Archive for May, 2014

More Mondegreens

Posted by on May 30th, 2014

More love for mondegreens (misheard lyrics).  Here are a few from people I know personally, including me.  Again, no names have been used, to protect the guilty.

Hannah/Barbera: “Meet the Flintstones”
Misheard lyrics: “Let’s ride with the family down the street/Through the courtesy of Fred’s Boutique”
Real lyrics: “…Through the courtesy of Fred’s two feet”

The Young Rascals: “Good Lovin'”
Misheard lyrics: “Doodle up!”
Real lyrics: “Good lovin’!”

Martin Briley: “Salt In My Tears”
Misheard lyrics: “You ain’t worth the salt in my ears”
Real lyrics: “You ain’t worth the salt in my tears”

The Flying Burrito Brothers: “Colorado”
Misheard Lyrics: “From a rat-hole”
Real Lyrics: “Colorado”

The Doors: “Roadhouse Blues”
Misheard Lyrics: “Back at the roadhouse they got some bumpy lows”
Real Lyrics: “”Back at the roadhouse they got some bungalows”

Carly Simon: “You’re So Vain”
Misheard Lyrics: “I had some dreams, they were grounds in my coffee”
Real Lyrics: “I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee”

Jerry Lee Lewis: “Great Balls of Fire”
Misheard Lyrics: “You broke my wheel, but what a thrill”
Real Lyrics: “You broke my will, but what a thrill”

John: During our Mother Zephyr days, I was wanting for the band to play a few more upbeat, danceable pop type songs. I was playing a guitar at home one day, and the beginnings of the song just came out, along with the first line of the chorus (“I’m getting of tired of waiting for you to make up your mind.”) By the way, the “you” in that line is actually me. It is a recollection of the days when I was trying to decide how to proceed in the relationship with my then-girlfriend (and now wife and mother of our 3 year-old daughter Anna) Inge.   So I guess you can see how that worked out.  🙂  The lyrics in the chorus are all mine, but I could never come up with anything satisfactory for the verses, so bandmate Joe Arrington of Mother Zephyr actually wrote those.

Skeleton CrewWe’re just about ready to start a new series of Stories Behind the Songs for the Skeleton Crew album.  We’re going to do it a bit differently than with Transposition, however; instead of in order of appearance on the album, we will go in a more arcane order.  Just to mix it up, you know.

As the band Mother Zephyr was in its last days, John and I began wondering what to do next.  We both had completed songs we wanted to properly record, some of which had been played live by Mother Zephyr and some new songs were brewing, too.  We decided to resurrect Chameleon Red, dormant since 2009, and record the songs as that band.

We did some recording in the summer of 2012, though it was pretty late that year, after Mother Zephyr’s last show, that we really began recording full steam ahead, still writing songs all the while.  Recording extended until mid-June 2013; by that time, we had more than enough songs to fill an album.  We shot quite a bit of video while recording.

By happy coincidence, I was taking mixing and mastering classes back-to-back in the spring and summer of 2013, which came in handy when finishing up the album.  We selected the tracks and title for the album and commissioned Caitlin Rose Davis to provide cover art, toward the end of the recording sessions.  Because of changes in my schedule, completing the master took longer than expected; that was finally finished in October.  We delayed production of the CDs a bit longer in order to have the finished Chameleon Red logo, created by Mark Ray, on the CD itself.  The album was officially released in mid-January of 2014.

Slicker Than Slick

Posted by on May 2nd, 2014

You know, there’s produced, and then there’s overproduced.  When I hear the latest radio fare, be it rock, “country” (quotes because pop country is really bad 80’s rock), or especially pop music, I’m really struck by how overproduced most of it is.  To ears that can hear it, all the sounds have been compressed, pitch corrected and processed until they barely resemble sounds that occur into the real world.  I actually get agitated when I hear pop music, with anger and revulsion.  Yes, my reaction is that visceral, and that may be hard for many to understand.  For an analogy, consider images of men and (mostly) women in glossy magazine ads.  Many of the images are so Photoshopped that they seem to depict Barbie and Ken dolls rather than actual human beings.  I think both the Photoshopped images and the overproduced music betray a cultural obsession with perfection.

I think the Photoshopped images foster an unrealistic expectation of bodily perfection in oneself and others.  Hello, anorexia, bulimia, and obsession with plastic surgery.  Similarly, overproduced and overprocessed music set an unrealistic expectation that musical performances be “perfect”.  Overproduction is not a new problem, but I think it’s one reason that you almost never hear live music in dance clubs and many other venues anymore.  And I think it discourages people from playing music as amateurs or professionals, because no matter now good you are, you’ll never play perfectly.

Fortunately, I see signs that not everyone is taken in by the airbrushed reality we are sold in current mass culture.  There is righteous anger in the air over the slick images we see, the overprocessed food we eat, and, at least where I live, reclamation of older musical forms and live music.  “I’m so tired of plastic faces on every screen; the real world is marked with scars…” Hope springs eternal.

Now that I have that off my chest–have you seen the “Impatience” video yet?