131. The Squirrel (Poet Alice Friman)

DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND THIRTY-ONE

TONIGHT!

SHAMELESS PLUG! (Because I know you like shameless)

WASHINGTON, DC ~ FRIDAY, MAY 14 @ 8pm

Emily Hope Price, Ugly Purple Sweater & Sonya Cotton

The New Community Church: 614 S Street Northwest, Washington, DC


In Keene last week, Anna Vogelzang, Guy Capecelatro and I played a venue called The Starving Artist.  In this venue they had a few poetry books laying out with a few card games and such.  The morning after our show, Guy and I were madly putting songs together while waiting for Anna to wake up (as we stayed the night right above the venue and got in the next morning to play around…).  Guy began playing this uke part and I opened up an anthology of poetry to use as lyrics.  The random poem that I opened to was Alice Friman’s The Squirrel.  I used a portion of about two stanzas which occur in the middle.  I linked to Google Books below to the entire poem which is found in Friman’s book called: Zoo.

The Squirrel by Alice Friman

The melody was mainly improvised as we were just writing as fast as we could with the time allotted us.  In order to fit the general rhythm I felt we had going, I made some slight changes to the wording when necessary.  I think it came out nice for an unprepared piece and might have some promise to work on a little bit further.  Guy is a great inspiration for songwriting.  He has a kind of abandonment I really need in times of writing trouble.

The Squirrel

Close the curtains
Wrap us in hymns
Twist all our hands something beautiful
Bury it, bury it, bury it
God, don’t open it.
Don’t open it.
Flesh, sorry flesh
The dirt that dampens then smells
Rubbed glossies hidden
Between mattress and box spring a little fat jammed between
That closes, that closes when life doesn’t want us
That closes when life doesn’t want us.

130. The Armory Improvisation (Live in Boston)

DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND THIRTY

SHAMELESS PLUG:

WASHINGTON, DC ~ FRIDAY, MAY 14 @ 8pm

Emily Hope Price, Ugly Purple Sweater and Sonya Cotton

The New Community Church: 614 S Street Northwest, Washington, DC

Armory Improvisation (Live in Boston)

Last show of tour last Sunday night (Mother’s Day), I did a live improvisation intending to use it for the 365.  Live improvisation for an audience is a totally different thing than doing it for your dog in your house.

Running out… but will be back!  Have a great day!

P.S. Just got an email from Jocelyn in Pearl and the Beard with a surprise and shocking find she made of a Pearl and the Beard DANCE REMIX of our song Dumb Lovers off our album God Bless Your Weary Soul, Amanda Richardson done by… who!?  WHAT!?  Ha!

check it here: Spinjunkies: Pearl and the Beard, Dumb Lovers

129. Brad Pitt Sits Out In The Van (Sam Stolpe, Phillip Bautista, Jonathan Clark)

DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND TWENTY-NINE

Jonathan, Phillip, and Sam Stolpe

I have not had internet ALL DAY.  I even tried to “borrow” it from an open network, but nothing… NOTHING.  Is it the rain?  So I’ve had a song ready all day and couldn’t post it… So!  Here it is… and it’s a special installment which I will let Sam Stolpe, my friend from DC, (who came to visit today with friend Phillip – they came up to run from Washington Heights to Battery Park…made it to 14th street), put into his own words.  (See below)  He is always very enthusiastic about helping me with a song for the 365, and, over breakfast, he told this story which we made into a reality for him.

Sam: Guitar and vocals.  Jonathan: snare, tambourine, grunting.  Phillip: Omnichord and grunting.  Emily: cello and grunting.

Sam Stolpe: With this song, Emily helped me to fulfill a dream.  Literally.  On the night of November 24, 2005 I was awoken from a remarkable vision: Standing in a children’s park bordered by brilliant trees, my attention was drawn to the most amazing bicycle that I have ever seen.  I was completely captivated by the bicycle and felt compelled to take it.  I went on a fantastic ride… but I soon began thinking of the owner, and the evil thing I had done by taking it without asking.

