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  • I Shoulda Been an Actor - Phase 1

    Here's a start for I Shoulda Been an Actor. Ideas, input, remarks welcome. This is a WIP for sure... the vocal is not a keeper.

    http://soundcloud.com/albert-s-j-lee-knight-3/i-shouda-been-an-actor-09-12

    V1
    I was pissed off at the waitress
    Who forgot that I said cream
    I pointed at my cup of black
    I needed the caffeine
    I said, "When you get a chance"
    A lie hidden in my smile
    Sometimes you gotta charm the rank and file

    C
    I shoulda been an actor
    I shoulda been a star
    You can't have a vision
    If you don't know who you are
    Do you know who you are?
    Or who you coulda been?
    I shoulda been an actor

    V2
    Two deals closed by four thirty
    And halfway through a third
    Tell them what they wanna hear
    And no, yes in not a dirty word
    I said, "You look like sex in that Camaro
    Venus in profile
    Sometimes you gotta charm the rank and file

    C
    I shoulda been an actor
    I shoulda been a star
    You can't have a vision
    If you don't know who you are
    Do you know who you are?
    Or who you coulda been?
    I shoulda been an actor

    B
    A gracious benevolent Hollywood benefactor
    Brass star in concrete name between Cher and Max Factor
    Socially aware, damn right I care, late for the chiropractor
    A wave at the bleachers, red carpet overreacher and hot young starlet attractor. You know... an actor
    __________
    Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
    Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
    Jesus

  • #2
    Damn, that is just a well done piece. Everything about it is polished and profesional. Just plain awesome. That is what is meant by "radio ready."
    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...?bandID=575709 or http://www.youtube.com/user/ccarnucci

    Comment


    • #3
      Damn, that is just a well done piece. Everything about it is polished and profesional. Just plain awesome. That is what is meant by "radio ready."


      Cool! Thanks!

      Now I'm hearing Jerry Lee piano "dink-dink-dink-dink-dink-dink-dink-dinks" and then the pianist just going off during the bridge in a sort of English Music Hall pianist gone off the deep end on absinthe. Then a vocal harmony under in the chorus lead vocal. And the world famous Knight Singers (my daughter and wife and me) singing answers to the hook in those intros and outros

      I shoulda been an actor (I SHOULDA BEEN AN ACTOR!!!)
      I shoulda been a star (I SHOULDA BEEN AN ACTOR!!!)
      I shoulda been an actor (I SHOULDA BEEN AN ACTOR!!!)
      I shoulda been a star (I SHOULDA BEEN AN ACTOR!!!)

      Just creating a crazy overlapping of voices to make the point ten too many times! That, you know, this should have been an actor.
      __________
      Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
      Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
      Jesus

      Comment


      • #4
        A lot of really great stuff going on here... I love the drum sound! How the hell do you do that? Please offer to program some of my drums for me.

        If you were going for an 80s type of sound without all the cheese of the 80s, you've succeeded. The cadence of the vocals really make the song... "Sometimes you gotta charm the rank and file". I don't even know what it means, but it sounds really cool.

        The talking part is working... I wonder if some sort of vocal effect to make it sound different would be cool? Not necessary, but bullhorn or something might make it be... cool.

        Comment


        • #5
          A lot of really great stuff going on here... I love the drum sound! How the hell do you do that? Please offer to program some of my drums for me.

          If you were going for an 80s type of sound without all the cheese of the 80s, you've succeeded. The cadence of the vocals really make the song... "Sometimes you gotta charm the rank and file". I don't even know what it means, but it sounds really cool.

          The talking part is working... I wonder if some sort of vocal effect to make it sound different would be cool? Not necessary, but bullhorn or something might make it be... cool.


          Absolutely on the fx for the bridge. I'm toying with the idea of double tracking like they do on rap records. Since it's spoken, it'll probably sound cool. And then maybe the lofi with tape overdrive sort of thing like you're referring to. Maybe triple track it and have the voices panned out, L-C-R.

          As for the drums? I cheated this time. Drums On Demand. $9.95 You search what they have and see if anything is close. They give you the tempo that lines up perfectly in your DAW. Then I cut the crap out of it to make it what I need. I did this once before with that heavy rock tune I did for a friend.

          As far as 80's vibe, yeah, I'm on a total Ian Dury kick. 80's with a nod to the 50's Gene Vincent, et al. There's Bari and Tenor in there. I might wanna have those hit some of the sting punches. Those BAH-dots! And some upright piano!

          But I'm not sure why you'd want me to program drums for you. I think you have it down...
          __________
          Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
          Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
          Jesus

          Comment


          • #6
            Absolutely on the fx for the bridge. I'm toying with the idea of double tracking like they do on rap records. Since it's spoken, it'll probably sound cool. And then maybe the lofi with tape overdrive sort of thing like you're referring to. Maybe triple track it and have the voices panned out, L-C-R.

            As for the drums? I cheated this time. Drums On Demand. $9.95 You search what they have and see if anything is close. They give you the tempo that lines up perfectly in your DAW. Then I cut the crap out of it to make it what I need. I did this once before with that heavy rock tune I did for a friend.

            As far as 80's vibe, yeah, I'm on a total Ina Dury kick. 80's with a nod to the 50's. There's Bari and Tenor in there. I might wanna have those hit some of the sting punches. Those BAH-dots!


            I forgot to mention the saxes that I thought I heard. They sound good... pretty realistic. May want to bring them up 1 or 2 dB.

            Comment


            • #7
              I forgot to mention the saxes that I thought I heard. They sound good... pretty realistic. May want to bring them up 1 or 2 dB.


