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Request for Feedback on My Tune in Progress


Todzilla

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A little wimp-rock tune about a woman longing for something beyond her stable, yet sterile and ultimately unfulfilling existence. Somewhat distantly autobiographical, but only distantly. It's me on keyboards and vocals.

 

Gossamer Heart - Words and Lyrics by Todzilla

 

Sitting by the window in a wooden chair

It's like she's only halfway there, the rest of her is soaring

Chewing on the fingernails of his idle hand

He wants so hard to understand if he's becoming boring

 

A dozen roses buys him maybe a day or two

and then he's contemplating jumping the shark

It's little wonder why they call her...

 

Gossamer Heart, whichever way the wind blows

Follow her muse, or whatever she'll choose to call it

 

Running to her bedroom for the second time

since morning light began to shine through clouds of gentle raining

Mulling over options from a meager lot

He's ruled out all the things he's not, but only masquerading

 

A night of passion buys him maybe an hour or two

and then he's contemplating jumping the shark

It's little wonder why they call her...

 

Gossamer Heart, whichever way the wind blows

Follow her muse, or whatever she'll choose to call it

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Very nice song!!


Really.


Am I hearing a little Ben Folds?


.........jumping the shark.

 

 

 

Actually, Ben and I are from the same area. We've even played with some of the same musicians. I'm older, so I'm going to claim that I influenced him.

 

Ah, the benefits of age!

 

Most folks I've played it for claim it is dripping with Andy Partridge, particularly the backup vox...

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Good song and nice production. It's not as XTC as some of your past tunes but the influence is there. I'm of the mind that you spent many hours learning to sing with XTC albums and you can't shake those mannerisms. I don't think it would be that hard to deliver this song without the shades of Partridge looming over it.

 

It's wonderfully hook laden. The chords/key fills after "the wind blows" remind me of Steely Dan.

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Most folks I've played it for claim it is dripping with Andy Partridge, particularly the backup vox...

 

 

Are you saying that you don't hear it? Definitely in the backup, but the melody and delivery have it as well imo. So what? It's a wonderful tune with solid production. The metaphor is strong without being overbearing. Where are you recording these tunes? I love your sense of melody and form, and your production choices are incredibly apt.

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Are you saying that you don't hear it? Definitely in the backup, but the melody and delivery have it as well imo. So what? It's a wonderful tune with solid production. The metaphor is strong without being overbearing. Where are you recording these tunes? I love your sense of melody and form, and your production choices are incredibly apt.

 

 

You're kind, Stacka. I hear Andy in some places, certainly the retarding resolution of the backups, but I'm certainly not an objective judge of my own material.

 

I'm recording this stuff in my studio, which is just Digital Performer with a MOTU 896HD front end. The advantages my studio has that most home studios don't are:

 

  • play to a click for consistency and for production ease later on.

 

Always reamp guitars. Always. Except for... no, always. Once I figured this out, I never went back. Guitarists are almost angrily skeptical of this approach until they heard the results. I record direct guitars overdubbed through the Demeter preamp's DI (monitoring through the guitarist's amp of choice). This has the advantage of going sans headphones for a more live feel. Then, when I record the reamped guitars (much later, of course), I do multiple passes with different mic positions. Instead of tweaking the EQ for the guitar, I just blend different takes of different mic positions. I usually crank the amp way, way up, even for clean stuff.

 

Bass goes direct in through Demeter DI. So do keys.

 

Vocals: except for verses, which rely on an honest nakedness, don't be afraid to layer ridiculous amounts of unison vocals. This gives vocals depth and "heft" without adding some hideous reverb smears.

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Todzilla, that is the coolest tree fort in the whole world! What a work of art! :love:

 

Reamp? I do mainly simple acoustic guitar recordings (Zoom H4 supplemented by the mighty GarageBand). Is reamping plugging straight into the deck (the Demeter)? I noticed the drum sound on the Asshole Trap, especially in the coda. Cool sound, nice playing. That you?

 

So, is this your livelihood?

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So, is this your livelihood?

 

 

Oh hell's no. I'm a technology executive with three kids and a cool house in the woods. If I did this for a living I could never afford all the cool toys. Plus, I'm a way old fart (my oldest kid is 28), and have no stomach for the lifestyle of a full time musician. Look what happened to Burt Bacharach.

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Thanks for responding! Well, full-time musician doesn't mean touring, ya know! I don't tour at all.
:)

btw, the word
gossamer
made it to this
list
.

 

Thanks, but I can't put kids through college just by writing songs about sharks and assholes!

