Mid-Month Ramblings

Gary and I have started working on the music for a tune I posted a couple of months ago, called No One In The World, a song I wrote about that horrible gaping feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you're alone and you know exactly whom you wish could fill it, even though you know they can't be there. It's a feeling I've had many times in my life, so it wasn't a particularly difficult song for me to wrap my head around, although committing those thoughts to paper took some doing.

I deliberately held off writing the music to go along with the vocal melody I recorded because I wanted Gary to have a chance to get his teeth into the song. It's turning out to be a little different than I expected, but that's alright as far as I'm concerned. I still think it will need tweaking to make it complete, but the song is about two thrids finished so far. Just need the intro, instrumental and outro.

Once Gary and I have had a chance to finalize the basic song, I'll try arranging it to sound more like the vintage we are shooting for right now, which is pretty much 1980-1983. That gives us an intersting palette to work with, and helps keep the work fairly focussed, even as it places specific demands on our musicianship that we've not previously taken on in earnest.

The point about writing, arranging and playing all of the songs in an early 80s style is really an effort to concentrate the new album into a style that still has some legs, but more importantly, will keep us from having to devote a lot of energy to playing cover material.

See, I've kidded most uncharitably that the reason Etcetera never played covers was because we were no good at it, and this is at least partly true. We weren't any good at it. I could fumble my way through about half of the Beatles catalogue and dicker with a few other tunes if I concnetrated, and Derrick could more or less play along to anything if it wasn't too complicated, but Gary was still learning to play back then, and Dave, our original bass player, had little interst in learning to play any cover material that didn't suit his emerging style, which ironically was very much in the vein of the music we're shooting for now.

And that's probably how I came upon the idea of Etcetera starting with 80s New Wave music. See, our tastes are pretty ecelctic, but happily, we all listened to a great deal of music from that period, and can empathize with the styles an sentiments of the era pretty nicely. Plus, it can be said that we've largely been in that mode of music making from the start, so this is merely owning up and gaining some useful direction.

Now happily, we're not trying to come out of this sounding like Gary Numan or Duran Duran clones. Our influences are broader than that, and encompass much of what made up British New Wave music in that period. Heck, we've even got our Yes and Genesis and Pink Floyd and Rush and King Crimson in there, since happily these bands were all in operation during that period.

What the final result will sound like I cannot say, but I do know that, even though we're on semi-hiatus again while we work out a new jam space, we've already made a considerable amount of progress in the past year. Listening to most of what we recorded in rehearsals still hurts my ears, but it amuses me to think that we did all of that after almost a decade of making practically no music, together or apart.

I think I might post some of the scraps from those recordings as well, even though I've kept them under wraps for a while now, due to their serious problems. I may have to listen to them a few more times and decide which recordings are safe to share, even though I know none of them are satisfactory.

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