Space

Welcome back, 52 Teeth Nation!  MC Don Quixote (yours truly) rides again.  I hope you’re excited to take another ride on Space Mountain.  Our track for this week, as fate would have it, is called “Space“.  Lyrically, it’s a downer, and fairly self-explanatory.  Suffice to say, I’m continuing my ongoing battle to take the poetry and snark out, and put the reality (whatever that is) in.

Musically we are in the realm of Hunky Dory-era Bowie, or maybe more pensive T. Rex (like “Cosmic Dancer” — one of my all-time favorite songs).  The melody of the verse bears a striking resemblance to that of Neil Young’s “Don’t Let It Bring You Down.”  In fact, before I had revised the lyrics, I was stealing entire lines from that song (“Come on down to the river of sight and you can really understand”), mainly to get a handle on the kind of cadence I was after.

In Baby Teeth, we fetishize songs that maintain the same chord changes from the verse to the chorus.  That was my intention here.

Finally, a note about my experiments with GarageBand.  I have a new computer (yay!), but my old version of ProTools couldn’t come along for the ride due to compatibility issues (boo!).  So, until further notice, I’m recording on GarageBand, without any external microphones.  Yes, that’s right, I just stand over the computer and sing straight into the computer’s internal mic.  Playing guitar, same deal.  (The keyboard parts use GarageBand’s built-in virtual instruments.)  Anywho, this process was working pretty well until the final stage of recording, when I tried to crank the volume up to a level comparable with the rest of your mp3 collection.  The result?  Horrible distortion.  So, fair listeners, we have to deal with some volume deficiency until further notice.  Customer Support is aware of the problem and will resolve it ASAP.

Happy Chanukah to all.  It’s good to be back.  Bring on them comments.

PS  If you haven’t heard Baby Teeth’s recent interview on Chicago Public Radio, you can catch it here.

Advertisements
Comments
11 Responses to “Space”
  1. blevitan says:

    First!

    Welcome back.

  2. Dang here we are again!

    Change my MIIIIIIND, Paris, Change my MIIIIND!

  3. Oh yeah, as for the song: I was reminded of “Lullaby” by Ween. A downer, sure, but kind of a soother-downer, right?

  4. detholz says:

    Back with a bang, I see (and perhaps a whimper or two as well).

    LOVE this song & the recording of it. Simple, unadorned & the perfect summation of this season, both outside and in our lives.

    Look forward to more additions to the oeuvre!

    *floats away on a slightly gray cloud*

  5. Abraham says:

    Great to have the old band back together.

    blev: Thank you for your punctuality and good wishes.

    P M S: Your comments pumped me up — much appreciated. Haven’t heard that Ween tune though. Just listened to 30 seconds of it on iTunes and it sounds pretty.

    DH!: Thanks for tuning in, my man. I’m glad you like the recording. I guess sometimes technical limitations can be a good thing. Enjoy that slightly gray cloud of yours.

  6. Hassan Bin al-Ghruvi says:

    Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for snark, but I appreciate the window into the current melancholy condition of the artist’s soul. The guitar and keyboard sound great, even with the temporary software limitations. Looking forward to following Don Quixote’s quest on future Mondays.

  7. Dan J says:

    I have similar problems in Garageband with volume. I think it’s basically taking it down to the volume right before any of your tracks clip. I’ve found what helps a little is to export the track as uncompressed aif (without using anything on the master track tab) to itunes and then re-import that stereo track into Garageband. Then, try some compression/mastering on the single track… try master track tab (top right) then edit tab below it (at least in GB5) and then use the compression choices. Or maybe try the same thing on the actual track’s compression settings which can be more manual.

  8. Abraham says:

    Mr. al-Ghruvi: Thank you for your comments! I look forward to future posts from you.

    D J: Awesome advice. I will give it a try! Anything to avoid buying more hardware right now would be great.

  9. Glad to have the teeth back! You can work that into a lyric, ala Reznor on “With Teeth” (or “wi-THA tee-THA” as he utters it in the song).

    Dan is right about the need for compression. We love our compression in these post-dynamic-range days. If you want to get a little more sophisticated than Garagehack will allow, download the free and lovely Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/), then get the free and even lovelier Massey Plugins L2007 (http://masseyplugins.com/?page=l2007). Put that wonderful plug in your VST folder and use it in Audacity to smash your 2-mix until it keeps up with the pace horses of the Loudness Wars.

    I enjoyed “Space” though, perhaps because of the intentional lack of changing chord-changes, it seems to never vary it’s step. We know you can write a helluva chorus, so it becomes the intros/outros/bridges/whatsits that I look forward to.

  10. I just realized that Massey plugin is only available in ProTools formats. Boo!

    Try this freeware VST plug called Elephant. Seems worth a look just for the name alone.

    http://www.voxengo.com/product/elephant/
    http://www.voxengo.com/files/VoxengoElephant_35_MacVST_setup.dmg

  11. Abraham says:

    Thanks Skipwave! Great to have you back on the block, and thanks for the tips. I’m curious to get your take on this week’s track, “Diamonds,” for which I took Dan’s advice. I think I smashed it a little *too* much, but it’s closer to being a true soldier in the Loudness Wars…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: