I’ve been a total slacker on songwriting this weekend, but I forgot to mention that on my way home from work on Friday, I came up with an idea for how to finish a song I started months ago. True to my usual auspicious beginnings (which mostly end up sitting around unfinished), I had come up with a great hook and a tentative chorus for it, which, when I showed it to Karsten, got him excited enough about it to write a truly inspired chorus melody. To which I said,

“Oh, shit.”

Nothing seems to freak me out more than having to write lyrics to an existing melody — especially when the melody is so fantastic. ‘Cause then there’s no wiggle room, no way to say, “Well, I can’t think of an eight-syllable way to say ‘I wish I knew the real you like I know the fake you’ in pentameter with an ending anapest, so I’ll just go with that line and he can rewrite the melody to accomodate it.” (What a weird example. I wonder what nether reaches of my subconscious that little gem just came from.)

Anyway, this one was freakin’ me out big time. And Karsten kept dropping hints that if I wanted to work on this song, he was open to discussing anything or helping me talk through how it was going to go, and all that.

Still, no progress for months.

And then Friday, boom! The story flow occurred to me, and as soon as I had that, I knew how to write the song. So I raced home, nodded hello to Karsten, made a beeline for my desk, and wrote the whole thing out.

It’s not Lennon, it’s not Simon, but it’s a start. And it’s good enough to give back to Karsten so he can finish the melody.

3 down, 27 to go.

NaSoWriMo update

7 thoughts on “NaSoWriMo update

  • November 7, 2004 at 11:58 am
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    I write melodies all the time, but my lyrics suck. I have been considering trying to find a lyricist to help me complete some of the insanity in my skull, but will their words really fit the idea I have for the song?

    Do you have difficulty coming up with the right vision for your partner’s music?

    Oh, by the way.. I’m Jack. I added you. Hope you don’t mind. You seem interesting. 🙂

    Reply
  • November 7, 2004 at 12:14 pm
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    Hi Jack! Good to meet you. You seem interesting too. And perhaps you can tell me just what the deal is with WSM — have they changed formats? Changed ownership? The playlist seems completely different from what it was a few months ago.

    Anyway, interesting questions! If you have a really specific vision for the lyrics to match a particular melody, then yeah, it might be hard to get a lyricist to present that vision back to you. On the other hand, I pretty much suck at cowriting with anyone but my songwriting/life partner, Karsten, so maybe I’m just projecting.

    Have you had much luck at cowriting? Have you done it here in Nashville, or elsewhere, or both?

    Reply
  • November 7, 2004 at 1:11 pm
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    Cumulus Broadcasting (my employer) bought WSM-FM and WWTN last year with intent to purchase WSM-AM. WSM-FM has been in third place as a country station for the last several years, and since we paid $65 million for these two stations and the rights to the WSM trademark, we reorganized WSM-FM as 95.5 The Wolf. I think it sounds fabulous and I really am excited about the changes we have made on and off the air with the radio station.

    As far as my writing skills, they are novice at best. There are two kinds of people in Nashville. People like you who are professional songwriters, and I have friends just like you. They make money with their craft and they are driven by it. Then you have me… a hobbyist. But, I do think I have some strong melodies with a real commercial appeal. Than again, doesn’t everyone? I have never collaborated with anyone, nor shared my music yet. Most of it has been with me all my life, but a lot of it happened during my last year in Mobile, Alabama when I was lonesome and depressed.

    I am so blessed to be back in Nashville.

    Reply
  • November 7, 2004 at 2:52 pm
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    Hey, congratulations on figuring out the problem! I know how wonderful it can be when something like that falls into place.

    -J

    Reply
  • November 7, 2004 at 9:40 pm
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    I think it sounds fabulous and I really am excited about the changes we have made on and off the air with the radio station.

    I think it sounds good, too — it’s just surprised me several times. For instance, when I heard a promo for the morning show the other day and the background music was the instrumental bassline turnaround from Cake’s “Short Skirt Long Jacket.” I was like, huh? 🙂

    As far as my writing skills, they are novice at best. There are two kinds of people in Nashville. People like you who are professional songwriters, and I have friends just like you. They make money with their craft and they are driven by it. Then you have me… a hobbyist. But, I do think I have some strong melodies with a real commercial appeal. Than again, doesn’t everyone? I have never collaborated with anyone, nor shared my music yet. Most of it has been with me all my life, but a lot of it happened during my last year in Mobile, Alabama when I was lonesome and depressed.

    Hey, yeah, that’s the best time to write. 🙂

    I’m not a professional, by the way. I aspire to be one, but I’m still breaking in. I work full-time at Hospital Corporation of America (over by Centennial Park) as a business analyst on the company intranet. I design software enhancements, and oversee the content management and search functions of the intranet. That’s what pays the bills, and if truth be told, I really enjoy it. But I also really look forward to the day when I can transition to full-time, paid songwriting and quit my day job. It’s a heady thought. 🙂

    I am so blessed to be back in Nashville.

    Yeah, I dig it here, too. We’ve only been here for a year and a half, but we’re buying a house in a month (in the Waverly Belmont neighborhood, if you’re familiar with the neighborhoods) and we plan to stay indefinitely.

    I think I saw in your bio that you’re from Peoria, is that right? I’m from just south of Chicago myself, near Chicago Heights, if you’ve ever heard of that.

    Reply
  • November 7, 2004 at 9:42 pm
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    Thanks! I figured you especially would understand how great that felt. 🙂

    Reply
  • November 8, 2004 at 12:42 am
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    Yes, Peoria is home. I miss it sometimes… primarily the great restaurants I grew up with. But I have moved around so much that I don’t really consider Peoria home that much anymore. Nashville and I seem to have more of a connection than Peoria and I do these days. Yes, I am familiar with Chicago Heights, I LOVE CHICAGO! You two are getting a house in a good part of town. If I could afford to live in the city, I would. I am down in Antioch, but that’s really fine with me as my friends live here and it’s affordable. The apartments are loaded with nice ammenities and it’s close to shopping and convenient enough to Brentwood and I-24. It all works out for me. However, this morning I remember that horrible Westbound 24 traffic into downtown. Sheesh.

    Reply

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