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FAWM Showing Up

Day 263: The Illuminati Ate My Homework

Really enjoyed this article/video on the making of Bohemian Rhapsody. Also enjoyed this video slightly more than Queen’s original vid.

The great thing about 50/90 and FAWM is coming across musicians creating great stuff. Here’s two very different tracks from ‘RC’ both written and recorded sometime in the last 79 days. (By the way RC has written 45 songs during 50/90 so far!)

You Killed It
Balderdash

Speaking of FAWM, glasgow power pop titan KiDD recorded some great songs, which he’s now gathered onto a free album. Check it out

CD Baby ran a series of songwriting tips from the hitmakers recently

If you want to know what William Gibson told David Crosby about the elves taking over the workshop, why Chris Cornell think’s it’s easier to write melodies over odd time signature riffs and why Richard Thompson recommends copying everyone except yourself check out parts one, two and three

OK I’m off to do more brainstorming on a new song called “The Illuminati Ate My Homework”. BTW – Eleven Sweets has very quickly hit over 100 downloads!

Free download: Never Be Silent
Other free songs by Matt Blick

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Showing Up

Day 261: I Question The Soup, And Eleven Sweets For Everyone!!!

I’ve gone a record 3 days without writing. Having started back at school this week I came down with freshers flu or whatever the junior version is called and struggled to do anything but sleep and watch a few DVDs.

Tonight I tried to get things moving again. My evolution song (working title “I Question The Soup” is paused while I take advice from a chemist, a doctor and a science teacher, so to move that along I typed out a response to their responses and eagerly await their response.

In more clearing decks news I finally turned the huge audio file of one of my old cassette tapes into neatly labelled mp3s. Only another 38 tapes to go!

Eleven Sweets has had a massive positive response from friends and family. Zeppo and I got loads of comments at Church today and in her honour THE CHILDREN’S CHURCH GAVE ELEVEN SWEETS TO EVERY CHILD!!! How awesome is that!

Zep and I will be working on the follow up single 25 Sweets, A Happy Meal & An iPhone 5 soon.

(PS there was only one other page on the whole internet with the phrase “I question the soup” on it. Now there are two. Will I get top ranking? Simply type “I question the soup” into google and see if I win the “I question the soup” battle.

Soup Battle?

Hmm…

Nah  – 5,790 results.

Stick to “I question the soup”.

Because I do.

Question the soup, that is).

(Did I win yet?)

Free download: Never Be Silent
Other free songs by Matt Blick

[If you’re subscribed to this blog via email, you will have to click on the post’s title to watch any video content (the link will take you my site).

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Let's Build An Airport EP Song Vault

Let’s Build An Airport

We’re rootless and artless and freer than birds
A left-field love song. Theremins and Spitfires, airports and abattoirs…
Download     Chords (pdf)     Lyrics (pdf)     Free mp3

Let’s build an airport and let’s fly away
If we put our minds to it we could finish today
These people round here are as deep as the clouds
And they don’t understand anything that isn’t glued to the ground

But we’re rootless and artless and freer than birds
Let’s not march to the abattoir just like the rest of the herd.
Forget Stansted, forget JFK.
There’s a whole world of difference between a runway
And running away.
We’re not running away…

Doesn’t the sunset attract you? Don’t the horizon look grand?
Couldn’t you just catch that burning ball in the fist of one hand?
I’ll clear you for take off and you can clear me
Then we’ll cross every ocean and be back for our tea

Let’s build an airport and let’s fly away
If we put our minds to it we could finish today
These people round here are as deep as the clouds
And they don’t understand anything that isn’t glued to the ground

© Matt Blick 2011

Samples credits

Lancaster Bomber Crew Raid over Stettin, Germany (April 20, 1943)
Lancaster Bomber Crew Raid over Berlin – Sep 3 1943
by stelzriede.com. Both of these can be found on the Marshall Stelzriede War Story website
Consolidated B-24 Liberator Bomber pass by 1 and 2 by The Recordist Free Sound FX
Lancaster Bomber by confusion_music from Freesound.org
Spitfire Mk 19 (Griffon engine) by Genghis Attenborough from Freesound.org

 

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Uncategorized

Day 257: Attack Of The Mean 90’s People

The only writing I did yesterday was emailing Eleven Sweets to a bunch of friends and family and writing a riff at 11:55.

My wife took me for a ‘I love you’ lunch at the Soulsville Steakhouse. They play music that makes everything taste better. I honesty almost wept tears of joy at the beauty of the second bar of the chorus of Stop! In The Name Of Love. In fact every chord in that song is perfect (may the names of Holland Dozier Holland be forever blessed). I just wish we hadn’t been seated at the Ike & Tina Turner table on our date. That’s bad joojoo.

