Looking for the beginning?

Looking for somewhere to start? Check out Song 1 here!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Song Number 24: Never Again

Tight Pants Time, chaps!

Now do your good deed for the day and donate a few quid to Parkinson's UK by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/songaweek or clicking the widget on the top right!

This came out a little more 90s than I expected, but that sort of thing's in fashion at the moment... isn't it?  Anyway, I'm quietly chuffed with this one.  I wrote the chords on guitar first, then the melody for the chorus came next.  If you checked out the Paul Simon interview I posted (if you didn't, click here now!) you might recall him talking about words being suggested by a certain note requiring a certain vowel - the top Bs in the chorus were never going to have an "EEE" sound, because it sounds ghastly, but an "EH" sound is much more pleasing to the ear (and easier to sing), so "nEHver again" appeared through the mists.

I'm coming up to the half way point of Song A Week 2011 (already!) and I'm planning on doing a quick video blog to say hello, say thank you, and sum up the first six months of the project.  I'll also gladly answer any questions you might have about SAW2011, the fundraising, my songwriting or anything like that, so if there's anything you've been absolutely burning to ask me for the last six months but couldn't bring yourself to ask it on here, then drop me a line through www.peterfalconer.co.uk/contact.  If not, I wouldn't blame you in the slightest!

Thanks again to all of you for your support, comments and donations so far - keep them all coming!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Song Number 23: Bright Lights

Featuring Twickenham singer Shelle Luscombe on vocals, here's song 23:

Thanks to everybody who's donated so far - we've had a great surge of activity this weekend - but we need to keep things going: http://www.justgiving.com/songaweek or click the widget in the corner!

Shelle got in touch with me a few months ago wanting to get involved with SAW2011 as she also raises funds for Parkinson's UK in honour of her father, who has the condition.  Eventually we managed to get half an hour (I'm not joking!) to record the vocals, and the song was premièred last Friday at Shelle's regular slot at the Marble Hill pub in Twickenham.  I played a couple of other tracks from SAW2011, as well, and also improvised a song based on the BBC News 24 rolling headlines on the pub's plasma screen:

It got a bit rude after that, so it's only a short clip! 

Song 24 on its way in the next couple of days.  Nearly at the half way point, folks!

In other news, we're all set for a return to The Bedford in Balham on 27th September, and the next gig on the horizon is on 22nd July at The Star Inn, Guildford.

Finally, just a quick congratulations to Earthtide's drummer (and mine!) Steve, and his lovely lady Leonie, who got married this weekend!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Song Number 22: Sniper

Direct from the Sandman...

I had one day (four hours, as it turned out) to write and record this song, and I decided the subject would be whatever I dreamt of that night.

Unfortunately for you guys, it wasn't one of my more spectacular nightmares (last night, for example, I dreamt I was trapped in a farm with the cast of The Lady Vanishes, under siege from Triffids.  A valiant rescue operation was undertaken by men armed with flame throwers and baby T-Rexes, but to no avail...)

Not much use against Triffids
 No, the night in question was taken up by a very worried sniper sitting at a window muttering silently to himself about a whole bunch of weirdness.

I quite like the bass line in this track (but that's about it!) - might re-use it in a better song sometime...

VERY NEAR THE HALF WAY POINT NOW - please keep the donations coming.  I'll be posting Song 23 over the weekend, with Songs 24 and 25 to be done next week. http://www.justgiving.com/songaweek

Monday, 13 June 2011

Free show, this Friday night!

Playing a cheeky little Friday night slot with local singer Shelle Luscombe, at which we'll be premièring Song 23.

Shelle runs a regular night at The Marble Hill pub, TW1 2NP, at which she invites local musicians to join her on stage to play a set, and duet on a few numbers. She got in touch with me months ago, interested in helping out with the Song A Week project, so I've written a new track for her to sing - come to Twickenham and be the first to hear it!

More details at www.themarblehill.co.uk and www.shelleluscombe.co.uk


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Song Number 21: Disappointment

It never bloody ends!

After a very long few days, I barely had the energy to get this one done... and what happened?  I accidentally deleted half the song, and Logic (being the most inappropriately named system in history) wouldn't let me get it back.

I'm tired, and I need to get cracking on with songs 22 and 23, so it's here, half naked.

The song was written after I caught myself being even more cynical than usual.  There's a line in Yes, Minister which goes something like "A cynic is what an idealist calls a realist," which I think is probably true... but there's a point when too much cynicism drains you of your humanity.  So I gave myself a kick up the arse.

"A clear conscience?  Since when did you acquire
a taste for such luxuries?"

And it's a good thing, too - for this very afternoon I was interviewed by Rebecca O'Neill for TFM (Teesside FM).  TFM, on my old school bus journey, is the reason why I can't hear Simply The Best by Tina Turner without singing the South Cleveland Garages advert along with it.  People from that neck of the woods will know what I'm on about.

The interview will be broadcast this Saturday (11th June) on one of their morning news broadcasts - 96.6FM if you're in the area, or tfmradio.com if you're not!

And now, I'm going to bed.  Night, all!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Paul Simon interview

Following the Graceland-esque style of the melody/lyric in song 20, I just wanted to post a link to a tremendous interview with Paul Simon (thanks to Steve Piggott for putting me on to this):

YouTube Link

It's the first of seven videos, so take the time to go through them.  In the interview, he briefly describes how he got started in the industry, but the bulk is taken up with him talking in great detail about his songwriting process.  I'm delighted to say that it's very similar to how I write songs - though as of yet I haven't written anything as good as Bridge Over Troubled Water.  It's very organic, often starting with a simple chord progression and lyrical phrase, and then seeing what images present themselves.  The song is allowed to grow in its own way, though occasionally it needs a little pruning (if, say, a rhyme/image/chord change comes up that's just too obvious).  I particularly like his comments about keeping the audience interested by avoiding clichés but also making sure they're comfortable and aren't struggling to find, say, a beat they can tap their foot to.

Paul Simon will also be playing the title role in
"The Mel Brooks Story" on Hallmark
There's a lot of Paul Simon's output that's not to everybody's taste - not even to mine - but he really has written some tremendous tracks - Cecilia, Still Crazy After All These Years, Bridge Over Troubled Water, 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover (how many times has Sting ripped the verse of this song off?), You Can Call Me Al, Hazy Shade of Winter...  If you haven't heard the Graceland album yet, you really should check it out - some wonderful melodies, and fascinating lyrics.  Also responsible for some of the worst drum sounds on record, but let's not worry about that.

Before I move away from the Paul Simon thing, I'd just like to point out something on the Bridge Over Troubled Water album cover.

If you cover Paul Simon's face, it looks like Art Garfunkel is sporting an enormous handlebar moustache.  Call me childish, but it never ceases to amuse me.


On the Just The Songs page, for ease of browsing, the song titles are accompanied by an approximate description of their genres .

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Song Number 20: A Thousand Cones

Here's me trying to be Paul Simon!

I've been playing a bit more classical piano lately, and it's spilled over into Song A Week, it seems.  The words are culled from the Memory Lane section of a local newspaper.  Bit different, anyway - hope you like it!

More later, but in the meantime, please post your comments, send the blog around to your friends, and please donate some cash to Parkinson's UK!
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