We’re going to be on the radio. I’m making my excited face.
There’s a radio host based in California named Don Campau. With his radio show No Pidgeonholes, he’s dedicated to playing and showcasting home recordings and independent music from around the world. Rob and I were told about his show by a fellow 5090 musician, Ultraviolet Eye Jeff. We checked out the show, and sent off our CD’s to Don.
There’s a small network of radio stations that carry his shows here in the US, and in Europe. Today we found out two of our songs will be on the European shows this month on Radio Marabu. The shows are available now here for streaming or download as podcasts.
This episode also features the hard-to-understand Creepy Cranquis voice you all “loved” in Episode 1 (aka, “HEY, that doesn’t sound like Dr. House at ALL!”). We’re working on improving this for future audio features.
PS: Cranquis just got back from vacation late last night/this morning — and after getting a bit of sleep, there will be An Announcement later today (1/28/12). Stay tuned.
PPS: To the 10 people who sent me fan-mail/submission messages while I was gone: I’ll try to reply to you ASAP.
Another collaboration betwixt the awesome Dr. Cranquis and the Really Good Pot Roast. Yes, we’re working on a new approach to the vocal modulation. In the meantime, don’t be too scared. It’s Dr. Cranquis!
Rob and I spent the last few weeks chirping about our new album You Have Died of Dysentery (still available for your ear hole pleasure on Bandcamp!) and theme songs for your good tumblrhood doctor. We’re already looking to FAWM our next writing challenge and some projects queued up. So that’s happening, but our Tumblr brain dumps seem to have tapered off.
Brain mush. No think. You help?
We’re going to be writing a lot of music in February. We have some ideas, but we’re turning to you, internets. Got any requests? Topics for which you’d like songs written? Styles of music you’d like us to tackle? Or do you have any questions you’ve been mildly wanting to ask? Witicisms? Criticisms?
To put it another unfortunate way, put your words in our box, and we will respond to you and make sweet music together.
Edit: Anonymous asks enabled. I’m learning all the time.
I’ve been playing a lot lately, and loudly, which means my fingers hurt a bit. So when I had a new song come to my mind this arvo, I was a bit reluctant cos it was hurting to strum. Then I remembered some of the 50/90 folk had included picks (plectrums?) in with their 50/90 CDs and I thought to…
The Really Good Pot Roast: Unintentionally helping better musicians around the world.
Hi, internet. Today is my wife’s birthday. She is easily one of the best people in the world, and I’m lucky she continues allow me in her presence. TLOTH and Dr. Baffled (Rob) know I clearly lucked out, as they conspired to set my wife and I up years ago.
Most of my music is doom and gloom, but occasionally I write a happy song. This tune, ‘Two’, is such a song. I wrote it for my wife, and recorded it for an album a couple years ago.
She puts up with me and all my musical distractions. Least I could do today on this music blog is play her song here for all dozens of you.
Enjoy, internet. I’ll be spending the day with my wife.
Keep sending us your tunes to play! Share with us via Soundcloud or email mp3s to email@example.com And do get in touch - let us know what you’re thinking, what you’d like to hear and what ukulele happenings are going on in your part of the world.
HEY! Remember all that teasing and foreboding I’d been doing, about the whole “getting 10,000 followers” surprise? So yeah, this isn’t it, precisely (despite having surpassed the 10,000 follower mark a couple weeks ago; it’s my fault, really, I’ve been busy/slacking) — but it’s a good taste of what’s coming.
The talented fellows of The Really Good Pot Roast have graciously pulled me into their Vortex of Musical Obsession, and invented a new audio feature for this blog: Dr. Cranquis’ Clinical Musings. This is Episode 001 of 00X, entitled Planter’s Warts.
That’s right, kids. The Really Good Pot Roast and Dr. Cranquis have joined forces like Voltron, the Justice League, Arm & Hammer, and KC & the Sunshine Band. COMBINED. *minds blown*
What Did We Learn? - Failing Live Post Mortem (Part II)
This weekend, I liveblogged writing a new song. In the course of 3 hours, I wrote, recorded, edited, mixed, and published a song. I posted tumblr-mumbles as I went. The resulting song, Wasting Time, wasn’t quite what I hoped, and left me wanting.
I’m honestly happier with the second attempt because, while I don’t consider it a blow out success, I think it just works better as a song.
With my tale of two song versions, I close out my first Failing Live experience with a final Post Mortem on the remix and revision:
Sometimes first instincts are close, but not quite on the mark. In this case, the hard rock aim of the first version didn’t quite work as I’d hoped. A whole day spent considering why this didn’t work (outlined in part in the first Failing Live Post Mortem) lead to scrapping it and coming at it with only the rhythm guitar and main vocal melody remaining untouched, then completely rewriting the song.
First drafts and final drafts can be wildly disparate creatures.
Writing on a deadline, even if self imposed, is hard.
I’m much faster to find the flaws in anything I write than I am to appreciate what actually works.
If I can’t fix the flaws, I’ll never be able to ignore them.
