strumzilla

​A blog/journal about my life and the stuff I like. Popular subjects include music, guitars, gear, books, movies, video games, technology, humor.

Filtering by Tag: Song

Back at it

I returned to the untitled riff rocker after last week's diversion for "Christmas Armistice" (a profitable one).  I managed to put together a fairly acceptable framework for the song and I recorded rhythm tracks on both the Tele and Les Paul. Using my standard wet/dry (AxeFx/SPDIF DI) approach, at any given time there up to 12 rhythm tracks. All together it's a bunch of mush, so I started some basic editing. I used my new(ish) best friends for mixing Neutron 2 and Ozone 8. The track assistant is perfect for artist oriented "producers" like myself. It's quickly become my go to solution for at least the initial rough mix so I can just hear how the song is shaping up.

I will return to the old school approach to mixing (well, digitally at least. I'm not going to get a console and tape machine) here in the future, it's still what I'm currently majoring at Berklee and I don't want to get lazy about the real art of producing and mixing. That being said, I chose production at Berklee because at the time the only other option was music business. As I've stated before I plan to add Guitar for the dual major once I put together an audition. 

Back to the riff rocker, I wrote basic verse and chorus vocal melodies yesterday and I'm pretty happy with them. I think they work pretty well with the tune, and it almost felt like the tune was written around them instead of the reverse. Now I need to write the lyrics and then record the vocals. My old friend Mike (Paramedic, Bassist, Rush Fan) had offered to help on a future project, so I'm going to try and get him to record a bass line for the tune. We'll see how that goes. I'm sure he can up with something much better (and more bass centric) than I can. 

Revisions and Additions

I've had a few days away from "Widow Black Unweeping" (the song formerly known as Languid Licking Lollipop) and I've decided to revamp the vocals and some of the rhythmic elements. I'd say the proposed changes dials it back to about 80% complete because I'm not planning any other big changes. There are parts where the vocals and the rhythm seem to work against each other and some of that is predicated by how wordy the song is. I'll try and simplify some of the rhythms in the more wordy sections and see if that helps. If not I may trim down the lyrics as well. 

The vocal melodies in both the verses and choruses are just not powerful enough (from an emotional standpoint, but that could probably also be said about the delivery). I need to work on some sort of slamming chorus that really notches up the energy level and it's probably going to overshadow what was the original riff idea. That riff is okay on its own, but it doesn't seem to work as the main energy of the chorus. The verse melodies might not need as much of an overhaul, but they need some work because I don't sound comfortable singing them and they need a little more emotional energy. 

As I've stated in the past, I really learn the best lessons by first doing things wrong or at least inefficiently. Before I invested any time into production and mixing, I should have really focused on core song structure and made sure that it was connecting emotionally. I'll have to develop a workflow for more efficiently demoing tracks before I invest too much time in recording and producing them. It seemed to work out okay with Rascal's Refrain, but maybe it was just a better song and maybe I just got lucky. 

I've also begun work on another tune that had been lying dormant for several years. It was also born of a riff, and I had previously put together an entire song structure minus lyrics/vocals. I'm still thinking I want it to have vocals, but I'm not sure what they're going to be about. Instead of working exclusively on one track,  I want to mix it up a bit so things seem more fresh when I come back to them. I'll still likely finish WBU first, but I want to give myself breaks from the monotony of one song. 

Languid Licking Lollipop

A work in progress. Again born of a riff that I think heard while running one day years ago. This will sort of fall somewhere between EDM/metal unless the song leads elsewhere, as it sometimes does.

The lyrics are deliberately alliterative and chosen as much for prosody as relevance. The genesis was finding phrases to fit the rhythm, nothing more grandiose than that. The grandiosity always comes later. As JRR said, the tale grew in the telling. A bit pretentious (understatement of the week) in its execution, but I don't care because I'm in this for my own entertainment. Not to be taken too seriously is all I'm saying.

