Wednesday, August 31, 2005
New Interview on a New Site and a Free CD ContestI was contacted by a New York singer/songwriter and guitar teacher named Kid Mercury with a request for an interview on his blog. I discovered that he is also a very amusing writer. I hope you'll drop in and visit. He also offers a lot of free info on learning to play the guitar. If you're looking for such a thing, have a look and let me know what you think.
I want to pass along a list of Rude British Towns. I'm powerfully tempted to write limericks here about such towns as Mudchute, Six Mile Bottom, Spital in the Street, East Breast and Crapstone. Privately, perhaps I will. But I thought it would be enormously fun to have a contest for my readers instead.
Check out this link to get the full list of 100 Rude British Town Names. Write a Limerick using two or more of them. I'll award my free CD to the best three limericks.
Deadline is Sunday, September 4. Send entries to Bud@BudBuckley.com.
A woman with a Six Mile Bottom
Wasn't quite sure what she'd gotten
Met a lad from East Breast
And you know the rest
Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah shot him
See how easy it is.
posted by Bud @ 5:10 AM
Monday, August 29, 2005
Florida's Roadside AttractionsThere's something for everyone in sunny Florida. My wife Cathy was intrigued by the diversity in messages along Interstate 75 between Ocala and Gainesville.
Ocala is the home of Florida bred racehorses and LOTS of retirement villages. Gainesville is the home of University of Florida, one of the nations leading sports/party schools. She started shooting pics of these billboards in a fifty mile stretch as we sped by at 75 MPH. Shooting with a fast lens between hog trucks and SUV's who insist on passing me on the right yielded photos she's not proud of but nevertheless amused by their content. So she assembled them into these collages.
Missing from this collection are the Disney ads and the exterminator ads. It's quite a hoot when they put a pest control billboard near a Mickey Mouse. The Florida Real estate ads also failed to capture Cathy's interest on this shot. The fifteen foot alligator come-on to the T-shirt shops is also too commonplace to be interesting.
This first collage is a good cross section of the Florida attitude. If you're so lonely you have to pay these naked chicks to sit on your lap... If you're confused as to why K-Mart has become an adult superstore. Oh, wait that's X-mart. Well that's confusing too... If You're so angry or depressed that you just can't buy enough guns and amo... Well you know who has the answer. Whether or not you asked the question. I wonder if the islamic fundamentalists do this along the roads between the oil refineries. This looks like a merged dream of Pat Robertson and Jimmy Swaggart.
Florida is nothing if it's not public spirited. The AAA was kind enough to post the speed trap warning signs along US 301 near Gainesville where we decided to avoid a traffic jam approaching Interstate 10. Lawtey, the town mentioned, is one of three state and federal prisons along that route. Two of these small towns get in excess of 100% of their police budget with speeding tickets. They design a better speed trap here. It is extremely difficult to adjust to the quick change speed limits along this route. It's not clear to me who the Birkenstock ad is supposed to appeal to. This is an area where the primary family income is derived from building and racing those silly mud racing vehicles (with the tires the size of a high school football stadium), prison guarding, lending bail bonds, hotels for visitors to the prisons and of course BarBQ joints to feed them. The appeal to neutering, for me, should go beyond pets. There is still no shortage of strays here. Both four legged and two legged.
The last part of this trip's collection summarizes a bit but only of what we saw. Florida is much richer in it's ability to attract all kinds of people. It's not clear to me if the Go To Church ad is renting out said church or if the billboard is just occupying space until they rent it to another WE BARE ALL joint. Business and religion have always shared a warm embrace here. I've been preached at by accountants and windshield repair men. "What church do you go to?" has replaced "How are you?" as the official getting to know you greeting for many of these folks. Fireworks are officially illegal here, I'm told. Unless you are a farmer and use then to scare birds away. It is apparently a simple matter for a 15 year old girl in a tummy shirt to convince fireworks stores that they are just picking up a Waffle House paycheck's worth of bottle rockets and mortars for daddy who owns an orange grove. Cathy missed the sign that explained to us that "The United Nations wants to take away your guns," so we settled for this other public service announcement about the Free Trade Agreement. I, for one am grateful that somebody is considerate enough to explain complex political/economic issues that give me a headache when I attempt to read about them in the NY Times.
