July 19, 2007 11:20 PM

A quirky but perhaps oddly serious song inspired by that old Snake video game, written and recorded for the mefi music challenge.

posted by edlundart (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

zoo keeper! something's going wrong!
the avatar snake is growing too long!
he's eating so much he's been chasing his tail
he could lose himself in his quest to prevail

he slithers around labyrinth walls
the stench of snake oil is filling the halls

the snake skin walls are closing in
but he is convinced he can eke out a win
the snake skin walls are closing in

posted by edlundart at 11:22 PM on July 19, 2007

The arrangement of this song isn't quite done, but I figured I'd post what I have so far before the "deadline."

Fun facts: The thing that sounds like a rhythm egg during the chorus is actually a small Chinese abacus given to me by a former coworker. The falsetto background vocal goes "something's gone wrong, the snake is too long." Here is some info on the video game that inspired the song.
posted by edlundart at 11:35 PM on July 19, 2007

I'd reckon this is one of the best songs ever written about a video game. Certainly the best one I've ever heard! And your voice is, well, lovely. Very strong and pure. I like your calm but still powerful delivery. The piano part too: very clear and simple, gets the job done with economy and grace.

May I offer one humble opinion? The drum part, with that BIG, reverb-drenched and monolithically insistent snare is too much for this song, too overbearing. I'm really wanting something a little more delicate from the drums, something with more finesse and dynamics.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:57 AM on July 20, 2007

Yeah, I wrote this as a kind of ballad at first (which is pretty much how all my songs start), but thought it could be fun and surprising to combine that usual sensitive style with some bombastic drums. I think it could work but in the version posted here, there is no drum sound variation at all, as I didn't have time yet to finesse it. In the end I may reconsider the drums, we'll see. Also, if you'd be interested in trying to apply a totally different drum sound to this, for fun, I'd be happy to send you the song sans drums. I know from your songs and comments that you have a knack for percussion. But anyway, that's just an open invitation, no pressure, no expectations, etc.

Thanks for the very kind words about the song.
posted by edlundart at 8:41 AM on July 20, 2007

You are a perfect exponent of your genre, which I wouldn't know what to call, but it becomes evident when one listens to your songs. They are very well rounded. Also, I think yours and chococat's are the best recorded songs around here. They don't even sound recorded at home. What do you record with?

And, if I may chip in to the drum discussion: I like them, but I do think you could do with some changes in some parts, to better suit each section of the song.
posted by micayetoca at 9:05 AM on July 20, 2007

Thanks, micayetoca. I'd actually be curious to hear what genre people think my songs are in as well, because I'm never sure how to appropriately tag them. Not that they're very unusual or anything.

My recording setup is very simple. I really believe you can get great results with extremely basic gear, it's just about effort (which I have a lot of) and experience (which I have some of). I have only one mic, a Shure SM-58. That goes through an M-Audio Ozone, which is a small MIDI keyboard doubling as a sound card with a preamp in it. That's it for the hardware, other than my guitars and Guitar Rig, a software effects simulator with a hardware pedal thingy. My songs are all put together in FL Studio, on a basic PC.
posted by edlundart at 1:44 PM on July 20, 2007

Interesting. I'm beginning to think it's a lot better to record into a computer than into a studio and then importing it. With the computers the worst part seems to be finding out which soundcard to use (and avoiding delays between what you play and what you hear), but once you sort that out, the process is easier and the quality is always better.

I use an 8-track digital portastudio, and no matter how much care I put into it, the quality audio never matches the careless things I've done in computers. Out of the things I've posted here, the only one recorded in computers was Cade, and it's the one time people have mentioned I have good production skills.

Anyways, sorry to take up so much space. Very cool song, and congratulations on the cleanliness of your sound.
posted by micayetoca at 2:21 PM on July 20, 2007

Genre? Man, you guys have got me there. I must say that I really love the harmonies and especially the darn abacus. That is very cool.

This actually kinda reminds me of folk rock on am radio in the '70s. That should be taken as a compliment too. They wrote some really thoughtful songs back then. Nice one.
posted by snsranch at 4:17 PM on July 20, 2007

I agree with flapjax's comment about lightening the snare (it'd be nice to hear what a percussionist or a jazz drummer could do with this), but mostly I just wanted to comment about how beautiful your voice sounds here. Really nicely recorded.
posted by melissa may at 8:50 AM on July 21, 2007

this is pretty wonderful. you do have a marvelous voice.
posted by es_de_bah at 5:57 PM on July 22, 2007

I'm really, really enjoying this song. Excellent job! The only thing I can find fault with is what has already been mentioned -- that perhaps the snare could be toned down a bit. It's not a huge deal, but it does feel overpowering at times compared to the much softer vocals and piano.
posted by tocts at 7:27 AM on July 24, 2007

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