Here's what I have so far, edits are likely. I don't have a name for the tune yet, although I may go with the title of this post. This will make slightly more sense when put to music, and the structure of the song is mostly complete, although that will likely also undergo further development as I record it. 

__________________________

Languid Licking Lollipop💃

Him

Intro

surreptitious schemer
chuckle chortle chatter
lambskin latent lupine
tickle tailored tatter

Verse 1

slipping slinking foot pads
drowned out by the noise
bacchanalia ballyhoo
garish girls brainless boys

stare slowly sweeping
focus coalesce
sneaking snicker sweetlings
aggress and possess

Chorus 1

languid licking lollipop
brashly braying bebop
furtive glance commence dance
sugar sweet soda pop

Her

Pre Verse (intro 2)

maiden meekly modest
demur delicate
duplicitous drapery
simulated celibate

Verse 2

dark path descending
concealed crimson cape
purity pretending
trace hint of lace

stare slowly sweeping
chance opportunity
cocksure closer creeping
ensare with impunity

Chorus 2

red riding randy
deadly deeds dandy
silken thighs conceal surprise
covet carnal candy

Verse 3

raven black hair
world weary eyes
aristocratic air
admirable prize

cocksure closer creeping
comely coquette
paradoxical prey
concealed crimson corset

Chorus 3

beastly bilking milkshake
craving carnal cupcake
bombshell sweetmeat sells
no foot on the heartbrake

Verse 4

too late the tell
madness in her eyes
wariness awoken
wolf in sheep's disguise

cocksure captured sleeping
now fully ensnared
widow black unweeping
victory declared

Bridge

tickle tailgate truncate
primitive the primate
monopolize the mandate
prognosticate prevaricate
consecrate and consummate
intoxicate then copulate
obfuscate and confiscate
propagate then dominate

Verse 5

dark fate befallen
sadness in her eyes
another foe defeated
sixpence none the wise

sowing precedes reaping
longer grows a list
widow black unweeping
silhouette fades to mist

Chorus 4

languid licking lollipop
lupine transform lambchop
game of chance blame romance
sugar sweet soda pop

languid licking lollipop
rock until the ball drops
hidden strings deadly sting
sugar sweet soda pop

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The rest of these are leftovers that I liked but couldn't find a specific use. They work with the music but otherwise don't make particular sense in the narrative. Not that the previous lyrics made a lot of sense either.

mango bongo dingo
the postman’s name was Ringo
he leashed a pink flamingo
mango bongo dingo

freaking leaking tweaking
flying through a window
sneaking creaking squeaking
cagey clever widow

Mabel was quite able
to clean up her table
her mink coat was sable
her thoughts unstable

powdered feathered scattered
thoughts are all akimbo
glassy trinkets shattered
slipping tripping limbo

speculations fabrications
plots run amok
machinations conflagrations
design or dumb luck

brazen battered hardcore
choking cloaking bedsore
thunder crashes nevermore
brazen battered hardcore

kilgore bangalore manticore
he knocked upon the wrong door
they nailed his head into the floor
kilgore bangalore manticore

Rascal's Refrain Reprise

So, I "finished" this version of the tune. I started to work on a video with After Effects but quickly became mired since I don't know the program yet. I decided to throw together a basic lyric video and post that to Youtube and share on Facebook. I'll start watching some AE tutorials here shortly once I finish this semester's homework and finally get around to filing my taxes. I plan on revisiting the tune in the future. There are definitely things I want to add as well as things I'll likely re-do, mainly the guitar solo. I'll probably let it gel for now and start working on another tune. I think some time away will give me a better perspective on the tune. I plan on restructuring the ramped up intro and adding some small electric guitar accents to the later verses. I also still wanted to double track with my Les Paul or something different from my strat just to add some more color. 

 

Streets - my first(ish) online composition

This isn't really the first song I've written, but it's the first complete tune I've written and attempted to complete in a long time. I wrote it as part of the RPM/FAWM challenge previously discussed. It's of the ambient/electronic variety since I not only love that style, but it's also about the easiest to create on a digital audio workstation.