Looking for the beginning?

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

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Song Number 52- End

Well, how could it be called anything else?

So that's it - 52 songs in a year.  I'm crying my bloody eyes out as I'm typing this, for goodness' sake.  Exhausted.

In the next couple of days, I'm going to do a blog post thanking everybody properly, because if I try to do it now I'll end up missing people out and spelling names wrong.

So for now, let me just say thank you so much to everybody who's been following - everybody who's listened to a song, who's made a donation, given the Facebook page a thumbs up, re-tweeted a tweet, left a comment...

Now I'm going to go and celebrate the end of this bizarre and wonderful year with my wife, who's had to put up with more crap from me than I care to imagine!


Goodnight, and Happy 2012 to you all!

Song Number 51- The Point Of No Return (William Hartnell)

I like song titles with parentheses.

So this is it, the penultimate song.  Recorded the music yesterday evening - it's one of my favourite beats, but I don't think I've used it so far, have I?  Pride In Mathematics is a similar thing, but not quite the same.  Rushing has led to me totally ballsing up the compression on the lead vocals, I'm afraid - bit pumpy.

Now, lyrical content.  "When all around has fallen" was the line that popped into my head first, so I started writing about a post-apocalyptic world in which society has completely collapsed, and people desperately cling on to the little things that make them human.  But I got bored with that, and it kind of morphed into a comment on an argument my brother and I had while I was up north for Christmas.  It got quite vicious.  And the subject of the argument?  Quite simply, it's because my favourite James Bond actor is... Timothy Dalton.

Unfairly maligned

What a bloody stupid thing to argue about.  So the song's about people fighting over stupid things that really don't matter.  I wanted to get a Dalton reference into the song, but it just wasn't fitting right... so I changed it to one of my other many unpopular opinions; viz. William Hartnell is my favourite Doctor Who.  I'm not even into Doctor Who, really - but by Jove, I'll defend Hartnell to the death if I have to, which luckily I almost certainly won't.  Of course, I could have changed that particular line to something more sensible, but I've done 51 songs this year - I'm not feeling very sensible at the moment!

Right, enough of this - I've got Song 52 to do before the clock strikes 12 and my computer turns into a pumpkin. 

Friday, 30 December 2011

Song Number 50 - Pride In Mathematics

Let's finish this thing off, shall we?

4 hours, this one took - writing, recording and mixing.  Either I'm getting faster or I'm caring less and less about performance quality. 

The chorus was something I had in my head upon waking back in July (the original recording of me mumbling it into my phone at 7am is amusing), but it was only this evening I came across it again.  The rest of it's loosely inspired by the story of Harold Camping, the American radio preacher who wrongly predicted the end of the world earlier this year.

As I'm sure you'll understand, I'm very short on time now - so as I've not been able to trawl the net for suitable video footage, I've knocked up a quick drawing of Mr Camping.  Looking at it now, I seem to have drawn an elongated George W Bush.  Hell, I'm a musician, not Bob Ross...

"Hey, why don't you give the friggin' Mayans shit for once?"

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Song Number 49: What You Expect Me To Do

Brain... not... functioning...

The song's about a dame who ain't no good, no-how, and I was hoping to put together some sort of femme fatale montage, but I don't have time - so instead you've got a photo of Kim Novak.  That'll do, right?

Second song to be recorded today, and I'm shattered.  Just need to get as many done as I can before succumbing to this cold and/or going up North.  No more time today, and tomorrow's stuffed, but hopefully I'll get one one more done by Friday night.

Tick tock tick tock tick tock...

In the meantime, enjoy this one - and don't forget to donate at either http://www.justgiving.com/songaweek or by texting "SONG52" plus "£amount" to 70070!

Song Number 48- Say It Again

I wanted to give the Christmas song more time to breathe but there's no time for that!  Ah yes, the sound of the annual Christmas cold creeping in - "Say By Dabe", I should have called this one!

We're heading up north to see my folks for Christmas soon, and while I can record up there (see Song 41 for the results of that), I'd rather spend the time lounging in front of the fire eating chocolate oranges

So here's song 48, inspired by the website of a "sales expert" who trains cold callers.  It's one of the most nauseatingly smug sites I've ever seen - one look at it and you can feel the vomit rising - and that's even before you start pondering on the rather depressing notion that we now live in a society where a Cold Calling Trainer is even a necessary job.

