Maybe I’m Not
Another one from my vast archives of Old Songs That We Never Did Anything With At The Time, perhaps the first thing to note is that the vocals are horrible (at the time of writing) and I’ll be re-recording them this week (or last week if you’re reading this in the future and wondering what I’m talking about because they actually sound perfectly fine now).
Despite that admittedly fairly largish disclaimer, the song itself is one I’m quite pleased with. A bit like Oblivion – which I debuted here a few months since – it is actually comprised of two songs welded together: a sort of musical cut ‘n’ shut. There’s a chuggy, two chord psychedelic burnout that forms the song proper, allied to a gentle, faintly prog-ish outro.
Now, you might think this results from mere opportunism, but actually the song has always been this way – both parts having been conceived on one long ago evening and melded together ever since. This is something I quietly dig; I spend enough time fulminating at tedious length about bands and musicians who are happy enough to do verse-chorus-middle-eight-break-fade so this kind of bait and switch tickles my fancy and is something I’d like to incorporate more into my songwriting.
The slow section of the song (which, in order to hear, you will have to endure almost two and a half minutes of the other bit) is among the bits of tunesmithery of which I am most proud. It is, by my standards fairly unorthodox, with a lot of semi-tones and major/minor interplay and a lyric that actually seems more apt in today’s climate then when it was write. Here it is to cut out and keep if you’re wanting to play along at home.
“I’d rather watch TV,” she said
C —————– Cm7———————
And put a gun against his head
Pulled the trigger until he was dead
A# ————- A#m ————— A7———–
The people watched the replay on the evening news
G# ——————————— G#m ————————————–
Just to catch the final score
Broadcast from the scene
Although they’d seen it all before….
Live, we used to extend this song over many minutes by having a free-form wig out after the slow part, but for recording purposes it seemed enough to bring back the main theme in the fade out so as to not labour the point.
That main part – the ‘pop’ bit – is pretty heavy on effects. It’s clearly at the psychedelic end of the pitch (I think I was listening to a lot of Beta Band at the time, and there’s a hint of It’s Not Too Beautiful in there, perhaps) and I spent a happy few hours layering various Moog emulators, keyboard and guitar parts together to create a kind of ‘swimming’ effect.
In the ongoing meta narrative of my musical journey, I’m now faced with a dilemma about my second (!!!) album, having accumulated about 20 (!!!!!!!!) songs so far, with another half dozen in various stages of production.
There seems to be two differing strands of material: stuff like this track which is a little bit experimental and leans a lot on synthesized sounds, and other things like Gloria which is altogether most ‘classic’ meat ‘n’ potatoes guitar pop… so I’m starting to think about breaking them up and doing a third album.
This must be what Paul McCartney feels like, only without the millions of pounds.