Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Musical Ideas I've Had That I May Or May Not Get To

Below is a list of musical ideas that I've thought about doing. Who knows when I'll get to them, but the thought is there. Enjoy (or not)!

Duke Amethyst
I've discussed this idea to people before. That was 4 1/2 years ago when I was in a King Diamond / Mercyful Fate musical phase. The idea was remaking songs from the 1970s in the style of King Diamond. Get it? King Diamond. Duke Amethyst. I had briefly researched which songs might work. Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight" was the first one I picked. In fact, it was while singing the song in the car and straining to hit the high note when I thought to myself 'I bet King Diamond could hit that note'. The rest is history. The only other song that I had picked out was "Chevy Van" and that was simply because the guitar tab seemed simple enough for me to play.

I learned some interesting facts surrounding the Duke Amethyst name when looking up the wiki's on Duke and Amethyst.
1) A duke is historically of highest rank below the King. That's very fitting. There is only one King Diamond.
2) The amethyst crystal is typically 6-sided prism ending in 6-sided pyramid. The sixes are very appropriate given the satanic nature of Mercyful Fates music.
3) But most importantly, the reason I picked Duke Amethyst is because it matches my initials (DA).

Gertrude's Lemon Giraffe
Probably on my wife knows about this one. Gertrude's Lemon Giraffe is to be music in the vein of 1960's psychedelic music. The name came to me during the drive home from work one day when I was listening to alot of psychedelic music. The band names were always a bit on the odd side. Strawberry Alarm Clock. Chocolate Watch Band. Et cetera. Some also involved names (like Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band ala the Beatles psychedelic album). Others involved animals... and I have no examples there. So I figured I'd write a computer app that would mix and match all these types of things... namely names, flavors and animals. While running through what types of things would be generated by this app, Gertrude's Lemon Giraffe popped into my head and that was that.

I figured if I ever get to recording anything, the main focus of the music will be a guitar that is being run through the Drunken Sailor Flanger, which is a flanger guitar pedal that I circuit bent a few years back. Psychedelic bands occationally had weird sounding instruments so that would be my 'signature' sound.

A yet unnamed garage band
I never got to naming this one, but the music sound like a typical 1960's garage band. This one stems from my interest in, duh, garage band music like that found on the Nuggets boxset as well as the Pebbles compilations.

The lines between 1960's psychedelic rock and 1960's garage rock sometimes blur quite a bit and at times I have wondered if Gertrude's Lemon Giraffe should be the same as the garage band. In opinion, GLG is not a very 'garage' sounding name, though, there were bands like Sir Douglas Quintet and The Lollipop Shoppe and the aforementioned Strawberry Alarm Clock and The Chocolate Watchband that were on the Nuggets boxset. Usually garage bands have a 'the' in the title like The Leaves and The Shadows of Knight and The Outsiders and The Sonics.

Musically, I figured I could create a nice trashy sound using my circuit-bent Oxidizer Distortion Pedal. One of the settings on it is a nice buzzy fuzz sound that I think would work perfectly for the garage band sound.

There would also be lots of tambourine. I discovered that many of the bands used a tambourine to accent the down beat. I guess it gave the singer something else to take out his aggressions on besides the typically snarly vocals. I looked around for a while looking for a cheep tambourine. But I quickly found out there was no such thing. At least not in the typical circular tambourine model. Even used ones were 15 bucks and I'm not about to pay that much. So one day I was in the dollar store and saw this cheep-o plastic tambourine (which also came with some horrible maracas). But the jingles were of cheep aluminum and didn't have that nice 'ching' to them. But then I rounded the corner and there were these little sticks with jingles on them. And they had a nice ring to them, so I bought two of them for a dollar each. At the moment, I'm not really sure where in the house they are, but I do have them. So I have a tambourine for the album, just not in the traditional tambourine sense.

Another idea I had was that the album, when recorded, should have a 'live' feel to it. Meaning that in the background there will be lots of screaming of 'fans'. Back in the day, some studio execs created 'live' albums in the studio in order to create the image that the band had a big following and to also mask that the players were, well, not that talented. I figure I can loop some screaming from the Kiss Alive and Kiss Alive II albums (which, quite honestly, with the number of overdubs and redubs were techincally not live either) or grab some bootlegs from and steal the 'audience' from there. On top of the live feeling, I figured I'd have banter between the musicians. I thought I might even have one of the band members quit halfway through the show only to rejoin a couple songs later. I think the 'quitting' thing might be a bit much, but regular on stage banter might be okay. I guess it will depend on what mood I'm in when I record the 'dialogue'.

