Jan 30, 2009

New Tune, In spite of Stanley Steamer

As I promised (I like living up to my promises), I posted a "brand new" song today. You'll find out why the quotation marks are necessary later. The tune is called "Only Apart". (I know you're anxious. ;-) Listen to it in the player in the top right of the page.)

It's safe to say that this song has been a-round. These words first appeared in my original black Moleskine and were dated 4/20/05:

We're only apart/Not broken or torn/I'm only away/Not gone not far

They sat there, all by their lonesome (their only friend a catchy guitar riff that I couldn't stop playing) for who knows how long. The rest of the page was a myriad of crossed out words and phrases that came much later, just before the song reappeared in black book #2, which was dated 7/10/07. This entry came after the unsuccessful attempt to make the song a part of Now Transmission's repertoire, only months before we split. Good friend and guitarist Ray and I hashed out many different lines for the non-existent verses and chorus and the one thing that really stuck was Ray's line "blow me away".

That line became the creative starting point for all of the chorus lead ins for the whole song. As for the rest, it wasn't until 5 days ago that the song finally saw it's final, written down form. Stuck together from random phrases and ideas that lingered between the multiple versions, as well as some new ideas that I had been waiting to pop into my head for 4 years.

But once the song finally existed as a complete tune, the issue was recording. That's where Stanley Steamer comes in.

I decided that Friday the 30th was going to be the day I sat down and finally recorded the song. I'd been procrastinating for 2 weeks. Actually, it had been since I wrote the message "New Year, New Goals, New Tunes?" So Friday morning I said the hell with any work I should be doing, chilled out with the Wii for a half hour or so and then sat down with Siggy and started recording.

I planned on doing it in pieces. So I got the first chunk done. Then all of a sudden I hear this low, drone in my headphones. I have nice Bose headphones that block out most sound, but this one cut through like a knife. I ripped the headphones off, ran to my bedroom and looked out the window to see a bright yellow Stanley Steamer van parked across the street. If you've ever heard one, those mothers are loud when they are doing their deed.

Honestly, I was pissed. There's no sugar coating it. I had procrastinated so long only to have to wait at least another hour before I could get going again. I don't exactly have a fancy, sound proofed recording studio with all that expensive equipment. This room is my office and I record using the internal mic from my girlfriends iMac G5 and GarageBand. Not exactly high tech and it comes through in the final product, but I deal with what I have. Needless to say, the mic picks up everything, including everything that I don't want it to, whether it be the heat kicking on, the dog snoring, or the annoying drone of the Stanley Steamer van across the street.

So I fired up the Wii again and rocked some drums with Guitar Hero to settle myself down a little. Once Stanley left, everything else fell into place; section after section, layer after layer (I love layers!). I got on a roll and laid it all down within the next 3 hours, minus any drums of course, something I'd love but I don't currently have that skill. (A couple more months of Guitar Hero and I'll be set.) The recording isn't perfect and being the perfectionist that I always consider myself, it's hard to call it done, but if that were the case I'd never finish a song and that's no fun at all. That way I could never share!

So that's the creation of "Only Apart" in a nutshell. A very tiny nutshell. So make me happy and listen to the song already. Let me know what you think. Rock on to the next!

2 comments:

Rick said...

May I be the first.............
I like it ... I really Like It....
And just as you promised...
Ray gets some credit which is really GREAT....
I do miss the "Now Transmission" days... It made me feel YOUNG....
I recognize the RIFF and "I Love It"....
You are waiting to long between songs.. they are ready to come out... You Know It... Let It Happen...
Inspiration is all around you...
Do you remember the movie...
(fictitious as it may be)... a character called the Word Man !! I think you are the Word Man !
I believe do you....

Frye said...

So....you like it? hehe

I miss the Now Transmission days too.

And don't worry, the wait will be much shorter between songs this time. This one felt too good coming out to wait too much longer.

As for Word Man, I don't know what you're talking about..(shhh, don't blow my secret identity...)

Thanks for the props. :-)

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