Wasting My Time

Posted by: eddie1261

Wasting My Time - 05/27/13 02:08 AM

Been a while since I posted any new work. I was/am learning songs for a tribute band and have had very little time to work on my own stuff. Hope you enjoy it. It is long, as all my songs are, but I write to tell my stories and not to fit some corporate songwriter's handbook. Pink Floyd did okay with long songs.....

This is one about wanting someone from afar and fully understanding that it's likely a waste of time. Rog has it and his group of outstanding singers will be replacing the vocoder BGV with what I expect to be a HUGE chorale kind of sound, but they can't just drop their lives to come running and do it.

Wasting My Time

Song File Name: Wasting My Time
Tempo: 68
Key: C
Time Sig: 4/4
drum fill - this was just a tap on the drum machine
RealDrums-NashvilleEven8^1-SideStick,Ride
RealBass 1592 Bass, Electric, Pop16ths Ev 065
RT1410 Piano, SynthLayer, Rhythm Soul70sA-B Ev16 100
RT841 Guitar, Electric, Rhythm PopBalladSlowGritty Ev 065
RT876 Guitar, Electric, Rhythm NorthernRockFuzzyQuarters Sw1
RT665 Guitar, Acoustic, Rhythm SouthernRock Ev 085 (B Strum)
Vocals - obviously live
BGV - from my trusty vocoder - I just LOVE that thing!!
Sax intro - Eric Marienthal
sax solo - Eric Marienthal
sax outro - Eric Marienthal
guitar sweeten - just some extra gritty guitar I played in live
cello - from my trusty ESQ-1

On the sax parts, I cut and pasted and chopped so much to make something I liked that I have no idea which RT it was. I think 1442 rings a bell. (Get it? A sax has a bell...) This is like 5 different sax tracks generated and I cut and pasted for about 2 hours making the pieces fit.
Posted by: Pat Marr

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/27/13 12:21 PM

Hey Eddie!
Glad to see you posting again (both musically and also in the discussion forum)

lots to say on this one:

1) first of all, I really like the concept. You have a real knack for taking a theme that lots of people can identify with and turning into a song.

2) super job on the hooks. I probably sound like a broken record, but the people who play live seem to consistently add hooks to their songs. You incorporated the recurring passages that made the song "familiar" right away. To me, that is one of the most important yet perhaps the most commonly overlooked parts of a song

3) and the time you spent doctoring the sax paid off. Sounded perfectly natural and just right for the song

4) I am intrigued by the subtle differences between the ways you and ROG approach the same song, and I can't wait to hear his version. I also think it's flattering to you that he picks your songs to cover.

5) having said all that, my final observation is that I'm glad I don't have a barn.... because if I did, I'd probably go out behind it and shoot myself after listening to just about any of your songs. You have a way of zeroing in on life's disappointments. But, seriously, good song writing depends on the writer's ability to put identifiable emotion to music.

all in all, I really like this song. You're a talented guy Eddie! Good job!

on a different note: You may have already said who your band is paying tribute to, but I missed it. Who?
Posted by: Pat Marr

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/27/13 01:22 PM

I don't want to hijack your thread, but I can't resist the urge to project how other forum participants MIGHT have done this song:
------------------------
SUNDANCE (Josie)
She would have developed the disappointment for the 1st half of the song, but the 2nd half would have been about a new perspective and how she learned from the experience and successfully moved on with her life

NOEL96
Noel would explode if he tried to write this song. It would be like placing two incompatible chemicals in the same container.

BOEHM
It would be about a robot who developed emotions that he wasn't programmed to deal with. There would be an underlying track of a well-known classical piece that fit perfectly with your chords. All the embellishments would be stuff that none of us would have thought of. When we heard his version, we would all spontaneously want to get up and dance to it

PAT MARR
I'd do a straight note-for-note cover after importing your ripped MP3 into RealBand, extracting the chords, then merging your original song with a combination of real tracks and my own playing.

