Friday, December 18, 2009

Album Ideas

Since I purchased my first guitar about a year and a half ago, I've written many songs, and in all honesty, some of them are terrible, but I think that some of them are pretty good and if I had some money, I'd record a demo on something nicer than my $9 computer microphone. This week I released my first EP "A Mixture of Action and Comedy" as a gag gift. It took approximately one hour to record and only one physical copy exists. It will be a collector's item someday.

The tracklist:

1. Dance in the River (Chris Tomlin (?) cover)
2. The Four Chord Praise
3. Never Gonna Give You Up (Rick Astley cover)
4. You're Beautiful (James Blunt cover)
5. The Ballad of Teddy Stollard
6. Take It on the Run (REO Speedwagon cover)
7. Tangled Up in Blue (Bob Dylan cover)
8. Jesus is my Boyfriend
9. Dance in the River (Reprise)

I've written enough real material for an entire album at this point, an album that would include nothing from "A Mixture of Action and Comedy". I've thought of titling it "12 Unattainable Women" since unattainable women come up frequently in my songwriting. However, I've got twelve candidates for inclusion and of these, "When I Dared" is a breakup song, "Dancing on the Moon" is a dis track, "Another One Gone" and "Things You're Supposed to Feel" are reflections on friends getting married, "Generous Thief" is a political protest and "Aged Castle" is a song of spiritual reflection. We're now down to 6 unattainable women, expressed in "Evil Ideal", "I Only Fall in Love...", "Quarantine", "Friendly Letter", "What's Wrong With Being Obsessed?", and "Through a Wisher's Eyes". So screw that album title.

I'm also constantly rewriting these songs to accommodate rapid advances in my guitar playing and reconsiderations of lyrical choices. "Friendly Letter" is the only decent song I've ever finished in one sitting and the only unattainable woman song I've written that accurately expresses my feelings and experiences, since I usually make up lies and then sing them. It is awesome because it includes the rhyme "epistle/guided missile" and the line "I'd love to punch the bastard in the face." I thought that "I Only Fall in Love..." was complete until I decided to write a new bridge today. "Generous Thief" is definitely the weakest of the bunch and is also essentially finished. The title sat in limbo for months before any other part of the song came to me and I've always thought the comparison (Obama spends like a generous thief) was a bit cheap, but hey, "Masters of War" wasn't exactly nuanced. I confess that I've never considered any of the others complete in part because I have a terrible time with second verses. "Dancing on the Moon" is also a little gimmicky and may undergo a total rewrite saving only the title hook, which had played in my head for years. "I Only Fall in Love...", "a Wisher's Eyes" and "Aged Castle" are the cases where I really think I might have struck gold. I played their melodies out on the piano the other day and thought "Hey, that's quite good. People might really enjoy hearing that." "Things You're Supposed to Feel" is my most recent composition and there might actually be two songs lurking in there, as the verses and the chorus seem to address different subject, each worth singing about.

Whether or not these will ever meet anyone else's ears on record has yet to be decided, but it's certainly a fun hobby.

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