4/20/2006

Anatomy Of A Song #3: Come Together


I'm listening to the skeleton of "I Could Try". Guide vocal, guide Rhodes, drum loops segueing rudely in and out of one another, bongos, timpani, sleighbells. Whistling impersonations of french horn and trumpet. I blew 11 bucks for a pair of little be-wrist strapped sleighbell jobbies that sound tits. Since I have a pair, I can fire them up through stereo condenser mics and place them widely in stereo. All other percussion elements are mono and will be panned to specific points and placed forward or backward with reverbs.

Next up is the bells, some massed handclaps, some tambourine, some shaker. The song is going to have an outro of the two verse chords that will give me my first chance to cut loose on the Rhodes since my drunken stinking-up of the end of "Maybe Next Time". The outro is cool because the much ballyhooed key switch of the final chorus needs to somehow be sexily returned to A major. Actually, it really doesn't but we're doing it. The Headmaster Demands It.

Bringing an unusual modulation back home is eight times harder than getting it there in the first place, man. Listen to Joe Jackson's beyond-superlative return to home key after the keyboard solo in "Breaking Us In Two". What an amazing feat. An amazing feat. I'm not going to analyze th' whole thing but he plays this great shell game with suspended triads that sort of fool you into thinking the transition is smooth, and then magically it is.

Joe is sort of permeating these proceedings isn't he? Th' Viscount inquired after his Night And Day II a couple of days ago and it put me on a Joe Jackson Jag. Also pulled out his book A Cure For Gravity and am rereading it. It's not Bernstein's The Joy Of Music which informs a shit load of what I do but he has a lot of great stories and doesn't hold himself back from the reader.

I think this deep kinship/once-removed mentorship I have with Bernstein is something I share with a lot of pop artists on the radio these days. I also understand that Stockhausen and pre-Baroque music modalism is enjoying a new vogue amongst the American Idols.

Fucking bunch of pimples. Get me a fucking CANNON.

Anyway, back to th' order of the day.

My brilliant return to the home key will be brilliantly deployed in the outro by just going there. It'll smoke. The progression of Fminor 7 to Eb minor 11 will simply slip into C#minor7/E to B minor 11. And over it th' Rhodes solo will instantly slip into the new key and that's what'll make it cool. As we fade.

Oh- I also need a snare session to track in ruffs and ghost notes to Stax-Voltisize the loops up a little.

Today's Listening for "I Could Try":

-"Breaking Us In Two" Joe Jackson
-"The Warmth Of The Sun" The Beach Boys
-"Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" Berrrt Bacharach
-"Doubleback Alley" The Rutles
-"Goodness Gracious Me (Th' Ecology)" Marvin Gaye
-"You Were The One" King Radio
-"Maybe Next Time" Bobby Lightfoot
-"Thin Line Between Love And Hate"- Th' Persuaders
-That new Mary J. Blige single has a great Philly Soul chorus.

palette-cleansers of the evening:

The Saint Matthew Passion Bach
String Quartet in F Major (The "American" Quartet)- Dvorak
It's Alive The Ramones

1 Comments:

Blogger fgfdsg said...

I always modulate back for the ending. I don't have your chops though, I just slam back into it and hope it will hold together.

If I only had your expertise in musical theory...

Damn, I'm eager to hear this one!

3:57 PM  

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