02 October 2020

Wailing, I Say!

Well, I'm sitting in a boat. I sure hope that it can float. Trying to make up a song, one that won't go on too long, I'm sitting in a boat.

I had written a song for the next fight, "Better Luck Next Year," before I had this quite finished. I like that song quite a bit more than this one, but this one is probably still fine? People on the Song Fight message boards seem to be responding favorably to it.

20 June 2020

Glide Sitar

My song for the "I Am Very Busy" Song Fight. The maraca on "Mythical Creature" was well received, so I wanted to do something else with it. I've kept this very simple, just guitar, kalimba, maraca, hand claps, and vocals.

I am very busy
I can’t join in your soiree
I have counted all the raindrops
now must put them all away
seemed like the sky was crying
over things it saw today
so I counted all the raindrops
and must put them all away

sunshine, it was promised,
would make all our troubles melt
but the fists of the infection
still upon the grieving pelt
despite daylight disinfectant
dribbling down the damage dealt
the fists of the infection
still upon the grieving pelt

hidden among rain clouds
grateful when the storm arrives
much simpler to count raindrops
than tears spilt for stolen lives

I am very busy
I can’t sing your songs today
I have counted all the raindrops
now must put them all away
when faced with persecution
I can’t think of what to say
so I’ve soaked up all the raindrops
and am hiding them away

I've soaked up all the raindrops and am hiding

10 March 2020

Core Foreigners: Defining the Not-We

Another song written for Song Fight, but I originally sat down with my guitar to write a song for SpinTunes 16 Round 3. I didn't have an idea for the lyrics yet, but I wanted to try something with a sort of classic country sound, kind of leaning in to Dave Leigh's comment: "...there's definitely an audience for men who sound like men. And let's face it, you sound like Ron Ely looked." Then I got a terrible joke about Four Coroners stuck in my head and wrote something from there. I don't think it quite turned out as a joke song, despite starting from a joke. Life is often both terrible and absurd.

17 February 2020

Lumber Nine

Oh! Lumber 9 is mighty fine
While Lumber 8's just not so great
But -Man!- wouldn't we just be in heaven
If we lived in a house made from lumber eleven...

I have to walk over the freeway on my way to the bus stop. Some days that winds up being a bigger effort than others. When I start imagining myself being picked up by the wind and blown over the fence and down into the path of oncoming traffic, it often helps to count. Something about being focused on the numbers and not the dark fantasy, maybe.

This song was written for SpinTunes 16, Round 2. The challenge: Count Me In - Your lyrics must prominently feature counting. How and what you count is up to you - you can count up or down, by ones, fives, tens, logarithmically, exponentially; you can count steps in a process, miles in a journey, hours in a day...

03 February 2020

Milk?! How Vomitable!

Written for the SpinTunes contest challenge: "Write a song based on a scene from a book or movie."

This song is based on a scene from the 1963 movie The Raven, written by Richard Matheson and directed by Roger Corman. It's all immensely far removed from Edgar Allan Poe by this point. "Crow" fit my meter better than "raven," but Wikipedia says, "There is no consistent distinction between 'crows' and 'ravens'..." anyway, so I figured I could get away with it. (And it wouldn't be a bigger liberty than Matheson took with the original Poe...)

I had been keen to work in the line, "You mean, he only used his hands?!" but I couldn't figure out any way to say it that didn't sound like I was talking about something completely other than what I meant.

Instead, I was aiming more toward the mood I get from these lines: "Instead of facing life, I turned my back on it. I know now why my father resisted Scarabus; because he knew that one cannot fight evil by hiding from it. Men like Scarabus thrive on the apathy of others; he thrived on mine, and that offends me. By avoiding contact with the brotherhood, I've given him freedom to commit his atrocities unopposed."

06 December 2019

And When I Chew You I Feel Happy Inside

It's another Song Fight song! It's a sort of goth folk number about the effort to keep a low profile while navigating systems one despises. The optional challenge was hand percussion and my track sort of has some, it's just that I ran it through my guitar effects pedal and it wound up sounding a bit like something the Radiophonic Workshop would have done in the 60s for Doctor Who.

02 November 2019

Elemenopee, My Dear Watson

Last week, Noah Garfinkel tweeted a clip of a slightly modified version of the familiar ABC song. The recording, from the Dream English Kids YouTube channel, is below:

Twitter, generally, did not approve of this version of the song. Presumably, the intention of the arrangement is to avoid cramming the letters L, M, N, O, and P together in the manner that the version I've always sung does. This is not actually a bad idea. As pointed out in this Song Fight thread.

Having been thus called to action, I made the following attempt to keep all the letters separated without rendering the song awful:

16 September 2019

Girl Ray: A single short blast from my Feminator should suffice...

After finishing Work for Eidolon Hands, I thought to myself, "Now it's time to write some songs about things I actually like." So, here's a song about drinking tea. The optional challenge on Song Fight was for three part harmony and I've had a go at that in the chorus.

30 August 2019

Kindly Show Men

Well, I've got another entry in on Song Fight! This one is about how utterly overwhelming all the motion that goes on during society's waking hours feels.

03 April 2019

With Lolling Thieves: Too Lazy to Steal

Image: a cat in front of red
tinted playing cards.

So, here's a picture that may or may not be the cover of my second album. It's only been fifteen years since the first one, so it's probably past time—now or never. I expect it to be out sometime this autumn (I am currently working to a schedule designed with a late November release in mind, but may be able to shave a bit of time off here and there).

Nothing's in stone until there's an actual release, but here's the current projected track listing:

1. Sing Us Round (Square States)
2. (Not On) The Cards
3. Tearing History Down
4. Blue Woman Yes
5. No Arcanum
6. Guessing Game
7. We are Perfect in Our Dreams
8. Library Ghost
9. Your Discarded Cigarette
10. Broken Bottle
11. Crack in the Wall
12. Smoldering Joy

A lot of these are polished-up reworkings of songs that have been floating around online for some time now. There are a few things you probably won't have heard before, though.

23 March 2019

15 February 2019

Bok! Whack!: Hitting You on the Head with My Rubber Chicken

I had a rummage through my files and dug up this early version of Little Steps. It was up on the internet in various places before Questionable Fidelity came out, but had been replaced with the album version of the song everywhere I looked. It was interesting for me to hear this again after a decade and change. While there are things I like about it, the album version is a definite improvement in my book!