Kung Fu Lover

Several new Lizards songs are working their way through a production pipeline these days, one of which is entitled “Kung Fu Lover,” a sort of whimsical punk jam, I suppose. I put music to the lyrics some time ago and just heard Chopper’s vocal and guitar ideas.

As usual, Chopper’s singing is cool. I particularly like his ideas for the chorus—(edit: Chop revealed the the high register in the “Hi-yas” is provided by his daughter, which is fun. Perhaps we should all get our kids in on this!).

I also don’t like my guitar sound, which is so overbearing that any other guitar work, i.e., Chopper’s, is drowned out. I may rerecord this stuff and think about the song more clearly with two guitars. (edit: I have rerecorded my guitars and the new version is in the hands of Chop and Metro.)

Anyway, this post is to discuss the recording of this song, and all other usual stuff.


65 Responses to “Kung Fu Lover”

  1. During the first listen I did not like the “Hi Ya”s…because I think I had heard something different in my head. Having listened to it about 20 times now, I can’t imagine the song without it.
    Choopster: I’m assuming that it’s some kinda of sample or perhaps you enlisted your daughter to help get the vocal that high?

    I am also close to a drum part in my head. I haven’t tried it out yet…but this song may call for something special.

  2. As a last hurrah before returning to tons and tons of serious work tomorrow (or today rather) I re-recorded the guitars for KFL. Now sounds better, but is still rather overwhelming. Didn’t come up with much for two guitars yet. Will send an mp3 of what I did–or two, one with and one without drum loops–tomorrow.

    Also took a listen to Channeling Lou and realized that I really lose the tempo during my intro bit–I know, I know! This is what fucks up that whole song. So, forget about it right now. I’m going to redo it–but how is a real question. Think I’ll do an electric version, unless there is any opposition. The version I had just didn’t get me grooving, so I’m going to speed it up and rock it up.

  3. Chopper Newt Says:

    Metro – good ear. That is the debut performance of Claire on the Hi-Ya bit, (she needs to be assigned a Lizard name of course), and while I do think she’s a little high in the mix, I’m glad to hear you say that you’ve warmed to it. First off, my expectation is still that there are going to me a lot more hi-ya voices (you guys) to balance it more, but also I wanted to make a little tiny shout-out to kiddie-kung-fu stuff a la 3 Ninjas. To me, the idea of saying “hi-ya!” with a straight face seems to be inherently a holdover from the most child-like impression of martial arts, and is in keeping with the rest of the lyric (the guy thinking that watching a few movies qualifies him a some kind of black-belt). So in closing, I would have been prepared to remove the kid voice if it was universally hated by the quorum, but like you, after repeated listens, I think it’s essential.

    Turning from that for a moment, I freaking LOVE the guitar-bass sound we managed for this tune (thanks, Toneport!), and while I understand the tweaking that Gecko may do to his parts, I’m not nearly as down on his guitar levels as he seems to be – really, I’m not doing anything too interesting with my guitar here, mostly echoing the line that he established, although on the verses I do diverge, mainly due to that fact that when I was coming up with guitar parts I was still mixed up as to which part was verse and which was chorus. I straightened that out for the singing, but kept my guitar parts the same, so if there’s any interest in what I’m doing it probably comes form that little inversion.

    Also, on the singing, I don’t think I got into it until the second verse, so expect a vocal re-do before long.

    All in all, I didn’t love this when I was recording my part, but having blasted it in the car all weekend, if there were an album to be made here, right now I’d put this as track 1. This is Lizard music.

    Also, when the opportunity arises I’m going to re-do all my parts for SWM playing along with the new track Gecko sent last night, as I think that will help with the cohesion – laying it in with my original tracks just sounds too wonky. I think there’s too much intangible tempo stuff that came from playing with the drum machine and doesn’t translate, so maybe starting from scratch with the real drum track will alleviate that.

  4. The more I listen to KFL, the more I like it and wonder if I even want to be involved in the “HiYa”s anymore. I’m going to try and record drums for KFL tonight.

    – – – – – – – –

    Having listened several times to the drums I did for SWM…I don’t really want to re-record. I really like the intensity with which I am playing. I also like the bass drum. What I will do is record an additional “cymbal” track so that you can push the cymbals as high as you want in the mix.

