New New and Old New

I have two bits for you today. One is a new recording of an old song, the other is the chorus of a new song.

Firstly: a new recording of an old song. It is a silly song. I should also put in a TRIGGER WARNING for domestic violence.

It is a short song, and so ideal for experimenting with. I recently installed GarageBand on my iPhone and used this song to take it for a test spin. Vocals and piano were recorded through the iPhone’s built in microphone (hence a bit of background hiss) and the “viola” was “played” by “me” (those last “” were a little unnecessary, but hey, I was on a roll) using GarageBand’s Smart Strings tool. All recording and editing was done on the phone. Ain’t technology wondrous?

Secondly: a (bit of a) new song. I’ve only recorded the chorus so far. Indeed, I’ve only written the chorus so far. And it doesn’t even really make sense without a verse preceding it. But I’m such a flighty songwriter that once I’ve lost momentum on a song, I find it very difficult to go back to. So this might well be all this song ever is.

This one was recorded in through my laptop’s built-in microphone, with three vocal parts and two guitar parts on top of a drum loop and some kind of synthesized “medieval recorder” (GarageBand’s words, not mine).

And now, the Lyrics, such as they are:

Broken
You broke my heart
So I broke your arm
It is clear to me
That you did more harm.

I broke your heart
And you broke my leg
I was the one
With forgiveness to beg.

Life Lessons
That’s not a metaphor
It really was on fire
Literally on fire
My life is a metaphor
My life is a metaphor
My life is a metaphor.

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Hello again

I seem to have let this blog go a bit. Sorry about that. My last post was a bit cryptic and I never followed through. Basically, I’ve now got a website for mobile phones, featuring my soundcloud, Facebook, Twitter and blog feeds in one handy place! Point your browser at katzette.mobi.at or scan the QR code with your phone:

QR Scan

 

 

 

Anyway, on with the show. Since moving back to the UK, I no longer have access to my old cassettes or a decent guitar, so I haven’t got any new – or old – music for you.

Having said that, looking back over my old posts, I see that neglected to post about the release of the Lemonheads fan tribute series, the Squealing Fans Covers Project. Well, here’s the hot news: The Lemonheads fan covers project got released! In December 2010. I’m only a year and a half late.

At the final count, I had 6 songs included. You can download the entire collection (covering 8 of the Lemonheads’s albums) here (although you will need to register on the forum to get access to it). My six songs you can find right here:

And these are the Lemonheads versions:

I Am A Rabbit:

Dawn Can’t Decide:

Plaster Caster:

Hate Your Friends:

Favorite T:

Being Around:

I’ll try to have something else up here soon.

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Watch this space…

I have a new twitter account: @katzette.com. I also have a new Facebook fanpage.

I have a new… thing… in the works, too. Watch this space.

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6 Word Review: My Morning Jacket – Circuital

The aptly named “Circuital”. Press repeat.

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Baby Now

*SPOILER ALERT* Listen to the song before you read this blog! *SPOILER ALERT*

I have written a lot of very short songs in my time. There are a number of reasons for this.

To begin with, I sometimes have quite a short attention span when it comes to writing – particularly songs. I start writing, then get distracted, and never quite get back in to the mindset I was in when I started working. I find it very difficult to go back to a song once I have left it.

Secondly, and somewhat relatedly, I get bored with my songs quite quickly. Or rather, I get worried that anyone listening to them will get bored. So instead of doing something interesting with them – like putting in a middle 8, for example – I just stop working.

Thirdly, I have a habit of basically summing up everything I wanted to say in the song in a line or two – everything else I write after that just feels tautological and repetitive. (Do you see what I did there?) My songs are not usually narratives, they are one-liners.

This song is a joke. A satire on the use of ‘baby’ in popular music. That’s pretty much all there is to it.

I originally wrote and recorded a version of this song back in 2003, with one guitar and three vocal parts. I could never listen to that recording without adding drum fills in my head – I always fancied doing a “full band” version it, and now, thanks to the magic of Garageband, I have. The new recording adds drums, bass and lead guitar into the mix.

Here, have the original 4 track demo:

Baby Now

Baby, baby now {x3}
Whooooooaaaa!
Baby, baby now {x3}
Whooooooaaaa!

