MonthJuly 2010

CD Project Update #5 – Two Songs Culled, Four To Go

First of all I want to thank all of you who submitted feedback to me regarding what songs I should keep on my CD and what songs I should leave behind. Your suggestions are very valuable and have given me some food for thought.

So far I’ve decided to drop “All Good Things (Must Come To An End)” off the list. This is my guide recording of the song with a click wasn’t as accurate as first though and therefore, the song hasn’t gelled with the other instruments in the recording process.

It sounds really weird and it messes with your head (just ask Tim about it).

The second song I’m thinking of leaving behind is “The Long Drive Home” because I misinterpreted the BPM for the guide track and hence it was recorded way too slow.

Talk about dragging…

I do however, love the song (especially the lyrics) plus, a few of you have said that you’d like to hear it on the CD so I may just do a piano and voice version when Victor’s in the studio next and see how that goes.

Hmmm, I feel paralysed by having too much choice sometimes. In the meantime, keep the feedback flowing.

Peace,

Corey :)

CD Project Update #4 – Bass Tracks Complete

Green tick
Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday I completed all the bass tracks and they are sounding very, very tight. I love the sound of bass and kick drum working as one.

The next step is replacing the acoustic guitar guide tracks with the proper acoustic guitar tracks.

This will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and once done, I’ll have a CD of the tracks to give to Darren Zaza (Electric Guitar) and Victor Oria (Keys) so they can work out what parts they’ll record on the CD in the near future.

I’ll also be able to update the music on my CD Project page. I’ll let you know when the new versions of the songs are up on the site, ready for you to listen (and to give feedback to of course).

Yesterday was a good day.

Peace,

Corey :)

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All You Need Is Four Chords To Write A Hit Song

Below is a video of a skit performed by Australian musical comedy act “Axis Of Awesome.”

This video clearly demonstrates how important song lyrics and vocal melody are in writing and how the song arrangement (in this case it’s the chord progression E B C#m A) is a foundation in which the lyrics and melody of the featured songs are built upon.

It’s also very, very funny to watch. Enjoy!

Peace,

Corey :)

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Running Out Of Love – A Song

Pen and Paper
Image by Kristian D. via Flickr

“Running Out Of Love” is the third song that I’ve collaborated with Adrian Miller on and the first re-write we’ve done together.

This song was actually a half finished piece I had languishing in my archives for a few years called “All Out Of Love.” I loved the melody and the chord structure but the lyrics were something that I needed help on.

First of all the title needed to be changed as “All Out Of Love” reminded me of an Air Supply song far too much and secondly, the story of the song was a little muddled. This is where Adrian’s magic worked the best, he changed the title and sorted out the story and we both rewrote the lyrics to fit in with the new direction of the song.

I absolutely love it now and recording it gave me some fantastic piano practise. The best of both worlds really.

Enjoy,


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Running Out Of Love
© 2010 C. Stewart/A. Miller

Chorus
I’m running out of love
Running low on love, it brings me down
I’m running out of love
Running low on love, I’m empty now

I know that I have tried so hard
To show you how I feel for you
And you may feel the same way but
I’ve got no way of knowing that it’s true

Chorus

Another cold and lonely night
Staring at each other through the silence
Going over things that might
Have happened if we only took a chance

What happened to our love?
I’ve tried to work it out
So many little things
Are standing in our way
What happened to our love?
What’s it all about?
Is there anything, anything that I can say?

I’m running out of love
Running low on love, I’m empty now


I have so many half finished songs in my songwriting archive that are in dire need of re-writing, I’ll be busy collaborating for many years to come. Bring it on!

Peace,

Corey :)

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To Funk Or Not To Funk? That IS The Question

Bass guitar headstock
Image via Wikipedia

For a while now I’ve been thinking about starting up another funk project. I’ve been testing the waters and keeping one eye and ear out on the scene for a little while to see if the concept of getting a groovy, funky band together again has some merit.

Jeez, I must be some sort of masochist, a glutton for punishment. Another band?

Well, what can I say, I’m a bass player and I’ve always loved getting down and funky. I love the groove, especially when bass and drums merge their respective sounds into one seething mass of funk. I’m always in search of “the one” and generally, I find it.

For those who don’t know me let me shed some historical light on my forays into the world of funk.

It all started in 2000 when a mate of mine asked me to join a band called FunkStar.

The band was initially formed because this mate of mine managed to negotiate a regular Wednesday night gig at a club called the Enigma Bar and he needed a band to fill it. I accepted his offer and FunkStar was born.

