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Thursday, May 13, 2010

56. "Misery" by The Beatles

I'm not typically on the "drum machines have no soul" bandwagon... too damned much excellent, emotive and, yes, extremely soulful music has been made with electronic or artificial rhythm tracks for way too long now for that idea to hold any water. But I do love drummers, and never moreso than this week, for one simple reason: you can describe a "feel" to a human drummer, a swing or jumped-beat rhythm or just something loopy and off-beat, in a couple of seconds by making spitty noises with your mouth or whacking the muted strings of your guitar, and he or she will either get it right away or turn out not to be a drummer you especially want to work with. By contrast, it takes (me) hours to wrestle a cut 'n' pasted drum track into the shape I require, particularly on tunes I've written myself since it's rather imperative to impart the feel on those, as nobody's heard them before. And apparently, or at least lately, I write a lot of songs that jump beats all over the place.

And so today up pops the second song on the first Beatles LP. It's got a bit of a shuffle to it, and I didn't feel like teaching The Machine to be Ringo, so I soloed it. And it was cool. I looked around for some instrumental idioms I'd not yet used on 39-40 and quickly came up with nylon-string guitar and a bit of acoustic slide work on a 12-string. I hadn't done the former yet because I just hadn't thought of it, whereas the latter I've eschewed because I suck at it. The best and most gratifying part of this one was singing it. I like it when that happens.

Personnel: Rex

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