Antatomy Of A Song #12: It's All Too Much

Christ, this is a lot of work isn't it? Can you imagine trying to do this in a 500-dollar-an-hour studio? Woah! That's why all the records I ever made in 500-dollar-an-hour studios sound like they were made in a hurry.

Y'know, when I exited LA stage-left it was with the understanding that I would at long last be able to make music MY fucking way, and that I would be able to midwife my compositions the way I saw fit. There wasn't a lot of that out there, and it wasn't just putrid record people- a lot of it was band members. No one will ever punish you more for bringing good songs to the table than a goddamn guitarist who can't write or a drummer who doesn't know what a major third is.

Look, I know that sometimes when someone talented throws up a mic and picks up an acoustic they can make the album of the decade in one session. I made a record like that myself in '02, "The Imperial Beach Sessions" (aside from th' album of the decade thing). Solo voice and piano. Just because. And because I didn't have a working multitrack and I wasn't going to let that stop me. In art, every dead end has the potential of providing a new direction. Heck, sometimes that direction involves a bottle of Jack 'n' a .38 but at least it's new.

With the work I'm doing now I'm doing what I've always done- using the tools at hand. I've got 8 tracks of digital, I've got a nice vocal mic, and I've got 24 years of experience. And I've always, always wanted to know what it would be like to cut records that I would never have to listen to and hear the deficiencies imposed by budgets, schedules, or ignorant cunts with instruments.

One must always make careful note of what it is one has to bring to the table that is unique. My voice isn't particularly unique; it's professional. I'm always being accused of having a professional voice. My approach to instruments isn't unique. My brilliance ends sharply at my wrists. What I have that is unique, especially in this day and goddamn age, is sheer arcane ability. I am a student of all the Lost Arts. I am a ninja of the arcane. No one can touch me for being able to do with mics and speakers and electronics and studio-sleight-of-hand what anyone now can do with a hunnerd dollar plug-in.

If my stuff has anything going for it it's top-notch arrangement. Instruments, voices, all of it. That's my trademark because, well, because nowadays it ain't anybody else's. Maybe nowadays it's a sign of not being authentic to display this sort of skill instead of jacking off with a old acoustic. There's this new guy, this 21-year old kid called Willie Mason who has this song called "Oxygen" that's a huge anthem in th' UK and he's all authentic 'cause he can't sing and he sounds just like Dylan so he's a fresh new voice for th' disenfranchised. Yeah, he's so authentic. Fresh. Unprecedented. Innovative. Fuck off. What's authentic? Does it mean you paid some dues? Does it mean that you really, really mean what you do? Does it mean that your voice comes straight from your heart? Does it mean you're real, man?

Nah. Means you spank off with an old acoustic and some words that sound like third-form Dylan. Fuck, man- there's nothing wrong with Dylan and old acoustics and words! Fuck knows!

But man, it doesn't give you th' market on authenticity, Willy. You know what? I already knew how it felt to live on fucking grits for a week before you was born, little pisces dylan authentic man. And because I make it smooth and rich (for the specific reason that there's all this crap that's so pseudo tough and totally commodified) I'm inauthentic or something. I get it- authentic means "well marketed as authentic registered trademark" now. Ain't it fucking great.

Christ, I have a fucking song to record. I can't get into this now. For once.


Blogger fgfdsg said...

I hate the whole myth of 'authenticity' myself. Performance is artifice. Especially since Dylan pretty much created his own roots as well, since he was embarrassed by his middle class upbringing.

Hey, you're the song expert. Check out my latest post with the song downloads - do you know who sung the original of the first one?

8:04 PM  
Blogger Bobby Lightfoot said...

I'm going Kim Gordon.

Nah- I'm just kidding. It is of course that talented glue empire-inheriting genius Mike Nesmith. Am I wrong?

1:13 AM  
Blogger fgfdsg said...

Seems the lineage of the song goes Greenbriar Boys -> Stone Poneys -> Nesmith records it himself.


Now i can start tracking the Stone Poneys version down to relive my childhood.

Bloody Kim Gordon - Don't get me started on Sonic Youth or a rant will ensue. I have this theory about every art band eventually gravitating towards pop music as they realise that they can write real songs. Sonic Youth seem to be the only exception, because i guess striking a pose is much more important than good songwriting.

And Sonic Youth? Talk about a misnoemer - they're not far off colostomy bags - especially once i shove that guitar up Thurston Moore's arse, once i remove his head from it first.

Ooops. I did warn you.

5:20 AM  
Blogger roxtar said...

I was under the impression that Mike Nesmith inherited the Liquid Paper/White-Out fortune. But ya know what? It sniffs just like glue!

Virginia is for ggvay lovers.....

2:48 PM  
Blogger Bobby Lightfoot said...

Nah- Mickey Dolenz was liquid paper.

Just kidding. 'Twas davey.

4:46 PM  
Blogger XTCfan said...

Nope. 'twas Mike. He told me one evening, talking to me through the TV.

10:15 AM  

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