I turned around to return the bike, and found a group of little people gathered around a dwarf consoling him.  He was the owner of the bicycle, and brightened when he saw me approach.  I apologized for taking his bicycle, to which he replied that my honesty in returning it would be rewarded by his revealing to me this secret: he was a magical dwarf.  He took me to a fantastic recording studio, the focal point of which was a curious machine.  It was like an organ, in that it had the keys of a piano, but with many bewildering dials and knobs, and strange digital screens.  My new dwarven friend explained that the magic of the device would sing forth lyrics as I composed them in my mind and played the keys.

As I played the device the song in my mind came wafting out.  Each key I pressed evoked a single word, sung by the machine in the voice of the magical dwarf.  This is the song that I wrote, and then immediately awoke:

Brad Pitt Sits Out In The Van


Brad Pitt sits out in the van

While Angelina drops the kids off

Brad Pitt sits out in the van

And Jen is calling on her cell phone

128. Rotten (Guy Capecelatro)

DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND TWENTY-EIGHT

Johnny Rotten

This is Rotten.  It’s not about Johnny Rotten, but it’s a funny link, no?

Guy and I did this while we were in Keene, New Hampshire last Thursday (?), and I have a back log of songs we did that day, so I’ll be seeping them in a few at a time.  We were waiting for Anna to get out of the shower and just kept doing song after song very quickly.  Guy would record them on this iPhone, so I apologize for the lack of complete clarity.  (I also had left my computer in Portsmouth so I couldn’t record anything anyway.)  This is a loop I had on my pedal from some where and some time.  The words are based on something Guy said to me right before we recorded and are im…pro…vised!  We were hanging out in the venue the morning after the show and this was recorded over the sound system… just playing around for the 365.  Perhaps this has potential?

Rhyming… sigh.

Rotten

You’re rotten… rotten to the core

You’re rotten… and I can’t take it any more…

127. The Mermaid Song (Anna Vogelzang)

DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SEVEN

Good morning.

In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Anna Vogelzang and I drove to the coast and sat in her car on a rainy afternoon to write a nd record this song.  I came up with a quick chord progression on the uke, and I gave us a 30 minute writing time limit.  I also gave Anna a list of words that she fashioned into lyrics.  The list of words was:

tunnel
excavate
sea
foam
fire
bleach
rock
buoy
serendipitous
crash victim
gasoline
machine
hypocrite
In Anna’s words:
Things I think are important: the mermaid took on a crazy/manic character to me while I was making words to fit the melody (why do we only write about crazy ladies?!) obsessed with the love/partner/fella or lady who left her, who presumably is on land.  It’s kind of like a really twisted little mermaid. I see her as creating as much destruction as possible, but not in malice, in hope.  She would rather die than be without this person, and she will do whatever it takes (destroy whatever she must, maybe) to get above.  I also came up with the churning-waves-machine from what you said about believing in mermaids, and that it looked like someone was hand-making the waves sometimes.

The Mermaid Song

i’ve been (OR silent? would have to listen to the take) down here digging tunnels now for weeksslowly excavate your heart

easy cuprit, it has grown immune to bleach
i will force my way
i was born into the foam of this brute sea
churn the waves each waning night
spin machines & spark dark fires aimlessly
i will force my way
no matter where you’ve run
i will make my way above
my dear, where have you run?
i will die or tunnel up
buoy broken & i plow it through the deep
i am still your hypocrite
serendipitous, this search party beneath
i will force my way
to you
no matter where you’ve run
i will make my way above
my dear, where have you run?
i will die or tunnel up
i will die or tunnel up

126. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom

DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SIX

Wynn, Emily and Lois

Dear Mom,

I am on tour and have arrived in Boston this morning on Mother’s Day.  I am doing well and miss you very much.  I thought it would be nice, instead of a fancy homemade card that would arrive late, to send you a homemade song that would arrive much more on time… well, it’s kind of homemade.  This is one of your favorite primary songs…

I actually tried to do it just as it was written, but I just couldn’t!  I had to mash it all up… unfortunately, this meant leaving some words out.  But I left in my favorite words.  I kind of wish I had taken more time on it than I did, but I will do you another one!