    – – – – – – – –

    I don’t know why, but I am having real trouble playing ClipBoard. I just can’t stay in time with it.

  5. I’ll listen to Clipboard again carefully, but I’m pretty sure it’s in time. Not an easy song, though. I’ll send the stripped down tune without a drum track. That will be easier for Sir Pent. I’ll also send KFL without drums.

    My changes last night were mostly cosmetic. The Toneport is so cool I just had to rerecord using it. Also, using it saves my CPU from having to work so hard.

    As for Channeling Lou, I came up with a good idea for it while walking through the rain to campus this morn (and getting soaked). It’s going to be a “harder” song and I’m adding a bridge to break it up and a slightly different coda that will recapitulate the intro. Will try to get something hammered out, but without any drum loops at all, this eve.

    I think your drumming is good on SWM, Metro. I’ll keep listening to see if it works its way into my brain. My problem with it is that the drums don’t sound like real drums, particularly the cymbals. I wonder if you have real drum samples on Cubase that you can trigger with your kit using the MIDI inputs (you’d have to have a MIDI to USB adapter like this one, I think: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/MAudio-USB-Uno-1X1-MIDI-Interface?sku=701379)

    Also, I have some very good drum sounds on my drum machine, especially cymbals–I can send you some to add in as a separate track wherever you want. Or I can add them in here. I can easily send several sized crashes, rides, etc., that all sound excellent.

  6. I’m not saying Clipboard is out of time…I don’t think…I’m saying more that I suck.

    I’ve been listening to KFL a lot and I have suggestion that would require “re-recording”:
    When the song kicks in, you do that guitar progression twice before the vocals start. What if you only did that progression once and then the slow part from the break [the “snatch the pebble” music] and THEN go right into uptempo with the vocals.
    It would kind of act like an “overture” for the song.
    Kind of like in musical theater the overture plays little snippets of all the songs…what if the KFL “overture” played little snippets of what was going to happen in the rest of the song?

  7. Someone let me know where these tracks are being stored … I know, I’m sure you’ve sent the links around before, but the resin in my skull doesn’t act like glue any longer.

  8. Chopper Newt Says:

    An overture.

    You clearly spent too much time banging MT’s.

  9. You can never spend enough time banging anyone!!

  10. That’s a really good idea, Bob, I mean Metro! I’ll rerecord…. when I get the chance, that is. I had a similar idea with Channeling Lou. Actually, I might not have to rerecord. I can just cut and paste those pieces around. So long as I’m playing in time, it’s not impossible to move stuff around.

    Gator: which tracks do you want? You mean the whole songs, or rather the test demos?

    Oh, and I forgot to mention earlier: I’m totally in favor of the Hi-Yas in KFL. I thought Chops was digitally manipulating his own voice to get that high sound, which I didn’t really like the idea of. But I really like the idea of getting our kids in on this. How old is your daughter, Chops? She sounds great there.

    I also thought about Metro’s boomy bass drum sound, which I’m still not in favor of. Sorry.

  11. OK. OK. I’ll re-record.
    BTW-I guess reading the manual can help. I found that I CAN adjust the volume of the different pads and even change the voices. So, that is to say…I can select a more “realistic” sounding cymbal that has more decay and such.

    …10 years later…

  12. Whichever we’ve got – if they’re being hosted somewhere specific then I’d love to hear them, if they’re just being bounced around on email then include me on the list. I’m not as quick to respond as the rest of you, but I’m still interested : )

  13. New SWM drum mix being e-mailed.

  14. Man, I’ve been wasting time trying to get something out for Channeling Lou since hearing Ivan’s new lyrics, but I can’t seem to get it right no matter what I do. I’m going to work on WORK until midnight then try again with CL.

    I have the sound of the guitar… a real vintage sounding one I got from fiddling with a Jimmy Page set up I downloaded from Line 6. But I just can’t make the music emerge….

  15. I agree that the SWM drum I sent is a little stiff, but I had spent an hour playing and adjusting the levels AND
    I had noticed that, because everything sits on this rack system, sometimes if I would hit the snare right after the bass the rack would shake enough to casue the crash cymbal to vibrate enough to trigger! So I was trying different positions and set-ups for the crash. By the time I recorded that my arms were killing me. (Not in as good a shape as I used to be…but I’ll get it back.) I think we’re honing in a little closer.