If I say that there is something here to offend absolutely everyone, I fail to point out that implies there is plenty to love too. It appears that we are about to dodge our 13th tropical storm/hurricane this year. And I won't be shoveling snow or losing control of my car in frozen rain this winter. This is a trade I happily live with.
posted by Bud @ 6:15 AM
Friday, August 26, 2005
No Colonoscopies or Strippers HereI thought I'd be writing about a hurricane raging around me this morning. I can only write about another one taking a weird turn and missing us. Again. But it could turn this way again. If it's south of you, it can get you. But so far I have moved to a place where hurricanes find no attraction.
Speaking of attraction, it's time I paid some attention to some of my search links. The number one search criteria for this site is "The colonoscopy Song."
They went up the tube to have a look around
Turned the corner and said, "ooo, look what we found!"
We'll just reach out and snip it, see what we can see
You can lie there with an an IV drip and watch it on TV
Colonoscopy, fun as can be
The best drugs and reality TV
I wasn't serious about this but thought it was clever enough to post for a yuck. Now I find out that people searching for the term "colonoscopy song" are finding me more often than the guy who actually finished and recorded a colonoscopy song called coincidentally The Colonoscopy Song. I hate it when I get an idea and somebody else runs with it and scores. Now I can't even finish it without seeming like I'm trying to rip off an idea. An idea I had independently. And somehow a hysterectomy song just isn't funny at all.
Another disturbing search item that is consistently high on my site is "Strawberry Sandy." Those of you web gawkers who just landed here to find a naked chick, I'm sorry to disappoint you. My reference to Strawberry Sandy had nothing to do with porn. I quoted my producer, Mark Zampella, a while back when we were having one of our typical riffing dialogues. These things often leave us laughing at things funny only to us for some reason. I learned recently that our wives love it when we do that because they love to hear us laugh. Not because anything we said was at all funny. How can I be so in love with women when I truly don't understand them at all? Anyway, Mark was quipping about a remark I made when we were discussing a Lebanese restaurant that advertised Lebanese smoothies. I think I said something derogatory about that beautiful country regarding their abundance of sand over fruit. To which Mark said, "I'll have a Strawberry Sandy, please." It was hysterical at the time because the waiter was at the table and didn't get it right away. I think he disappeared during the ensuing yuck fest and pretended not to have been there. Kind of like when somebody's boob falls out of an evening gown. If you're not paparazzi, you politely look the other way. Or reach for your sunglasses so you don't get caught.
So I'm sorry that I have no stunning hurricane photos from Cathy this morning. Yeah, right! And I could direct you to some stunning colonoscopy photos or to a naked chick named Strawberry Sandy but I'll let you Google that yourself. I don't need any more traffic from those people. They never buy my CD's.
posted by Bud @ 6:34 AM
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Last Thoughts on Leaving Amelia Island BehindI didn't feel a strong reconnection with the place until I walked the beach before sunrise Tuesday morning. Having had a talk with Kathy Feeney last week as she was preparing to leave for her first year of college, I was mindful of the goodbye concept and the dark. I was consoling her about the good-byes she was getting ready for that would take place just a I was starting my Opening Farewell to Amelia Island. One of the reasons we work well as a songwriting team is there is a certain strange symmetry to our lives even though we've seen each other only three times in three years.
A year ago, I was driving at dawn through the Everglades. Coming back from Miami. A recording studio training session. I started to write a lyric in my head about driving west as fast as I could to stay in the dark. The song had a refrain, "Sun chasing her, she's chasing the night." I liked the concept, wrote it down, fleshed it out a bit but never got back to rewrite the lyric. I looked at a few times to see what it needed. It wasn't happening. Then, a month ago, Kathy, sent me her lyric ideas in poem form about escaping into the darkness. I had never shared my Chasing the Night lyric with her. I'd be stunned but I've become used to her sneaking into my head at times. Some weird telepathy ebbs and flows and has since she was 9 years old. I've known her since she was six but we've been good friends for half her life. I won't share that lyric with you until we've had a chance to work it out but it's been on my mind and I've played with the music already.
