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#253410 - 06/11/14 02:58 PM [User Showcase] Choking
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 6871
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
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Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 6871
Loc: Florida
1978 (or thereabouts) I lived in Lindenwold, NJ.
I've mentioned that before in another song from that era.
To suppliment the few acoustic-solo-act jobs I could find, I got a job waiting tables
at what appeared to be a former Steak and Ale (that Tudor-type building)
on the fabulous White Horse Pike.
At that time, the restaurant was owned/run by Lola who would play accordian
and sing from the small stage, dressed as if she had been a Las Vegas showgirl
20 years prior. (but that's another story...)

One day as we were rolling setups, one of the waitresses began complaining
about how bad her life was. I listened. She just needed that.

Then... I put it all in a song. This is her story...


CHOKING

i've been here since ten this morning
there's no end in sight
just my luck, i get stuck
with all the drunks tonight
when it comes to talking troubles
i might raise my voice
i'm working as a waitress
cause i've got no choice
my feet hurt so badly
i can barely stand
that busboy's so damn lazy
he won't lend a hand
another dollar tip
another pack of kents
i'd quit right now if i knew how
else to pay my rent

sometimes i wonder what it's all for
life's just a b-movie with no back door
is this someone's idea of a clever joke
since i was seventeen
i've been choking

my old man past away
seven years it's been
a heart attack at fifty-two
his job did him in
you bust your [*****] all your life
but it never pays
he left me here with nothing
but three kids to raise
i'm forty-six tommorow
you think my children care
it gets to where you count on them
not being there
they say to set your sights
on the highest star
that's just to keep you from seeing
where you really are

sometimes i wonder what it's all for
life's just a b-movie with no back door
is this someone's idea of a clever joke
since i was seventeen
i've been choking


The band...

MIDI SuperTracks in song: 2066:Piano, Rhythm NewAgeAnswers Ev16 110
PianoCustom Synth is Hi-Q 001 01 Piano, Acoustic, Grand SampleTank.tgs
RealTracks in song: 1856:Cello, Background PopCountry Ev
RealTracks in song: 1173:Accordion, Rhythm PopCalypso Ev 100


Comments of any kind....

Have at it.

floyd
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#253412 - 06/11/14 03:02 PM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 02/11/03
Posts: 2375
Loc: Warwickshire, UK
Skyline Offline
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Registered: 02/11/03
Posts: 2375
Loc: Warwickshire, UK
Totally beautiful Floyd. A superb song in a perfect setting. My, what a voice and delivery you have.

John
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#253418 - 06/11/14 04:10 PM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 4687
Loc: Davis, CA
Greg Johnson Offline
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Registered: 12/21/13
Posts: 4687
Loc: Davis, CA
Floyd, I've sincerely liked everything I've heard from you, but this is a whole other level. Absolutely beautiful!! It all works perfectly. Love the processing on the vocal. What did you use for that (mic, pre, fx)? Wonderful work! Take care. Greg

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#253432 - 06/11/14 08:09 PM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 05/23/10
Posts: 1654
Loc: New Zealand
RichMac Offline
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Registered: 05/23/10
Posts: 1654
Loc: New Zealand
Very beautiful in my opinion. Love the drama of the lyrics. Without a rhythm section there is plenty of backing (the piano sounds amazing, so tasteful) but your voice and the story stand out magnificently. The introductory paragraph sets the song up well. Admire everything about this one. Cheers.


Edited by RichMac (06/11/14 08:17 PM)
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#253437 - 06/11/14 08:39 PM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: RichMac]
Registered: 05/02/14
Posts: 3180
Loc: The Netherlands
RnAM Offline
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Registered: 05/02/14
Posts: 3180
Loc: The Netherlands
A beautiful, but pretty dramatic song..
You've got a really nice country timbre in your voice.
We (Europeans) have to work pretty hard for that smirk

Regards,
R & AM
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#253445 - 06/11/14 09:57 PM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 4956
Loc: South Carolina
Charlie Fogle Online   content
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Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 4956
Loc: South Carolina
This is a good song and production. Enjoyed listening. I felt it was the perfect song and lyrical message to understate the music as you did.

