Music, musings and more from the mind of Ben Averch.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Clock Watching

'Reset the Clock' is a special song for me, and after thinking about it for a while, I've decided that it should be the first song on the record.

The one thing that was bothering me about it was the final chorus, which is twice as long as the others, and was just really dominated by the vocal part. So I added (what else?) a bubbly repeating part with a super wide chorus effect courtesy of my beloved TC 1210 Spatial Expander, and a huge pick-slide-into-rocking-chords for the final time through the chorus. This last bit is reminiscent of a couple songs on one of my all time favorite records, 'All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes' by Pete Townshend.

So I'm getting really close on this one. I had to listen for a few times to make sure I liked the bubbly bit, but it's pretty unobtrusive and just enough ear candy to satisfy people on repeated listenings. Plus, the 1210 just sounds so sweet. So for now, it stays in.

I really love this song, mostly because it captures this feeling that I'd been having -- there's a line in 'Cloud Cover' that goes:

"when the dream ends, and you're up with the sun again/and the rain falls, you can already see the future"

This idea I carried forward into 'Reset the Clock' -- as somebody who gets up and out of bed and off to work in an office building on 71% of my mornings, it can be hard not to visually play through the entire day in my head just as I'm getting up. So I'm trying to address this sense of not really being present and being tripped out about the future already as the first sensation and thought in the morning:

"when I awaken to the morning, I'm in the grip of time again/it's so easy to know what's coming, it's so easy to hit fast forward/and experience nothing real, and experience only imagining...reset the clock to the morning, reset my chances again...I just want this all to mean something, I just want to find a way to be real/and not be spending days in life afraid to know how I feel"

So I think this is really a solid tune, and I'm hesitant to mess around with it too much. Sometimes less tinkering is better. But a little extra gusto for the ending chorus couldn't hurt.

Also coming closer to a conclusion about the song order. Here's where I'm at now:

1. Reset the Clock
2. In a Dream State
3. Cloud Cover
4. Through the Chain Reaction
5. Step Up the Stairs
6. No Division
7. Sandcast
8. Levitate
9. Reach Up
10. A Chance for Me to Stay

This way the first half and second half of the record will have some distinct themes and character -- the second half being maybe a little more strange and idiosyncratic, the first half maybe more 'pop' styled. 'Chain' and 'Step Up' need a little more work but are pretty close to done. Also, this order mixes up the songs somewhat in terms of the order they were recorded in -- you can hear a pretty significant improvement in sound quality as I got more familiar with my new 'BaverchNW Studio', and the last songs I recorded, 'Chain', 'Levitate' and 'Chance' each sound a lot better than the first three, 'Cloud Cover', 'Sandcast' and 'Reach Up'. 'Cloud Cover' in particular will never really sound perfect as the drum sound I recorded will probably never satisfy me. Only option really is to re-do it but that's not gonna happen as the real passion is only there the first time through for me. So, I fall back to my position that the record isn't supposed to be perfect! :-P

'Sandcast' anyway sounds a lot better now as I replaced the bass part and fixed up the final chorus.

Well, that's it for now. I realize I haven't done many updates this month, and most of my writing goes to my Microvision Blog, where I have on average about 300x as many readers as this music blog. But those of you who do drop by here, thanks for reading and stay tuned. This time I'm actually going to finish the thing, that's my 2006 goal. With a new kid coming soon that could be tough but I'm committed to doing it. So it will get done.

Anybody know people who do graphics and liner note design? The pay isn't great but it's a chance to have your work seen by...a...handful of people?


Anonymous Matt said...

I've been listening to a bunch of bands lately that have a strong Who influence in their songs:

There are several songs on Deerhoof's new record The Runners Four that have Pete Townsend style chord changes and vocal harmonies.

Most of the songs on Fiery Furnaces record Blueberry Boat were inspired by A Quick One.

The drumming on the new Sleater-Kinney has a strong Keith Moon influence.

Come by and check out my live journal. I've been doing a bunch of music related posts including a fun lyrics meme that you should post on your blog, plus lots of other fun stuff.

Keep up the great work on your album!

10:33 AM


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