Sun in Rain

Sun in Rain” is a song I’ve had kicking around, semi-unfinished, for a while.  This was the week to post it because, in its reverb-drenched condition, it makes for a nice tribute to My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James (aka Yim Yames), whom Lara and I went to see tonight.  He gave an incredible performance in the basement of The Seelbach, a historic old hotel in downtown Louisville.  It’s hard to imagine anyone commanding more emotional range than Yim did with just an acoustic guitar and a voice (and occasionally a cool, odd keyboard, which our friend Colby described as a cross between a drum machine and an autoharp).

It’s pretty late,  and we’re driving back to Chicago in the early AM, so I’ll be brief.  The song’s title is a tip of the hat to Scritti Politti, who made an addictive (adult?) pop album a couple years ago called White Bread Black Beer.  I heartily recommend this record although my bandmates despised it.  The first track I was familiar with on it was called “Sun in Snow,” so there’s yer connection.

My guitar experiments for the past couple weeks have been guided by With the Beatles; my goal is to play along with every song, from “No Reply” right up through “Money.”  A lot of George’s chords involve only the three high strings, so I’ve been practicing my triad shapes.  That affected my part-writing here.  As usual, my attempts to play classic guitar parts are executed at a comatose speed, creating a Velvet-Underground-circa-“Pale Blue Eyes” effect here.  (As a softie, I’ve always favored the third VU album.  In college, my band was engaged for whatever reason to play a football pep rally, and we opened up our pump-up set with a stultifying cover of “Candy Says.”  And I wonder why I have trouble finding a mass audience.)

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Comments
13 Responses to “Sun in Rain”
  1. Moni O says:

    I like it a lot. Keep up the guitar experiments.

  2. Joe says:

    The track was called “Snow In Sun”. And your bandmates are idiots, it’s a genius pop record 🙂

  3. Abraham says:

    M O: Cheers and thanks. That’s my plan.

    Joe: Correct you are! That’s what I get for trying to write a post without my iPod in front of me. Glad you’re on my side about that album. Band practice should be very lively this week.

  4. Oh yeah those backing vocals (“vokes,” as it seems like someone woulda referred to them by now, although I’ve never heard that, just “vox,” or do some people/all people except me pronounce “vox” as “vokes”?) are smooth.

    I know my comments here rarely get deeper than “hey hotshot, this song sounds like [insert other song here], hyuck!” – this too reminds me of something but I can’t put my finger on what. Part of me wants to say “Love Is All Around” by the Troggs but another part of me wants to tell that part to shut up and that it’s wrong.

    Well, I have been listening to Bettie Serveert for 13 years, and the guitar evokes that in a small way (in a completely unrelated way I uttered Bettie Serveert and Baby Teeth in the same sentence of a blarg entry earlier tonight).

    What I’m not hearing in “Sun In Rain” that I feel like I should be hearing, is some wood-block hits on the downbeats (maybe that’s “Love Is All Around” talking, again). And now it seems we have come full circle with Robert Severson commentary type #2, “how I think it should sound,” too. Wood-Block ME from your blarg at will.

  5. Abraham says:

    P M S: Nice!! First time any of my work has been compared to Betty Served, and it’s about time! Just in time for the 90’s revival. I agree that woodblock hits, starting immediately after the first verse, would be awesome. I will be sure to add them before I license this song to Turtle Wax for this summer’s fun-in-the-sun-with-a-garden-hose-themed commercial.

  6. Lara says:

    This song made me really sad. In a good way. Why do you have to make me “feel” things? It interrupts my work flow.

  7. Skipwave says:

    Was that odd keyboard an Omnichord? Your friend Colby’s description suggests so.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omnichord

    Oh, and I second the guitar experimenting motion. You are becoming confident-sounding, and that’s when the really interesting player personality quirks can begin to show. Just be wary, once you master hammer-ons and pull-offs you must cross a stinking bog teeming with self-indulgent wankery. Then there’s tapping… peril at every turn on the guitar player’s journey.

  8. Abraham says:

    Lara: I sympathize with you about the perils of feelings interrupting one’s work flow. I will try to avoid this trait in my future submissions.

    Skipwave: CORRECT you are!!! It is now confirmed that Yim Yames used an Omnichord on Sunday night. Thanks for the link. And thanks for the guitar “feedback” (ha!). “Confident-sounding” is what I’m hoping for as my epitaph, so I’m glad my guitar playing is heading in that direction. Always good to hear from you sir.

  9. B. Berkowitz says:

    what is it with me? I again here Flamingos here, though this time, yes, with Sterling Morrison strapping on the guitar to a couple of perfunctory claps from scattered members of the audience

  10. Abraham says:

    Couldn’t let you call me out on VU neglect a second time…. And I’m happy to take as many Flamingos references as you’re willing to dish out.

  11. Jonny Mess says:

    This sounds like the song Donovan sings to himself on a bad day.

    P.S. That’s a compliment.

  12. Abraham says:

    I’ll take it! As BT’s Peter will tell you, I’m a big Donovan fan. Gotten into a few lively arguments with his father about the merits of Donovan, in fact.

  13. There is few things are better than a good stimulating blog article.

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