Yet unnamed progressive rock / avant garde band
This might possibly be two different bands quite honestly. Part of me wants to get my 'odd time signature' rocks off and part of me wants to utilize all the stupid toys and gizmos that I've circuit bent. Seems like good reason to start a Frank Zappa-ish band. I mean, Frank Zappa had songs that featured people playing bicycles and vacuum cleaners and whatnot.

But part of me wants a 'serious' progressive band on top of that. Not that Frank Zappa is not serious, but what music of his I've been exposed to is definitely not progressive in the way that Yes or King Crimson or early Genesis was, if you get my drift. But, there is only so much time in the world and if I ever get to this project, I just might have to find a 'musical' way to integrate my circuit bend stuff into my 'serious' prog rock band.

This pretty much feeds off of the progressive rock phase I've been on for a while. Lots of Dream Theater and Yes and Rush, in that order. I was reading the latest Modern Drummer magazine which was dedicated to prog rock drummers like Mike Portnoy. Bill Bruford, Neil Peart, Chris Pennie, etc etc etc and that got me thinking about odd time signatures and some experiments I had been meaning try like 5/4 phrases playing over 4/4 phrases or different ways to phrase things in 7/4 time (you can do 2-2-3, 3-2-2, 2-3-2, 3-2-2, 4-3, 3-4, 5-2, 2-5, 6-1, etc etc etc) or coming up with something in 11/8 time. That one kept me up last night. All I could think about was counting 1-2-3-4-5-61-2-3-4-5-61-2-3-4-5-61..., which is basically counting 6/4 except chopping off the second eighth note (1 and 2... and 5 and 6 1 and 2 ... ). I think it would take me a while to learn to 'groove' to that time signature. Course, I thought the same thing about 5/4 and 7/4 and I can do those a little easier now thanks to Dave Brubeck, Dream Theater and a song called 'Shit Chips' by Devilcake ;).

V: The Musical
V: The Musical is, as you may have guessed, a musical version of the V mini-series. I dubbed the two V mini-series from the library about 3 years ago I think. This stemmed from a conversation me and the wife had late one night while both suffering from a bout of insomnia. It will be very Rodger's and Hammerstein-ish. The only lyrics I have thus far are: "Drats! Rats! That's all we can eat for now. Drats! Rats! So hungry I could eat a cow!" This would take place during the scene where some dude sneaks a peek into the spacecraft to see the Visitors woofing down rats instead of normal human food. Honestly, while I may have dubbed off the movie, I haven't sat down and watched it. The rats scene is the only thing I remember.

(update 10-18-07) I had an idea for some lyrics for the love ballad in V: The Musical.
Some people may call it beastiality
But, me, I call it reality
I love my little lizard... yes, I do

My blood runs hot; Her blood runs cold
But her hand is the one that I want to hold.
(I may have to alter this since I can't remember if the lizard in love was a man or a woman. I think it was a man, so that means I'll have to alter them slightly.)


Todd S. said...


That's all I can say is doooooood.

You have an assload of shit going on musically. If, at any point, you need someone with an Epi Les Paul, Jr. to strum around I think I know where we can find such a dude.

My next musical project (Which may also be my next short film) is one called "Drum Machines Are People Too." The idea behind it is to start off with some teen angsty song and then have the 'real' band break in and play the song about Adult Angst (mortgage, income tax, 401K...shit like that). The lyrics haven't been written yet...but they are percolating and waiting for one good dump.

The film side of it comes in to play by me wanting to try out the bright green 8ft. by 11ft. tarp I got from Harbor Freight Tools (for $6) and filming me being each person in the band for the music video. Yeah.

I like your shit better, though. Can't wait to hear some of it!!

Anonymous said...

I love your brain!


your wife

::: said...

"Psychedelic" just means backwards guitars, no?

Easier to do on a 4-track than a computer, from what I remember.

& obviously you've got my number if you decide to act on any of these latent musical impulses.