Monday, September 27, 2010

Laying it Down with the Mayor

I am exhausted out of my mind from a long weekend of nonstop creativity, which ended with a glorious bang at David Bickford's lovely Laurel Canyon abode. And I'm proud to say that we have laid down a magnificent track for the next Buffy song, "Ooh, Mr. Mayor." Pardon the bragging, but I do believe this is the best one yet!!!

The song is a sort of slinky, jazzy lounge tune sung in the style of Marilyn Monroe's "Happy Birthday Mr. President.” It plays on the idea of a seductive lady making a man with a seemingly wholesome fa├žade admit to having a slimy, dirty, kinky alter ego. I think that it's pretty much in line with Joss Whedon’s intent when he created the character. Here is a guy who claims to be all about family and leadership and good behavior (to the point where he doesn't even use swear words!), and yet he engages in all sorts of extremely unwholesome behavior in which he breaks pretty much every law in the book. So I took that premise and then added a metric ton of sexual innuendos, which is basically what I do best.

David and I had figured out the arrangement last week, which took a bit more time than "Wherefore Art Thou Juliet?" since the song had a much more complicated melody. I arrived at his place at around 3 PM on Sunday, despite the fact that we weren't sure if we could get the recording done because the power was out in Laurel Canyon. We practiced it, worked out the transitions, and waited. Still no power. So we took a little trip down to the West Hollywood Guitar Center where I purchased a keyboard for $99. It was a very exciting thing, and it will be quite useful when I compose my next round of songs, since I've basically been writing all of the melodies in my head, then clumsily attempting to translate my wacky ideas to David.

The power returned shortly after our little excursion. Long story short, we laid down a drum track, which required some interesting mathematical calculations. We recorded several versions of the piano melody and spliced the strongest parts of all of them. At around 8 PM, we were only partially done, and David looked like he was fading fast. He said, "I don't know if we can get this done tonight. You may have to come back tomorrow." I was really hoping knock it out in one session so we wouldn't have to worry about it later. I also had the inkling that he was feeling incapable because his blood sugar had dropped so I offered to cook him a meal. I foraged around in his kitchen and whipped up a lovely combo of pasta Primavera, arugula salad with homemade blackberry vinaigrette, and pork stew in a tomato sauce. "Once he’s eaten," I thought, "he'll probably have his mojo back." Surprisingly, he successfully recorded most of the track while I was in the midst of cooking. After dinner, we finished the rest of the recording. It took a lot of strange little tweaks to make sure that everything timed right with the percussion and piano. At 1:30 AM, we were finally done!

We were both a little concerned about whether or not the recording was accurate enough. It was the best we could do, given our energy level and the hour. One could only hope that it sounded okay the next day. I've listened to the track probably 20 times today, and to my great delight it sounds AWESOME!!! I'm scheduled to record the next video on Thursday of this week. Keep your eyes and ears peeled!

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