However, we scored our first gig at the Rhino Room even before we had out first rehearsal which meant we had no songs to play with so, in a week and a half we scrambled together three rehearsals and hastily jammed out 15 songs.

Phew, talk about pressure but we played the gig and it was awesome.

One of the things we did really well that night was jam endlessly to make the songs longer than they should be and the rest of the time, just make shit up. It worked a treat and that became the FunkStar formula.

Back then there was a real funk scene in Adelaide and FunkStar rode the crest of the wave. We played everywhere wore lots of orange and our live shows were known for their unpredictability. We were unstoppable but sadly, in 2001 FunkStar broke up and I was left holding the baby so to speak. I was devastated.

In 2002 I decided to reform FunkStar with new members and try to pick up where the first band left off but after slogging it out for about 12 months FunkStar (Mk 2) disbanded.

I then tried the funk again in 2003 with a new band and a new name (Orangutang). We were going for a more edgier but jazzier sensibility but that also lasted about 12 months. I wasn’t having a good run.

After all that I decided to give my funk ambitions an indefinite rest, until now.

I’ve been noticing a resurgence of the funk in Adelaide over the last 12 months spearheaded by the landmark venue for all things funk, the glorious Crown and Sceptre Hotel which has been hosting funk bands on a Friday and Saturday night.

Adelaide has a lot of cool venues and I really think there is room for another groovy, funky outfit to grace its stages.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the funk project concept has some merit but I’m still dipping the toe in the water at the moment. Right now there’s so much to do with so little time but I’ll let you know what I come up in the very near future with so watch this space.

Peace,

Corey :)

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Life – We’re Making It Up As We Go Along

As I get on with my day to day business that is my life I’m realising more and more that (for most of the time) we are all making up our lives as we go along which comes as a great relief to me, a recovering control freak.

Yes, that’s right, a recovering control freak.

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I love to be in control, even though that I knew intellectually that the notion of control is but an illusion.

The feeling of being in control made me feel safe and secure with my world.

The upside of this feeling is that I consider myself a very organised person and as someone who prides themselves on being punctual however, the downside to always wanting to be in control is that I would always get highly stressed when situations didn’t go according “to plan.”

I’d get so stressed it would paralyse me at times. I loathed this feeling of being “out of control” but I don’t really know how I could rectify this, a pattern that has been endemic of my life for as long as I remember.

I suppose the realisation that we’re all making it (our lives) up as we go along comes as a great relief because it eliminates the need for me to compare my life with the life of others around me.

Yes, I know that some people have it together more than others and I also know that we are all unique in our abilities, our history, the way we look and so on but deep down we all want the same things like:

  • Love
  • Respect
  • Validation
  • Acknowledgement
  • Recognition
  • Happiness

When I look at life in this way I realise that deep down we’re all in the same boat.

Right now I’m working on creating some sort of balance between my need to have everything in my life catalogued and in its place and being totally spontaneous. Quite a difficult job when you think about it but not an impossible one.

I reckon there’s a song in this…

Peace,

Corey :)

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Pomplamoose And The Covers VS Originals Argument

In my last post CD Baby DIY Musicians Podcast. I Love It” I mentioned that I would share any DIY music marketing ideas that I come across with you. I will then attempt to incorporate these ideas into my own music marketing.

What you’ll read below is one of those ideas.

Before I downloaded all of the CD Baby DIY Musician Podcast series I was listening to them one at a time as they were being released. The latest podcast, features an interview with Jack Conte from the duo Pomplamoose.

Pomplamoose has gained massive amounts of exposure worldwide for two main reasons:

1. Their creative “video songs” have been collectively viewed over 10 million times (yes 10,000,000)
2. They use cover songs to their advantage.

Lately I have been getting more and more interested in using video for my own stuff as well as for the Open Mic Network so stumbling across this podcast was very timely indeed.

Until now I had not heard of the term “video song” but CD Baby describe it as a new medium of music video “…in which the imagery is an inside look into how the song is actually created.” Here is an example of one of Pomplamoose’s video songs, an excellent cover of “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire

This leads me to the second part of why Pomplamoose is so successful, it’s their use of COVERS (I can hear you cringing through the computer monitor but hey, hear me out for a second…)

For me, the answer to the covers vs originals questions goes like this…

For me, it all comes down to the attitude you have towards the music you’re covering, there is a difference between an artistic homage to a great song and a blatant rip off just to make some cash. I believe that you can still have artistic integrity while doing covers.

It’s not the song itself but how you cover it that should be the most important thing to consider.