So last week as she was packing, I suggested to Kathy that we try to find the beauty in the good-bye. Let sadness, nostalgia, a sense of gain and a sense of loss, join the party. Accept their parting gifts and thank them for coming. They'll politely leave when it's time. Then a graceful good-bye will feel more natural. Those were my background thoughts as I took my good-bye walk on the beach Tuesday morning before the sun came up. Something I've done countless times. The moon was occluded. It was very shadowy. I couldn't see what I was writing:
Winged phantoms just outside my sight
Singing warning notes to whom?
Scribbling words in muted moonlight
Brave assertions against the gloom
This is when I feel closest to my primal essence. I'm a walking prayer. I have never run into anybody at that hour but now I think I see someone coming toward me. A man and his large dog pass by silently.
Silhouettes on several legs invade my solitude
Man and beast pass, no greeting bark or sign
Each embracing the reverent mood
You go to your church, I'll go to mine
My mind drifts back to the good-bye scenario and I take notes for another song that may or may not ever see the light of day. I pass Marylou, a great blue heron that is almost always in the surf by the fishing pier no matter how early I get there. She hides in the shadow cast by the nautical warning lights, and pokes her head into the lighted parts to find breakfast. I've seen her begging bait from fishermen. Seen her tangled in filament line. This verse doesn't seem to fit here. I'll save it for another song:
Strong blue heron, fished the surf for years
Legs dragging hooks and fishing line, brings one to tears
Refuses rescue, lethal lancing beak and stealth wings
Fleeing moonlight surfers and other threatening things
As the sun rises things start to change. I'm seeing things that were there all along but other things just change with the light.
Sunrise pushes the air under winged escorts of the dolphins
Their majesty startles, their prey accepts and begs no mercy
Sunrise pushes air through my hair, whispering the day begins
Sunrise pushes the air around and sea oats bow and curtsy
So as change takes place it must be time for a bridge but it'll be a short one. If this is going to be a song, it needs a chorus and a final verse. I've been teasing you for a few days with photos that my Cathy took. So I thought I'd show you how my various muses work. Two of them rhyme with -pathy (the Greek root for feel, I believe), and the other is called Amelia.
posted by Bud @ 5:27 AM
Monday, August 22, 2005
Naked Running Burning Man
Blogging on vacation? It's a bit like forcing somebody to sit in your living room and watch a few hours of slides. This is basically a good-bye tour. We've done most of our goodbyes as of yesterday. We'll miss a few. The one I don't want to miss is my sensuous goodbye to the beach before sunrise. It has to be sensuous by nature. I'll keep my shorts on. Although it's such a solitary experience at that time of the day, I could run screaming, naked and on fire for miles before anyone would notice. Amelia Island may be the only stretch of beach in Florida like that. I'm not sure but it's the only one I've seen.
On more mornings than I can count over the last eight years, it was my ritual to walk and run before the sun and swim with the dolphins when I could see them. The walking part often produced lyrics or just fragments. I took a pad with me. Windswept Girl was written entirely on the beach. So was One Before the Last. Many others were composed in the condo while watching the beach.
So tomorrow morning I intend to do my last Amelia Island beach-before-sunrise-jaunt. I won't be looking for a song but sometimes they just find me.
posted by Bud @ 8:36 AM
Saturday, August 20, 2005
As reported here a couple of months ago, we sold our Amelia Island Condo. Our realtor, graciously gave us her condo for the week to give us a chance to properly say good-bye to this beautiful place on the Atlantic and to so many dear friends. Thursday night we went to see our dearest friends, Davis and Pam Turner at their gig in O'Kane's Irish Pub. This is the first place I ever played publicly and it was Davis who insisted I start performing. I owe him everything. He and Pam are the king and queen of performers here.