I am listening for the first time to A Night At The Opera by Queen. It seems to be a day for awe inspiring beauty. They created so many incredible singles that it’s at least excusable to forget they made albums too.

Ever wondered what all the mean snarky judgemental people did before the internet?

Now I know. They wrote letters to guitar magazines.

One of my pupils gave me 120 issues of Guitar World, Guitar, Guitar One, Guitarist and so on and every single letters page contains the following flamefests

1) “I can’t believe you f***** a******** ran another interview with [insert metal/thrash/hardcore band] those guys are talentless w*****. Why the hell don’t you feature some decent music like [insert blues/alternative/indie artist]”

2) “I can’t believe you f***** a******** ran another interview with [insert blues/alternative/indie artist] those guys are talentless w*****. Why the hell don’t you feature some decent music like [insert metal/thrash/hardcore band]”


3) Yngwie/Clapton/Page/Dimebag/EVH is God. You’re all d******


4) Yngwie/Clapton/Page/Dimebag/EVH is a pathetic joke. You’re all d******

And so on…

Free download: Never Be Silent
Other free songs by Matt Blick

[If you’re subscribed to this blog via email, you will have to click on the post’s title to watch any video content (the link will take you my site).

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Showing Up

Day 255: Who Was That Masked Man? (Ah, Who Cares)

Eleven Sweets is finished – here it is – Eleven Sweets mp3

My unfinished rap funk metal thing got featured on the 50/90 podcast. Here that is – 50/90 Podcast #6

Just watched Rainn Wilson in Super. It wasn’t.

Started back a school today.

Busy.

It wouldn’t be my blog without a little Jonathan Coulton. His new song Good Morning Tucson is growing on me and is available for free from Blurt online

Free download: Never Be Silent
Other free songs by Matt Blick

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Showing Up

Day 254: Headstock And The Kitchen Sink

Had to head out early this morning to play at the Headstock festival with the young people from the workshop I did the other week. They did really well and there were a few star performers that really impressed me. (Was nice to see one of Nottingham’s best cafes, Homemade keeping the bacon cobs coming). Then off to Shabby Road for some more recording.

I wrote Eleven Sweets right at the end of FAWM. Zeppo told me about her adventures in sunday school and I set them to music. I wanted to get her to sing it but just ran out of time. But we redid it this summer and tonight I added the finishing touches – piano, penny whistle (aka irish/tin whistle), recorder, shaky egg, electric guitar, synth, samba whistle and snare drum. Or ‘kitchen sink’ as it’s known in the trade.

I accidentally hit on a fun way to work without getting bogged down with second guessing or over engineering. Just leave you power cable at home. Watching that little battery icon turn red really concentrates the mind. I finished with 2% left.

I’m really pleased with the way the track has evolved from ‘acoustic Green Day’ to ‘crusty reggae’ (see Noah And The Whale for further details). All thanks to a bit of uke and a funky recorder lick. It’s still a home demo with a 6 year old lead vocalist but now it’s a lot more fun!

Hopefully I’ll have the mix up tomorrow, but starting back at school might knock me out!

Jo Co Bo Rap

Really enjoyed this piece from American Songwriter about Queen’s Greatest Hit. Both the videos are worth watching. The Beatles were their ‘bible’ and Freddie wrote out all the vocal parts? Impressive. The guy was a true musical genius.

Revisiting Jonathan Coulton‘s Thing A Week I have to lay some love on I’m Your Moon. Not many  people could write a song about the downgrading of Pluto from the point of view of Charon and create a love song that people would sing to their newborns and request at their weddings. And once again, click here, find the smily face and you get a free download. He’s a nice guy. Maybe you should give him some money anyway?

You Like Sarcastic Signs?

So do I. No, really.

Free download: Never Be Silent
Other free songs by Matt Blick


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Uncategorized

Day 253: Bulgarian Feedback And Failing To Write About Nothing

A while back I was slogging my way through recording and arranging Never Be Silent and put a rough mix up on the 50/90 site to get some second opinions on a thread titled Bulgarian Feedback. As well as a lot of cool advice a number of people said Bulgarian Feedback would be a cool title for a song. But only one man was cool enough to make it so – Johnny Cashpoint.

Bulgaria has fallen and there’s terror in the air.
Conquering invaders have arrived with questionnaire:
“Please rate our occupation on a scale of 1 to 4
Where one is sheer perfection and four is very poor.
How’d you find the food? (Please only rate food you can find.)
During interrogations were our men polite and kind?

and this classic couplet

Promised to provide a service that’s both harsh but fair.
Just ‘cos we’ve over-run you doesn’t meant that we don’t care.”

