Post of the week...intense acoustic folk song. Guitar, vocals, piano.
I love this song. Cover with guitar, piano. From her 1995 album Wrecking Ball, which Wikipedia calls "career redefining."
I like it again. This is the piano track I posted before (now without the synth, and with vocals and backing vocal harmony) but I think I've mostly solved the problem that to me the whole thing felt kind of lifeless. (At least I felt confident enough to replace the old track with this on SoundCloud, hope that was wise.) What do you think?
Flowing, dark piano and atmospheric synth. TBH I've been tinkering with this for so long that I'm not sure if I like it anymore. (It's like the "if you a repeat a word enough times it doesn't even sound like a word" effect--I don't hear what I once heard in it.) But I really liked the piano part when I first came up with it. What do you think?
There's a song with words and stuff that this was originally based on, but I like the instrumental version better. Mellow, textured, haunting, builds slowly. What do you think?
This piano part and vocal melody have been rattling around in my brain for a while--finally wrote some lyrics and fleshed it out a bit.
Gentle, warm, almost mantra-like song featuring guitars, piano, bass, lap steel, drums, bass, melodica, and vocals -- kinda sorta about seeing love as an art project. [more inside]
A very crap-quality song I wrote using three chords on a synthesizer keyboard and a terrible singing voice. Anyone who knows me knows that this entire thing is a massive satire, so don't take the lyrics or the cheesiness at face value. On second thought, I am probably even more cheesy than this song tells. [more inside]
An ode to women featuring guitars, piano, melodica, and lap steel. [more inside]
I wrote this after attending a concert late last year. Just finished (?) the recording. It's kind of a tribute to the musician I saw -- maybe you can guess who it is? Either way, it's a track that features guitars, pianos, fretless bass, vibes, drums, vocals and a lap steel part in the chorus that I'm really satisfied with. [more inside]
This is the lead-off track from the forthcoming EP, Labyrinths, by Steve Goldberg and the Arch Enemies, to be released 1/7/10. It's a wistful slice of indie-pop about insomnia, suburban isolation, and the boredom of hometowns. [more inside]
A new song called 'Madeleine' from my new band, features piano, strings and bouncy guitars! Wheeee. [more inside]
This track switches between three time signatures, and features an intro with a style of singing I guess one could call very vaguely eastern. It's a slow and gentle affair with softly distorted ebowed guitar, piano, and xylophone. It also includes a guitar solo in which a single note is played repeatedly. And lyrics that are pretty silly. [more inside]
As I was noodling around with these chords, beautiful summer has arrived here in Seattle. I couldn’t help but look out the window of our little music room at the gorgeous weather, flowers, blue skies, and people having fun on the water and asking myself, what am I doing inside on such a lovely day? And the answer is, writing a song about how I love the summer months as long as I’m safely ensconced indoors and out of the sun. It’s not my fault that I’m borderline translucent and in danger of melting in summer sun like a chocolate bar on the backseat of a car in July. But keep in mind, those of us who prefer it inside, aren’t necessarily anti-summer. We love watching it from the safety of air-conditioned shade. [more inside]
I don’t know crap about this topic but it hasn’t stopped me from having my interest piqued. Specifically, I’m talking about brain chemistry. Both the mechanics of it and the way we manipulate what those mechanics do these days are super interesting. Even more amazing to me is how people’s emotions (usually negative emotions) can be a simple result of a chemical imbalance in their brain. Wow. I realize the drugs we have today are both amazing relative to nothing and very blunt instruments relative to what we’ll have down the road. And while I haven’t tried any of them, I sometimes wonder what people did before they existed. Mostly suffered I suppose. :| [more inside]
Back in either middle school or high school, in music class, I wrote my very first melody with a classmate named Mathias Knutzen. The assignment was to take a text from one of our books and create a song with it. We chose Robert Frost's poem and came up with this pseudo-jazzy tune. I always liked it, so I kept the "digital chord sheet" around and played it from time to time. More than 15 years later, here now is a brand new recorded version -- complete with brushed drums and falsetto background vocals. [more inside]
(Note: NSFW-ish if f*** and a****** are a problem where you work.) For the bulk of the years of growing up that I actually remember, what I would consider the “formative” years, I lived in Brookline, Massachusetts. (Not to be confused with the super irritating Brookline, New Hampshire that would show up in school closing announcements only to leave me extra disappointed.) During and after college I didn’t think much of my high school years at Brookline High School. And in fact, I ended up losing touch with every friend I made there. But thanks to the internets I have reconnected with many of them, some very recently. It’s been super positive, and it’s stirred up all these great memories of my time in Brookline. That’s what this song is about. These three incidents in particular: [more inside]