Stop your crying now, {x3}
Whooooooaaaa!
Stop your crying now, {x3}
Whooooooaaaa!

What do you want from me?
Baby, baby now
What do you want from me?
Baby, baby now
What do you want from me?
Baby, baby now

Baby, baby now.
I’ve changed your nappy {x5}

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Childhood Song

This song was originally written when I was in my first year of university, but then packed away and forgotten about for four years. I found it again and couldn’t remember how it went, so I wrote a new country-folkish finger-picked tune for it. Unfortunately, I’ve never been particularly good at finger-picking. It was the first song of mine I offered up to my then-new band, The International Language Of Mime. Luckily, The International Language of Mime version features minimal picking. It was the first song we ever recorded together. Here is that recording, from 2001, captured one autumn afternoon in Dom’s bedroom – briefly interrupted by Dom’s Scooby Doo ringtone.

I remember at one particularly shambolic gig at The Pony in Melbourne, we attempted to perform an impromptu Thrash Metal version of the song. We got about halfway through, when Ev’s bass pedal came off the drum, and the song sort of petered out. I don’t have a recording of that, but I do have a sloppy studio recording we did, featuring slide guitar and harmonica.

The Mime version was much more upbeat country pop than my own original recording. Compare and contrast:

Also, apologies for the bad American accent.

At the time, my mum tried to convince me to sell the song to a boy band, so I could retire and live off the royalties.

And as a bonus, have a snippet of the Disney version from one of our rehearsals – Donald Duck on lead vocals and guitar, Mickey Mouse on backing vocals, (with Erin on bass and Dom on Drums).

The disgust shown by Nathan at the end is because my Donald Duck impression caused me to slobber uncontrollably all over the microphone. Nice.

Childhood Song

When I sit alone at night
With the feeling that something ain’t right
I’ll sing you your childhood song

When you’re feeling low and blue
I have something that may help you
I’ll sing you your childhood song

Your childhood song
Fixes what’s wrong
Your childhood song
Your childhood’s gone

When your life just isn’t going,
I’ve got the stuff to get those memories flowing
I’ll sing you
Your childhood song

Your childhood song
Fixes what’s wrong
Your childhood song
Your childhood’s gone

When those around you lose their heads,
It’s better to look back instead*,
I’ll sing you your childhood song

Your childhood song
Fixes what’s wrong
Your childhood song
Your childhood’s gone

When you’re feeling crap and shitty
I’ll save you with this reminisce ditty
I’ll sing you your childhood song

*The original line, as heard on the original demo above, was the embarrassing “Gotta think fast to not be dead”. What?


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Emily

To quote my own introduction to this song at International Language Of Mime gigs, this is about a friend of mine who wishes to remain nameless. It’s called Emily.

I originally wrote this song towards the end of 2001 as a birthday present for her, but neglected to actually write down the words anywhere. So after I had recorded it on to cassette and given it to her as a present, I thought I’d better write it down and record it for myself for posterity. Unfortunately, I had totally forgotten the second verse, and had to write a new one. I still can’t remember the original version.

At the time I wrote it, I had recently been listening to the song Galveston. I think you can hear the (not particularly subtle) influence, which was totally subconscious and unintentional on my part. See if you can spot it (although our song was more punk-pop than Glen Campbell’s country classic – my next post will be about our country effort).

I was speaking to Emily my friend who wishes to remain nameless the other day, and found out that she was pregnant! So to celebrate, I thought I’d share this song with the world.

I have numerous versions of this song lying around, but I’ll share two of them with you here. First, a version recorded at home by me (guitar, bass and all vocals) on my laptop, with a simple drum loop in the background. The second features the International Language of Mime in a rehearsal studio, recorded onto a friend’s 4-track mini-disc recorder (remember mini-discs?). It was our very first session with our new drummer, Evelyn – who has since gone on to be better known as Pikelet – and features Nathan on lead vocals, with Ev on drums and backing vocals, Dom on bass, and me on guitar and backing vocals. This song was always a crowd favourite at International Language of Mime gigs, and is a lot of fun to play.

Emily by katzette

Emily by The International Language Of Mime

[ETA I’ve just remembered that I’ve got photos from this recording session lying around somewhere. I’ll try to dig them up and share them here. Watch this space. OK, you can stop watching now.]