I am thinking of you all the time and love you very much.  I will see you soon!  I’m sure of it!

Love,

Emily Hope

Writing: This is a LDS Primary hymn called  I Often Go Walking written by Phyllis Luch and Jeanne P. Lawler in 1969. I generally like this song.  It’s very simple, and I love it mainly because my mother loves it.  I started  reading it from the actual sheet music, but as I recorded it, it just wasn’t coming together.  I tuned down and just started working on it in free form.  It’s a shortened version that actually ended up incomplete.  I find covers difficult to change only because any altered melody is a change based from the original melody… and if you don’t know the original melody one might become lost if there is no reference point, but I hope you can follow it even if you’re not familiar with it.

Recording: A bit more complicated that I had intended.  Cello parts are duplicated and sped up after recording which give it that vibrato in the mix.  I like it… it’s like it’s got a flanger on it, but it doesn’t.  The main vocal was done last, though I had to do a few takes and cut here and there, which you might be able to detect, but if you don’t care, it’s a better listening experience, I think.  The main melody line is actually kind of improvised, as are the accompanying back ground vocals, and the main line is loosely based on the original melody that I am familiar with.  I also had to do a bit of cutting around with the cello line to make an intro that I totally avoided adding in originally, but it blends alright…

I Often Go Walking

1. I often go walking in meadows of clover,
And I gather armfuls of blossoms of blue.
I gather the blossoms the whole meadow over;
Dear mother, all flowers remind me of you.

2. O mother, I give you my love with each flower
To give forth sweet fragrance a whole lifetime through;

Left out lyrics:
(For if I love blossoms and meadows and walking,
I learn how to love them, dear mother, from you.)

125. Apple (Lady Lamb the Beekeeper)

DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE

Lady Lamb The Beekeeper

Sometimes I feel like magical things happen very quickly and unexpectedly… other times magic happens after a while of hard work and dedicated thinking… however, this song is probably a great example of the former.  Lady Lamb The Beekeeper and I have started a habit now (well, is two songs a habit?) of writing songs in short bursts (see DAY 15 Ghosts in My Teeth) .  I had a show in Portland a few days ago where Lady Lamb lives.  There was literally no time to get together that day to write something, so we stole some time after a show to write something in about 5-10 minutes.

Writing: Sitting outside in the gutter and tuning my tenor uke like a baritone, I just started playing these chords.  We quickly found a melody and swirled out these words onto paper.  Lady Lamb said she had been using “apple” in another song she’d been working on and used it for this.  I think it’s perfect.  In deciding that there would just be sung syllables and no words for the middle, there was really no plan or decision for placement or how many times we would do it.  What you are hearing now is the first and only version we did of this song.  This is why I see this as magic.  There are a few really wonderful things that happen totally by accident.  One of my favorite, totally unplanned, parts is the second time through the verse (yes, repetition is awesome), the last time we repeat “become” in the verse  before we repeat it, Lady Lamb drops out and lets me sing “become” by myself and then she begins singing a descant part using the word “become”.  It’s one of my favorite moments in the whole song.

Recording:  We had to record in a hurry, so I opted for just the internal speakers of the computer.  Not a great sound, but  it works.

I would dare say that there are more lines to be written to this song, but as it is, it’s already very sweet.  I hope you like it, too.

Apple

So suffice to say
If you walked away
I would be a lonely apple
In the core of me
There grows a seed
And it’s trying to become
La, La, La
So suffice to say
If you walked away
I would be a lonely apple
In the core of me
There grows a seed
And it’s trying to become
Become, become, become…

124. Subterranean Radio (WRLR 98.3 Station ID)

DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FOUR

Jonny Greenwood. You are sick. Sick and gross and wonderful.

Oh geez… here we go.  I was given the chance to record a radio station ID for Pearl and the Beard (I am borrowing PatB’s recording equipment and have it all with me on tour) for the radio station WRLR 98.3.  We have only done two other spots like this in our life-time as a band, I think.  These people must get a million of these things, and I felt like it was the perfect opportunity for a 365.  I worked on it all afternoon, trying to figure out exactly how to put it together.

