I’ve been listening to my various MP3s for the past week or so. Seeing them linked from the main page of this domain is becoming something of a burr in my behind.
Previous designs of Gregbueno.com were little more than splash pages with links to my other projects, so it was easy to overlook the fact a ghost in my shadow and Eponymous 4 still employed all my design ethics from three years ago, let alone lacked any new content.
So now when I fire up my browser, the first thing I see at the top of the page are my MP3s — nothing of which reflect anything I’ve been “writing” since 1999.
Of course, I have a lot of sketches — a four-bar phrase here, a chord progression there, some skeletons of songs with actual verses and choruses. But no finished products to which I could link and say, “Hey! Listen to this!”
For me, it’s out of sight, out of mind. I haven’t looked at the content of my music sites in years, so I haven’t really thought about them while working intensely on Musicwhore.org or Austin Stories.
Now I see them. And I’ve been listening to them.
And however much I’d love to fix the sound quality of those MP3s, update them to sound a bit more hi-fi, a bit more fleshed out, what I really need is new work.
Not just brand new work — something finished, something no older than three years.
So I fired up the keyboards and birthed yet another two skeletons. That is, songs with verses and choruses but no arrangements.
What I need — which I probably won’t use, but hey it’s an accountability thing — is a list. Maybe it will get me to see just how much I’ve left incomplete. Or how little.
/me looks for notebook with sketches of songs
Holy crap … I’ve got shit in this book dating back to November 1998. Well, here goes:
- “The One to Make Me Whole” To tell you the truth, this song rips off U2’s “With or Without You”, but does something a bit different with the intervals. In fact, I’m also ripping off Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World” in the way the first two chords of the song move. And R.E.M.’s “World Leader Pretend”. Hell, this song isn’t much more than a rip-off of other songs. So it should sound pretty new.
- “Can’t Decide” I wrote this lyric during an alcoholic buzz, and I suspect this song was drafted under the influence of Madonna’s “Frozen”. I think I’m going to pass on finishing this one.
- “Speechless” I’ve actually written two different lyrics to the melody of this song. The first draft has long been ditched, and the second draft? I haven’t quited warmed up to it yet. Musically, I was going for something along the lines of “Yr Mother Called Them the Farmhouses” by Robin Holcomb.
- Untitled (“elevator”) I don’t know what this chord progression stands for, but I’m guess “elevator” refers to “elevator music”. Still evaluating the potential.
- Untitled (“C-Mixolydian”) No lyrics. I don’t think I even have a melody. But it was cool writing in this key.
- “Strange Arrangement” I have some lyrics to this song somewhere. The only problem is the chord progression sounds incredibly familiar to me. I don’t know who I”m ripping off, but I feel I’m ripping somebody off.
- Untitled (“Triads I”) This song is pretty eerie. E-major to C-major, G major to D major. I wrote two sets of lyrics for this song, neither of which I like.
- Untitled (“Triads II”) Pretty much nothing more than an A-flat major chord broken up. I have a contour for the melody, but I haven’t figured out its pacing — 8th notes or 16th notes.
- Untitled (“Guitar”) A two-bar phrase that sounds good on the guitar patch on one of my sythesizers. It hardly qualifies as a song. It’s barely the seed of an idea.
- Untitled (“Dolly”) This song bears so much of a resemblance to Dr.StrangeLove’s “Dolly” that I may not finish it. I may as well cover “Dolly” if I’m going to write something that sounds just like it. The chorus, though, sounds more like BBMAK. How frightening is that?
- Untitled (“Stylish Number Girl #1”) “Stylish Number Girl” is a the code name for a project in which I write with a guitar, something I’ve never attempted. They’re inspired mostly by Number Girl and Cocco, the two artists who gave me the incentive to learn guitar. I think got the rhythm for this song from a Guided By Voices song, although a more immediate cousin would be Number Girl’s “Eight Beater” and “Drunk Afternoon”.
- “Revulsion” The music is pretty much finished, and the lyrics are half way done. It could be mistaken for emo. God I hope not.
- Untitled (“Stylish Number Girl #3”) I think I use these same chords in “Hear the Wind Sing”. It’s a slow song. No lyrics nor melody. Just a chord progression and a structure.
- Untitled (“Stylish Number Girl #4”) A bunch of chords that sound way too close to fra-foa because, as it turns out, it is fra-foa. Skipping.
- Untitled (“Stylish Number Girl #5”) A four-measure phrase in which I can’t remember why I jotted it down. It’s crap though, so I’m passing on it as well.
- Untitled (“Stylish Number Girl #6”) A four-chord progression that sounds great on a reverb pedal. I get the sense, however, these four chords will be the entire song.
- Untitled (“Stylish Number Girl #7”) This chord progression is subsumed into “Revulsion”, so I’m not sure if I’m still going to keep it spun out as its own song. It’s not like I haven’t “quoted” songs in each other before.
- Untitled (“Stylish Number Girl #8/Blues”) It’s not written in the aforementioned notebook, but it’s a distant cousin to Dr.StrangeLove’s “Te no Furu no Naka no Freedom”. Still undecided whether to pursue.
- Untitled (“ACO #1”) For an Eponymous 4 follow-up to Enigmatics, I’m drawing upon ACO and UA for inspiration. I may even pillage a ghost in my shadow for material. This song sets an F major chord against a bass line alternating between D and E-flat. In essence, Dm7 and F7/E-flat. This song is one of the two newest.
- Untitled (“ACO #2”) Another song similarly constructed as the previous entry. In both songs, I started with a beat, then started playing chords that seemed to match the tempo (both pretty slow). I look forward to hearing how both sound fleshed out.
- Untitled (“Secret Oktober Dub”) I want to use the drum beat of Duran Duran’s “Secret Oktober” in a dub song. But I can’t seem to get ACO’s “Intensity (You Are)” out of my head when I’m working on it. The feel of each song is different, and I don’t know how to — or whether I can — resolve them.
So. Out of 21 ideas, three are definite no-goes, one or two are still undecided, which leaves about 16 new songs I haven’t finished.
That’s 16 new works that could possibly join the already existing 18.
(By the way, I found a folder of stuff I wrote in my very first years of songwriting. It’s safe to say I’ll hold onto them for posterity, but there’s very little to salvage from there.)
Sixteen new songs — why aren’t you hearing them now as we speak?