Songwriting, Founding Fathers, and Bucksnort

No baseball content today.

Not That Anyone Asked

One of the "real-world" projects I’ve been working on during this hiatus involves the writing of some original songs. I’ve been experimenting with weird chord voicings (things like playing the third or the fifth an octave higher than normal, or playing the same note simultaneously on two adjacent strings for that Byrds/REM jangly sound–always a favorite). Specifically, I’ve been letting the melody dictate the harmony, which is what Western classical composition theory teaches, as opposed to the other way round, which is what hacks such as myself usually do.

The thing is, I tend to write a song (well, parts of a song), play it to death so I’ll never forget it, then let it go for months or even years. Then one day I’ll be practicing scales or learning a piece for my band, and something will remind me of the song. So I’ll try to reconstruct it as best I can from memory (the theory being that if I can’t remember it, then it must not have been very good in the first place). Then I scribble down some notes on the back of an envelope (sometimes it’s even the same envelope on which I initially wrote the piece), play it to death again, then let it go again until the next time I feel compelled to play it.

But lately I’m thinking it might be cool to record some of this stuff. Part of the problem is that many of my songs are really just fragments. They tend to be passable on the music side and something less on the lyric side. One piece that’s been collecting dust for a few years is about picking up a lawnmower at Sears and contains the following line that only a mother (or a bad songwriter) could love:

Merchandise pick-up and drop-off
Took longer than Yuri Andropov
Stayed in office

And that’s one of the more coherent lyrics I’ve written. So, no, I don’t plan on quitting my day job any time soon; thanks ever so much for your concern. On the somewhat brighter side, at least I’m not trying to write a musical based on Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar or the life of Jack the Ripper. Not at the moment, anyway.

At any rate, I’m currently working on a piece that employs some unusual (for me) chord voicings. The lyrics are based very loosely on a line from Sling Blade, which I just recently saw for the first time. I’m guardedly optimistic about it, although what exactly I mean by that isn’t altogether clear to me. I enjoy playing it; it sounds reasonably good to me. Right now that’s good enough. Maybe someday I’ll record so other people can listen to it. Maybe not.

So there’s a little look at what my life is like when I’m not writing about baseball. Pretty exciting stuff, eh?

Founding Fathers

Next, with blatant disregard for such high-minded concepts as the segué and with little bearing on anything in particular, I present the following, which has been spreading around blog circles:

Which Founding Father Are You?

Lucky me. I can only hope I meet a better end than the esteemed Mr. Hamilton.


In yet more desk-clearing, transition-ignoring, mind-numbing news, thanks to a poster to Baseball Primer, I’ve found my new mission in life: a pilgrimage to Bucksnort, Tennessee. Man, that’s cool. Anybody been there? Talk to me.

And finally, here are a couple of amusing sites of debatable consequence (kinda like Ducksnorts):

As you can see, I do grow a bit restless when I’m on hiatus. Thanks for indulging and/or enduring me.


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