Writing: I didn’t have a perfect plan, though I know the music had to house the speaking (I thought about singing the whole thing, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it…)  I had in my mind a plan for some kind of harmony first.  I did the back ground vocals first, then midi bass (like a previous entry sometime last week).  I then added the “main vocal”- the “Subterranean”.  After adding all these parts, I basically took a listen to it to fill in where harmonic holes were… where did it need a sound, a fill?  Did it need a higher register?  A lower register?  Which is when I decided on adding the bells.  I put a lot of work into getting the tin-y sound of the bells out (removing treble, adding echo and reverb).  I added snare and floor tom somewhere in the middle of all that, and since I’m no percussionist, this took the longest.

I knew that regular station IDs are very short.  They play these things in between songs and people want to hear music, not musician’s voices saying a bunch of call numbers… so I felt pressure to keep it really short, but it didn’t stop me from letting the whole thing play out.  I was careful and sent two versions: one plain one and one for the 365.

I realise, after listening to it a few hours later, I sound quite sad in the station ID… there really is something about smiling while you’re talking, even if you’re alone in a room with a mic… radio people have perfected this art.  It really is an art, man.

I sent it to Subterranean Radio when I finished it this afternoon.  This is our correspondence:

Hello, Pearl and the Beard.

I host a weekly three-hour underground rock show called Subterranean, and I love your album God Bless Your Weary Soul, Amanda Richardson. Two songs from the album (“Oh, Death!” and “Slow Motion Machine Gun”) placed in our year-end countdown of the top 75 underground songs of the year (#52 and #38 respectively). I was wondering if I could get any of you to record a short message saying, “Hello, this is ______ from Pearl & the Beard, and you’re listening to Subterranean with Mick Cullen and Carl Cutler on WRLR, 98.3 FM.” I would use it as an occasional intro to playing your songs in the future. If you have the time to do it, great! If not, don’t worry about it…I will continue playing your songs in the future anyway!
Take care and enjoy your spring!


Mick Cullen, Host/Musical Director
Subterranean

_________________________________________

To whom will read this email:

This is Emily Hope Price from Pearl and the Beard (cello!).  I have been given the task of recording the station ID you requested because I have all the recording equipment with me on my solo tour.  I am sending you two versions: the plain old regular station ID, and a version I did for you for one reason:

I am doing a 365 Project: 365 Songs. 365 Days.  It started on Jan. 4 and your station ID is day 124.  It will be up on my blog tomorrow.  I hope you don’t mind, but I found your station ID request to be a proper excuse to do a quick song for today.  You can use it or not, and I know how radio time goes: station IDs are supposed to be short, which is why I am including both versions. Either way, I hope you have a good time listening, as station IDs can be, well… station IDs.

Hope you are well!  Thank you very much for playing our music!

Emily Hope Price

____________________________________________

Emily–

We are honored and thrilled to be part of your epic project! I’m going to have to go listen to the first 123 songs. Quite a project!!
I love the IDs. I will definitely use the embellished one. You’re so right. Station IDs get old…I always hope when I ask an artist to record one that he/she/they will add something unique, some personal flair. You’ve done that in spades!
Thank you so much. Of course we don’t mind you posting this on your blog. If you can post our show’s website (http://subterraneanradio.podbean.com) or a link to it, just in case anyone is wondering why you’d be recording such an odd song, we’d also be mighty appreciative.
Again, thank you. 🙂

Mick Cullen
Host/Musical Director
Subterranean on WRLR, 98.3 FM

Anna Vogelzang, Guy Capecelatro III and I have a show tonight (May 7) at Hog Farm Annex in Biddeford, Maine!  I’m so excited as Gil and Coco, the owners, are some of the best people out there… hope you can come if you’re in the area!

Subterranean Radio (WRLR 98.3 Station ID – no speaking)

(With speaking – ha!)




123. He Died in My Arms (Guy Capecelatro)

DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND TWENTY-THREE

This is a 365 study on affection (or drama, I can’t decide).  This is one of the songs Guy and I did yesterday morning while waiting for Anna Vogelzang to wake up.  We were in Keene, New Hampshire.

