and she used a ruler to draw a straight line. She thought it looked like the bird was shooting a laser out of its eyes and art suddenly started happening.  She made a spy/superhero character called “Mr. Bird”, started making up a story and designed a logo for him. I suggested that I could make a song for the intro to the future cartoon. I filed it away to work on in the future, but she started texting me asking me if I was working on it, so  I decided I better get to work and try to finish it by the next time I saw her. Easier said than done, but 20 some odd hours later and working right up to the last second, I had something that was at least acceptable and was well on the way to being really good.

It went over quite well with everyone, the intro and chorus were just ok, but the verses were really exciting. So, I have been trying to fix the other parts of the song with some success. I don’t believe I have gotten all the way there yet, but I need to work on other things and forget about this for a while. It is some of my best work yet!

The Inevitable Bunny Rabbit.

When I was a kid, a shockingly long time ago, I stumbled upon a cartoon on HBO called ‘Watership Down’. It was an intense, sometimes scary and violent, cartoon about a group of rabbits that leave their home due to an apocalyptic vision had by one of them. Disney this was not. I was kind of obsessed with it. I was a really into cartoons and had never seen anything with this kind of tone to it, and it was a really rich, fascinating story, complete with rabbit mythology. This being another era, I watched it as many times as I could while it was on HBO and then never saw it again.

Later on in life, I found the book, I don’t remember now whether or not I knew it was a book before, but I bought it and read it and enjoyed it.

While it is a story about anthropomorphized rabbits, it is not particularly cutesy, and contains a lot of real information about how wild rabbits live, and also constructs a mythology along with some rabbit language. ‘Watership Down’, which actually exists, was the new home the scrappy group of rabbits were trying to get to.

I have been carrying this tale with me most of my life.

 

Once upon a time(last Easter), my nephew happened upon a large, colorful bunny rabbit hopping through the woods. It was clear that it wasn’t the type of rabbit that should be hopping through the woods and he rescued it, christening it “Rocky” after his current favorite movie. A week later, much to everyone’s surprise and delight, “Rocky” gave birth to seven little bunnies, and was renamed “Adrian”.

While there are few things as adorable as 7 little bunnies, it was bound to become wildly impractical once they became normal-sized bunnies, so my sister had a problem on her hands. I contemplated taking one of the bunnies myself, but my enthusiasm was tempered by the probable cost of acquiring bunny stuff(which I had underestimated anyway). I decided that if a bunny really needed a home by the bunny-needs-a-home deadline, that I would take one, not being confident in the fates of unwanted bunnies.

Time passed, and the bunnies found homes, and I was surprisingly a little sad that I didn’t take a bunny myself. It seems that my bunny-related passiveness was just a trick I was playing on myself, and that I really did want a bunny after all. But it was all for the best, and I saved all that bunny money.

But then… in an unforeseeable scenario, one of the bunnies new owners was allergic to bunnies, and had discovered it the same week I was coming to visit. I found myself offered a bunny, complete with all the bunny stuff I was sweating!

In addition to hay, Picasso enjoys drywall, table legs, guitar cables, and occasionally things I want him to chew on.

 

There’s been certain instances in my life where I’ve been struck by the sequence of events that led up to them. One could go back infinitely, of course, but practically speaking, someone acquired multiple rabbits, raised them to adulthood, abandoned them in the woods when the female became pregnant, the female was discovered  alive and captured by my nephew just days before she was about to give birth, my bunny found a home with someone who was allergic to bunnies, and now he is in my apartment. My role in this mini-saga was to say “Yes, I’ll take the bunny.”

I have often thought that that the elusive “rules”  that guide particles on the quantum level apply to all levels of reality, that we are just fairly large particles bouncing around, with certain innate tendencies that would increase the likelihood of say, owning a bunny rabbit.

Polka Dot Tail

Ween’s “The Mollusk”, is one of my all-time favorite albums. A sentiment shared by  10,000 people, according to an estimate that I just made up. Despite that fact, I have never owned it until now. I didn’t even have an illicit copy of it. An old roommate had it, and I listened to it a bajillion times over one summer. I essentially absorbed it, and have been carrying it around in my head ever since.

A few weeks ago I was poking around the internet for Ween-related stuff, discovered that the entire album was posted on YouTube, realized that I probably hadn’t listened to it in its entirety for at least a decade, and decided to give it a good listen(the album cover is so interesting to look at, it’s as good as a video). This delightfully disorienting ditty was the third song:

Somehow, I had completely forgotten that this song existed, so I had the rare treat of being surprised by a song twice.