    – – – – – – – – –

    I don’t know what everyone else thinks about the new arrangement of KFL, but I really dig it. I think it breaks it up and makes it more dynamic.

  16. Chopper Newt Says:

    Sorry, I haven’t listened to anything yet, so my silence is ignorance, not judgment.

  17. Well, I like the KFL arrangement a lot, and I think it’s funny that I could do it without rerecording anything. Technology these days!

    I hadn’t thought about the fact that playing drums is aerobic. Well, you probably need the exercise.

    Got to go teach.

  18. I just realized that your drumming is the hardest thing to do of all this new music. Playing guitar my timing doesn’t always have to be perfect; there’s some leeway that would be imperceptible, whereas anything off on the drums will be pretty apparent. Combine that with the fact that you’re playing fake drums which probably don’t have the bounce and feel of a nice acoustic set–do they? And you said you’re on a folding chair instead of a proper drum stool. That can’t help. And the whole rack shakes? Not good either. And you’re out of shape, too! Yeah, you have some disadvantages here.

    BTW, instead of sleeping enough I did get a bit of Channeling Lou recorded after midnight. I think it might work. We’ll see.

  19. And playing along to an existing track is something I haven’t done since H.S., not to mention under current conditions.
    I think, though, that if we actually continue to write and record as we are right now that I may invest in the “newer” model of the electronic drums. The drum voices are better, the cymbals/hi-hats are designed better and the rack itself is better.
    …but I can’t really spend $1000-1600 right now…

  20. That is why I suggested making your MIDI system work. If Cubase is anything like Mixcraft you probably have excellent drum sounds built in that can be triggered by a MIDI device, which your drum set is. You’d have to somehow plug your drums into your computer—with a MIDI to USB controller—and then program each drum pad to trigger a particular drum sound on Cubase. This sounds so easy doesn’t it? 😉 It probably wouldn’t work out so nicely.

    The good electric drum set I played a month or so ago was an amazing piece of equipment: depending on where you hit the pad, the sounds were transformed, and the cymbals could be played like real cymbals. But very expensive. I spent about $280 on my guitar and Toneport and I have a very nice set up now. Hell, that $50 Toneport could make a pretty crappy guitar sound nice. Not so cheap to get good drums, acoustic or electric.

  21. Sent a test copy of Channeling Lou to everyone, which I thought had failed to go through e-mail, but I later found it. I listened to it probably four times on the way to work today and like it more and more. Tried to give it a sort of Rush-style Anthem ending, but need a big ol’ drum roll there.

  22. I got it. It was BIG file. Commented back via e-mail.

    I need to try out the midi thing, but maybe when I have time to get a midi-cord and can afford to buy some voices. (As a note, I know the drum-brain has a midi-out…but I’m 90% sure that my Mac has a midi-in.)

  23. Boy, working just isn’t working out. Anyway, if your mac has midi in that is pretty darned cool. Find out if Cubase has these “voices” already installed

    I was able to have the speed of the drums in CL which dramatically changed the song’s feel, but anyway it was a hack job. Halving the tempo makes the drums sound like crap. So, there’s no alternative that I can discover other than to rerecord the whole damned thing and that isn’t going to happen yet.

    Here’s the funny thing, when you think about it: when I first recorded this song you suggested it was too slow, and now you say it’s too fast. But I didn’t change the tempo at all. It’s 120 bpm. It’s just the drums in the new version are half-time. Drums are fast, music is the same.

  24. SWM!! I don’t think it’s perfect…but I can finally sleep at night knowing that I have played it “correctly” and not have to live with the colossal blunder from the HOIYS recording.

  25. Metro’s newest drumming is in very good time. It fit with my old acoustic guitar recording pretty well. In fact, I fall slightly out of tempo somewhere but catch back up. But it’s not very noticable. I can rerecord, too, but see no good reason to do so. I wonder why your original guitar recording won’t work?

    I can create a guitar tone for you, if you want Chops, for SWM. You’ve got to get something a little more vintage. Build yourself a sound, if you don’t want my help. Actually, I can send you my Jimmy Page tone, which I modified with a little more overdrive. Might be perfect.

