Sunday, 5 December 2010

Hot bird


I have good news and I have bad news.  The good news is that this is the best song that I have written by a fair distance.  The bad news is that every one of my songs I post now will be worse than this until I am inspired again.  This could be a while.

Back to the track in hand.  This is a ditty about the man, the myth, the legend that is Tindall.  If you don't know him, please get to know him, you owe it to yourself.  We have been great mates since school and as much as I love the guy this song could have been written about any number of the birds he has chased!  I guess everybody puts other people on pedestals at some time in their life and can't see that they are going to get played - I know that I have and I'm sure that you have too.

The things I like about this song are the structure and the ooohhs in the first verse.  Worth pointing out that I got stuck when writing this song - I had up to the 3rd chorus and did not know which way to go.  Mark came up with the instrumental bit that lead back into the verse and enabled me to finish the song.  Thanks boss, you are a gent.

You may by now have figured out that I love double tracked rhythm guitars!  I FUCKING LOVE THEM!  I could listen to hard panned distorted guitars all day song.  I especially love it when you hear slight discrepancies between the 2 of them.  I remember when I first heard "Save the world lose the girl" by Midtown and I thought at the time that it was a kitchen sink production job and every thing was super tight.  I put this album on my iPod this year after not listening to it for ages and I was surprised by how different it sounds and the fact that the guitars were a lot more loose than I remembered.  Don't get me wrong, it's far more tight than I could ever play but it was loose enough to make it "human".  My ears are obviously a lot better nowadays than when I was at school.  I wish more modern pop-punk records let the guitars be more loose because I think it gives the recording a bit more personality.  That said, I tune all my vocals because I can't sing and I hate hearing autotune on other people's recordings.  I guess I am a hypocrite but no-one can touch me whilst I'm on my soapbox.  So there.

Here you go.  I know that if people listen to this they will think "hang on, he said that this was the best song he has written but it's just as shit as the rest of them" but I don't care, I think it's good.



Sunday, 28 November 2010

Is it ok


Another song now.  This is a big P one as I stated in in my last post.  A newer song from the big man this time but unfortunately this demo is nowhere near complete.  Alas, you will get used to this kind of laziness eventually.  It seems that the vocals and guitar are there but the drums are not finished and there is just one drum beat that repeats through-out the whole song.  Obviously this will change when we play the song live.  Also, I am not sure if there ending is anywhere near done yet.  I think that the original idea for the ending was to make it slow down and then build up again to a massive crescendo like "Summer wind always was our song" and "Your boyfriend sucks" by The Ataris but this nowhere near that yet.  I guess that with practice it will come good eventually.

I am not sure how much Phelim likes this song.  I think that if we put proper drums on it and thick double tracked rhythm guitars he would soon change his opinion - he can be a somewhat judgmental fellow when he does not like something straight away but we all have our little quirks.  I really like this song and I know that Jim likes this one as well.  It makes me happy that Phelim can write a song like this.

Musically the big man is still leaning towards The Ataris and The Get Up Kids here.  This is quarry that he has mined since school and long may it continue.  I would like to say that the stuff I write sounds like The Get Up Kids but I'm a bit different - not sure how he gets this feel in his songs.

This was tracked in typical Phelim one-take-wonder style round Mark's flat in his "music room".  Lucky bastard, I wish I had a music room.  That said, I swear half of the equipment in there belongs to me!

Don't be a hater.



Friday Night with P and James


I have checked the stats and I does not appear that anyone is actually reading this blog.  However, this does not bother me and in fact I think I prefer it that way.  I am not one to ram my ideas down other peoples throats but I find the process of writing about and sharing this music quite cathartic.

This is another one of my songs but I will be posting another one of P's next.  I say "my" songs but ultimately it belongs to our band as a collective. As I have previously mentioned this blog is a dumping ground for demos and as such these songs are not yet finished.  I know that the more we play, the more it will evolve and change.  Mark is bound to change the drums and fills, Jim is bound to change the bass and P will change his guitar and back up vocals.  When we practice this tune P has already added another guitar part in the verse and extra singing.  Good work.  Without sounding poncy, this my favorite part of being in a band - watching songs grow and change.  Actually scrap that, my favourite part of band life is playing gigs and getting drunk enough to forget how the songs go and what the words are.

