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30.9.07 0102
The 7 - Music - I always said I would do this before I turned 30...
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Guru Zim
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#1 Posted on 17.3.04 0120.12
Reposted on: 17.3.11 0122.57
Back before I sold out to the corporate world, I used to have a dream. Actually, I had a few - some were pretty stupid - some were just bad ideas.

One of the dreams I had was to work for an Indy record label. Back in 1997, my friend Rick and I, along with a couple of other guys and one band, tried to do this. Anyway, Rick was a lot more dedicated to it than I was - he put his all into it and it really became his dream more than our dream. But, at least I tried.

The label was a failure, and as far as I know, the band is now broken up. Rick is still insane and I think he's working with other bands still.

That's not what I'm writing about today, though.

See, there was a time back in 1993 when I thought that when I got out of college I was going to write music for a living. I had hoped to record an album, but before I gave up, I was willing to just write music for video games.

Between 1993 and 1997 I spent some time every day working on songs - putting pieces together, playing around with writing beats, etc.

In December of 1997 I walked out of Domino's pizza for the last time. I applied for a job doing tech support at the company where I work today, and ended up as a tech for cable modems.

Getting that job wasn't supposed to be the beginning of anything - I just was sick of being an assistant manager at Domino's and I walked off the job with nothing else lined up. Unfortunately for my dreams, but fortunately for my finances, everything has worked out really well to this point and I've advanced in the corporate world...

...but I never really got back into music.

Fast forward to today. I turn 30 in 3 days. One of my goals before I turned 30 was to put out an album.

Well, I'm not really going to make it, but I thought I would go for a technicality.

I've put together 16 songs from 1993 to the present and releasing them here today under the title "Songs for Headphones". I suppose I do hold the copyright to these songs, but I know that I can never profit on some of them because of the unauthorized samples.

I guess I wanted to show that, while I'm not some pro, I've still used unauthorized samples to create something that I consider art - even if it isn't the best art.

Still, even though I never became the next big thing, I wouldn't have had a chance to try at all if I hadn't broken the rules and played around with other people's copyrighted materials.

I'm not trying to make a big stand here - the samples are incidental in these songs. Most of them are voice files from Cartoons or TV shows. I've actually pulled many of the useless samples and withheld a few songs that were too heavily dependant on loops from other songs. Only one of these songs is based heavily on a plundered sample - that's mind melt. So - with a short explanation - here's what I never got around to doing (and in most cases couldn't do) over at mp3.com.

Intro This is a simple little tune to start off the album.

Dim Sum I think I had Dim Sum the day that I started this song.

Hippo

Melloflo Probably the first complete song that I ever wrote.

Russisch This song has a pseudo Russian feel to it.

Echolalia You are what you hear

Trip Not the best song - considered dropping it today but I'm just gonna stick it out with the choices I originally made for this.

Belly One of the songs I had on mp3.com. This was actually covered by Ender - I don't know if he would want me to post up his cover or not.

Bohba Originally contained some James Brown samples - I edited them out because they were superfluous. Also removed the samples from a TV commercial "Nothing held back - buy for as little as 25 cents on the dollar! No reasonable offer will be refused." Song title was originally La Senorita but really had nothing to do with a Seniority, it just had a sample from my language tapes that I thought was really funny.

Mind Melt This song has extensive samples from a TV show that I've forgotten the name of. They had a band and they were really cool kids and it sucked. It was like Saved by the Bell and I hated it - I felt stupider every time I saw it. Hence this song.

Breakup No. 1 Originally had a different title. I loved this girl, I thought. She was a hardcore democrat and I tried to become one to get her to love me. I think she thinks I'm stalking her still. Originally ended with the samples "Game over man" and "I'll be back". Well, I won't be back - so I took them out. The samples in this song were my way of trying to use an emotion from a different media to express my feelings.

Breakup No. 2 There's a theme here. This song was originally titled Maggie, I believe. This song was written over 12 months, and I didn't really realize how symbolic it was until I finally put it all together. Things were bad, then neutral, then bad, then worse, then tense - the piano part went to long, then it was angry, then it was over. Pretty much sums up that whole thing, actually.

Breakup No. 3 Last of the renamed songs. The name has been withheld on this one to protect the innocent. She was a nice girl, but I didn't want to marry her. Her dad was military and I was frightened he was going to kill me if we kept dating.

Shit This song is called shit. I can't remember why, but it had great meaning at the time.

Maniac This song originally had the entire George W. Bush post 9/11 speech in it, but I removed it at a later date. I think I wrote this at work on 9/14.

Face This is the only song where I'm singing on it. This was written and recorded while I was drinking a bottle of Jack Daniels - and I'm not sure how it came out at all. The files were lost on this one and I can't reproduce it, so I'm stuck with this really poorly mixed version where the levels are severely fucked and the voice part (you'll know it) is mixed way too high. Lots of emotion on this one, because she was ruining my life.

So that's it - 16 tracks from the last 10 years of my life. It's not what I thought I'd have, but it's what you get.

I'm not really looking for critique - I know these are not the best songs. I know that I can't end a song for shit. I know that I should really pick one theme and go with it for a song and not write 10 different songs in one. (Dave Mustaine disease)

Ok. Be nice. I've been a wuss for long enough - this may well be the last reckless act of my twenties.

