Archive | February, 2010

Oh No!

25 Feb

My Blog is SAGGING!

Forgive me, I actually have a great deal to talk about. And I have the time to talk about it. But at the moment, I don’t necessarily have the inclination to talk about it. I have some big posts in the works, and big potential musical projects in the works. But I’ll let these things ripen just a tad before I spill them onto my computer for all to see.

This week, I have been stranded in L.A. for some rehearsals, so my ability to produce has been hampered. I’m back down to S.D. tonight though, and the production is back on. The rehearsals are indeed part of one of the possible ‘big things in the works’, but I’m not letting the cat out of the bag yet. As with so many cats in so many bags, this one might actually be dead and unceremoniously flop out onto the counter with mild horror, repugnance and disappointment.

But more info is coming soon, I swears it.

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Got a Call from the Padres Yesterday….

23 Feb

My fate will be decided in two weeks, when they do the auditions.

This Sound Makes Me Lose It Everytime

17 Feb

::::The following may or may not be autobiographical::::

My friend Chris Collins is a video editor in Hollywood, and he often gives me advice on writing cues for T.V. He says that whenever you write a cue, you should imagine the scene you are writing for.

I added this first story to make this blog post less about my situation specifically, and more about the hilarious sound that follows

Imagine sitting at a booth, waiting for a blind date to show up. Suddenly this gorgeous woman walks through the door, totally naturally beautiful and yet approachable looking. She comes right for you! You incredulously mumble, ‘Are YOU Stacey?!’. She replies, ‘No, I’m Stacey’s friend. That’s Stacey, and she points to the bar where this nasty greasy chick is wolfing down hotwings.

CUE THIS SOUND!!!

So then, imagine interviewing for a job on the phone and thinking it went really well. The guy says he’ll get in touch in a week or so when they do in person interviews, but he really enjoyed talking to you. the company seems uniquely suited to your perfect skill set. So the week you are supposed to have this interview, you get in touch with him and leave him a voice mail asking when your interview will be. He then calls back and leaves you a voice mail stating that…….they decided to go with someone else with more experience, but thank you for your interest in the company.

CUE THIS SOUND!!!

You have to smile. I think I might make that my ring tone for awhile.

We Forgot

15 Feb

I received this call last night while I was playing in church. Thank God I remembered to have the phone on silent! This was the mother of a student I taught on Saturday.

‘Lalalalalalalalalalala You wanna, Kiss the Girl’

11 Feb

I did another calypso song, and all I can think about when I hear these songs is ‘Under the Sea’ from ‘The Little Mermaid’. This one has a slightly more ‘old school’ vibe, and I took the percussion and bounced it down and ran it through a mellow guitar amp simulator to get some grit, then mixed the original percussion back in. The finishing touch was the cheesy keyboard sound. The percussion is mostly just samples, but one cool sound is the sound of me banging on an empty SIGG waterbottle with scissors.

Grammys

9 Feb

So it’s possibly old hat at this point, but I thought I should say something about the Grammys (grammies?). Overall, I was disappointed with the Grahamies this year wI hen compared to the Grammys of late. The 50th Grammys two years ago with Herbie Hancock winning album of the year and that rad performance with Herbie and Lang Lang playing Rhapsody in Blue was a great night, and I thought it was a great message from the recording industry that it values talented musicians and the music they create. This year wasn’t a radical departure from that or anything that dramatic, but it was far less compelling performance and award wise.

A brief rundown from memory:
-Beyonce performing with a bunch of black dude robots and suddenly launching into Alanis Morrisette’s ‘You Outta Know’. Would she do the infamous first verse F bomb? Nope! Although the suspense in the song up to that point was killing me as I wondered if she would. Instead she went with a ‘And are you thinking of me when you (silence)’. She didn’t pull the wool over anyone’s eyes with that manoeuvre. The performer simply refusing to sing a part reminds me of…
-Bon Jovi performing his very relevant for 2010 set. One interesting thing was that the Grammy watching audience got to vote on which song he performed, and the chose ‘Living on a Prayer’. The idea of an audience choosing the artist’s song inspired me with another thought that I’ll touch on soon in another blog post. Anyway the question with ‘living on a prayer’ was if Bon Jovi would go for his ‘Whooooaaa, oooooahhW, Living on a Prayer!’ which is throat laceratingly high. The answer is no, he just let the girl from Sugarland sing it while he just backed away from the mic.

