His Songs Were Good

It’s retro week here at 52 Teeth.  This new recording, “His Songs Were Good”, showcases a song that I wrote a long time ago.  Maybe 1998.  Remember Lewinsky, the blue dress, etc.?  Around that time.  The lyrics are a true story about someone I knew back in high school who was an extraordinary songwriter — his songs still get stuck in my head almost 20 years later — but who just couldn’t get his life together, and whose problems ultimately overwhelmed his ability to write.  We’ve all been there, in milder or more severe versions, but he was really suffering.  “His Songs Were Good” is a sort of tribute to him.

I’m trying just to demo anything that has a chance of getting on to the next Baby Teeth full-length, and to do it as fast as possible, since our plan is to head into the studio at the end of March.  So… no muss no fuss on this recording — I just wanted to slap it down and then get Jim and Peter’s feedback.  That being said, I couldn’t help but have a little fun.  For example, I made the background vocals louder than the lead vocals.  Somebody in the sixties used to do this…. I’m blanking out.  Is it on any Beach Boys records?  Help me out, 52 Teeth Nation!  I also picked up the axe again.  Hendrix I ain’t, but it was fun laying down some indie guitar magic.  Something about the drumless recording, combined with simple Rhodes piano and extremely simple guitar, brought back immense nostalgia for me…. maybe a memory of a cassette tape I made with a friend in middle school or something.  In keeping with the backward-looking theme I suppose.

Finally, I discovered an awesome Logic vocal setting called “Leslie Background Vocals.”  I put down a clean lead vocal next to the same performance set to “Leslie Background Vocals”.  I absolutely love this effect, mainly because it’s the same effect that my hero Allen Toussaint uses on his recording of “Southern Nights”.  Not that I’m comparing this song or this recording to his.  But, I try to tip the cap whenever possible to the great master.

Do chime in with your thoughts, shall you?

5 Responses to “His Songs Were Good”
  1. Jonny Mess says:

    I like this one a lot. It’s got that great strange brew of empathy/melancholy and a bit of humor that my favorite songs of yours all have.

  2. Abraham says:

    Thanks my good man. Always aiming to preserve that platinum brand!!

  3. phillymcg says:

    This one’s got the Levitan stamp for sure, I love it.

  4. Abraham says:

    Thanks Phil. Yes, one can worry about becoming a parody of oneself, but then again, who else are you supposed to be?

  5. I like the combination of mellow and i feel the melancholic part. But over all i love it.

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