              And I've been eyeing up saxes on Craigslist... I used to play. I'd love to have one in my arsenal. The question is... alto or tenor? I'm thinking tenor...

              Comment


              • #8
                I'll bring them up! I wanted that Madness sound with the Bari/Tenor so I tracked each horn separately and left all the timing issues so it's looseygoosey.

                And yeah... tenor. It says "sax".
                __________
                Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                Jesus

                Comment


                • #9
                  Two things jumped out at me as possibly needing help:

                  1) I think you want something in the space between the lines in the verses, if not the first than at least the second and a piece of development. You can probably come up with something better than I can, but I was thinking along the lines of the repetitive lick you do in "Joy Division".

                  2) I'm not sure the last line of the chorus gives enough punch. Delaying might work if you hit me with something strong, or perhaps have the arrangement swell more in that space. But as is, it felt flat.

                  Otherwise, it is definitely on the right track.
                  Don't listen to Justin.
                  LCK - 2/21/2012

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I knew those drums sounded too good to be true.

                    I love this production.

                    The only thing that sticks out to me as a possible issue is using the phrase 'pissed off' right at the top of the song. By doing so you established a certain....attitude...that you don't necessarily hold to throughout the rest of the song. The other issue with that is...that's hardly 'bad language', but it may get in the way for some listeners if this song gets a chance at airplay so you need to decide if it is worth the risk.

                    And this one has that potential.

                    That 'rank and file' line is a real hook.

                    Just listening again.....

                    Maybe......I was miffed at the waitress

                    Speaking of potential.....that bridge is a gold mine. Do all that stuff you said. Make it really stand out.
                    Leonard Scaper

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      good point about pissed off and not really holding that tone later. I'll think about that one. Hmmm. < that's me thinking...

                      Lost my patience with the waitress
                      Losing patience with the waitress

                      hmmmm
                      __________
                      Ain't no sacrilege to call Elvis king
                      Dad is great and all but he never could sing -
                      Jesus

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The production is great.

                        There are a few points, lyrically, that I think could be polished a bit more.

                        A lie hidden in my smile

                        What lie? Don't you mean hostility? Or a feeling of superiority? I don't know how you'd translate those into a one-syllable word, but to me "lie" seems out of place.

                        Venus in pro-file

                        The prosody here is way off. I doubt anyone listening would be able to make out what you're singing. I couldn't at first, and I was expecting that line. Besides, why would a car salesman be talking about Venus and her profile? It sounds written by a writer not spoken by some oily creep.

                        A gracious benevolent Hollywood benefactor

                        I like the rhythm, but Hollywood benefactor? It sounds like he donates to movie studios. How 'bout making him a benefactor of some lame celebrity charity instead?

                        Brass star in concrete name between Cher and Max Factor

                        There is no concrete on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Sidewalks are made of cement. Also, there's no need to say "name between..." Just "Brass star in cement between Cher and Max Factor."

                        A wave at the bleachers, red carpet overreacher

                        The bolded phrase feels like it has too many syllables/beats. Plus, what does it mean? Maybe "A wave at the bleachers, red carpet screechers..."?

                        Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of really cool, Lee Knight signature lines in this tune. They're terrific. But a bit of spit and polish might make this even better.

                        Anyway, that's what I think.

                        LCK
                        “Good Vibrations” was probably a good record but who's to know? You had to play it about 90 bloody times to even hear what they were singing about. What’s next? Rock opera? —Pete Townshend, Melody Maker Interview, 1966.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sounds very nice - didn't knock my socks off the way the YouTube demo did.
                          Lyrics Songs Demos Videos Covers Dj Facebook Tumblr

                          Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.

                          -Coco Chanel

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Usual great Lee Knight material - you're becoming predictable - give the angry mob something to rip apart for a change.......

                            2 observations:

                            With the repeating lines, I felt that the delivery became a bit relentless, and lost the emphasis they deserve.
                            Try a micro-pause where I've put the slashes, and see what you think.

                            V1
                            I was pissed off at the waitress
                            Who forgot that I said cream
                            I pointed at my cup of black
                            I needed the caffeine
                            I said, "When you get a chance"
                            A lie hidden in my smile
                            Sometimes you gotta charm the rank / and file

                            C
                            I shoulda been / an actor
                            I shoulda been / a star
                            You can't have a vision
                            If you don't know who you are
                            Do you know who you are?
                            Or who you coulda been?
                            I shoulda been / an actor

                            V2
                            Two deals closed by four thirty
                            And halfway through a third
                            Tell them what they wanna hear
                            And no, yes in not a dirty word
                            I said, "You look like sex in that Camaro
                            Venus in profile
                            Sometimes you gotta charm the rank / and file

                            C
                            I shoulda been / an actor
                            I shoulda been / a star
                            You can't have a vision
                            If you don't know who you are
                            Do you know who you are?
                            Or who you coulda been?
                            I shoulda been / an actor

                            B
                            A gracious benevolent Hollywood benefactor
                            Brass star in concrete name between Cher and Max Factor
                            Socially aware, damn right I care, late for the chiropractor
                            A wave at the bleachers, red carpet overreacher and hot young starlet attractor. .....this line here is so fast that it is garbled....can't really hear the words.
                            You know... an actor
                            'Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn'.
                            CHARLIE PARKER

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sounds all kinds of awesome

                              Love the bridge, however.... I know you chose those names for the rhyme.... but cher and max factor?

                              Wouldnt it make more sense to have your name up there between some GREAT actors? Pacino...Deniro... whatever.... its gonna mean a re-write for the rhyme though

                              Comment



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