I did a few songs like this one yesterday.  The interesting things is, as silly as it may sounds in the recording, at a certain point, I thought in my mind, “You should really mean this.”  It’s a kind of funny place to go in my mind.  I like songwriting and music in general because of its emoting potential.  I rarely get to be so silly or even so dramatic, and I think the drama of a song is a really important element in communicating its purpose.  I’ve never killed any body, but what if I had and was singing about it?  (Although I’m not sure who would sing about it besides an Andrew Lloyd Webber character…)

Writing: Now, we did this probably 3 times, each time the words being related but different.  This is one of the first times, I think.  These words aren’t planned necessarily, although, the basic idea was formulated in my mind for a few minutes as we were just playing around.  As for vocal choice, why did I sing it this way?  I’m not sure.  I think in my mind I meant to communicate a really craziness (although Jonathan would tell me I’m just using my silly voice because I’m insecure… and why would I want to be serious… we argue about this kind of thing often.  What is serious?  What is silly?  Do you think Joanna Newsom’s voice is affected? Is Joanna Newsom being silly or serious?)

Anyway, here is the song.  I like thinking it’s some guy in a saloon (see sepia tone) in 1885 singing this to his buddy who’s laying on the floor.

He Died in My Arms

Guy on Tenor Uke, EHP on Baritone Uke

I killed a man
He died in my arms
I killed a man
He died in my arms
He died, and he wept like a little baby
He wept like a little baby in my arms
I was shocked when he cried and he died in my ever lovin’ arms
Never saw myself as a bad man
But I knew that he had to go
I knew he had to go
He was my man, he was my man.
He died in my arms.

122. War (Trial Version #1) Previously: Missing in Action

DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND TWENTY-TWO

Original Post:

Hello this is Jonathan here to tell you that Emily is in Keene NH and does not have her computer.  I am posting an acoustic version of War that she recorded a while ago.  I don’t know any details about the recording process for this song, so just sit back, turn up the volume and enjoy.

WAR

In leaving my computer in Portsmouth, New Hampshire stupidly for two days, I became suddenly aware of my own preoccupation with posting for the 365.  Songwriting for the project is a huge endevor in and of itself, but the whole posting thing has become a bit of an obsession.  I have become later and later in my posting time having previously been a stickler about adding the new song and post at midnight the day before… it has now migrated to nearly midnight the day OF.

At the end of the day, the posting is important, but not as important as writing.  I still feel very strongly about the posting aspect of the 365, but hope you will be understanding should my absentmindedness leave my recording equipment in a totally different city.  In the meantime, I had Guy Capecelatro record on his iPhone (what in the world did people do before this thing?!) the songs for the 365.  We have just returned this evening to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, so I’m hoping to get back on track.  Now, I’m getting a little messed up in my days, and if I’M confused in the 365, I hope you aren’t!

WAR: In any case, I called Jonathan up this morning and asked him if he wouldn’t mind posting for the 365, as I was unable to do it.   I thought what he wrote was so great and to the point that I wanted to leave it.  He chose to show you a “Commercial Break” song I have been working on for quite some time.  I have a loop pedal “reversal” song I play live but for which I have no actual recording.  I have been working on this for the past few months on and off (okay, mostly off.  I did this in one sitting and haven’t revisited it since), so what you’re hearing is a trial arrangement.

I also did a bunch of new song writing with Guy Capecelatro this morning, so, as soon as I get the iPhone file from him, I will post it!

See you tomorrow!

EHP

121. Keene Left Us With and Without (EHP on tour!)

DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND TWENTY ONE

EHP, Jerusha Robinson (South China), Anna Vogelzang, Guy Capecelatro, Jeremy Robinson (South China)

CONFUSION!

I am now confused.  This is what happened:

Emily was dumb and decided to “pack light” and totally spaced and left her computer in Portsmouth, New Hampshire while she traveled to Keene, New Hampshire and Brattleboro, Vermont for two different shows.  Dumb!  This means there has been no postings for TWO DAYS.  What’s up?  Jonathan was so good as to post something for me that I have been working on that is quite unfinished.

