Category Archives: Songwriting

matilda

I always knew the Harry Belafonte song Matilda started off Matilda! Matilda! But I didn’t realize the next line was “she take me money and run (to) Venezuela”. That’s the trouble with ripping off a songwriter.

cheap thrills

Trying to catch my bias and interrupt it,  decent cheap thrill. If I didn’t put effort into it, my right hand would just play piano same way over and over. Trying to practice it, tune into preference then reject it. A new shirt, which one looks ridiculous,  buy it. Parking car, that’s too far,  park there. Which movie wouldn’t I put on in Netflix, so choose it. On the subway which seat would be uncomfortable (the middle), sit there.

Trying to interfere with habits leads to get different musical experiences.

secret target

There was a woman who lived in a neighbourhood where there was a lot of prejudice and corruption. She learned to play guitar and started writing songs about what was unfair. People noticed and invited her to sing the songs at performance places. It was interesting and meaningful for some. They wrote about her, put her picture on the cover of magazines. Before long, lots of people wanted to be there when she performed. Soon she had a following but many also attended just because she was becoming famous. The content became secondary to the event of seeing someone who was in the news. The reviews were about what she was wearing, how she styled her hair, about the difference in the sound of her voice between recordings. Occasionally they also wrote what her songs were about but mostly, now, that was far from the main issue and many journalists also tried to find out who she had sex with, photographers spied on her hoping to obtain embarrassing pictures.
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She started taking a correspondence course on phenomenology and soon after, she started to wear Christmas lights on her shoes and everyone became animated and wrote about it. Sometimes she used solid colours, sometimes multiple, sometimes she operated a strobe effect with remote wireless technology. Rolling Stone placed a close up shot of her shoes on the cover of their back to school issue. Pitchfork designed a Trump hairpiece on top of her shoes for their disappointments issue. The Economist made a triptych of three famous shoes, Her, Emelda Marcos & Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and measured the financial impact of each. When she started to sell her own brand of Christmas Shoelights at her performances and in fashion stores, people started to call her a crass capitalist, they wrote articles about what a sell out she was and Erroll Morris approached her with the desire to film a documentary. Everyone wanted her to explain but she wouldn’t. She did however, complete her certificate in phenomenology and directed all her profits to supporting community groups that made a difference in the neighbourhood that originally inspired her songwriting.