Another practice. It was cold. It was rainy. It was productive.
"Election of 1800" seems to be an issue. I got a lot of blank stares and a lot of "I just don't know what to do with it." Sure it sounds similiar to other songs, but the chords are different, more complex, and the melody is one of the most difficult ones I have written. It took a lot of time to make this simple tune come alive. It started on the piano and then moved to the guitar. I might need to revisit the song on the piano. It could be the element we need to make it "work." Whether we play it live or not, it will be on the album. It's content is too good to pass up. Maybe a jazz arrangement? Big band? Lounge act? These are things we talk about but never put them into play because they seem silly. Maybe we are just that silly and need to approach it with a sense of humor. It is a very serious type song. It's not political, it just raises an issue America has been kicking around for 200 years.
I concur with Masta P on the Whimsical In Reverse tunes. I'm not exactly "done" with them, but there are two I would like to not play as much anymore. "Elephants" gets my vote. It's one of the oldest. I'm shocked it made it onto a record. It has served its purpose, but sometimes I don't enjoy revisting the reasons why I wrote that song. It means nothing now. "I Married A Zombie" would be the next to go, but I would keep it handy. I'm not keen using it as an opener anymore. Like "Elephants," it served its purpose 5 years ago. The film will never come out, and it's the last remaining reminder of the Ghostflower. Not in a painful way, but I have written better since then. All the rest are good to stay in my book. For awhile. They are new(er) than the other two and represent what the band stands for more than the others. The state of mind that went into those songs are something I'm going to try and use again when doing this new thing. We can't lose that foundation. "Alone (on the Make-Out Couch)" could be cut as well, but it represents the beginning of the band, and its the song that started it all. Therefore, it will get a longer life than some others. This is difficult because we are trying to get people to buy the record.
I have a problem with "Bob Dole." Not with the song, but with how it seems to be falling off. For such a simple song, it seems to be difficult. I don't want to lose it mostly because of how long I sat on it, and now that it has clicked, it's not clicking for the others. More Femmes will work. It could also be a "clean" rocker. I guess the direction is different, making it all seem different. The chord changes were necessary for me to sing it, and for such an upbeat tempo, it had to get cut for dragging purposes. We are not a boring band, and this is not a boring song. How many songs have you heard that have the words "Dan Akroyd" in it? Who writes a song about that guy?!?!? What has he done in the last 10 years to deserve a song? The answer: he made fun of Bob Dole. Good enough for me. It's another that seems to have the "I don't know what to do with it" problem. I should burn everyone a Violent Femmes CD. That should do the trick.
Time always seems to be an issue. I think we are cramming too much into a small hole. After these songs are "good," we should back off to one new song per show. Pressure is everything. There could be absolutely nothing wrong with any of these songs. We might just need to back down.
I have not talked about "Bring Out Your Dead/Bubonic Plague/Dance with the Dead/etc,etc,etc" yet. I'll save that for the next entry.