Posted by: Matt | January 31, 2009

A Capella Intro…oh yes!

Tomorrow is the first of February and the official launch of my attempt to write an album in 28 days. Got off to a flyer this morning (okay, fine it was early afternoon) in the shower when I wrote what I reckon will be the intro to the album. It’ll be a bass heavy bluesy a capella intro building with harmonies to go into a melancholy second track with a piano intro. So that’s one down, nine more tracks to go!

Posted by: Matt | January 25, 2009

This is the sea…

It’s done then. I’ve decided to go with “The Long Trick” as my band name. Bonus points for the first person to figure out where the name comes from (It’s not hard to figure out). I’ll probably cross post updates here and on the RPM blog each day!

Posted by: Matt | January 25, 2009

28 Days Later…

I’m going to do it this year. In 1 month I am going to write and record an album. I said I’d do it last year and even went so far as to sign up to the RPM challenge. However this year I’m going to enlist some help to actually push me all the way to a finished product. I’ve proved before (thank you MMT) that I work well enough under pressure and to a deadline so the format should suit. So what needs to happen

  1. I need to come up with a new ‘Band’ name. I’m currently signed in as Teebor, but I’m intending on leaving that name behind me. It’s served me well as a start to recording music but I think a fresh identity is called for. I’ll post here as soon as I’ve come up with a name.
  2. I need to decide on genre most likely sticking to the Folk / Blues / Electronic style I’m used to but no decision on that yet.
  3. I need to write and record at least 10 songs during the month of February to complete the challenge.
  4. I need to blog about the whole thing every day as a stimulus to get me writing outside of music also another area I’ve not payed any attention to for the longest time.
  5. Outside of the challenge itself I need to set additional goals and targets for my own artistic/personal development this year. I need to push myself to be better all round!

So consider this my New Years resolution (Happy New Year all Oxen and everybody else by the way!!). Let the challenge begin!

Posted by: Matt | January 5, 2009

Dodgy lyrics…

I get annoyed by the strangest of things. It’s minor insignificant annoyances that really irk me. My current pet peeve – bad analogies. People who know me know that I’m no music snob. I do enjoy all types of music, including the cheesiest of pop music. (I’ll not have a word said against Britney’s music!). But why, oh why do otherwise great pop songs have to be ruined by such horrible lyrics. Some recent pop hits just have lines that stick out a mile due to their awfulness.

Example Number 1 – Katy Perry – Hot and Cold

Now I like Katy Perry. “I kissed a girl” is a great tune with some nice pop/rock production and a catchy hook. Here latest tune “Hot and Cold” is in a similar vein but suffers from the following horrible analogy.

“You change your mind
Like a girl changes clothes”

Reinforcing gender stereotypes is of course not the worst offence committed by this line of course, but the sheer clunkiness of this opening line is just grating. I know pop music is not high art, and we’ll likely not see extended metaphor on a par with Paradise Lost in a three minute ditty but for a song that’s clearly written to a wonderful pop/rock formula and produced to within an inch of its life couldn’t they come up with a line that has at least a hint of lyricism, one that has a bit of flow to it.

I’m going to be wholly unfair now and compare Katy Perry’s pop piece with the original princes of pop, the Beatles and a John Lennon classic. A song with wonderfully lyrical analogies is “Across the Universe”.

“Thoughts meander like a
restless wind inside a letter box”

There’s a wonderful flow to these two lines first and foremost but more than this is a startling image which perfectly captures the sentiment. Changing your mind like a girl changes clothes is a purely functional  analogy. The image is bland and uninteresting and the lyric stilted and lacking flow. Thoughts meandering like a restless wind inside a letter box on the other hand has both a lyrical flow and interesting imagery.

Then of course there’s the line that prompted me to write this in the first place. The queen of high art herself Fergie. From “Big Girls Don’t Cry” the following line has prevented me from liking her otherwise very likable tune.

“And I’m gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket”

Now the rest of the song is hardly an exemplar of lyrical mastery, but damn that line sticks in my craw. So I ask you modern day Tin Pan Alley Merchants, a little more effort on the imagery, please!

Posted by: Matt | April 26, 2008

Sold out…

Damn it! Only found out this morning that ‘The Swell Season‘ AKA Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova are playing tonight in Oakland. I was prepared to spend an hour or so travelling on public transport to make the gig, but apparently it’s already sold out. That’s what happens when you win an Oscar I guess. Ah well…

Posted by: Matt | April 17, 2008

Justice for The Turtles…

I’m not referring to the teenage mutant ninja kind, or in fact the animals of the order Testudines. I am of course referring to the band ‘The Turtles.’

What do you mean what band?

The turtles were very big (I presume) in the sixties. They had that song that was on that Heineken commercial with Jennifer Anniston in it. You know the one I mean. It was used at the end of ‘Shrek.’ Yeah that one. ‘So Happy Together.’

No it wasn’t by The Kinks. I don’t care what your mp3 player says. I know mine says The Kinks too, but it’s wrong. No it definitely wasn’t by The Beatles either. How is it that nobody knows who sang that song? People think of ‘So Happy Together’ and automatically think cheerful sixties band, must be The Kinks or The Beatles. Well it’s just not right. I demand justice for these most excellent examples of one-hit-wonders.

This post is now the official home of The Turtles (no longer under)appreciation society.

This pretty much sums up my current thinking on stuff…

The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, ‘In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!’

John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963)

Posted by: Matt | March 29, 2008

Advantage San Francisco…

One has the world’s best culture; the other, perfect weather. Both are dirty, defined by expensive rents, and full of citizens who say their city’s the best. LANCE ARTHUR brings us a fair and balanced guide to choosing between New York and San Francisco.

Battle of the Giants is an article by Lance Arthur in The Morning News offering a completely unbiased comparison of New York and San Francisco.

Posted by: Matt | March 29, 2008

Visual ode to being a nerd…

Just to further confirm status as a nerd here is my current desktop wallpaper in work. It’s a thing of beauty really!


Posted by: Matt | March 22, 2008

Heading to Heavenly…

Going to make another day trip up to Tahoe tomorrow. This of course calls for a 4am start so any serious thoughts of a session tonight will have to be discounted. Heavenly is once again the resort of choice, primarily since we already have lift tickets from the last trip in that direction where we didn’t board due to the wind. Conditions at the moment are good, no new snow in the last two days but all lifts are running with 95 runs open. Should be a good one!

Trees In Tahoe

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