Carl's Coffee

June 28, 2007 7:37 PM

When I saw that the challenge was about "water", I thought about my friend Carl. Spoken word + very mellow bass.

posted by snsranch (18 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Big thanks to The Great Big Mulp for helping me out, and big apologies to jessamyn. I think I pissed her off yesterday.
posted by snsranch at 7:38 PM on June 28, 2007

Sweet and poignant, snsranch. I like this one a lot.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 7:49 PM on June 28, 2007

Really beautiful. I don't know a lot about you or your background, but this seemed really personal and somehow universal at the same time. Your speaking voice wasn't forced or smarmy or too pronounced, and the bass was just straddling the line between song and soundtrack.

I think you've invented a new genre:
The Under 2-minute Song Documentary

As an ex-film student and sometimes songmaker, I salute you.
posted by chococat at 10:35 PM on June 28, 2007 [1 favorite]

Man, that was great and chococat explained why perfectly. Your talking-not-reading-snobilly voice is perfect for it. Also, what did the Breat Mig Gulp did?
posted by micayetoca at 8:43 AM on June 29, 2007

Nice. I find spoken word hard to do because it's so easy to sound like Someone Doing Spoken Word and that's not something I tend to dig too much; but this was very plainspoken, very straightforward in the telling.

Your speaking voice wasn't forced or smarmy or too pronounced, and the bass was just straddling the line between song and soundtrack.

Exactly! Just a tiny little bit of ducking on the bass line at some points would kill a couple moments of levels-related distraction—mostly in a couple spots where the bass is playing some sort of double stops—but it works and works well. Maybe even just a touch of one-to-the-left, the-other-to-the-right stereo separation would do the trick.
posted by cortex at 9:05 AM on June 29, 2007

I really love your songs, especially the ones that sound like outtakes from Minutemen albums. I mean that with the utmost respect.
posted by sleepy pete at 9:44 AM on June 29, 2007

Man, it's so interesting to hear the regular voices of MeFi people. I feel like it's a great opportunity for members to break through the anonymity of a username. Hooray MeFi music!
posted by ORthey at 2:29 PM on June 29, 2007

micayetoca: When I first posted this it only played in one channel. The Great Big Mulp, awesome guy that he is, fixed it and e-mailed it to me. Hooray TGBM!

Thanks guys for the great comments!

RE: ORthey's comment; perhaps a spoken word challenge in the future?

Hooray MeFi music!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!1
posted by snsranch at 3:47 PM on June 29, 2007

This is cool!

I was totally hooked on the story!

May I make one suggestion? Your voice and the bass guitar occupy a very similar harmonic space at times, and with both panned dead center it sometimes gets a little muddy and cancels out some consonants. Considering panning them into different spaces in the mix, or eq'ing your voice a little.

I love how it ends too.

Great job!
posted by lazaruslong at 5:48 PM on June 29, 2007

damn, cortex beat me to it.

There is egg on my face.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:49 PM on June 29, 2007

No, no: we're both geniuses.
posted by cortex at 6:04 PM on June 29, 2007

I agree, you are both geniuses! And yea, you are both right about that. Honestly, I didn't have that kind of consideration while recording. And I didn't even do any mixing. WYSIWYG. I did two reading takes and one bass. The bass nailed the sentiment so I just let it ride. But thanks for the advice guys, it will definitely stick!
posted by snsranch at 6:35 PM on June 29, 2007

hi sns - clever choice of instrumentation to suit a great story - Paul Auster would have been proud of taking up the challenge that way.
posted by nicolin at 1:15 AM on June 30, 2007

sns: that was superb! Your voice and delivery, and this is a compliment, reminded me of one that might at any moment say "Edwina's insides were a rocky place where my seed could find no purchase." ;)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:50 PM on July 1, 2007

nicolin: Paul Auster? Wow. Thank you. Now I'm gonna have to read the New York Trilogy.
posted by snsranch at 5:40 PM on July 1, 2007

you don't really have to. My comment states that your storytelling here is fascinating, especially in the way it relates strongly but surprisingly with the theme.
posted by nicolin at 7:14 AM on July 3, 2007

Original, innovative, fantastic. Thanks for this.
posted by melissa may at 12:03 PM on July 5, 2007

This thread is very old, but here's a follow up.

My family and I recently went to visit Carl's grave site at the National Cemetery on Point Loma in San Diego. We walked for over an hour trying to find Column this and Row that.

According to a park ranger there are almost 100,000 graves there.

As we were reaching the car, my wife gave me a strange look and smiled. Carl's marker was right next to our car.
posted by snsranch at 4:43 PM on August 12, 2007

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