Monday, April 25, 2011

Tinkering with Chords and Clay - Part 1

Blogs are great because they make you do things. I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again and will do so forever more. Since writing the last blog entry -- or more accurately, as a RESULT of writing the last blog entry -- I've really kicked it into gear. That very same day, I put an ad up on craigslist looking for a guitarist. A few days later, I took it upon myself to craft some accessories. For the Anya song, which is next to be released, I decided it would be cool to wear the amulet from the episode The Wish, in which on she first appears. I looked it up online, but couldn't find any website that sold replicas of the amulet. But did I let it stop me? Noooooo. I re-watched the episode, freeze-framed the necklace in close-up, drew a sketch of the pendant, took a trip to my local Michael's, and made a reproduction out of green and gold fimo (pictured above). Hopefully at least a few people will get the reference and appreciate it. But even if this one slipped under the radar, the gigantic, shiny, geeky-ghetto fabulous bling I made for the Faith song will most definitely not. I'm going to keep that one under wraps until the release of the video when it makes its big splash.

And while the jewelry was baking, my message-in-a-craigslist-bottle was floating far and wide. I ended up getting more responses than I could possibly use, or even know what to do with. There was one guitarist to particularly impressed me, with whom I followed up and corresponded several times but didn't totally work out in the end. And just when I was thinking I should crack into the initial wave of e-mail responses, I got a belated reply from the person who turned out to be my guy.

His name is Gary Dunn. He plays in a blues band and has studio recording space in his home. He also works in music licensing so he knows pretty much everything there is to know about music from the 18th century until now. When we met up for coffee two Fridays ago, I showed him the chord chart. Originally, the song was in the key of C, but I had changed it to B since -- despite it being more complicated -- it fit my vocal range a little better. It was a point of self-consciousness for me because I thought, "Here I am, diva singer, making everything all screwy-wonky to fit my needs." But his immediate response was, "I like the key of B. A lot of Rolling Stones songs were written in B. It's probably what fit Mick Jagger's vocal range the best." Wow, I thought, that just rocks in so many ways. First of all, you like the key. Second, you cited a Stones factoid that probably a lot of Stones fans don't even know. Third, you kind of sort of indirectly drew a parallel between Mick Jagger's voice and mine. How many points did you just earned in my book???

Finally this weekend, we synced up our schedules and rehearsed the song. There is much to tell from that, but I fear this blog entry is getting a little long so I'll pick it up another day. Hope you've enjoyed! I promise I'll report back soon.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Buffy Ballads WILL Rise Again...

Dear Buffy blog,

I know it's been a while. A long while. Maybe you thought I'd forgotten you forever. Even through our time apart, I've thought about you a lot. I don't know what I was waiting for -- more songs, more subjects for smalltalk, "the perfect moment" which never came. Okay, I'm cutting the excuses and telling you outright I'm sorry. Sorry if you felt abandoned; neglected; unloved. Wait a second, you don't have feelings. You're not a person, or an animal, or even an inanimate object. Heck, your existence is completely confined to the realm of cyberspace! What am I doing, gushing my guilt to this abstract idea of a thing when I should really be talking to the fans?
PAUSE. REWIND. Long-awaited-Buffy-ballad-blog Take 2.


Dear Buffy fans and supporters of the Buffy ballads,

I know it's been a while. A long while. The Ballads to the Buffy Big Bads may have even appeared dead. I'd like to think of them as entering the afterlife, and as you know, in the world of vampires the afterlife is the most exciting stage! The beast has been bitten, the blood has been mingled, and now the creature is in its coffin taking a little beauty rest before it rises again; this time bigger, badder, stronger, sexier, and more unstoppable than ever before.

And what, you may ask, is in said coffin? Not one, not two, but THREE new songs -- a country western ballad for Anya, an R&B hip-hop song for Faith, and a classic rock power ballad for Glory. All three songs have melodies and lyrics. My trusty pianist David Bickford helped me arrange the chord progressions, but due to scheduling conflicts, I will need to find some other folks to help me out with accompanying and recording the tracks. I'm rooting around for a guitar player for the Anya song; shuffling through my musician friends before braving the list of Craig. (I also have to remember, though, that craigslist was how I found David in the first place, and who knows what the Buffy ballads would be without him?) As for the Faith song, I'm going to see if I can get some help from my neighbors CJ, lead singer of R&B pop boy band The Score. We have some tentative plans to meet and work on stuff so now I've just got to get over my head trips and go for it. (Okay, I've put it in writing. It WILL come true.)

So yes, I am taking steps in the process to release the next songs. Baby Buffy steps which will hopefully result in bigger ones to come. One itty bitty accomplishment I made this morning was finding a contender for a costume for the Anya video, which is next. It doesn't have fringes, but I think if I do my hair big enough, it will come off as just the right amount of country. I will do my best to be more diligent in keeping you posted. I can't wait to get going on the new material, and I hope you are excited too.

Yours eagerly,
Reluctant Fan Girl

PS The picture at the top of the page is of a tag I ripped off a denim purse. (I didn't buy the purse just for the tag, but it seems like a pretty good omen all the same.)