A.W.O.L.

On this blog, I’ve gone through my share of unintentionally predictive titles. This week brings my first counterintuitive one. I feel sort of reinvigorated, it being the new year and all, and very present as far as this blog is concerned. So then, “A.W.O.L.” is a little misleading, right? I don’t feel truly at risk for going absent without leave. I’m not going anywhere. Having “fun,” even.

This song is my latest homage to Spoon. Little nuggets from 60s pop music — big, distorted drums and tambourines, a fuzzed-out Vox organ sound, a quarter-note piano pulse — filtered through Big Star’s lyrical anomie. And, my friends, as far as rock-crit-speak goes, that last sentence earns a rating of A-plus DISGUSTING! Is such drivel more or less forgivable when it’s in the service of describing your own work?

I’ve been playing a few Bach Inventions lately (big ups to #13!), and they influenced the last section. I should also tip my hat to my new friend Reason 3.0 — particularly its Scream distortion effect — and the principles of MIDI recording as laid down by Ron Warner.

I’m pretty happy with this one. It sticks to its internal script, and the arrangement seems to develop organically — an illusion created by lots of editing, by the way. Twenty-four hours ago, it was sloppy as a food fight on Beef Stew day.

I’m obviously in a silly mood, and this is a deadly-serious song, so I’m not serving my own work by letting myself prattle on any further. Check it out and let me know what you think.

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Comments
7 Responses to “A.W.O.L.”
  1. The Bubble King says:

    Hoo boy, if I could play those Bach Inventions, I’d have shit like that in all my songs.

    In fact, I think I might study those, not to make a pathetic attempt at playing them, but to understand their structure, and maybe program stuff like that in MIDI. I think I might have an old MIDI file from my high school music theory class where we had to program something in the style of some classical composer or another. Now I can’t remember. Mine turned into a song about my friend Don.

    At any rate, another good ‘un. But let’s not forget you DID go A.W.O.L. for the past couple weeks.

  2. Abraham says:

    you’re right…. I was indeed A.W.O.L. maybe that was subconsciously on my mind. I think studying those bach inventions for structure would be quite a worthy project. seeing them mapped out MIDI-style would be cool. although studying Don is a good investment too.

  3. The Bubble King says:

    I remember my music theory teacher (also one of my good pals of high school) telling us to program these tracks in the style of whomever. Or like, he might give us a piece of music from a classic composer, and have us redo the style slightly. I always felt like I did a good job, and he’d be like “this makes no sense.” So I was like DAMN. Somewhere I have at least a cassette tape recording of such experiments.

  4. Yo buddy, you can describe your own work however you please. People will typically be too afraid to contradict you, but you do run the risk of apparent pretension. I think any faithful reader sees right through that (or plumb doesn’t care), though.

    Solid cut!

  5. Jonny Mess says:

    I like this one. I like the vocals most. I could be completely wrong about this, but they seem to be less filtered* compared to recent 52teeth plums. Listening to this on my headphones, it sounds like you’re singing it just one cubicle over. Of course, I wouldn’t wish that on you.

    *Re: The discussion of describing one’s one’s own work with various kinds of critical language, I thought I’d just choose a word that shows I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about.

  6. Abraham says:

    b b king: sounds like you had a cool teacher. I’d like to hear those recordins’.

    p m s: I always hope at least to risk *genuine* pretension, not just apparent pretension. glad you like the tune.

    johnny mess: as it happens, your ear for music is as adept as your ear for writerly tone! you nailed it: there are no effects on the lead vocal whatsoever — a relative rarity for me. I’m impressed!!!

  7. The Bubble King says:

    * Filtered

    It was actually a good word choice, Jonny!

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