Saturday, April 14, 2012

Recent Demos: "Now and Again," "Fingerprints and Vinyl Dreams," and "Smoke Dragons."

Here's a few old songs I've rearranged demos for.

"Smoke Dragons"

This was a song I wrote and performed back when I was attending Charlottesville's No Shame Theater. It's very heavily influenced by Bob Dylan's original version of "All Along the Watchtower" from his album, John Wesley Harding. I used to listen to that album on vinyl in the living room on weekends as a teenager, around the same time I was getting into Leonard Cohen. Chiefly led by the imagery of Tom Waits albums like The Black Rider, Bone Machine and Mule Variations, I was very interested in composing some sort of southern gothic, apocalyptic musical or folk opera, or concept album... or... something. It's never truly made it to fruition, but all along the way I have been dropping pieces, and bread crumbs, and a few brontosauruses assembled from the bones of this or that. This is one of those bones. Probably a femur.

The experimentation with the video generated some of my favorite results of any I've done thus far. I expect the particular look of this one to rear its head in at least one future project. Though that's still a very 'wait and see' sort of venture.

"Fingerprints and Vinyl Dreams"

Also written in high school, this song has for many years lacked a melody of its own. When I first wrote it, the lyrics were just sung to Devon Sproule's song "New Song" off her first album Devon. In that regard I feel like this is the longest song in progress, that I've written as this can be seen as the official melody instead of some reworking like the other songs I've shared. Sadly though, I think this had some of the worst mic/singing problems, and the vocals get a little more Billy Corgan-ish than I have any business attempting.

"Now and Again"

This was written after I graduated from high school and attending PVCC. It was a strange transition for me, from this tight-knit group at The Living Education Center to the comparably larger community college where everyone was a stranger. For all the social diversity at LEC, we were all relatively like-minded in political and spiritual views. Combined with the divisive climate of the time (the Bush/Kerry elections, and the Marshall/Newman Amendment), PVCC was a pretty stark contrast to that environment. It was a good thing, ultimately, but at the time it was frustrating, to the point of feelings even of resentment towards LEC. At its core, the song is very much about that moment where two people are getting along - until they realize they aren't supposed to be. Of the lot, I'm most happy with how it turned out.

That's it for now. I'll have more on Gorilla Theater stuff real soon. Much has been going on all fronts and this last week has been exhausting.


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