PepsiCo Garden Sculpture

Instrumentation added in this order:

Thumb piano with rubber mallets:

The first sound you hear is the echo only of me hitting the back of the thumb piano with a rubber mallet.  Recording-wise, I’m not sure why, in general, the thumb piano recorded so poorly.  The thumb piano recording part of this actually took the longest of all the instruments.  Despite playing to a click, I got off anyway!  Ha!

Midi Bass

Pretty much done in one pass.  It’s basically improvised, but sloppy, too.

Secondary Vocals

These are improvised, too.  I didn’t have a plan, really.  I added the main vocal and then added the harmonies, which are also a bit sloppy in their composition.  I ran out of patience with this one and just started throwing things here and there.

Main Vocals

I wrote out a bunch of words and lines from my brain and a book I was leafing through.  I didn’t have anything solid, so from that sheet of paper with scribbles on it came these improvised lyrics.  Not crazy about them.  I’m also unhappy with these vocals.  I was having a hard a time singing it and getting clarity and intonation… things like this are curious to me… maybe I had too much sugar.  I chose to go with a melody that I don’t feel like came naturally to me, and I’m not totally in love with it.   Maybe that’s why I’m unhappy with the vocals?  hmmm…


I have Pearl and the Beard’s (Jocelyn’s) drums in my house from the last show.  Why not use them.  I don’t remember the last time I played snare, let alone record it!  Yay!  The snare is pretty much improvised.  I only guessed where rhythm might change to make it interesting.  Where does the rhythm change to make it more intense where it’s necessary, etc…

Floor tom

I’m kind of undecided on the tom.  How do you mix drums anyway?!  It’s hard for me to decide where they go in the mix…also, the floor tom was bit boomy… how much floor tom does one use?  When do you know it’s too much? It’s good to experiment.


In doing the bells, I concentrated on having a “hook” instead of arbitrarily throwing them on.  I like the bells here.

I will talk about this song as a person who put it together, which means I have a right to be critical in hopes that, in the future, I will remember what I wanted to happen as opposed to what actually got recorded.  In listening to it the day after I completed it (yesterday), I came up with the idea that it should have gotten huge after I say “better man” with bigger drums and a bit more instrumentation.  I might entertain this idea should I revisit this song.

Have you ever given up on something before you even finished it?  Well, I feel like I kind of did that with this song.  I didn’t have a plan or a direction (though that’s not new) and as I started into it, I kind of immediately thought this was going to be a throwaway.  I just started throwing things on here and there.  As I got closer to the end I started feeling like it had more potential than I originally thought, and I wished I hadn’t been so sloppy.

Have a great day…

I’m leaving on a solo North Eastern Spring tour with Anna Vogelzang tomorrow!  I’m excited.  It should be good fodder for songs…


Swear when I’m gone that things will get better
Swear when I’m gone that your heart will break
Let’s do it anyway
Swear when I’m gone you’ll forget, you’ll forget
Swear when I’m gone you’ll be a better man, you’ll be a better man
I am the last
I am the last
I am the last
To ever be
Swear when I’m gone
Swear when I’m gone
Swear when I’m gone things will get better