Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Three Chords and the Truth

Making records is a difficult thing. Making good records is nearly impossible. Making magical, world changing records is something no one can do. World changing records make themselves taking passengers and prisoners on the way. They all start innocently, with a couple of people in a room, one person at a piano, or with a guitar. Some soul aches, is angry or joyful and the only way to pay proper homage, is through song. Once the inspiration has been wrung out of the writer, like a cloth, the judgements begin. The artist may be the first, but when others to hear it, they all take a whack. The song will be subjected to inhumane comparisons and criticisms.

Studious are dark places filled with cigarette butts, bad bathrooms and people that never see the sun. These are carpet covered rooms where romance, and dreams get stamped out like roaches, caught it the light. When the "record" button is pushed there is no where to hide. The computer can tune the notes, and timing, but if the song is an impostor, it will be naked in front of a laughing, ninth grade class.

All great songs all start as a shells. They must be built, piece by piece. Lucid arguments occur over the shaker part on the second chorus. Hearts break when a high harmony is cut. Hours are spent recording parts, no one will ever hear. The ultimate horror is to finish a song, and realize it is absolute shit. It is a mystery any songs get recorded at all. The fact that some songs are good, is proof of the paranormal.

If no one dies during the tracking process, the song must be mixed. The melodies must fly in and out like ghosts. Every part of every song that makes it to this point has had a war fought on its behalf, and yet it still may die, with one push of a button. Parts are featured and then fade like fog.
The song is finally released into the world. It is handed to a friend, shipped by truck, or downloaded to a device. Once that happens you are powerless to stop its life. You have to stand and suffer a thousand deaths or worse, glowing accolades.

The miracle is, it can save a life. It can be the only thing that gets someone through a day. It can say the things the less poetic of our species cannot. It can be the theme of revolutions. It can resurrect the perfume of a lost lover. It can bring the dead back to life. It can allow you to drive your first car. It can make you wonder what happened.
It is a noble mission. It is usually done for all the wrong reasons. Still, in spite of all the efforts to ruin them, great songs happen.


Ms. Moon said...

Sounds eerily like writing a novel, only with a lot more company.
Nice post. Made me think of the albums that have changed my life, opened my eyes, given me the strength to keep on going.

Anonymous said...

wow, so much goes into every song? is that why I like Nirvana's Bleach album so much?

Doooooo you-ouu oooo, Feeeeel like I do?
BumBum Ba Dum

Ms. Moon said...

I just linked you, WB. I hope that's okay.

Human Wrecking Ball said...

Thanks Ms. Moon!

Human Wrecking Ball said...

Magnum, don't be crackin on Frampton!

Anonymous said...

ain't no crack baybe; I comes alive when I hear the squawk box!

knew a girl who wore the iron-on that came outta that album-so hot! She was ok, too.

juancho said...

"Crazy" by Seal is an untouchable anthem for the survivors of the siege of Sarajevo.

Human Wrecking Ball said...

Maybe, I love the bridge with the backward cymbal.
You maake a me raaf.
bass tard.

Anonymous said...

Wow, good song, but it's pretty complicated for...
Oh, you meant the others working in Bosnia at the time, of course.

WB, excuse the ignorance but "backwards cymbal"? Do you mean it's recorded in reverse or...? Complicated stuff man, I'm diggin it.

Human Wrecking Ball said...

Yeah , it's a reverse reverb but it sounds the same. Noice catch magnum! Come ride with us some time. Worm, and I don't know who you are!

Anonymous said...

ha, Juancho won't let his robot army train with outsiders and I might still be in pain from my last ride a month ago. Rigid still, fully rigid and aluminum frame.

Although, I did see a nice kona for sale on craigslist, might go for it.