Imminent Death And Bubbles

An instrumental in two parts: Imminent Death, and Bubbles. The two parts are pretty similar, the chords remaining the same all the way through. It just gets slightly jumpy and echo-y for a while, as I play a guitar solo of sorts, and a blues bass riff. I thought it sounded like bubbles, I added Bubbles to the title, and the track was born.

It’s boring.

There’s a bit of dread there, but not enough to sustain your attention.

There’s a pedal note going through the whole song, which is something I like, but it isn’t enough to sustain your attention.

As in many other of my songs (to this day I am guilty of this), I have layered many tracks together, rather than compose something genuinely engaging on a single track, perhaps to conceal my inability to really ‘play’ ‘any’ ‘of’ ‘the’ ‘instruments’. The song is textured, but ultimately a bit boring. It doesn’t sustain your attention.

I think the song’s tone is infecting my writing. Finding it hard to be. Flowing and. funny.

Here is an example of the opposite of what I do in this and many other tracks:

There are essentially four clearly defined instrument parts, with a subtle pad coming in after the bridge in the middle. They just really work together. The production on each instrument is perfect, and the main synth melody is so catchy you want to hear it every time. The song goes on for almost 7 minutes! But it sustains your attention. Well, for me it does.

 

At 2.47 I do a drum fill which also appears a couple of times in this other song, one which sustains your attention quite effectively:
(2.47 could maybe be called the ‘climax’ of the song, in the same sense that a re-run of American Dad could be deemed ‘the greatest television moment of all time’.)

 

And finally, here’s Super Hans with the formula I was going for when writing Imminent Death And Bubbles: ‘the longer the note, the more dread’.

 

Lacking any real emotional contact with this song, any concrete memories to go along with it, or any real feelings of pride and/or dismay, I sneakily saturated this blog post with high-octane video content. I don’t know if you noticed, but it worked extremely well. This is a gimmick deployed by Buzzfeed, and the rest of the internet world. It is perhaps comparable to the abundance of ‘hooks’ in many of the catchiest pop songs. Features which GRAB and then SUSTAIN your attention.

LOOK BELOW FOR A FEW EXCITING AND SHOCKING EXAMPLES OF THIS:

 

 

Little Green Lane

Up next is possibly the wettest song I’ve ever written. Well, top 3 at least. It’s drenched with wetness. It wouldn’t be dry if you covered the mp3 in towels, dropped it in the Sahara, and told it to find its way home.

The title, I imagine, was meant to be figurative. Like ‘Little Green Lane’ represents this sort of twee suburb-y existence that the love-torn and anguished hero flees from to seek life anew in the unknown. Unfortunately, because the song is literally dripping wet, it trips and falls into the bottomless pit it hopes to escape from. The song becomes the very nightmare I’m singing about. Everything about it, from the trudging opening chord sequence, to that pleading lead guitar line in the 2nd verse (ok, it is also the best bit of the song, but: wet) to the lyrics (‘I don’t want to spoil your pretty plan’ is grotesquely emo. And I really don’t consider my past self to be an emo in any way. And then the chorus – I’m basically just listing modes of transport. PICK ONE ) – all of these things lack any sort of punch whatsoever. It must be the most insipid dramatic walk-out of all time.

‘Ohhhh noooooo we’re fighting again. Ohhhhhh noooooooooooooooooooo. Ahhhh how annoyyyyyinnnggg. I’m gonna have to go to the train station, goodbye forever.’

‘Well where are you going?’

‘Not quite sure yet. Somewhere very very far awayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy’

‘Wouldn’t the plane be more time efficient? Might also cost less, you know what trains are like these days. Especially if it’s a domestic flight.’

‘You’re probably right yes. Well either way I’m leaving Little Green Lane. I’m off to the plane station. GOODBYE FOREVER’

‘What’s Little Green Lane?’

(wiping a solitary tear from his uncertain eyes, our trembling hero shuffles awkwardly to the door, in a noncommittal sort of way)

Perhaps the most damning thing I can say about this song is that my most significant memories of it involve me trying to listen to it when out and about, and being frustrated that it was too quiet on my iPod. That’s basically it.

 

However, you know, it is a proper song. It goes verse chorus verse chorus in a pleasing way. If Adele sung it it would be passable. And, on a production level, it is a bit of a step up from most of the earlier tracks. The drumming is relatively tight and appropriate. I’m playing piano, which will slowly but surely take over from guitar as the dominant instrument in my music. It has a lead guitar part, which is quite a rarity in the discography (again, wet, but sweet. Or: sweet, therefore wet.) NOTE: I genuinely just noticed the guitar solo before the second verse for the first time since I started writing this. It took me roughly 5 listens. Incredibly appropriate blended solo, or completely ineffectual filler? You decide.

 

‘I’m leaving through the raaaiiiiinnnn.’

Course you are, you wet shit.

The D ‘n’ D Song

Another joke song, the ‘D’s stand for ‘Death and Destruction’. I think I found this amusing because the song features happy chords and a xylophone (or is it marimba? I can’t remember, it was a software instrument anyway, played through the laptop keyboard). Can a xylophone sound sad? A lack of research tells me no, no it can’t.

I’ll confess that while making this project I sigh a little whenever I get to a joke song like this. ‘Huhhhhhhhhhhhh’

I keep waiting for that great leap forward in musical prowess. Something to make the readers go ‘oh, he ain’t just a pretty font with mostly banal observations about himself, this guy actually has talent!’ Will we ever get there? Perhaps not, you may not like what I become.

In the meantime, if you love xylophones, easy happy harmonies, and punchlines that are frankly quite offensive when you listen to them again 8 years later, then you will simply love The D ‘n’ D Song.

The instrument parts are reasonably neatly put together, I’ll give it that. I have good memories of this song. At the time the harmonies sounded better than most I had done before, and the drumming is pretty much all in time. But joke songs don’t age well. Well, some do. But although the fact that it’s a joke shields it from some of the disdain I have for my earlier earnest efforts, it also dilutes the emotional pull I feel towards it. I listen and I’m like ‘there I go, being an inconsequential dick again’. At least when I tried to write proper music you can hear that bittersweet desperation of a recorded performance dying valiantly, over and over again. There’s something noble about it. I really am trying. The sarcastic sneer implied by this song ruins that for me. It’s still dying, just not nobly.

 

NB: I just tried for a full 4 minutes to find a sad xylophone piece. I tried everything, from typing ‘sad xylophone’ into YouTube, to typing ‘sad xylophone music’ into YouTube. I found absolutely nothing. This is the best I could find, so I think I’ve proven my point beyond doubt:

NB2: I stand corrected. Apparently it’s a marimba. Can marimbas sound sad? The jury’s out for now