The thing is, it’s not as if this was a song I didn’t like back then and suddenly discovered how good it was. I loved it back then. So I had this perhaps-never-felt-before feeling of being astonished by this music in the present, while simultaneously remembering how much I enjoyed listening to it in the past, while wondering how it was possible for me to forget something that I enjoyed so much. It’s like finding something I thought was lost forever, but wasn’t consciously aware was even missing.

Much like the singer of this song, I’m trying to explain something that can’t be verbalized, and could probably ramble on forever trying to come up with apt metaphors.

I think one of the points of music, especially psychedelic music, is to attempt to express  ideas and create states of mind that can’t be put into words. ‘Polka Dot Tail’  is both about an encounter with the strange, and, is actually an encounter with the strange itself. And a polka. :)

 

Adventures In Cognitive Enhancement.

Earlier this year, I began to get tired of my job, or, more accurately, I began to get really tired of my job, due to some undesirable new developments. While the type of jobs I can actually get are not great, I started poking around online to see if something would reveal itself. Surprisingly, I stumbled onto a listing for a brain research study going on at the Beckman Institute at the University of Illinois. The description was vague,but it seemed to have something to do with mind enhancement. Also, participating in the study paid more per hour than my job. Getting paid to make myself smarter seemed like an excellent deal, and is nearly the polar opposite of what I was currently getting paid to do, so I signed up for it lickety-split.

The famous Beckman Institute. They are building another science-y type building to the left with some interesting architecture.

I was a philosophy major when I went to school, so outside of dating a couple of girls who lived near here I was never around this area, but then…  a guy I worked with was doing some sort of  experiment that involved landing a plane in a flight simulator(err, landing a plane with a flight simulator? Anyway, there was no actual plane involved).

He took me into the basement here, showed me a multi-million dollar flight simulator for a jet, which I of  course was not allowed to play with, and then took me into this room that had a simulator for a single-prop plane. Very cool. It was a cockpit with all the controls that would be in an actual plane, and inside was a computer screen that ran the flight simulator, and I learned how to land a plane(sort of). It was all I got to do with it, I tried to take off again once I landed, but it wasn’t happening and it would soon start over. He only paid me about half of the money he said he would, but it was fun so I didn’t care too much. That was… a while ago.

So we return to the present(or actually very recent past ). First, I had to take 3 hours worth of cognitive tests which were very difficult, and quite frankly, humiliating, and I had to go to the basement of a different building and run on a treadmill with a bunch of apparatus on my head and body. Then, I returned to the basement of Beckman Institute for this:

 

I was going to be in there for quite a while.

I was very anxious about this part. I had never been in an MRI machine before, and I was told it would be around 2 hours. All of my knowledge of MRIs begins and ends with the TV show House. In addition, I had just recently lost a friend of mine who had multiple tumors in his head. Previous to that horrible event, I would have been excited about getting to look at my brain, but now there was a bit of dread.

I laid down and they covered me with a heated blanket because they said it was cold(it was not particularly cold), strapped my head down and then closed some sort of cage around it, gave me an emergency buzzer for my left hand, and a device with 3 buttons on it for my right, as I was going to be tested while I was in there. They slid me in. It was fairly alarming. They had asked if I was claustrophobic, and I’m not, but I don’t recall ever being confined like that. They had set up a mirror(I would suppose, I couldn’t see it) above my head so I could see a computer screen from where I was and take these tests. One involved remembering words, one remembering faces, and the one I did most was looking at objects placed on a 3×3 3D grid and viewed from the front. Then the grid would be rotated and shown to me again with either no changes, objects that had switched places, or a different object thrown in and I had to decide what happened. They were all hard and gave you very little time to make decisions, but it was good to have my mind occupied. After being in there for a while I got used to it, though it was uncomfortably hot. For the last 45 minutes they did an anatomy scan and I got to watch the documentary Planet Earth, mostly, as the machine would start vibrating like crazy.