There are no better or more generous people. Davis claims to know nothing about music theory and can't put a name to half the "college chords" he plays, he is astounding. I tune my guitar a step low so I have more range in certain songs. I capo up to standard pitch for most songs. Without the capo it's impossible to follow my hands for jamming purposes if I'm playing open chords. Please excuse the guitar geek I'm not capoed and he never heard the song before. I only played one song the entire night that he did know and he was so on top of on every tune. The man plays his ass off. He has no web site and nothing more than a country demo with a few other friends but he's better than anybody in Northern Florida. I stood next to him one night in the bar when his old boss in the shipyard crane business offered him $100,000 a year to come work with him. Davis dismissed him quickly and said, "If I can't play music, I won't be happy."
Cathy shot a little video with her Canon G5. That link is NOT here because I'm on dial-up. It is SO Fred Flintstone it makes me glad I sold the condo. Most of us could never play like Davis Turner even if we stopped doing everything else but play for the rest of our lives. That can be said about many fantastic professional guitar players. But they're mostly touring for the big bucks. Davis and Pam would rather be happy.
posted by Bud @ 6:19 AM
Friday, August 19, 2005
Tune in tomorrow for gig picsWe're on vacation on Amelia Island. Spending the better part of a week saying goodbye to some old friends. More on that tomorrow along with some pictures and possibly video of a fun impromptu gig last night.
posted by Bud @ 5:45 AM
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Sister Mary ConfusingI'm on record many times for slamming the nuns who taught me. There were some very good ones, I must mention. There were even several I taught with early in my career who were wonderful. I was even related to a first rate nun by marriage. The best ones, to my knowledge with a few possible exceptions are either dead or no longer in the convent. My song Sister Mary Confusing is about a composite character I used to goad my students into working hard. Whenever they would groan about the work load I gave them, I'd tell them what Sister Mary Confusing would do to them. They would get a laugh and get back to work until they thought of other clever ways to manipulate me. If my guitar was with me at work that day, it would be multiple requests to sing Rocky Raccoon to them.
Some of my most perceptive students bought me little nun gifts. I have a trio of squeezable nuns who I call the Supremes. The were given to me by four girls who are going off to college this year. They were in fifth grade at the time. You can see that many kids loved squeezing the squeaky little things over the years. Paint's chipping off. Those girls can be seen in the Rocky Raccoon video from my last NY gig.
There are two Nunzillas that shoot sparks and lumber toward you threateningly if you wind them up. One of them apparently suffered from spontaneous combustion. Probably a result of thinking impure thoughts. Anyway she vaporized. She did not ascend into heaven. I'm quite sure there's a warm spot in hell with her name on it. Recently, my pal and former colleague Cathy Baker sent me a small inflatable Sr. Mary Discipline that you can knock down like a punching bag. The wrapper mentioned that you can get much larger ones. For a deeper satisfaction when you punch the crap out of them, I would assume. I'm gonna suggest they get some of those at the Y in the weight room. This will do the trick when the serenity of yoga just isn't working.
There' s low quality video clip of me performing the song in NY in June here.
To just hear a clip of the song clickhere or at CDBaby. If you are inspired to buy the CD, I'd recommend using my Sounds link on the left of this page since it's actually cheaper and I'll sign it for you.
Finally, my talented guitar student Jim Salhoff who is also a songwriter, was inspired to draw this series of Sr. Mary Confusing Drawings. Such was my life.
posted by Bud @ 6:04 AM
Sunday, August 14, 2005
Gated SillinessA couple of nights ago there was a very scary fire in our gated community. Don't start on me about living in a gated community. It seemed like a good idea at the time when we bought the place in Florida. We came from rural/suburban mid Hudson New York. We were tired of taking care of all that property. We were retiring. We wanted a place where somebody else took care of everything. The gates were just something that came along with the other stuff we actually wanted. The gates are a pain in the ass. Especially when there is a fire. Our "Association" hasn't figured that out yet.
The comical part, before I tell you about the fire, is that although we have gates. We do not have walls. The pool guys used to drive around the gates if they are too early. There is a construction gate that is open all day too. The construction guys have been known to steal truck loads of major appliances before new homeowners can move in. In the evening, the pizza delivery guys all seem to have the codes to the gates. But the police and Fire and ambulance guys do not. There is a special key socket for them but they don't have the keys, apparently. And the gates work very erratically. Sometimes staying open when they should close and refusing to open when homeowners use their clickers or codes. It's a comic situation. Unless there's a fire or a heart attack. Or, I guess, a hostage situation.
