Jukebox Saturday Afternoon

I realized that when I laid TRUE LIFE to rest, I also sacked a couple of song files that I wanted to keep active.

So, think of these as a little added bonus. A blast from the TRUE LIFE past…and a special bonus track!

All this for no extra charge, folks.

I know. It blows my mind, too.

Okay…all smarmy kidding aside, here are the links and a little commentary about each to refresh your memory about what these songs are and how they came to be. Enjoy.

Gold

I had been “writing” songs for years…in my head. My limited abilities at the piano made it difficult–if not impossible–to actually perform them. I always said, however, that if I had a multi-track recording studio and a keyboard wired up to some great sampled instruments, I could ding away and maybe put something together. Because though I am not confident that I could perform, I can compose. Meaning if I can slow time down and work (sometimes literally) one note at a time, I might be able to lay down some tracks.

Enter Garageband. The moment I launched it, I knew it was what I had been searching for. I threw together a few tunes on it, and I was in heaven. And I hadn’t even gotten the keyboard yet. Basically, my composing was manipulating loops and using the musical notation feature to build tracks note-by-note. It was quite tedious. But amazing.

Eventually, I got the keyboard and…nothing. I didn’t touch the thing. For, like, a year.

Then, of course, I met my Robbye. Suddenly, my world broke wide open.

I was waiting for a meeting on the Universal Studios lot one day marveling over this great, big love, when the first lyric popped into my head. It was sprang from a conversation Robbye and I had been having right before I left.

Color blind
Most of the time
Crashing into
The same auld lang syne

It hit me like a tone of bricks. I knew it was a song. I knew it was for her. And I knew what I was going to do with it.

She was the one, and this song was the one.

I would compose it and record it. And I would give it to her for Christmas. I never once asked myself how in the world I thought I could accompish that in three weeks or so, given my overloaded schedule. It was too important.

I sat down and wrote the rest of the lyrics in a single day.

For the next few weeks, I worked during the day, parented the kids, spent time with Robbye, and then came home and sat down at the iMac–sometimes till dawn–as I simultaneously wrote the rest of the song and taught myself how to “play” the keyboard and taught myself how to use the software…not to mention the art/craft of recording. And editing.

Ikes!

I was re-recording the lyrics literally two hours before I was supposed to give Robbye the CD. I was a wreck. But it all worked out fine. When I played it for her, she wept with joy. “No one’s ever written me a song.” And the rest, as they say, is history.

I listen to it now, and I hear all of the flaws. I think to myself that someday I will revisit…apply everything I’ve learned since then to fix some problems and finesse the thing. Then again, after I got done with Sacred Ground, which has enough problems in its own right, I thought again. Yeah…maybe someday, when I have a month of peace and quiet to just play. I have no idea when that will be. Besides, I have also learned, for all its wonder, a guy can only push Garageband so far. ProTools it ain’t.

And there’s a beauty–and I think an honesty–in it just the way it is. So, in some ways, I think that no matter how I improve it in the future, this recording stands on its own.

Anyway, this explanation got loooonnnng! Enjoy. It’s all me. No loops, save for the foundation of the 6/8 drum beat.

And it’s all her. Because the song says it all…with Robbye in my life, all that is old turns into gold.

Tarantino Slumbers

This is the second tune I created in Garageband. I discovered the kitchy 70s horn loop and visions of Kill Bill danced in my head. I imagined him sleeping and dreaming all that crazy shit up.

There ya go.

I didn’t have my keyboard yet, so this is a hodge-podge of loops, both extant and manipulated, and me plunking away note after note. It was pretty tedious, but I really liked the final product. I feel like it sounds like him.

Christopher Pike

I started cooking this up right after I finished Tarantino Slumbers. I envisioned creating this “album” that I would call Chemical Flask (No, Bill. I don’t think you’re over-ambitious. not in the least.).

I’ve been fascinated by the Christopher Pike character for years, and he’s a central figure in the Star Trek script I will never write, Star Trek: Facade. Okay…start cracking up now. Yup…make all the smart remarks you wanna. Knock yourself out. I will still be here when you return.

Done?

No..? Okay. I’ll wait.

Now?

All right.

Which, by the way (and if I may say without sounding to egotistical), the pitch has gotten rave reviews from everyone I’ve ever told it to–whether or not they were a Star Trek fan. I always thought it was a story that deserved to be told, but then that might simply be the uber-fanboy geek nerd dork freak in me talking shit again.

Anyway, I wrote this thinking about The Cage (or The Menagerie, depending on how you look at it).

I never finished it, and I really don’t know if I ever will. Maybe it’s better that way. For that, in itself, is so Christopher Pike. Or you can think of it like a rare, incomplete and unused take on the Beatles Anthology CDs. Remember those?

Yeah…just think of this like that. Except I’m not the Beatles. Details, details.

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