ROG (and company)
He'd turn it into a full-blown 80s production with lush backing vocals, highly processed effects and superbly mixed tracks. When we heard it, there would be an inclination to wonder if the singer might be Phil Collins

JANICE AND BUD
it will become a bluegrass song, and the roles would be reversed. Janice would be singing the girl's perspective of why she's unattainable to the guy. After hearing this totally believable version, the audience will understand completely why its obvious that such a girl would not date that guy. The backing tracks will be masterfully assembled by Bud to create the desired mood. It will sound like a killer band playing, and even people who don't normally listen to bluegrass will love the song.

FMM
hah! Who needs lyrics? this song should be an instrumental with lots of killer guitar licks

FLOYD JANE
It would be a "down home" country version, portraying a middle aged son telling his mother over dinner why he isn't married yet. There would be some discussion about why she shouldn't be looking for grand-babies anytime soon. Mama won't understand

KEMMRICH
I don't know. Kevin always surprises me. But I'm pretty sure it would have a 70s feel to it, and hearing his version would make me think of Neil Young

90db
He'd make it an historically accurate portrayal of an impossible liaison between the queen's gardener and his regal objet d'amour. Style would be Celtic and the singing will be awesome. The gardener gets his head chopped off in the end for daring to love the queen.

STEVE YOUNG
it would be a spiritual metaphor with the concluding point that family values and faith in God are what make life worth living. Production would be as good as or better than anything on any CD you currently possess.

DANNY C
very similar to the original, but there would be mention made of cajun cooking. And he'd end up playing it live at least 50 times per year.

CUBANPETE
the scenario for the song would be a French Bistro, and the players would be a lonely American businessman in Europe on business and a lovely waitress who's out of his league. Too much french wine, too much time on his hands, too much regret, too little romance. But you'd only know that from the CD liner notes, because the song would be an instrumental jazz piece. The background noises will make the setting totally believable.

ALECK RAND
Awesome chordal jazz guitar playing, so far removed from the original song that unless you knew it was supposed to be the same song you'd never guess. But the signature licks would be interwoven into the guitar tapestry, and if you really paid attention you might notice that it bears some resemblance to Eddies version. Pat would feebly try to disguise his guitar-envy by ineffectually challenging him on some moot point.

RSDEAN
He and Josie would portray both roles and turn it from 1st person narrative into a real-time dialogue between both characters. At the end of the song, the listener won't know whether the girl ditches the guy or stays. Unresolved conflict is a powerful way to keep us interested.

-------------------
(sub)standard disclaimer:
this is just a lame attempt at humor, with the true intent being to pay homage to a few of the many contributors to this forum who have repeatedly and predictably WOWed me with their submissions. Although it might look like I'm stereotyping your styles, I'm really just trying to note something recognizeable about you and something you've posted in the past. I hope you find it amusing and not offensive

Apologies to anyone I omitted.. there just isn't time to skewer everybody. wink
Posted by: eddie1261

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/27/13 01:24 PM

I approach songwriting from a perspective that is based on this statement:

A song is a story set to music.

Given that, then you have to focus in on a story. Sometimes stories are about adopting a puppy. Sometimes they are 14 years later when that puppy dies. Point being, depending on the catalyst, songs are happy or sad.

The first batch of songs, which included The One That Got Away, Do It All Again and Lie To Myself, were born after a girl I was quite fond with dumped me after a short but intense relationship. There are not a lot of ways to tell that story "happy". The batch in the middle, which included Believe and Good Things Come, WERE "happy". One was intended to be motivational, the other was "The future will be brighter".

This last could, From A Distance and Wasting My Time, are about wanting something and not being able to have it, and you have to accept it and watch from a distance. Again, how can I tell that "happy"?

The one in the hopper now is Even If I Did. It's about "well, it doesn't matter even if I did" tell you something. More upbeat tempo, but lyrics born from frustration.

I'm glad you don't have a barn too.

