Our Wheels and Our Hearts

Some of my friends and I share music to listen to while we work. Sometimes we rate/review what gets shared with us and share those reviews with the group.

Last year, I had a goal to write 12 new songs. I was finishing up my Master’s degree and it had been a couple of years since I had played in a regular band – and even longer since I was really writing music.

And I failed rather miserably. I wrote a couple, but it’s just hard to be motivated when it’s just you in your basement, you know? Last fall, however, I was presented with a solution.

My mother-in-law’s birthday is the beginning of December. Years ago, my wife’s family decided to make a lip sync video and they decided to do something similar. But also new and unique. One of my mother-in-law’ favorite songs from her … childhood? adolescence? is The Association’s Windy. So my wife and her siblings (who are all musical in different ways) did a 7 part arrangement of Windy. But they live all over the country. With my musical and technological know-how, I created the arrangement, the backing track, and the method to combine all of their parts. And, considering most of the vocals (and the flute, courtesy of my wife’s brother’s wife) were recorded on phones, I think it turned out pretty well:

The point, though, is that experience inspired me as to how I can improve upon my musical goal. This year, my goal is to record 12 original (not cover) songs. Over the last two months, I have found more than 100 songs I have written in the past 15-20 years that are in various stages of completeness. I also started thinking through all of my musical friends (remember how part of the problem last year was the solitude?) who might like to participate. Now I’m in the process of recording four or five songs – all of which I thought I was done writing, but all of my friends have great ideas which improve my initial offering.

My current co-worker David and I are working on a song, and while talking instrumentation and influence, he shared this song:

Specifically, he was pointing to the guitar playing as something that could be emulated in the song we are working on (although he suggested we do so on ukulele). Continue reading

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I Don’t Want to Seem Frantic

Some of my friends and I share music to listen to while we work. Sometimes we rate/review what gets shared with us and share those reviews with the group.

I was still getting caught up on work from being out last week, so I didn’t share anything until Thursday. So it was a single. A blues … well, not standard. Classic, maybe:

Willie Dixon – Violent Love (1951)

In college, my friends and roommates wouldn’t celebrate “Valentine’s” on Feb. 14, instead celebrating “Violent Times.” One of the songs that would inevitably get played would be either this song or a cover (which has been done plenty of times):

I just love the juxtaposition of the upbeat music and the almost dark subject matter. Maybe “Violent Love” meant something different in 1951…?

What do you think? If my friends ever tell me what they thought, I’ll post their reviews here.

Feel the Power Pouring in Their Veins

Some of my friends and I share music to listen to while we work. Sometimes we rate/review what gets shared with us and share those reviews with the group.

Continuing on from last week (and a few weeks before that), I’m working my way through Chris’ favorite albums from last year. We already covered (what would end up being) his #5 album, S. Carey’s Hundred Acres, back in April. But for his #4 spot, he put in a ton of music done by Sigur Rós or other bands/projects related to the band.

Sigur Rós – Route One (2018)

First, Chris shared their album Route One, which is a 24-hour-long remix album based on a single from 2016. I’ll get through that eventually, but in the meantime, I thought I should start with the single and then the 8 track “highlights” version. Continue reading

Incinerated in a Light of Gold

Some of my friends and I share music to listen to while we work. Sometimes we rate/review what gets shared with us and share those reviews with the group.

Low – Double Negative (2018)

Continuing on from last week (and a few weeks before that), here is Chris’ favorite album from last year.

This is Low’s 12th studio album. And although I know I’ve heard of them before, I’m not sure I could tell you anything they’ve done. Continue reading