The Worst Things

November 15, 2010 3:13 PM

always win.

posted by chococat (47 comments total) 93 users marked this as a favorite

Awesome. Submit to SonicBids In Search of a Song please.
Disbro
posted by Disbro at 6:19 PM on November 15, 2010


Well, that's it, I quit. *throws down mic*

Really nice. Would you care to talk about how you went about working out harmonies for this? Did you wing it, or map it out?

This sounds weirdly Christmassy to me, I have no idea why.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 12:33 AM on November 16, 2010


Awesome. Really super good.
posted by Cantdosleepy at 4:36 AM on November 16, 2010


What cool lyrics. I love this. I too get somewhat of a religious/church/Christmas vibe, but I think the subject of the lyrics does a very god job in offsetting that and turning it into something of its own.

It also reminded me about the version of Because that was included in that Love album where George Martin made mashups of different Beatles song.

Very cool song and very cool surprise. I thought you were away and not were going to post in this challenge because I hadn't seen you around.
posted by micayetoca at 6:01 AM on November 16, 2010


Damn. That's impeccable.
posted by umb├║ at 8:17 AM on November 16, 2010


Beautiful.
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 9:40 AM on November 16, 2010


Wow, man, this just made my day. I'm seriously just a blink away from a tear. Your voice riding the waves of the choral arrangement gives this a really honest importance and weight. Saying that this is fucking fantastic seems somehow inappropriate. So, yea, this is beautiful.
posted by snsranch at 5:05 PM on November 16, 2010


Yeah, this is really beautifully done. I would also be interested in hearing about how you planned this out. I think if I were to approach something like this, it would start as a drawing, where I'd place multiple versions of myself in space from a birds-eye view...
posted by edlundart at 9:24 PM on November 16, 2010


So good. The harmonies and pacing is just perfect. Reminds me of Beatles and Beach Boys.
posted by tunewell at 1:44 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Elegant, beautiful, haunting.

Dang, well done!
posted by Zenabi at 2:27 AM on November 17, 2010


Ubersweet, Chococat.
posted by unSane at 5:38 AM on November 17, 2010


Wow, thanks.
I had tried something 'vocalsonly' last year but it ended up sounding so hokey and awful, like something from Glee or Manhatten Transfer or Up With People, so I wasn't going to attempt this challenge. But the melody popped into my head a few days ago so I gave it a shot. I wanted to have sort of swooping harmonies and now I can hear several missed opportunities for that.
Basically, I hummed the main melody to a 6/8 click track, then figured out the 2 harmonies by recording guide vocals in small chunks at a time, starting and stopping and sometimes finding the note on the guitar in my lap. Then I wrote some lyrics and went back and learned the harmony parts as a whole, so I could sing them through.
Mica's "Because" reference is cool because in the back of my head I had remembered reading that George Martin got the 3 of them to track their parts 3 times on that song, which is what I did.
The church comments are funny; to me it turned out sounding vaguely Russian in the middle.
Anyway, thanks again.
posted by chococat at 9:38 AM on November 17, 2010


Dang. I mean really, dang.

Hott. Gorgeous.
posted by ORthey at 10:45 AM on November 17, 2010


This sounds weirdly Christmassy to me, I have no idea why.

Well, from the theory/music history perspective, the progression and voice leading are very baroque, and similar to those found in hymns. For a lot of people, the only, or at least the predominant hymns they know are those associated with Christmas. QED.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 9:31 PM on November 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


askmeaboutLOOM, thanks for dropping the knowledge. That makes sense.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 11:20 PM on November 18, 2010


I forgot to mention, also, that this track is simply beautiful; The reverb's just the right amount to get the feeling just right. It's nice and chilling (in both a cold way and a calming way).
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 12:41 AM on November 19, 2010


I was going to comment about the theory part too. When you harmonize on the fly like people do in church when singing spontaneously (or singing in tongues, which I have done in the long distant past) you automatically fall into modal harmonies rather than chordal ones.

What this means is that the different parts are all pulling notes from a particular scale rather than following a particular chord progression. The result to a western ear is a shifting, complex, not particularly regular chord sequence. You hear it in Gregorian chant and all sorts of pre-renaissance sacred music.

