Rock n Roll Redux

It just hit me that I never posted the last two songs I did for FAWM back in February, so I’m posting them now.  This second one is incomplete – it needs lyrics.  It’s really just an 8 bar jam cut to sound like a complete song, so you’ll notice it repeats.  A bit.

So here’s the deal… I need some lyrics or lyric ideas.  I’m planning for it to be sung by a female (can I get Rebecca back in to record?!?) and I wrote it to have a 50′s, Buddy Holly sort of vibe.  Post your ideas here and I’ll see if I can get something written and recorded.

Rock n Roll Redux

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Baby Bug

It just hit me that I never posted the last two songs I did for FAWM back in February, so I’m posting them now.  The first one is Baby Bug, for my little girl.  I’m channeling the spirit of the Lightning Seeds here.  Pretty much everything in the song was done in single takes (it’s FAWM… you record, you move on) and you can tell in the lead vocals.  I wasn’t really sure of how the chorus went until, um, the end.  But I did figure it out.

I keep thinking I need to rewrite the second verse, and I probably will if I get a chance.

Baby Bug

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Kick it Out

Song number seven for February Album Writing Month (FAWM) is yet another electronic piece focusing on production and technique more than melody.  This time I’m heading in more of a Tribute direction with French-House meeting Prog-Rock.  We’ve got sidechain compression again, as well as some gated rock guitars (recorded) and some live sounding drums, heavily gated as well.  The production brings the styles together pretty well.

As with Westminster Quarters, make sure to play this on some good speakers and turn it up!

Demo

Kick it Out (mp3, 5.2MB)

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Westminster Quarters

Just to keep things fresh and interesting, I decided to push out a bit and write some french-house inspired trance for my fifth February Album Writing Month (FAWM) track.  This uses the Westminster Quarters tune (permutations 4 and 5) in the beginning and end of the song, thus the name.

Technically, I wanted to figure out the whole Daft Punk sidechain compression trick (called ducking or breathing), which is very, very simple to pull off in Logic.  I might end up doing a quick screencast of the process since it’s not immediately obvious how to get everything working correctly and the best tutorial I found wasn’t a video.  Turn it up to get the full effect.

Demo

Westminster Quarters (mp3, 5MB)

Lyrics (traditional, not sung)

O Lord our God
Be Thou our guide
That by thy help
No foot may slide.

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In a Name

Number four for FAWM 2012, this one is for Amy.  Originally written on guitar (in that incarnation, it’s a country tune), this ended up more like a song from the second act of a musical.  I can sort of hear the beginning of Somewhere in there.  It’s short and sweet and I like the final sound.  Still need to work on the lyrics to tie in the whole “in a name” theme, but generally the structure will remain the same.

Demo

In a Name (mp3, 3.2MB)

Lyrics

She whispers late at night
To restless souls asleep
The words they never hear
Her love to safely keep

If words could make love grow
A garden they would be
And what is in a name?
In her case everything

She’ll take your every barb
She’ll feel every bite
But still she finds the grace
Forgiveness is her fight

Though words may break a heart
She’ll mend your every sting
But what is in a name?
In her case everything

How can I say?
What words to find?
All I can do
Is steal every time!

But still, love, you love me.

Even though I try
It’s so hard to believe
That she could love this man
I can’t see what she sees

But still she knows the words
That span the space between
And what is in a name?
In her case everything

Oh what is in a name?
In her case everything

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Sowing Seeds

I was having problems with my Les Paul style Hamer electric, so I hopped on to YouTube to hunt down some videos on how to adjust a fixed bridge guitar so that it didn’t suck.  While playing around with the tuning and action, I started dorking around with this country riff that became the intro of the song.  The final result is either a mid-90′s pop song or a mid-00′s country tune.  Either way, it’s not a very “now” sounding song, but it was fun to work on.

So what’s it about?  Some friends of ours from church own a teaching farm in Chino (ever heard of Amy’s Farm?) that they use to teach the community about not only where you food comes from but also about spiritual living and having a heart for God’s creation.

The “he” in the song is my friend’s dad, Randy, who has been a rancher and farmer forever.  At break time, he invites anyone working on the farm (there are opportunities for volunteers) to come into the barn where he reads from the Common Book of Prayer.  Randy’s whole thing is to let God speak, so he doesn’t.

The “she” in the song is any number of people who come to the farm looking for something other than fresh produce.  I’ve worked in ministry long enough to know that while people do come to the work of the Church because of their faith in God, sometimes they’re also looking for some kind of peace they can’t name yet.  A farm or community garden can be the kind of place where hopes are given expression.  The song is about that.

