Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Spintown: Song Fu #5: Round 1

Spintown: Song Fu #5: Round 1


This very nice person liked my song!!! Thanks.

He also has links to the videos made by other people.

Beware, I have not heard them all - they may contain offensive language.

Enjoy,

Stephen

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Song Fu

www.quickstopentertainment.com/2009/11/17/song-fu-5-round-1-voting/


I wrote a song for the current Masters of Song Fu Challenge. Actually, I wrote lyrics for two songs. The first was Dr. Phineas Basalt #240. Good song, but it resisted all my attempts to write a second verse. The second song, the one that I actually posted on the challenge, is #580 Old Uncle Hades. I managed to write complete lyrics and guitar chords for the second song.

If you go and listen to the song, you'll notice that there is no guitar on the track posted. Here's why:

To start with, I didn't have anything to record with other than the USB microphone that came with my Guitar Hero game and Garage Band on the iMac. I went out and got a new microphone (that ended up not sounding as good as the Mic I had), a mic stand (that ended up being incredibly useful), a microphone to USB converter (that was not useful at all), an instrument to USB cable (that would have been much more useful had I written a song with chords that I can play reliably - that is, without any sort of fret buzz), and a couple of USB hubs (that were about as useful as a USB hub can possibly be).

I spent Friday attempting to get the various hissing noises off the guitar track. My mental breakdown started there, I think. I spent Saturday trying to record the guitar track, which didn't happen. I spent most of Sunday trying to record the guitar track, which, again, didn't happen. I finally recorded vocals. Later I tried recording the guitar again, huge mistake! My capacity to multi-task under stress and pressure is apparently non-existent. I had a meltdown and decided that I was done. Not finished, mind you, but done.

The moral of this story is that as much as I love songwriting and performing, recording makes me want to punch babies. Or, at least recording when I don't know what I'm doing makes me want to punch babies. If you want to check out my song it's at the very bottom of the list on the link above. Your votes, if you are so inclined, are appreciated. If I make the cut - I'll try to do it better next time.

Stephen

Monday, March 02, 2009

Reflections on the new year

It's 2009. It used to be 2008, but it is now 2009. 1989 was twenty years ago. Next years 1990 will have been twenty years ago. As I understand it, the system works like this: 10 years ago = the dorky decade that we would rather forget, 30 years ago = too far gone to be worth remembering, and 20 years ago = the best we've ever had. Ergo, next year there should a huge wave of 90's nostalgia, a wave where we will remember great things like... what exactly happened in the 90's?


So, from the perspective of someone who remembers absolutely none of the 90's, here is a list:

* If my parent's DVD collection is any indication, there were lots of romantic comedies (probably kick-started by When Harry Met Sally in 1989); enough that if you assigned a musical instrument to each one, you could start a battle of the orchestras competition.
* There was grunge and lots of it.
* And flannel, lots of flannel (except in the northwest, that wasn't a trend, they've always dressed like that).
* To a lesser extent there was ska-punk and the swing and rockabilly revivals.
* There was the internet (well, technically the internet has existed in one form or another since the 50's, but it just wasn't the same).
* Mainstream hip-hop mostly consisted of gangster rap, but there was also Arrested Development and who doesn't like Arrested Development.
* American comic books were "dark and edgy", but Azumanga Daioh (the best comic ever) started in 1999, so I'm going to count the 90's as an ok decade for comics.
* There great cartoons such as Sonic The Hedghog (SatAM, of course), Superman: The Animated Series, and The Adventures Of Sam And Max: Freelance Police.
* The Travelling Wilburys and Turning Point, my two favourite bands, both released some great music in the early 90's, but they both broke up in 1990 and 1991 respectively, so... yeah.
* Oh yeah, there was also the Clinton impeachment... that was fun.


So, that's the 90's as far as I care about it. Um... yeah.

Stephen