We Close Our Eyes

August 6, 2009 7:29 PM

This is as personal as I get when not improvising.

My 25th birthday was yesterday, and in the weeks leading up to it, I found myself facing the classic quarter-life crisis. It got me thinking about where I stand in my life, where I wanted to be by now, the big obstacles yet left to overcome, loves lost, left, and regretted. Seeing my nephew (who turns one year old in a week) also has brought up thoughts of yesteryear, and wonderings of where the time has gone so swiftly.

On that note, I decided to cover this song, originally by Danny Elfman and the boys of Oingo Boingo in 1987. I've always loved it, and decided to give it fair treatment. I started yesterday morning (on my birthday), and finished about 23 minutes ago. I put a lot of myself into it, and I hope that comes through.

Recording-wise, this is the biggest project I've undertaken, to date. There are 27 vocal parts, 48 parts, in total. Everything was done by me, with the exception of a bit of autotune which man vs sun helped me out with, by running it over the melodica, which is grossly flat in the low end. Instrumentation is as follows:

Korg DS-10 (drums, bass 1, bass 2, glockenspiel)
Melodica "accordion" (recorded in octaves to sound like an accordion)
Vocals (oh, so many vocals)

posted by askmeaboutLOOM (6 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

wow. I mean fucking WOW!! I love this. I'm not familiar with the original but it reminds me of Todd Rundgren for some reason - not the sound, but the way the song is structured. Again, this has your trademark sound. Well done LOOM!
posted by MajorDundee at 2:16 PM on August 7, 2009

Thanks, Major. I'm really glad you liked it!

I can see the comparison to Rundgren. One of my favourite albums since high school was Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell, which he produced. I guess his production work has been kind of a cornerstone in how I put together instrumentation and orchestrations. There's also always a bit of Queen and Brian Eno in my blood. With as much minimalistic stuff as we produce with Gyrophonia, it's nice to stretch out the more grandiose side every so often.

This is actually the first of (most likely) three Oingo Boingo covers I have planned. The next production should be even bigger, and all vocal.

The main melodic line to this song is ridiculous, spanning 2+ octaves, and those controlled breaks in the chorus were tricky to get used to. I actually started teaching myself how to yodel, in order to get more comfortable with the breaks in my voice.

Also, I should hope you're at least familiar with Danny Elfman. Yes, that Danny Elfman.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 2:46 PM on August 7, 2009

I'm ashamed to say I've never heard of Danny Elfman. Sounds vaguely Tolkien-ish... But I think you should consider having a crack at some Rundgren material. "All The Children Sing" from "Hermit Of Mink Hollow" positively leaps to mind, or the sublime "Love Is The Answer" from.....I can't remember the album, but some act or other had a monster hit with it way back in the 70's or '80's. Ohhh, I could go on and on when it comes to Mr R. I think the timbre of your voice might lend itself to that kind of material?
posted by MajorDundee at 5:05 PM on August 7, 2009

I suppose I can understand not being familiar with Elfman--I forgot, you're the sort that carries lime trees on your ship. Helps fight scurvy, you know.

If you don't watch many American movies (in particular, almost anything by Tim Burton), it's understandable. I consider him to be the greatest film score composer alive today.

Back to Rundgren, I might give some of that a go. He always struck a chord with me of an even more over-the-top cheesy (mostly in a good way) Uriah Heep (I've considered plucking out The Wizard on more than one occasion).
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 8:54 PM on August 7, 2009

As usual, you colonial Johnnies get it all wrapped round your ankles. We didn't, if memory serves, carry entire lime trees on our ships. Just the fruit. Obviously. But the thought of tall ships leaving our ports bedecked with small forests is quite funny in a Terry Gilliam kinda way.

Uriah Heep...........hhhmmmmm. They were always a bit "naff"* - there was something slightly desperate and sweaty about them. Their records were obviously made on the cheap. Very much second division. In fairness though, they had one or two decent tunes. I remember secretly rather liking the "Magician's Birthday" album - Sweet Lorraine, Blind Eye etc.

I woudn't personally lump The Runt in with UH. I know what you mean re the cheese quotient, but I think TR was only sometimes a mild Brie whereas UH were always ripe Stilton.

*Naff is a Brit term for something that is uncool.
posted by MajorDundee at 10:57 AM on August 8, 2009

Great use of the DS10 as a musical instrument. Very well done.
posted by nthdegx at 3:43 AM on August 10, 2009

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