HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by tonyoci » Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:24 am

Zoetrope wrote:I believe that was irony.
I believe that :) was a smiley.
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by Zoetrope » Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:31 am

You should have used the irony smiley:
:cowbell:
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by storpotaten » Sat Aug 01, 2009 12:51 pm

I'm tempted to say this was the best HMHS episode ever.

"Down" is a breathtaking piece - absolutely wonderful. Among my HMHS top ten.

And Tony actually made an interesting bass line... This is the one-minute revolution. ;)
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by Grandma Melonhead » Sat Aug 01, 2009 1:15 pm

What a great pile of songs! I think the one minute constraint was liberating to all. I especially liked "Ugly Joe" and "Until the end". Both gems but all were great. Not a dude in them.
John, I had a hard time understanding the words. After going to your site and reading them the song was stronger for me, of course. Great words.

Budumdum - Grandma Melonhead
Made my 2 year old dance.

Til The End - Sean John Tully Cracks
That qchord looks diabolical. Is it just like a casio in the shape of an autoharp, or is it more? It generates melodies? Or is it you picking out melodies from its arpeggiation.

Dumbtimes I Feel so Some - Grandma Melonhead
A quick and dirty one. I was attempting to come up with counter melodies to another song of mine but this recording ended up becoming a very short song of its own. It has the exact same chord progression, key and tempo as it's parent song-recording but is completely different. And works well at one minute.

exactly 60 seconds! What do I win?

Dave ---I never heard of that Beach boys song.

Ugly Joe - The Tones
Works in every way. Great bass line too!

OK, So I'm Ugly - Melonhead
Sounds overly compressed to me now. I cant work PSP Vintage warmer! I wanted it to be a bit assaultive but not this much.
Btw the voices were all recorded with my laptops built-in mic for the upfront sound it gives. (if I dont want the sound of the hard drive on the song, I have to start the computer from an external HD, but I never bother)

Dave,
yeah aside from voices and the one electric guitar, "Okay, so I'm ugly" was entirely sampler keyboard (played by me though, if that's what you meant). no loops. aside from fake bass and fake drums there was fake marimba, fake bassoon,, fake strings, fake organ and a fake horn. I used a virtual drum machine called ultrabeat which has a lot of wiggy sounds in it including that huge bass sound.

Come and Be My Siamese Twin - Albert Forssell
Very nice. I love ukulele. Solid tune and funny. highly inventive.

Down - Grandma Melonhead
Is this ripped off from "saint James Infirmary" or something? Sounds derivative

Rent Day - Ornaith O'Dowd
Nice cozy groove and voice. Again I can only understand half the words and wish I could understand them all.

Your Swimsuit - Grandma Melonhead
Filthy. I'm going to stop listening to this show from now on.
John, what are nits?

Bullets and Flowers - The Tones
Another gem. Nice genuine mood.

--

Yes, the problem with one minute songs is that just when you start to settle into them they stop. It can be very jarring.
However and Correct me if I'm wrong, I seem to recall that the early beatles albums (at least the ones my mom had) were made up of songs kinda between 1:15 and 2:10. They played at break neck tempos though so they were able to fit more in, I suppose.

Speaking of the structure and speaking of the Beatles, they would use whatever structure took their fancy. In the early days particularly you will notice that they started every song with the catchiest part of the song, be it a chorus, a verse or a guitar riff or even a drum beat.
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by The Cracks » Sun Aug 02, 2009 2:11 pm

Grandma Melonhead wrote:I especially liked "Ugly Joe" and "Until the end". Both gems but all were great. Not a dude in them.
John, I had a hard time understanding the words. After going to your site and reading them the song was stronger for me, of course. Great words.