It wasn’t the worst thing ever, but I didn’t enjoy it(a female student had suggested I might) and was relieved when it was over. I got to look at my brain for the first time, it looked like it could barely fit in my head, like it was crammed in there. The MRI lady would not let me take a picture of it. When the experiment is over, I will have to have another MRI and probably do the cognitive tests again, but for now, on to the fun part:

A Room with a View

 

Three times a week, for an hour, I go into a room at Beckman, they hand me a tablet, and I play video games that are designed to theoretically sharpen my mind. They all have a western theme. There are six games,which I get to play for 10 minutes each, and I am rewarded with gold and silver for completing levels successfully. I can then use this gold to buy buildings in a seventh game, which appears to be an extremely boring sim of a western frontier town, the only feedback so far is that some of my buildings fell down from one week to the next(or perhaps my last session just wasn’t saved, I have no idea.) I have earned so much gold that money is not a hindrance, it is just a matter of finding space to put buildings and having the proper buildings in place to build the next level of buildings, etc. Perhaps there is an ideal way to set up the town and locate the buildings, but there is really no feedback, it doesn’t seem to do anything at all, so I am rather mystified about its purpose. Maybe they didn’t anticipate people earning money so fast.

With the exception of the main game, all of the games are pretty challenging. One is a puzzle game where you try to stack cards in a certain formation within a certain number of moves, one involves remembering a sequence of squares on a grid, and the strangest one involves a 3×3 formation of computer cowboys who raise their lanterns and speak a word(alpha, delta, hotel, echo, or “rolf”), one at a time and you have to quickly decide if the word is the same, the cowboy is the same, or both, or neither, in ever increasing numbers. I am currently trying to get past ’3′ deep on that one, that is, when the fourth cowboy speaks up, I have to decide if it’s the same as the first cowboy, the fifth is the same as the second, the sixth is the same as the third etc. It is a strange way to think, a very strange thing to look at, and the voices are computer voices, so it is a very strange thing to listen to.

Overall, I would say that this experiment is working.  I spend a lot of my free time doing things that are cerebral in nature, but I don’t really do much that involves these kinds of mental processes, and my job barely involves any sort of thought or concentration at all. It seems to have improved my concentration, and has generally ‘sped me up’ which I have found to be quite helpful. My mind is feeling limber. It is not a replacement for my job, unfortunately, but perhaps I will be so cognitively enhanced that I will figure out how to get cognitively enhanced for a living. :)

R.I.P. Michael Hitz

I kind of struggle with the idea of ‘sharing’ personal things about my life in this new age of social media, especially if it is something sad like this. There are plenty of sad things happening in the world, and to other people. In the end I felt I would be doing Mike a disservice by not taking the time to write about him. When a famous person dies now, it is everywhere.

My old friend Mike Hitz died of cancer a few weeks ago, at age 46, coincidentally a day before Phillip Seymour Hoffman died of a drug overdose at age 46.

I was told he was going to die within a few days well over a year ago, and I wrote this post the next day, kind of in shock really. Up to that point I had remained emotionally detached I suppose, he had already been diagnosed and  he had already survived past his prognosis(which I wasn’t aware of).  I didn’t really know how I would feel about it until it happened, and I was pretty devastated.

But then something strange happened. He pulled out of it, and I was talking to him on the phone the very next day, and he seemed just fine(considering his condition). When his cancer was discovered it was already in his brain.

Somehow, Mike continued on for over year after that, he was in and out of the hospital, and he was given the “won’t live til the end of the week” death sentence again and again, and he kept pulling out of it. It actually got to the point where I could believe that he wasn’t going to die, and his hospital visits were no reason to panic.

One of the  results of Mike’s perseverance is that I got to know his family, which wouldn’t have really happened had he died a year ago. I also got to spend more time with one of our mutual friends, whose busy family life and geographical location had made difficult. It brought more people into my life, and I ended up understanding Mike himself a lot more. There was kind of  a swapping of stories, me talking about my younger adventures with Mike and our mutual friend Rick, and his parents telling me about his childhood and teen adventures. I got to see Mike from the perspectives of his Mom, Dad, his sister Tracie and  brother Richard,  and find out what interesting people they were.

While I had come to grips with the reality of the situation months ago, and had many thoughts about what it would mean when he was gone, that had pretty much reset itself  by the time he had passed and I am back at that point. I saw Mike take his last breath, but I still can’t believe it.

I was in a kind of daze for the last few weeks, and this last week I was finally able to reflect on what happened and really deal with it. There is a palpable feeling of absence in my mind, in a way our lives had become more intertwined in the last year than they ever were in the time that we knew each other. Things feel unfinished. I never wanted to talk to him as if he was going to die, I didn’t want to say “I’m going to miss you” to a person still trying to survive. I feel I could have done better at that, that my own fear of death was preventing me from facing his. I guess though, it was my job to keep his mind off things, and death makes for a pretty grim conversation, really. Who wants to talk about that?

