Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Song #15: Anonymous

This week's song is influenced by the atmospheric Mazzy Star song, "Fade Into You," which is one of my favorite tunes of all time. I could listen to it over and over again and not get sick of it. For those of you not acquainted with this song, it was minor hit in the early 90s. I think it's been on a handful of movies and TV shows since then. The band has recorded 3 albums and kept playing off and on over the years but for the most part have stayed out of the spotlight. They are actually working on a new album this year, which I'm excited about.  

I tried to capture the same atmosphere that "Fade Into You" has by having a similar strumming pattern with the acoustic guitar, the same sort of tambourine part, a fair amount of reverb throughout, and a 6/8 time signature. I used the drum set sound on the keyboard for the kick, snare and cymbal. Does it sound believable?

So, what do you think? Any suggestions?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Song #14: Lonely Day

Growing up, I was a fan of the Smashing Pumpkins. Their discography (for better or worse) is all over the place stylistically, which I think has kept them interesting over the years. But this week's song is influenced by the electronica sound of the song "1979", along with some of dense guitar layers and octave distortion lines on the album Siamese Dream (the synth parts are also influenced by Broken Social Scene). While I'm talking about the Smashing Pumpkins, they are also somewhat the inspiration behind this whole project. Back in 2009, they started a 44-song concept album called "Teargarden by Kaleidyscope." They have released songs sporadically (on their website for free) as they were recorded one at a time. I think they are up to like song #12. I liked the idea of a massive project released one song at a time so I decided to put my own twist on it and try this out.

I recorded most of the guitar parts for this song using my trusty Marshall full stack. Killer tones, man! But seriously, although this is a little tiny novelty practice amp, the tones sound surprisingly big, wouldn't you say?!

The background of this song goes back to around 2001. When I started playing it live with Declaration,  it sounded much slower; more along the lines of Pedro the Lion or Low. Not having access to a drum set has caused me to use programmed beats a lot more lately, which has steered many of these songs so far in a new (and I hope exciting) direction. What do you think?