Category Archives: Songwriting

songs with synths

Three songs with synthesizers that get me every time.
 
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Here Comes The Sun (because I heard it 500,000 times before noticing it was there and what it did)
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Boho Dance (because it’s obvious and primitive and unique for Joni
Mitchell)
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Black Market (because Joe Zawinul had some kinda mystery in his fingers/ ears, like every time it is a unique lesson in harmony)

podcast songs

My favourite theme in a podcast is for On The Media http://www.wnyc.org/shows/otm/ because it’s maybe a whole tone melody? Pretty amazing and it all comes down to something more than the composition, namely the guts of the people who green lit it because anything that’s repeated over and over will become familiar. People have such little guts in choosing music, in allowing adventuresome music to be present in more mainstream places. They rely instead on what sounds like a nursery rhyme like what most pop music sounds like, to me anyway.
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The Moe Kaufmann theme for As It Happens always made me pause there’s something Jumping’ Jack Flash about it but I’ll cut him some slack because I saw him at George’s Spaghetti House with my dad, I was 12 and it was a pretty big deal though lost on me that performing in a restaurant might not be so amazing for Moe as it was for a kid from Winnipeg. In recent years CBC added “modern” grooves to distance the 70s sound of the original and I suppose stay hip? Did that work?
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This American Life sometimes has original music also has a library they repurpose lots. I hate hearing libraries. I understand the economics of it but I hate it. It’s like if Martin Scorsese tried to use the same tunes in each of his films, (maybe that’s actually an amusing problem) but it’s an obstacle to the open palette. (ya I noticed that sounded like owen palette).
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I made a theme song recently for the Raconteurs podcast, http://raconteurs.ca/podcast/ they liked a preexisting song so that sort of was simple but my favourite thing is writing lyrics, writing an actual song for a theme. I tried one time for Dan Savage when he was looking for a song but someone else beat me to it.
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I tried 4 years ago to write a theme for Alan Park’s podcast Conspiracy Queries it didn’t pass the audition but damn it was fun trying. I asked comedienne Alison Hogg to sing the song I wrote after I saw her perform as Bjork. So I asked her to sing as Bjork which felt like a good metaphor for a podcast ostensibly about getting to the truth about layers of deception. You can hear it buy on my original blog in April 2013.

prove it

Hate trying to prove something about what the future could bring for someone in the arts. Don’t want to go there.
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To clear the anxieties of parents who want to help their kids, I like explaining they’re right, this could all be for nothing. Can even walk us through the work but can’t prove it’ll pay off. Most of the time it won’t. Too many people trying to get into the room. Its already standing room only.
 
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If you are determined to find someone who comes with a very different spin consider working with Mark whatshisname (rhymed with scary), who CBC and Now Magazine ran articles about when artists felt ripped off. Give him your credit card, good luck. (I just googled and looks like Drake joined the list of his insulted credit card holders)
 
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I can prove how the structure works. I can prove how the things they admire work. Maybe I can even prove they will be able to write.
 
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I can’t prove that any of these efforts will result in anything happening in the external world but a very high probability for the internal one.