Til The End - Sean John Tully Cracks
That qchord looks diabolical. Is it just like a casio in the shape of an autoharp, or is it more? It generates melodies? Or is it you picking out melodies from its arpeggiation.
Thanks Grandma. The QChord is diabolical to some. To others it is just a fun tool. The battle rages on. Is it a toy or a musical tool? :D For me it is a tool and a toy. I have a blast using it and I actually am getting some songs out of the deal.
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by criddlerus » Sun Aug 02, 2009 5:01 pm

The Cracks wrote:The QChord is diabolical to some. To others it is just a fun tool. The battle rages on. Is it a toy or a musical tool? :D For me it is a tool and a toy. I have a blast using it and I actually am getting some songs out of the deal.
As Jarvis Cocker showed us a few shows ago, "Toys" can be great for songwriting. If I lived in Maryland, I would ask to come over and try it. :) It sounds like a lot of fun.
Grandma Melonhead wrote:Dave,
yeah aside from voices and the one electric guitar, "Okay, so I'm ugly" was entirely sampler keyboard (played by me though, if that's what you meant). no loops. aside from fake bass and fake drums there was fake marimba, fake bassoon,, fake strings, fake organ and a fake horn. I used a virtual drum machine called ultrabeat which has a lot of wiggy sounds in it including that huge bass sound.
Interesting.. (I know I say that too much, but I mean it from the heart. ) Your recording process is really interesting to me for some reason. It sounds like such a jumble of stuff and I am not sure how it all comes together. You have a great "sound" you have created.
Grandma Melonhead wrote: Dave ---I never heard of that Beach boys song.
It just points to Beach Boys for some reason. Maybe I was mixing up the fact that Smile was going to be Dumb Angel at one point and the "Sometimes I feel very sad" lyric from I Just Wasn't Made For These Times.

Dave
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by Chris C » Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:15 pm

Really cool show. I enjoyed it a lot.
I had planned to mention this on the show but would an "album" of 1 minute songs require 40+ songs ???
I think Dave has mentioned it before, but there was a Sloan album a couple of years ago (maybe longer) called 'Never Hear the End of It' that has 30 songs, many are quite short. It's a really fine album, in my opinion. I ended up buying a couple more of Sloan albums, but didn't enjoy them as much as Never Hear the End of It.

Anyway, I won't comment on all the songs, but I enjoyed them all. Really.

Chris
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by Grandma Melonhead » Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:28 pm

Criddle wrote:Interesting.. (I know I say that too much, but I mean it from the heart. ) Your recording process is really interesting to me for some reason. It sounds like such a jumble of stuff and I am not sure how it all comes together. You have a great "sound" you have created.
Mainly I just try to stay open to interesting things happening. I often don't have any real plan. For "Ugly" I didn't decide I was going to use a bassoon and a marimba and a guitar it just happened that way. I also have many techniques for randomizing as I am working. I might come up with a number of unrelated melodies and then comp them (perhaps randomly). I might put down a part and then move the region just enough that the upbeats become downbeats. I might record a part for one song and then paste it into another to see what happens. I often work deliberately to break rules and find that with a bit of work and a bit of an ear even trainwrecks can be made musical.

With these methods, structure is often the very last thing to work out on a song ( rather than the first) and that can be a bitch. And I sometimes dont even know what the chords are to a song that I've finished.

Sometimes i worry that i get too opaque and wacky. One guy I dont want to be like is Danny Elfman. He knows 50 times more about music than I ever will but he couldn't write a catchy melody to save his life. His music is so dense and musically clever that it just bounces off of my ears and gets forgotten immediately. (before any Elfman fans get pissed at me, I should say that I don't know his stuff really and am mostly going on his movie work, particularly his songs for musicals, which are supposed to be catchy and never are).

Another thing I can add is that I kind of developed this approach of heavily layered songs with lots of surprises to make up for the crappy sound quality I was getting out of garage band and my horrible mic pres and converter that I used to use. I would be very happy recording songs with just 2 voices and a guitar if I was able to get that in-the-room level of sound quality that I still aint getting.
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by Zoetrope » Tue Aug 04, 2009 5:57 pm

Grandma Melonhead wrote:One guy I dont want to be like is Danny Elfman. He knows 50 times more about music than I ever will but he couldn't write a catchy melody to save his life.
I'm not an Elfman fan, but the Simpson's theme is pretty catchy.

Also, you should see "The Forbidden Zone". It's a movie you will love.
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by Grandma Melonhead » Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:08 am

Thanks for the tip, Zoetrope.
I'm downloading that Elfman movie as we post. Looks wacky.

