As Peach stated below, the "history record" has officially started! A lot of planning an preparation went into last night's practice. And my 4-track isn't getting a rest any time soon:
Demos. I spent all last week making 4-track demos of three brand new songs. The idea of the history record came from the writing of "Eli Whitney" last August. Since then, I have been conjuring up more songs, more songs than I can keep up with. I got started with "Whiskey Rebellion" because it seemed like a nice place to start.
In 1995, "Zero" was the first complete song written for the Smashing Pumpkins album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. Following that formula, I figured we needed a very upbeat and rocking song to kick all this off. Fast, rocking, and edgy always gets the juices flowing and the band excited. "Whiskey Rebellion" was perfect, which is why I began with this song first. Plus, it practically wrote itself. I used a drum machine to get the be-bop rock and roll feel across. Of course, Josh is going to do something better, but that beat alone has allowed the song to morph into its 2-minute, three-chord opus. Inspiration came at our show in Chattanooga back in November. Who knew the baritone player in Heaven's Basement was a history professor?
Among the other songs to come in the set are "Election: 1800," which is about the confusion that comes with electing a new president. Perfect timing I guess. It was written recently during the Obama campaign with Hilary.
Peach has written a song or two, but "Bob Dole" has been the only one to come into the light. It started off LONG and wordy, as many of Peach's stuff does, but after its 2nd revison, it's coming nicely. I didn't know what to do with it and sat on it until yesterday. No matter how many times I listened to the demo, it did not click...until last night! I made several changes to suit my needs and even re-arranged a few of the lines. Peach thinks all my songs are symmetrical, and it's the truth, but with pop songs, everything has to match, and thank god "Bob Dole" has plenty of room to breathe. Strong melody and and strong "chordy" chorus. Think Violent Femmes.....
"The Great Stink" was attempted several times in the summer but with no good results. Pressure from getting ready for a show has caused this one to sit since July. The extra time has evolved the lyrics and melody. There really isn't a start or stop. Bass lines and drum lines seem to be coming together. I get to use a chorus pedal on this song to produce the dream-like essence of staring across the polluted Hudson or Thames a la The Cure. Tha D is leaning towards a Murmur/Reckoning style Peter Buck guitar riff. This could be a favorite for us.
More to come in the song bank. Improvising has led to another song, and my 4-track is full of ideas. Stay tuned!