In any case, the only way of capturing the songs I was writing was with Guy’s iPhone.  Guy and I wrote a bunch of stuff this morning while Anna was sleeping (we are both early risers), and on the evening of the 4th (the day this post was to be put up), I meant to post this group collaboration.  Again, I apologize for the rough state of the recording, but when it’s all you got, it’s all you got, you know?

On May 4th, South China (Jeremy and Jerusha Robinson), Laina (our lovely Keene hostess of the venue The Starving Artist and musical giantess), Guy Capecelatro, Anna Vogelzang and I all had a show.  That night, we all stayed with Laina and did two different songs.  One of which I still have to get from Guy which ended up a bit more linear and planned than this one here, which is a bit chaotic.  I will get it from him in the morning and post it along with this one.

It’s a fascinating thing when you fill a room with songwriters, for that is what it was: every person in the room was a songwriter.  I did an interview of sorts before we played together.  I asked the group about getting stuck on lyrics, how they get out of it or get inspiration.  The answers were: free writing, poetry, and film observations.   It was a strange energy, though, looking back, I wonder if it was all in my mind.  I felt like some journalist interviewing for a book or a television program for PBS.  I felt like an outsider, and I didn’t feel like one of them, but I liked it that way.  I became objective and open instead of shy and introspective.

There were a ton of instruments around us.  We all picked something up and played it for the first of two group improvisations we did.  Included in the fray was a clarinet, several music boxes, guitar and slide whistle.

After this initial improvisation, we talked about the use of space.  South China is a wonderful example of the use of space within songwriting. Jerusha plays the cello and Jeremy the guitar.  In live shows, they use a collection of pedals and effects to create a spacious sound platform with which to sing over.  May I call your attention to the song Painting and Terryhead on their myspace.  The space I’m talking about can be heard clearly in this song.  Though there is other instrumentation, Jerusha’s vocals, as in the live version, are heavily spaced and open.  It’s all a very interesting sound landscape they create in general: particularly in a live setting.  The second group song we did was a bit more planned.  Jeremy and Jerusha began it, then Guy, then Anna, then Laina, then me.  I will put it up for you to hear tomorrow morning!

Might I encourage us to be brave today.  Be brave.

See you tomorrow morning!

Keene Left Us With and Without

(You can hear someone ask, “Should we have a plan” and I answer,  “No plan”.  Anna repeats, “No plan”.   We got a plan on the second go around… it went a bit smoother… I was going to edit it, but thought, “Now, why would I do that?”

(second one to be added soon!)

120. The Canonization of Ida Elliott (Anna Vogelzang)

DAY ONE-HUNDRED AND TWENTY

I am on tour with Anna Vogelzang and Guy Capecelatro.  We drove from New York to Portsmouth, New Hampshire where Guy lives.  I am late in posting today, so Anna sat down with me to help me to do a song.

I met Anna during my time at Carnegie Mellon University while finishing my master’s degree.  She was studying opera but was yearning for a less traditional track in music… she was ambitious and headstrong and determined: she is even more so now.  I have learned a lot from her by way of writing and encouragement.  She has recently been signed to a small record label out of Madison, Wisconsin where she recently relocated.  She has also just recently released a new and fantastic album: Toy Boats.  I actually was able to record cello and vocals on a few of the tracks on this new CD.  Check it out, yo!

I’ve toured with Anna a few times, and it’s always fun and always an adventure.  While at CMU, we started writing songs together and wrote and recorded two songs for her very first album.  Today, we wrote another for you to peruse.

Writing:  We wrote this in Guy’s back yard: Anna on banjo and me on cello.  Guy has a cat named Ida, so we decided to personify this cat into a crazy old lady who dyes her wedding dress pink and decides that she wants to perform a miracle to become sainted by releasing the fish from the aquarium.  I can’t tell you how much of a learning experience it is writing with different people.  Anna has been writing songs quite a bit longer than me, so her style is quick and solidified, though she’s always learning and experimenting.  This is a narrative song, which she and I both tend to avoid for some reason.  She started playing this first banjo riff and chord changes with a different rhythm… I came along and changed the rhythm a bit and added a melody.  Anna, in her genius, suggested we end with a Piccardy third (a nerdy musical term for a minor piece ending with a major chord).  Hilarious.  I love it.  It’s always interesting how people deal with lyrics or deal with getting stuck on a line.  It’s very enlightening and informative and helpful to know I’m not the only one that gets stuck.  We would skip the line we were having trouble with and revisit it later.  We probably wrote this in its entirety in about 2 hours.

