Here's a short list of artists I've been listening to over the last week or so. Click for additional stats on what else I like lately.

On the upstairs porch, at the Mansion on Judges Hill, Austin, TX, 11/9/07. Lonestar beer is the local swill, and is comparable to a Pabst, Stroh's, etc.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Popped Off

Ok, I've been saving this track, because its one of my favorites so far, and its a little more upbeat, has more instrumentation, etc. But first, I want to set it up a little bit ...

So, in my estimation, maybe only 5%-10% of rock lyrics are well conceived and carried-out ideas. The rest are just a series of words that sound good enough. All songs have a skeleton of chord progression, melody and rhythm. Within that skeleton -- and particularly when recording -- lasting variations are born and become a collection of permanent fixtures that form the final "song". Sometimes songwriters know exactly what they want, but often they don't.

An interesting case study here is Van Morrison's Astral Weeks album. The album is essentially a collection of improvisations, particularly in terms of the way it was recorded, with Van giving his backing musicians room to play whatever they happened to feel at the time. The great thing is that it works. The players take hold of the moment, and even more than improvisation its the urgency and finality that make the songs work in such a loose context.

So this song tries to work off that idea of immediacy. The song starts with a weak attempt at ripping off the feel of "Mr. Blue Sky" by ELO, and then sort of veers off. I tried sitting down to pen some lyrics for this one and kept getting frustration, so I just decided to hit record and sing whatever came out. The result is a lot of nonsense, but that's OK by me, because I think the melody and context of the song still find their place. Then again, maybe its just good enough.


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This blog hosts original music and recordings by Mike Hicks.
Click here to access all of the the songs that have been posted thus far. Please feel free to comment, or email me.

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