Metal

If the kids on the playground ever ask you if you can write a metal song in 3/4 time, play them this song.

I mean, the answer is no… but this is in the ballpark I guess, if you squint a little… maybe.

Two Music Projects

So many music projects!

50/90 started yesterday. I haven’t done a lot, but I have worked on it. I started a file with a couple of bass riffs yesterday, then first thing this morning I started another one, and then during one of my back-resting-lawn-mowing breaks I stared a third. Nothing special, and nothing really there to work with yet, but tiny progress has been made.

As for the re-recording project. There is one song that isn’t exactly re-recorded. When I added it to the project last year I took the original GarageBand file from the 2014 50/90 and just started redoing some of the tracks. The two MIDI instruments, the drums and bass, were actually still the same as the original recording. Today changed the drummer. I still need to re-record the bass. I also just put lead guitar onto that song and one other.

The cool thing about these two takes are that I am back to using two amplifiers. The 15 watt Fender Bassbreaker and the 15 watt Vox AC15 are both working together now. This was literally the reason I wanted to buy the AC15. It sounded pretty good to me.

Unfortunately, playing these lead parts set off whatever it is that is wrong with my left hand. Arthritis? Something like that. It hurt a lot and I had to take a break. When I came back I felt like it had slowed me down a little. Usually when that happens I just stomp on the wah and start strumming a lot. Rock and Roll, eh?

More Car Music

I’ve got this window of time after finishing June’s music but before 50/90 starts and I’m filling it with The Great 2015 Re-Recording Project. This morning before work, for the second day in a row I did car vocals.

I went to the same strip mall but parked in a different spot. I was closer to the road and closer to the building, but much further away from all of yesterday’s distractions.

As was alluded to in the previous post, I tried to work out which of the remaining six songs I wanted to work on today. I was gunning for two but secretly hoping for three (he says secretly… as if there was some James Bond secret agent shit going on here instead of a dumb fat ass yelling at a microphone. Could he BE any douchier?). I picked my two and headed out.

When I parked the car I took out my computer, plugged in some headphones, plugged in the mic interface, opened up the GarageBand file, added a mic track, opened up the notepad to see the lyrics and… the lyrics weren’t there. What the ever loving unprepared ef?

For a second I thought about listening to the scratch vocal tracks and typing them out. Then I thought, screw that and moved on to the next song. I blew through it pretty quick and then picked another song. The melody was easy, but it’s very shouty. Much shoutier than I usually do. I finished it reasonably quickly and then figured I’d pack up.

But….

I still had time. I still had laptop battery charge. Most importantly, I still had room in my bladder (more often than not car vocal sessions end due to having to pee. Welcome to the magic factory, kids). What the hell, I could do one more. Is there something left that doesn’t have a lot of harmony tracks or overlapping goofiness? There’s one… it’s really shouty though. Maybe the shoutiest song I’ve ever come up with. Can I do it? I’m already pretty tired from the last one.

My mind thought back to The Beatles recording their first album, Please Please Me. They saved Twist and Shout for last because John Lennon wasn’t feeling well and they knew if he screamed his way though that song he’d have nothing left for anything else.

Screw it! I’m doing it!

I got three songs worth of vocals done today. That makes five in total. Quarantine Tunes Volume 1 will have eight songs. Only three more to go.

Fans

They sure look like they are watching me.

Yes, on the other side of the freight containers is a crane…. at the mall…. why?

Oh look, more fans!

Monday Morning, Again

The bad news is, it’s Monday again. The good news is, thanks to Independence Day it’s only a four day work week. Bliss.

I did some car singing today. June Music is done, 50/90 doesn’t start until Saturday. What did I do? The Great Re-Recording Project. Actually, in my mind I still think of it as The Great 2015 Re-Recording Project because that’s what I originally called it. The old name doesn’t quite work anymore.

Anyway, I worked on vocals for two songs. I spent a little more than an hour. When I do album in a month or demo projects like I’ve been doing I don’t mind copying and pasting vocal tracks. If a song has two choruses I sing it once and paste it everywhere else. I don’t want to do that on The Great Re-Recording Project so it takes a lot more time to finish a song. I want each note played by a human to be unique. I did copy and paste the MIDI instruments. Drums I can’t really help because it’s the GarageBand Session drummer. I might do a unique tweak to each section. Bass… I’m really thinking about redoing all of the bass parts so that I don’t copy or paste anything. We’ll see.