(edited by CRZ on 16.3.04 2352)


(edited by CRZ on 16.3.04 2359)
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StaggerLee
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#2 Posted on 17.3.04 0126.17
Reposted on: 17.3.11 0126.29
None of the links worked for me.
CRZ
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#3 Posted on 17.3.04 0154.56
Reposted on: 17.3.11 0156.15
Happy birthday! I have corrected all million and half of your links. Please use quotation marks next time if you're gonna insist on percents and spaces and other strange characters.

I *believe* this means I can place the only extant cassette copy* of the ORIGINAL versions of these tracks on eBay and make a mint...however, I'll have to keep it just for the sentimental value.

*I'm sure he made copies for some chyx, but I'm sure none of THEM know where THEIR copies are! :)
Guru Zim
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#4 Posted on 17.3.04 0158.08
Reposted on: 17.3.11 0158.29
Sorry, I didn't test it after the first one. It downloaded here.

I blame science.
Stefonics
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#5 Posted on 17.3.04 0231.32
Reposted on: 17.3.11 0231.45
While I'm not the biggest fan of house, I must say that the stuff you linked wasn't terrible by any stretch of the imagination. You have some nice musical progressions in there and an interesting style in that you don't seem to take advantage of the all-too-popular "house crescendo" in the middle of your songs. I like that. It gives them a sense of urgency because the listener is waiting and waiting for the musical release but it never comes. Considering that these songs all have some personal meaning (overall, not good personal feelings I assume), the style works. So far, my favorites is Face. Oddly enough, I found myself really liking that song despite your best efforts to persuade me not to. You've got a decent voice and I really like the methodical use of the piano. It was a good idea to speak the lyrics underneath you singing them. I didn't like it that much at first, but then it grew on me. I can't imagine it without you doing that. Well done.

I've also got to say that it took a tremendous amount of balls to put this out there for the general public to consume. Regardless of whether or not you see/know half the people that post here, it's still difficult to hear criticism of something you worked hard at for ten years.

"But you're fucking wrong!"
StaggerLee
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#6 Posted on 17.3.04 1039.59
Reposted on: 17.3.11 1040.36
EH, not really my cup of tea, but most of the tunes I listened to werent that bad, as far as my limited knowledge of that type of music goes. At least the tempos were cool.

Thanks for putting them up!
Mr Heel II
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#7 Posted on 17.3.04 1638.19
Reposted on: 17.3.11 1640.52
Looking at the naming scheme of the files here, we seem to be missing a Track 6.

Or is one of the two Track 3's actually Track 6?

Anyway, I downloaded the whole thing to my N-Gage. Should be an interesting ride home.
Guru Zim
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#8 Posted on 17.3.04 1714.49
Reposted on: 17.3.11 1715.09
Um. Not sure what happened there. Pick one as track 6.
CRZ
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#9 Posted on 17.3.04 1813.22
Reposted on: 17.3.11 1813.32
I'm very disappointed the Darth Vader one isn't here. Also the one that is totally based on the sample you ripped off of that one track off of "Jack Trax 6" you made me copy for you. [There, that's obscure enough.] :)
jvincion
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#10 Posted on 17.3.04 1833.03
Reposted on: 17.3.11 1833.23
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    Mind Melt This song has extensive samples from a TV show that I've forgotten the name of. They had a band and they were really cool kids and it sucked. It was like Saved by the Bell and I hated it - I felt stupider every time I saw it. Hence this song.



I believe the show you're talking about is "California Dreams", and the only way I could watch it was if I was up for some seriously bad soft rock and ber-campy teen acting. It did often make SBTB look like fine art.

As for the song, I like the tension that's built with the synth-bass line in the beginning, and it's interesting that you chose not to resolve that tension in the song by putting in an explosive beat. It gives the song an underlying ominous quality, and since it's based around a show that made you feel like your mind was melting, I'd say it works just fine.

The important thing is whether or not you enjoyed making the music and if you enjoy listening to it now, not how "great" it is. Hell, I'm currently fiddling around with a project where I manipulate sonic chaos into rhythmic noise - I can guarantee you that there aren't a lot of fans of that. :)
Mr Heel II
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#11 Posted on 19.3.04 1832.26
Reposted on: 19.3.11 1834.21
Well I liked it enough that I actually burned it into a CD (all except "Shit" due to time constraints.)

This should be a good disc for long night drives on the interstate.

Nice job!

I should burn copies and leave them at rest areas, no markings of any kind, and just let people find them and wonder what the heck they're listening to...
J. Kyle
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#12 Posted on 25.3.04 1644.34
Reposted on: 25.3.11 1647.27
"Start every conversation like this: so I'm jackin off to gay porn..."

Is that song among this set? I remember playing that absolutely EVERYWHERE I went after hearing it and confusing everyone I know.

(edited by AngryJohnny on 25.3.04 0446)
Guru Zim
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#13 Posted on 25.3.04 1905.31
Reposted on: 25.3.11 1906.50
I've got that around somewhere...
DrOp
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#14 Posted on 26.3.04 0414.13
Reposted on: 26.3.11 0414.40
That's pretty cool stuff, Guru. Thanks for sharing. Music is definitely an art form (which is why I don't understand the DangerMouse controversy, really).

It's amazing how reflective a guy can get when the big THREE-OH is looming.

<---31 (and counting)
JoshMann
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#15 Posted on 26.3.04 1448.42
Reposted on: 26.3.11 1448.48
    Originally posted by DrOp
    It's amazing how reflective a guy can get when the big THREE-OH is looming.


Dude, don't even start; I just hit 29 three weeks ago.

Tick tock. Ticktockticktock.

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