I tend to take a lot of pictures. I found out early on in my photo-taking tenure that the more pictures I took, the more likely that some of them would come out nicely. Of course, I’m always the one behind the camera. As a parent, I also have wondered just how much of the time I spend with my kids they will remember (if any). My father recently asked me if I remembered how we used to watch Star Trek together. I honestly couldn’t remember. He was crushed. It occurred to me that many years down the road when my kids look at our family pictures they won’t see me in any of them because I was the one behind the camera. Something tells me that this detail will be lost on them as they repeat the cycle and tell me they don’t remember me being there. ;) [more inside]
I've spent the past couple of months trying to improve my production skillz with my limited resources. This is the first song to come out of it all (probably because it's the simplest) with more on the way hopefully! [more inside]
Awhile ago I spent way too much time reading a thread on the always excellent Marginal Revolution blog discussing possible tactics for dealing with sudden and unwelcome time-travel to 1000 A.D. Clearly the thread needed to be put to music. (OK, it was clear to me at least.) That was so much fun that I thought it might be fun to do it again. And Tyler over at Marginal Revolution was nice enough to participate for another round. Then Tyler announced the topic - “Are Books Overwritten?” Ruh ro. [more inside]
It seemed time for an uncomplicated pop song (not that any of my songs are super complex in the first place). But in this nice little package you get everything you’re looking for in a standard radio-friendly pop song (does anyone listen to the radio anymore?)... [more inside]
A few months ago I decided I wanted to try and do a cover. Based on the result, it was clearly a bad idea. I probably should have been discouraged but instead, after months of therapy, I decided to try again. The victim this time was one of my favorite artists - Jonathan Coulton and his excellent song SkyMall. [more inside]
A short, lyrically strange new song partly based on a dream. [more inside]
Written back at the turn of the millennium (oh the good old days) this song is about our old friend Victor. He’s an ethnic Chinese, Australian born doctor who abandoned medicine (and Sydney) to embrace the “structured” world of computer programming and the United States. Once you understand the laws that govern Victor’s existence you can compile him quite reliably. [more inside]
Wrote this a few years ago. An introspective song about a place to be introspective. [more inside]
Song about an unreasonably angry stewardess. Everyone's written one of these. [more inside]
If you don’t know what “Rule 34″ is, just pull out your trusty Urban Dictionary and look it up. Go ahead, I’ll wait. [more inside]
Polygamy (or more accurately - group marriage) gone awry. [more inside]
This song is about a love rectangle. The singer is in love with Betty, she’s in love with a boy who treats her like crap. He is in love with Betty’s rich best friend who treats both him and Betty like crap. Everyone’s pretty much miserable except possibly for the best friend who’s oblivious to people’s feelings. [more inside]
Inspired by the Marginal Revolution thread giving advice on what to do if you find yourself suddenly transported back to Europe 1000 years ago with nothing but the clothes on your back. [more inside]
First mix of fer-realz recording of one of my songs: Chester. Per my last AskMefi post, please critique it! [more inside]
An atheist's song about the nature of politics and religion in the U.S.
A quirky but perhaps oddly serious song inspired by that old Snake video game, written and recorded for the mefi music challenge.
My wife accidentally broke a vase. This song resulted. It was recorded in a couple of days inbetween other projects. I used no clicktrack, metronome or drum beat, so the timing is nice and loose (in a good way, I hope). It's short, so listen twice!
Piano-based song written for my wife, for our recent wedding. As usual with my songs, it's slow and sparse. A lot of vocal layering going on, and some electric guitar to round things out in the chorus. Enjoy!
A calm and smooth falsetto song with lyrics lifted from an emergency first aid poster (with some additions turning it into a love song). Features guitar, bass, piano, and electronica-style rhythmic vocal snippets.
A pretty catchy melody, I think -- starts slow like most of my songs, but then picks up and becomes more of a rock track. Sample lyric: "Sleeping with you is still fiction, so missing it must be a contradiction." Features vocals, guitars, piano, drums, strings.
A recent recording of a slow and maybe a little creepy song I wrote a couple of years ago. I'm responsible for all vocals and instruments minus the bass, which was recorded by my Scottish buddy Riadsala.