Thursday, April 28, 2011

I'm a boy

02 I'm A Boy by CharlieSlick

"I'm a Boy" was written at a time when I was accepting the immaturity of being a boy. The lyrics were styled to be like a dirty limerick you'd hear on the playground. I wrote them at work when I didn't have any instruments, so they can really be sung over any music. a majority of the lyrics I wrote for "Edward Murphy" could really go over any music--written more for the rhythm than the notes.

I was inspired to write a song about being a boy by the song "boy's keep swinging" by david bowie.



My version is my answer to his tongue in cheek view of being a boy. Mine is a bit more dark but I feel they both have the same vibe.

Musically, it's as simple as it gets. If you were to listen to "I know you love my synthesizers" followed by "now you've got your lasers on me" and then "I'm a boy", you see my steady movement to less notes. I felt that less notes made me less 80's and also different from the washy lush synthesizer "pads" that Electronic bands were using at the time. So I went with just A C D octaves, no chords, and a simple ascending lead. The lead kind of tells you, based on the key it's in, that when you hear an A bass note, it implies an A minor chord, but because a full chord is never played, its less heavy handed.

but all in all, The music is really just a rhythmic spoon to feed you the lyrics.

The song was actually demoed in the style of stuff that Lord of the Yum Yum and Forest (ghost laws and boro) were doing--loops.

Lazy boy (I'm a boy demo) by CharlieSlick

In this version there is a lost verse about being a leader. In the finally album version, it's replaced by a sort of "bridge" in the form of "take this world, sell our souls, and place it on the foot of pretty girl". That line takes the song from a throw away goof--which the demo is, to serious critique of myself and Men. I can't really say whether that was intentional or not.

I choose to demo the lyrics in this manner because I'd settle on not actually using the lyrics--they were to ridiculous, but later I changed my mind when they seemed all to appropriate for the person I was becoming for "edward murphy".

Homo-erotic undertones about "touching the wood" were not written so intentionally, I was speaking earnestly about what I like to do at the hardware store.

People often assume that the album title "Edward Murphy" refers to Eddie Murphy's musically career, which was not my intention. The reasoning for naming albums after people was to associate the music with the generally feelings that the person evokes, IE Eddie Murphy to me, evokes immaturity, humor, and sex--mostly from his stand-up video's "Delirious" and "Raw"-- and that was what I was feeling mostly.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Start Again



Start Again.

For most people, the title implies moving to a new town and starting over. The song isn't really about that. I wrote it at the beginning of the summer when a lot of my friends were moving away and I was still here trying to do this band thing, but without a band. So the "Start Again" part of it, is more like Sisyphus at the bottom of the mountain and less like the freedom of a new town.

Musically, it centers on a bass line arpeggio that changes a bit as I move down the keyboard. During this time, I was trying to imitate the way a synthesizer's automatic arpeggio sounds. I wanted to set up rules with the first three arpeggio movements (E, D, and C) and then break those rules with the fourth (B). I thought by making the movements seem mechanical and automatic, I might be more likely to catch your ear off guard when I broke the rules.

this is a video of me playing it now, I transposed the keyboard down 4 steps so I could play it on my tiny mopho, it was originally played on my Korg Mono/poly. so, C is acutally E.



I don't really know anything about music, so this might come out funny but.

The song is in 4:4--so 16 beats, but on the chorus--it starts over on 1 after only 12 beats, instead of the 16 like the rest of the song. I got the idea to do this sort of timing thing from the pixies (the main song I think I picked up on it was "vamos" on "come on pilgrim", but they do it on others too). I liked how it was slightly unnatural sounding--and of course it was a reference to starting over before getting a chance to finish.

I also do this little thing I liked to use during the chorus of doing octaves but switching which octave landed on the "ands". like

1---&--2---&--1---&---2--&
C1-C2-C1-C2-D2-D1-D2-D1

That's the best I can explain it.

The song doesn't have a bridge and most of my songs don't. Instead it goes verse-chorus twice and then changes into an epic finally--a summation of the situation. I think about the fog machine during this part of the song. When I played it live, I would drop down to my knees, turn on the fog machine and jump into falsetto to heighten the drama.

The falsetto is an homage to Klaus Nomi. My Nomi isn't that great on this recording, but later, after I'd played the song over and over, I got pretty good. Some of my sweeping hand gestures and head tilts were nabbed from him as well.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Now You've got your lasers on me



The song is written from the perspective of a song. "Lasers" in the title is an obvious reference to how data is read in a CD player, so, the statement "now you've got your lasers on me" is basically saying, I am what I create. Among other things, it was a reaction to reviews/criticism I was getting for my previous album "pass the time machine", and my live shows. When you put yourself out there, peoples reactions arn't always that great and in order to save myself from reacting, I wrote this song.

The song centers on this idea that a recorded medium, like a CD or mp3, saves me from ruining it, because once it becomes a CD or an MP3, I can no longer change my mind about the things I've said. and so when you criticize me or my song, there's really nothing I can do about it at this point, because it's done. so in a strange way, when I finished a song, I saw that as freedom--freedom from choices and the feelings I sung about.

But there is some sarcasm and sadness in there too, because as it turns out, my inability to affect a song after it's released, means, no matter how much I change, I will always be held up to my words in these songs. No matter how much time has passed, or how different I am, the songs are always me. Comparable to tattoo's, of which I have none.

Musically, it's heavily influenced by Depeche Mode. Unlike earlier works, this song is a clear attempt at writing "synth-pop", rather than just writing songs with synthesizers. The lead was written first. its a descending arpeggio of Cm, Ebm7 (maybe, it's like a broken chord) and G. The breakdown in the middle was probably written from just me screwing around, but in retrospect, it sounds mechanical and somewhat like a factory pressing a CD.

I hadn't heard the song in so long, I forgot that Leah sang on it.

"Now you've got your lasers on me" was the first song written for "Walter Carlos" and much of the album has this tone of being music about being a musician, which I guess is mildly meta. I would like to eventually--pointlessly release this album on vinyl.