Recording: We decided after a few unsuccessful tries at a good, clean live sound, to track the instruments first, then do the vocal.  If only we hadn’t been so giggly.  (Totally my fault at first.)  We didn’t have a headphone splitter so we ended up having to gather both our ears around one side of the headphones.  It became slightly hilarious.  After quite a few tries, but laughing each time, we finally got one down.  The main vocal was recorded with Anna’s voice in the left mic and mine in the right.  We then did a second pass of vocals with both of us just on one mic.  I like that it added a really cool chorus sound to it.  She also added the toy piano last minute with a harmony which I really like.

The Canonization of Ida Elliott


Ida in her wedding dress that she dyed pink inside her bath
To match her hair and tiny legs
Ties her toe shoes to her feet and grabs her Derby hat that has been sitting on the shelf since ’43
Ida
Three small miracles.  You’ll be canonized!
Ida
They will all pack their bags, your apostles!
Ida, on her holy quest, directs noon traffic in her dress
Aquarium mere blocks away, Mother Mary calls her name
Dynamite against the glass, all the prisoners free at last
Dances out into the sea, with the fishes she does sleep
Ida
Three small miracles.  You’ll be canonized!
Ida
They will all pack their bags, your apostles!

119. Deck (Songs from Underneath) HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND NINETEEN

Queen Lacey. Sir Jonathan. Underneath.

Today I enjoyed Montauk for the first time ever.  (Preface: Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind is in my top 5 favorite movies of all time).  It took us about 2 and a half hours to drive there.  We went today because off leash dog season ends in a few days, and I’m on tour for the rest of the time and always talk about going, so we made a last-minute mad dash to the furthest out-to-sea part of New York.  It was absolutely beautiful.  It was a bit windy, cool and foggy.  Awesome.

I brought with me my recording equipment, 2 ukes, the bells, the snare, the omnichord and the thumb piano.  On our drive there, I kept looking for interesting things that might make for a good “underneath song”.  On the beach on top of a hill of sand, there was a large deck and, underneath that, a perfect space to sit and record.  So, Lacey dug herself out a little resting space, and Jonathan and I recorded this song.  By the time I got to the end, every string was out of tune!  Ha!  Blame it on the ocean air.

You can hear the ocean in the background which I feel was so much a part of the composition of this song that no lyrics were needed.

It was my intention to do a song for my dad’s birthday, which is TODAY!  Our trip to the ocean brought on some different ideas for it, so I hope you like it.  My dad isn’t a perfect sleeper, but maybe he could sleep to this…(though I considered doing a cover for his birthday, isn’t an original better than a cover for a birthday gift?!)

I love you, Dad!

Deck

118. Table (The Underneath Series)

DAY ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTEEN

Okay, today, I am going into the studio with Franz Nicolay to record the song we wrote for the 365!  What an adventure.  (For reference: Day 23, Z for Zacharia).  I have to leave in a few hours, and not getting home until 3:30 this morning has been an ad…ven…ture!

The Underneath Series.  There are a lot of days in the 365.  Some days are “good” and some days are “bad”.   Some days are just days.  All days are learning for me.  This is a new series of songs written and recorded underneath things.  The next underneath?  The George Washington Bridge, maybe?

This is the Table Song.

Writing: Tenor Uke underneath my kitchen table.  Sketch and improvised and based on real events.  I don’t intend to improvise everything…my excuse?  I feel very pre-occupied and busy recently.  Busy sometimes means improvisation.

There are some weirdo experimental effects on it just to try it…(sped up tempo took out mids…)

See you soon!  Go out on tour again on Monday!  HOG FARM show this week in Biddeford, Maine!  So excited!

Table