Back to the song at hand.  This is first song that I wrote for this band and was penned before we got together.  It has a Teenage Bottlerocket feel to it as I had just started listening to "They Came from the Shadows".  I loved the simplicity of that record - it kind of sounds deliberately shit.  Well, to my ears anyway.  As the painfully obvious lyrics protest, this song is about growing old and not going out - not that I used to go out a lot anyways.  There was a time last year when I used to go around Phelim's a lot, play FIFA and drink beer.  Despite the somewhat tongue-in-cheek downbeat nature of this track, those were good times.  It seems that I am now being nostalgic about a time when I was feeling nostalgic.  Sigh.

As soon as this was finished I knew that Tindall would love it.  After all, he is name-checked heavily in the pre-chorus - who wouldn't love that?  I wish that I had finished the backup vocals for this as there should be another harmony over the top of the oohhs (or is it aahhs?) in the chorus.  Oh well.  Progress on this was halted as mum and dad came home and I did not want them to hear me belting out forlorn stories of about my lost 20s from my bedroom.

Enough of the ramble, here you go.  There are some notes in here that even the autotune couldn't save.  Sorry.  You have permission to wince in the same way that I do when someone hits a bum note on the X Factor.



South Africa


This is an old song.  I'm sure I remember Phelim playing this to me when we were at sixth form in Burnham Grammar.  That must have been 2001 or 2002.  We never really played this in Muffin or Japan4 but it was resurrected for Fugitive from the Tune and this is a recording from that era.  If anyone ever heard any FFTT stuff you may know that they were good songs but the recording was shocking - it's like Phelim decided to add a layer of white noise on top of all of the tunes he tracked.  He also decided to program crazy keyboards over every song and turn them right up in the mix which I guess is what gives these FFTT "sessions" their unique "charm".

This is a song for the broken hearted about a girl who shall remain nameless but if you know her then the original title of "Why don't you fuck off back to South Africa?" does not leave much to the imagination.  In fact I remember only calling it that as a joke to wind her up - there was no real malice in that title as we were all chums again when the song was written.  Happy days.  The lyrics are so straight forward they could be from a Janet and John book but that's how the big man rolls you gotta respect that.

Why play this song in The Jim Band if it is so old?  Well there are 2 reasons.  The first is that we love this song and it easy to play (I don't like to be challenged when playing live music!).  The second point is more important as Jim only agreed to join the band if we played this song and he is an important member of this band as without him there would be no eye candy.  God, he is gorgeous.

Anyways, dreamboat bassists aside, here you go.



Saturday, 27 November 2010

Sorry Mate


I have decided to start a blog for our band called "the Jim Band".  I would like to post these songs on Facebook but Jim had a paddy about them owning copyright etc so I have done this instead.  These songs are just demos and not finished.  Often you will hear me arguing with the autotune, often they will only be guitar and vocal, often they will only have a backing drum beat and more often than not they will be a bit rubbish.  If you have any suggestions as to how the songs could be improved (as long as that does not involve good guitar playing) they would be more than welcome.

Please don't tell me that i cannot sing.  I know this.  Phelim is a better singer but does not seem to be writing as many songs as me nowadays.  I guess he is just lazy.  I will try to give some kind of comment on what we have recorded and what they are about but to be honest, my lyrics (and Phelim's) are terrible.  You do not need to have a GCSE in English to understand what we are saying.  In fact, don't listen to the lyrics they will only disappoint you.  Just listen to the nostalgic sound of us desperately trying to recreate music we loved when we were at school.

I would like to play some gigs but we are not ready yet.  Phelim has a kid, Mark has 2 kids, Jim has a new house that he is doing up and we need to practice covers for Lara and Xan's wedding to make sure we do not embarrass anyone, so it may be a while before we actually play any gigs.  If we do play gigs soon please come down because chances are that we will not be ready and mistakes will abound so this could be entertaining.

Anyways, here is the first song that I am going to post.  It's called "Sorry mate" and it is the 2nd song that I wrote for this band.  As mentioned before, the singing is bad and I did not finish all the backup vocals (there should be more in the pre-chorus bit).  Maybe one day I will finish it.  It has a Alkaline trio feel to it, apart from the harmony guitar - that is pure Weezer.  If you had not guessed after the first listen, it is about Phelim being a plonker and thinking that he was going to be a rockstar when he was young and so not planning for the future.  Up until recently I never knew he felt this way.  I mean really felt this way.  Still, things have turned out rosy for him now and he has a wife and family.  Good on the big man.

I think it is good song, even if you don't.  Enjoy.