Saturday, February 18, 2006

Song: Turn It On

Turn It On
Mix 4
February 18, 2006

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Everyday I wonder how living would be
If you gave a little more than a damn for me;
You've got pictures of your friends pinned up on the wall,
And am I the biggest, the biggest fool of them all?

Come on and turn it on...

Well I get so lost when I don't know where I stand,
But then I don't need no one here to hold my hand,
And so the news starts spreading around;
If you've got a minute then I'll show you just what I've found.

Come on and turn it on...

Though I don't know what I want, I'll tell you one thing I've got,
I've got a handkerchief round my neck,
And I'm ready to go with just a knock on the door,
And then you won't ever have to think of me no more.

Come on and turn it on...

Influences: They Might Be Giants, The Strokes.
Instruments: Dean Exotica QSE Acoustic/Electric Guitar, Palms & Thighs.

During my last week of finals in December 2005, I woke up one morning with the words and riff of the refrain to this song repeating OVER and OVER in my head. I kept mulling it over while getting out of bed, and in the shower I started to think about lyrics that would fit as verses to go with the refrain. The first thing that came to mind was a line from "Spooky", a song by Classics IV. Just then I thought about how sometimes They Might Be Giants would incorporate bits of lyrics from popular songs into their own songs (such as in the song "The Biggest One" which borrows lines from the song "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor), and I figured I might as well try that out and see what happens.

I ended up borrowing lines from "Spooky" for what became the second verse and following it closely by a less-obvious borrowing from Jet's song "Get What You Need". Then I started working out the first verse and managed to borrow in a line (and a rhyme) from "Take Me To The River" by Talking Heads. Finally, I borrowed a little bit out of the song "Geek Stink Breath" by Green Day to introduce the third verse. However, despite borrowing lyrics and, to some extent, vocal melody from those songs, I managed to kind of rearrange their meanings from their original contexts and combine them with my own lyrics into a theme of getting tough on a failing relationship. (Autobiographical? Hardly.)

I recorded this version of the track as a demo to the band I was playing with during my last semester at William and Mary, called The Adventures of..., A.K.A. "Bro Party". (We didn't ever actually perform the number.) There are three recordings of my Dean Acoustic/Electric Guitar (plugged in as an electric) in the track, one covering the low end with palm-muted power chords, and the other two providing more rhythm and chords. Both the foreground and background vocals were recorded against a slowed-down version of the instrumentation and pitched up one semitone to get a different sound. To round out the track I did some leg-slapping for percussion.

Not much more to say. Don't sue me.