Going Nowhere (working studio mix)

February 13, 2017 2:24 PM

This is a working rough mix of a song I originally posted a rough acoustic guitar demo of here on MeFi music a couple months back... This version gives the tune the full band treatment, and is part of a larger full-length project, "Tragicomic Americana," I'm working on with a new group called The Wishing Well Divers.

The lyric is about the constant economic and social pressure in the U.S. to move to pursue economic opportunity, what I call the American Economic Diaspora, although that's probably a bit of a misnomer, since it's happening mainly within national borders.

You get so tired of losing people you love
Easy come easy go there's another one gone

Sometimes it feels like that's all that you know

Like the story of your life is getting left behind
while others go

Your mom and dad were the first ones to blow
your whole scene while they went off
Searching for their souls

Guess they never found what they were
Looking for

Because they never came back for you
Just kept following those tracks on through
Going nowhere

Some left to chase after fortunes and gold
And more than a few died
without getting very old

Some wanted love, some wanted death,
Some wanted hope

The only point on which they all agreed
Is that there's always somewhere else to be
Going nowhere

posted by saulgoodman (10 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Tragicomic Americana is the perfect name for a project these days. I like this tune. Your voice is really confident in these latest recordings (not that it wasn't before).

I'm impressed with your discipline with the guitar jreet jreets. You put in just the right number of them. I wouldn't been able to resist cluttering up the song with too many of them.
posted by umbĂș at 7:13 AM on February 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

I was hoping to sort of misdirect listeners with that bit--sort of give the sense the tune's building toward a climax or solo section but then peters out instead. I love playing around with musical arrangements that reflect the lyrical themes back somehow. It took every ounce of self-restraint I've got to keep from wanting to lead into some over the top noisy guitar solo, so I feel you, but the song didn't need that.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:50 AM on February 14, 2017

Hey so this is really great. Just understated in the most perfect way.
I'm DYING trying to think of what/who your singing reminds me of in this tune but it doesn't matter in the end because it's so nice.
posted by chococat at 9:25 PM on February 14, 2017

Thanks for that! Yeah, the last couple of years have been really rough personally and I've been sheltering and self-soothing a lot with songwriting/recording demos to cope.

Something strange started happening to my voice right after my wife left me. My range deepened and I hate to sound like such an artsy cliche but it helped me find a new voice. Possibly because I think I used to be unconsciously a little lazy about counting on her naturally strong voice to carry me.

I wasn't a strong singer at all starting out. I could hear pitch well, but I've always struggled to produce the notes I want and with the timbre and more expressive stuff. It's taken many years of working steadily at tuning and polishing my technique, with a lot of help on basics like voice placement and other technical stuff my ex-wife taught me about from her formal training as a choral singer and vocal major back when we were still on good terms and collaborating musically and personally. She helped me learn. Now I feel like I finally know what I'm doing, and have a sense for what my own voice is about.

All that doesn't necessarily make up for all the grief and personal stress that's hit us as a family the last few years, on a personal, emotional level (especially not the stuff my kids have been dealing with lately), but it has helped me in a way in channeling and dealing with all those ugly, unruly emotions in a more positive way.

Sublimation may not be a panacea for dealing with pain and frustration, but it can take the edge off while you're trying to figure out a way to reach the more permanent changes to your life circumstances you might really need to manage anxiety and sadness and other longer term emotional and psychological issues. That's been where I'm at lately...
posted by saulgoodman at 6:06 AM on February 15, 2017

This mix has been shaping up really quickly. There's a new version here now (this is a private link to a working mix the other guys and I have been collaborating on, so it may not be live forever) that has some harmony vocals during the chorus and general improvements to the mix. This will probably be the last version we share before it's finished finished and we're ready to release the album and start playing out some.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:30 AM on February 15, 2017

this is very nice. Vocals remind me a titch of Matt Johnson from The The, but the music is definitely more this-side-of-the-pond (american-side, I mean). And concise, to the point pop songs are the best kind, in my book. Good work!
posted by gorbichov at 9:43 AM on February 17, 2017

Vocals remind me a titch of Matt Johnson from The The
That's it! It bugged me that I couldn't put my finger on it.
posted by chococat at 11:16 AM on February 17, 2017

I know right? in a good way, of course.
posted by gorbichov at 2:42 PM on February 17, 2017

Thanks y'all! (And my old bandmates and I used to love The The, so no offense even implied for me, chococat! Love that dude's voice.)
posted by saulgoodman at 7:54 AM on February 18, 2017

OMG yes The The. I was trying to place that too. Also I love the way the drums sound like they're being played literally inside a closet. With clothes and everything.

Also, wanted to add that I like the backing vocals you provided yourself, and the "whoo whooo"s ... made it feel like there was you as a whole band. Not that I know what you look like, but I pictured about 5 you's playing this song. And the backing vocals sealed that feeling.
posted by not_on_display at 9:29 PM on February 28, 2017

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