Matthew C Good : Musician, Software Engineer, Hobbyist.

Posts Tagged Song-A-Week

Listen to this: Maybe Not

Some of you may remember the Song-A-Week project I had going for a while.  Writing and demoing a new song (almost) every week was a great experiment and left me with like…  60? some odd songs to pick through in various states of completion – mostly really rough, but some a lot more fleshed out.  No more digging around for another song to fill out an album for me, that’s for sure.

Unfortunately, it also left me overwhelmed trying to polish some of these really rough scraps to perfection.  I did work here and there on the songs, but there were so many, and I had more good ideas than good plans.  I moved away from all the drummers I knew.  In short, the songs sat around for a while.

It’s axiomatic that not making music is less fun that making music, so I eventually decided not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good and to put a song “out there” again.

Here’s a version of the song “Maybe Not” from week 23.  You may remember the original demo – it’s not as bad as I thought it might be.  Before I left Nashville, I got Seth Rouch and Ian McDermott to play drums and bass respectively on it, which is why they sound great.  Take a listen:

Maybe Not

Creative Commons License
Maybe Not by Conrad is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

(That means you can copy the song and do whatever you want to it for noncommercial use.)

Sure the mix was done in just a couple hours and there’s a few edits I still might like to make.  And yes, it’s probably quieter than a lot of your other music.  I just don’t feel like squashing the heck out of my songs anymore.  If it’s too quiet, turn it up.

It felt good to work on my own music again, but it reminded me that I really enjoy working on someone else’s music much more (as long as I believe in the music/person enough).  I think that will have to be next on my list…  Need to find some triangle musicians (and about twenty more hours a week of free time).

Song-A-Nowandthen: Nervous Machine

I found this mp3 on my hard drive tonight. I fired it up and to my surprise found that I had a nearly fully-formed song there that I had completely forgotten about. It has a bridge and everything. I figured I needed to post this so that when i’m on my computer and trying to remember what i’ve got going on and deciding what to work on, that I’ll be able to remember this song exists. I didn’t write down the lyrics I don’t think… I may have been making some of them up as I went along.
I remember now that I wrote this after I got home from Atlanta. I had spent a fun weekend there with kristin, but left without her so that she could stay for an interview. As I was driving home, I missed an exit somewhere, and ended up stretching the trip about an hour. It was getting late, and I was getting tired. My cars have been such pains in the butt, I don’t really trust them fully to get me home all the time. So I kinda wrote this song while I was driving, and demo’d it as soon as I got home. Here it is:
Nervous Machine
(C) 2008 Matthew C Good
It really doesn’t matter
I’ve been up all night driving
I missed my exit somewhere
on the East side of the state.
But I’m not really worried
about the things that usually get me
my dear hopes and fears,
through miles and through years
If this nervous machine keeps turning,
I’ll make it home, I’ll make it home.
If this gasoline keeps burning,
I’ll make it home, I’ll make it home.
I’m watching night bugs splatter
They’re heading for my lights
But I’m not any better suited
for this kind of life.
Cuz I’ve got this illusion
that I’m just passing through,
but gassing up my car, I see
an ugly residue.
If this nervous machine keeps turning
I’ll be okay, I’ll be alright.
With every cylinder firing,
expelling gas out in the night
This lonely man keeps dwelling
on the subtleties of uncertainty.
He’ll go to sleep shuddering
in his bed, or in his seat.
The only car on the freeway tonight
cuz everyone who can be is inside.
It’s not like I can blame them tonight.
I’m tearing through their silence
for my own peace and quiet
It really doesn’t matter
how fast I’m going
It’s gonna take a while
to make it to my home.

Song-A-Not-So-Weekly #49 – Two Sides

Hey guys. The songs in between “What Now” (#43) and this one are mostly really short ideas – so you’re not missing much. You may see a few of them pop up here – I apparently won’t be keeping stuff in sequence much. Oh well. Here’s a new one.
Two Sides
(C) 2008 Matthew Good
I take care of myself
before I think of somebody else.
It’s not that I’m a greedy man,
despite the mounting evidence.
It’s just that I don’t trust
my fellow man enough.
It makes me wonder which came first
the water rights, or the thirst.
In every song I sing
The narrator embodies me.
But he’s not who I am,
he’s a much better man than me.
Cuz I’m not full of love
and I’m not full of charity.
I mostly deal in fear,
and paranoid anxiety.
Every now and then,
despite who I’ve become,
I lend someone a hand who needs it.
There two sides
to my life,
and they struggle
For my attention.
You’ll know
my true love
by the last kiss
of the evening.

