February 17, 2007 4:23 AM

Out of several tunes in various states of completion for the RPM project, this is the most presentable. In use for this track are: voice, talking drum, bells (metal and wooden), guiro, synth bass and organ. Every so often I write a song which is overtly political (a protest song, for want of a better term), and this is one of them.

posted by flapjax at midnite (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite


see the american man
he's all of twenty one
he's in baghdad
he's got a gun
they told him he
has a war to win
but whether he's ever
gonna see his home again
that's undefined

the guns are sold
the blood is spilled
the contracts signed
the pockets filled
the blood is red
the money's green
but who's gonna stop
this death machine
that's undefined

you've got your choice
between two rich white men
democracy is foiled again
still it's sometimes hard
to know just who to hate
or who really steers
the ship of state
that's undefined

in foreign lands
the bombs are flying
but not always for the reasons
they tell us here
when will the people say
that's enough of your lying
and just say no
to this culture of fear
that's undefined

Copyright 2007 Samm Bennett / Polarity Records
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:27 AM on February 17, 2007

Damn, I wanna go to your place and play all your instruments. I love how things come in at each verse (the talking drum in the second, the keyboard in the next one). What do you record on, flapjax? you get a very clear sound.
posted by micayetoca at 7:17 AM on February 17, 2007

Guiros are for real men!

Fantastic work flapjax. It's hard to offer any constructive criticism as your work is consistently outstanding.

[suggestion] After the lyrics end, try doubling the bass line an octave lower and inserting at about 50% volume of the main bass line.

Also, given your toys, I know you've got to have a small shimmery sizzly gong. I think it would be great in the first line of the 3rd and 4th verses, perhaps panned almost all the way to one side, as well as asserting itself at the end.
posted by Ynoxas at 9:25 AM on February 17, 2007

Your vocals sort of remind me of Horace Andy.

Very cool song! It's bizarre in a very good kind of way.
posted by Electric Winter at 12:33 AM on February 18, 2007

mica: Well, if you can make it over to Tokyo you'd be more than welcome to pay me a visit and play with my rattles, bells and whistles! As for what I'm recording with, I use Logic 7, running on a Mac (OSX). All processing (reverbs, compression, etc.) are from the plug ins, all pretty standard stuff, nothing too exotic. And everything you hear on this and most other tracks of mine is recorded with an Audio Technica ATS500, which is a pretty decent mic, but not anything incredibly extravagent. (I've got it on extended loan from a friend.)

Ynoxas: Thanks for your comment and suggestions. I think you might be onto something with the bass doubling idea. BTW, you're a musician, aren't you? Are you? Do any recording? If so, ever gonna post something here?

Electric Winter: Don't know Horace Andy, guess I'll have to check him out. Oh, and, if you think this song is bizarre, man, you probably wouldn't know what the hell to make of some of the other stuff I've done over the years! Hell, this one, for me, is... um... conservative!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:19 AM on February 18, 2007

flapjax: I'm a "latent musician" unfortunately. I'm looking for a way to get back into it, but given my current situation I'm not exactly sure how.

I am (well, used to be) a concert trombonist, classical choral singer, and amateur bass guitarist. My freshman year in college was as a music major, but at that point in my life I was not ready to move away to a major metropolis, so I picked something more practical, and there's hardly a day goes by that I don't second-guess that.

I performed several years after that, but have performed very little the last, oh, 6-8 or so. Between work, marriage, kid, there just seems to be no time. Which I know to be a falsehood, since you and others here are able to produce such fantastic work so frequently, and I'm sure you have just as pressing demands on your time.

I spent a couple years being damn-nearly a full-time musician, but it was all church-based. Church orchestras, choirs, I even did some choral directing.

But, I've left the spiritual side of myself along the byway a long time ago, and I don't think I could ever go back.

I lived in Nashville a while, but between working 60-70 hours per week, along with family life and just plain laziness, I really never got into the local music scene, aside from leisure playing with a couple of aspiring songwriters, and offering them some vocal coaching and style advice.

In just the last couple of days, I've toyed with the idea of downloading some of the great 1-person or acoustic works here and adding a simple bass line. I recently bought a beautiful hand-crafted bass with the notion of it helping me get back into music, so we'll see.

At any rate, I do consider myself musically comfortable, and while some (most) of the chops may have faded, it's still all in the squishy stuff in my melon.

And that's why I genuinely appreciate some of the stuff here on MuFi, like yours, as it is more than just something that sounds nice... there is an artistry.

Your work is quite good, and you should be proud, which I'm sure you both know already, and already are.

That's the great thing about being a musician, and I imagine any kind of artist... you know when you're good, noone has to tell you, but it's still nice to hear.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:22 AM on February 18, 2007

Heavy stuff. Nice song, man and VERY well perfomed/recorded.
posted by snsranch at 4:58 PM on February 19, 2007

Nice, flapjax. Very focused lyric.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 6:56 AM on February 27, 2007

Shriekback. Joe Strummer. Wow.
posted by humannaire at 10:48 PM on August 29, 2007

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