Meanest Words

September 23, 2009 6:07 PM

I can't stand it when a couple will fight with, swear at, humiliate or completely demean each other in front of a room of people. It happens a lot.

Recorded with some new instruments I got this summer.
The first is an awesome Melodika that my wife found at Value Village (Canadian thrift store chain) for $14.99 and it's the best thing ever.
The second is my new guitar, which I've wanted forever and finally own, after decades of surviving with my crappy trusty old Yamaha acoustic that I got for Christmas when I was 10.

posted by chococat (16 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

Oh, also while finishing this tonight my old backup hard drive from 2004 completely died in a scary orgasm of clicking and scraping noises. It (was) a Hitachi Deskstar (which, I've subsequently learned, has earned the name "Deathstar" due to it's tendency for failure.) And while, yes, it was a backup drive, it's 5 years and 160gigs of stuff; a lot of which had been stupidly deleted from the original computers it was backed up from, because, "man...I need more space on this computer...well, I can throw all this shit out because I have it on the backup drive..."
Hurray. And I have no beer.
posted by chococat at 6:41 PM on September 23, 2009

This song is gorgeous... amazing work.

Both instruments, by the way, sound fantastic! What model Martin did you get? I've been contemplating either a melodica or concertina too... you may have just sold me on which one to get.

Also, drive failure is one of the suckiest things to happen to people who store their creative work digitally. Maybe it could be inspiration for your next song..?
posted by spiderskull at 6:45 PM on September 23, 2009

Really sorry to hear about the back up drive. I should probably learn from your story.

Whenever I see a melodika, I'm surprised by how nice and full they sound. This song has very good pacing, and it's got great lyrics and subject matter. It's like what I wish Elliot Smith sounded like, which probably comes off as an odd thing to say.
posted by Corduroy at 9:17 PM on September 23, 2009

Lovely! The Martin definitely sounds like it should, which is gorgeous, and I'm completely jealous of the melodika find. The recording itself is beautiful and, after a second listen, has a nice polish to it. I'm enjoying this a lot.

As to the lyrics, my wife and I have mastered the art of subtle facial and body language for public situations. She, particularly, can fire lasers from her eyes at 200 feet.
posted by empyrean at 7:13 AM on September 24, 2009

Thanks, guys.
Ya, the melodika is great. You think it's just going to sound toy-ish but being able to control the dynamics of it with breath just makes it so expressive. It's like a weird accordian/harmonica hybrid.
A bit hard to mic, though. You have to twist it around and play it at a weird angle to get to the sound holes in the front.

spiderskull, I got an HD-28. Sounded unbelievable when I first played it, like it was amplified. I love it. But playing it for 20 minutes at the store is one thing...I've found that it's a bit difficult to play for long periods of time. I've read a lot of the same reactions online and it's because the action is really high with the factory set-up, so hopefully when I get them to lower the action at my first set-up it will be a bit more comfy. Also the medium strings are something I have to get used to.
posted by chococat at 8:05 AM on September 24, 2009

Great tune, beautifully written and exquisitely (sp?) produced. Definitely a standout MeMu track for me. Thanks for sharing!
posted by CarrotAdventure at 9:00 AM on September 24, 2009

Chococat, you cannot fathom how excited I was when I saw your name on the MeFi Music main page, nor can you fathom how happy I am to finally be able to play a new song of yours over and over again. Never change! Well, maybe you could post more often...

I'm also totally jealous that you got a Melodica in Toronto for so cheap. I've wanted one for ages, but the nice Hohner ones at Long & McQuade are too expensive, while the cheaper ones at Steve's and other places aren't good enough to justify costing over $40. Tell your wife that if she ever sees another one at Value Village, she should pick it up for me! :)
posted by espire at 4:04 PM on September 24, 2009

Whoa, wait, no way, you live in Toronto? I totally just moved there. Are you playing anywhere soon?
posted by CarrotAdventure at 10:50 PM on September 24, 2009

posted by Sys Rq at 1:43 PM on September 26, 2009

posted by InfidelZombie at 10:41 AM on September 27, 2009

Huh. Nope.
But interestingly, the very first guitar teacher I had, in Grade 5 in the late 70's, was this really hippy-ish guy. I'd go to his house and he'd show me chords and then get me to strum along and sing songs with him, and "Colours" was one of them and I just hated it. Because I wanted to be learning "Highway to Hell" or whatever.

Whoa, wait, no way, you live in Toronto? I totally just moved there. Are you playing anywhere soon?
Just my basement, pretty much.
posted by chococat at 4:47 PM on September 27, 2009

It's another winner, chococat. Love the melodika. I've wanted one of those for a while myself. Your vocal overdubs kill me. How do you record and mix them? Do you try to sing them in a slightly different voice somehow? Do you sing them into a different microphone? Do you shave off some of the top end to set them back in the mix? Reverb? Thoughts on panning?

"Sorry things were said in haste, and sorry that they're true" -- what a great line!
posted by edlundart at 9:45 PM on September 27, 2009

This is really nice; your guitar and voice sound great, as always. The melodika has a really great sound too; I might have to look into picking one up, if I can find somewhere to put it.

And congrats on the new guitar! There's nothing quite so nice as a guitar that plays well and sounds good. And those Martins... !

Also, backups: I feel you. I recorded a ton of stuff in 2001-2002 that has since been almost entirely lost in two separate disk failures. I was gutted at the time, but figured it was just an opportunity to do it again, but better this time. Although now you've got me thinking it's time to pick up yet another backup drive.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:13 AM on September 29, 2009

I like the melodica ("melodika" must be the Canadian spelling), especially at the end when it harmonizes with your voice. Another nice one.

Also, I got your CD and I've been enjoying it -- I suggest others here do the same!
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 2:18 AM on October 2, 2009

So good chococat. It all sounds so good. Its humbling how good it sounds. Melodicas are tricky beasts to work with and you really nailed it. Cheers.
posted by dobie at 9:43 AM on October 5, 2009

Thanks again!

edlundart: I think it's not necessarily good to have a set way of doing something every time, however, I'm guilty of that often. Depending on the song, I frequently double-track harmonies and pan them both over to the right or left a bit. Season with reverb. On the chorus I might double the lead vocal too. I only have a few mics, a Studio Projects C1 (large diaphragm condenser), a couple of SM-57s and an SM-58. Mostly I use the C1.

("melodika" must be the Canadian spelling)

Hmm, I've seen it both ways but "melodica" is probably right. The one I have is an Apollo Melodiker M37-N, so I guess the "k" got stuck in my mind. There are blogs and Flickr pools about these things. Who knew?
posted by chococat at 7:49 AM on October 7, 2009

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