Steve and George

This week’s song, “Steve and George“, has been running through my head for months now, and while this version is probably not definitive, it at least gets the song out in some form. I initially perceived it as a grand, hyper-produced affair, but due to time limitations, it became what we in the biz call a “pocket epic.” As Lou Reed once said, “Between thought and expression, there lies a lifetime.”

Lyrically, we are in classic Gemini territory: a split personality, a set of twins. Who are Steve and George? The song starts out with some praise of an imagined pop group called Steve and George, and then it sketches out the life of one of the group’s fans, a working stiff sucked into a job that’s taken his soul. Every time he gets too deep inside his work (wondering how the dollar went down — lifted from Bowie’s “African Night Flight”), he begins to dream of escape, living his romanticized ideal of the musician’s life (racing back home just to make his own sound). At every turn, he’s too consumed by self-doubt to act on his impulse: he slams on the brakes and turns around. By the end of the song, we’re wondering whether Steve and George even exist outside of the desk jobber’s own feverish imagination.

This song might strike some of you as very proggy, but I really don’t even like prog music. I guess the song does have lots of parts, slammed together with great force. I could see it being maybe twice as long, but then again, there’s something perverse about having each part come and go so quickly. Showcased prominently here is the Mellotron emulator that I got recently (part of the Reason 3.0 extravaganza). I love the tape noise that it makes…. very cool. I’m glad that I waited forever and a day to record this song, because I think it really benefits from the Mellotron.

4 Responses to “Steve and George”
  1. The Bubble King says:

    Hey yeah wow this has a good sound to it!

    Now remember, if it is meant to be a grand, hyper-produced affair… just revisit the material at a later date!

  2. Abraham says:

    oh that is too much for my feeble brain to process. glad you like the sound. go mellotron go!

  3. Judah says:

    I fell pretty hard for the first 1:30 here. For me, the B (“and you wonder how…”) and C (“I wish that time would pass…”) didn’t quite live up to the sexy and anthemic music that preceded them. I like that material fine, but I’m not sure yet about how it all holds together — perhaps it doesn’t need to? I don’t know.

    This calls to mind the exchange about the multipart nature of “I tried to figure you out”: In that case, I encouraged you to “embrace the inner sprawl” (how very “One of a Kind” of me to quote from my posting on someone else’s blog…). I don’t know if further expansion is ultimately the way to go here or not. I just don’t feel like the song has settled into its final form or identity yet.

    In any case, the epic quality comes across nicely — worlds (real or imagined) are conjured, and I look forward to the 12-minute version that closes out a forthcoming album (not to mention the 19-minute touring version, complete with dancers, smoke machine, laser show, and the local symphony).

  4. Abraham says:

    now see, this is why this blog is so interesting to me…. I definitely thought that the A section was the weakest of the bunch (perhaps because it was the least traditional…). I am currently in the process of contacting the louisville symphony orchestra to help realize your vision.

    in other news, baby teeth revisited “I tried to figure you out” last week, and after a few months’ break from that song, it suddenly sounded like it was already in pretty good shape. so we may end up doing it pretty close to its current form. time: the revelator.

    thanks for your acuity.

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