My friend J was tinkering on his truck in his garage and it caught fire. I didn't ask him how that happened. It just did. His wife called 911 and had to drive down to the gate to let the fire trucks in with her clicker. The gate closed behind the first trucks. And refused to open again for the police, the ambulance and the various backups. So they just went away.
In the meantime J pushed the truck, which was by now a fireball, out of the garage. It was quite spectacular. J flew choppers in Nam and his crew always called him Bulletproof. He never took a hit while those around him collected lead routinely. His luck has not run out, I'm happy to report. He once set a vintage Corvette on fire too. He's a hard drinking, chain-smoking guy who is probably going to defy death by all the things you would expect to catch up with him. Just that kind of guy.
But the rest of my neighbors are probably not as lucky. They think they bought themselves security in a gated (but not walled) community. So far, they've bought themselves protection against the protectors but not against actual criminals who wouldn't be stopped by a gate or a wall if they had a mind to breach either. Yup, I'm living in a comic book.
Gates Without Walls
Comic books are fun unless you live in one
Atomic crooks with guns, but your safe outside the page
All manner of bizarre stunts causing laughs and grunts
But when it's real, you're stuck inside your cage
Gates without walls keep the good guys out
And only your fear can keep you in
Gates without walls, you're just as wise without
With Gates without walls, you can't win
posted by Bud @ 5:35 AM
Saturday, August 13, 2005
Can a Bump Be Anything But a Bambino?
Lois Lane wished this on me. I hate it when chicks get all telepathic when it concerns bad news for me. The thought of how this is going to play out in Cyberia is painful. How does a guy give birth? If it was conceived by anal probe does that mean it's coming from...? I don't know what could be worse. Oh! Wait a minute! I think I do and now I have to go have my mind purged. That is an excruciating thought!
posted by Bud @ 5:27 AM
Friday, August 12, 2005
What a Revolting Development This Is
In Cyberia, my alien abduction has come to an end. I return to horrible news.It's worse than I could have hoped for. Cyberia is even worse than Siberia. I don't like the looks of this at all. I have a sickening sensation that I'm about to pay for my sins. And I miss Miss Vicki.
posted by Bud @ 5:08 AM
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Please, Not the Anal Probe!In Cyberia, I've taken a break from impregnating every female I encounter to having a close encounter of the third kind. Seems I've been abducted by aliens. Miss Vicki, who has sim-mothered one of my sim-children has sim-drowned while watching my abduction. It'll be interesting to find out if there is a reincarnation clause in the Cyberia Constitution. You know one of these days I'm gonna have to try to write a theme song for this show. I have so many unfinished songs at the moment, though. Go over to Cyberia and see who is doing what to whom. All manner of Woo Woo has been going on.
posted by Bud @ 5:17 AM
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Now is ForeverLast Saturday, as promised, I wore Jessika's T-shirt to my Bella Luna gig. She gave it to me for a humor piece I submitted to her site. It says "Humorous Writer" in several languages, front and back. And of course, Jessika's patented smile.
A recurring theme with me is the loss of old friends. That's the way it is when you have been a teacher for so long. I feel like I planted thousands of seeds and don't get to see often enough how they are doing. I found this opening line toward the end of
Tawni O'Dell's book Coal Run. It resonated with me instantly and turned into this:
Now Is Forever
It's never too late to be told you're not forgotten
It's never too late to know how much you counted
Faded dreams live among the rotten
Letters from old lovers show you are surrounded
The now is forever where it meets the past
The now is forever where it meets the past
The last bit about time is inspired by an onging conversation I've had with my co-writer Kathy Feeney for some years about the nature of time and space. She's becoming an astronomy major. It figures. I'm just a latent time traveler. And Now I'll most likely take FOREVER to finish this lyric. But then another way to look at it is, I have forever to do it. No rush.
posted by Bud @ 5:26 AM
Sunday, August 07, 2005
Escape to the Weird and BackHow twisted am I to avoid reading the mainstream bad news in favor of the weird news? Somehow the weird news has a comic book feel and thus entertaining and unbelievable.