Welcome back to another version of today’s Live Blogging song, ‘Wasting Time’. Twelve hours later, I present you with a remix.
I decided to reapproach the song. Something felt off about the first version, and I think I outlined that in my Post Mortem post. So I kinda started over. I removed most of the tracks other than the rhythm guitar, the basic drum beat, and the main vocal track. After that, I started and ended everything on the keyboard, with one extra guitar element, and rerecorded harmony vocals.
This version, my synth heavy version, is probably where I’ll call it a day on this one. The mix probably needs work, but this is the second time today I’m recording this song, and it’s late. I feel like I accomplished whatever it was I set out to do.
What Did We Learn? - Failing Live Post Mortem (Part I)
After spending the rest of the day not writing, recording, and liveblogging, I’ve had some thoughts on the matter.
Stopping writing to write about writing is hard.
Not all ideas are good ones
Three hours in the recording area is better than getting punched in the face by a hammer (Actually, three hours in the studio is a great way to start any day).
The progression of this song is simple and straight forward. But the outlying question is about the instrumentation. Did this need to be so heavy of a song? Should I have used different amp tones? Or would this have worked better as an acoustic song?
The song follows a comfortable structure progression: Intro, Verse, Pre-chorus, chorus, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, pre-chorus, chorus (x2). For speed of writing, it’s a bit easier to rely on this, because you can write the sections and slot them together. But in retrospect, I wish I’d modulated the sections a bit more. For example, Pre-Chorus 2 and 2 should have subtle but important variations to differentiate placement in song, and allow for a stronger build to the chorus, especially to the ending chorus/outro.
Lyrics always feel like a weak point for me, and these are no different. Maybe a couple good lines, but I’m not sure the direction the lyrics originally wanted to go is where they wound up. The chorus is intentionally simple, but I’m not sure if it loses the point.
The intro drums are completely misleading, and don’t have a sufficient enough build to introduce the tempo and intensity change that happens in the chorus. It hits like a hammer to the face.
I’d rather have spent 3 hours writing this song than be Tim Tebow in tonight’s game (too soon?)
I think I’m in hour #3. I say this because my wife is home from the gym. I’m giving it 30 more minutes, then posting the output and moving on. I’m not hugely in love with this song, but it’s a good effort for 2 3 hours.
Lyrics are done. Keep in mind that there was a gap in time in posts. I’m an hour in right now. I’ve cut the minstrel’s song down to 2 8 line verses, a prechorus, and a repeating chorus line. I have my chord progession for the verses and chorus. The bridge is a fucking mystery still, but I’ll fake it. I have enough to go on now.
I’m guessing ad drumbeat lengths. Slapping together progressions to see if the timing matches the guitar line I have. Much like communism, this is a fair idea in theory, but rarely works out as planned in real life.
This post is late. I keep forgetting to stop occasionally and post here. I’ve started 3 set of lyrics I hated. Dug into my failed archive, found a set I kinda like. They need heavy revision, because for whatever reason, I thought I was writing a freaking 18 minute long minstrel’s song with 20 verses. The axe is dropping, and editing begins.
Today, I’m trying an experiment. I’m going to liveblog song writing. I’m going to write a song this morning. we’re not going for gold here. Just a song. Not sure what it will be, but I’ll sit down, and write. As I add elements, I’ll post here. This could be a live disaster. This could be okay. This could be a bunch of posts about how I have no ideas so I sat around with my guitar playing ‘Where Is My Mind’ by the Pixies over and over again. But I’m going to try this. And you can all watch me fail in real time.
This one brings us back to the beginning. Well not the very beginning, but the hours right afterwards. A few years ago, Mark and I decided to get together for a weekend to play and attempt to record some music together. Other than jamming out a quick 12-bar blues now and then, we had never really tried to do anything like it before. We weren’t The Really Good Pot Roast yet, but this session is where it all began.
This track, Dos, is the second song we wrote that weekend. Go figure. Like a lot of our early sessions, it is an instrumental. I came up with the guitar parts while we were playing Mario Kart on the Wii trying to unlock the last 2 characters. There MIGHT have been beer involved.
Rob got me a melodica for the holidays. It is obviously awesome. Yesterday, Rob challenged me to write a song using the aforementioned melodica, my ukulele, and a tamborine. He asked that the song be called ‘Redheaded Stepchild’. I was able to fulfill 3/4 of his challenge. Only fitting the resulting song is in 3/4 time.
This song is called ‘New Year’s Fool (New Year’s Day)’ instead of Redheaded Stepchild because that’s where the lyrical narrative wound up. I tried to write something funny as the proposed title suggests, but I couldn’t get there. Instead, I wrote this. It’s a, well, it’s a song with uke, melodica, tamborine, and vocals, in 3/4 time. This isn’t a punk song, fair to say. I’m getting over a cold, so the song is a bit nasaly. But I’m pleased with the 2 hours of work.
Let me know what you think, dear internet.
And if you like this, could I interest you in our two albums on Bandcamp? They’re free/pay what you want.