    I finally put KFL on my iPod and listened to it on the way to work. I love it. Really like the funky distortion on your vocals on “I’m gonna steal your heart.” Very retro.

  26. Forgot to mention, I’ll be away from both guitar and computer until Monday, so I can do nothing but listen to stuff until then. I’ll send a sans drums version of CL on Monday so Metro can play with it. If he does the drumming in regular time rather than double time as it is now, the song won’t sound so fast. The question is whether I’ll have to rerecord my chord playing or if it will still sound okay with new drumming–because I recorded while listening to those hectic drums.

    We really just have to get better sounds for those electric drums, though. Metro, can you use those sounds I sent you? Even if you can’t, you could possibly turn down your crash cymbal all the way while recording and add the crash sound to another track at the proper place in Cubase. You might also think of having each drum on a separate track and then doing some creative panning to the right or left. You could also then “replace” the sounds with better sampled sounds. Mostly it seems to me that the cymbals, crash, ride, and hi-hats, are the least convincing. Snare and bass drums sound alright. Do you have any toms?

  27. Do we want to send all the different tracks to Chops for SWM and try a real mixdown?

    – – – – – – – – –

    I am very excited about putting a drum track to KFL. I have a few ideas that will include additional percussion. I also want to try a few “weird” accents that I will do outside of the actual drum track.

  28. I thought you were going to wait until you got the hi-hat fixed. Or is it fixed? Or does it not matter for that song? If not, then fire away. I can’t send my wav files until next week, however, since I didn’t bring my computer back to Ohio for the weekend. I’ll have to burn them onto a CD and send next week.

    I wouldn’t mind being the mixing down guy, anyway. You can send the wav files to me, too. I’m thinking we don’t need to add much in the way of equalization filters, since most people’s stereos do that. Perhaps an overall compression filter will be enough? Every time I add EQ to a whole song I feel like it makes the song sound wimpy.

    As for SWM, I listened many more times to the new version on the airplane and I have to say I liked the earlier version we did much better. I preferred the singing and electric guitar work on that one to the new one, which to me doesn’t sound like THE song and certainly doesn’t go well with the acoustic guitar playing I did.

    Also listened to KFL more times and like it more and more–although the Hi-Yas, which I love, are at an earsplitting level right now. But we have to record with the new version of it I did, which has the additional quiet part in the beginning. Also, regarding levels, I can’t hear my clean, uber-chorused guitar at the bridge much at all under Chops’ chunga chungas. I’m also of the opinion that Chop must do some sort of soloing in the long beginning section of the song, rather than the powerchords. Finally (boy I’m just full of opinions, aren’t I?) I think Chop could be playing the wrong chords under my “solo” because everything there totally changes. At least what he is playing doesn’t quite sound like what my rhythm guitar is playing, which is a fast E D E D C# D B C# (powerchords of course) twice, before going back into the chorus of the song.

    Can you use the sound files I sent, Metro, or are they useless? Looking forward to hearing your KFL ideas.

  29. Haven’t had a chance to try anything. Work has kept me pretty busy…and family.
    As far as needing a new hi-hat to record KFL…I think I have a workaround. Won’t know how well it works until I try it though.
    I’m annoying myself as I search the internet every day for deals on the latest Yamaha DTXpress IV Special drum-kit. I know I shouldn’t…I know I can’t REALLY afford it…but I want it so bad.

    – – – – – – – – – –

    I liked the first version Chops sent on 5/1 best. (SWM with all the pieces as of now) It wasn’t overblowing as much. MY big critique is:
    1) in all the versions, Chops vocals sound very muddy. Any chance of lowering the bass and increasing the treble? Overall the track itself feels flat…like the high and low ends are being cut out.

    also…and these are my opinions:
    2) can we lower the volume on the intro tambourine just a smidge?
    3) can the tambourine stop after the break? It continues on the for the last 4 measures until the song ends, but it doesn’t seem to fit well like it does during the break.

    Other than that I think that we are very close to a first song. (Which we will then spend the next 10 years endlessly noodling…)

  30. Chopper Newt Says:

    So the last mix I sent then, is this what people are wanting?

    Sorry, I am fatigued with SWM, I’m really not feeling the song anymore.

