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Figured I'd Say Hello


MusicalSchizo

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I'm sort of new here, so I'm saying "HEY!" to all you fellas.

 

I love songwriter communities, because they're similar to drummers, in the sense that everyone seems to like to talk about the nuts and bolts of how to do it well and really help everyone else improve.

 

I'll introduce myself with two things:

1. I go by the moniker "The Musical Schizo" because I don't tend to write a lot of similar-sounding material. http://www.musicalschizo.com/ gives examples of this.

 

2. I'd really love if you guys could give your opinion on one of my fairly recent songs, called "We Really Just Don't Care":

Stream It

Download It

 

Thanks, and I look forward to hearing the stuff you guys come up with.

Brian (aka The Musical Schizo)

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Please post the lyrics. I like this. It has a slightly tongue in cheek Fountains of Wayne / Weezer thing about it that's cool. One suggestion, not that it really needs it...

 

At the end of the Chorus where you have the payoff line We really just don't care... I wanted to hear it as a repeat. Then of course you go ahead and do that at the end and it sounds great. But, it wouldn't be out of line or overkill for that matter to do the end repeats on each chorus to drive the hook home.

 

Also, and this is more an arrangement idea but does fall under the writing. I'd like to hear back ups singing the melody of "We really just don't care..." in between the first lines of the chorus. Chorus: the V chord, the IV chord, then the I chord and "We really just don't care". Repeat. The last note would have to be changed to accommodate the fact that you're riding the tonic chord in those spots but I think it would drive the hook home as well.

 

Another possiblity would be to half the 2nd verse to get to the chorus sooner. Maybe.

 

I dig it.

 

Lyrics please.

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+1 on the Weezer feel.

 

I like the lead (clean) guitar tone quite a bit. The rhythm guitar seems simultaneously too distorted and too quiet for the tune, which almost makes it sound just a bit corny. I'd knock down the distortion on the rhythm guitar a bit, so we hear some more of the guitar's actual tone, then bring that guitar up in the mix to help propel the song forward.

 

Solo was nice, but in a hooky-song like this, quoting a little bit of the melody in the solo would go over well.

 

Overall, really nicely done.

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Sounds kinda like an odd campfire song...

 

It needs more Oomph... Though I'm not sure how to specify that...

 

Lyrically its ok, but musically, it's kinda blah... It needs more forward momentum, and some dynamics, otherwise its just elevator music.

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Thanks for all your responses...

 

Everything on the recording was pretty much a "slap-together" first take, simply to have the song recorded (this whole demo took me about an hour and a half). Even the solo was a first pass - I didn't even think about working out the hook to use in the solo - I just winged it. All the vocals come from maybe three takes. Almost everything I've ever recorded is that way, unfortunately. When you have two little kids, it doesn't leave much time for overdubbing and real production. I've sort of accepted the idea that this is what the stuff's going to sound like until I have more time.

 

I was actually going to have a lot more going on with backing vocals and stuff, but ended up just doubling the lead an octave down and adding the harmonies in the chorus.

 

I do agree with Airsean - it does sort of plod along and could use some dynamics.

 

And to thepalpitations - one friend of mine actually said that the combination of the chimey clean guitar and the over-distorted crunchy guitar reminded him of Starship in the 80s...too funny. It does sound sort of like that (and therefore, is corny).

 

All great criticisms and suggestions, and much appreciated! I'm a huge fan of both Fountains of Wayne and Weezer, so it would be no shock that stuff might come out in my writing sometimes.

 

Oh, and for Lee Knight, the lyrics:

Nobody cares about the band except the band

Nobody cares about my songs except for me

Why does everything always end up in a place of apathy

Why doesn't anyone seem to care about anything

 

Nobody sings a little song just to sing

Nobody brings a little wrong just to sting

It's just something we see every time we walk out on that stage

Is it something about us all or is it just our age?

 

We love you but not that much

You give us what we need to get a touch

We've got no real allegiance - you're just our background tunes

We really just don't care about you

 

I didn't care about the fans until I grew

I didn't realize that they don't care about you

I'm consistently incredulous about their chosen path

Sometimes all I can do - is have a laugh

 

I've seen so many things gone all askew

I think it's a wonder that there's anything we can do

Sometimes I sit and wonder why I even bother to

strap on this damn guitar and sing for you

 

We love you but not that much

You give us what we need to get a touch

We've got no real allegiance - you're just our background tunes

We really just don't care about you

 

I've looked for a reason - and found absolutely nothing

It's the time of the season for loving

I've wasted so much energy trying to make them care

Still for some reason, I'm there

 

Solo

 

We love you but not that much

You give us what we need to get a touch

We've got no real allegiance - you're just our background tunes

We really just don't care about

We really just don't care about

We really just don't care - about you

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I like the lyrics. It's funny. One problem though, for me. You switch perspectives between the verses and the chorus. The verses you're the musician, the chorus you're the listener. That's confusing... and that's why I asked.

