Well, I've found another limb from which to dangle...

catdaddy

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On second thought, I posted a new song on Twanger Central yesterday (a place that my originals seem to go to die). In hopes of some kind of reaction, I'm posting it here where the songwriters seem more inclined to be open to new and different things. Thanks for listening.

 

chulaivet1966

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Howdy catdaddy....

Ha....I hear you....my uploads to Twanger Central fall of the interest chart pretty quick too.
But....it seems I've managed to keep my distance from overloading the "...you totally suck" meter. :)

Recording is crisp and clean.
A good, clear voice and it's performed well.
Song structure is reminds me of....hmmm....Reggae meets Margaritaville?

Your have a very distinctive style....well done.

We're you looking for any particular obvservational comments?

Have a great weekend....
 

catdaddy

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Howdy catdaddy....

Ha....I hear you....my uploads to Twanger Central fall of the interest chart pretty quick too.
But....it seems I've managed to keep my distance from overloading the "...you totally suck" meter. :)

Recording is crisp and clean.
A good, clear voice and it's performed well.
Song structure is reminds me of....hmmm....Reggae meets Margaritaville?

Your have a very distinctive style....well done.

We're you looking for any particular obvservational comments?

Have a great weekend....
Thanks for listening and for your comments, chulaivet1966!

Not looking for any particular observations, but all comments, criticisms, witticisms or questions regarding the song/arrangement/recording are welcome. When I was writing the song I was actually picturing a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance number from the 30s and not Bob Marley or Jimmy Buffett, but in the studio it somehow ended up with this Latin/Caribbean groove. Maybe I was thinking of Flying Down to Rio. 😲
 

chulaivet1966

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Thanks for listening and for your comments, chulaivet1966!

Not looking for any particular observations, but all comments, criticisms, witticisms or questions regarding the song/arrangement/recording are welcome. When I was writing the song I was actually picturing a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance number from the 30s and not Bob Marley or Jimmy Buffett, but in the studio it somehow ended up with this Latin/Caribbean groove. Maybe I was thinking of Flying Down to Rio. 😲
You're welcome!

I am SOL on the 'whitticisms' thing :)

Mixing is very subjective so there's no right or wrongs.

But....if it were me mixing this?
Reggae guitar is pretty heavy left panned and seems a bit too up front when compared to your vocal.
Given the sparsity of instrumentation....I'd put the guitar track closer to center.
It think this requires some better balance so I'd consider revisiting your panning.
Rough example: Guitar @ 10:00 - your vox @ 2:00 - percussion dead center.

This is a good song either way....just thought I'd throw that out.

Back to it....I need a high ball!
 

catdaddy

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You're welcome!

I am SOL on the 'whitticisms' thing :)

Mixing is very subjective so there's no right or wrongs.

But....if it were me mixing this?
Reggae guitar is pretty heavy left panned and seems a bit too up front when compared to your vocal.
Given the sparsity of instrumentation....I'd put the guitar track closer to center.
It think this requires some better balance so I'd consider revisiting your panning.
Rough example: Guitar @ 10:00 - your vox @ 2:00 - percussion dead center.

This is a good song either way....just thought I'd throw that out.

Back to it....I need a high ball!
Sir, I owe you! Thank you for the mixing suggestions!!

Per your suggestion I revisited the mix and found that I agreed with your observations, especially the electric guitar being too up front in relation to the vocal. As a result, I've lowered the volume of the e.guitar track throughout and added more width and separation to the mix. Although that e.guitar is still panned pretty hard left, I think the acoustic guitar which is panned right is now a more noticeable complement and makes for a better left/right balance while the vocal moves more front and center. I feel as though this is a very much improved mix.

If you're willing to give the song another listen, I've put the new mix up on soundcloud. The new imbedded soundcloud link is below. I really appreciate you taking the time to listen and to offer your insightful analysis. It means a lot to me. Thank You!!!!!!!!!! Any further suggestions you might have are more than welcome!

 

chulaivet1966

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Well....

That's sounds far more balanced considering the instrumentation you were using.
I'm glad that worked out.

I've shut down my DAW for the evening and am only listening on laptop speakers at this moment.
Which, are suggesting to me that the rhythm acoustic could come up a bit with some slight EQ'ing.
First, I would try rolling off about 2db in the 300-500 hz range.
Play in that range and see if your ears will hear more clarity with the acoustic?
Acoustics typically need massaging.

I'll listen on my DAW tomorrow and confirm whether my observations are premature. :)
I'll be back tomorrow.
Later....
 

catdaddy

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While the groove and singing are nice, joking about gun violence to avenge social media insults is difficult for me to listen to.
Thanks for listening, Harry.

Your reaction to the song is exactly what I was hoping to accomplish in the listener. The juxtaposition of the very dark lyric with an upbeat tune is intended to create cognitive dissonance. IMO, the subject of the epidemic of senseless violence extant in the U.S. needs to remain a priority topic of discussion and dialogue until some solutions are found. I found the most recent killings in Uvalde, TX to be particularly upsetting. I'm hoping that this song's strength is that it forces the listener to feel uncomfortable and to reinforce the idea that we can't let this situation become acceptable or taken for granted as unchangeable. Metaphorically, I hope that this song is a painful prod of a reminder to continue to ask questions and seek solutions for this horrific problem.
 

Harry Styron

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Thanks for listening, Harry.

Your reaction to the song is exactly what I was hoping to accomplish in the listener. The juxtaposition of the very dark lyric with an upbeat tune is intended to create cognitive dissonance. IMO, the subject of the epidemic of senseless violence extant in the U.S. needs to remain a priority topic of discussion and dialogue until some solutions are found. I found the most recent killings in Uvalde, TX to be particularly upsetting. I'm hoping that this song's strength is that it forces the listener to feel uncomfortable and to reinforce the idea that we can't let this situation become acceptable or taken for granted as unchangeable. Metaphorically, I hope that this song is a painful prod of a reminder to continue to ask questions and seek solutions for this horrific problem.
It certainly worked that way for me. I don’t want to listen to it again.

Delivering a message song is a real challenge unless your audience is ready for it. My sense is that message songs are more readily accepted if they affirm—rather than challenge—the audience’s conviction. For example, “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You into Heaven Anymore” wouldn’t induce anyone to remove his flag decal, though it’s great entertainment for the people who wouldn’t put a flag decal on their car.
 

catdaddy

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It certainly worked that way for me. I don’t want to listen to it again.

Delivering a message song is a real challenge unless your audience is ready for it. My sense is that message songs are more readily accepted if they affirm—rather than challenge—the audience’s conviction. For example, “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You into Heaven Anymore” wouldn’t induce anyone to remove his flag decal, though it’s great entertainment for the people who wouldn’t put a flag decal on their car.
My wife feels the same way about the song- won't listen to it a second time. But, she thinks of it every time she sees news related to another mass shooting.

I'll respectfully disagree about the challenge vs affirm message. I'm a fan of Randy Newman's songwriting. In fact, reading about his songwriting approach convinced me that using a narrator whose point of view is in bad taste or deranged can be most effective in highlighting a problem to a sane listener. His song Political Science is a great example of this as are the songs from his Faust album where he uses satan as a narrator.

I should also mention that my initial inspiration for sitting down and writing this song came from Country Joe and The Fish's protest song Fixin' To Die Rag where the lyrics celebrating death are set to a funky ragtime melody. That challenging song is one whose lyrics I can still recite today even after 50 years of having not heard it. I know They Won't Forget This Day won't reach but a handful of people, but it's already got one of my friends whose head has been buried in the sand concerning these recent killings to pay attention and think about what could be done to prevent them. As a songwriter all I can ask of my music is that it affects people in some way, even if it's not the way I wanted.
 

chulaivet1966

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Top of the mornin'....

"I'll listen on my DAW tomorrow and confirm whether my observations are premature".

Just listened on my monitors and I'll stand by my above observations in my previous post.
Of course, the merit or application of my comments is determined by you. :)

Back to it....
 

Harry Styron

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My wife feels the same way about the song- won't listen to it a second time. But, she thinks of it every time she sees news related to another mass shooting.

I'll respectfully disagree about the challenge vs affirm message. I'm a fan of Randy Newman's songwriting. In fact, reading about his songwriting approach convinced me that using a narrator whose point of view is in bad taste or deranged can be most effective in highlighting a problem to a sane listener. His song Political Science is a great example of this as are the songs from his Faust album where he uses satan as a narrator.

I should also mention that my initial inspiration for sitting down and writing this song came from Country Joe and The Fish's protest song Fixin' To Die Rag where the lyrics celebrating death are set to a funky ragtime melody. That challenging song is one whose lyrics I can still recite today even after 50 years of having not heard it. I know They Won't Forget This Day won't reach but a handful of people, but it's already got one of my friends whose head has been buried in the sand concerning these recent killings to pay attention and think about what could be done to prevent them. As a songwriter all I can ask of my music is that it affects people in some way, even if it's not the way I wanted.
I don't want to belabor the point, but i want to make a couple of distinctions.

Randy Newman's Political Science, which first appeared on his Sail Away album, which I wore out, used humor to make clear that his deranged narrator is just a tool. It comes through in the vocal delivery, also, as well as the ridiculous hyperbole ("Canada's too cold," "South America stole our name," etc.) Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die, as I understanding it did not contain "lyrics celebrating death," was a singalong to a choir of anti-war people and potential draftees, with direct questioning of the war (1-2-3-4 what are we fighting for?).

I doubt that Randy Newman or Country Joe changed minds, but they were entertaining.

If your song isn't entertaining, it doesn't have a chance to change minds or challenge notions. Broad irony is difficult.

As two guys named Sherman wrote, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down."
 

blowtorch

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I doubt that Randy Newman or Country Joe changed minds, but they were entertaining.

If your song isn't entertaining, it doesn't have a chance to change minds or challenge notions.
We are all of us doomed to be preaching to our respective choirs. Our songs of outrage, protest, rebellion, etc meet only ears that will hear those messages.
As do our songs of joy, peace, etc
 

catdaddy

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I don't want to belabor the point, but i want to make a couple of distinctions.

Randy Newman's Political Science, which first appeared on his Sail Away album, which I wore out, used humor to make clear that his deranged narrator is just a tool. It comes through in the vocal delivery, also, as well as the ridiculous hyperbole ("Canada's too cold," "South America stole our name," etc.) Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die, as I understanding it did not contain "lyrics celebrating death," was a singalong to a choir of anti-war people and potential draftees, with direct questioning of the war (1-2-3-4 what are we fighting for?).

I doubt that Randy Newman or Country Joe changed minds, but they were entertaining.

If your song isn't entertaining, it doesn't have a chance to change minds or challenge notions. Broad irony is difficult.

As two guys named Sherman wrote, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down."
Your point about Political Science is a good one. I made no attempt at humor in my song. Failing to use that element of songwriting is probably to my song's detriment, but I regretfully didn't consider it necessary (even if I could have pulled it off). The better analogy to how my song might fit within Randy Newman's songwriting universe is from Faust. There are songs (perhaps not so entertaining as Political Science, but good songs) where the narrator (the devil) delivers a lyric much more explicitly dark and humorless. For example, in Best Little Girl the Devil tells of a young, churchgoing girl whom he convinces to go on a date with a lifeguard; the two “were found the next day drowned in their own vomit.” Faust has numerous other examples of the worst of human attributes examined without humor or with only a modicum of subtle irony.

As for I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die, an anthem it was, but the celebration of death is there in the verses and of course in the refrain "whoopee! we're all gonna die". But, much like with Political Science it's done with humor of delivery and hyperbole.

Harry, I appreciate your thoughtful comments and criticism. Thanks for taking the time to respond. My song may not be entertaining but it was the best I could do as a songwriter on the subject.
 

chulaivet1966

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We are all of us doomed to be preaching to our respective choirs. Our songs of outrage, protest, rebellion, etc meet only ears that will hear those messages.
As do our songs of joy, peace, etc
Fair assessment.

We write what we like to write....end of story.
With any luck, there may be a demographic that appreciates our individual song writing efforts.

For me....as soon as I hear a song about "outrage, protest, rebellion (or the "R" word)" or maudlin, sappy love songs?
Color me uninterested and I move along.
Which is not a reflection of a songs' recording quality or musicianship as perceived by others.
Just personal taste.

My opinion rates just below irrelevant anyway. :)

Have great day....
 
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