Like I say you also hear it when people are singing in tongues, which is a sort of free form choral improvisation. Someone starts singing some made-up words/melody and then every one piles in singing their own melody line. It's quite unearthly, like Ligeti or Gorecki. I'll try to dig out a recording of it from somewhere. I've always thought doing it was a bit like being hynotized... it pretty much requires you to believe God is talking through you... it's very hard to do once you no longer believe, mostly because you feel like such an idiot.

On another note, Chococat, you are one of the most gifted musicians I've come across. Why aren't you famous?
posted by unSane at 5:09 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


(The singing in tongues thing occurred to me because I thing C-cat was sort of doing that with himself here)
posted by unSane at 5:10 AM on November 19, 2010


I'll try to dig out a recording of it from somewhere

¡Please!

Why aren't you famous?

That's a question we've been making for years and no one has offered a sensible explanation yet.
posted by micayetoca at 8:02 AM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, it's hard to find a good example of what I'm talking about. There's always some worship band playing some godawful chorus and drowning everyone about. I did find this, which is not at all what I meant, but is sort of wonderful in its own way.
posted by unSane at 8:34 AM on November 19, 2010


Okay, here's the closest that I can find. Try to ignore the buffoon with the mic and listen to what's going on in the background. It's almost worth seeking out a pentecostal church to join in. Almost.
posted by unSane at 8:37 AM on November 19, 2010


This sounds weirdly Christmassy to me, I have no idea why.

That was my immediate impression as well. I thought "this sounds like it came off of one of those Christmas cassettes my parents had when I was little."
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 11:59 AM on November 19, 2010


Very Thorns-y... in the best sense :)

Way better than anything I'd come up with.
posted by Madamina at 12:33 PM on November 19, 2010


A nice vocal mix, but I kept waiting for the beat to come in.
posted by Eideteker at 12:38 PM on November 19, 2010


Beautiful.
posted by not_on_display at 1:35 PM on November 19, 2010


Best 1:33 of my day.
posted by hermitosis at 2:03 PM on November 19, 2010


This is great! Thanks.
posted by OmieWise at 3:15 PM on November 19, 2010


Okay, here's the closest that I can find. Try to ignore the buffoon with the mic and listen to what's going on in the background. It's almost worth seeking out a pentecostal church to join in. Almost.

After playing link tag through the related videos from that one, that whole thing is fantastic and oddly disconcerting at the same time.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 3:20 PM on November 19, 2010


Thank you.
posted by Sailormom at 5:50 PM on November 19, 2010


Very, very beautiful.
posted by torticat at 7:53 PM on November 19, 2010


Yes.
posted by motty at 10:27 PM on November 19, 2010


Wonderful. I agree with Eideteker, though. If you were to bring a full band into it about 45 seconds in and really flesh it out musically, it could be phenomenal.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:04 AM on November 20, 2010


Even vocal percussion would be cool. But that's just my taste; I like music with a beat. =)
posted by Eideteker at 6:03 AM on November 20, 2010


The only thing wrong with this is I think it should be longer! Moar!

As a former choral singer, this is fantastic. Thank you!
posted by rtha at 10:09 AM on November 20, 2010


To me it sounds Halloweeny -- like the old song "Have you seen the ghost of John, long white bones with the skin all gone."
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:59 AM on November 20, 2010


Is there a contact category for "music-crush"?

Choco, your things have long been favorites of mine. I tend to download rather than marking them as such, but I swear it's true!

This is lovely.
posted by jaruwaan at 3:15 PM on November 20, 2010


This is glorious, thank you! ^_^
posted by Year of meteors at 4:43 PM on November 20, 2010


You fucking nailed it with this one, dude.
posted by Decani at 4:54 PM on November 20, 2010


This is gorgeous. As usual.

I own chococat CDs. [/unreasonably smug]
posted by Phire at 12:15 PM on November 21, 2010


Way to go! Glad you decided not to opt out, this is awesome.
posted by Corduroy at 11:45 PM on November 22, 2010


nice one ...
posted by subcorpus at 10:05 AM on November 23, 2010


Holy crow. Nothing about this is not right.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:20 AM on November 30, 2010


Now with brand new (slightly creepy) video: vimeo | youtube
posted by chococat at 8:10 PM on April 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


'slightly'?
posted by unSane at 8:15 PM on April 8, 2012


Yes, slightly creepy. Then the melting begins.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:07 AM on April 9, 2012


That was so excellent.
posted by rtha at 8:42 AM on April 9, 2012


Holy shit. That video!
posted by cincinnatus c at 7:28 AM on November 9, 2012


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