Ennui…. Angst…. And… Ambivalence….

Wondering how to imbue songs with mixed emotions… and maintain tension… at the same time….

That was kind of the emotional… psychological… musical… creative… experiment….

Not completely successful….

Experimentation requires confidence… and willingness to get it all completely wrong….

Been off a few days….
In a daze….
Been off kilter….
Been out of town….
Bittersweet….

But how can one appreciate sweet… without at least some knowledge of bitter….

The riff… or chord progression… and determining which is often difficult… did have a fixed form….
The bass lines did not. Neither did the lead. Some phrases repeated. Others intentionally never did….
Nothing cut in stone…. Nothing fixed….
Leaving the idea… that something was broken….
Untethered….
Loose….
Free….

But as we transition from fixed… to broken…. From loose… to FREE!!!
Often times minds wander from feeling comfortable… to feeling challenged… to feeling threatened….

Freedom often feels threatening… to those who wish to control… others….

Freedom often challenges… or threatens society as a whole….
Societal norms….
Societal conventions….
Some people’s ideas regarding SOCIETY…. Period.
Anyone who refuses to conform to THEIR ideas… is DANGEROUS….
Some people wish nothing more than to be the leaders of sheeple….
Impose their will upon carbon copies of their own shallow plastic “lives”….
Communism…. Socialism…. Fascism…. All of those cookie-cutter progressive… liberal… isms… including Conservativism… fall far short of supporting REAL FREEDOM….

REAL FREEDOM is dangerous….

Even if it only exists in a single song….

Therefore… we need a disguise….
A mask….
Or… three….
Ennui…. Angst…. And… ambivalence….

That Thing That The Angel Dropped (on the Floor… When She Waltzed Out That Door….)

This one is a bit… weird….
Experimental….
Not really E minor….
More E Mixolydian… but not really THAT either….
Experimenting with percussion…. Recording….

Suspended IVths…. Suspended IInds…. What’s not to love, right…?

Strange chords….
Strange arrangement….
Strange melody….
Strange lyrics….
Strange song….

jOHnnY jOkEr & tHE wIlD cArDz….
Ain’t THAT Life…?
That Thing That the Angel Dropped (on the Floor… When She Waltzed Out That Door….)

Talkin’ ‘Bout… Mico, Mississippi Moanin’ Stroll (Dedicated to Fresh Cow Patty….)

First of all… Fresh Cow Patty doesn’t really exist….
Not as any actual… REAL… person….
Of course… in Mico, Mississippi… there are a tremendous number of fresh cow patties….
So… in some sense… particularly the sense of smell… she serves as sort of an… EVERYCOW type of character… like from those ancient Mystery Plays….

Second (of all, too, probably…)… Mico, Mississippi doesn’t really exist either….
Not NOW anyway…. It DID exist…. Even had a Post Office….
But… not anymore….
Sadly….

The song is basically just a Blues riff/chord progression… with some frills….
The idea behind the song was to study how to use percussion to add some excitement and keep a repetitive song from becoming SO boring that it puts people to sleep inside of three minutes….

Also worked on using harmonica comping to create some excitement and sustain the song as well….

Briarwood acoustic guitar tuned in Open D played with a Jim Dunlop Bronze Slide…. Layered….
Muted cowbell….
Tambourine….
Hohner Blues Harp harmonica in key of G played in second position… which is key of D….
Song is in key of D….

Tryin’ out some new thangs… to add some new flavors….
Learn more about recording….
Learn more about arranging….
Learn more about music….
Not just worrying about the lyrics….
Working on composing, arranging and recording in isolation… just to see if THAT aspect is strong enough to carry a piece… at least for a brief period….
So THAT can be layered on to the lyrics and vocals to create a more meaningful composite….
A whole that is greater than merely the sum of the parts….

It’s a process….

Explaining… THE Ultimate Untitled Lost Love Song….

More snarcasm cleverly disguised as social commentary….

The “lyrics” were written to maximize the irony when contrasted to the music… which was in no way sad….
Except for the distorted and flanged Lap Steel Guitar at the end… that intentionally moves out of key… to introduce a dystonic element intended to set one’s teeth on edge….

The bass drives the tune….
Several layers of guitar… that progress towards more intensely distorted and flanged varieties… again to test how much one can toy with emotions… without the need for words….
The lead work is basically pentatonic minor progression with bending….

Not really a serious piece….
Unless you’ve been in the situation….
Then… you just GOT to laugh it off….

Notes on Julia (MAX Distortion D-Mo’ version)

Julia is a love song. About teenage love….
With lyrics like… Walk on cotton-candy clouds… Lips sweet as wine….

The version as recorded is Punked OUT!!!
Plethoric with SNARCASM!!!

Rocking out with bass… some pentatonic guitar work… and some chromatic elements as well….

The riff is moving semi-tones to give the song a very dystonic… deliberately delinquent… quality….
Add a HEAP of distortion… and flange it like the songs on FIRE!!!… and throw in vocals that are intentionally off key and off tempo… and ya get… SNARCALICIOUSness….

All THAT song needs is some more cowbell….

Because no snarcastic social commentary song can EVER possibly have too much cowbell….
Just can’t happen….

Notes on Beautiful Ewe….

I guess we’ll just call the key E major…. (Correction: A minor… which would be C major….)
And claim that the we used an extended Blues scale… into the province of Jazz….
Don’t ask the chords. We don’t know….

Noodling around last night… and found some interesting sounds… that sounded almost… chime-like….
Pensive….
Introspective….
Pastoral….

Lots of open strings…. Lots of ringing….

The idea for the some is something like a Madrigal….
A call… and a response….
Experimenting with Stereo….
Try listening with headphones… if you’ve got’em….

Playing with harmonics at the beginning….

Practicing Finger-style acoustic guitar….

The composer… the Mad Russian… doesn’t sound a bit mad on this one….

Julia (MAX Distortion D-Mo’ version)

Got some criticism last night.
Well deserved criticism….
Much needed criticism….
Much appreciated criticism….

Basically two things…. Pretty much related….

Where’s the bass…?
Yep… didn’t put in bass lines….

Not ROCKIN’ enuf….

Must be gettin’ old….

Must be….

jOHnnY jOkEr & ThE wIlD cArDz….
Ain’t THAT Life…?