God Help Us

Blimey. Been a busy week hasn’t it? The THIRD recording of the week – and a bit of a change of pace. This is an uptempo, unashamedly daft record that could have graced any indie disco in the mid 90s. That being said, there’s a lot going on in it – so have a listen, chortle at the fatuous lyrics – and then the usual post match analysis will follow.

Lyrics

I don’t know what to tell you 
I thought we would be alright 
But after some chips and couple of pints 
You said things you can’t unsay 
And I took them all to heart 
Perhaps you’re right and we should spend a little more time apart 

I don’t know 
Why I’m in love with you 
When you treat me 
Like those other fools 
I thought that I meant more to you 
But obviously I was missing some clues 
So tell me what I failed to see 
And tell me what you want me to be 
I’ll do my best to make it all work out 
Luckily somehow I found my way back to my bed
 

Now it’s Sunday morning 
I’ve got a cup of tea 
I scratch and yawn, look out the window 
And then remember what I said 
And what a fool I am 
You turn over and smile at me and then I start to remember 

I know 
Why I’m in love with you 
And it’s not for your brain or your eyes of blue 
It’s not the way that you flirt or the length of your skirt 
Not for your conversation I put up with the hurt 
I could tell you what I mean but I don’t think that you’d like to know 
I’ll put with up a lot of shite for a certain something that I like 
God help us if you ever stop doing anal

Thoughts (and prayers)

Sunday morning. I wake up having spent a frustrating Saturday working on a mournful, serious song. While making a cuppa, I flick through the 192 (!!!!) snippets recorded on my phone. Hmm. What’s this jaunty, slightly atonal riff?

Sitting down with my trusty acoustic I tinker and tinker and tinker again until I have something. It’s undeniably stupid. Insanely catchy. A little like Madness in parts. In places more akin to the Small Faces. I can’t stop now. I’m suddenly overcome with melodic invention. A shouty bit. A falsetto bit. Some choppy, off-beat ska style guitars.

I decide that it’s best recorded rough and loud. With the structure sorted, I double track an acoustic guitar. Then I chuck in two electric guitar parts: the chords played with a nicely crunchy sound, augmented by some lead parts. There’s some jangling in there. The bass is rough – overdriven, recorded up to the red line with a pick. I leave all the fluffs in so it sounds live.

My voice is still a bit fucked after a chesty cough I picked up a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve written a part that moves from the bottom of my chest register, through a shouted ‘soul’ type vocal all the way into a high falsetto.

While recording it, I burn the fish pie mix. On the 18th attempted take – near perfect – my dad wanders in during the final chorus and his umms and ahhs are all beautifully captured.

FINALLY, minutes before I am due to collect the kids I get the best vocal take of the day.

The whole clattering mess is only 2 minutes 30 seconds long, but has taken 6 hours to record. Despite – or perhaps because of- its inanity I love it dearly. I rush through the mix and and release it to thunderous indifference.

The world turns again, blind to my terrible genius.

I am 44 and not getting any closer to being in the pop charts.

The Loneliest Robot (Odyssey Edition)

Well here we are again. Another day, another song. Actually this is, partly, a song I wrote a while ago. I wrote in March that I had a bigger vision for it, and now that vision has come to badly-recorded, ill-conceived life. There is no less than 9 minutes and 22 seconds of it to sit through, although I don’t imagine anyone will, seeing as barely anyone can be arsed sticking around for even 3 minutes. See what you think though, if you’ve got the time.

Lyrics

Do you remember how we said goodbye? 
The songs you made. Fanfares. Parades. 
The tears that pricked your eyes 
The sky was blue and infinite the day 
We went our separate ways 

Soaring past the outer atmosphere 
Carrying your hopes and dreams 
And secretly your fears 
I hurtled up into the void beyond 
The world that where we belong 

Now I’m the loneliest robot this side of the sun 
And I’m just sending out signals – hoping they’ll get to someone 
But the skies have long since fallen into quiet 
I hope that you’re alright 
Cos I’d really like to see you once again 
You who that gave me life and chose my name 
I hope that you’re OK? 

Now the sun’s a pinprick in the sky 
Dusty pinks, in shrouded hues 
The years go ticking by 
Sending out my messages each day 
I wonder what they say 

Finally, the light is fading now 
The final backup drawing near 
I’ll cross the line somehow 
And wait forever underneath the dust 
Like we always knew I must 

Now I’m the loneliest robot this side of the sun 
And I’m just sending out signals – hoping they’ll get to someone 
But the skies have long since fallen into quiet 
I hope that you’re alright 

But the loneliest robot wasn’t done. As the years passed in their slow, cosmic majesty, and the stars crossed the heavens in the long alien nights, the loneliest robot gathered her strength, thinking about the fragile blue-green globe that hung out there somewhere in the velvet black void. And every day, the loneliest robot grew a little bit stronger, feeding from the cold rays of the distant sun, until she was ready… ready to go home… 

The skies are almost empty here 
The sun’s a baleful ball 
The oceans echo to the sound of 
Nothing much at all 
And you who gave me life 
Threw it all away 
I wish I’d stayed at home among the stars….

Thoughts

I’ve said a few times over the years that my heart belongs to the 3 minute pop song – but as I’ve aged, and written literally hundreds of 3 minute pop songs, I find myself branching out a little for the sake of variety. And quite possibly because I’ve regained a taste for musical adventure that was slowly strangled while I was playing in a pub rock covers band.

The first third – the most normal ‘song’ part – was written over a couple of days in April, and while I loved it as a song, the lyrical theme suggested to me a much bigger narrative than could be contained in 3 minutes, which resulted in the addition of the second bit – where I got my daughter to tell a further part of the story.

While I was happy with this, I’d already got more bits planned, but my impulse was just to get it out as it was because it sounded pretty good to me and I wanted people to hear it (a foolish errand, because nobody wants to hear any of this shit really).

But ever since I have been quietly working on the remaining sections. My real problem is that while all this digital recording malarkey frees me up in most ways, it also hampers me.

If I had a band, I would be able find a natural way to interlink the sections – which vary in tempo and pitch throughout. But in GarageBand, you are tied to a grid system, meaning that even a change in tempo means recording a completely separate track… and there is no obvious way to move from one to the other without filling the space with some spooky keyboards. It’s a tiny bit annoying, but on the other hand I can’t really imagine trying to work out an arrangement for a band and forcing them to learn it. Not that it matters because I am a miserable, hateful cunt who deservedly lost his band many years back.

Anyway. I’m writing a blog post that nobody will read about a song nobody will listen to. I should probably get dressed.