Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ten posts for the price of one

I've found that keeping up with the blog is just as hard as doing the songs each month. It’s hard to force myself to sit down and write a little something each day. Especially when I haven’t been doing that
much with the music stuff because I've been so busy otherwise. But over the past few weeks I wish I had put up a few more entries. At night when I go to sleep I think of what I should have written that day. So I’m going to try to write down a bunch of thoughts I’ve had over the past few weeks and try to put them in some sort of order…

Crap, I really need to deal with my guitar situation. My beautiful black Fender Strat is all messed up right now. The pickups are loose and need to be screwed in correctly and I think the wiring is messed up. It makes an evil hum every time I plug it in. I really need to take it into the guitar repair place but I don’t have the money. My other problem, and this is lame, is that I can’t find my distortion effect peddle. I NEED distortion when I play. But the darn thing is somewhere in our messy basement and I can’t find it. I’ve spent a long time trying to find it but it seems to be lost. Once again I don’t have the money to just go out and buy a new one. I really want to work on the song for September but I want to record a bunch of guitar tracks.


So I’ve been thinking about the song I’m planning on working on for September. Now I’m wondering if I should use guitar lines at all? I’ve been listening a lot to the Congotronics stuff and loving it. I’m 99% sure that I have an African thumb piano as one of the sounds built into Garageband. Maybe I could try to do a Congrotronics type of thing instead of a guitar based thing?


I checked out Garageband and it’s even better than I thought! Yes, there is a thumb piano built in. It’s called the African Marimba. While checking it out I thought I would play with the various amp settings. It was pretty easy to add distortion and viola. Congrotronics! Right away I seemed to be getting that distinctive
sound. Very cool… now I just have to find the time to sit down and try to do some recordings.


My work schedule has been crazy busy but this is the first time I’ve had all month to sit down and get some recording done. I spent about three or four hours working on the track for this month. I like the sound of the distorted marimba a lot more than the guitar but recording the tracks still hasn’t been easy. I’m trying to build some really cool polyrhythmic stuff and I find myself playing on top of the same rhythms I’ve already laid down. It’s hard to get outside of the groove and make it even more funky. It’s also just hard to get down a
good track. The things I’m recording are very simple and minamilist. Sometimes I think those types of tracks are just as hard as something more “complicated”. You try playing the same four notes over and over
again in perfect rhythm for 7 minutes straight!


Arrrggg… Civilization is an evil game. I admit I have a problem. I am addicted to Civilization IV. I can spend hours staring at my little guys building their farms and cities. But it’s also such an amazing time suck. I had two days last week when I could have worked more on the song but instead I sat all day playing Civilization instead. Part of the “problem” is that I really just felt like chilling. I love making music but sometimes it feels like “work”. I really just wanted to relax and not worry about anything for a few days. So I blew off the song and played Civ instead. It was really nice to feel like I could relax and not worry about working on cover letters and sending out resumes. I really want to get a song out in September after blowing off August so I probably shouldn’t have done that. I think there’s still time.


It just hit me that I only have two days off of work until the end of the month. So I almost have to dedicate those two days to the song if I want to get it out. I know I can do it…


I just spent most of the day it seems working on the song. I started with four tracks done and ended up adding five more tracks. It was a lot of work but I also love the way it’s sounding. While I’m not 100% sure it’s as “good” a track as some of the other things I’ve released I really do enjoy it. It’s also an unusual track in that I’m using an old DragKing jam as a basis. Actually it was a DragKing reunion thing we had a few years back. So Stel is doing some noise stuff on it and LV is on drums. His friend is on congas. It’s also an “original”
composition. Not a cover or sample based thing although I do use samples in it. I think what I’ve got now is good enough. I have all day on Thursday to work on it more and update the web pages. So in other words the Pudge Song of the Month will be back!


I dig train sounds
I dig the sound of rain
I dig bird sounds
I dig the sound of thunder and lightening


One of my “problems” this month is that I’m not sure what to name my song. I have a name already for the song but it’s the internal band name for the song. I’m sure all bands go through this. You start to write a song. You don’t know how it’s going to turn out. So you name the new song something like, “The Fast Sabbath Song” or something like that. Then the song at some point becomes complete and the name you’ve been calling it for so long may or may not apply. In DragKing we would rename songs for our CDs but still refer to the original “band” names on our set lists because that what we knew them as. I think the name I’ve got for this month’s song is “ok” but maybe it could be better? Although the name also inspired me when I was
deciding what samples to use. So maybe I should just keep it? I’ve got a couple of days to decide.

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