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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

320. "Heroes" by David Bowie

I'm not really sure I should even post this one, but what the hell. The only reason it sounds like it does is because my MOTU is acting up again. I was set to do the overdubs to the Skates & Rays version of "Into My Hands" for the Remote Luxury subproject... I had in fact dialed in a really nice sound for the 13-string and I was pretty psyched, but after about an hour of trying to get stable enough input to record a track, I pulled the plug. Meanwhile the band has a gig on Friday and we're doing two sets, so we'd decided to add some covers to the set, and I was planning on recording a few of them for 39-40 as memorization practice. I was now sitting in front of the computer with only its onboard mono mic open, with the 13-string in my hand and my Fender Twin about 20 feet behind me with a useless SM-57 pointing at it, and I decided to try to run trough "Heroes" (or should that be "'Heroes'", or even ""Heroes""?) in that most l0-fi of setups to see what happened.

I did a performance that I liked okay, but the lo-fi presentation seemed to need something more. Still not very committed to the idea, I prepped a second track and played a goofy lead part with exactly the same guitar and amp settings (it has one egregiously wrong note which I kept because it sort of reminds me of some Will Sergeant's more out-there breaks on Porcupine), but I couldn't quite settle it into any kind of stereo picture. A day later and with about the same level of enthusiasm, I popped the session open and opened the MIDI track that was already there, grabbed literally the first synth pad I saw on the menu, and played along with it live. This was the equivalent of one-finger playing, but even stupider, because I was just moving the cursor over a little icon of a keyboard. At this point it started to sound okay in a weird way to me, so I tweaked a few of the notes on the MIDI track and printed it. All I can really say in my own defense is that, personally, I've heard versions of "Heroes" that I like less than this one.

Personnel ~ Rex

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