Bare Knuckle Pickups Forum

At The Back => The Dressing Room => Topic started by: AndyR on September 17, 2014, 08:57:00 AM

Title: New Music From Me
Post by: AndyR on September 17, 2014, 08:57:00 AM
Took ages to get this one squeezed out. Couldn't play it, couldn't sing it, redid the guitars, piano, vocals, LOADS of times.

Eventually, got something I could live with. It's a bit long and ponderous (it has been called "Progtastic!!" by two independent reviewers - not quite what I was aiming at, but hey :laugh:). Starts quiet and has a big rumbling wig-out at the end... Is that the definition of "prog"? :rolleyes:

Yere 'tis: The Dressing-up Box (

Acoustics: Godin 5th Avenue
Electrics: Brian May Guitars Red Special
Bass: Fender Mexican Fretless Jazz

+ a bunch of numpty piano/strings, and a whole HEAP of vocal tracks...
Title: Re: New Music From Me
Post by: MrBump on September 17, 2014, 01:07:32 PM
Awesome - I really like that.  Hope you don't mind me saying, but it sounds very "prog" to me - almost Genesis-y.  But that's a good thing!!!

Title: Re: New Music From Me
Post by: AndyR on September 17, 2014, 01:15:33 PM
hehe - I'm learning to live with this "prog" thing  :grin:. It's funny, I wasn't even considering it while I was doing it. It was just a song with a false ending tagged on for a laugh - I was going to chop the end off and call it another song until it got some lyrics...
Title: Re: New Music From Me
Post by: Ian Price on September 18, 2014, 06:51:42 AM
Nicely done! I like that.
Title: Re: New Music From Me
Post by: Telerocker on September 20, 2014, 01:09:06 PM
Sounds nice. Well done. Sounds seventies in a good way. That's goes for the whole arrangement and songstructure. Maybe it could be a little more compact.
Title: Re: New Music From Me
Post by: AndyR on September 24, 2014, 10:05:28 AM
I hear the "Maybe it could be a little more compact." Big time! :grin:

The big outro was never part of the original song. It came about because I was jamming over the click while arranging the guitars and I kinda liked what happened.

I was agonising about including it, all the way up to the mixing/mastering stage.

There was something else I was going to do: I wanted "whispering Courtiers" over the repeating guitar figure that separates the two parts. But something like that is really difficult to achieve unless you've a script. And then when you have, it sounds stilted etc if recorded deliberately for the song...

There's a poem by Alexander Pope called "On a Certain Lady at Court" written about Henrietta Howard (the woman in the first verse and chorus here). That actually seemed a good idea. It's just too long to fit in the gap between song-end and outtro, so I looked at splitting it into parts for different Courtiers reading their bits simultaneously at each other, with the lines I wanted jumping out at you from the general whispered conversations. The last line, the "punch line" of the poem, "The woman's deaf and cannot hear" would have appeared with much clarity just before the drum fill...

But could I achieve it? Er... no :grin:

Ever since mastering and posting it, I have been haunted by the idea that maybe I should have tried harder to the whispering courtiers... I think it would have tied the two things together better... (and, er, made it even more "prog" :rolleyes:)
Title: Re: New Music From Me
Post by: Telerocker on September 24, 2014, 09:36:54 PM
Meant as positive feedback. I wrote a lot of songs in the past and they we're most of the time longer than 5 minutes. I heard the compact thing many times.
Title: Re: New Music From Me
Post by: AndyR on September 25, 2014, 06:12:11 AM
Yep, it was cool :grin:

I usually rigorous stick to 3 or 4 minutes myself unless there's a really good reason. Didn't quite feel that this had good enough reason... but I thought "oh who cares? I like it..."  :laugh:
Title: Re: New Music From Me
Post by: gwEm on September 25, 2014, 10:21:11 AM
I like your stuff Andy, thoughtful ambiguous lyrics. It is a bit proggy indeed (progtastic would be going too far IMO), but it still sounds like you. The short guitar solo at 4min is a real ripper. I always seem to end up reading a sexual angle into your lyrics.
Title: Re: New Music From Me
Post by: AndyR on September 25, 2014, 11:09:05 AM
I always seem to end up reading a sexual angle into your lyrics.

:grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:

I fell about laughing at this!

Alas, there is always a sexual angle... either deliberate or because, for some reason, I've always been a master of ambiguity and unintentional double-entendre. It used to really p1ss me off (when I was a teenager) that people thought I was saying "rude things" (when the rude meaning had never crossed my mind)... but I soon learnt to accept that it happened and use it in lyrics.

