I Do Little Things

This week’s tune, “I Do Little Things“, forms part of a continuing series of the word becoming the flesh, i.e., a song’s title unintentionally informing the recording process. In this case, it was for the good. I had some time this week for a change, and also, I was working here with a relatively simple idea. The result was, I was able to do a little thing well, or at the very least, in a fully-realized way.

But enough of this self-satisfied drivel already… it’s unbecoming. On to what you’re really here for: shop talk. “I Do Little Things” is a tribute to oldies radio. Lots of Spector-esque string flourishes (he’s on my mind, what with the murder trial wrapping up), as well as hidden thefts from “Time of the Season” by the Zombies, and “You Can’t Do That” by the Beatles. More than anything else though, I’m borrowing from Del Shannon’s “Runaway”, to which I owe both the tone and the cadence (one-and-TWO-AND-three-and-FOUR-and, if you’re keeping score) of the organ part.

I pared down the lyrics until I had just enough to get by. Lots of repetition, and a nice, simple story of emotional indentured servitude. What are your thoughts?

P.S. Go see the new David Cronenberg movie “Eastern Promises”.  It’s delicious!

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Comments
12 Responses to “I Do Little Things”
  1. Lara says:

    I love the strings in this song. Nice and tight. And your reference to the recording process as the flesh is a good one. It’s the journey, not the destination!

  2. Abraham says:

    thank you! yeah, after the string-saturation of “the simp”, it’s a good challenge to record only the necessary string parts, instead of all the ones that happen to be in your head…

  3. Lara says:

    Well—I have to say that I love the strings in “the simp” too. In my opinion, the collective Baby Teeth head was right about those strings.

  4. will says:

    nice. well thought out. the organ is tasteful…ron argent would be proud! the strings are quite effective—especially during the solo. i like the way that the feel of the tune is enhanced; though, not altered at that part. (phil spector indeed) that’s the genius nod to oldies radio here—simplicity. the music and the lyrics compliment each other well. a slightly darker feel as opposed to the “at the hop” 50’s poppy style. also, the romantic idea of the secretive/mysterious loner is here too. this song brings to my minds eye the flashing neon signs that lined the streets of the “red districts” of urban america in the 50’s/60’s. me likey! i like the nod to “runaway”—slowed down it gives the song a nice ebb and flow. been looking forward to “eastern promises”–ur the first recommendation. tough to front on RABID or SCANNERS. and i happen to love! NAKED LUNCH! oh and VIDEODROME…! have a wonderful week. bye! current joy:GENE PITNEY

  5. Abraham says:

    thanks will. yeah I agree with you about the “loner” quality of this number. when I used to feel out-of-place in middle school I would sometimes sing “the wanderer” (by dion) to myself because it would make me feel like I was a cool stranger from out of town, but it too had a dark and mysterious quality. so I guess I was trying to do a song in that vein where the dark and mysterious elements got played up a little more. I haven’t seen ANY other cronenberg movies (except maybe part of naked lunch)… I will need to rectify that.

  6. Judah says:

    I like this one. For some reason, I think it’s crying out for an accompanying video. And possibly a theremin. Seriously.

  7. Abraham says:

    I completely see where you’re coming from with that theremin. we have a great thereminist, devin davis, right here in chicago…. maybe he should come into the studio for this track.

  8. Jon Y. says:

    good tune…nice “Clowntime is Over”-type vibe. I’m down with the Theremin — maybe even have it play the exact synth line from the Cars’ “Just What I Needed”!

  9. Abe, I just listened to the last 6 songs you wrote for you blog in a row – i’ve been negligent in my listening. Just wanted to tell you that this one grabbed me right away, more than any of the last 6 songs. I really like it. A bit more fleshed out in the studio, and it could be awesome. NICE!

  10. Abraham says:

    jon: glad you like it! wow… a theremin take on that legendary synth line? you could really revolutionize the industry.

    jonnie geetahr: thank you brother. I agree that this is one of the stronger ones, especially out of the more recent batch. thanks for chiming in… it’s good to have our most famous comment-ist back in action!

  11. I’m feelin the strings, as well. I want a trio of female backup singers. That’d be mighty classy. It’s amazing the effect an organ chord has when held longer than a few beats, really striking, the way it sounds natural, wind-created sound, but doesn’t decay. It just blows on, unrelenting, and in this song, creating lots of delicious cliff’s edge tension before giving way to the rolling hills of the verse.

    Eastern Promises was awe inspiring, for sure!

  12. Abraham says:

    skipwave: right on! the female backup singers would rule…. or just kelly hogan, triple-tracked. it would be good to get a little more menace into a baby teeth version, if one eventually materializes….

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