It won’t be long before I have some new material to post. I’ve got a couple of old originals that I’m going to give the “quality re-recording” treatment to, and some great covers on the way with my friends Alex and Kelly. I’m also going to be producing and playing drums on a virtuoso bass album from the one and only Matt Sanchez. However, lately I’ve been spending more time working on songs for live performance than I have on recording. Honestly, if I had my druthers, I’d be a recording artist who occasionally gigs when I feel like it. But the need to eat and pay bills kind of gets in the way of that ideal.
So while you’re waiting on the new recordings, I might as well go ahead and write posts for the two original songs I’ve recorded already. They have been on the “Recordings” page of this site since the beginning, but I haven’t written about them or done anything to draw attention to them. They’ve been posted on Facebook, but A) those were early mixes that have vastly improved, and B) this ain’t Facebook. This is my musical home.
The first of these is Dirty Games. I recorded this in four days, and posted the mix on Facebook immediately. Over the next eight months or so I continued to tweak, learn, tweak, learn, tweak until I finally got it where I wanted it sonically. Because of that experience I can now get mixes where I want them much more quickly. The biggest struggle with mixing this was the bass. When I started recording this I had no idea what I wanted the bass to do. The song itself is very simple, so I wanted the bass to be busy to fill up space. I picked up the bass and hit record, with the intention of just feeling out the chord changes and figuring out a part. Well, I liked what I played. The first time. The thing is, the bass tone wasn’t the best (I wasn’t expecting to keep what I was recording!), and there were some performance errors (because it wasn’t meant to be a performance). But I loved the feel of it, the personality of it. I’ll take personality over technicality any day. It took a long time, but I finally tamed that bass track in the right places while bringing it out in others, and made it work well in the mix.
This is without a doubt the poppiest song I’ve ever written. I wrote the whole thing at once, starting with the opening riff/chord change, and just blurting out words until they started to make sense. I think that can be the most real way of writing words and vocals, when you allow your subconscious to just have Tourette’s syndrome while you play. Seeing as how I started with no lyrical agenda and ended up with a nicely crafted little story that anyone can relate to, I think the method speaks for itself. And I knew I had a good pop song when my mom shared it with all her friends even though I cuss in it.