Saturday, August 25, 2012

Early in the Morning

This is how it was early this morning looking north off the back deck of Ballistic Cabin. Maybe something to do with the marine layer they often mention in SoCal. The thick white cloud looks like a foamy ocean. I think the peak in the distance to the right is Cuyamaca, 6200 ft according to an unreliable source.

On my way down the dirt road, heading toward civilization, I drove through, then under, the cloud. Much of my life I've been accused of having my head in the clouds (better than up my...). I guess they weren't always wrong.

Whether it is the slightly cooler temperatures or something else, my mood is stranger than it has been in some time. It may be that sadness thing, but I'm not sure. I am too calm, and too resigned in a way that defies definition. Like a man a peace with himself and the world as he climbs the 13 steps up to the gallows. Bizarre.

Songs and Lyrics

Lately, I've done some experiments at Valley Music on Saturday nights. I'll take a song that I haven't been able to get get guitar players to work out, yet, and try to sing it, giving the bass player there a rough idea of a lead in line. I pretty much do know the key at least.

Then, I finish the singing and go off on the harp, and last time it worked into a bit of a jam. Still, I'd love to get the words fitted to a better melody, in most cases.

They decided to do an originals night on wednesday which prompted me to write something new. I have yet to try to present that. It did make me curious about what I have in the lyrics file, though.

After years of losing what I write, or throwing it away, I decided to type things on the computer and save them. Many are from many years ago.

I was surprised at the number of songs in there that are not too bad. There are some that need to be worked further, but they do have promise. Or I think they do. I'd forgotten most of them entirely.

When I was in Memphis, I'd email lyrics to the band, but I gave that up for two reasons. One was that I could not get G1 to shutup and try to catch the idea of melody I had in mind, and the other reason was that he'd try to jazz up the words. One of the tunes I found tonight was one he'd tampered with, then sent back, apparently. It was immediately obvious what he'd written; awful cliches which I'd never ever put under my name. Pretty funny. But it reinforced my choice to quit sending anything out.

The stuff is not as dark as I remember. Or maybe the music I hear now to go with it eases the impact. Lots of wimmin songs. One is called You Ain't My Baby, and one is called Baby, Don't Come Back. The last one is kind of funny. Most of the material does not have words like ain't and isn't filled with double negatives. Those two are probably exceptions.

I really like the one called Dream Lady. I totally forgot writing it. It is sappy in a way, but I'm a sap--in case I never mentioned that. I can see that one being a very pretty tune. Maybe even include a flute or one of these nice wooden flutish instruments I have sitting around. Nothing may ever come of it, but the one song that got halfway completed with the Memphis Snake Doctors, even though I was never completely at ease with the entire melody line, is their biggest crowd pleaser. They definitely do it differently than I would but it is still satisfying to know. It lends itself to singing, screaming guitar and free running instrumental.

I discovered that I reworked the lyrics of that tune and added several verses. I like it. One new bit goes like this:

they say the light of heaven
is for the pure of heart
and I know a moment
can be a work of art

some say my motives
were not pure and true
I say they're wrong
'cause I purely wanted you

Tough to figure that out with no context but that is the way it goes. I'm not going to put it all down here. It's a rocking song in Cminor. Almost an Aztec or Indian tom tom sort of beat. In my mind. What happens when it plays, who knows. When we had two guitar players in the Memphis band, the best instrumental they ever did was on that song. I loved the bass line and what those guys did. We should have worked on it more.

I will give a hint--one line in the song is kind of suggestive, depending on how it is taken. Again, there is context which may temper it a bit;
felt my body rising
like the flame of a fire

Hey, I didn't say stuff like "we knocked boots in my MPV", or any number of other equally odd phrases which have permeated the musical airwaves over the years.

One of the songs ends with, a good woman's worth a (blank) one's weight in gold. Haven't filled in the blank yet. There was a word, but I fear it would bruise feelings and make a few people uncomfortable. So, I'll replace that word with something else that works without causing such injury.

Most of the songs on Wednesday were face value and either somewhat comical in intent or about how my girlfriend left me, didn't like how I dressed, hurt my feelings, made me jealous, etc. They sounded like police reports describing the details of everyday, he-said-she-said life. One, somewhat comical tune was a good song I thought. Cliff wrote that. He has some great material.

What was the point of this post? I forgot. It must be another secret I am keeping from myself.

that reminds me, Valley really needs a business plan. If I could think of one, I could probably raise the capital to implement it. They are strapped---no significant inventory and no dough to get any, but not in debt. If I knew what woud sell right away, I might work something out. They've been in business 60 years, but between some robberies and such and just being asleep at the wheel, I suspect, they've fallen out of rhythm with the times. No way to compete with guitar center but they have lots of connections in the musician world and the open mic thing is getting better and better. The space is ample, they do give guitar lessons and such, but rent is becoming tough for them to cover. If only I had the vision of what would turn it around, I know I could put it into play and the owner would gladly work with me.

It is one of those times when I think, what would Mitt do? He's the only one I can think of that I hear has turned a company or two around. Joe would apply for a grant. Jesse would sue. Who is famous that could honestly, without tangling with government, turn such a company around? I know I can't think like Mitt. That might freak me out. Who then? Maybe that WalMart guy from yesteryear.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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