So I'm listening to the Stones' Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown while reading the following stories:
This one is five miles from here and would seem much more real had I been to the beach that day. It is about a parade of sea life, mostly but not exclusively bottom feeders, who were observed in orderly exodus not far from the beach. All species swimming and clawing together in the same direction, like a fire drill. It reminded me of that scene from Steven King's Dream Catcher where all the animals in the forest. preditor and prey together get the hell out of the area when it is invaded by extraterrestrials. The first thing I thought of was toxic runoff from all the groves, plantations, golf courses and phosphate mines. Then I thought Red Tide. I was right. The people will be next.
Then there is this story about a naked swimmer in San Francisco Bay. He's in full view of diners at a popular let's-eat-and-watch-the-sea-lions spot. Not a related story. Except in my mind. I just liked how it popped up in my mind right after the fish parade.
Then there is the story about a man who lost a joust with medieval weaponry against police. Except the police played unfair. They used a stun gun. Technologies a thousand years apart only rated by the nerve of the user.
Finally, you will be delighted to know that the popular Star Trek device the Tricorder, has, in fact, been invented.
Putting these ideas together into a lyric should be such fun. Perhaps I can merge it with my sea snot lyric of a couple of months ago, in a comment to Becky. But not if I want to be serious.
I should put aside a day a week to just play with comic stuff. Today I think I'll leave out the tricorder and the stun gun joust. That's fun for later.
Here's what comes to mind today, attempting to leave lots of room around the phrases for interesting instrumental playfulness:
Evacuating sea life, Red Tide betrays
Exodus rife with bad lies and decay
Unnaturalness of nature, artificial weather
Can't afford to wait here, let's swim away together
Swim away, stripped to our skins
Swim away, forget our sins
Swim away, swim away
Now the trick is to allude to the metaphor of the sea without beating it to death. Tricky. More than a morning's worth of work.
I like it when a lyric can mean different things to different people. I like it when people tell me they are drawn to different lines of mine and they interpret them differently. One of the main objections I have to country lyrics is their concreteness. You don't have to think very hard to get a country tune and that is comforting to a lot of people. Very understandable. I'm not knocking it. It just doesn't appeal to me. Cliche is a sure sign of weak thinking skills in my opinion.
The other extreme is a lyric that's completely unintelligible. I have to laugh at high schoolers who latch on to a song because it's trendy or it just sounds good but they pretend to think the lyrics are so deep and meaningful. Too deep for them to explain the meaning, however. Lyrics like that can be very distracting to some but very appealing to others. I often wonder if it's a fake-out issue. Pretend intellectualism.
I like to walk the line between concrete and the deep so that things can be taken on the surface but it's only a tiny tilt away from falling into a whole deeper meaning. One that is personal to the listener. You can't achieve that through formula, I don't think. It just happens sometimes. If I think about it, I can't do it. That, of course, means that the rest of the above lyric is doomed but it was an interesting exercise. Not a waste of time if you learn something.
posted by Bud @ 9:03 AM
Thursday, August 04, 2005
You MOVE ME With Your ConcernThanks for your outpouring of kindness yesterday. I'm not blocked, though. I never say blocked. Unless I've eaten five pounds of cheese and some plaster of paris.
I posted this lyric many times. I'm posting a first draft work tape of the song below. It's one of the rare times I wrote something while riding my bike far from home without a note pad. I managed to keep most of it in my mind until I got home. You can still see the sweat marks on this song. Which is to say I did it in a rush. But I have performed it many times live and always get a good reaction.
I think there's a fair amount of air in the verse lines. Enough for some second guitar riffs. I didn't even attempt to write those yet. I just played it like it came to my fingers. I think of this piece as kind of evolutionary in my quest to get more air in. I wasn't really thinking about it so it wasn't "intelligent design!" Still want to write something with shorter phrases. Kathy Feeney and I are working on one right now that may achieve that. Which may be by design but neither of us would make a claim for great intelligence.