So that’s it. People tend to only say positive things about the dead, but in Mike’s case, saying he was a great guy is not an exaggeration. I don’t think you could find a person that knew him that would have a single bad thing to say. He was a friendly and gregarious individual with a booming laugh and a kind word for everybody. He stayed that way all through his ordeal, which may be his most amazing feat. Goodbye, Mike.

Impossible

“Impossible” is a continuation of a story started in my previous song (  http://slidamusic.com/blog/inescapable-entropy/ ). “Entropy” had such a specific subject matter and was pretty dramatic,   with the singer was becoming increasingly unglued by the end, vowing to “turn back time” in some way.  “Impossible” is the protagonist(?) , having more or less gone completely mad, actually attempting to build some sort of “time reversal” machine. The song itself is meant to represent the machine and is an attempt to put the listener into a weird, underground laboratory, listening to this mad scientist rant while he works on this strange contraption.

When I started I only had one lyrical line, and the idea of having some sort of oscillating sound going throughout the whole song, which I spent some time trying to get right. It is an unnaturally low, looped,  flute sound. From there it was one of those creations that just seems to grow by itself. My vocal performance was a spontaneous reaction to how the song sounded. I spent a lot of time on the guitar solos, because I couldn’t get them right, because I am not much of a guitar player. However, the frustration of having to do them over and over actually ended up serving the song perfectly as it caused them to evolve, and injected them with emotion that fit with the song.

Really, a very fortuitous creation. When I am able to make things like this, it causes me to question where creativity actually comes from. It feels weird to take credit for making it, like taking credit for winning the lottery when all I did was buy a ticket.

Inescapable Entropy

This is a song inspired by someone I followed on Twitter who stopped existing rather suddenly. Twitter is one of many online social networks, but to me it is in a category by itself. It’s 140-character format and informality allows for a much broader range of possible connections and is really… fluid, I think,  is a word for it.

I’ve been on Twitter for over 4 years now, and it’s been quite a while since I have actively sought to follow new people, or to grow my follower count. I generally follow people back that follow me, but I don’t do much following on my own anymore. However, a few months ago, someone I had been following for a long time recommended following their brother, and I did. It’s fun following new people actually, I just tend to forget that. This person then mentioned me in a “Follow Friday” post along with some other people who followed him as a result of his brother’s recommendation. What I generally do if I am mentioned that way, is to check out the other people who are mentioned along with me, and follow them if they seem agreeable. So I did this, and almost immediately forgot that I had. Some of them, or all of them followed me back eventually. “Oh yeah, that’s one of those new people I followed.”

Since Twitter ruined Tweetdeck, my preferred way of reading Twitter, I have switched to HootSuite to do so, and I don’t like the format as much, and as a result I pay a great deal more attention to my fairly small “Follow Friday” list of tweeps than I do to my overall timeline, which includes 1300 accounts. Because of this, I haven’t been doing a very good job of learning what my newer followers are about, and that was the case with this new bunch. One of this new bunch, that went by the handle ArcticPizzas, followed me back and favorited a couple of my tweets. Favoriting a tweet is a kind of quiet interaction that is available on Twitter.  I remembered being a little confused by the account when I looked at it. It described itself as “Twitter’s favorite pizza bot”, and there was a picture of a girl from an unusual angle, as if a hamster took the photograph or something.

Further examination revealed that ArcticPizzas was an Australian girl named ‘Alexa’ who was the  equivalent of an American high school senior. I am a bit on the old side to be getting  chummy with teen girls on the internet, but I thought that since she was paying attention to my tweets that I should make a point to pay attention to her and see who she was, and added her to my Follow Friday list.

This list is not particularly large, and the time I pay the most attention to it is during the week before I go to work in the afternoon. I generally check in around 9:30 in the AM, and keep general track of it throughout the next few hours, which is really easy, because there is not a huge volume of tweets coming from my Follow Friday group. There are people that are at work(US and Canada), and some people who have just gotten off work(in the UK/Europe).  ArcticPizzas was up late(in Australia), and tweeting in the morning when I got on.