    If this is the way we’re going, I’ll pack up the wav’s and mail to Gecko for completion, let me know.

  31. I am also more excited about “new” songs rather than re-hashing the past.
    I can also pack up my WAV file and send to Gecko…

  32. Hmm. Too bad everyone is already getting down on all this. Is it all due to my critiques? Reminds me of 15 years ago. I apologize, then.

    I dig the new tunes a lot, but thought it would be fun to redo (not rehash) some of the great old songs. I was blown away by what CN had done with SWM and wanted to retain it–it had a spontaneity perhaps because it was something we had revisited after so long. The recent versions just didn’t catch me like that first one. But, I’m happy to accept whatever everyone likes. We can have a vote, if you want.

    At any rate, I’m listening to the version of SWM that CN just sent and I love it. Bass sounds great, drums are in excellent time, Chops’ guitar has that great more raw sound, and I can hear my acoustic nicely. Pack them up on a CD or whatever and sent them to me, if that’s what we want.

  33. Chopper Newt Says:

    It’s certainly not a matter of the critiques, and I don’t have a problem re-doing some old songs, it’s more that I lose interest in playing and hearing a song like this more quickly than I do with something new like KFL. That said, I think your response to the newer guitar recordings was spot on, in retrospect, and I think the version I sent out last night re-instating the tracks I cut the first time is about as good as this song is going to get.

    In fact, the thought that doing these is going to naturally create some friction over the way they ought to be points to at least some emotional investment on all our parts in the project, which to me means that we’re doing something worthwhile.

    One question for Gecko – all the parts I have that are included in the last SWM mix are WAV files, with the exception of the bass guitar, which due to laziness on my part is an MP3 in it’s original track. If you think it will enhance the recording, I’ll re-record it as WAV and then pack them up and shoot them over on a CDR. I guess I will rerecord the bass no matter what, it’s not like I did anything so awesome on that recording that I won’t be able to touch it again. So I guess I answered my own question.

    One tangible problem I have with SWM, by the way, is that really I never used to write with my own singing range in mind, so a lot of the old songs I did will always suck vocally. I’ve tried to get better at that. “Cliipboard” for instance, I worked the melody line until I found a way to put it in my wheelhouse vocally, so it doesn’t have that adolescent buzz I get from singing too low in my register. Also, SWM is kind of a pussy song, when you get down to it, lyrically anyway. It doesn’t reflect my badass nature.

  34. My opinion (& I hate myself for it) is that, if we have a “darn” good recording…let’s do a high quality mixdown and then move onto the next song(s).
    That way, we can live with the song for a few months. During that time we will all develope better ears for recording and (especially me) improve our playing. THEN we can always go back and re-record or enhance if we want.
    I don’t want to sink into a quagmire where we spend weeks or months endlessly noodling and tweaking.
    …another 20 or so takes of SWM over and over makes me worry that I will lose interest in the overall effort.

    That being said, I don’t want to just throw things together either. We just need a happy medium.

    I think Chops and I are probably more “tired” of SWM because we didn’t have quite the hiatus from it as Gecko. We still played and rehearsed it repeatedly during the Freep years.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    Listening to the last mix, I am happy with the overall song.
    My points listed above about the tambourine I still stand behind. I am also concerned about the dynamic range of the lead vocal track still. The recording is very “flat”. Any chance of equalizing and/or adding some reverb?

  35. I stopped off at the local mom-n-pop music shop after work. The guy suggested they would give me a couple hundred off the sticker price plus they would take my old drums/banjo/PA head as trade in…so I might be able to get the drums for 1200-ish…

  36. That’s still a fair piece of dough, but a better sound would be nice, wouldn’t it?

    So, let’s move on past SWM. I agree we shouldn’t work a song to death. I’ll e-mail my home address and you can send me the wav files when you get the chance. I’ll take the tambourine out of the end, although I’m not in favor of it.

    Then we can finish KFL, CL, and WKWG…. Perhaps before I head off to the UK for the month of July. Ha!

  37. SWM does sound great. Love it. I’m amazed at how accurately timed Metro’s percussion is. See, all it took was a bunch of practice to get back into the groove.

    I was thinking of Metro’s drums again. It must be possible to get more “accurate” voices or sounds without getting a whole new kit. That would save you tons of dough, wouldn’t it? Got to try that midi hookup deal.