Emily

1,2,3,4,1…

Emily, oh Emily
It’s clear to see you care for me
I care for you
Ooh ooh ooh

Emily, oh Emily
You’re always there to carry me on
Through
Me and you

I’ve let you down in the past
But you’ve always forgiven me
Eventually

You’ve got the biggest heart I know
And you think positively
Emily, Emily, Emily

Emily, oh Emily
It’s clear to see you care for me
I care for you
Ooh ooh ooh

Emily, oh Emily
You’re always there to carry me on
Through
Me and you

I’ve let you down in the past
But you’ve always forgiven me
Eventually
When it’s time to go well you know
I’ll be waiting patiently
Emily, Emily, Emily
Emily, oh Emily
It’s clear to see you care for me
I care for you
Ooh ooh ooh

Emily, oh Emily
You’re always there to carry me on
Through
Me and you

Aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…
Aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…

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I Love You

I originally wrote this blog a couple of weeks ago, but then couldn’t remember where I’d put the recording of the song. I found it today, so here it is.

Technology.

I have a love/hate relationship with technology. I’m sure you do too. This morning, I was feeling angry and helpless and devastated and lost, because my external hard drive – with 500GB of files, photos, videos, audio, creative work, etc – stopped working.

OK, so it wasn’t quite as simple as that. It didn’t just stop working. I got my foot caught in it’s cable, it flew across the room, and then stopped working.

But then technology came to the rescue, in the form of The Internet. I’m sure you’ve heard of this marvel of the modern age. If not, I highly recommend you check it out. It brought unbridled joy to me this morning, just when I was most in need of it. I was literally jumping around the room in excitement when I found this: The Rutles – Lunch. To put it mathematically, Lunch is to The Rutles as the Cirque du Soleil’s Love is to The Beatles. It is a labour of love by a Rutles fan with time, patience and dedication to spare. And for this, I thank him, truly, madly and, indeed, very deeply.

The Rutles, for those of you who don’t know, are a Beatles ‘spoof’ band, conceived by Eric Idle (from off of TV’s Monty Python), with music by Neil Innes (from off of music’s Bonzo Dog (Doo Da) Band and TV’s Monty Python). There have so far been two Rutles films (the second, Can’t Buy Me Lunch, is by all accounts a stinker), and while I enjoy the original film, for me The Rutles’ albums are where it’s at. Like the films, there have been 2 Rutles albums. Unlike the films, however, the second Rutles album is amazing. It is one of my favourite albums of all time. Really.

In 2002, I used to perform a cover of a song from the second album at open mic nights around Melbourne. This is The Rutles’ version:

This is my home recording, sitting on my bed in my makeshift bedroom in North Fitzroy, direct onto minidisc (remember minidiscs?):

I Love You (Neil Innes)

Every time I see you walk by
There’s a certain look in your eye
And your smile says there’s something that I
Should tell you
Every time we meet we say “Hi”
“How’s it going?” “Fine” we reply
But I wonder what would happen if I
Could tell you…

I love you,
I love you

I don’t know why it is or what you do to me
Vocabulary-wise with you I’m all at sea
Every time I’m with your I try
I’m not a shoe-gazin’ kind of a guy
But somehow I just come over too shy
To tell you

Why can’t I tell you how I feel
It’s so absurd
Why does my tongue get tied on three little words?
I feel as if I’m falling apart
Do I blame my head or my heart?
Because I stop every time I start
To tell you

I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you,
I love you.


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The Weekend

OK, now we get down to it. This is what I started this blog for. I recently purchased my self one of these:

The other week I dug out a few of my old cassettes, and set about digitising them. Here is the first of the fruits of that digital harvest.

I wrote the song around August/September 2001. It is about the awesome time I had just had at the Reading Festival. This was potentially (my memory is a bit hazy) the first song I wrote as a member of The International Language Of Mime. I recorded this song shortly after I had finished writing it – it was very late at night and I was playing and singing very quietly, and very close to the cassette player. I was also incredibly tired, and you can hear my voice cracking a few times. I think the late night tired vibe comes across, and I quite like it. It appeared in the early set lists of The International Language of Mime, but soon dropped out of it, because I wasn’t very good at singing it when I wasn’t really tired.

