Then She Begins ...

July 13, 2008 10:33 PM

Tonight, I created a really, really, really good remake of an old song of mine. I don't even know if I have a copy of the original anymore, but ... whoa ... this thing ended up being kind of epic. Features horns and toy pianos, a reed organ, both regular and electric ukulele, some drums. I even tried my hand at playing the bass. Short, simple lyrics within (of which I am also rather proud)!


Then she begins to pace around, taking a break from stringing fiber optic lines across the room. Her eyes are wandering about like specks of haphazard dust drifting in sunbeams.

posted by The Great Big Mulp (18 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

this thing ended up being kind of epic

And how!

I'm most impressed by how quickly this gets epic. I mean, it's only two minutes long, but it quickly (and naturally) grows into something big. Who needs a "Stairway" or "Free Bird"-length tune to pull that off?

Great stuff as usual, TGBM.
posted by danb at 7:42 AM on July 14, 2008

I'm struck by the originality of the arrangement - I could have used another minute of this song, which is not a thought I normally have.
posted by arcanecrowbar at 12:03 PM on July 14, 2008

Oh wow. I won't say anything so that people who listen to it after me can be as surprised as I was. Nicely done, The Great Big Mulp!
posted by micayetoca at 12:12 PM on July 14, 2008

That certainly took a surprising turn! I like the lyrics a lot, and once it takes off this melody is catchy! The instrumentation is quite interesting, though I wish it were a little less lo-fi. I'm probably in the minority on that point, but what I mean is that if only some of the instruments sounded sort of "cheaply overdriven" while others were more "hi-fi", I think I'd enjoy the lo-fi feel more. Anyway, that's just me. This was a very fun listen. Short and sweet too!
posted by edlundart at 1:14 PM on July 14, 2008

edlundart: A fair part of that could be the electric ukulele. I haven't much experience with amps and pedals and such, and it has a limited range, so it generally ends up sounding kinda lo-fi by default whenever I use it. It sounds much better when soloing as opposed to playing rhythm. Also, I'm sure the hum from the motor on the reed organ doesn't help, either.

arcanecrowbar, after a few listens through the finished product, I, too, though it could use a little more song. Maybe even just repeating the first run through the chord progression in the beginning.

I'm glad you folks enjoy it! The band I'm in has just set up a whole new slew of recording equipment in our practice space (this song was the first major usage of it all), so, hopefully, there'll be more to come.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:17 PM on July 14, 2008

really it was just a half slew of new equipment.

I think he may be referring to the 50's broadcast mic on the vocals .

It's an actual mic, folks...not a cheapy lo fi effect.

No. He said instrumentation. Huh.

Don't know what he means.
Also. I think the drums are too quiet.

Except the snare. That's not too quiet.
posted by reklus at 9:50 PM on July 14, 2008

July 14, 2008 2:33 AM - played 53 times

that says it all. And I suspect it's not counting the 22 times I played it.

So, did you record this by yourself or with the band? and if you recorded it by did you do it? what did you record first?
posted by micayetoca at 7:27 AM on July 15, 2008

micayetoca: This was all just me. I did the multitracking with Cubase, starting with the drums, but I wasn't working off a click track or anything, so the rhythm in the first part is a little shaky. We've got those going through a PreSonus Firestudio. From there, I recorded three tracks of ukulele, then the five vocal tracks on the chorus. After that came the bass, three tracks of electric ukulele (because the thing sounds so damned tinny), the toy piano, then the reed organ. Then, I decided I had to do something with the intro ... for a while I toyed with the idea of a trumpet solo, but I'm not all that good, so, after a number of attempts, I just added the three trumpet tracks. Still needing to do something with the beginning part, I tried singing over it, making up a whole slew of lyrics, all of which were, eventually, rejected with the decision that I could just stick with the lyrics I've got.

Coming up with what to sing on the first part of the song probably took longer than any other single aspect of the recording process.

And you're right, reklus. It is just a half-slew of new equipment. And it all belongs to YOU! HA!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 2:05 PM on July 15, 2008

Man, oh, Hey TGBM! I don't know which half I like better. No, sorry, it's the first half. It's like having a favorite scene in a film that you feel like watching over and over. (Cool, heavy drama.) Kick ass!
posted by snsranch at 7:24 PM on July 15, 2008

That's insane, it's a lot of tracks.

So, next question: you did the drums first, but what were you playing to? the tune in your head? how did you count all the bars or how did you know when to stop?
posted by micayetoca at 6:25 PM on July 16, 2008

Well, for the first part, I was just trying to keep in mind that whatever I did, I did it four times. I'm used to that, so it's not too hard for me. For the second part, yeah, I was pretty much playing along to the tune in my head. As for counting bars, I don't really, I've just been getting pretty good at feeling out when I've done something either twice or four times (to be honest, other numbers of repetitions get pretty difficult for me to keep track of).
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 3:55 PM on July 17, 2008

That may have something to do with the fact that though you are smart for a gully dwarf (in that you can count to a number above two) you still have a semimagical genetic background to rise above. Still, counting to four would make you an emperor were you to go back home to Krynn.
posted by reklus at 5:05 PM on July 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

This is fantastic. I'm beginning to suspect that we are witnessing the arrival of the fabled seventh elephant.
posted by umbĂș at 7:18 PM on July 17, 2008

this is awesome. I could have used a bit more of it, too!
posted by By The Grace of God at 4:09 AM on July 18, 2008

Definetly epic. Kinda weird but I noticed your initals are TGBM and the first thing I thought of listening to this was a TMBG song (They Might Be Giants). I don't know the name of the song but it's recorded in the Edison studio, both songs awesome.
posted by BrnP84 at 11:36 PM on July 18, 2008

well, hell...
posted by es_de_bah at 9:17 AM on July 22, 2008

Makes me think either Elliot Smith or Architecture in Helsinki... (maybe it's the toy piano?)

Downloading it.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:00 AM on August 2, 2008

This is, as far as I can tell, the track that made me fall in love with mefimusic. While I was cobbling together a band for the first time in my adult life, I started vetting my songs here. This song and this thread made it clear that I'd found an audience that I couldn't find anywhere else, local, otherwise. The folks I'd want to impress.

I'm currently practicing with that band for the first show I'll do after covid. It's a free show at a VFW, but we're doing 80% songs I've posted here.

I am, in this, trying express what you and this community has meant to me.

Plus, like...y'all give me earworms..
posted by es_de_bah at 9:44 PM on August 17, 2023 [1 favorite]

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