Tuesday, February 08, 2005

every singer needs a song to sing

Having recorded the majority of our demo last week we're going back into the studio tonight (well, the rehearsal rooms) to record my vocals, which is something I usually quite enjoy. But last night I realised, just as I was getting into bed, that all three of the songs I need to sing on have incredibly scrappy, half-finished lyrics which I never re-wrote.

The words to 'What It Means' evolved in rehearsals, largely variants on the same verse with 'you' substituted for 'he' and 'I' and other rather lazy edits. The finale to the piano break, which is the best bit of the song, just ends with me singing variants of 'I know', 'Oh no', 'God knows' and other related phrases. That said, when I sat down to re-write this (having dashed back through to the lounge to grab a pen and paper) I found that the lyrics - if not quite a work of genius - work in the surroundings. Having ambitions to sound like New Order is useful in one respect; you don't get lyrics much more banal than Barney Sumner's. I changed 'I know what it means' at the end of the chorus to 'Everyone's been left', but that was about the only significant change.

'I'm Shit', frankly, defeated me. I scribbled my way through a verse and a half, constantly re-amending and demanding that Vic come up with new and credible rhymes for 'trying', and then gave up. I went to bed convinced that I'd just do what I do live, which is sing the first verse over and over again in increasingly muffled tones, so that progressive verses start something like:

verse 1: I'm so sick of getting twisted.
verse 2: Mmm so sicka yeah yeah twister
verse 3: Ooh a wrist ya, gavin rah rah
verse 4: Nng Amritsar gargle barmitzvah.

But on reflection, waking this morning, that didn't sound like such a good idea after all, so instead of doing that dozing / suddenly-starting-upright-and-panicking-I'd-missed-my-station thing on the train this morning, I had another go at it, and worked out something a bit better, with one line in particular I rather liked:

"I'm so sick of getting buoyed up,
by all this self-centred discipline, "tonight,
you may be tired, but don't act tired"'.

'Drinking With You' was much easier to re-write, because it's dead simple and I don't mind repeating myself on this one. I suppose I should try at some point to square the fact that I so admire good lyricists with my utter lack of effort, but then I was saying that over two years ago and I haven't addressed it properly yet, so...

Should I be doing some breathing exercises to get ready for my singing tonight, or something?

Do re me so far la [cccrrrrkkkk hack cough splutter].


Ben said...

Slightly off-topic, but you might be interested in my mate's new blog, Between The City And The Deep Blue Sea (http://sea-city.blogspot.com). He's a musician based in Portsmouth, and like Assistant Blog his is a mixture of comment and updates on musical work-in-progress.

jonathan said...

Hello Ben. Not off-topic at all, that - it sounds interesting, I'll take a look. Thanks for the tip!

BB said...

Me too...