I have been accused of ripping off the tune from Oasis. I strongly deny this accusation. I ripped off the tune from The Moldy Peaches (let’s just say I was ‘inspired’ by them, shall we?).

I have included two versions for you: the original home recording, and a recording from an International Language Of Mime* rehearsal session.

Let me know what you think.


The Weekend:

I had a really good weekend, baby,
I want to thank you for the weekend, baby,
I had a really good weekend, baby,
With you.

You made me laugh, you made me smile,
You made me sing for a while,
I forgot my watch had a dial.

You made me dance, you made me shout,
You made me run all about,
I forgot I ever had a doubt.

You made me jump, you made me shake,
You always make me double take,
I forgot it was getting very late.

Doo doo doo…

I forgot it’s getting late,
You always made me double take,
You made me jump, you made me shake.

I forgot I had a doubt,
You made me run all about,
You made me dance, you made me shout.

I forgot my watch had a dial,
You made me sing for a while,
You made me laugh, you made me smile.

I had a really good weekend, baby,
I want to thank you for the weekend, baby,
I had a really good weekend,
With you.

*the Mime line up at this stage was Dom, Dan, Nathan and Gavin


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Dawn Can’t Decide

I learnt to play guitar by listening to Lemonheads albums and playing along. I played the It’s A Shame About Ray album on repeat for many months, frequently pausing and replaying tracks, trying to catch what chord or note came next – it must have been incredibly annoying for my family, but generally they just let me get on with it.

Four or so years ago, I stumbled upon a Lemonheads fan-site that had put together 2 fan-made tribute albums: Squealing Fans In My Tune volumes 1 and 2 (named after the Lemonheads song Ceiling Fan In My Spoon) – featuring covers by fans from across the Lemonheads catalogue. Following that, the fan-site started organising the Squealing Fans Covers Project, with the aim of covering every song on every Lemonheads album released (2 new Lemonheads albums have actually been released since the project started, the latest ironically being a covers album). One album has so far been covered and released in its entirety (It’s A Shame About Ray), whilst the rest of the project splutters along slowly.

I have submitted 4 tracks so far – I Am A Rabbit, Plaster Caster, Dawn Can’t Decide and Being Around. The first 2 of these are themselves songs the Lemonheads covered – I Am A Rabbit was originally by a New Zealand punk band called Proud Scum, and Plaster Caster was by makeup-metal mega-band Kiss.

You won’t be able to hear these tracks until the project is finished – who knows when that will be – but I thought I’d share a couple of abandoned versions I recorded of Dawn Can’t Decide. The original Lemonheads version appeared as a demo on a b-side, and was not sung by front man Evan Dando, but by Australian bass player Nic Dalton. The song then appeared on the album Come On Feel The Lemonheads, sung by Dando. You can hear those songs bellow:

It took me ages to get a version of this song I was happy with. In the version I finally submitted, I changed the song title, ever so slightly, to Da(w)n Can’t Decide, and included the line “Dan can’t decide on the style of music to use to record Dawn Can’t Decide”. Which was very true. I recorded a rock version; a lighter, poppier version, and a countryesque version – and I wasn’t really happy with any of them. I am very happy with the final version, and as soon as it is made available, I will point you in its direction. Until then, here are 2 of my early demos:

Dawn Can’t Decide (E. Dando/N. Dalton):

Dawn can’t decide if there should be more of the porch
She’s sick of being inside
He read the signs
And now they’re making out in Lancaster, just to pass the time

Curtis C called, left a message in Japanese
Dawn took the call
Reviewed the newest Taang! release
Joe shoulda known that the Long Island Lolita would be the cause

Feels good to be Jesse on the inside today
Feels good to be Jesse on the inside today
Because a

G minor morning was a D minor dawning
G minor morning was a D minor dawning
G minor morning was a D minor dawning

And you strike, strike the right chord
The right chord in me
Strike the right chord

Bah bah bah bah
Bah bah bah bah bah, bah bah
Bah bah bah bah bah
No paperwork

Bah bah bah bah
Bah bah bah bah bah, bah bah
Bah bah bah bah bah

Bah bah bah bah bah bah bah bah
Bah bah bah
Dawn can’t decide
Dawn can’t decide

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