Watching ET's Mom in Other Movies

August 31, 2008 12:47 PM

A song starring Dee Wallace Stone with cortex on piano.

I've been really hating music lately for different reasons and keep meaning to quit, but I really like how this song has turned out and that sort of thing sucks me back in every time.

This is a rough draft and is part of a song cycle that includes a different version of the song "Rod Carew" that will be finished in the next 20 years or so (the song cycle that is). The song involves the lead character watching the movie Cujo and relating both the childhood of Ms. Stone and a sort of documentary account of one of the scenes in Cujo to his own life. Deanna/Donna in the song is Dee (her real name is Deanna, the mom in Cujo is named Donna; Dee's from Kansas, Wyandotte county if I remember correctly and if not, it rhymed). There's also a couple of references to other horror movies starring Ms. Stone. The character in the cycle (named "Wolf" for now) does a lot of vicarious explanation of events in his life through art and artistic achievement. Hopefully it all doesn't turn out to be some DeLillo-esque wankery.

cortex's piano really makes the song for me and I didn't want to rob his metafilter fans of hearing it (that's a joke, son). I'm playing a lot of the instruments, including a borrowed theremin, and our friend Adam is playing the swirling snare with effects and the baritone guitar.

Deanna remembers behind the wheel
Smells of sterile green tile
Standing on tip-toe to reach the hands
Of adults silent with heads bowed
She knew enough to keep quiet
Hiding under the table like crumbs
Watching his hands beat her down
As the sun waltzed its way into night

... she remembers where she’s from
a prairie village, county W.Y.
“OK, I’m ready” she yells
and she’ll howl it at the moon each time

Donna sits and waits for the dog
As they shake some toys in the car
Egg-based effects falling from its mouth,
Tad wearily eyes the window
But one more thought comes creeping in
When the dog finally appears,
“This road is not a blue line, it's a dotted line,
if it's even there at all.”

...and she remembers where she is from
prairie village, county W.Y.
and the nightmares that will follow you
down dusty back roads at night
Donna hits the wheel again and again and again and again
as Deanna starts to cry
she turns the key to nothing
“Goddamn car,” said to dashboard lights
and she’ll howl it at the moon each time

*hmm, kinda sad, huh. Happy Sunday!*

posted by sleepy pete (13 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

lovely. one of my alltime favorite musicfilter posts. thanks.
posted by punkbitch at 3:50 PM on August 31, 2008

Great to hear a waltz: what used to be a staple of American popular music, from R&B to C&W, but so rarely heard these days. Love the theremin, for me a little reminiscent of pedal steel, here in this tune. But this cortex fellow on piano, I've never heard of him. Tell me more.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:40 PM on August 31, 2008

hmm, kinda sad, huh. Happy Sunday!

That is so like you.

Seriously, I really like how well the piano ended up sitting in this. It's such an uneasily pretty arrangement on its own—I think theramin just kind of brings an element of that sort of restless tension to a track in no matter what, like saw-playing does—that trying to fill in some of the ground with piano work seemed like the thing to do, and it seems like it worked out okay.
posted by cortex at 7:53 PM on August 31, 2008

cortex: It worked out wonderfully. More than I would have hoped.

f@m: when playing the theremin, I thought of it as a pedal steel for this countryesque song, so... there you go. Yeah, cortex, that's just some dude. I actually deleted the tag bothkindsofmusiccountryandwestern because 1) it was too long and 2) it was too ridiculous for such a "serious" song.

punkbitch: Thank you!
posted by sleepy pete at 8:10 PM on August 31, 2008

(and I should add) punkbitch: That means more than you'll probably ever know. Thanks again.
posted by sleepy pete at 8:11 PM on August 31, 2008

Great song. I like the way the drum line gets busy for a couple beats and then plays smoother towards the end of the phrases. And the chord change you use when you sing "and she’ll howl it at the moon each time..." is just brilliant.

Great post, I'm glad that you are back.
posted by micayetoca at 1:21 PM on September 1, 2008

This is really great sleepypete. The theremin sounds very cool, like a distressed and anxious humming. I don't know this movie, but the idea is a good one. I guess I don't know too much of your stuff, but this sounds different to me than your usual. I might be wrong. Your unique voice will always tie up any new strings.

It'd be a real shame if you somehow did quit music.
posted by Corduroy at 2:34 PM on September 1, 2008

It's lovely - theremin, pedal steel or singing saw, it would've sounded lovely. Great piano from cortex too. Really hope you don't quit obviously, since you and melissa may make some of my favourite music on Music.
posted by Ira_ at 6:42 PM on September 1, 2008

Quit music... ?! OMG, srsly, glad to have you back! Especially because I've loved everything you've posted here.
posted by not_on_display at 9:42 PM on September 1, 2008

I love how dirty this sounds.
Just works perfectly.
I feel like I'm missing out on a late night drunken jam.
Hey guys, wait for me!
posted by chococat at 12:07 AM on September 6, 2008

I'm just glad that someone realized that Dee Wallace Stone deserved her own song, and it's a song that should be done with this amount of care and seriousness.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:11 AM on September 6, 2008

Makes me want to drive hardpack gravel roads at dusk, in a rusty pickup, with the windows rolled down.
posted by cog_nate at 1:20 PM on October 1, 2008

Makes me want to drive hardpack gravel roads at dusk, in a rusty pickup, with the windows rolled down.

Thanks, man. It has a weird Kansas vibe for me that I can't shake, so your comment makes it all worthwhile.
posted by sleepy pete at 11:51 PM on October 2, 2008

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