I think part of the Rog connection is that we are very close in age and taste in the music we draw from. I came up listening to "stadium rock" kind of stuff like Pink Floyd and ELP, very elaborate production, drawn out storytelling.... I absolutely hated what commercial radio did to Pink Floyd music, cutting their songs into short chunks because music is, after all, just what you listen to between the commercials. I don't listen to the radio because of that. Rog also has an amazing well of talent and he is willing to let others drink from it. I get quality work, his kids get more experience, and everybody wins.
Posted by: eddie1261

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/27/13 01:26 PM

Originally Posted By: Pat Marr
I don't want to hijack your thread, but I can't resist the urge to project how other forum participants MIGHT have done this song:
------------------------

KEMMRICH
I don't know. Kevin always surprises me. But I'm pretty sure it would have a 70s feel to it, and hearing his version would make me think of Neil Young
-------------------


And it would be exactly 3:34 and have no reverb....
Posted by: Pat Marr

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/27/13 01:39 PM

Eddie,

I agree, there is no way to tell those stories without the connected emotion. But why would you? Its that very emotion that drives the song! And you do that so well! What may have come across as a criticism is really sideways praise. As I've said many times, you are a talented guy.

And I couldn't agree more about ROG. I love everything he submits. His interpretaion of your compositions always adds something new without taking anything good away from the original. You two are a good team.

I'm glad you're back. You add something irreplaceable and highly entertaining to the forum. Your verbal wit is legendary.

Quote:
And it would be exactly 3:34 and have no reverb....

wink

In defense of Kevin, he's been hanging in a bunch of songwriter's forums for quite a while, and he has zeroed in on his own set of techniques. I'd say his formula works well for him.

Posted by: Kemmrich

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/27/13 02:51 PM

Pat: I thought your scenarios was very well done and very funny. You are a keen observer of folks' style. I never can hear the Neil Young connection, but since many folks say it, it must be so. I always try and sound "modern", but I am afraid that I sound like 70's music because that is what I was "imprinted" with!! I guess the only way to get away from that is to co-write with young whippersnappers!

Eddie: I happen to think that 3:34 is on the long side now. My goal nowadays is under 3 minutes! Without the lyrics, I can't tell if you succeeded in telling the story effectively or not. I did listen all the way through, though! By the way, I use reverb on almost every track in my songs (mine and the RT's).
Posted by: Pat Marr

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/27/13 03:10 PM

Originally Posted By: Kemmrich
Pat: I thought your scenarios was very well done and very funny. You are a keen observer of folks' style. I never can hear the Neil Young connection, but since many folks say it, it must be so.


I only said it because its been said before. The depth of your presentation is bigger than that... but I gotta find SOME foothold on which to comment.

Quote:
I always try and sound "modern", but I am afraid that I sound like 70's music because that is what I was "imprinted" with!! I guess the only way to get away from that is to co-write with young whippersnappers!



NOOOOOooooo! Don't change! what I like about your stuff is that it appeals to my idea of what a good song should sound like (which idea was formed in the 70s, but song characteristics today still have many of the same elements)

casual observation about anything tends to be like snapshots... they capture one moment in a fluid progression and freeze it that way... which can create the false impression that the single frame is the full summary of the subject

I hope it is obvious to everyone that I see far more to all of your styles than the snapshot I portrayed for the sake of caricature. Caricature purposefully exaggerates and oversimplifies its subject in order to make something complex seem simpler and more understandable

I'm certainly not poking fun... it's more my way of expressing my admiration for the ability of y'all to create a recognizeable style. I envy that since I don't have one yet.
Posted by: eddie1261

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/27/13 03:56 PM

Originally Posted By: Kemmrich
Eddie: I happen to think that 3:34 is on the long side now. My goal nowadays is under 3 minutes!


I couldn't say because I really haven't listened to commercial radio in at least 10 years.

You made it through all 6 minutes? grin
Posted by: Achordocaster

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/27/13 07:02 PM

Eddie,

Nice job! I found this to be some very fine songwriting, ok a little long, but who cares! wink
If I had one critique it would be where the sax comes in at about 4:55 to 5:20... to me it's walking on the vocal and detracting from the vocal line during that time, it's working ok after that where it comes in about 5:30. JMHO so take it for what it's worth!

Good Song.

Greg
Posted by: eddie1261

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/27/13 09:09 PM

You know, I fought with myself about bringing that sax back in under those vocals. I thought if I did it in a subtle manner I could reintroduce the sax to set up that outro scat sax part. I think I may remix it with that underlying sax part farther back in the mix. I won't worry about it until I got the Rog tracks though.