I would argue that the simpsons theme isnt very catchy. For the first couple of years of the show, i could never remember it. I think that it is firmly in all of our brains now for having heard it 4 times a week for 20 years. Incidentally, here in europe, they still play the long version of the credits with homer leaving work and Marge shopping and all that. I guess we still dont have as many commercials over here.
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by lucas » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:16 am

Grandma Melonhead wrote:One guy I dont want to be like is Danny Elfman. He knows 50 times more about music than I ever will but he couldn't write a catchy melody to save his life.
are you excluding all of his work in Oingo Boingo?
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by ornaith » Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:49 am

A particularly enjoyable show this week (only partly because my song is in it :) ). I found the one-minute challenge very liberating, as many other listeners evidently have, too. "Rent Day" was a fragment that did not seem to be going anywhere and might well have been left on the shelf had I not decided to make it a one-minute song. When writing about something like this, it is very easy to descend into the most awful mawkishness and cringeworthiness, so I think it was better to leave the lyric short and simple, as it is, and not blather on about why it won't add up, how it feels, etc-- things that shouldn't need explaining. Most of us know what it's like to sit at the kitchen table at the end of the month doing a household budget that doesn't seem to be adding up, after all. The repetition of the verse was done because it somehow "felt right" emotionally-- especially with the backing vocals on the second try. It was only after listening to it that I understood why it felt right: the song is about that sense of "oh feck, not again" that one gets in these situations.
Re: albums of one-minute songs-- the possibilities are legion. I'm so excited about this format that I might do something along those lines myself.
I have always loved haiku, and maybe that explains why I like doing these short songs so much. Saying a lot with a little is something I've always admired.
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by tonyoci » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:12 am

Melonhead, in the US they now play an HD Simpsons opening which is the full opening expanded, basically imagine adding sides to the all the screens, for example to see what Maggie is looking at in the shopping cart etc. :)
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by Grandma Melonhead » Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:51 am

lucas wrote:
Grandma Melonhead wrote:One guy I dont want to be like is Danny Elfman. He knows 50 times more about music than I ever will but he couldn't write a catchy melody to save his life.
are you excluding all of his work in Oingo Boingo?
Yes, cause I really don't know it.
I'm just going by his movie work (and of that, only what I have heard). Do you think I'm way off?

Come to think of it, that might just be a general trend -- less and less catchiness to theme music. I mean, think about the star trek TV shows. The first one had a real melody (albiet kinda simple) . Then they just got less and less hummable. Maybe hummable is dated...
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by lucas » Wed Aug 05, 2009 7:51 pm

Grandma Melonhead wrote:Do you think I'm way off?
LOL
yes
look at 'BOI-NGO', which was one of their last LPs before he went fulltime with the movie scores.
Although it is listed by Wikipedia as having little impact on the charts, it contains the songs:
- Home Again
- Elevator Man
- We Close Our Eyes
- Not My Slave
- Pain
all of which got significant radio play here in the states and were considered 'hits'.
That's just that album.
lot's of earlier tunes like 'Only a Lad', 'Grey Matter' & 'Private Life' are fairly catchy tunes with social commentary.

I do agree that most of his movie soundtracks tend to be a little bombastic and less memorable.
But I think that's the nature of soundtracks in general.
Soundtracks are supposed to enhance the scene and add to it, not stand out.

Theme music on the other hand, should be memorable.
I can hear the Simpsons theme in my head as I type this, so it's done it's job with me.
This may due to the fact that I recognize musical references in it, even though I am unable to name them specifically.

of course it may just come down to what a person's definition of 'catchy' is.
I have a friend who thinks certain jazz pieces are 'catchy', whereas I think they are un-listenable. ;)
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by Grandma Melonhead » Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:22 am

To be clear, I wasn't talking about his soundtracks but about his songs for musicals. I quite liked the songs he wrote (and sang) for "Willy Wonka", but I couldnt hum a one of them after watching the movie. That's all I mean.
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Re: HMHS 168 - There's a lot you can do in one minute (7/30/09)

Post by tonyoci » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:19 am

For everyone's information there is no reason to stop sending 1 minute songs, we do have another collection to play and more are welcome.
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