 

Seriously though, I love pursuing music purely for its own sake and not feeling tethered to whether or not it's profitable.

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A little wimp-rock tune about a woman longing for something beyond her stable, yet sterile and ultimately unfulfilling existence. Somewhat distantly autobiographical, but only distantly. It's me on keyboards and vocals.


Gossamer Heart
- Words and Lyrics by Todzilla


Sitting by the window in a wooden chair

It's like she's only halfway there, the rest of her is soaring

Chewing on the fingernails of his idle hand

He wants so hard to understand if he's becoming boring


A dozen roses buys him maybe a day or two

and then he's contemplating jumping the shark

It's little wonder why they call her...


Gossamer Heart, whichever way the wind blows

Follow her muse, or whatever she'll choose to call it


Running to her bedroom for the second time

since morning light began to shine through clouds of gentle raining

Mulling over options from a meager lot

He's ruled out all the things he's not, but only masquerading


A night of passion buys him maybe an hour or two

and then he's contemplating jumping the shark

It's little wonder why they call her...


Gossamer Heart, whichever way the wind blows

Follow her muse, or whatever she'll choose to call it

 

That's some really nicely crafted songwriting and arrangement. I think it really fits together nicely, its got a smart, graceful architecture. But... the phrase, jumping the shark... it seems kind of out of place in this song, with its otherwise carefully crafted, multi-layered mood. It seems to me an unnecessary shorthand -- you've already painted the scene in a pretty nuanced way. And the phrase is a bit of a stylistic jump. (In my mind, I see The Fonz flying across six shark tanks on a red white and blue motorcycle, but, since I never saw the bit in question, it's the stuff of legend and myth to me... I guess that's what YouTube is for. Anyhow, bottom line, it distracts me from the song and its story.)

 

:)

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That's some
really nicely
crafted songwriting and arrangement. I think it really fits together nicely, its got a smart, graceful
architecture
. But... the phrase,
jumping the shark...
it seems kind of out of place in this song, with its otherwise carefully crafted, multi-layered mood. It seems to me an unnecessary shorthand -- you've already painted the scene in a pretty nuanced way. And the phrase is a bit of a stylistic jump. (In my mind, I see The Fonz flying across six shark tanks on a red white and blue motorcycle, but, since I never
saw
the bit in question, it's the stuff of legend and myth to me... I guess that's what YouTube is for. Anyhow, bottom line, it
distracts me
from the song and its story.)


:)

 

Blue,

 

Thanks for that feedback. I had hoped the phrase "jumping the shark" would be interpreted by most folks to mean "desperately, though ultimately fruitlessly, seeking attention" stemming from the original Fonzie source you cited, but as I recall, Fonzie was water skiing, when bystanders (Joanie? Potsie?) noticed a shark fin in the water (circa the original "Jaws") and screamed for Fonzie to stop. Fonzie ultimately used a water ski jump to elude the shark, which culture fanatics viewed as a cheap ploy to enliven a show that was beyond its limits of relevance. But perhaps it was a bit of a stretch from the whole earnest vibe of the rest of the song?

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Thanks for that update on vital popular culture! :D :D :D

 

Yeah... your last question sums up my problem with that line precisely.

 

But, hey, maybe it'll be the weird bit that hooks people in, you never know.

 

Still... this work is in almost all other respects so coherent and consistent in tone and approach.

 

 

PS... are you sure there were no motorcycles involved? :D

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I had hoped the phrase "jumping the shark" would be interpreted by most folks to mean "desperately, though ultimately fruitlessly, seeking attention"

 

 

I had no incling of the Fonzie thing...........

 

I like the phrase because it grabs the listener's attention like a flash of odd color.

 

When the song was over I still had 'jumping the shark' stuck firmly in my mind to worry over as if it was something tasty stuck between my teeth after a good meal.

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I had no idea what you were on about in the usage of that phrase. I did see that episode of the show but it's a very very vague foggy memory now. I recently saw a clip of that sequence on tv but failed to associate your phrase with it. But hey, that's just me - I admit that I'm terrible in the lyrics department, both as a listener and a writer.

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I'm hearing a split on the shark jumping reference. Not sure if the votes line up along the lines of those who understand the obscure pop culture reference or not...

 

I remember the episode, but did not make the connection. If the line works it doesn't really matter if anyone makes the connection or not does it? I think the line works with or without knowledge of Fonzie. When the song is legendary, the reference will make a nice anecdote in your biography. :)

 

EG

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