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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Monday (7/20/09) 4:05pm - ... wherein Peter posts a song.

Boilerplate bit:  occasionally I'll play a song I like on my old acoustic, record it on my home-recording setup, and post it to the blog.  You can see earlier entries here, or subscribe to these as a podcast (click here if you use iTunes).

I did some experiments with the teensy recording rig this weekend.  First off, I re-aimed the microphones to try to get a better vocal/guitar balance (still not quite there yet).  Second, I verified that I can record to my little netbook instead of using a proper laptop.  This was the result:
     #45.  The BoDeans - Lookin' for Me Somewhere

This is probably the simplest song I've put up on the site.  It's just three chords -- I, IV, V -- and  the structure is dead-simple verse/chorus with a tagline.  But honestly, this is one of those songs that makes me think we need to show a little more respect for simplicity.  Writing a simple song that still holds together is pretty much the toughest task there is in songwriting, and a teacher spends 90% of any improv-singing class convincing the students to simplify, simplify, simplify.

This song also got me to thinking about how much country music seems to be... well... smug.  It seems like a good percentage of what's out there is committee-designed to reassure an insecure customer base -- flyover-state folks who are convinced that somewhere out there, New Yorkers are making fun of them -- that they're a-ok.  It's nice to see a song (from the late 80s no less), that just sits back and talks about the writer's crush on Emmylou Harris instead of the usual "I'm so glad I'm a gamma child red-state country boy" party line.

I'm okay with this recording.  My sense of rhythm is still crappy, but I just started practicing with a metronome app, so maybe that'll help.  The new mic setup is a little better than the old one, but I'm getting a weird flanginess to the sibilants; it might be a phase problem.  Last complaint:  playing this at the 'nut' (AKA fret zero) of the guitar puts this towards the top of my range, which sounds especially light-and-wussy.  I knew if I transposed the song down, the chord voicings wouldn't sound right.  *shrug*  All is compromise.

That said, I still like how it came out.

The original album version is here, though the version on their live album is far better.

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