Listen to the song and read the rest of the lyrics

Jonathan Coulton wrote about his excellent song Mr Fancy Pants*

 It’s almost like this song was generated by the non-thinking parts of me, by the systems level utilities – sitting down and typing gibberish until something gets traction. Strangely, it was the first time I tried this technique during Thing a Week, and I wish I had surrendered to it earlier. I relied on it quite a bit for this new album, and it often led to much more honest and personal expression than I could have gotten to otherwise. It’s very hard to write about nothing for very long, and the real stuff sneaks out of you when you’re not looking.

It reminded me of my song Let’s Build An Airport. I started with a weird title, which was actually the title of a children’s book and what flowed out of me (oooh don’t sound like a reel arr-teest!) was a reflection of the escapism and frustration I was feeling inside. Like Coulton I want to try that more often.

I’ll be posting the new recording up soon, but for now here’s a live recording I did at the FAWM Over Party at the Vauxhall Griffin Pub in London. (Note: the audio starts before the video)

*You can listen to Mr Fancy Pants on the page but why don’t you go here
Find Thing A Week Four
Find Mr Fancy Pants
Click on the smiley face next to Mr Fancy Pants and get a FREE DOWNLOAD
See all those other smiley faces?
You can thank me later

Free download: Never Be Silent
Other free songs by Matt Blick


[If you’re subscribed to this blog via email, you will have to click on the post’s title to watch any video content (the link will take you my site).

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Deep Vault

Still Standing (Trees)

 

Walking in the woods I spoke aloud
my deepest hopes and dreams
The marks I’d make on history
The great things I’d achieve
When from above I heard the leaves
Their laughter borne upon the breeze

The mocking trees fell quiet, the wise old oak
He spoke up for them all
We have stood our ground
Since Bonaparte coveted our soil
And we’ll be here
When wind and rain
Erase the name
Upon your grave

I’m really trying to work on melody this year and singing in my ‘own’ voice (not that wretched generic american one that I and everyone outside of the Arctic Monkeys and The Proclaimers adopt). So on that score I’m quite happy with Still Standing (Trees). There’s a little Marx Bros influence in the lyrics of the second verse (listen to the track before you read the lyrics and see if you can guess where the song is going) and a bit of Beatles in the chord progressions (especially the minor 4).

It’s just a crazy story that came into my head one day. I live in a beautiful area surrounded by trees but lately a lot of them are losing all their bark for some reason. Despite what the song might lead you to believe this make me quite sad.

I approached the writing a little differently just to break me out of my habits. I wrote the lyrics to existing tunes Fly Me To The Moon for the verse and Autumn Leaves for the chorus, then wrote new music. The odd line lengths and different rhyme schemes made my go beyond my usual patterns. I like the way the song kind of goes 4/4 then 2/4 at the end of the chorus.

I’m up to 40 songs written now this year. It’s easy to get a bit down and feel I’m doing this for nothing, but I think I am getting better as a writer. Time will tell.

Leave me a comment if you like it.

Download Still Standing (Trees) mp3
Download Still Standing (Trees) lyrics

Free download: Never Be Silent
Other free songs by Matt Blick

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Showing Up

Day 251: The Trouble With Bloogle (And The Permanence Of Paper)

Is it really nearly a WHOLE MONTH since I did a post?

Well the main cause has been frustration with Blogger – they have added a ‘randomly change the formatting on my post’ feature which has made posting anything a chore. I am feeling at the mercy of a the whim of some lowly underling in Googland who is either bored, absent or suffering from the same pathological need to keep changing things that is making George Lucas the most hated figure in the Nerdverse.

This is bringing closer the inevitable day when I up and get my own website and host the blog myself using WordPress. So why bother doing anything now?

But then again – what if my host, or the wordpress platform goes down the tubes?

Maybe I should do all the pages on the mac?

But then I’m tied into the Apple erm…orchard …FOREVER!

I love the digital world. But everything has obsolescence built in.

(Pauses to make David Crowder-like left field spiritual application)

Even the internet is subject to the fall. 

So what I will do is try to post every day, even if I’m spouting rubbish like right here. In the hope that the creative backlog will ease. I just warn you – if you thought my blogs looked ugly before – you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Exquisit Corpse

Remember that? No? Good. It’s finished and here it is.

Bye Bye Baby

One of my non blogging weeks was taken up doing a songwriting workshop with about 20 teens. Here’s a song I had an active part in. Bit of tidying and shaping and soupcon of guitar.

Bye Bye Baby

This week I’ve been working on a Foo Fighter-Lite song about evolution and a rerecording of FAWN 2011 song Eleven Sweets with my 6 year old daughter Zeppo on vocals.

Beatboxing Cellist Kevin Olusola

I’ve also got a million great links stored up but this one from Gungor is too awesome to wait.

Free songs by Matt Blick

[If you’re subscribed to this blog via email, you will have to click on the post’s title to watch any video content (the link will take you my site).