[l1]A[/l1] hallmark of Roger Miller’s songwriting is what I call his happy heartbreaks: the saddest stories, told with wit to cheerful music.
Just as Hitchcock makes pokes us with the incongruity of life by making us laugh during a terrifying scene, Roger reminds you that life isn’t the events, but our reactions. Even the poor guy standing in a train station somewhere 110 miles from Baltimore sounds more resigned than heartbroken when he says “I don’t think she loves me any more.” Continue reading “Happy Heartbreak #1: Engine, Engine #9”
[l1]S[/l1]ongwriter friend Charlie Cheney keeps telling me that song lyrics should lean heavily on nouns. Show, don’t tell. Pack the song with people doing things in places with stuff, instead of talking about feelings and interior monologues and all those abstracts.
A handful of years ago, Charlie and a group of friends wrote a song which was nothing but nouns. It didn’t make much sense, but it sure had nouns.
[l1]F[/l1][az]B0019HBXB8[/az]ilm maker (which is quite an understatement, really) Nic Askew graciously pointed out the music credits in his film “The Perilous Journey” which you should go watch right now. I’ll wait.
Back? Great. You’ll need to watch it more than once to really let it sink in. Anyway, the credits pointed me to Stephane Wrembel, acclaimed as the finest personification of Django’s gypsy jazz, and I thought you should know.
In fact, if you’re in New York, would you please go see Stephane for me? I can’t make it to New York right now, but I’d feel better knowing the task was being covered.
Thanks. Let me know how it goes.
Oh; here’s where you can see and hear Stephane Wrembel:
[l1]A[/l1]pplying thoughts from one industry to a completely different industry is one of my favorite business revitalization tricks. It’s been working with music for aeons. Speaking of Ians, have a listen to the psychedelic classical and big band music of Ian Stewart.
There are links on his bio page to some mildly psychedelic jazz, and a fantastic rock arrangement of the standard “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.”
The home page has a video of a live performance of the adagio from Stewart’s Concerto Grosso. Perhaps I’m a sucker for live classical music (this is not rock or jazz where you can turn mistakes into improvisation) but it’s mesmerising.
Everything tomorrow doesn’t have to be like everything yesterday.
[l1]J[/l1]azzy, with a light edge, floral topnotes and a decisive nose.
Charlie Cheney is a distinctive and intelligent songwriter whose love for February Album Writing Month is a driving force behind the fun and learning that I get from it.
His song Jimmy Doogan was a jazz delight when he recorded the demo last year. He’s done a video which includes a new bridge section. Lyrically, the song has nice tension, but musically it was all sweetness and happy. The bridge really pushes it briefly into a meaner place, so the release coming back to the sweet melody is darkened nicely.
Charlie Cheney. Jimmy Doogan. Enjoy.
(The video isn’t exactly HD quality, but the sound’s the important part and that’s crisp and clear.)