It Ain't Easy (Bowie cover)

July 11, 2013 3:25 PM

I think I may be kicking off the summer Ziggy Stardust Cover Album project with this intentionally muddy, garage-blues riff off my assigned track.

I think I've been listening to The Black Keys both too much and too little, lately, but it was fun (and a workout) trying to cobble this together in the basement this afternoon. I hadn't actually listened to the original track recently so it was interesting to go back and give it a go once I finished the mix on mine and be like "oh, right, that's what he did".

I need to spend more time with my electric guitar, I feel like we used to have a little more of an understanding going on.

posted by cortex (20 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

I love that analog tape saturation vocal quality! How you do dat?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 3:44 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

I swear I left a comment saying that I loved this. I must have been rocking too hard to have correctly posted it...
posted by scody at 3:52 PM on July 11, 2013

Thanks, scody. Clearly the rock sabotaged you.

quonsar, the saturation feel's from making a double of the vocal track and running it through a mild Garageband distortion effect on the copy (which I panned a skosh to the right as well to create a little bit of room space). Wasn't sure how well it would work but I'm actually pretty pleased with it as a hacky little effect.

I was tempted to just try and get it by blowing out the original mic signal but I didn't think I had many takes in me on this and I didn't want to blow the good one on something that ended up sounding less like "interesting distortion warmth" and more like "well, you sure blew out the fuckin' mic I guess." Will have to experiment more in the future. I've always liked the sound of a growly, broken up vocal and my throat just can't stand up to actually producing one so this sort of thing might be a good way to get halfway there.
posted by cortex at 3:59 PM on July 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by COBRA! at 4:00 PM on July 11, 2013

posted by frenetic at 4:30 PM on July 11, 2013

Now THAT'S a fuckin GARAGE sound, man. Fantastic, love it. And your best vocal performance ever, IMHO.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:06 PM on July 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

what the ding dang. This is a massive kickoff for the challenge, well done cortex.
posted by dubold at 7:10 PM on July 11, 2013

Be on the lookout for a lawsuit from Jack White any day now. Got-DAMN!
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 1:14 AM on July 12, 2013

Man, that's fun. Digging the big-ass bass.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:45 AM on July 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

posted by valentinepig at 12:56 PM on July 21, 2013

I had no idea until just now that Bowie didn't write this. I guess that explains why the lyrics are so un-Bowie. Huh.
posted by COBRA! at 12:28 PM on July 26, 2013

I agree with everyone who said you are killing it on the vocals! The way you sing "we can all pull on through" is excellent. I love hearing this song all heavy-ed up.
posted by capricorn at 4:55 PM on July 27, 2013

That sounded like an old bluesmansinging
posted by BlueMarble72 at 6:40 PM on August 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

Hey you've got all this stuff in your basement ? That's the batcave ! Well you know how to make it work, and I do agree your vocal work is impressive. Great take !
posted by nicolin at 12:44 PM on August 30, 2013

Well, technically the piano is upstairs.
posted by cortex at 2:23 PM on August 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Holy shit, man.
posted by jquinby at 6:21 AM on September 2, 2013

Well done! I'm feelin' that heaviness, man. It AIN'T easy, brother. Loved hearing this!
posted by little_dog_laughing at 7:41 AM on September 2, 2013

Fantastic vocals - my favorite parts are the "upstairs piano" bits though...
posted by Slothomatic at 4:46 PM on September 2, 2013

Nice moves. Jamtastic, effortless with the right attitude. Great vocals too
posted by we are the music makers at 4:45 PM on September 4, 2013

This one of my favorite Bowie tracks and your version is awesome!
posted by nile_red at 3:52 PM on October 30, 2013

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