But this one, Move Me, is an early attempt just to get the air in. I think if you compare it to "That's the part of you that doesn't want to love me." you'll understand the difference I'm talking about here.
So here's both the the dial-up version and the broadband version. Lyric printed for you again below.
Love to know what you think:
Click Here for Dial-Up Low Fi version
Clicxk Here for Broadband Hi-Fi version
Copyright 2005 Bud Buckley
She said, write me, sing me something deep, not low
She said, If you want to move me than you got to know
Some literary words, and a clever use of verbs
And If you want me you have to move me
Oh move me, move me, move me. Move me, move me, move me
Sing me words that move me
She said, I love it when you say things I never heard before
I'm charmed beyond control by your use of metaphor
You can have me for a sonnet and a thoughtful simile
And if you want me, you have to move me
Oh move me, move me, move me. Move me, move me, move me
Tell me words that move me
I said, look at me, darlin', dive into my eyes
My hands around her waist, my heart's of some great size
I say what I feel but I need you to just feel me
And If my words move you, well that moves me
I'll talk with my hands, and you can do me
I'll sing you deep and low, just move me
Oh move me, move me, move me. Move me, move me, move me
Touch with words that move me
Oh move me, move me, move me. Move me, move me, move me
Give me words that move me
posted by Bud @ 5:10 AM
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Writer's ViagraWriter's block, lack of motivation, depression, general funkiness. All very bad words to use. I know that it's true that if you say them out loud, especially applying them to yourself, you're stuck with them. They are all the same slippery slope. Put two feet on that slope and there's no way off until you hit the bottom. I don't intend to find out what it's like to get off the bottom.
I won't go more than three days without something to write about. If it doesn't just pop into my head and out of my fingertips, I dive into anything around me and write about it. Just to keep the muscle from becoming flaccid. Welcome to my dive. It's like Writer's Viagra.
I'm impressed with the writing of John Mayer and Matthew Sweet. I like them for different reasons.
Mayer is a sensitive lyricist and I love the way he constructs his lines with plenty of air around them without ever relying on cliches. Cliche is my mortal enemy.
Sweet is the master of the hook. He does it with cool guitar parts, interesting melodies and in the case of the Thorns, he does it with harmonies. He sometimes has to rely on studio mixes to hookify an otherwise average song but there's plenty to be learned there too.
My goal is to write songs with that air around the phrases like John Mayer. To find ways to say what I want with fewer words. To use the spaces for hooks like Matthew Sweet. Overriding all of this though, I want to write songs that will stand on their own with just one voice and one acoustic guitar. If it's good like that, it'll be good with full production. I'm not there yet but goals are everything in my life.
I tried to supply a link here to the iTunes samples but none appears to be available. I'm NOT gonna risk putting stuff up myself without permission. But if you go to iTunes and search for John Mayer, you'll find lots of samples of what I'm talking about on nearly any song. Not Real World, though. His CD Heavier Things is a perfect example but the songs on his acoustic EP are also good. He'll sing a phrase that may stop on beat three to give a beat or even two of music in between. Sometimes he'll start on beat two or three to put the "air" on the other end. This is a perfect device for his airy vocals which are best produced by inhaling deeply before the lines.
Matthew Sweet is extremely prolific. The CD I'm most familiar with is 100% Fun. You can hear excellent examples of his interesting melodies in I Almost Forgot, Not When I Need It and Everything Changes. His guitar and harmony hooks can be heard everywhere.
I have a body of work I'm committed to now for my next CD. Doesn't mean I can't rewrite although I won't be doing a heavy rewrite. At this stage when I'm still crafting the tunes onto work tapes. I keep the Matthew Sweet approach way in the back of my mind. That way I can leave plenty of room for yet unwritten hooks and unconceived harmonies. But the John Mayer approach will leave the room needed for those things.
In the next posts I'll start putting up a few samples of my songs and show you where I think I'm getting it and where I need more work.
posted by Bud @ 5:33 AM