About two years ago, I wrote an entry describing all the songs I hadn’t yet finished. At the time, I didn’t think I’d ever get off my ass and get them done. I think it’s time to mark through that old list and perhaps create a new one.
Doesn’t that sound like fun? I guess the only one to whom it does is me.
- “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.
I finally recorded this song.
- “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.
I actually had a brief sketch of this song, but I’m not going to do anything with it. Well, unless I use it for something else …
- “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.
I’ve warmed up to the second version of the lyrics now.
- 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.
This song became “A Chance to Get It Right”.
- Untitled (“C-Mixolydian”) No lyrics. I don’t think I even have a melody. But it was cool writing in this key.
This song became “Without Nothing”, and it’s actually written in C-Phrygian.
- “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.
I still can’t figure out who I’m ripping off with this song.
- 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.
This song became “Letter”. I’m toying with the idea of extending this song to a number of versions, “Letter I”, “Letter II”, “Letter III”, etc.
- 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.
This song became “Release”, and it’s probably the most overtly sexual lyrics I’ve written.
- 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.
UPDATE: I’m going to flesh this song out some more. I’m a bit more familiar with the fretboard now, and I think I can approximate guitar positions on a keyboard.
- 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?
Against my better judgment, I’m standing by this song, regardless of its overt resemblence to Dr.StrangeLove and U2. This song became “Restraint”.
- 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”.
NOTE: All songs labeled “Stylish Number Girl” will probably be recorded last because they were written on guitar, and I have yet to use Cakewalk for extensive digital audio, which these songs would require were I to play them (*cough*) on guitar.
Despite having the guitar skills of a gnat, I managed to flesh out the songs that are part of the “Stylish Number Girl” set. The project is called Revulsion.
- “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.
I did eventually rip off fra-foa on another song, “Imprint”.
- 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.
I’m keeping this progression subsumed into “Revulsion”.
- Untitled (“Stylish Number Girl #8/Blues”) It’s not written in the aforementioned notebook, but it’s a distant cousin to Dr.StrangeLove’s “Tenohira no Naka no Freedom”. Still undecided whether to pursue.
Well, hell, if I already ripped of “Dolly”, I may as well rip of this DSL song as well.
- 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.
This song became “Our Best Wasn’t Enough”.
- 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.
This song became “Your Gaze”.
- 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.
UPDATE: Although I wanted to include this song for Imprint, I couldn’t make it work. I won’t abandon the idea, but I’m prioritizing other song before it.
I managed to knock off about 9 songs off all but one from this list, and it doesn’t even include the songs I wrote after making it:
- Late Thaw
- Love and Pride
And now that I’ve made some progress on the Speechless Restraint-era songs, I’ve actually sketched out a few more:
- Untitled (Stepwise) So named because the opening chord progression is a series of stepwise major chords — C, D, E, F. I have a chorus that uses more traditional progressions, and while this progression offers its challenges melodically, I’m not sure how impressed I am by it. That is to say, I can’t hear much of a hook.
- Untitled (formerly Shockwave) I wrote a song back in high school that bears a tremendous resemblence to Duran Duran’s “Notorious”. I took a second look at the underlying harmonic rhythm and noticed it could sound more like Zoobombs. The chorus, though, really sucked, so that needs to be rewritten.
- Untitled (E-Lydian) I had a hard time picking out this song on a piano, so I switched to guitar, and the limited number of chords I know on guitar gave me better results. Then later, I ended up with …
I don’t know my modes — this is actually written in E-Mixolydian.
- Untitled (E-Dorian) The bass lines are nearly identical with “Untitled (E-Lydian)”, even though E-Lydian starts on a major chord, while E-Dorian starts on a minor. I don’t want to scrap either idea, so I’m combining them into a segued piece.
As you can see, I’ve scratched off these songs as well.
I’ve also taken on the arduous task of combing through my high school notebook, a painful process to witness all the mistakes of youth! But I am finding things here and there to comandeer, but I think I’ll save that list for another entry. That is, after I’ve actually gone through everything to figure out what stays and what goes.
[UPDATE 12/13/2005: I went back and scratched off anything else that was finished since this entry was written. It looks like I just about gone through the entire list. I don’t know about that “Secret Oktober Dub” thing, though.]