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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

5. "Ice" by The Screaming Tribesmen

When The Machine selected this one for me, I didn't know much about The Screaming Tribesmen other than that they were an Australian punk/new wave band, and that information was gleaned from the album title ascribed to this track in my iTunes library: Australian Punk & New Wave Compilation. I'm pretty sure that was creatively assigned by me to a poorly tagged compilation of just such material I found online at some point.

In any case, it's a bit of an angry pop song, and it suits my mood today. Thing is, it's pretty much perfect the way it is. So I decided to latch onto the title of the song and give it somewhat more of a stark, wintery treatment. The guitar solo was added almost literally by accident. I'm also pretty sure this is the first time I've sung any profanity on 39-40. Hope you're into that kind of thing!

Rex Broome ~ Everything



Again, the cover artwork was recreated because it was pretty easy to do, seeing as how the contrasty B&W image was fairly easy to reconstruct around the new red splattery letters of the blog title. In itself no big deal, but I had yet to truly appreciate what I was setting myself up for. It's fairly involved on a daily basis, so I will run it down for you:

1) Do the song. This is of course terribly involved in itself: listen to it, learn it, make arrangement decisions, record it, keep adding overdubs if necessary, mix it. Huge deal, really.

2) Output it to the disc. Add it to iTunes library.

3) Make copy of original song being covered as well. Retag it as part of the "39-40: Source Material" album with the appropriate track number, "5" in this case.

4) Create artwork for cover version. This can be simple, or, as we shall, see, really really not.

5) Edit and add tags to the file for cover version, incuding adding artwork and getting all the credits and track number right, and deleting garbagey tag artifacts left on the info from the creation process, etc.

6) Upload original and cover version to, the universal storage ground for all 39-40 files.

7) Create blog entry. Upload artwork files, write textual meanderings, etc., following the fairly rigid formatting restrictions I've placed on myself.

8) Link the blog to the song files on cinemelon.

9) Make sure the date of the post tallies with when it's supposed to be.

10) Publish the post, hoping I haven't screwed up any of the above.

11) Create a link to the post on Facebook, which is the primary venue of traffic and the place where my regular followers expect a heads-up that a post has appeared.

So that can take a while.

As to the recording here, it's the first time I tried a strategy I would fall back on in a pinch frequently during the first half of the project, until I, without really premeditating it, basically just stopped: I played along with the original track in the headphones. This seemed at the time to make life easier in terms of remembering the structure of the song and, at times, turning the corners on some of the less intuitive bits of the more sophisticated vocal melodies I had to tackle. Listening to this one in the car recently, it sounded pretty decent, nice and taut for a minimalist reading of a rocker, and the lead guitar parts coming out of nowhere worked fairly well. I got a pretty fair sneer on for the vocals, too. I'd call it an early success.

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