 

I produced a band where the singer mixed perspectives all the time. BEFORE... we recorded, him and I straightened out all of that. The results was clarity of point. Nothing will get the listener confused more then this.

 

My recommendation would be to pick a perspective and stick to it.

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You caught me. I was really hoping no one would notice that. Dammit.

 

The change in perspective is weird, I admit, and could be really confusing (and is, the way this demo is produced).

 

Lyrically, it's my biggest issue with the song, but it didn't work when I turned around the perspective in the chorus, so I left it this way with the idea that I'd produce the vocals in the chorus differently so that there was a clear demarcation between that and the voice in the verses of the song (I had a "live audience" vocal sound in mind - like they're singing it back at the guy in the verses).

 

Maybe I'll head back and see if I can work out that perspective to my satisfaction. I could never resolve the main hook of the song with the change in perspective (the hook came first), and there was a lot more verse to change than chorus, so I'll have to figure that one out...

 

Thanks, Lee.

Brian

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+1 on plodding, although I blame it on the 80's reverb. ;)

 

I like the chorus a lot (although I thought the second line was "Just give us what we need to get in touch", which seemed like was a clever industry brushoff - not sure what the actual line means).

 

I think the POV shift could work with the audience sing-along on the chorus - although it is the chorus that has the sharp, funny lines, which are not usually what people wind up singing along with.

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i like the perspective shift. it's pretty cool.

 

 

How many times have I found myself in this situation. I switch perspectives without really knowing it happened. The twist of lyrics and inspiration bring me to a spot where now I'm confounded. How'd that happen? And how do I fix and still make the song work?

 

I know! I do an effect that clarifies that it's someone else speaking!

 

And it can work, because it has to now that I've accidentally found myself in this situation. But...

 

The way I handle it is go back and rewrite. It always comes out better for me. A song lasts 3 to 5 minutes. That's not a lot of time. When a writer starts shifting perspective in a pop song it gets murky and the listener turns it off mentally. Tunes it out. That's not really what I want them to do. I want them drawn in and following.

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How many times have I found myself in this situation. I switch perspectives without really knowing it happened. The twist of lyrics and inspiration bring me to a spot where now I'm confounded. How'd that happen? And how do I fix and still make the song work?


I know! I do an effect that clarifies that it's someone else speaking!


And it can work, because it
has to
now that I've accidentally found myself in this situation. But...


The way I handle it is go back and rewrite. It
always
comes out better for me. A song lasts 3 to 5 minutes. That's not a lot of time. When a writer starts shifting perspective in a pop song it gets murky and the listener turns it off mentally. Tunes it out. That's not really what I want them to do. I want them drawn in and following.

 

i definitely DON'T disagree with you, lee. you're right in suggesting that you have to be VERY aware when you play with perspectives, but i think if the performance/production is done tastefully in a way that accents it more, it could be cool. (also, keep in mind i HAVEN'T listened to this tune....just going by the lyrics.)

 

as a rule, though, i'm with you 100%. ....and a rewrite almost always makes good better.

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Actually, after hearing the song, I really don't have a problem with the lyrics. I sort of agree with what everyone said here about the shifting perspective; to avoid confusion, a rewrite certainly wouldn't hurt. And some of the lines looked kind of awkward in writing ("nobody brings a little wrong just to sting" is kind of a stretch) but in the context of the music, they work fine.

 

Just my opinion on the arrangement--seems like it's a bit even running; it could probably use some kind of variation in the instrumetation between the verses and chorus. Also at the end of the bridge, I kind of expected one of those dramatic pauses, like the one in the chorus after "you're just our background tunes". Seems like it would have a lot more impact going into the solo. Just my $.02.

 

Also, having a bunch of voices singing the chorus in unison might help drive home the "audience perspective" thing.

 

All in all, nice work.

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Thanks for giving it a listen, fellas...and all the great feedback. I appreciate it.

 

I think next time I demo something and present it, I'll do a little more production so you guys can better tell what was going on in my head, arrangement-wise (or maybe I'll just explain it in advance).

 

Brian

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