"Song a week? YOU are weak!"

My first job was selling kitchens over the phone.  It's impossible - people are either in the market for a kitchen or they're not; you can't persuade someone to drop a couple of grand on a new one, even if they have been "specially selected by our computer to receive a £500 gift voucher towards the cost..."  Turnover at that place was incredible.  I lasted three weeks, before I was replaced by a guy called Brad Cheesebrough

But enough of that - got to get on with Song 49 now. Please keep your donations coming in by visiting http://www.justgiving.com/songaweek - and now you can donate by texting the code "SONG52" and the amount you want to donate ("£X") to 70070!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Song Number 47 - Johnny Got A Toy


So, getting in early, this is my Christmas song for the year, inspired by my mother and uncle's good-natured attempts to annoy each other by furnishing the other's children/grandchildren with the noisiest presents they could possibly find. The alternative title for this one is "Revenge Is A Dish Best Served Loud," and I believe it represents what for many people is the true sound of Christmas - an almighty racket, braying your head in from the moment the kids wake up to find their stockings full, right through Boxing Day, and only stopping when you finally rip the batteries out of every electronic device except the TV remote control.

Featuring the lovely Jess as "Exasperated Mother"

Remember these little bastards?

Seven songs to go?  How have I still got seven songs still to go?!

[EDIT: Oh no, hang on - it's only five.  Ach, my brain!]

Song Number 46: Indication of the Facts


Still time to donate - you know the drill! I'm keeping the lines open til about half way through January, I reckon. http://www.justgiving.com/songaweek

I had two parts to this song - one was the atmospheric intro/first verse as you hear it; the other was something that sounded a bit Ben Folds Five-ish and I wasn't too keen.  It just didn't fit - it sounded like I'd had two half-ideas and crammed them together (for a more successful attempt at this, check out that old hippie chestnut Something In The Air by Thunderclap Newman).  So I removed the BF5 bits and wrote something else that seemed to fit a little better.  I think it's still a bit bitty and directionless, but I do like the verse sections - the second verse in particular feels like it could be developed into something more interesting.

I never realised Pete Townsend produced this. So there you go.

The video is an advert for an American brand of coffee I lifted from the Prelinger Archives, a wonderful place to waste far too much time!  The sex education videos are wonderful. 

Tomorrow (or, rather, today) I'll be putting song 47 online, a song which promises to represent the true sound of Christmas...

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Song Number 45: Centre Of The World

No offence intended, of course, but this bit of fluff is dedicated to teenagers, people who have teenage kids, and everybody who ever was a teenager (especially me).

Words came first, then chords, then a beat, then I moved the beat around to make it more interesting, then changed the chords, then scrapped the words completely and wrote new ones, then simplified the beat because it was dragging (the original is still there, processed to buggery and just about audible in the intro/first verse)
If I had a pic of me as a sulky teen I'd have used it.
This isn't far off, though.  Except I wasn't even cool enough
to wear a backwards baseball cap.

The inspiration for the final lyric came from a conversation I had with a teacher friend of mine about her having to hand-hold so many of her students (I don't have that problem, of course - all my pupils are lovely!), and our realisation that we were probably just as much of a pain in the arse at that age, as much as we'd like to forget it.  The footage, by the way, is from The Educated Fish, Directed by Dave Fleischer in 1937. 

45 down, so that's my original, scrawny weakling target met - just seven more to go and I'll be at the full-fat, gold-plated, big hairy bollock of a target!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Song Number 44: Hymn

You probably won't be expecting this:

Something a bit different.  Someone suggested I do a Tom Waits style track, and this was what came out.  I actually planned to do a Tom Waits impression with the vocals, but it just sounded too silly.  Not a bad impression, if I say so myself, but it was still me doing an impression rather than singing in a more honest voice.  Does that make sense?  Anyway, this is just me, my voice, my piano, and an over-worked noise gate.

Is that you,  Moxey?

Eight more to go...
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