Sunday, March 16, 2008

Don't Judge Me

Hey, you don't know my process, man.

Once in a great while, I get a call from completely out of the blue, and a person (almost always the same person) asks me to make some music for a radio ad. It doesn't happen often, but it happens often enough that I've recognized a pattern, which I will now share with you.

First, some painfully vague adjectives are thrown about during the call. Then, I hang up feeling as if somehow I have less information than I had before the call.

Next comes a short period of procrastination and freaking out. This period can actually be quite lengthy, but is also often thwarted by the so-called "deadline".

When I've explored and exhausted all my procrastination options, I look for my capo. I know the capo is the answer.

Should the creative process at some point ever start to kick in, it'll be met by a frenzy of microphone cables tangling my feet, instruments that I lay on the floor and have to step over, and files with names I don't recognize scattered across my computer. And all of this will be met by a very nagging, tentative feeling. My idea could be sooooo wrong. These things have so far been just for small business owners who aren't about to take much risk with their image. It's really no time for "art", and it really doesn't matter how much time you've spent focusing on Rockabilly lately.

Mostly, I'm just trying to get the idea down before it goes away. I don't spend much time tuning instruments to each other or getting a sound. I'm trying to nail down that adjective, whichever one it was. And I'm trying to make it all end at sixty seconds.

So here's the idea as it happened, complete with mistakes. Wrong chords peppered amongst bass notes that also don't work. A drum loop that's just too damned loopy. A quick dose of "Pinball Wizard". You'll get the idea, anyway. More undressed than unplugged. If this is the wrong overall style, don't bother trying to make the shoes match the belt, if you catch my frisbee.

Yes, it's for radio, but I made a short video so you'd have something to stare at while you listen. Pretend it's the olden days and you're listening while trying to figure out just what the hell the cover of "News of the World" was all about.

And good luck with that.

video

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