News From Nowhere

May 8, 2010 12:20 PM

Instructions: to be liberally applied aurally when driving through Godforsaken backwaters. Warning: lengthy instrumental section may induce quasi-prog aversion syndrome. If this occurs, please seek immediate medical assistance. In the alternative, large quantities of beer and/or marijuana have been known to effect temporary relief from this distressing condition. MajorDundee Inc - A Familiar Company

Usual instrumentation etc - see previous posts for exhaustive detail.


There were times when things were better here
Many years ago
There were times before everything disappeared
Many years ago

And old man Taylor
In the hut by the woods
He ain't spoken to no-one for years
Troubadours they come and go
But the gas pump's broke
The store closed years ago

It's a lonely town

People say that something happened here
Many years ago
People say a stranger disappeared
Many years ago

And the old soldier
In the hut by the woods
He is terrified of his dreams
People whisper
People scheme
They're lucky they ain't seen the things he's seen

It's a lonely town.

posted by MajorDundee (18 comments total)

That's a badass rock riff opener there, Dundee, sounded like ZZ Top suddenly dropped into Mefi Music. Then the spoken-ish verse delivery reminds of Dire Straits, and the vocal harmonies on the chorus brought The Police to mind.

Colorful lyrics: they leave plenty of mystery, in a good way. I'd personally have left off the proper name, somehow it lends too much specificity to it, but maybe the Taylor has a meaning for you. And what a great title, News From Nowhere. Wish I'd thought of that. I came kind of close with "you came out of nowhere, then you went back", but "News From Nowhere" is an instant classic of a title.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:17 PM on May 8, 2010

Thanks Flapjax. I can't claim originality for the title - it's the title of a book by William Morris (which, incidentally, has little to do with the subect matter of the song). I have the feeling this'll be my last post here for a while. I want to take some time out from writing/recording to have a bit of a rethink/reboot - beginning to repeat myself and getting just a little bored with what I'm doing. I'm not getting close to where I want to be musically. Ideally, I'll come back with a different sound (and another vocalist!).
posted by MajorDundee at 7:06 AM on May 9, 2010

(and another vocalist!).

Well, do what you gotta do, man, but, FWIW, I think you have a fine voice.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:54 AM on May 9, 2010

Also, your spirit and delightful sense of humor will be missed. Try not to be gone for too long, y'hear?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:55 AM on May 9, 2010

You've very kind Flapjax - but I'm only taking a break from recording etc while I figure some stuff out. I'll still be listening and commenting etc etc, just not "active" for a while. I mean can you seriously imagine me totally shutting the fuck up??!
posted by MajorDundee at 11:31 AM on May 9, 2010

This is so damn rockin'. Great riff. Would you ever consider gracing a tune of mine with some of your delicious electric guitars?
posted by ORthey at 11:43 AM on May 9, 2010

Thanks for that Orthey! Be delighted to help you out - I'm totally fucking sick of the sound of my own songs and vocals right now. You'll see from comments above that I'm taking a bit of creative time out, but during that interregnum I'm more than happy to contribute guitar (acoustic and/or electric) to other people's tracks. Drop me a note - best to send to MeFi email as I always forget to check the hotmail address.
posted by MajorDundee at 12:39 PM on May 9, 2010

Well, Major D, as a frequent MeFi Music lurker, let me say how much I enjoy your work. I respect the need for the occasional creative reboot, and will look forward to your return.

Also, seconding flapjax re: your voice!
posted by jaruwaan at 7:51 PM on May 9, 2010

This is pretty great. And, as always, I really do like your voice. So there.

And it's funny that sometimes I forget the sound of a Strat (I'm assuming that's the Strat, anyway). I've been playing dark, thick guitars almost exclusively for so long, I sometimes forget how a nice, bright Strat can sound. And you know, I don't think the instrumental section lists too badly toward prog... it's pretty badass, actually.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:49 AM on May 10, 2010

Thanks to all.

Ozzy - the guitars are: left channel - Yamaha SA2200 (with the single coil selected), right channel: Strat. You can be forgiven for assuming it's all Strat because the Yam does have a distinctly Strat-like tone when the humbuckers are split and the bridge p'up is selected. It's just a touch darker and more "woody", which you'd expect from a semi. Lovely guitar actually - build quality pisses all over the Gibson 335. I cut the basic tracks for this several months ago so details are hazy, but I think the "hot" solo is my Les Paul.

Oddly enough another lyric for this one has come unbidden to me, so I might take another shot at it. But........I've painted myself into a Garboesque corner now.....(ha!).
posted by MajorDundee at 11:49 AM on May 10, 2010

Yeah, this is really muscular, which is a word I don't use much around here.

That right-turn bridge is nicely done, too.
posted by Karlos the Jackal at 1:52 AM on May 11, 2010

nice, as ever. your guitar playing is so sweet. more solos! (i speak as an unreconstructed proghead, of course)
posted by peterkins at 2:52 PM on May 13, 2010

posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 8:51 PM on May 13, 2010

Thanks for that Peterkins. I'm reserving thanks re abc123etc's comment. I don't know what "MOAR" stands for, but it doesn't sound complimentary. If it's "MOR" it's certainly pejorative, at least in my book. Disappointing.
posted by MajorDundee at 11:32 AM on May 14, 2010

MajorDundee, I'm sorry you're down on your music. I'm just dropping in to say I think this is a great song.
posted by Father Tiresias at 5:01 PM on May 14, 2010

Many thanks for the encouragement FT. Out of interest, here's the alternative lyric I wrote for this which I'll maybe record at some point:


Looking out from the sixteenth storey
At the people down below
Running round like ants in panic mode
Suddenly exposed

Some are workers
Some are drones
Some are soldiers
With their cover blown

And though they number millions
Each one knows
When it comes right down to it
You’re on your own

It’s a lonely town

At a house twenty blocks away
A social worker calls
He busts the door and gags into his cellphone
At the sight of human bones

As you’re standing in the subway
Waiting for a train
Screaming in the empty, seething crowd
You watch somebody, half insane
With tasselled shiny shoes
Crush a bug making for a drain.

It’s a lonely town.
posted by MajorDundee at 1:56 AM on May 15, 2010

Oops, didn't mean to offend Major. Here is a brief explanation of the word MOAR:

MOAR is an expression of interest and desire, indicating the poster wishes more of the same or similar type of content thus provided.

In other words, it's a deliberate misspelling of "more". My comment was meant to be entirely complementary. I like this type of music and would like to hear more of it. Hope this helps!
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 8:25 AM on May 15, 2010

Probably says more about my paranoia than anything abc - I sometimes think some of my stuff strays dangerously close to MOR and maybe I thought I'd been rumbled! Apologies that I took it the wrong way.
posted by MajorDundee at 9:45 AM on May 15, 2010

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