  38. Hopefully I’ll keep getting better.

    The good news (or bad if you are my wife) is that I have pretty much decided that I AM going to get the new set. It’s more a matter of “when” am I going to get it. I’d like to wait a few months. I am close to paying off a few bills.

  39. That’s the way to live: Pay off a few bills so you can accumulate a few more.

    I played that fender tele deluxe ’72 reissue again Friday, this time one with gold finish. Cool. I could probably work a good deal with the shop since they can’t sell that axe. It’s been there months. But I’m happy enough with my squier for now since I have no money. If we ever need to do a live show I’ll buy the fender and keep my squier as the backup. Can’t believe I used to do shows with no backup guitar. And I never broke a string!

  40. You’re the Gecko. Broken strings aren’t in your arsenal.

    Hey just sent out a drum track for KFL. Check it out.

  41. Funny thing is, strings flatten out as they get old and thus begin to sound bad, but since I never break a string I have little incentive to replace, thus my guitar begins to sound flat. Of course, with enough overdrive nobody notices.

    Speaking of overdrive, I still can’t find my old Ibanez Metal Charger distortion pedal, which is very annoying. That thing is famous these days for serious metal distortion and you can’t even find one on e-bay except from the e-bay stores for high prices. Not that I’d ever sell mine even if I could find it.

    My parents visited us this weekend. Ye, godz, three people who should never be together: my parents and my wife. And they never would be were it not for me.

  42. Chopper Newt Says:

    I laid the drum track into my KFL session without issue, I’m not sure what the tempo issue Gecko mentioned in his email was coming from. Unless there’s a new Gecko guitar track after the one I was using. I did a bass line and I’m working on a guitar, but it all sounds pretty well in time to me. Is there yet another drum track besides the one I got emailed?

    Soloing at the beginning of the song is my hold up, I don’t have anything to contribute that way, at least so far.

  43. Well, I hope it works. Recording that nearly killed me. (BTW-that’s NOT double-bass in the break…it’s just me going friggin’ crazy. I can’t do double on this kit.)

    I’m very excited to hear what you have.

    I hope to have something for Clipboard this week. That song is REALLY hard to play on the drums…my drumset is not making it any easier.

  44. I don’t know what’s going on, unless I’m using a different version. Are we all using the “new” version that has the slow bridge both at the beginning and the end?

    Could be I’m fucking something up. I’m generally having a bad time of everything right now, but I won’t bore you with the horrible details.

    I don’t know why Clipboard is so hard to play. It is definitely one of the more precise tunes, I think. And it’s not even fast.

  45. I’m thinking about setting up some privacy settings on our blog, so that there’s an LFA page for everyone and a music discussion blog just for us. I’d like to do this, as all our discussions wouldn’t then be in the public domain. Chops would have to get a wordpress account, however. Would you object to setting up an account, Newtski? Costs nothing, doesn’t mean you have to “do” anything. Takes seconds. Etc.

  46. I was using the “new” version, the one you had most recently sent.

    – – – – – – – – –

    Tell us about your bad time…that’s what bandmates are for. (But you should do it in e-mail so as not to broadcast to the world…)

    – – – – – – – – –

    I think it’s a combo of:
    1) the very slight latency
    2) the drum machine throwing me off whenever I do something different
    [Did you ever send me drum-free version?]
    3) my drumset/fact that I don’t have a “real hi-hat”
    4) my overall lack of skill

  47. You don’t have a version without drum loops? Does Chops? If not, will send this eve. I don’t think you can really play over top of drum loops. When you did that on SWM the result was ugly, but when I gave you a sans drums version you produced something very nice.

    I might be a stickler so I hear the slightest divergences. But, again, it could also be for lots of reasons, not least by general bad times. Perhaps I’ll tell you about it sometime.

    What do you think about the “private” blog.

    Now must make up final exam study guide. Sooooo boooring!

  48. Chopper Newt Says:

    One thing I noticed was that I couldn’t put Serp’s MP3 into my existing multitrack session because of the sample rate he chose for the MP3. It had to resample it and convert it to something else. I just let it do this automatically and didn’t change any settings, but if I recall correctly back in the days I used to work with this program for a living, it’s possible that doing that could sometimes result in slight changes to the tempo of the recording. In this case, for me, it didn’t, but I wonder if something similar is causing the problem Matt is having.