Demo

Sowing Seeds (mp3, 5.1MB)

Lyrics

Verse 1
5 o’clock, he takes his Bible
Reminds himself of why he came
Heading out into the fields now
Prays for each worker, knows each name

6 o’clock, she makes the coffee
Makes her lunch and packs her things
No one left to kiss goodbye now
All alone, the silence stings

She finds her way to the field one morning
She takes her place in the yard

Chorus
He’s sowing seeds
She’s digging in the dirt
He’s pulling weeds
She’s living through the hurt
He’s planting peace
She’s taking home the
Hope that something
Better’s coming

Verse 2
10 o’clock he’s pruned the grape vines
She’s brushing down the spotted mare
The work, it feels like a sanctuary
Instead of robes, it’s jeans they wear

The barn becomes their cathedral
He says the prayers, she hides her face
No altar call, no plates are passed around
Instead each finds their share of grace
That’s all that’s left inside this place

She’ll be back tomorrow morning
She’ll take her place in the yard

Bridge
Sometimes it seems like the hope we’ve lost
Is best found on our knees

Chorus 2
He’s sowing seeds
She’s reaching out her hands
He’s pulling weeds
She’s finding home again
He’s planting peace
She’s giving out the
Hope that something
Better’s coming

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Wasted

Wasted, my second song for FAWM, follows along with my theme I’m working on and is an attempt to nail down both the lyrical style and the studio structure so that writing the next 12 songs will just flow. I feel a little like I’m cheating as it veers strongly into territory I’ve worked in before, but I think that’s just part of the process.

The lyrics are a little more obvious than usual for me, so I’ll let them speak for themselves. Nothing personal in this case – just a story.

Demo

Wasted (mp3, 3.4MB)

Lyrics

Wasted on a Wednesday night she
Promised she would never promise
Anything she didn’t want to

Yellow fingertips can’t hide my
Desperation, change my station
But maybe I could change my mind to

Words that tame you
Nights that claim you
Make you want to stay
Oh girl, don’t go away

Watch her students leaving
Searching for the meaning
In their longing glances – I relate

Walked her home to beg a kiss
Or maybe one more drink to
Piss away the time we wasted

These stacks of prose
Beneath our clothes
Give fuel to the fire
I’m walking on your wire
Might be time to retire…

One more year just wasted waiting
(Please don’t go)
One more glance, to leave me begging
(Please don’t go)

Alkaline beneath our tongues
You take me where I want to run
Away from everything I’m carrying

In a box and on my back
You’ll give me everything I lack
I’ll give the clothes I’m wearing

Fill the whole
Left by this soul
Oh baby, I believe
Just please, don’t ever leave

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Site is Back

Somehow my posts database got corrupted (like… really corrupted) so I ended up needing to do a complete database restore to get the site back up and running.  Fortunately, I only lost one post, and that text is available somewhere else.

Thanks so the folks at Media Temple for a quick turn-around time on the support request.  They make owning a site much easier than it might be otherwise.

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Hello, Boy

The first song of February Album Writing Month (FAWM) is written and a demo recorded.  It’s called “Hello, Boy” and is my first run at fleshing out this theme I have going on in my head.  It’s a little sad sounding, but in classic FrazierTunes fashion, the sadder is sounds, the more joy there is in the lyrics.  For me, that is.

Demo Track

Hello, Boy (mp3, 3.2MB)

Lyrics

Digging through the pieces
The metal left in creases
I found the thing that I was searching for

Filling up our pockets
Reconstructing ancient rockets
That crashed into the earth when I was born

There’s never time to stop, no time to mourn

Each night we both went under
To raise the dead from slumber
To get back years you lost without regret

The cold bit at our fingers
The smell of decades lingers
But still I find myself prone to forget

There’s never time to stop, no not quite yet

Moving at the speed of light
I never seem to get it right
But even years away you take me to the stars

This rocket’s on it’s way back home tonight
Venus guides our way, she shines so bright
Won’t you say a prayer for those who still must fight

Touching down…

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SOFA Week 4

Great session this week at SOFA!  Now that we’ve settled down a bit with new students, we’re off and running.  Make sure to grab your recital audio files and PDFs so that you can practice.

Also, you’ll want to review the notes on the treble clef so that you’re prepared for your quiz on Monday night.  We’ll use the Rainbow Music Notes iOS app for testing, so grab a copy if you want to get used to using it.  It’s only $2 and a great way to encourage note recognition if you have a young music learner in your house.

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