A lot of the songs for song-a-week haven’t necessarily been autobiographical. It’s kind of hard (not to mention egotistical) to write some new “profound” thing about yourself once a week. So I had to fictionalize a bit. But this time, it’s definitely me singing.
When I got my first job and started making and spending more money than I ever had before, I started doing some reading on what the heck you’re actually supposed to do with this crap. And when you talk about investing, the ideas of fear and greed come up. They are generally presented as opposites. I think its Buffet who is referencing Graham who always says “Be greedy when others are fearful, and fearful when others are greedy.” But when you are not used to a bunch of responsibility, or an actual awareness of the limited nature of any and all resources, and you rather suddenly experience both, fear and greed are synonymous. That’s what I’m talking about in this song. Hope you like it anyway.

#43 – What Now?

So I’m calling this #43 – even though the last song you’ve seen is #36. I’ve demo’d some songs that I haven’t uploaded, and to keep the numbering consistent, I’m calling this 43 – deal with it.

(more…)

#36 – Family

This song is tentatively called “Family.” Every now and then I’ll call my parents and we’ll talk about random stuff, our respective fish tanks, car troubles, the weather. I pretty much always get reminded how much I love them and appreciate their care for me – but you know, how do you work that in to a conversation about fish tanks? And where do you go after that? It just doesn’t work all that well.
While this song is called “Family,” I really feel the same way about my very best friends. Eeks now that all the sappy crap is out of the way…. As always, I apologize for the unsure vocal bits and the shoddy guitar – its just a live demo and i suck.

Family
Copyright 2008 Matthew C Good
I think I understand
why paper is so important.
It allows us to write
the things we cannot say.
To take a single thought
and juxtapose it with another,
to pull it out and see
what it is we mean.
So I wrote
What I could not say
What I really feel
about my family
I call them up
Every now and then.
We talk about events.
It makes me mess them.
I pay good money
to call anyone, anywhere
any time
that I feel like talking.
But like a silent movie,
you only get half the story,
and somewhere in the world, there are voices
looking for their homes.
So I’ll sing
What I’d love to say.
If I had my way,
I would tell you.
Some of you
I owe more than love
but more I cannot give,
so let that be enough.

#34 – Alright

So I’ve stopped calling these “Song-A-Weeks,” because they haven’t been, and aren’t likely to resume being, very weekly.
Here’s one called “Alright” – at least for now. Its pretty much just a demo, since only about half the song is written (it cuts off in the middle). It’s trying to be about talking and human interaction rather than all these machines we have as intermediaries.

Alright
(C) 2008 Matthew C Good
Put down the phone, and let me in
Turn off the car radio
There is a lot I’ll never know
about you.
Honey just quit your worryin
I’m never gonna let you go
Even if we lost everythin(g),
you know…
Baby, you and I,
we’ll get by
there’s always treasure
in your eyes.
Babe, as long as they
are focused on my face
we are gonna
be alright

Guitar is the epi, hi-strung. That was the inspiration i needed to get writing again.

#33 – Boom Times

This is a case where I thought of the title first. I was thinking about America and how the 20th century really was a crazy time for them (I say them because i was only around for about a fifth of it). You could call the postwar years our boom times. Heck, maybe people do. I’m not the student of history I’d like to be. But, even with all the sexual/russo paranoia of the fifties, we still built our country’s intellectual backbone during that time period, and kicked some economic butt, to boot. In that century, the U.S. emerged as the world superpower it is. That’s pretty amazing.
But that sort of massive growth can’t continue indefinitely, I don’t think. Like I said, I’m not enough of a student of history/economics to really be qualified to make these statements, but I was feeling depressed about America the other day. Heck, even the world. Sure, the next revolution is hard to see before it happens, but I was struck with the question of “where can we go from here?”
There are so many more things to worry about now – We can’t just build huge heavy gas-guzzling cars and pollute the heck out of our rivers and streams. We can’t go on throwing trash away at the rate we do. There aren’t the same vast stretches of nothing in our country (except in Alaska). In those ways, it looked to me like our boom times were behind us. Things from here on will develop at a much slower pace.
Anyway, I tried to get all of that vague discussion into a song and failed miserably. I really like the title and the concept, so I’ll almost certainly be junking this song and starting from scratch, after brushing up on my recent American history. Here’s the song in iteration 1:
Boom Times
(C) 2008 Matthew C Good
That’s just the problem
with getting what you want
all the time
It seems like a good thing
until you try.
If you never hold back
you’ll never be surprised
at what happens next
And that aint no way
to live a life.
Sunset
on the skyline
Broken
windows in a hi-rise
no one seems to mind
Gold Rush,
wish someone had told us,
nothing left but gold dust
from a guilded age,
and boom times.
It’s gonna hurt, dear,
to look this mess in the eye
and walk away
cuz with all of its squalor,
it was beautiful one time.
If anyone is listening
who wants some advice
it’s worth it
Cuz a restless heart is better
than an aimless life.

