Frank Black attempted to write some Pixie-esque songs as a proof-of concept exercise, so says Billboard. He was trying to convince a reluctant Pixies member to record a new album with the band.
Then he discovered he wasn’t all that into writing in a style he used 20 years ago.
I’m trying to do that now.
I’ve been digging through the Binder — a collection of manuscripts of songs I wrote back in high school — and I’ve been extensively revising some of those songs as a way to augment a new version of A Ghost in My Shadow.
The arm of Duran Duran and Arcadia is long, and it stretched into my hand as I penned a goodly number of these early songs. I’m listening to So Red the Rose right now to get me in that same mind frame.
But where Frank Black chose wisely to bag those newly-minted Pixie-esque songs, I am continuing down my mistaken path. I’m not sure what I’m going to uncover by doing so. I’m not sure how it will inform my writing, if at all.
But I’m not terribly afraid of going down creative dead-ends. I’m rather scientific about it, really — this kind of exercise may not produce good work, but it does produce more data.
So far, I’ve managed to take the first song I ever wrote — pompously titled "Untold Demons" — and revised to the point where I’m suprised, impressed even, by how it turned out.
I looked to Cocco’s "Yawaraka na Kizuato" to transform another early song to something quite different.
I’m still on the fence about this rip-off of Arcadia’s "El Diablo" I worked on this past weekend. On one hand, I really like the melody. On the other hand, it’s so "Save a Prayer".
There’s another song that ripped off "Winter Marches On", but I’m going to turn that more into Sinéad O’Connor’s "Just Like U Said It Would B". And there’s a rip-off of "The Promise", which will be the Duran Duran clusterfuck of clusterfucks.
Come to think of it, I’m actually having some fun.
But if I could play favorites with my "children", A Ghost in My Shadow would still be considered the black sheep.