Music to soothe the soul of the savage

December 23, 2016 6:22 AM

I've recently started building a playlist of quickly produced lofi recordings of live performances of what I'm calling "Creeper Ballads," covers of songs from the POV of problematic or unreliable male narrators who are either unrepentant creeps or who might be. The project is therapeutic for me, a way to vent unruly emotions and manage the stress of the ongoing political crisis and social breakdown in the U.S. and other painful setbacks I've been facing in my personal life. There must be others out there who've been making music to cope? Share and discuss what you've been doing creatively as therapy with the rest of us here.

My goal has been to make these recordings as quickly and immediately as possible, straight to my Android phone, so these recordings are purposely unpolished, raw, and imperfect, and the performances themselves done with a minimum of planning and rehearsal to try to capture a more immediate, emotional take on the song. Fair warning: If raw, lofi recordings with audible mistakes and flaws aren't your thing, you might pass on listening to this playlist ;)
posted by saulgoodman (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Brilliant. I got chills at some moments. Kind of a weird and interesting theme to choose.
There were some unusual musical choices. Like sustaining the word "creep" and the pronunciation of "weirdo." Also, the song endings are an interesting choice. I loved the rawness.
Thanks for posting; this was brilliant.
posted by gt2 at 5:12 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Thanks! The whole creeper concept and the idea that all love songs are really just about control and dominance and manipulation has been coming up a lot in my personal life, so partly, for me, this was just an attempt to confront and grapple with those ideas. I don't agree with the cartoonishly extreme position that all love songs are about unhealthy obsession and possessiveness, but it's hard to argue against the claim that these kinds of creepy songs about obsessive relationships or from the point of view of men who seem to be potentially self rationalizing abusive behavior are well represented in the rock and roll and blues traditions. I can't claim complete credit for that observation. My ex-wife first pointed that out to me. I don't agree with her that the claim holds universally of all love songs. That's far too cynical and demonstrably untrue. But there are definitely a lot of more contemporary love songs whose vision of male "love" seems to be more about control and possession than genuine caring.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:18 PM on December 29, 2016

I recorded this cover of "1999" (based on the Red Dirt Rangers cover) the day after Election Day. Definitely falls under "a way to... manage the stress of the ongoing political crisis." (And under "raw, lofi recordings with audible mistakes and flaws.")
posted by Shmuel510 at 10:54 AM on January 2, 2017 [1 favorite]

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