star shapes

December 4, 2007 1:00 PM

This is a song i've been trying to put together for a year or two now. It uses my usual punk + x formula, where here, x = rawhide. The second half is big, noisy, and was tons of fun to make. I"m kinda fond of the lyrics Hope you enjoy. lyrics inside

if your heart's shaped like a star
then you could keep adding on corners
but the more that you add
well the harder it gets to keep track
and this is a warning
don't look for answers, it's the questions that sustain you
on this long shit broken road

because man is a toy that broke himself
trying to figure out how he works
don't talk shit on the job
if you can't live without the perks
name the things you'd die for
it's like a camwhore's christmas list
drunken ballpoint love notes cover your arm to the wrist

one foot over the line
one foot keeping time with the collapse

so you've got your sacred task
to defend the over-rated
and we can joke and tease
but fuck at least
well you can keep your story straight
so you're sucking off the zeitgeist
and if that works for you, you know i'm glad
but it just don't work for me

because my heart is like a star-fish
with sucker cups for arms
you can cut one off
and it will grow back
but sometimes it grows back wrong

your pep-rally scars got the floor tonight
the evenings been commandeered
i know that you had a hard time coming up
i know that. I just don't care

and i sure wish i could give you come credit
i just don't know why you're putting so much effort
into holding these elaborate concerts
for the skeletons in your closet

posted by es_de_bah (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Awesome. I like it a lot, and I think the reverb you used int he voice was perfect for this song.

The song sounds a bit under rehearsed, but of course, with punk+rawhide that is not a problem at all, and it certainly keeps with the charm that the song has.
posted by micayetoca at 6:40 AM on December 5, 2007

Nice! I'm just wondering, how did you record the main guitar?
posted by sleepy pete at 9:34 AM on December 5, 2007

everything outside the drums and the synthy sound was recorded into the line-in on my computer using a mid-90s camcorder for a microphone. effects were added using fruityloops, and I unfortunately lost the original tracks after the first mix down, so the reverb is a little heavier on everything than I'd like.

as for under rehearesed, micayetoca, I'm a little interested to know what you mean. i do try to keep my guitar playing a little loose and improvy so as to give the track more off a real band sound. and I am a huge lofi fan.
posted by es_de_bah at 10:07 AM on December 5, 2007

Ah (nice use of the camcorder mic). I like the sound of the guitar a lot. I've gotten it a few times by plugging a distortion pedal (with the distortion turned almost all the way down) straight into the board, but that leads to a lot of EQing madness/boredom, so I don't do it as much unless I'm sure that I want that exact sound.

As for losing tracks, I'm sorry. I've done that so many times (computers dying is mostly why) that I've just started making copies of everything if it's a new project. Of course, that takes time and space...

Nicely done, es_de_bah.
posted by sleepy pete at 10:43 AM on December 5, 2007

I didn't mean it in a bad way. The part at the start, where you sing the first couple verses, sounds pretty tight. It's actually when you make the stop for the "one foot over the line
one foot keeping time with the collapse
" line that it sounds a bit more sparse.

It doesn't sound bad, it actually sounds as if five guys were in a room learning a new song they just wrote, and they don't do the stops with they same "firmness" as someone who has played the song for a long time.

It does sound like a band, and I too like the lo-fi sound it has. To be fair, I don't think it would be easy (or necessary) to make those stops tighter, as it is hard enough to record a song with so many stops by yourself. Again, it's a really cool song.
posted by micayetoca at 11:32 AM on December 5, 2007

This is a lot of fun, es_de_bah. I like the guitar a lot (especially that rollicking solo!)
posted by ORthey at 1:32 PM on December 5, 2007

Hey man, I am a huge lofi fan never sounded so bloody effing good.

Ha, I dream of making epic works like this. Big kudos!
posted by snsranch at 4:20 PM on December 5, 2007

I enjoyed the lyrics, especially the "elaborate concerts
for the skeletons in your closet" bit.
posted by erikgrande at 6:52 PM on December 5, 2007

I like the overall sound of this, sorta like you're hearing everything from behind a gauzy curtain. In that sense it actually reminds me a bit of Daniel Lanois' excellent production for Dylan's Time Out of Mind, which happens to be a big fave sound of mine! A real appealing murkiness. So I don't think it's too much reverb at all, on the contrary I think that's a big plus.

One other comparison came to mind: the half-spoken, declamatory, doubled vocals at the "because my heart is like a star-fish" part instantly reminded me of Blows Against The Empire-era Jefferson Starship. Vary Paul Kantner-y. Also the sonic quality of the extended outro: acoustic guitar strums plus psychedelic carpet textures... I really think you were channelling a particular late-60's/early 70's San Francisco aesthetic here. Which is also very cool in my book. Ever hear Blows Against The Empire, by the way? Cause this mirrors its sound and aesthetic to a great degree, and I'd be interested in knowing if you were consciously going for that, or if it's more of a coincidental thing.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:08 PM on December 5, 2007

i suppose I'll have to give it a listen, flapjax at midnite. thanks for the props on my murkiness. I've been trying for a while to compensate for my lack of polish in as tasteful a way as possible. i'm glad that it seems to be working.
posted by es_de_bah at 7:17 PM on December 5, 2007

Yeah, definitely check it out, es_de_bah! Part of it resides in your soul whether you know it or not! I also notice that the piece is called "star shapes", and wondered if that wasn't perhaps a nod to... Starship. But with all this talk, please keep in mind this is the VERY FIRST Jefferson Starship record we're talking about, not the hideous embarrassment that Starship eventually became.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:23 PM on December 5, 2007

i have to admit quick internet research had made me worry. i've yet to come across anything off of "blows," but jefferson airplane has always kosher in my book, and definitely has a nice dirty feel, so i look forward to checking early starship out more.

the 'star shapes' name was actually new. it was originally called "on paper" and is prolly going to be called "scratch ticket salad" when i play it live.
posted by es_de_bah at 7:30 PM on December 5, 2007

i've yet to come across anything off of "blows,"

Check it out. "the melting acid fever streaking through my mind..."
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:38 PM on December 5, 2007

thanks again flapjax. there's nothing like getting in-depth feedback from one of your mefimu heroes.
posted by es_de_bah at 7:41 PM on December 5, 2007

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