Charlie
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#253447 - 06/11/14 10:10 PM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 07/15/12
Posts: 1626
gruverider Offline
Expert

Registered: 07/15/12
Posts: 1626
Wow! I want to write one like this! Your vocal phrasing here is amazing. The melody is not a simple one against the sparse instrumental background of your chosen palette and you nailed it. The instruments that you went with are nothing short of inspired! And the lyrics could not be more perfect, a superb portrait of your heroine. They evoke the very best of Tom Waits to me.


Edited by gruverider (06/11/14 10:12 PM)

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#253464 - 06/12/14 12:53 AM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4414
Sundance Offline
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Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4414
Very moving song with a great vocal. Really like the piano too.


Josie

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#253480 - 06/12/14 08:51 AM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 2868
Loc: Karlsruhe, Germany
boehm Offline
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Registered: 06/22/12
Posts: 2868
Loc: Karlsruhe, Germany
Hi Floyd,

as others have already said: It's just beautiful.
And I like the background story.
Another one of your songs that really reached
my heart.

Guenter
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#253490 - 06/12/14 11:33 AM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: Greg Johnson]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 6871
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
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Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 6871
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: Skyline
Totally beautiful Floyd. A superb song in a perfect setting. My, what a voice and delivery you have. John

John - very nice of you to say - and very nice to see you around - I hope it means we'll be hearing something from you soon!! The voice "is what it is" - and has changed a little over the last few years... the delivery - well, I've had this song for a very long time - and the fact that it was written about a specific (and real) person factors in to how I deliver it... thanks again...

Originally Posted By: Greg Johnson
Floyd, I've sincerely liked everything I've heard from you, but this is a whole other level. Absolutely beautiful!! It all works perfectly. Love the processing on the vocal. What did you use for that (mic, pre, fx)? Wonderful work! Take care. Greg

Greg - That's nice to hear. Thank you.

Vocal recording: AT4033a (mic) to an Aphex 107 pre-amp (a good reputation - discontinued - but you can still find them for about $100(?) - Guitar Center has a used one listed for 69 I think..) then an Alesis 3630. fx - iZotope Nectar preset - Alternative and Indie - In Your Face - I probably tweaked the EQ - I usually do - followed by Focusrite Scarlett Reverb - settings - size=35% pre-filter=60% Air=60% Mix=35%

I've been toying a LOT with vocals lately and I'm finding that each song is quite unique in what it requires. It is maddening sometimes...
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#253494 - 06/12/14 11:53 AM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: Charlie Fogle]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 6871
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
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Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 6871
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: RichMac
Very beautiful in my opinion. Love the drama of the lyrics. Without a rhythm section there is plenty of backing (the piano sounds amazing, so tasteful) but your voice and the story stand out magnificently. The introductory paragraph sets the song up well. Admire everything about this one. Cheers.

Richard - So I guess this one had enough of a story for ya? smile I'm glad you like it. The piano - one of the SuperMIDI tracks - they are nice to use, but not as easy to audition... There were no piano RTs that provided what I was after for this, so I "went looking"...

Originally Posted By: R & AM
A beautiful, but pretty dramatic song..
You've got a really nice country timbre in your voice.
We (Europeans) have to work pretty hard for that smirk
Regards, R & AM

Thanks y'all! smile You guys don't sound "European" to me when you sing - in fact, I was wondering if you were transplants...

Originally Posted By: c_fogle
This is a good song and production. Enjoyed listening. I felt it was the perfect song and lyrical message to understate the music as you did. Charlie

Charlie - thanks for the listen and the nice comment...
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#253498 - 06/12/14 12:30 PM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 7055
Loc: GA USA
Janice & Bud Offline
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Registered: 12/05/11
Posts: 7055
Loc: GA USA
Stronger than a garlic milkshake, that one is. I reached
down in my superlative basket and there's nothing good
enough to hang on this one.

I'm not gonna parse out all the wonderful details but I
will say that if someone isn't moved by this then they have
a very serious emotive deficit.