  49. I’m for a private blog if we want to discuss non-band related stuff.

    I have been spending the day showing off my glorious mustache!! (oh, and doing some excel work for my IT department…)

  50. Mustache! I did that once, but quickly regrew the beard. With a mustache I look too much like a porn star or a terrorist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that!

    I was thinking of the private blog for discussion of our recording activities that don’t really need to be public domain. Then I could have a “public front” to Lizards From Afar, a blog for the general public which would be, I’m sure, less rarely visited or updated. The current blog would become a site for our ongoing recording venture.

    When we get a good demo of SWM and perhaps one other, are you still going to push for a IWU reunion concert, Sir Pent? I want a good excuse to buy a big old amplifier and a vintage tube screamer. If we never play live I’ll have to join a band in New York. Which isn’t a bad idea, except that I’m too busy being a boring old professor and dad.

    Will send non-drum-loop laden mp3s of KFL and CL in a little while, btw.

  51. mp3s sent.

    Once arriving home exhausted, I had a beer which sent me totally loopy. I’ve never been so trolleyed on one beer. I’m on a super-duper antibiotic, so I wonder if they interact.

    Since I was totally unable to work, I’ve been searching for inspiration with the guitar but unfortunately finding none. I’ve tried every tone I can think of, but nothing’s doing in When Kings Were Green for now. Perhaps I need to get the lyrics out and read them again.

  52. I will use the Lou drums this week, but I am also looking for Clipboard with no drums.

    I would push for an IWU reunion if everyone were interested. It would need to include the Gila, who only seems to communicate when he has a new show he wants me to attend. Plus, any thoughts on who would play bass? Gator does not seem interested in taking it back up.

  53. Chopper Newt Says:

    I tend to think the IWU thing would not work in the real world, but I agree that if we were going to attempt it, it would be dumb to try it without Gila and Gator, which raises the degree of difficulty even higher. I mean, who’s going to come to it even with all five of us there? And if it’s not all five of us, then REALLY who’s going to come to it?

    Here’s my suggestion on playing out…

    Let’s continue down this road and get some real new stuff on myspace, and see what develops. Maybe we can get some renewed interest from people who used to listen, or maybe we can bring in some new people. Those songs are listened to out there, look at the artists who have gotten signed because of their bedroom demos that they just posted by themselves. Then, maybe there would be more of a reason to pursue an actual show. Otherwise, I’m content to sit back and be Steely Dan, with less cocaine.

    Should we not plan to get Gila some of the tracks we’re finishing? Nothing might motivate him like hearing how decent this stuff is turning out.

  54. Chops is probably right. About everything. And that’s fine. We produce some good music and see if anyone wants to listen. Once we have some good demos, we should post on Myspace as well as the other sites that focus on music.

    I think we’ll have high quality demos of SWM, KFL, and CB very soon. They will be the first, will they not? We can send him the mp3s when they’re ready. I think CL will be ready soon after, and then there’s still WKWG, which I will work on eventually. As I said earlier, I ran out of inspiration recently. Tried going to one of Metro’s other lyrics but nothing came up. One song nearly caught on: the one about “she’s going to be the death of me,” the wild girl song. Forget the title. I’m thinking punk-honkeytonk.

  55. I’m cool either way about playing out. If everyone is in, I’m in.

    – – – – – – – – –


    SWM: Chops is sending Matt his final WAV files, yes?
    KFL: Chops is re-recording his parts to my recent drum track
    CB: I need to record some drums this week.
    CL: We have lyrics and a new tempo. I need to record new drums.

    – – – – – – – – –

    That Girl Is Trouble
    Well, I have a ton of songs written of course. As the lowly drummer I would ask (neh, beg) that we work on something for Batphone before aything else.
    Also, I believe our good friend Chops has said that he thinks he has a new song idea…so we should check that out as well.

  56. I like the idea of doing a song in 6/8, which apparently Batphone is, so I’ll work on it again when I get the chance. The lyrics just seem so… desperate.

    I can’t wait to see Chopper’s new song. I’d like to write lyrics myself, but they always sound so corny to me I throw them away. I might write some lyrics to Itsy Bitsy Spider, tho’. I have some good ideas for that song. Any interest in putting that one on Bloomington Democracy?