There's nothing intentionally sexual in this song - apart from the fact that the lady in the first verse was the Queen's Mistress of the Wardrobe and, for 20 years or so, also the King's Mistress (arranged by the Queen, so she had control over who had access to him).

Other than that, it was just straight stuff, no innuendo intended. But I am very aware that talking about clothes, concealment, revealing, and "wanting more" etc... kind of puts a physical slant on things! That's what I hear/feel as well... I kind of like an undercurrent of "we're all physical beings" in everything I write.
Title: Re: New Music From Me
Post by: Plenum n Heather on September 27, 2014, 11:32:54 PM
Looking forward to checking this out later.
Title: Re: New Music From Me
Post by: Plenum n Heather on September 28, 2014, 01:31:39 AM
That was very cool. Really didn't strike me as prog, sorry. Reminded me quite a bit of something from Uriah Heep or Trapeze, though -- which is AWESOME and a style I certainly can't do!

Title: Re: New Music From Me
Post by: AndyR on September 28, 2014, 10:49:43 AM
:grin: Oops! Uriah Heep - that's another one I hadn't thought of (I don't know much about them, but I did own one or two 2nd hand LPs from the 70s). The other day someone sent me a bunch of links to Styx, who I'd completely forgotten... Recently, over the last year or two, I've been discovering all these influences I have that I really wasn't aware of (some of them have been quite surprising and, er, horrifying... folks I don't appreciate too much - Sting, anyone?  :laugh:)

Yep, I was really surprised when folks started saying "prog", here and elsewhere.

We saw Kate Bush last night, and I found myself thinking "well, if she's prog, then so am I... but I don't think she is..."

My known "musical-influences" that I was drawing on when writing and recording this were:

Writing it:
Jethro Tull and, to some extent, Queen. It was mainly "folkie" though, with feelings of Jack Bruce and Cream on the chorus, possibly Robin Trower...
(That's the stuff I can remember)

Recording it:
Kate Bush - I'd just bought the tickets, and was listening extensively to her back catalogue on repeat to get ready to appreciate the gig 5 months later. I was very interested in hearing how she arranged and presented stuff - it was a lot simpler than I imagined. It was probably listening to her that gave me some of the more "theatrical" ideas, some of which I wasn't able to execute.
Queen - partly because I used the Red Special for the guitar parts, and that guitar just makes you think "hey, what would Brian May do?". Also, I'm always imagining a cross between Roger Taylor and John Bonham for a drummer. No idea how to actually reproduce him, but he's invariably what I want when I start the process.
UFO - I'd been listening to Strangers In The Night a lot, I love how they used to put these big melodic rock things together. I think some of the riffing hiding in the big outro was affected by this.

All I really do, I suppose, is write what I can to express what I want, then nick whatever ideas I can to try and present it - to make something I like myself. Sometimes it gets a bit involved, or beyond what I'm capable of doing. Usually, to me sat at my little desk, it ends up as a bit of a compromise that I'm not too happy with until I accept it as "ok, that's not too bad actually". Probably, this compromise is a good thing - if I'd actually achieved what I was aiming at, it would have sounded a bit derivative, too much of a homage or tribute to whoever I'm trying to copy at the time.

There is something I learnt this time... I'm really quite glad I don't do this for a living. Obviously, I always wanted to do it for a living... but I kinda realised during this one that I'm free in a way that only huge success would have allowed otherwise... I can do whatever I like and have a laugh doing it. I still have the "I hope people like it" worries, but they haven't got the additional external expectations and that "omigod, are they going to accept this? will it sell? what will the company/media etc think?" and so on...
Title: Re: New Music From Me
Post by: Plenum n Heather on September 28, 2014, 12:19:06 PM
Nice insights and I agree. It struck me more as folk-influenced rock than prog. In its loosest definition, any music not aiming to be commercial (or copy commercial music) is 'progressive' and in that context, this fits the bill. But prog, to me, is  another offshoot entirely with its own sub genres unto itself. 

The song concept itself is quite cool and if you could stretch this to, say a 3-part suite, each of that length, then I would say it was prog!  :cheesy:

However that doesn't diminish the fact that it still a really strong, cinematic tune. In retrospect I can hear the Kate Bush-isms.
Title: Re: New Music From Me
Post by: AndyR on September 28, 2014, 12:50:42 PM
Cinematic... Yes! That's a good word for it. Not one I'd have thought of myself, but yes...

And, I've just listened to it myself for the first time in a few days... and I can hear the Kate Bush in it a LOT stronger now! I would LOVE to hear the band I saw last night play it through the sound-system I heard last night.