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Saturday, April 3, 2010

16. "Tic-Tac-Toe" by Booker T & the MG's

Instant karma had gotten me. After carping about the difficulty of replicating a 12-bar blues instrumental two days ago, The Machine a choisi pour moi: a 12-bar blues instrumental! The thing here is that the real sparks on these kind of pieces fly in the interaction of the musicians, who in the case of the original recording are phenomenal; most days on 39-40, I'm just me, interacting with myself in the form of a recorded ghost. The interest has to come from elsewhere. So why not... add some lyrics?

What I did was, I took the not-Japanese lyrics from yesterday's track, fed them into a translation engine to make them, for the first time, actually Japanese, and then translated them back into English, and that's what I sang, in one take, devolving over time into an uncharacteristic growl which I certainly didn't dislike. One has to wonder to whom these words "belong" as intellectual property at this point. Kazutoshi Sakurai of Mr. Children certainly never actually wrote them, but neither, in any meaningful sense, did I. I have a little more authorship this time around because I did choose to double-translate them, but still little to no control over what came out. Wibbly wobbly timey wimey!

Rex Broome ~ Everything



Continuing more or less on from yesterday's notes, I thought this entry to be, at the time, rather badass. The complete lack of comments or feedback seem to indicate that I may have been overenthusiastic.

The conceptual-novelty hook didn't take, and that's fine. In the process I discovered a really dug-in rock vocal style I had never truly thought I had in me, and you can literally hear it come to life over the course of the performance. I won't argue that it's brilliant, but it was new to me and I wish I'd stumbled upon it sooner in my life.


Around the 3rd instrumental break, the guitar line is lifted from "Seven Chinese Brothers" by R.E.M. This is more or less accidental. What I did before I recorded the vocal was to set the "rhythm section" parts in motion, and then improvise over them for the duration on guitar (my putative primary instrument) and keyboard (on which I suck). On the guitar track, I must've gotten bored at some point and thrown the R.E.M. riff in there. After I printed the vocal, I went back and tried to drop the lead instruments in and out as if they'd been taking agreed-upon solo spots. By dumb luck, that wound up leaving the ripped-off riff center stage for that segment.

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