There has perhaps been no time in my life when teen girls were not akin to space aliens to me, but I’d say at this time, being pretty far removed from my teen years myself, the tweets of this teen girl amongst adults were pretty interesting/confusing( the reason I like twitter so much is the experience of other peoples minds and thoughts, it’s surprisingly vivid). I became quite fond of ArcticPizzas, and enjoyed thinking about her future. She was about to go to college and have what would probably be the most interesting, exciting years of her life, and she had no real idea how cool it was going to be, as she stared at her phone and tweeted about pizza. Thinking about this somehow filled me with these mostly forgotten feelings, like ‘hope’ and ‘optimism’. I was glad that I sort of knew her, and that, in a small twitterish way, I would get glimpses of her exciting, unfolding future.

This all happened in the month of May. In June, I lost track of Twitter a bit, and ArcticPizzas wasn’t staying up late and tweeting during the time I was on. Now, in 3D life, I have an old friend who is very sick, and on the 8th of June I helped him move into a new apartment. He was doing pretty badly that day, and had been looking progressively worse throughout the last couple of months. On the 10th of June, he went into the hospital. He’s been in an out of the hospital a lot in the last year, and I stopped reacting to it at some point, as it was usually nothing(he is understandably suffering from a lot of anxiety, I don’t know how I would react to this thing myself, so I can’t really pass judgement on it). My assessment of this latest trip was that he hadn’t been taking care of his diabetes, and he just needed to eat right and get his blood sugar under control and he’d be fine, relatively speaking. I resolved to get on his ass about his diet when he got out.  On the 12th of June, our mutual friend called me late at night to tell me that he wasn’t going to make it. The fact that we knew this was coming did not make the news any easier. So I’m kind of a mess for the rest of the week. In spending the day at the hospital on Sunday, I learn that he is not going to die(soon). So that’s great!  This would be the second time mourning his death that he pulled out of it. What a crazy rubberbanding of feelings that is.

The following weekend he is out of the hospital, and I spend my 3rd consecutive weekend doing Mike-related activities. I’d been kind of reeling all throughout the month of June so far, between Mike and  two crazy dental appointments and the heat, etc, my ADD addled mind had about all it could handle. It was not until the final weekend of June, and through the Fourth of July that my mind got the quiet and reflection time it needs to assess where I’m at.

On the 6th of July, after spending a couple of low key days with my family,  I wake up, have my coffee, and think about ArcticPizzas for the first time in a month, and realize that I haven’t seen her in my timeline for a while. If I notice tweeps have been absent for some time, I’ll sometimes take a peek at their timeline to see if everything is alright. So I typed her handle into search, which actually just brings up tweets that mentioned her, and I read a tweet that says something like “I can’t stop thinking about Alexa(@ArcticPizzas), Rest in Paradise!”  WHAT!!!???  Even though, rationally, I know this means she’s dead, what else would it mean, I manage to pretend like this was not true until I could verify it and find out what happened. It was not very easy to do, and I spent about an hour of searching around twitter until I found out what happened. What had happened is that, the same week that Mike went to the hospital and almost died, Alexa was in a serious car accident which put her in a coma. But she woke up the following weekend, and was on twitter! She really enjoyed twitter a lot, it seems.  But I missed that. And she shortly after died of a brain hemorrhage. The only thing I could have done was to say some encouraging things to her before she died, and I didn’t, because I wasn’t paying attention.

 

This song sums up how I felt about this horrible news better than any prose description of it, so I will let it speak for itself. It seems to me to be like the opening song of a musical about someone who becomes obsessed with trying to go back in time to reverse an event.

On A Windy Morning

 

 

After getting last month’s song done relatively early, this month’s is extra late, which was not how I was wanting it to work out.  This tune is a bit different, and in some ways a more difficult composition, but the delay is more life-related than anything, having had 4 out of the 6 weekends since my last release at least partially occupied. It didn’t really take me any longer than the other songs, I just had less time to work on it.

I am pretty excited about this one. I usually have some sort of huge misgiving after I release something, and that will probably happen with this too, but at the moment I am a proud parent. I considered last month’s song to be a bit of a breakthrough for me, and this one  continues down the path towards…  wherever it is I’m trying to get to. ;)

One of my goals in starting this song-a-month project was to familiarize myself to a much greater degree with the various tools that I can use to make music, and I decided at the outset of this song that I would use this app called the Moog Filtatron that I had purchased for my phone. The boop-boop-boop that runs through the first half of the song was created by using that app. Since I didn’t really know what I was doing, I just recorded that loop for a few minutes and started building the song around it. It was a bit challenging, as I couldn’t figure out a way to incorporate drums with it,  and it ended up with a fairly unique structure. This is exactly the sort of thing that I’m looking for! It is perhaps a bit too loose, tempo wise, but I do like to create things with a kind of gooey tempo, and I feel it lends itself to the kind of woozy psychedelia I want to create.

