Hang Onto Yourself (Arnold Corns version)

August 12, 2013 11:00 PM

My entry into the Summer 2013 Metafilter Music Challenge.

This was a bit of a slog for me. I did the Arnold Corns version of the song because I think the Ziggy Stardust lyrics are silly.

Thanks to dubold for checking in and making sure I got the job done.

posted by dobie (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

oh man, this is excellent! loving the guitar at 1:19 and again at the end. Snares are good as well, vocals sound great. a nicely rocking version, to be sure.

thanks for introducing me to Arnold Corns, I was not familiar before you mentioned them.
posted by dubold at 3:52 AM on August 13, 2013

Way cool.
posted by COBRA! at 7:23 AM on August 13, 2013

Man, if the actual Arnold Corns version had been this good, it wouldn't have sucked! Well done. I was worried whether anyone would be able to do this one very well, since the lyrics for the Ziggy Stardust version are kind of...artist specific. However, this 100% worked.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 3:19 PM on August 13, 2013

I hope my comment made it clear that I really liked this version, whereas I found the original AC version barely listenable...I'm uncertain of my phrasing.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 8:40 PM on August 14, 2013

No worries man. I preferred the AC version more than the Ziggy Stardust version. It has kind of a strummy Beach Boys vibe that I kind of clung to as something I vaguely liked. The only thing notable about the Ziggy version is how you just wouldn't hear that kind of elastic tempo being allowed in modern rock any more. And how inconceivable the lyrics would be today.

I'd never actually heard either version of the song before I created the project file on my computer.

The things I do for metafilter...
posted by dobie at 11:56 AM on August 15, 2013

This song is not really my cup of tea, but you do a good job of it as always. I especially liked the crazy-ish guitar work towards the end. Can you comment on how you achieve that sound? In terms of effects/pedals/equipment but also in terms of playing.
posted by edlundart at 4:53 PM on August 17, 2013

Me either edlundart.

There are two components to that sound. I used logic 9 to record this, which has a preset guitar tone called "Crunch Backward Echos". It is made up of a has a pedal board that uses a reverse delay effect. I just turned the delay mix way up and adjusted the timing so that it was for half a bar. Also, I had to fiddle around with the compression to make the signal take up more of the mix. I didn't really touch anything else on the preset.

Once you start playing backwards guitar you quickly realize that it doesn't really matter what you play as long as it's in the right key (major pentatonic). I approximated the guitar solo, but didn't make much effort to match the playing, then just did some bends that sounded good at the end. The backwards delay gives it a really unstructured feel, so the second component I added was a keyboard that hints at the original guitar solo melody to tie the whole thing together.

I mixed the two melodies off to each side and there you go.
posted by dobie at 7:48 AM on August 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

Great take. Didn't know all this.
posted by nicolin at 2:52 PM on August 30, 2013

Great! I didn't recognise the song name straight off, but the minute you started I knew which one it was. Love that the handclaps are still in there, I'm a sucker for those in anything. Definitely going to listen to this more in the future as I like how your making it sparser and looser works, the original was quite (proto-)punk now I think about it. Also, it's only a matter of taste, but your ending freakout should have been longer especially the drums tripping over themselves. I'm a sucker for those too!
posted by comealongpole at 8:05 AM on August 31, 2013

dobie, I forgot to check back in until now, but thanks for explaining that sound. Interesting, I have a similar effect in my Guitar Rig software I think. It feels like you play something and it barely influences the sounds coming out... you tamed it into something very musical and functional here.
posted by edlundart at 11:12 PM on August 31, 2013


the original always struck me as a little awkward, not the best "recording" on the Ziggy album, whereas the live versions I've heard are great.

This finds the basic song, delivers it straight up, entirely fresh.
posted by philip-random at 9:05 AM on September 2, 2013

I love that guitar solo! It sounds so lush.
posted by capricorn at 9:41 AM on September 2, 2013

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