    KFL by the way is set at 150 bpm. I still think you would benefit to setting a metronome while you record. Also, were you able to use the sounds I sent you? Can you use any external sounds at all with your drums, because I can send more in pretty much whatever format. It would be an excellent way of improving your drums without buying anything new. What is the set you have, by the way? If you get it hooked up by MIDI you can definitely use lots of sounds….

    CL of course has not changed tempo at all. I forget what the tempo is now, but I never changed it. 110 or 120 or 105 bpm. I’ll have to look when I get home. I also forget what CB is, but I think it’s 120. There’s a built in metronome with Cubase, right?

  57. I agree that the lyrics are “desperate” for Batphone…but I also think that there is a dischotomy. There is anger and bitterness that then turns to sadness and loneliness. I think of it as someone masking their pain through outward expressions of discontent. I don’t think all songs have to be uplifting…some can explore other emotions.

    I’ll write a happy, goofy song today!

  58. Chopper Newt Says:

    I like Batphone and I’m happy to take on coming up with some music for it, but I don’t have a delivery date to give you yet.

    I am working at this point on the KFL guitar, that is correct, and I do need to get the WAV’s out for SWM, that will happen, uh, some time in the near future.

  59. I don’t think songs have to be uplifting, either. Clipboard is certainly not uplifting.

    If I get a chance this eve I’ll see what I can come up with for Batphone; if you don’t like it we’ll see what The Newt devises.

    One thing that confuses me about that song, tho: the “speaker” of the song is in bad shape looking for salvation of some sort, but he seems to be listening to the Batphone ringing. Wasn’t the Batphone a red phone in Bruce Wayne’s house that the comissioner called when trouble was about. Bruce would pick it up, listen to the appeal for help, then say something like, “The Joker is on the loose again, Boy Wonder! Quick, to the Batmobile!” So, I suppose the guy in the song is, in fact, calling Batman, not being called, right?

    Actually, I just had an idea of how that song will go. My only problem is that I’ve often done a drum loop layout of a song to give it structure and make it easier to play guitar, but I don’t have any 3/4 or 6/8 drum loops. Oh, well, time to turn the metronome on!

  60. Turn the Metrognome on? I don’t swing that way cowboy…

    – – – – – – – – –

    And yes, the basic idea is that the person is “calling” for help…he knows the phone is ringing and doesn’t understand why no one helps. The “batphone” is just a lyrical device…it seemed hipper and more concise than “the 911 emergency phone line is ringing”.

    – – – – – – – – –

    Chops, didn’t you tell me recently that you had a song idea? Any lyrics you could share?

  61. Chopper Newt Says:

    I did have a song idea, but it was a musical one, not a lyrical one, and I think I might have recorded a bit of it so I wouldn’t forget, and I hope I did, because I forgot. The end.

  62. Where did that funky icon/avatar around Chopper’s name come from?! That is fookin’ cool.

    Where are those great Chopper Newt lyrics? You were a master of hip songs back in the day. I always liked your tunes better than anyone else’s, even Gator’s, although some of his were pure genius. And the new Channeling You is beautiful. But we do need another new Chopper song. Give me a lyric and a melody and I’ll create you a rock opera.

    Which reminds me to get back to When Kings Were Green. But first, to the Batphone, Robin!

  63. Yeah, I still to this day don’t think I’ve written anything near as good as Choops…well, maybe I Wanna Be Good…

    Also, I promised a new song that was happy and goofy. It has been e-mailed to the LFA.

  64. Why am I still awake? Damned if I know. I jammed on guitar this eve, came up with something for Batphone, but it’s very rough and unformed and I’m not sure I like it.

    I didn’t realize you had written I Wanna Be Good, Serp. Why didn’t I know that? Damned if I know. It has your sound, sort of. Fucking Yoko was also genius.

    Need a new post, as I’m tired of this one. But what will the subject be? Why don’t you start the new one, Sir Pent?

  65. I didn’t write I Wanna Be Good…Chops and Gator did. (Chops secret shame.) I guess I was awkwardly saying that I have written better songs that IWBG.

    I’ll see if I can figure out how to start a new post.

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