Song-Not-So-Weekly #32: Shoulda Been

So I haven’t been keeping up with the Song-A-Weeks much. I might be done. I don’t know. I’ve been having a DARNED hard time coming up with stuff. Its a lot harder to sit down with a guitar and hammer out a song than it used to be, probably because I used to store up my good ideas for a longer period of time, whereas now, they’re gone about as fast as I get em.
Well, here’s a rough idea called “Shoulda Been.”
Shoulda Been
Copyright 2007 Matthew C Good
It’s just another day in the warzone
with comforting soldiers,
But it’s hard to hate what you don’t mind.
With every step I take,
I am careful to narrow my eyes.
………………..
Cameron tells me what I shoulda been
Says if I was smart I would listen
But I don’t put much stock now it what he says
It’s just another hairbrained suggestion
and I’ve already been through them in my head.

So yeah – eh, i’m just putting it out there. I don’t think this song will find a home for a long time.

Song-A-Week #31 – Keeping Warm

This week’s song is just a partial clip – The ending would be monotonous and misleading at this point in the recording process. So I know it ends at a weird spot, but hey – it leaves you wanting more.
Keeping Warm
Copyright 2007 Matthew C Good
We’ll be snowed in
all week.
I called my boss, and called my
family.
Me and you, in this frozen
retreat.
Wasn’t long before the
power quit.
It had been a while since you were
candle lit.
As the night time air
came in,
We had blankets,
we had peace.
We were keeping warm,
you and me
In that blank white
powder sea,
I was king and
you were queen.
And the simplest things
made our hearts sing.
When we lose our
focus,
We’ll have memories
of this.

Thank you, Reason, for giving me piano sounds that actually inspire something other than hatred for my keyboard. I seriously tried to write a couple piano songs before i got Reason working again, using my keyboard’s built in sounds… but I just couldn’t pretend to be interested in the sounds I was making – so no song. The drone is also a reason patch, albeit ran through my pedals and a guitar amp and a (digital version of a) Plate reverb.
I am ALL ABOUT the plate reverbs these days. LOVE THEM.

Week #30 – Near Me

Hey gang – new demo.
Most of my work today was on doing some mixing on the awesomeness seth rouch did on Human Nature and Love. Very cool stuff. Click on that link if you want to hear where that song is going… But you may just want to restrain yourself and wait until its finished. I’m debating not posting any more “work in progress” mixes as these songs get more and more fleshed out, just to keep things surprising when I actually finish them. If you’re violently opposed to such and idea, post and let me know. So – choose your destiny, to peek or not to peek, that is some kind of question.
The new tune is kinda neat… I think it would sound good playing with a band. If I had my way, I’d get Chase, John, Seth, and Ian all in the same room to record basics for this one live with me, and kinda get the arrangement more rockin. But right now, it’s an okay tune. I like the lyrics. I may have set the tempo a little too fast, since it seems to me that I’m stumbling over my words a bit. Let me know what you think.

Near Me
Copyright 2007 Matthew C Good
I was looking for a reason
to see the change of seasons
through another pair of eyes
One more year of feeling
the cool of the breeze and
I might lose my mind.
I could turn on my car and drive
And we’d start to feel alright
I was staring at the blue tube
thinkin bout the words used
to describe
the place where the land fused
with the sky blues
to divide
the day from the night,
what we’ve done from what we might
But I’m not gonna go
unless you’re near me
It’s cold in the night
the days are dreary
But I’m not gonna go
unless you’re near me
It’s cold in the night
It’s cold in the night
It’s cold in the night
Visions are haunting,
worse than a bad dream.
Nothing keeps you up late
more than a clean slate.
But I’m not gonna go
unless you’re near me
It’s cold in the night
the days are dreary
But I’m not gonna go
unless you’re near me
It’s cold in the night
It’s cold in the night
It’s cold in the night
Honey, I believe in
this place unlike where we’ve been

rock and roll.