What is funny is that when I compress it to MP3, the save at 128 and the save at 320 are SO different to the ear.....
Posted by: Danny C.

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/27/13 09:13 PM

Yo Eddie,

If there is such a thing as a guy torch song man this is it! You painted a very clear picture of a lonely guy who just can't seem to make that connection.

Good hook, good song!

PS: Pat I am glad it ran six minutes, gace me time to heat up the gumbo!:>

Later,
Posted by: eddie1261

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/27/13 09:57 PM

Originally Posted By: Danny C.
Yo Eddie,

If there is such a thing as a guy torch song man this is it! You painted a very clear picture of a lonely guy who just can't seem to make that connection.

Good hook, good song!

PS: Pat I am glad it ran six minutes, gave me time to heat up the gumbo!:>

Later,


Thanks Danny. A true story, too. I tried to write it with no gender so a female could sing it as well. One will do so next weekend here in my studio.

I may do another one this week that will be just enough time to microwave the gumbo.... Now, if you need one to MAKE the gumbo, that's a whole CD there....
Posted by: eddie1261

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/27/13 10:04 PM

Thanks Danny. I tried to make it genderless so a girl singer could do it to, and in fact one will do that next weekend here at my studio.

6 minutes for the gumbo? Let me do a short one so you can microwave it.

Now if you want one to MAKE the gumbo, that'd be a whole CD there.
Posted by: boehm

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/28/13 04:00 PM

Hi Eddie,

although you neglected all my posts so far I want to say
that I like your song. Good lyrics, vocals and arrangement. I'm looking forward to ROG's version, although I like that vocoder part, too.

@Pat: Your charactarization of the forum members is a
keeper. You really have a good deal of humour. I liked that
a lot.

Guenter
Posted by: eddie1261

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/28/13 05:53 PM

I've neglected you? Not deliberately. Thanks for the kind words. Or more appropriately, danke.
Posted by: ROG

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/28/13 06:48 PM

An epic track from my pal Eddie!

The SEQ file ftp'd it's way across the Atlantic a couple of days ago and we're starting to assemble some voices for the massive choir which Eddie asked for. Pity that it arrived at the start of a holiday week and in the middle of the exam period, but we'll get onto it pretty soon.

I love Eddie's songs, particularly his lyrics, which I believe are part gift and part due to an interesting life. He suggested it couldn't hurt for me to get divorced a few times to collect material for this type of song!

It's a real privilege to be asked to help out with this quality of material and I hope that those of you who are waiting for the up-dated version won't be disappointed.

I think Eddie's right in that we are both from the same era and have a lot of music in common, which is probably how we've become good friends, even though we've never met. One of these days, one of us is going to have to get on a plane...

ROG.
Posted by: floyd jane

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/29/13 07:40 AM

The melody in the chorus is quite nice - melodic and catchy.
Posted by: eddie1261

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/29/13 09:25 AM

Originally Posted By: ROG
Pity that it arrived at the start of a holiday week and in the middle of the exam period, but we'll get onto it pretty soon.

Hey, damn those exams. There's music to be made. grin

Originally Posted By: ROG
I love Eddie's songs, particularly his lyrics, which I believe are part gift and part due to an interesting life. He suggested it couldn't hurt for me to get divorced a few times to collect material for this type of song!

Interesting is a quite polite way to say it. If you only knew....

Originally Posted By: ROG
One of these days, one of us is going to have to get on a plane.

It'll likely be you.... I am so poor they won't even let me browse the airline web pages.

I am equally eager to hear what that amazing group of vocalists he has will do with this song. I have taken the songs that my British pals have worked on and put them side by side with the original versions, and the dozen or so people who have reviewed them all said the same thing, which is pretty close to the suggestion that I duct tape my mouth shut and let them sing my stuff.
Posted by: dcuny

Re: Wasting My Time - 05/30/13 03:21 PM

You won me over with the lyric "...my heart stopped with a screech." smile

The ending has a very Eagles-esque ending, especially with the harmony.