Thursday, December 30, 2010

12-30-09 Ummm...

Kind of speaks for itself. Link.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

12-29-09 My Life In Show Biz

I have Evan to thank for the title. "Awesome" was doing a three-day stint for Winterfest at Seattle Center, playing in - you guessed it - the food court. Although it ended up being a surprisingly fun and loose set of shows, it was definitely one of the weirdest places we've played.

The song turned out pretty good, and has the distinction of having one of the saddest kazoo solos ever recorded.

12-28-09 The Girl Made Of Glass

This is my favorite song about a girl made of glass. Link.

Monday, December 27, 2010

12-27-09 When The Wind Blows

Windy day and everything is a kite. Link.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

12-26-09 Great White Shark

Nice riff, moody song. Nothing much else to say about this one. Link.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

12-25-09 Another Christmas Song

Merry Christmas, o tens of readers! Link.

12-24-09 For What

This one almost perfectly skirts that knife edge of truthfulness and artfulness, in my opinion. It's a really simple song about what I was doing and thinking at the time, but I think it manages to be compelling to listen to without sounding whiny. And in this song, I think the answer is in the question.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

12-23-09 Three Rivers

a sprightly guitar instrumental. Link.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

12-22-09 Four Rivers

Sheer absurdity. The title came from an internet pattern identification game to which Sarah and I are addicted. The song has nothing to do with the game. Link.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12-21-09 Stupid Stupid Fear

This one's pretty bleak. They can't all be happy and shiny. Link.

Monday, December 20, 2010

12-20-09 See The Only One You Can Find

Back in Seattle after holidays with the family. Interesting how the tone of the pieces changes from jovial to melancholic for this period.

The vocal line was a melody that had been brewing for some time. The lyrics were pretty much just placeholders, although I like their obfuscatory nature listening back to them now. Link.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

12-19-09 Chili Dump

This day last year was our early Christmas celebration with the Ackermann family. Instead of a traditional turkey dinner, the family does what is affectionately known as the Chili Dump - everyone brings in a pot of chili. Because what's better than chili for dinner? Three different kinds of chili, that's what.

My nephew Shane (who was in 8th grade when this was recorded) is the co-writer and co-performer on this one. With a song title like 'Chili Dump', it would be a crime if the song didn't have a hot trombone solo in it. Thanks, Shane!

Shane and Snuggie.

12-18-09 Beer & Bowling

It's a night out for the Ackermann clan, Milwaukee-style: brewery tour, TGI Friday's, bowling, and karaoke. An epic night. Everything in this song is true.

Friday, December 17, 2010

12-17-09 Chicken Foot

...And we move from Cribbage on to dominoes. We played this slightly maddening variation on traditional dominoes called Chicken Tracks. You can build off of other dominoes in groups of three to make patterns that look like - you guessed it - chicken tracks.

The reason it's maddening is that the tracks can be built off of any other domino, so that by the end of the game the table is a chaotic mess of dominoes pointing in all directions. Not unlike what real chicken tracks must look like. So the song is just a little bit maddening, too. I really love the way it turned out, though, especially the messy splats of high notes played on the wrong side of the bridge of the mandolin. Here it is!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

12-16-09 Summer Bees

Some nice imagery in this one. Channeling Dear Prudence a bit. I've never tried out fingerstyle picking on the mandolin before; it makes for nice textures. Link.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

12-15-09 Living In A Glass Box

I like that this song is fragile. The kind of song that someone actually in a glass box might sing, with lots of icy and pristine mandolin parts reverberating off of smooth walls.

And now, a Philip Glass Box:

12-14-09 Play It As It Lays

A song about getting along. Link.

Monday, December 13, 2010

12-13-09 Cribbage, Baby

I can't remember a time in my life when I didn't know how to play cribbage. It's in my blood. So whenever I go home for the holidays, the board is always out. So this song is my feeble attempt to sex up an ostensibly geeky card game. Those of you who have never played cribbage before, ignore the weird game references and just make sweet love to this groove. (Sweet lovin' groove courtesy of Garageband; all other sounds programmed by me.)

12-12-09 Why I'm Doing This

A reaffirmation of why it's important to me to do the song a day project, and to try to touch people with music in the first place. Link.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

12-11-09 Dr. Kegel

First night in Milwaukee = Friday Night Fish Fry. For those of you who didn't grow up in the midwest like me, the Friday fish fry is akin to a religious experience. Deep-fried lake perch (or cod, if you're a heathen), tartar, coleslaw, potato pancakes, applesauce. Nothing like it.

The neighborhood restaurant my family chose this time around was a cozy little place called Kegel's Inn. Now, of course, the name Kegel is probably a rather common German name, but I can't hear it without thinking about kegel exercises ('doing your kegels'). In this song, I think there's a subliminal (and slightly perverse) connection between Dr. Kegel's fish fry emporium and the kegel exercise, but I'd rather not think too hard about it.

Friday, December 10, 2010

12-10-09 Goin' To Milwaukee

...And now the baritone has turned into a full-on basso profundo. (Well, not profundo, let's say moderato.)

We were heading to my hometown of Milwaukee for the holidays. The song details some Ackermann family holiday traditions, at least up to the last verse.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

12-9-09 In Reverse

Throwaway lyrics. Nursing a head cold, so my froggy baritone vocals shine through on this one. Link.

12-8-09 In Bed

Sometimes you just want to stay in bed all day. Link.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

12-7-09 Hang Up

Back in April, Sarah and I had taken a trip to San Francisco to see our friends Aaron and Bronwyn. Aaron plays this wonderful bizarre instrument called the hang, a sort of inverted steel drum that is played by hand instead of mallets. (I recorded a couple pieces with it during the trip - here and here.)

While visiting Seattle, they bestowed on us a fantastic late wedding gift - a brand new Halo, which is the close cousin to the hang. That's the instrument featured in today's piece.

Monday, December 6, 2010

12-6-09 Carry The Water

The lyrics in this one are inconsequential, but I like the chord progression a lot. Future mining of this song may happen. Link.

12-5-09 Late Night

Stars and sidewalks. Link.

12-4-09 Madrone in A

Thanks to my friend Aaron for supplying the title for this one. Our conversation that night featured a lively discussion of Madrona trees and what makes a particular body of water a 'sound'. I decided to combine the two topics (in a somewhat hallucinatory fashion).

Saturday, December 4, 2010

12-3-09 North South East West

This is another West inspired piece. It's a wordplay song - four word phrases all beginning with the letters 'N', 'S', 'E', and 'W' (as if you couldn't figure it out from listening to it once). Although it's very simple and repetitive, there's something really alluring about this particular stream of consciousness. Some of the phrases would make great lyrical subjects.

12-2-09 I'm Waiting Here

Bluesy and inconsequential. Link.

Vicodin Taffy

The title of this song came out of a late night conversation/argument with Kirk and David. I'm not sure how the argument actually spurred the creation of the phrase, but it must have been a really interesting argument. It's a fun little bit of circus nausea. Link.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

11-30-09 Needing

A simple, pretty little imagined memory about longing. The $19 guitar makes another wistful appearance. Link.