At long last, the wait is over. Time for this year’s Christmas EP! I was more prepared than usual this time around – This year’s songs were actually picked last year. Since I enjoyed the themed batch then, I decided to do it again this year (and next year, too – you’ll find out then). This year’s theme: Presents. Three of the four songs have “I Want” in the title and the fourth is the old chestnut that I somehow hadn’t touched until this, the tenth(!) batch. All the hallmarks are here, just waiting for you to find them. Enjoy!
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
All I Want for Christmas Is You
All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth
The 12 Days of Christmas
Recorded and mixed at The ‘Berger Joint, Rochester, NY, November 2017. Additional vocals/yelling in “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and “The 12 Days of Christmas”: Ed, Rob Klingenberger, Sarah Klingenberger, Adam Donnelly, and Brandon Fess.
After seven months, Distinct Hitting Motion finally reaches its end.
From the onset, this tune was going to be the longest one in the project. For one, it seems to make sense that the closing track is the longest… especially with how long most of the postseason games took. For another thing, I fully admit I was thinking a lot about the band Coheed and Cambria, particularly their song “The Light and the Glass” which clocks in at over eight minutes. Of course, I can’t sing nearly as high as Claudio Sanchez, but…
The lyrics were written in one night, the music was definitely not. The first half of the closing riff and the opening bit both came to me while I was at work – the benefits of teaching private lessons for a living! Musically, the biggest challenge was bridging the gap between those two parts. Lyrically, the biggest challenge was just getting started – that “struggle to find the words to say” line was both a snapshot of me at that moment and the catalyst I needed to get the ball rolling. Go figure, huh?
As always, thank you for listening! Feel free to share and let me know what you think. Have a good day and I’ll see you again soon.
We’ve made it to the semifinals. Time for something completely different!
I knew in this spot I wanted to do something poppy, especially after how the last song ended. Couple that with the fact that everything so far was played straight with no real shuffle/swing feel and this one nearly wrote itself. To really compliment this, I decided to gleefully ignore the music theory rules of diatonic harmony and go nuts with chords that “don’t belong” in the key of G. Lastly, I realized that the bridge was an excellent time to call back to the first song, complete with solo.
Lyrically, this one’s completely straightforward. They’re among the final four teams! Hooray! Too bad they’re losing…
This song’s recording trick (besides all of the vocals, most of which are intentionally buried in the mix): The guitar solo on this recording was the first take… but I felt it didn’t have enough dirt. So, solo’d the track, ran a cable out from my interface, and recorded the solo going through my Orange amp. It didn’t add a lot of dirt, but it was enough to separate it in the mix. Also, for you guitar freaks: The left guitar is the Gibson, the right guitar (and the solo) is the Telecaster. Both rhythm guitars had the pickup switch in the middle position. See if you can hear the difference!
As always, thank you for listening! Feel free to share and let me know what you think. Take care and come on back in two weeks for this project’s finale!
Dang. Just like that the regular season is over.
I decided quite a while ago – I think even as far back as August – that the best way to end the regular season would be with an acoustic instrumental. Good way to break things up after all the distortion, right? I’ve always enjoyed the acoustic songs in the middle of metal albums, so I figured why not. Also continuing a seeming tradition, I also used an alternate tuning – Open-D, to accommodate the lap steel guitar I used as the melody instrument. I also tracked some organ, but didn’t use the video footage of that.
As for the title… it seemed appropriate after being caught in two rain delays this season – one in Batavia and one in Rochester (the Rochester game wound up being suspended). The noise buried in the background is indeed rain, recorded from an open window in my studio space.
As always, thank you for listening! Feel free to share and let me know what you think. Enjoy your day and come on back in two weeks for something that starts quiet… but doesn’t stay that way!
Today, we enter some uncharted musical territory for me. In honor of my favorite baseball team occasionally being on pace for 100 losses this year, here’s a tune about being a “seller” at the trade deadline.
Blues rock is decidedly foreign territory for me. I’ve studied enough music to know the basics – twelve-bar phrase, sing a line, repeat it, then compliment it – but I’ve still never really dove into it as a writer. I probably wouldn’t have either until one day, bored at work… I started playing this riff. I fleshed it out a little more while I was still there, then came home and figured out how to end the song, and just kinda sat on it until the time came to write the lyrics. Finally, I’ll tell one on myself: The organ solo is one continuous take, the guitar solo is a combination of takes. I took multiple passes on both solos, the vocals, and the drums, leaving me with a lot of video footage to sift through.
As always, thank you for listening! Feel free to share and let me know what you think. Have a good week and come on back in two weeks for a new song featuring a callback to a previous tune!