Anyway, I did two songs. They both sound a smidge better than the scratch tracks I already had, so it was worth it. It was, however, definitely stressful. There were a lot of people around. No one actually close, but I was most certainly not alone. I pulled into a spot at around 7:30 and there was a “work” crew two sections away. I put work in quotes because they weren’t actually working. They were just hanging out and they were pretty clearly watching me. Could they hear me? Doubtful, but I was belting as loud as my meager voice can get. Maybe? Doubtful. I think they were on the 8:00 shift with the grounds crew and were just early. There were a lot of additional people on the crew wandering around and there were cars and trucks (and a crane?) driving in and out.

A second work crew showed up at 8:00. Three cars, four or five people. They were in the same lot I was in, but on the opposite end. They were much closer than the not-working peanut gallery, but they only stayed outside for a few minutes before moving into the movie theater. Still too close for comfort though. There was probably enough time, battery, and bladder capacity for me to start working on a third song, but I bailed. There were just too many people. When I pulled out of my spot I saw a third cheering section. Two cats in an SUV only two rows behind me. Way too close for singing comfort. They were okay by social distance standards but what the hell guys, there’s a whole string of parking lots. Pick one of your own.

I’m thinking I need a new parking lot for morning singing. Either that or I have to leave the house 60-90 minutes earlier. On the way home I went to another spot to check it out. I drove up to the Tenney Castle grounds. It was mostly quiet (one jogger in the middle of the driveway with headphones on who couldn’t hear my nearly silent Hybrid car until I beeped. It was pretty funny), but I had actually forgotten that there isn’t a parking lot there. The driveway ends in a rotary. Bummer. Maybe early mornings at the library? They have a pretty remote overflow parking lot there. Maybe.

Anything else going on today? UPS? My amp is back in Out for Delivery Status with a date/time of today by 9:00pm. Should I hold my breath? Look at me. I’m totally holding my breath. Wow, I might actually turn blue from all of this holding my breath.

We did some minor furniture rearranging in some of the bed rooms last week. Over the weekend we spent some time planning for future changes as well. Nothing to report yet, but discussions are being had. Maybe the quarantinie life might lead to a slightly rearranged house. Maybe not. We’ll see. We did add a bunch of new smart light bulbs to a lot of the rooms. Most of the house already had some. Now we have more. The Internet of Things and all that. Groovy. Just don’t hack my lights, dude. M’kay?

Welp, it’s 9:00am on a Monday morning. Enough of my yappin’, let’s boogie… and by boogie I mean start the work day.

Talk to you all later.

June Tracking: Complete

All of the tracking for the 11 June project songs is complete. Today I recorded the last two vocals, the last four lead guitars, and finished one mix.

The Klon KTR into the overdrive side of the Keeley D&M drive really clicked for me for the first time today. Also, the Bonamassa signature Crybaby is really great. The more I use it, the more I like it, and I’ve been using it a lot.

I’ve got five songs to mix and then we start looking forward to the kick off of 50/90 on July 4th. Yikes!

June Music

In an attempt to not go completely insane as I watch my country disintegrate around me, I have decided to try and push through on another month of music. I am not optimistic that I will finish this one. Not optimistic at all.

Whatever.

I’ve got three things in the running. #1 is just a couple of riffs with no song form. #2 has a full song form and a guitar part written out but not recorded. #3 is the interesting one.

I had a bass riff come to me fully formed last night. I am kinda afraid that my brain stole it off of something I heard while watching TV with the fam. It’s that sort of >poof< here I am, all complete that makes me think I actually heard it somewhere else. See Paul McCartney’s explanation of “Yesterday.” He woke up with it complete in his head and assumed it was something he’d stolen. In his case it wasn’t, because he’s a genius. In my case it probably was. I mean it pretty much definitely was.

Anyway, the phrase I heard in my head was four bars long. When I played it into GarageBand though I realized I was wrong. It’s actually three bars of 4/4 time and one bar of 3/4 time. Basically, it’s one beat shy of four bars. Crud. GarageBand doesn’t actually handle changing time signatures (at least it didn’t the last time I Googled it). So I needed a work around. Instead of four bars, the phrase is now one bar… of 15/4 time. Yup, I’m that guy.

Yippee.

May Music: Finished

Well, February, March, April, and May all have 10 song RPM Challenge style recording projects (February and April actually are officially RPM Challenges) that were all finished on the 29th day of the month.

May has 11 songs. I just finished mixing the last two.

Is it good?

Nope.

Do I care?

Nope.