We're gonna add this to our 25 top three fj songs!
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#253507 - 06/12/14 02:31 PM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1624
Loc: WEST MIDLANDS, UK
sixchannel Offline
Expert

Registered: 06/23/06
Posts: 1624
Loc: WEST MIDLANDS, UK
Magnificent writing Floyd and delivery.
Listening to this, and the harshness and hardship of some folks lives, it was me who was choking.
Superb storytelling - did your "waitress lady" ever hear this?
Wonderful
cheers
ian
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#253557 - 06/13/14 04:20 AM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2459
Loc: South Africa
JoanneCooper Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/12/12
Posts: 2459
Loc: South Africa
My goodness Floyd, what a sad song. I kept hoping for a happy ending.

A definite departure from your usual style.

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

Right now I'm off to have a whisky to cheer myself up.

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#253579 - 06/13/14 08:02 AM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 653
Loc: Sulphur Springs, TX
Charlie McG Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/08/03
Posts: 653
Loc: Sulphur Springs, TX
Great job. Enjoyed it a lot. Very pretty.
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#253601 - 06/13/14 09:56 AM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 2984
Loc: Florida
tommyad Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/22/11
Posts: 2984
Loc: Florida
floyd, I used to work alongside this grizzled old cigar chomping ex marine who offhandedly says to me one day...The definition of a pessimist is an optimist with experience. It hit me then that life is a struggle for everyone and it all comes down to attitude as to how well you handle your struggle. This song is a perfect slice of real life staged with a character that most of us might have seen at one time or another. Brilliant writing ! The vocal is close to perfect in delivering the emotion and still telling the story. The phrasing is trademark fj. Piano sounds good. Mix is good. Vocal processing sounds top shelf. Nectar2 has some great presets. As a slice of life song, they don't get any better than this. Great stuff, Tom

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#253629 - 06/13/14 02:08 PM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: boehm]
Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 6871
Loc: Florida
floyd jane Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/10/12
Posts: 6871
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: gruverider
Wow! I want to write one like this! Your vocal phrasing here is amazing. The melody is not a simple one against the sparse instrumental background of your chosen palette and you nailed it. The instruments that you went with are nothing short of inspired! And the lyrics could not be more perfect, a superb portrait of your heroine. They evoke the very best of Tom Waits to me.

Geez, Lawrence... that's just a few too many nice things to handle all at once. LOL. "write one like that.." - I know when I say that it's pretty high praise - been doing it a lot lately - listening to Brandy Clark's "12 Stories" - maybe the best country CD ever penned - songwriting the way it should be done! Appreciate the note on instrumentation. I was going for the feeling you get when you watch a piano singer-songwriter doing this type of song. Kind of surprised that no one has noted the piano track choice... and "..the very best of Tom Waits" - I might have to print that out and tack it on my wall!


Originally Posted By: Sundance
Very moving song with a great vocal. Really like the piano too. Josie

Thanks Josie. Appreciate that...


Originally Posted By: boehm
Hi Floyd,

as others have already said: It's just beautiful.
And I like the background story.
Another one of your songs that really reached
my heart. Guenter

Guenter - Thank you. Always good to know when a song touches the right places...
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#253638 - 06/13/14 03:54 PM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 04/20/10
Posts: 4840
Loc: Florida
90 dB Offline
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Registered: 04/20/10
Posts: 4840
Loc: Florida
I remember the White Horse Pike well. Lola too. We called her Lo-Lo-Lo-La-Lola. grin


Another keeper.

Gonna have to make a 3 CD bootleg this year. Keep em comin'


Col. Bob Parker
Authentic fj Bootlegs, Inc.
2nd Trailer On The Left
Pine Barrens, N.J.

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#253658 - 06/13/14 06:14 PM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: floyd jane]
Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 3665
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
dani48 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 3665
Loc: Helsinki, Finland
Hi, Floyd !

What a wonderful write !
I am taken by your mastery
of both writing and
delivering your songs !
This is no easy song to sing
but you nailed it completely !
I am amazed !:))

Cheers
Dani

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#253663 - 06/13/14 06:38 PM [User Showcase] Re: Choking [Re: dani48]
Registered: 08/24/07
Posts: 1319
Loc: Florida, USA
cubanpete Offline
Expert

Registered: 08/24/07
Posts: 1319
Loc: Florida, USA
Wow Floyd! I envy you guys whom are able to put into words and create a beautiful song like this one. I could never do that, that's one of the many gifts I do not have. I have to be content with being inspired by something and compose an instrumental. Wonderful stuff as usual my friend (if I may call you that).

Mike B.
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