Usually rain conjurs mellow tunes out of me. Perhaps it’s more correct to say I allow the mellow tunes to come out when it’s raining, but that’s just semantics, yo.
But NOT today. I had this idea of wanting to write something a little more uptempo, a little more groovy. And Rain be damned, that was my goal this day.
Dialed up BPM of 120. Pulled up a drum beat. Nice. Pulled up a guitar tone, and played the first thing I thought of. Not bad. Recorded it. End of story. Didn’t go anywhere. Didn’t like it. Felt cheap. So, I scrapped it.
Now, all this time I had woke up singing this basic melody, in whole and half notes: A C# D G….. Hmmm. Let me put that over the beat. Wait. Guitar sound is too “normal”. Added this weird plug-in called Recti-fi and trust me it does nothing of the sort. It is not for everyone, and it’s certainly not for most songs, but for this… it worked. I played along to the drum loop and just kept playing the same guitar part over and over again. Kinda had a droning feel; it was ok, but nothing sparkly just yet.
I walked out into the living room, wife and son playing on the floor. Sometimes I need a scenery break. But I knew I couldn’t sit on the couch. I’d end up losing the mojo. So after a small break, I walked back in and set up my microphone.
Got my levels, and started singing. Hmm. Sounds too Jack White. It’s groovy, bluesy, but also a bit too ripped off. Ok, I’ll take the same melody and drop it down and octave. That’s better. Changed some of the notes to make it a little more original and I started working on the lyrics:
I got the inside scoop and I’m tryin’ not to make a scene
cuz i got two strikes and I gotta to keep my record clean
but my heart’s gonna pop if my mind starts playin’ make believe
and if you know me baby, then you know that that’s a guarantee
Ha! That sounds fun. 4th line took a while, 1st three lines were almost instantaneous.
Kept at it, 1st chorus:
wanna see the proof?
wanna hear the truth?
climb a little higher if ya jumpin’ off the roof, child
i ain’t gonna lie
i guess i gotta try
ain’t nothin’ gonna bother me, so shoo fly shoo fly shoo….
Ha! Seriously? Shoo fly shoo? Well, I tried singing it and damnit, Jim, it worked. Now, I wasn’t floored, but it was certainly fun. Then I started getting hungry. Came out into the living room again, and we went through Jonathan Gold’s 99 places to eat in LA before you die from last week’s LA Weekly. Went through and marked off all we had already done (food dorks), and narrowed down to possibilities given my time frame and driving. I was hungry for a Banh Mi, but nothing was close and it while it had stopped, more rain was definitely coming.
So, we picked Comme Ça for it’s now pretty famous cheeseburger. Serious Eats has it as the best burger in LA. F’ it, let’s call up and see if we can get it to go (It’s a Bistro, so you never know.) SCORE. They said it’d be ready in 25 minutes.
Wait. I hear something. Hmm. Bass part? Dialed up a decent sounding synth bass so I could put something down before we left. And to think I almost didn’t go back into the studio room: this thing is amazing! HOLY CRAP!
When I came out to discuss lunch not 15 minutes prior, I literally told Christina, “Well, after lunch I’ll probably go back to work on an existing song; this song is interesting but I’m not sure whether it’s going anywhere.”
I literally was thisclose to moving onto something else when this new bass part took this song from not bad to I can’t wait to finish it!
Funny how creativity works.
Now, belly full of cheeseburger, and with newly inflated balls to continue, I pursued the 2nd verse and worked out a 2nd guitar part, one that doesn’t come in until after the 2nd chorus. I don’t know how it ends. It’s in that 80% completed mode at the moment. But I’m hoping it isn’t going to take much more work.
Tentative title was Bus Stop and has since progressed to Bus Stop People. I still have no reason why, but maybe the song will eventually explain to me. I can tell you this: this is probably the funkiest, grooviest bass part I’ve ever written and all in all a super fun and stanky little tune!
That my friends, is a glorious way to spend the weekend.