-Dave Matthews Band performed a song, and it was not bad. I was stoked to see them there, and I am a BIG DMB fan. At least pre 2002 DMB fan. Their later stuff I’m just not familiar with. The string section of ‘everyday people’ was kind of weird, as well as the half genuine half fake smiles on their faces.
-Pink was awesome. Simple song, amazing (scary) acrobatics, and the whole thing was imbued with her bad ass becomes mature and vunlnerably beautiful vibe, which made for a poignant performance in a night of otherwise one dimensional performances.
-Taylor Swift one a bunch of stuff based on her great album and her great song about high heels vs sneakers / cheerleader vs bleachers. I like that song! it’s a mastefully written tune! She deserved her awards, but the performance with Stevie Knicks was kind of whack. As in heinously out of tune.

-Black Eyed Peas sounded out of breath. I didn’t dig their performance. They write good songs, or at least genre defning ones. I’m not a huuuge fan, but I dig the art of what they do. The performance didn’t do much for me though.
-Leon Russel with that country band from Georgia was cool!
-Michael Jackson tribute was LAME. Thanks for making it 3D so we couldn’t watch at home. Let’s see, who can we get that have seriously nothing to do with one another? Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood, Jennifer Hudson, Usher, and Celine Dion. Earth song is cool, but the contrived way in which they sang to a screen did nothing for me.
The sound for the whole night was pretty horrible. What gives?! You’d think with this much $$ going into it they would have top quality sound production. A lot of this wasn’t the artists’ faults necessarily. Taylor and Stevie were probably out of tune because they couldn’t hear themselves at all. That’s really unacceptable. Guess what? Same thing happened at the Superbowl. The Who sounded pretty rubbish, but from what I gather from people there, it sounded amazing live. The T.V. people can’t mix to save themselves!

Anyway, let’s hope next year’s Grammys are a little more inspiring.

Two More Songs That Couldn’t Be Any More Different….

5 Feb

In the past 18 hours I’ve written two cues that are about as far away from one another stylistically as you can get. Or maybe not. But they are also in two styles which I have never even pretended to be able to write or produce in. That is up until now, when certain listings or happy accidents just led to things that enabled me to make them.

This first one is a sketch only, so don’t knock my obviously fake drums. Also those ain’t real guitars, but they might for once in my life actually be passable enough that it doesn’t matter.

HEAVY D:

This is an attempt at Calypso. This listing wants promient steel drums vibes. I can’t help thinking ‘Under the Sea’, or even worse, the lame music that they put in the end scene of the Remastered ‘Return of the Jedi’ with the Ewoks dancing. Why did they need to change that? Lame.

CALYPSO ATTEMPT:

So yes, two very different songs. But nothing’s more encouraging than saying to oneself, ‘I’ve never done that before, I’d like to give that a try’ and then actually succeeding. I just say, ‘YES!’, knowing full well that tomorrow I could wake up and have far fewer breakthroughs than I did today. Knowing that days like this do happen is what you mentally go back to to buoy you through the rougher times, which I’ve had a lot more of lately to be honest.

Also, enjoy this unrelated image:

Bass Heavy Hip Hop Groove

3 Feb

Sometimes you hear a song and say, ‘ I should write something like that! Something that has ****** and ****** and some ****** with that heavy ******* sound’.

YEAH SON

In essence you are saying you want to copy a song, but not note for note. You want to copy the musical elements of a song that stand out to you as the reasons that song is so cool. I had one of those moments during rehearsal yesterday. This song had a hip hop beat with a crazy hi hat and most importantly a heavy, delicious bass. So I copied those elements and came up with a groove of my own. Here she is: