Posts Tagged ‘#music’

I know it has been a while since I have posted much, but in reality I have been pretty busy. I have a lot to catch up on, but for now I want to share a new song with you. I wrote the lyrics to “Trap” a while ago and now have music for it. The lyrics have changed a bit so I will include an updated lyric sheet as well.

I have a vocalist coming in to redo the melody track to replace mine, and I will keep my harmony track. Soon another friend will send me bass guitar tracks, but for now, here is “Trap”.

When you think you are making the right decision
Everybody you connect with is on your side.
Well, buckle up your seat belts and hold on to your cap
You don’t know it, but you just walked into a trap.

A trap you can’t get out of. X2
A trap you couldn’t see.
A trap of your own making.
Trapped for all eternity.

Still struggling and squirming trying to believe
Yellin’ ‘I don’t understand’, makes you look like a fool.
All bundled up nice with a box, bow and pretty wrap
However you say it, you’re stuck in a trap.
Lashing out at anyone that comes even close.
You keep pushing yourself further and further away.

Suddenly you hear a loud and powerful snap
Now you know it, you just walked into a trap.

When you think you are making the right decision
Everybody you connect with is on your side.
Well, buckle up your seat belts and hold on to your cap
You don’t know it, you just walked into a trap.

It seems like you are making your own choices
Everything’s going down just like you planned.
The box is smashed and you’re hanging from a strap
However you play it, you’re stuck in a trap.
Suddenly you hear a loud and powerful snap
Now you know it, you just walked into a trap.

I hear the beat when nothing is around.
Can’t help but imitating life’s unusual sound.
I would gladly show anyone what I have found
The tempo changes come from underground.

It’s not a pattern if it doesn’t flow.
Soon watch your feet and hands begin moving from fast to slow.
No way to see it if you don’t already know
But stand still long enough you will feel it grow.

The first thing I learned was how to snap.
Didn’t take me long ‘til I had the knack.
Walkin down the street or wakin’ from a nap,
My life has always been a musical soundtrack.

From the solid ground comes a roar like thunder.
I can never wake from the spell I am under.
Once I can open my eyes they are full of wonder
Let’s escape this world that has been plundered.

From there everything comes into play.
Someone writes a musical out of the things you say.
I would like to think we could leave it for another day
But you and I know it will never go away.

The first thing I learned was how to snap.
Didn’t take me long ‘til I had the knack.
Walkin down the street or wakin’ from a nap,
My life has always been a really long soundtrack.

Let me get this straight;
You worked all your life to be this?
So many opportunities to learn and grow
Yet here you remain, still.

Asking me to wait;
As if you found the life of bliss?
Doesn’t matter to me if I will ever know
You’re The Only One who will.

In a world full of half-truths and disrespect.
The Only One
Reality converted – digest and dissect.
The Only One

So much given yet;
You feel you should complain, complain?
Hard to remember lies so move on to the next
Double down, dumber, dumber.

In a world full of half-truths and disrespect.
The Only One
Reality perverted – digest and dissect.
The Only One

Unbelievably;
We land inside another chance?
But it looks so much like The Other Ones
You are a song with no beginning.
A chorus that never ends.

A song with no beginning.
A chorus that never ends. A chorus that never ends. A chorus that never ends. A chorus that never ends.

I mentioned before that one of the more painful things about getting old is inheriting stuff from your friends that are either no longer able to access older technology or loved ones that checked out of life before you do.

Recently, many wonderful musical things of no real value have found a home in my house. Some make noise, some record noise, some avoid noise, but all have been turned into music by friends of mine for decades. The memories and cave-man-level responses to sounds from the past hits me hard. You probably grew up hearing these sounds, but you might have been in the womb or soon after to this world when hearing them. These toys literally created most of the pop – rock and country music you grew up to. The list is too long for TV and commercial applications.

Anyway, unless you know what this stuff is (and things weren’t small in those days) and how to make it work it might as well be a pyramid that becomes nothing a storage problem. As usual, I digress.

Recently, I was given half a ton of old 45 rpm vinyl records.

But not the ones you buy at a store. To avoid another really interesting connected tangent, I will simply say that these came from a company where my wife worked. It was one company and then absorbed then another company and Clear Channel picked them up when their critical mass became too big to ignore. I apologize for the brevity, as most people won’t be interested, but they conducted surveys for radio stations across the US.

They condensed the song – ALL of the songs you would likely hear on commercial radio decades ago – to a 5 or 10 second “hook“. Whatever it was that identified the song to listeners was the hook. They conducted thousands of live – in – person paid surveys across the country to get listener’s opinions of the NEW artist or POTENTIAL new hit. These are not for sale and not available at the stores. My people know I can still use vinyl and other technologies but more importantly I can take care of them.

This brings me to another tangent I cannot avoid. So many of the treasures I have been given are no longer operable or salvageable. A little more thought in storage would have turned so many of these treasures into true gems. Rust, mold, misuse – no use, all take their toll. My stuff still works. From the time I was in high school forward. I bought good equipment and accessories and I took care of them because I knew I could not afford to replace them.

I finally get to the point to this post. I have hundreds of records. My wife worked for years watching literally thousands of bands and their best efforts to make it big. Yes, I heard many of those as well. Some were interesting, some were cool and most were painful. But the thing I am getting to after listening to each 45 record after the other is a simple but powerful message if you are trying to ‘get a deal’: Don’t spend all your energy creating the GREAT HOOK. I hear failure after failure after failure trying to be something you are not. Maybe you have to be cute or edgy to get noticed. Just make it your own edge.

ANY of these bands produced records and demo’s that are much better than my in-home singer/songwriter efforts. They have money and backers and investors looking for the next best thing. But the great hooks are organic and time-locked so you are chasing a dream. So much potential dedicated to making your band sound like someone or something else already out there. To fit the cookie-cutter rather than make the cookie shape. It could be said I make the cookie shape and I am not famous. Mine is not a formula for success.

There are famous artists in this small collection so many do succeed, though I see so many failures because they are trying to find the magic lamp. Stop looking for it and create one for yourself. If it was that easy I would not be sitting here, lol. In the future I will share some of these records. They are not for sale, but I am not sure that means they are not for share.

Here is a record by Gipsy Kings I thought was pretty cool.

This truth we’ve all known since the day we opened our eyes.
Nothing lives longer than lies.
Buried in facts we are told only a fool ever tries.
Still waiting for the surprise.

Somehow we put a price on the amount of hate.
Packaging love in a crate.
Out of my hands, everything has been left to fate.
Medicine is out of date.

Nothing Lives Longer Than Lies
So be careful what you say.
Nothing Lives Longer Than Lies
When you look the other way.

Strength is too often something others shove down our throat.
Weakness displayed by each vote.
Tossed out in the middle of winter without a coat.
Who knows if we can float?

Nothing shouts confidence like a man waiting to fail.
Spending time chasing his tail.
Promising everything’s good cause the check’s in the mail.
Picks up the finishing nail.

Nothing Lives Longer Than Lies
So be careful what you say.
Nothing Lives Longer Than Lies
When you look the other way.

I am working on a musical arrangement for lyrics I posted recently. It is not much right now. I have a piano and bass track using my MIDI keyboard, along with my vocal track for the melody line.

Enemies In Your Head by MSK

Here is to a great new year for all of us.

The faith I have keeps falling apart
The pain we share I will turn into art.
Every day is difficult from the start
Feelings neglected soon buried in the heart.

People are struggling but we’re doing fine.
In our million dollar mansions

Drinking imported wine.
People keep struggling but we’re doing fine.

Can’t remember the last free moment
No crisis, no chore, no one to comment.
Starting from this path no choice would be different
All my efforts dreams and cries so easily misspent

People are starving but we’re doing fine.
It’s the way it is and has always been, 

So many suffer at Christmas Time.
People keep starving but we’re doing fine.

Help who you can but so many in need
While men trample where you plant your seed.
To pay for survival you sacrifice and bleed
Only to smother from the consolidation of greed.

People are dying but we’re doing fine.
But the uneducated and the lazy, 

They are ruining my Christmas Time.
People keep dying but we’re doing fine.

The faith I have keeps falling apart
The pain we share I will turn into art.
Every day is difficult from the start
Feelings neglected soon buried in the heart.

As a musician I look at time a bit differently than others might. I am reminded of this when I see movies or videos of people working out and doing exercises. Even the simple ‘count to ten’ is often a reminder that most people don’t count time correctly.

It is easy to count ten items – you start at 1 (one) and stop when you get to 10 (ten). To sound it out aloud counting ten items would go like this…….

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. You do indeed have ten items.

But counting time is different. A second is not a single point in time but a defined length of time. If you followed the above approach you would end up with 9 full seconds as shown below. (if tied to a metronome or equivalent)

1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10.

Use the dashes to represent the full length of each second. Total them up and you end up with only 9 full seconds, not 10. There are easy ways to break this habit.

Start with the number 0 (zero) when counting time. This will give us 0 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10.

Now, when you total the dashes you get ten full seconds. A lot of people count faster when counting up, and but more accurately when counting down. Like a rocket launch or New Year’s celebrations, this steady rhythm has been in our culture for a long time. Try it.

For items start with the number 1, but for time, start or end with the number 0. Each second, minute or hour lies in between each pair of numbers, not within the number itself.

Whenever I hear noises or banging
I turn them into a pattern repeating.
Tempos within syncopated phrases
One rhythm falls another raises.

And the timing of all these pieces fit
Each noise becoming an instrument.
The rhythm drives and then grooves
Cycle completed everything moves.

Soon random notes become a melody
And I just can’t resist adding harmony.
The right chords wrap them all together
Within a beat that goes on forever.

Each song I write is for me, you see.
And I’d rather share my songs for free.
Than to follow orders, rules and liars
So I am The Artist and the Buyer.

My fingers begin to tap with my toes
Memories take me wherever it goes.
Past experience and buried emotion
Lyrics melody then explosion.

Another new song is almost complete
A smile on my face I kick up my feet.
Post where no one hears them at all
As I start to feel new noises call.

Each song I write is for me, you see.
And I’d rather share my songs for free
Than to follow orders, rules and liars
So I am The Artist and the Buyer.

I posted a poem earlier called “Let You Go” https://midimike.com/2020/07/07/let-you-go/ that I really liked. While I was working on writing the music for these lyrics I got side-tracked. I had recorded a few MIDI drum parts and had a guitar theme I liked playing on my Martin Acoustic/Electric guitar chained together trying to get a feel for the song.

A good friend called me out of the blue and asked if I wanted to have his old MIDI studio gear. No instruments or toys will be orphaned if I can help it so I drove over that day. We chatted for a while and I left with a van full of what most people would call ‘ancient’ gear. This is the stuff hits were made with. Everything you heard growing up using electronic drums or synths used these gems.

I got home and hooked up a few pieces like a kid not knowing which present he wants to open first. DAYS LATER I opened up my recording project again and played with a vocal effect toy I had not gotten to yet. Not wanting to stop an idea I was working on I started recording in another section of the session. As you will hear, I decided not to sing the chorus parts. Instead I used some of the lyrics to do a chant-style intro and outro.

After juggling the original music around I started to work on a melody for the lyrics. I used some of the chant themes so the melody took shape pretty quickly. Not wanting to overdo the vocal effect, I just used reverb on my voice. Then I added some MIDI bass guitar sounds and put the pieces together.

Next, I added a little MIDI piano in the chorus sections and sprinkled through the end of the song. Then I made some stupid editing error and trashed all of the drum tracks!!! Redo the drum tracks and a few days later I have a rough mix for you.

As some of you will know, a rough mix is probably the last one I do! LOL.

Here is “Let You Go” as it stands today. I hope you enjoy this one.

“Let You Go” by MSK