As strange as it turned out, it was very organic, I wasn’t making any conscious effort at strangeness, just a sort of intuitive set of decisions based on this kind of no man’s land I found myself in. It also inspired the lyrics, them being about moving forward with another person in a kind of pleasant uncertainty. The boop-boop-boop brought to mind unsure footsteps. Ideally, every song would have this unification of music and lyrics. :) As with all of my songs so far this year, it is perhaps not quite complete in it’s current form, but I am feeling good about this one and am looking forward to working on
the next song, which needs to be quick so I don’t fall further behind! :)

Sun Blanket(song of the month)

This was a quick one. Quick ones almost always turn out the best. Unfortunately the only route towards a quick one is just to make things a lot, and a quick one will just pop up.  It might be something directly from the right hemisphere of the brain, which would normally have to explain things to the left side in order to execute it’s idea. It escapes before the analytical mind can start to criticize it and change its shape.

This short instrumental came about as an offshoot of the song that I was working on previously, which was something of a failure, but proved to be quite challenging, and if not a step up in quality, a step up in complexity and know-how. I had been experimenting with, and trying to reach competence with, slide guitar, and the chords of this song are all in the ‘D’ tuning which I play slide guitar in(D-A-D-F#-A-D). I thought I’d try to write a song in this tuning, and found the chords by using just one finger on one or more of the strings. After a couple of days of fiddling around a bit, I started picking the chords instead of strumming them, and I felt the result was so nice to listen to that maybe I would just make it an instrumental piece.

I recorded one go round of the chords and came up with another simple guitar part to go with it. I then decided that I wanted to repeat the passage and add more parts to it the second time. Essentially I had the entire song in a couple of days. I added a part using the Animoog app on my iPhone(which is quite awesome), and composed a synth string part. I had planned on adding several other parts to the second half of the song, my imagination was quite stimulated by this piece of music. But it turned out, by my judgment anyway, that the piece didn’t need any more parts, it was finished. Sitting on it for a week did not change how I felt about it. So up on the internet it went!

I have made more than one instrumental piece in my life, and none of them have titles. Since I already had an untitled piece up on Soundcloud, I though I should come up with a name for this one. Sun Blanket was a title I had, waiting for a song to go with it, and while this is not the type of song I had imagined for it, I though that it worked as a stand alone title, and also as part of this semi-narrative I’m semi-developing with these monthly songs.

This one has accumulated listens faster than any other track I have released, and I actually didn’t make much of an effort to draw attention to it. I feel like it turned out really good, but there is no way to know that before you listen to it, so I’m a little mystified as to its performance. Anyway, thanks for reading, and hope you enjoyed the tune! :)

Ride(song of the month).

Ride

It’s another installment in my wildly successful Song of the Month project! While I kid, in the world of managed expectations, my first song of the month did better than I expected.

Feeling pretty confident after getting one song out, I decided to pick an 11 year old song that has stymied me every time I’ve tried to record it. I made it on a four-track originally, thought it had some potential, but I haven’t been able to recapture the playful mood of the original(I would like to include that here, but that’s not currently possible).

It turns out I was wildly overconfident, as I was once again stymied, almost from the get go. The plan was to get faster and faster at doing this as the year progressed, instead, this one took me longer and probably at least twice as much work.

The idea was a Ween via Prince type of song with some acoustic elements for  a countryish flavor(in my mind).  But what was originally a kind of leering, funky, and slightly mean-spirited sort of thing began to change character and turned into a kind of Stonesy pick-up song(in my mind).

One of the difficulties I’ve had with trying to record onto a computer is the staggering amount of choices I have. When I spent hours recording on a four track, I had fewer decisions to make, and had to just make songs out of whatever was available. I used canned drumbeats that were on whatever keyboards I had, for instance. Now I compose my own drumbeats in what is probably the most bassackward way possible, which is how I go at things. It takes a long time for that approach to pay off. ;)

I most certainly would have given up on this one again if I wasn’t doing this Song of the Month project, and it really did not take to a reasonably complete form until the last moment. Actually after the last moment, although I suppose technically I have until the end of March, according to the rules that I just made up.