Back in 2011 I wrote, "35, 17;" I recorded most of it in 2013 and put additional frills into it over the year that followed. I really hoped I'd get it professionally mixed and mastered by the time I turned 35, but I never made it happen; today, a day before I turn 36, I feel a little desperate about releasing it in one way or another, so here it is. It's mixed a little quietly and not mastered at all, but I feel as if time is of the essence here.
If you follow my musical endeavors, you've probably heard it before: I performed it for that Tractorgrease Studios thing almost two years ago to the day. I'd post the link, but the video really embarrasses me; despite an excellent guitar performance, I had a cold and my voice sounds terrible, and I even screwed up on some of the words. So here's the "studio" version of sorts, rough throughout, but acceptable.
I never meant for the song to be prophetic in any way. In it, the speaker begins a relationship because he feels lonely, and despite it giving him life for a bit, eventually the passion fades and the couple splits up—at age 35. And here, as I get ready to leave 35 behind me, I find myself also alone again, "boxes filled and stacked to the ceiling, […] my memory reeling." Of course it's not word-for-word analogous, but it sure feels weird to hear the lyrics from this side of 35, even though I wrote it when I was 30.
The guitar riff had been sitting around for a year and a half or so before the words came together. I wrote most of the lyrics over a two day span while we lived at an RV park, weeks after we'd sold our house in Hope. It's pretty rare for me to write lyrics in such a short period of time, but they just came together this way. It's a bona fide expression of emotion from me, something that doesn't happen very often. This time it worked out to give me one of those songs with loads of narrative gaps, but a concise, lyrical story laced with a smatter of vignettes. I actually take pride in this set of lyrics.
Recording-wise, I wanted to keep it simple. I laid out the drum machine track with I still lived in Hope, and the synth track when I lived in Smithers in 2011-2012. I recorded the guitars at my brother's house in the summer of 2013, and the vocals later that winter in Agassiz. I may have redone the vocals a few times over the year that followed, but I can't quite remember. Beyond that, the only additional frills were the ride cymbal (recorded in Agassiz at the school) and the synth pad, which I believe I recorded in Chilliwack, although I can't quite be sure without the files in front of me. I tried to record a new bassline last night, but I wasn't happy with it, so the simple one will have to do. It was a long process for such a musically simple song.
Anyhow, it's rough, but I turn 36 tomorrow and I don't want to hate the song, so I'm posting this mix now. It might be the most pure expression of the disappointment of dislocation and heartbreak that I've ever written, and perhaps may ever write. Enjoy my melancholy.
A while ago, I posted about a recording I made for a Michael Knott Tribute project. Here's how it worked out:
I admit that I should have chosen a more subtle snare, and I should have made a more interesting bass part, but what's done is done. I can pick it apart, but I think it's an OK contribution.
Today I recorded a performance of "35,17" at Tractorgrease Studios.
I don't really want to write about the performances until I hear which one Jeff chose for the video. I'll be sure to post the video here, of course, and I'll be more willing to write about it then.
I played somewhat well. It was a little rough around the edges, of course, but I feel as if I turned on the charm and played a few good riffs. If anything the performance was unique, I hope. I look forward to hearing how a Jeff-live-performance sounds when it's professionally recorded.
Also, yesterday I learned that my mix of "Pound of Flesh" was accepted for the Michael Knott Tribute CD. I sent a mixed wav file and look forward to hearing how it gets mastered.
A few weeks ago, I posted about how I've been working on a track for the upcoming Michael Knott tribute album. I just sent Joshua Lory the rough mix. I'm hoping it makes the cut because it was a lot of work, but I won't be overly disappointed if it doesn't make the cut because I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to mixing. Here's what it looks like right now.
I'm on the tail-end of getting my demos done. I only have a couple more things to put together before I can take it to my cousin for mastering. Here are the couple of the remaining tasks:
That's about it. Then I can do my best to mix it before I take it to Kelly for mastering.
However, it doesn't look like I'm going to get to turn it into a CD any time soon. The strike took a good chunk out of my regular income and recent car trouble took a further chunk out of any selfish endeavors for a few months.
In the meantime, I've been uploading all of Once and Over Again to BandCamp.
I also sang a few songs at the open mic night at Tractorgrease Cafe a few weeks ago. The originals were well-received, so that's encouraging.
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