Jack Conte in the interview was saying that for Pomplamoose, making video songs of well known covers enabled them to gain a huge amount of exposure and in turn grow a large fan base who want to be turned on to their own music.

He also goes on to say that covers are a good business decision, in fact it’s your duty as a musician to do covers, how will you stand out in the crowd if you don’t give your audience something to relate to?

Personally, a great song is a great song no matter where it comes from. Whether you wrote it or not a great song should be played, it should be listened to and it should be appreciated for what it is… A work of art.

What do you think about the covers vs originals argument? I know that it’s one of those arguments that will never be resolved but hey, it’s great fun as a conversation topic. Let me know your stance on this I’d love to hear your views.

To end my rant here is another Pomplamoose video song, a classy rewrite of Michael Jackson‘s “Beat It.” Nice!

I’m now inspired to play around with some video and if you’re lucky, I’ll put some up for you to check out.

Peace,

Corey :)

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CD Baby DIY Musicians Podcast. I Love It!

I love podcasts.

I love the fact that you can subscribe to something that gives you the information you want as it comes out plus the extra benefit of being able to revisit the information at anytime you want.

A podcast is also really handy when you drive around in a car that has no working stereo in it.

I’ve only just started listening to podcasts over the last 6 months and what I’ve noticed is that there are very few songwriting and music business podcasts that are worth listening to. An exception to the rule however, is the CD Baby DIY Musicians Podcast.

I love it.

Along with the CD Baby DIY Musicians Blog it’s very informative, professionally put together podcast but at the same time, it’s personable and informal without sounding like one huge infomercial in which other podcasts I’ve subscribed to are guilty of.

I’ve just downloaded the whole series (there’s 96 of them so far) onto my iPhone and with every one I listen to I pick up at least one new idea, something that I can use in my own music business. In future posts I’ll share with you the ideas and concepts that really inspire me.

My iTunes is telling me that listening to the whole series will take 2.6 days. I best get a move on.

Peace,

Corey :)

CD Baby DIY Musicians Blog
CD Baby DIY Musicians Podcast

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Back To Basics – A Song

“Back To Basics” is the second song that I’ve collaborated with Adrian Miller on and it’s also my first multi-tracking effort using Logic Pro 9 on my home studio setup.

The song evolved from a conversation that we had in which the concept of having too much choice in this world was discussed. From that conversation the first two lines of the song were born and the rest was written from there.

Enjoy,


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Back To Basics
© 2010 C. Stewart/A. Miller

There is so much choice out there
I could so easily lose my way
I could give into temptation, find a new sensation
Each and every single day

There is so much noise out there
I can’t hear a single word you say
There is no communication, but too much information
Swimming around in my brain

Chorus
Let’s get back to basics, keeping only what we need
Let’s get back to basics, what is it we really need?
Let’s get back to basics, looking for simplicity
So let’s get back to basics

It’s a complicated world
It’s so hard just keeping up with the pace
Could it be that maybe, everyone’s gone crazy
Or am I just a hopeless case?

People just don’t seem to care
About anyone else but themselves
No one takes the time to simplify their lives
And compassion can take care of itself

Chorus

You don’t need to try it, you don’t need to buy it
This need to just acquire, it only gives us nothing but trouble
You don’t need the clutter just to make yourself feel better
You cannot take it with you after all is said and done

There is so much choice out there
I could so easily lose my way
I could give into temptation, find a new sensation
Each and every single day

Chorus


Peace,

Corey :)

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Happy Birthday Cooper

My youngest nephew Cooper turned four today and I wanted to wish him a very, very happy birthday. Unfortunately because I have a gig to do I can’t be there with him so I hope that this little dedication to him will be the next best thing.

I have two nephews named Kye and Cooper and it’s amazing watching them both growing up, to see the differences in the two.

Kye, being the first born I suppose, is a very careful individual who takes risks but is very calculated with it whereas Cooper has no fear whatsoever, it’s all or nothing with him and he certainly lets you know about it.

Another major difference is that Kye is very diplomatic and sensitive whereas Cooper is about as tactful as a punch in the face, something which I’ve experienced first hand with him but that’s another story.

Both of my nephews have different ways of expressing themselves and getting the most out of life but what I love most about Cooper is his strength of character and his stubborn and persistent determination to get things done.

He just doesn’t give up and he isn’t afraid of the consequences of not giving up. Admirable qualities in my book.

I’ve learnt a lot from both of them and it’s times like these such as a birthday that you stop and realise how precious a young life is.

Happy Birthday Cooper.

Peace,

(Uncle) Corey :)

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